SUPERBUGS, SUPER PROBLEMS Antibiotic Resistance Part 1 of 5

Antibiotic resistance is among today’s largest health threats for both humans and animals:  How can you combat these ever-evolving superbugs? 

In an article written by Dr. Chloe Ross, A Veterinarian in Western Australia, she writes about how antibiotics are used when they should not be or when another treatment will take care of the problem.  She has a strong interest in preventive medicine, and is especially interested in the microbiome and its role in keeping a body healthy. 

Antibiotics resistance is one of the biggest threats to human and animal health, and the problem is getting worse.  Avoiding unnecessary antibiotic use (and making sure they’re used properly when they are essential) can help to save important antibiotics for life-threatening situations.  It can also lower your dog’s exposure to a host of potential side effects. 

After your vet has diagnosed an infection, he may prescribe antibiotics without much consideration toward the rise of the superbug.  Rather than heading straight for the pharmaceuticals, if your pooch is otherwise well, you can try other alternative treatments. 

Here are some common infections, often mistreated with antibiotics and tips for how to help fight antibiotic resistance. 

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIS)

Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC)

Skin Infections

Gastrointestinal Upset

Dental Disease

I will touch on each of these topics over five newsletters as to not make each article too long. 

Today we will start with Urinary Tract Infections (UTIS). 

UTI’s can be incredibly uncomfortable, and most (human and animal) medical specialists recommend treating them with antibiotics.  There are, however, multiple studies suggesting most dogs can clear bacteria from their bladder in three to five days without antibiotics.  There’s also anecdotal evidence that many humans apart to recover from UTI’s without antibiotics.  This suggests that the recommendation is unnecessary. 

It’s also estimated that around 70 percent of dogs with UTI’s have underlying disorders that predispose them to infection.  Jumping straight to antibiotics, especially without a through workup, may simply mask the symptoms of a more important problem. 

If your dog has been diagnosed with a UTI, make sure to work with your vet to determine the cause.  While investigating, you can hold off on the antibiotics and try some of these alternatives: 

Give it time.  The infection may clear up on its own.

Keep the vulva or prepuce clean and free of long hairs.

Supplement with cranberry extract – 20mg/kf (9mg/lb) of bodyweight daily.  (At Beastie Boutique we carry D Mannose).

Add probiotics.  Aim for the highest number of CFU (colony forming units) you can find in a broad spectrum probiotic, and feel free to give two or three capsules a day during time of illness. (We offer several lines of probiotics at Beastie Boutique).

Increase fluid intake by offering broths (preferably home-made to avoid unnatural ingredients) as well as regular water.  (I would also add to feed a fresh food diet, as dry food will keep your dog dehydrated).

Use herbal remedies such as horsetail uva ursi, goldenseal, buchu (discuss these with your holistic veterinarian)(At Beastie Boutique, we can refer you to a holistic vet).

Diagnose and treat any underlying conditions. 

If bacteria is found in your dog’s urine and she isn’t showing any symptoms, the current medical consensus is that you do not need to treat it.

Next week’s article will be on Canine Infections Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC). 

Dr, Chole Ross, “Superbugs, Super Problems” Dogs Naturally Magazine, September – October 2019, pp. 9-11.