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After surgery for IVDD, Max was paralyzed for several weeks and could not urinate on his own. He developed a complicated UTI (urinary tract infection) which was treated with successive antibiotic rounds for three drug-resistant microbes.
The drugs successfully knocked out E. coli and Pseudomonas, which were followed by a persistent Klebsiella infection. The treatment for Klebsiella involved daily injections of Amakacin, a powerful (aminoglycoside) antibiotic that can cause kidney damage or acute renal failure.
Unfortunately, three long and painful rounds of Amakacin did not completely eliminate the bacterium from “clean catch” urine cultures. Doing the same ineffective thing over and over again was also beginning to cause kidney damage. We stopped the Amakacin injections and I discussed a more holistic approach and less risky alternatives with our vet, who recommended Cranberry Comfort and agreed that a probiotic might help.
Cranberry extract helps stop cystitis by preventing certain strains of bacteria that use fimbriae (“fim”) for attaching themselves to the bladder wall. It’s known to be effective agains E. coli, and there’s a possibility that some types of Klebsiella use fim type 1 or fim type 3 for adhesion. (search Google for fimbriae klebsiella to find articles).
I ordered a 100-gram jar of Cranberry Comfort powder from Amazon. Cranberry Comfort is for dogs or cats and comes with a tiny 1cc scoop for measuring. Max gets 1.5 scoops in his wet food. It has a faint earthy aroma and a slightly sweet taste, so it doesn’t make regular wet dog food unpalatable. Besides cranberry extract, the compound contains other beneficial ingredients. The 100-gram jar will last for many months. Ingredients per scoop are:
- Cran-Max (Cranberry Extract) – 236 mg
- Echinacea Purpurea – 118 mg
- Vitamin C (Ester-C) – 79 mg
- Oregon Grape Root – 39 mg
- Marshmallow – 23 mg
Maintenance dosage: Dogs/Cats up to 15 lbs: 1 Scoop; Dogs 16 to 50 lbs: 1-1/2 Scoops; Dogs 51 + lbs: 2 Scoops. Instructions on the container suggest twice daily for the first week, then twice a week or according to your vet’s recommendation.
When we took Max back to the vet (a month after discontinuing Amakacin) for his annual checkup, kidney function was back in the normal range, and he’s still active and frisky (at 14+ years). We’ve continued to keep him on Science Diet Kidney Care canned and dry food for a while, in case there’s still residual kidney damage. I see no reason not to maintain the Cranberry Comfort as a preventative measure.
Overall, I’m very pleased with the results, cost, and palatability of Cranberry Comfort powder and would recommend it highly.