Herbals for LUTD

Study shows little promise

Lower urinary tract disease (LUTD) is a common condition characterized by crystal/stone formation and/or inflammation and discomfort in the urinary bladder and/or urethra of affected cats. LUTD can have significant negative effects on a cat’s quality of life, and symptoms range from mild discomfort while urinating to potentially life-threatening urinary obstruction.

A number of strategies have been proposed to manage LUTD in cats, and anecdotal reports of success using various herbal preparations have been circulated through various media. A recent study tested the hypothesis that three of these compounds, San Ren Tang, Wei Ling Tang, and Alsima, would increase urine volume, decrease saturation of urine with calcium oxalate and struvite, and have salutory effects on urine pH, all of which would be expected to decrease the likelihood of crystal/stone formation.

This study found that these compounds did not achieve the above-mentioned effects, suggesting that they may not be viable options to decrease the likelihood of LUTD in cats. While further studies are warranted, these results do not support a beneficial effect of these herbal preparations in cats with LUTD.n

J Feline Med Surg . 2018 Dec;20(12):1094-1099. doi: 10.1177/1098612X17748241.