D-mannose Use for Bacterial Urinary Tract Infections in Dogs and Cats

Elizabeth DeLomba, DVM, MBA

Issue: Volume 67 Summer 2022

Online Publication Date: 9 June 2022


D-mannose is a 6-carbon sugar that has benefits in complementary therapy in veterinary medicine. The most researched application is in the treatment and prevention of urinary tract infections (UTIs) caused by Escherichia coli (E coli). Research has shown that E coli has mannose receptors on its fimbriae which bind to D-mannose, preventing it from attaching to the uroepithelium. As a result, the bacteria are eliminated during urination instead of colonizing urinary tissues. Since recurrent UTIs are common in dogs and cats, in cases in which the infection is due to outside factors, preventive use of D-mannose can be of value. Benefits include low cost, low incidence of adverse effects, and perhaps less risk for development of antibiotic resistance. D-mannose should be considered as a standard preventive measure when formulating treatment plans for patients with recurrent UTIs.