Bladder Infection

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sweetpea's picture
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Hi Everyone,

my 5 month pup Dakota has a bladdder infection that won't go away...she's gone through 2 bottles of this antibiotic stuff from the vet (looks like pepto bismol) which seems to help but the infection never goes away completely, and then flares up again as soon as we run out of medication.  Now he's saying to try changing her food, and if it doesn't get better she'll probably need bloodwork to figure out what the issue is.  Poor baby!  Has anyone had a similar issue with their dog?  Any tips or advice on things to try, what to expect, or what the problem might be? 

Lori's picture
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Not to knock on your Vet but have you considered a 2nd opinion?  Maybe a more aggressive treatment plan from another Vet? 

sweetpea's picture
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Not really...He's been the vet for my husband's family's dogs for years and years and they've always been really happy with him.  His practice has a great reputation.  I'm not necessarily opposed to getting a second opinion, I just hadn't really considered it before now. 

I might consider a second opinion.

jeshykai's picture
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My guess at 2 bottles of antibiotics is this has been going on for about 2 weeks or more?  If your vet hasn't considered doing a urinalysis yet he should.  You could suggest it.  You might be confusing this labwork with bloodwork because bloodwork is not necessarily going to point to what sort of infection and/or problem is going on with your puppy.  When an infection doesn't respond to certain antibiotics it is important to check the urine under a microscope to look for crystals which could be causing the bladder irritation.  Crystal formation is different than an infection on its own and that is probably why he would suggest a switch in food because food is sometimes the cause of crystals.

Additionally, sending the urine sample out to a lab for further testing would allow for other aspects of what is going on within the urine to be considered.  It will also allow the vet to know the type of bacteria present and an antibiotic specifically aimed towards clearing it out would be able to be found.

Typically, bladder infections are more common in dogs that are lower to the ground because when they squat to pee their connecting directly with dirt.  If you notice your puppy is pretty much /touching/ the dirt outside when she's peeing it wouldn't hurt to take a baby wipe and clean her up before you come in.  This most likely is NOT the source of the infection but it is a precaution.

Get the labwork done, ask your vet to be more aggressive with this because it's concerning you.

Keep us posted.

sweetpea's picture
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He did some labwork a few weeks ago, and ask us to bring a urine sample again last time she went but Dakota stopped peeing everytime we got close so we couldn't get one. :p  We're weaning her onto the new food right now, so we'll see how that goes, she has another appointment next week.  Thus far it's been my husband bringing her so I haven't spoken with the vet directly, but I think I'll go along this time and emphasize my concerns.  I'll let you know how it goes! 

Lori's picture
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Good idea,  if it's bothering you enough to post here about it, it's something you should at least bring up with your Vet.  Maybe he will easily explain why it's not a big deal and at least you will understand and not have cause to worry but right now you don't know, don't have any great answers and I don't blame you one bit for wanting more info.  I would do the same for Rocky...:)

sweetpea's picture
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We tok a urine sample to the vet on Tuesday and he said it was a lot worse than the last sample.  He had to send it out to get tested and we should hear the results sometime today...but if there's nothing in the urine we'll have to take her for other testing.  In the mean time we've been trying some other remedies...I've been giving her cranberry suppliments, zinc, vitamin C and echinechea (sounds like a lot but we're doing small doses).  I've also been wiping the discharge off of her vuvla with a warm wet washcloth after each time she goes outside.  She seems to be less irritated now because she's stopped licking herself.  The vet said he's never treated a dog that didn't have their uti clear up completely with the antibiotics she was on before, which leads him to think there's an issue with her immune system.  I really hope not!  It makes me feel sick to think that she might be one of those dogs that will just have one problem after another after another.  He also said there are a lot of other antibiotics which she can't have yet because of her age.   

This post sounds pretty bleak lol I guess I'm just getting antsy waiting for her results. 

jeshykai's picture
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Don't panic yet... she just might need really strong antibiotics to clear her up.  and having the infection rage for so long is certainly going to increase the level of the infection... don't take this the wrong way, but vets love to doom and gloom sometimes.  But at the same time if they didn't share the "worse case scenario" you wouldn't do the additional testing.

One thing some vets don't do is get a sample directly from the bladder.  Was this a free catch sample?  The bacteria could be coming from her vulva... or it could be sourced in the bladder... trust me, I have seen bad infections, have watched how long they take, but have never heard it blamed on the immune system.

I'm not saying your vet is wrong.. just, well, don't panic.  Also.  Really.  You might want to consider seeing a specialist.  Or at least another vet for this one.  All vets are not equally qualified.. I have three different ones I see for different levels of problems.  Granted, I've worked for them all, so I know their strengths/weaknesses.. but its whats best for my dogs, not their egos, that matter.

samara's picture
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Joined: 2010-11-28

I'm curious what your vet's results were from the 19th...?  I'm fostering a 6 month old female who has suffered from bladder/uti since she was 7 weeks, and I'm in the position right now that the Humane Society won't cover the costs of more serious testing and possible surgeries.  I cannot afford to go ahead with what may be a potentially unsuccessful hunt for what is really ailing this wonderful dog, which means I have no choice but to give her back ... I've worked tirelessly with her for the past 4 weeks - now she doesn't jump on people, she sits and stays, progressing with 'heeling', etc., and most importantly is not peeing everywhere!  I've fallen in love with this girl and am trying to think of any way I can help her get better ...

Could you please let me know what your results were?


Many thanks!

Happydance's picture
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Just a footnote, has the vet done an actual visual search in the vulva?  We used to see foxtails (a weed seed) everywhere!  Ears, eyes, you name it.

jeshykai's picture
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Samara -- what has been done thus far for this dog that so much money has been put into her that no diagnosis/treatment was successful?  That is simply AWFUL!  And frustrating!  

rgreen4's picture
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Sweetpea - I remembered Princess having a bladder infection earlier this year. The item that alerted me was that she was waking me up two to three times during the night to go out. She had not done that since she was a young puppy.

The first treatment was 14 days of Ciprofloxin tablets. When she went back for a re-check, my vet changed her medication to 14 days of Sulfamethoxazole-Trimethoprim (Smz-Tmp) which apparently did the job since she has not had any problems since.

I did not do the collecting of the sample, one of the vet's dog handlers did that. They have a small square pan on a long handle and it did not appear to be home made. On the recheck, I walked Princess while the handler slipped the pan under Princess when she squated to pee.

In all my experiences with my dogs, the only liquid I have ever been sent home with were syringes of worming medicine. Pills are so much easier to give. (With Red, I just drop them in his bowl as he eats everything)

sweetpea's picture
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Samara - I'm so sorry to hear your pup has been dealing with that for such a long time!!  I know how frustrated you must feel.  Dakota still has the UTI.  Her urine test showed nothing out of the ordinary, and we really don't have the money right now to be taking her for blood tests and other testing to find out what's wrong.  The vitamins I've been giving her seem to help - she still has some discharge whenever she pees but she doesn't have to be let out through the night anymore like she was before.  We're slowly weaning her onto new food too, which the vet recommended - it's called Natural Balance Ultra.  And I've been giving her 1/2 a cup of fat-free yogurt every other day as well. 

Apparently she's too young for most of the stronger antibiotics, but the vet also said he's seen a lot of females with reoccurring UTIs that clear up as soon as they're spayed, which we're planning to do in a few weeks.   

I'm not sure what to do because the vitamins are helping but not enough to clear it up completely.  I know UTIs are dangerous and can spread to the kidneys if they're left for too long, but she really doesn't seem bothered by it.  I've been watching her pretty closely and she has not had any loss of appetite, she's got just as much energy as ever, she doesn't pee abnormally often, and she's not licking herself in a way that would suggest that her vulva is irritating her.  We're taking another urine sample in to the vet after her food is switched over completely, which will probably be in a week or so. 

doofus's picture
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Joined: 2011-02-23

Im new here, have a 4 yr old spayed schnauzer, as of late when it rains they use puppy pad indoors, and i notice a few drops of blood on the pad, any ideas?

Lady Kate's picture
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My idea is to get your dog to the vet as soon as possible..It might be as simple as a UTI, but why take a chance.

jeshykai's picture
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Blood in urine, feces, vomit -- GO TO VET.