diagnosticians apparently right

So today we learned that Ruby the House-Training-Resistant Corgi has blood in her urine. So folks here who speculated that she might have a UTI could be right. We shall see: we came away this afternoon with ten days' worth of antibiotics. If that doesn't help, then she'll need an expensive set of X-rays.

The vet thinks she's too young to have crystals in her urinary tract. And as for the  Big C, she didn't rule it out but said it would be "very uncommon" in such a young pup.

Uncommonality, however, is the story of my life...

As it develops, blood in the urine can indicate any number of very serious conditions. It's pretty distressing to consider the possibility that a brand-new puppy could have a serious illness or congenital flaw. I'm really not prepared to pony up thousands of dollars to care for her at this point -- in old age, maybe, but from the git-go? Not a very bright future when you're living on Social Security.

It's hard to believe, though, that there's anything very serious wrong. She eats like a trooper, she plays every second that she's not asleep, and she put on two pounds since the last time we were at the vet's -- she now weighs 11 pounds. Her temperature has always been "normal" -- she has never registered a fever. She's alert, her coat practically glows in the dark, she never barfs...she just doesn't act like a sick puppy.

She threw quite the little fit at the vet's office. When they couldn't get her to pee, they took her in back to try to extract urine from her, and when they flipped her over on her back she started shrieking and screaming. They didn't do anything to her, but she was so terrorized she flew into a frenzy. And...she peed all over them, all over the floor, all over eveything. Anyway, at least they were able to collect some of it, cutting short the traumatic procedure.

Odd behavior, since I flip her over and Cassie flips her over all the time, with no untoward reaction.

Now she's crapped out on the floor, so exhausted from her misadventure she can hardly move.

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Comment by Andrea on April 30, 2014 at 2:15pm

I think the raw works due to the water in the actual food. When you cook meat it cooks off a lot of the actual water in the food. Also, the way their stomach processes it really does help to acidify their diets. My vet explained it to me once, and I can't fully remember. However, it works! We do a prepared frozen raw from Darwins. We just defrost and feed each day. It has all the essentialy vitamins and nutrients they need and Ein really loves it. We also supplement with a cranberry powder and a good full fat high in probiotic greek yogurt (Greek Gods brand).

Comment by susan on April 30, 2014 at 11:01am

Jeli had similiar bouts with reoccuring UTIs as a small pup.  Apparently it isn't uncommon at all.  My understanding is that the pups immune system may not be strong enough to fight off bacteria that finds its way into her system.  The hooded vulva makes it more likely to happen.  If they are not drinking and peeing enough, and/or if thier urine is not acidic enough, they become suseptable to the infection.  Then, if you increase the acidity in their diet to much, you run the risk of the struvite crystals. 

I did quite a bit of research to find what I could do to combat the UTIs.  Jeli was on her 4th or 5th round of antibiotics before she was 6 months and I did not want to keep doing that.  Anyway, I tried a lot of feeding regimes prior to putting her on the raw diet, but none of them worked.  She would still come up with a UTI.  But since putting her on raw she has not had any reoccurance.   I do the Stella and Chewys patties.  Its pretty convienient, except when you travel, however they do make freeze dried patties.   I supplement with fruits and veggies and a dollop of wet food sometimes.  She gets high quality grain free kibble for training treats.  She had about 4 UTIs up until I put her on this diet and she hasn't had one since.  I also did the baby wipes after every pee to keep her clean, but now only do that about once a week.   I also give her a cranberry pill supplement (you can get these from Drs Smith and Foster on-line and they are not that expensive).  I also give her blueberries - suppose to help with UTIs, and apples pieces.  I think one of the big benefits of raw is that you are less likely to get the crytals if you have gone to far acidic. 

Anyway, the point is, its not uncommon for pups to get UTIs and its all manageable.  You'll also find that once the UTIs are cleared up the house training problems will fanish!  Best of luck to you and Ruby!

Comment by Vicky Hay on April 30, 2014 at 9:55am

@ Andrea: Ah hah! That is VERY interesting.

Ruby is only 3 months old; the vet said it takes longer than 3 months for crystals & stones to form. Not acidic enough, eh? Hm. So how is a raw diet more acid or more conducive to a lower urine pH than cooked food? I'd very  much like to look into this!

Ruby is now on a diet of part kibble (so as to get the commercial vitamins a dog allegedly needs)  to which I'm adding the same cooked diet that Cassie thrives on: 1/2 meat, 1/4 ground dog-friendly veggies, and 1/4 starch such as sweet potatoes, oatmeal, or quinoa. She hates kibble and wants to eat real food, and since she's been on the real food, she's grown mightily and her hair is shining and she's full of ginger, so I guess it's not killing her.

I suspect something is amiss with her rear end. When she widdles, she gets pee all over herself and it soon congeals into a sticky mess that can't easily be wiped off -- she has to go into the tub to be washed! I've never had a dog that did that, no matter how little the pup.

Comment by Andrea on April 29, 2014 at 11:00pm

Ein had UTI issues from the get go too. She got a really bad UTI back in December and I took her to the vet. The vet discovered that she did indeed have struvite crystals in her urine. She wasn't even a year old yet. We found out that her diet wasn't acidic enough, this causes the crystals to form in the urinary tract and kidney. If their pee isn't acidified then you run the risk of getting kidney stones. I do not, and will not put my dog on a perscription food. So instead we put Ein on a raw diet based off of the research my vet has done. This worked great for her struvite issues. We also found out she has a hooded vulva. So each night I have to clean out all the icky pee and bacteria that grows in there with a baby wipe. I'm telling you this because it isn't uncommon. Maybe you can take similar steps and see Ruby flourish! Well, I wish you the best of luck!

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