The information contained in this post is not meant as veterinary advice. It is my experience with my dog and a urinary tract infection. If your dog is peeing blood, or exhibiting any signs of discomfort you should consult a licensed veterinarian.
I’m warning you up front, this is going to be a long post, so grab a cup of coffee and settle in, I’ll wait.
What does blood in your dog’s urine mean, and should you panic?
For those that saw my Facebook post yesterday (and those that didn’t)…it seems like Delilah has a lower Urinary Tract Infection.
Here’s what happened.
Yesterday morning was normal, we started the day with a walk, I fed her breakfast, she went outside and pottied, and I went to work.
It wasn’t predicted to be too hot, so I left the slider to the little balcony open, so they could sit outside if they felt so inclined.
Shortly after 10:00 am my mom came home from an appointment and both dogs were out on the deck. Delilah was panting and whining (which is NOT normal.) Mom talked to her, thinking she was hot and told her to go inside and get a drink of water. Mom then turned to get something out of the car and heard the distinct sound of liquid hitting the ground.
She didn’t actually see her pee, but mom said she got a definite odor of pee. She debated on calling me, but quickly decided she should, and she did.
I thought it through and knew it wasn’t normal, so I told my boss I had to pop home and left.
Delilah was SO happy to see me, she jumped at me, ran to the door, back to jump at me, back to the door. I let her out.
She quickly went and peed, then walked a few steps, squatted again and nothing came out. A few minutes later she squatted again and again nothing came out.
I called the vet’s office. The tech agreed with me that it sounded like a UTI and said they’d like a urine sample (preferably first of the morning). I didn’t want to wait until today to get the fresh morning sample. So I made the decision to bring her in, hoping any sample I could provide would give us answers, or they could get a clean sample by taking it from her bladder. I grabbed my little urine collection kit, along with some paper towels and off we went.
She seemed fine in the car, not uncomfortable or anything. When we got to the vet’s office, I grabbed my ladle, put the container on my seat and got out of the car.
She rushed right over to pee, and I stuck the ladle under her and grabbed a sample. As you can see from the photo, my urine ladle is black, and even with the black bowl, when I pulled that ladle out, I could see there was blood in her urine.
My heart dropped to my stomach and I tried to remain calm while I transferred the urine to my collection container. Once it was safely stored, and I saw how MUCH blood was in it, I started shaking and crying. I was so upset, I almost left the car running.
I walked into my vet’s office, held up the sample and said, “I’m freaking out.”
My vet’s office is amazing, and one of the techs, Crystal said, “It’s okay, we’ll take care of her.”
They showed us into an exam room and we waited. We waited for what seemed like an eternity, but it was probably 15 minutes or so. Which is long at our vet.
When Dr. Allen came in, she asked what happened, when it started etc. I explained to her everything I just told you.
Dr. Allen told me that Delilah’s white cells were high, which meant she had some inflammation, there was also pus and bacteria presented in the urine. She suspected it was a Urinary Tract Infection. I was concerned because Delilah has had a handful of UTI’s before and never PEED BLOOD.
I hope I’m explaining this right, because I heard everything Dr. Allen said, but I was just so upset, that I didn’t remember it all. If I got it right, sometimes the inflamed area in the bladder wall bleeds, at some point it can clot and just sort of float around, but then suddenly it moves to a particular spot and the dog can pass the clot. And sometimes it’s a LOT of blood.
While we were talking, Delilah vomited. And then she vomited again.
Delilah has been with us for nine years, in those nine years, I can count on ONE HAND the times she’s vomited.
While Dr. Allen was cleaning up the vomit (I offered to, but she said it was her pleasure. I think then I said something like, well then come on over to my house), she told me she’d do a physical exam on Delilah, including a rectal exam. (Side note, Dr. Allen said, that sometimes dogs with a UTI WILL vomit.)
This is to pinpoint any definite pain (by watching Delilah’s reaction) or any obvious lumps, bumps, or basically anything that screamed abnormal.
Dr. Allen felt Delilah’s tummy, and Delilah tolerated it. She wasn’t thrilled, but she didn’t seem to be in any pain. Then came the rectal exam.
Poor puppy, she really wasn’t thrilled with THAT.
After the exam Dr. Allen said that her bladder didn’t seem to be swollen. Delilah was uncomfortable but didn’t appear to have a painful bladder. The rectal exam indicated Delilah’s urethra seemed smooth, with no lumps or bumps, and the entrance to her bladder was round and smooth as well.
Based upon the physical exam, as well as what Dr. Allen saw under the microscope, she diagnosed Delilah with a lower Urinary Tract Infection.
While looking through Delilah’s file, Dr. Allen discovered that Delilah had a UTI at this exact same time last year.
Her explanation? When the weather gets hot and humid, bacteria can get out of control on the skin. Note to self: Something to keep in mind for next year.
What’s the treatment plan?
Dr. Allen gave Delilah an injection of Cerenia, to stop her nausea. We went home with Amoxi/Clavulonate (antibiotic), and Crananidin (Cranberry extract) tablets (all you ladies know, cranberry juice is good for preventing UTI’s. The trouble is the dogs don’t typically DRINK cranberry juice.) 😉 She also gave her Gabapentin to help with that horrible discomfort that anyone who has ever had a UTI, knows only all to well.
Dr. Allen said some dogs feel better immediately, others take a couple of days.
As soon as we got home, I gave Delilah a small bit of food, along with her medications. The prescription for the Gabapentin was 3 capsules.
3 capsules knocked Delilah on her ass. I felt so bad because she just looked so wiped out, BUT it did help.
She wasn’t having the urgency to urinate, in fact, when I got home from work she went out and laid out on the deck in the sun.
When it came time for walks, Delilah came to the door with Sampson and me. Since she’d had such a stressful day and was so mellow on the Gabapentin, I figured she would be okay with a short walk. So for the first time in five months…I walked both my dogs together.
After the walk, she slept some more. She seemed to be doing better, but then she started wanting to go outside again. She ate her dinner well (I cut her raw food down and made it half raw/half white rice), and she seemed to keep it down.
I called the vet’s office to check on the antibiotic and discuss the Gabapentin. They said give it to her just before bed, because we don’t want to upset her stomach with the antibiotic. Along with that I gave her one of the Gabapentin, hoping it would be enough to keep her comfortable through the night.
The instructions on the Gaba is three capsules every 12 hours, but I think I will do two capsules every 8, to try and keep her comfortable. I will call the vet’s office and confirm that this morning.
The next step.
My instructions are to check in with the vet’s office in two to three days. If Delilah is NOT feeling better, our next step will probably be an ultrasound.
Thank you to all of you who were ‘there’ with me during this trying time. It was probably one of the scariest things I’ve ever experienced with Delilah and having your support means the world to me.