Beginning in December, we’ve been dealing with three major health issues with Delilah. Today I am going to share with you the first issue, Chronic UTI’s, and in future posts, I will share the others. I should let you know that Delilah is okay, we are just trying to get to the bottom of this rabbit hole we jumped into.
The day after Sampson’s *hem hem* morning surprise, he was scheduled for an acupuncture appointment at our vet’s office. I came home from work, and let Delilah out, and then I let her out again, and again.
My little UTI meter went ding, ding, ding, so I grabbed my handy Dog Urine collection kit, and grabbed a sample. While the vet prefers the first sample of the morning, it is absolutely possible to determine infection with a non-morning sample.
As Sampson was having his session, the vet staff ran a check on Delilah’s urine, and sure enough, she had a UTI. It was her first one since July, when she had that really awful one with blood in her urine. I went home with a two week course of antibiotic, with instructions to check her a few days after she finished. I also went home with 100 mg of Gabapentin. (Just an FYI, Gabapentin works incredibly well in helping with that frequent urge to go, which so often accompanies a UTI.)
I had just enough time (so I thought) to take Delilah for a quick walk before I had to pick my sister up from the airport. I say, “so I thought,” because I forgot to account for the time it took the Gabapentin to work, and the frequency with which my dog had to stop to ‘pee’.
At every single house. Some of them twice!
Eventually we made it around the block and the Gabapentin kicked in.
The recommended dosage of Gabapentin for Delilah, was one or two every 12 hours. But I found at around the 9 hour mark, Delilah was again experiencing the urge to go.
I hatched a plan, that I got approved by my vet, and that was to give Delilah one Gabapentin every 8 hours. That did the trick for her, and kept her comfortable while the antibiotic did its job.
We gave Delilah the antibiotic as directed and checked her about four days after she finished the antibiotics, and she had a UTI. Grrr….
So began our four month struggle with UTI’s.
I’m not kidding, this poor dog was on an antibiotic for most of four full months. My vet would take the sample, check it, send it out to find out what antibiotic would work best for it. We would follow the instructions to the letter, and retest, and either she would STILL have the UTI, or it would be gone, but then she would have another one in a couple of days.
After doing this dance two or three times, my vet suggested Delilah be checked for bladder stones. I was also concerned about Cancer, but the Vet thought that was unlikely. So we scheduled an ultra-sound and she spent the day at the vet, and nothing showed up.
My vet’s next thought that the sphincter muscle between the bladder and the urethra was weak, she recommended stopping the Vetriscience Bladder Strength, which had worked amazingly well for almost two years, and switching her to a prescription estrogen. It was recommended the UTI be cleared up before we started the Incurin, but that proved to be close to impossible.
So, towards the end of one course of antibiotics, we switched her to Incurin. And the infections kept coming.
The next thought (by my vet) was that she had Cushing’s disease.
To which I emphatically said, “She does not present as a Cushings dog.”
Finally, at my wits end with traditional medicine, I called the Holistic Vet.
Since I just started a new job, I didn’t have the time to take off to drive her to his office, which is over an hour away. Luckily for me, he knows the dogs, and agreed to consult with us electronically. I forwarded all Delilah’s records to his office.
We started with records from June of 2016 because that was her annual check-up, and with the exception of the slightly elevated liver levels, she was in good health.
Dr. Landau put her on a Chinese Herb called, “Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang,” which is designed to help her immune system clear infection in the bladder, and tincture, called, “Hydrangea and Eupatorium,” which replaced the Gabapentin and treated the symptoms of the UTI.
Additionally, I added ½ tsp of D-Mannose powder at each meal, and I stopped the Crananadin we were using, and switched to a straight cranberry pill. Because Sampson has had UTI’s also, I added the Cranberry, and D-Mannose powder to his diet as well.
Cranberry’s have an ingredient, A-type proanthocyanidin which helps to keep the bacteria from attaching itself to the walls of the bladder. D-Mannose has the same affect. **Source, Prevention.Com** (You can read more about preventing UTI’s (in dogs and humans!) HERE.
When she went for her annual check-up the beginning of June, we checked her urine, and it was infection free. She just finished up the last of her tincture, and her latest voided urine sample was clean.
The problem is, we really don’t know what the underlying cause of the UTI’s is/was. Which means, I watch her very carefully.
During one of our visits to the vet, it was noted that Delilah had lost almost five pounds since September, which started us down another rabbit hole.
Thankfully, (I feel funny saying thankfully here) the weight loss coincided with her UTI, so this was another thing I brought to Dr. Landau’s attention, and in another post, I’ll tell you how we are treating this, and what it could be.
DISCLAIMER: I am not a veterinarian, I do not play one on TV, and I did not stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. If your dog is showing signs of Urinary Tract Infections, or struggles to urinate, please take him/her to your veterinarian. The diagnosis we came to with Delilah is based on conversations and testing with a licensed veterinarian and is in no way intended to be a diagnosis for your dog. Please DO NOT SELF DIAGNOSE your dog.