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Sasha Bear
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Discussion Starter #1
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Hi,

I've been reading the posts about UTI's and constant bladder infections so I wanted to pick your brains about long term solutions.

Sasha just turned 10, and I was SO happy that this was the first year (of the three we've had her) that we didn't go to the vet more than twice!

However, we went in for a check up and they discovered she had a UTI :(*
She's had 2 in the past, both times she was asking to go out a lot and peeing blood, and both came after she had an upset stomach. But this time she didn't give us any signs, she hasn't been sick in anyway. In fact it was becoming harder than ever to get her to go out because she really hates the summer time and yet she never pees inside. I have no clue how she does it. Anyway, these are my questions...

1: The Urolgist told me she had a recessed vulva about 2 years ago and said it was my fault because she was over weight. She said she could operate or I could get Sasha to lose weight to fix the problem. However all the research I've done says that adult dogs with this condition get it from being spayed too early- ie before their body can fix it themselves. Does anyone know how an RV occurs?

*I really don't like this woman but everyone says she's the best...now I'm wondering if she was just saying that to make me feel bad. It's not like we haven't been desperately trying to get her to slim down and she has lost over 15lb since we adopted her....sadly she's still chunky : (

2: I've been giving her cranberry tablets for humans, but I guess they're not working! Does anyone know the correct amount/ dosage *I'm meant to give? The *urologist says they are pointless, so I can't ask her...

3: I read on line that you can keep the condition under control by giving cranberry supplements, wiping after peeing, trimming the fur etc. However, the urolgist did not suggest any of that. She gave me 2 options - I can either do the surgery to fix the problem or give her a daily antibiotic for the rest of her life (She didn't mention weight this time). I asked if that would cause her body to develop a tolerance to them and create a super UTI that we couldn't cure, and she told me that doesn't happen...but I thought that was why there are those stories about the dangers of humans taking antibiotics too often. Which leads me to wonder if she is just telling me to do what I'm told and not question her.

This woman is not my regular vet, just a specialist my vet recommends, however when she called to talk to her, she also asked about building up a tolerance to Clavamox before she knew I had already asked. Does anyone else give their dog a daily Clavamox? Is anyone else working through this problem without the surgery?*

I don't have an issue with the cost of the surgery because my insurance will take care of it (I hope!) but she had her toe removed last year and a lump removed 8 months before that. I just don't want to put her through it if there are any other options.

Thank you all in advance
 

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New Mommy
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6,137 Posts
You never mentioned if you have had her thyroid checked (or I missed it some how) How much does she weigh now? I was hoping one of the vets would chime in on this, hopefully they will if this bumped by my post. Cranberries are only going to help if her urine ph is off in a certain direction. She needs to have another urine culture done now to see what's up. I think there are several directions you could go in before surgery.
 

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Sasha Bear
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your reply. I had her thyroid checked a while ago and it was fine.

She was 98lb when she was having chemo, she's around 82lb currently, but should be 75!

The problem we have with the weight loss is she has really bad arthritis in all her joints, she had a toe with a torn tendon (meaning it sticks straight up) on her left front foot and she broke a toe on her right front foot which she had removed....so, exercise is not her favorite activity and she's always limping! At the moment she gets 4 shortish walks, ie. as far as i can get her go.

She takes a joint support supplement with glucosamine, msm and all that stuff, plus fish oil and 60mg of codeine (three times a day) all of which certainly helps but she can't walk too far before it gets too much for her.

We tried restricting her food but it had the opposite effect, so now we count calories and have 6 small meals a day. I really wanted to get her on the underwater treadmill but it was just so expensive, and there is nowhere I can take her to go swimming for free.

I thought cranberries made it hard for bacteria to attach to the walls of her bladder, although I'm not sure if that translates to the area it gets trapped in around her vulva.

We just had her 2nd culture done and it was clear, which I'm really happy about- just another two weeks of Clavamox. However, I worry that as soon as we stop the meds the infection will come right back.

Any suggestions would be gratefully appreciated.
 

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New Mommy
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Poor little girl she's been through alot. Thank you so much for hanging in there with her. One of my RB girls, Courtney, was on Clavamox for the last 18 months of her life. As soon as I stopped the UTI would come back. Have you tried the green bean diet with her? It's worked great for lots of people. Where are you located? Maybe we can help find a place to take her swimming. Hugs to you both!
 
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Sasha Bear
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Discussion Starter #5
I'd never heard of the green bean diet, I'll certainly give it a go. She eats 90% raw at the moment so hopefully she won't notice!

We live in Manhattan. We go to central park a lot but dogs aren't allowed to swim in any of the lakes or ponds in there. We occasionally take her out to Long Island but she gets really car sick, so I'm not sure if she thinks it worth it! :)
 

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I am sorry to hear about the issues Sasha is going through. My girl (Sasha or little bear) also has issues with recessed Vulva. Sasha's previous owners had her desexed at a young age, resulting in her lady bits being juvenile and therefore recessed and causing infections. Our girl is of normal weight, so that is not of issue to our situation. We had our girl on a month long course of antibiotics and it cleared up her infection, but it returned shortly after. At the current time we are lucky as she her lady bits have cleared up for last few months and hopefully will stay this way.

Our Sasha is almost 14 and has only had problem arise this year. Though we have only had sash with us for the last 7yrs and her previous owners would never have know if there was any problems since she was left as a yard dog. Our option for sash is to get it operated on, as the vet feels if we try to use antibiotics it will be come a continual cycle of being on meds, then it flareing up as soon as off meds. We have decided if it continues to become a problem we will get the reconstructive surgery, but fingers crossed that she stays infection free.

Our vet did discuss with us that over-weight can cause the vulva become recessed. So your Sasha's weight could be why her vulva is recessed. However it sounds like the vet was quite harsh with you and that is unnecessary, however you need to ignore this and focus on Sasha. I don't think the vet was intentionally being mean to you, I think it is more a case of being straight forward and blunt. It must be very frustrating for vets to see animals that are unwell due to being over weight. I know my partner and I regularly cringe when we see a overweight dog struggling to waddle along. Even vets have bad days, so it may just be that a very wonderful vet was having an off day.

Congratulations in the successful weight loss do far. It is so very important you get the rest of the weight off ASAP. Sasha is already suffering from artheritis, any extra weight is going to cause your darling girl extra pain and degrading of her joints. Getting rid of the weight will also assist her toe to heal. Over all less weight means less pain for Sasha and will create better overall health and I know you would want this.

With the walking it's great your taking multiple walks a day. The key is to build up the distance till Sasha can happily walk a reasonable distance because of the Sasha's injuries and artheritis you need to be careful not to push her to injury or pain. We walk Sasha along the beach which is a total of 6km and just this year we have had to start having breaks along the way. Our girl is 2 months off of her 14 th birthday and she the regular old age arthritis. So there is no reason your girl can't build up to walking a decent distance. Trying and make Sasha's walks as exciting and enjoyable as possible, so new places, lots of people and dogs to meet, off lead etc.

I can understand you don't want to leave Sasha feeling hungry, but that's were the green bean diet is brilliant. Have you started Sasha on the green bean diet yet? How is she doing on it?

Hope this mega long post has been of help! And you'll have to post up some progress pics of Sasha as she loses the weight!
 

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I have the same issue with my 7 yr old and have had for the last 6 yrs. She's good when on antibio's but once off, she gets another. Have tried everything - cranberry only helps to ward away bacteria - does not prevent. Had her ultrasounded for stones also - no stones. Just an on-going battle. Am trying diff food now and using an alternative Chinese vet with some new herbs. Keeping fingers crossed. I would not consider the surgery unless it became life threatening. Also quizzed my vet on a daily antibio and she said it could be done but eventually they become immune to it and then what??? Plus you know and I know it's just plain not a good idea. I'd be interested in anything new going on to treat this. Also go slow with the grn beans until she is ok with them. Might want to try accupuncture for the arthritis if it is in your power to do so.
Good luck - I know exactly how you feel!
 
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