Aaaaaaaaaargh! Doggy UTI! Please give me your advice for right now, and in the future.
My poor dog has had three UTIs in the last three years, so she's prone to this problem. I'd like to manage things to reduce the likelihood that she will get future infections, but if there's anything I could right now
to make her feel better, I'd love to know.
Here goes the infodump:
Her urine showed struvite crystals and a "slight infection" -- but that was 10 days ago. By now, the infection is no longer slight. Grrrrrr.
She just started a course of Clavubactin, which is amoxicillin and clavulonic acid 500/125 (she gets 1/2 a pill twice a day). She had her first half last night, another half this morning, and is about to get today's second half (it's night now, here). The course is for 10 days.
This is for infection by Proteus Mirabilis that showed up in the urine culture. The results (dated May 12) show 105
CFU/ML, whatever that means.
But she's so very miserable. She can't keep still, paces from place to place in the house, licks her lady bits pretty much constantly. Sometimes she just sits and pants. I just took her for a 30 minute walk, which has helped slightly.
Is there anything I can do to help her be more comfortable?
The back story is that on Thursday, May 5, I noticed blood in her urine, but she had no outward symptoms of UTI at that point; her behavior was perfectly normal. On Monday, May 6, we took her to the Vet, and sent her urine for a culture, as well as keeping some for examination. We called him Saturday, and he said to call back Monday. On Monday, he told us she had struvite crystals and to get Royal Canin S/O kibble, and feed her nothing else for a month.
Now it get a little fuzzy. My husband had to go out of town, and I can't really communicate with this Vet well (my Greek not good enough, his English not good enough). After about three or four days (may 11 or 12), I asked my husband to call from where he was and find out about the results from the culture and ask about an antibiotic in addition to the special diet. The Vet reportedly said he didn't know why we were asking about an antibiotic. Just feed her the special food.
I kept feeding her the special food. By May 18-19 it was obvious to me that she had a full fledged UTI, with lots of licking and obvious discomfort. Also, by this time, she's hardly eating the special food. She should have 2 1/2 cups per day for her weight, age, etc., and she's eating less than one cup. Consequently, she's also not drinking much, which this food is supposed to promote. I start making her chicken broth to get more liquids into her, despite the fact that we were supposed to feed her nothing but the S/O.
Yesterday, the 20th, we took her back, and he (finally!) prescribed the antibiotic. So from the first moment I noticed something wrong until any actual treatment other than diet, it was 15 days, and the dog is miserable. He said since the infection was only "slight," and she wasn't showing any symptoms, he didn't want to prescribe an antibiotic in the beginning.
Does this make sense? Is it normal for an infection to just go away from an S/O diet? Because that seems weird to me.
I admit, I'm feeling a little bitter, because I pay attention to stuff like this, and take her to the doc when I know something is off, and this is the second time
she's had a UTI that progressed to a really painful/miserable stage over weeks
of back and forth, when I had spotted the problem almost immediately. The first time was even worse, taking a month of visits, etc. with no relief at all. That's why we switched to this
Vet, despite the communication difficulty with him on my end. (And he has a great reputation among people we've spoken with, except for one person.)
Our Vet choices aren't unlimited, since we don't have a car, but I'm feeling very disillusioned. I see from the date on the lab report that the culture was finished by the 12th -- which also seems overlong, but whatever. If she had started antibiotics then, she would be almost finished with the course by now, and presumably okay instead of compulsively wandering around the house trying to find a place to lie down that doesn't "hurt."
Hence, my aaaaaargh. I wouldn't mind experienced opinions on this whole saga.
By the way, we aren't doing the special food any more. He said if she won't eat enough of it to make her drink and pee a lot, it wouldn't do much good. I'm making her meat & veg brothy stuff and doing the dance of the seven veils to get her to down it. (She's not a reluctant eater usually... quite the opposite. Her usual diet is very healthy and homemade.)
... I want to take control of this health issue as much as possible. My action plan so far:
- I'm going to be adding a lot of liquid to her food. I make her food, and will continue to do so, but I'm going to make sure that she gets a lot more liquid in her actual meals.
- I'm cutting all dog biscuit type treats, which is the only not-really-healthy stuff she gets. I'm going to be giving her dried cranberries to replace some of that, and for the rest... not sure. Maybe S/O kibble. (She didn't hate for the first two or three days; if it's not her main food, it might do.)
- Filtered water. I already make sure her water is fresh all the time, in glass or stainless steel bowls that are washed daily, and that she always has water by her food bowl, and by her bed.
- Washing all her bedding (from the various places she lies down) every couple of days
- Wiping down her butt and lady bits with a gentle antibiotic wipe after walks.
- trimming around her butt and vulva areas between grooming visits
- More baths -- maybe three times a month? She's a dog with "hair" not fur; not sure what is best.
- Peepee promenades. She already has outdoor access to pee whenever she wants to, but she likes to wait for walks, so I'll be walking her for short urinary excursions in addition to our regular walks.
Any additional advice (or cluing in about why any of that is misguided) greatly appreciated! Sorry so long, but I suppose it makes me feel like I'm doing something here. :-I