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Stubborn Infection in the Urinary System

1032 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  dobebug
DT community, I'm a long time DT lurker, I've spent hours upon hours researching and reading on this site for a plethora of first time Doberman owner questions. More than once I've thought of posting a question or concern, but I've always been able to find enough in old posts to get me going in the right direction. Very helpful, and grateful. So, in my first ever internet post of any kind, I'm wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience?

My 8 month old intact male dobie has had some sort of infection somewhere in the urinary system for a couple months now.
Originally he tested positive for a UTI, took some antibiotics, things seemed to get better, then it seemed to come back again. Third trip to the vet showed negative for the UTI, they went in and took a sterile sample which was negative, did some blood work, ph values were on target. They suspected that the infection might be further up in a place harder to diagnose. So they prescribed an antibiotic that would be more targeted around the area of the prostate gland. This was the 3rd antibiotic(cefpodoxime proxetil), before that 2 weeks each(but separately) of Clindamycin & Amoxicillin. I was hopeful this time, he seemed to be doing better. No accidents in the house or training facility, very little to no pee blotches on his day bed, and no blood in the urine for 2 weeks. Until yesterday, day 14 after starting the antibiotic, which was also the last dosage, he was still on the antibiotic. We had a nose work class in the morning, went great he wasn't distracted, no accidents. Then we got home, he now seemed to be getting a little whiny in the afternoon(more than usual that is), took him outside and lo and behold he's got some blood in his urine again. Just before bed, took him out one last time, still blood in the urine. Around 5am this morning I woke up due to hearing him move around in his crate more than normal, he's usually a pretty sound sleeper overnight. Got up to check on him and the poor depressed looking little guy had wedged himself into the corner because he either pee'd himself while sleeping or had to go so bad so quickly that he didn't even bother to wake me. From 9 weeks old to 8 months old Nello has never went to the bathroom in the crate. Even if he's been sick he has always alerted me that I need to wake up and take him out NOW, but this time nothing. Symptoms are mainly extra whining, leaking and accidents at home or training facility though the accidents are only a few over the last two months, and of course the blood in the urine. Energy levels seem somewhat normal, maybe just a tad low, and his appetite is good. doesn't drink much water, but that is normal for him.

Our vet has a great reputation and we've had really good experiences w/ her, I think she's been more than thorough. In addition to all the urinalysis/cultures, they've done x-rays and ultrasounds, they've had him hang out at the vets to observe his behavior/issue first hand, she's consulted with other vets and specialists.

We're continuing to investigate, doc will probably put him on a stronger antibiotic & for longer than two weeks this time, she was a little hesitant because apparently some of the stronger antibiotics can affect growth, but she's thinking it probably won't matter much since it will only be for 2-3 weeks.

I'm sure where he is so young that its not something serious, but man is it stressful to see him struggle with this for so long.
As a first time Doberman owner I was not fully prepared for how strongly a bond can be created between dober child and dober dad, & the worry that comes with it when he's not well.

So DT, anyone had a similar experience? If so, what did it end up being? what worked to clear it up?
Are male dobes any more susceptible to these things than other breeds, any other dobe specific things we might have missed or should try? How abnormal is it for this to be dragging on this long?
Thanks, and sorry if this was a lot to read through. Appreciate any input, advice or similar experiences.

Thanks again,
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I've had an older dog with prostate trouble with symptoms similar to the ones you describe. The treatment there, of course, if you can't stop the recurring infections, is to neuter the dog. If the prostate is the source of the problem, that will take care of it.

Aside from an anatomical abnormality or blockage, or a chemistry difference which might predispose your dog to developing kidney stones, I can't think of anything obscure that could be causing the problem. I'm not a vet, though--and it sounds to me like your vet has hit all of the bases when it comes to diagnosing the problem.

I hope you can get to the root of the problem soon though--it's tough on the dog, of course, to go through an illness like this, but it is also terribly wearing for the owner. Hang in there and best of luck.
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I know male and female anatomy differ extensively but our female had recurrent uti's as a puppy also and the course was similar. It didn't seem to clear until they prescribed an antibiotic for 3 weeks. Just curious, has he had any food/kibble changes when this started?
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Baytril is what my male took for prostrate infections - it did clear them up. He never had one till he was about 5/6 years old though, and after the 3rd one I had him neutered at age 7/8 (hard to remember exactly). Of course, this information only helps if it is prostrate infections and not just a UTI.
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Poor guy...

Have not experienced this, but just wondering if you've reached out to your breeder? Does your vet think a specialist might be warranted?
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Thanks everyone for the input. The vet prescribed a stronger antibiotic, don’t have the name handy, and increased the duration to 4 weeks. She also gave me a bottle of a cranberry supplement used for such things. So, hopefully the stronger and longer meds will be enough to get rid of whatever is so persistently sticking around. I didn’t see any blood in his urine today, seems to go as quickly as it comes. I’m sure the single dose of antibiotics had nothing to do with it going away.
I’ve also discussed the neutering with both the vet and our trainer. Going to continue to think about it and see how this course of antibiotics goes before making a decision. I’ve always planned to have him neutered, but I was really hoping to wait till around the 18 month mark. 8 months is earlier than I’d prefer, if we were closer to a year I’d probably just do it. But something about doing it so early with only a hope that it will fix whatever is going on.... well I’m having a little trouble with that. Off topic, but Nello does have some reactivity issues w/ other dogs when on leash that we’ve been working through, maybe it’d help with that a little.

To answer some of your questions...
Diet change, no changes at all. No new treats, and he eats a raw diet. Raw food comes from TopQualityDogFood.
Specialist, the vet has been in contact with a specialist. Though they have not seen Nello. If this round of antibiotics doesn’t do it I’ll probably seek one out myself.
I haven’t reached out to the breeder yet, but I’ll probably give her a call this week to see if she’s had any similar issues or other ideas.

Something that surely isn’t a cause, but might be contributing is how little water he drinks. He’s always been a light drinker. It’s not uncommon for him to go all the way to noon before actually drinking any water. His raw food has a good amount of water weight to it, and I use ice cubes as treats to sneak in some extra water throughout the day. But I was wondering if anyone knew of any other tricks to get a dog to drink more water on there own?

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I'm no vet but I've been a raw feeder for 11+ years. My old gal and my current boy now don't drink a lot of water. You are right about the raw food having a lot of water in it so they don't tend to drink a lot.

If it is a really hot day and we have just come back from a walk at the pond my boy will definitely have a good guzzle. My old gal did as well. My boy also likes ice cubes as a treat in the warm weather.

Good luck with the new antibiotics. My old gal had a few UTIs in her day but cephalexin always cleared it up.
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Well, I had a male who had chronic hematuria (blood in the urine) and I'll tell you about it and what we found and what solved his problem although his symptoms were not really like your puppy's.

My dog had repeated bouts of blood in his urine starting when he was fairly young--under a year as I recall. Because I was showing him and he was getting exercised on leash I had an opportunity to watch him pee and noticed one morning that it looked like he might have blood in the urine. When we got home I got an early morning catch and took it to work with me (I work in a vet clinic) they ran it and were were some bacteria in it and struvite crystals his vet put him on an antibiotic an it promptly cleared up.

A few weeks later there was blood in his urine again (no whining, no leaking--that was very different from your puppy's symptoms ) and he was pretty young for it to be prostate issues--moreover he was being shown and had several points and one of his majors so I really didn't want to neuter him and one of the vets was recommending that.

I talked to his breeder and she talked to a vet friend of hers who promptly called me and said "Don't let them neuter that dog at this age (about 20 months) they haven't even determine exactly where the blood is coming from at this point. Have them call me!"

So he didn't get neutered and two of our vets talked to some other vets (repro specialists and a kidney urinary tract specialtist) and got some suggestions based on what was happening to my dog because he's had bouts of hematuria and what they had determined was that only that very first bout showed any bacteria but a lot of the sterile draws showed blood. And one of them noticed the the pH was always off--not as acidic as it should have been which was allowing struvite crystals to form. Ultimately they found some information straight out of human medicine where they traced similar episodes of chronic hematuria to a line bladder lining which caused bleeding because of irritation from the struvite crystals would scratch the lining and eureka--blood.

That dog went on Hills CD--a prescription diet which got his urine back into the pH range it should have been in and started taking a glucosamine (no chondritine-) supplement which it turns out is a major building block for the dogs body to create a thicker bladder lining.

After he was on both he stopping having the bouts of hematuria---had one more and then none and he lived his life (to over ten) with no further problems, he was intact and while I've had a couple of my males neutered late in life because of prostate issues he wasn't one of them.

But, his symptoms were different than your boys so...for what it's worth.


PS I've known a number of raw feeders over the years and all of them have said that when they started feeding raw, because of the high water content in raw their dogs stopped drinking so much water. It seems to basically normal.
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