Lab Puppy and house training, undiagnosed health issue?? ((LONG))
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Thread: Lab Puppy and house training, undiagnosed health issue?? ((LONG))

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    Defaultundiagnosed health issue or behavioral problem?? ((LONG))

    Ok, I have never had this hard of a time house training a puppy in my life. I have pretty much given up. I don't know what else to do. I am hoping for some ideas on what's going on with this little dude.

    I am thinking Diabetes Insipidus....as there is no glucose in the urine...

    Boris has a major polydipsia and polyuria issue. He will drink huge amounts...ok, a 3 quart dish in one sitting...thats 6-7 cups of measured water...in the morning. Of course that accounts for his absolute no control of his bladder whatsoever...even when he sleeps... Now I know you guys are going to say whoa, don't give the dog so much damn water...

    Problem is, if I do not let him drink what he wants, the days it rains out, when I take him out to use the bathroom, he will stand there and only lick grass...so to give you a picture of me standing outside in the pouring rain for what would normally take a few minutes, take 45 minutes, no output from him, just input from licking grass.

    He soils in his crate. The longest he has gone has been 2wks no mess in the crate...at night only. If I have to go somewheres and it requires me to put him in his crate, if I am gone for more than an hour, he soils it. Frustrating, extremely.

    Two weeks ago, I measured an intake of 13 cups of water in a run of a day. Now, he was only 12 weeks old then.

    I have no choice but to leave him outside all day - except the days it rains...then I do restrict his water to 6 cups a day. 2 in the morning, 2 at lunch and another 2 at suppertime. Now I have read that Diabetes Insipidus not to restrict water....dangerous to do, I know. But lets remember, he is not diagnosed.

    Now, I had him to the vet 3wks ago because of this. She did a urinalysis. This however, is not a symptom of Diabetes Insipidus, but I had been restricting his water considerably...he had a pretty high crystal count in his urine, and vet said it was not normal. Everything else was good, and no glucose or blood or anything in his urine. However, she didn't give me anything for it, but after telling her my little problem...she told me to give him as much water as he wanted for a 24 hour period and she wanted to do a urine drop test (I think thats what it was called)...of course, he didnt drink much (for that one time only)...and it came back normal...so the vet said that she couldn't find anything wrong with him, that it must be behavioral.

    There was no blood test run, just urinalysis. He drinks so much that I just can't get him housetrained. I am getting very frustrated, and the feeling that I have failed this pup...and I know it sounds mean, because I don't believe its his fault as I believe in my gut that its a medical issue I'm dealing with...but I am so sick of bathing him every other day, and cleaning out his crate.

    Now, Boris looks almost like he's not getting enough food. You can see his ribs and he weighed 22lbs at 12wks when we were at the vet. He just looks...well....not right... I noticed that the fur beneath his eye is thinning, its not mange, there is no crusty smelly oozing pustules etc. It just looks like he has two black eyes. There is still fur there, and it does not come out easily if you pull or rub on it. I wish I could post pictures here so you could see it.

    Now, today I have confirmed that I am NOT crazy. I have been seeing something physically going on with this dog, and now my boyfriend has noticed it too...FINALLY!!

    For the last 4 days its been a "pee-fest" here. Constantly soiling in his crate when he is in it, and hes' not in it for long either. Peeing non stop...It is the worst its ever been honestly. He drinks like he has never drank before to the point that he is choking as he drinks. Now, the other day and yesterday, Boris looked like he dropped weight, there was no fat to him at all, a lack of substance everywhere's. He almost looked emaciated. Ok, to me he did look emaciated. Now, he is fed 2.5 cups of food a day, same as Nickey...she is 5 months old today and weighs 40lbs...and their activity level is about the same. So its not that I am not feeding this dog...he isnt starving. This morning he didn't look any better...

    Here's the weird part. Miraculously by suppertime tonight, his weight appears back up, he looks great, almost a little chubby. He has been given about 7 cups of water throughout the day today. Its like there is a 100% turn around on how this dog physically appeared from this morning to supper time. I am guessing fluid retention???

    It will stay this way for a few more days and then he will go back to looking sickly thin for a few days...and and back to what he should look like and the process continues. I have caught on to his physical appearance changes in the last 2 weeks. Everyone thought I was crazy, until Peter (my boyfriend) told me tonight that he seen a major change in his physical appearance too (he was the one who pointed out the difference since this morning).

    I have been trying to figure this out on my own, but man, I am at my wits end, stressed out to the max, and simply just had enough. Its to the point that I am nearly to tears because I don't want to make him into an "outdoor dog". Although he does prefer to be out there rather than inside. Why for the life of me I don't know, its getting freaking cold out!! I don't have the money right now to fork out on all these tests...I have 3 small kids and Christmas is just around the corner. I know there is no way around it, I am going to have to take him in for a blood test, but I need reassurance that I am not going to be wasting my money for the vet to say there is nothing wrong, like she did for the urinalysis. I KNOW there is something wrong, to the point that its obvious in his physical appearance.

    Question is, what the heck is it?
    Last edited by blacknyellow; 10-18-2009 at 07:28 PM. Reason: Title Change

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    justine's Avatar
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    Yikes! Is this the first vet you've taken him to? I would suggest another vet, maybe for a second opinion. It would worry me, too.

    Diabetes is always a worry with increased water consumption, sometimes kidney problems, too. I would also check into Cushing's disease.. some of the symptoms sound similar.

    If a urinalysis has already been done, that would rule out a urinary tract infection, so that probably wouldn't be it.. I read something on psychogenic polydipsia - where the dog just LOVES drinking way too much water.

    I would highly recommend bloodwork - it would help rule out a lot of things.

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    I would definitely do bloodwork. Depending on the results I would be going to a specialist that takes Care Credit and specializes in pediatrics/genetics. I'm just going to list a lot of questions

    Where are you located?
    How old is the pup?
    Neutered?
    Is your other dog a sibling of this one? Where did they come from? Pure labs? Did you see the parents?
    What is he eating?
    Does he urinate in the house if he's not in his crate? Or only when he's kept in the crate?
    Did they culture the urine to check for a UTI? Look at the sediment? (When the urine is that dilute the "dipstick" used to test urine for signs of infection will often show false negatives)
    Did they do a water "dep" (as in deprivation, where they withheld water) test?
    Does he strain when he's urinating? Is it one big long pee or lots of little pees when he's outside?
    Does he "wet the bed" when he's sleeping?

    Only after the last tree has been cut down, only after the last river has been poisoned, only after the last fish has been caught, only then will you find that money cannot be eaten. - Cree prophecy

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    BigBrownDog is offline Senior Member
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    I have a 3 year old diabetic dog - he was diagnosed at 18 months. He was a rescue and when I got him at 6 months - he was only marginally house trained. While I did not notice a severe thirst at that point he did develop an insatiable thirst about a year later.

    Outside of the thirst and the copious and constant accidents in my kitchen - it was never apparent that Diesel was sick.

    I think you should get the bloodwork done right away. My vet has on a couple of occasions kept him all day and tested his blood throughout the day charting his levels. Once we got his dosage right he has been simple to maintain. And - if you can afford it - buy him some health insurance before you have an official diagnosis.
    Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by YellowJakesMom View Post
    Where are you located?
    How old is the pup?
    Neutered?
    Is your other dog a sibling of this one? Where did they come from? Pure labs? Did you see the parents?
    What is he eating?
    Does he urinate in the house if he's not in his crate? Or only when he's kept in the crate?
    Did they culture the urine to check for a UTI? Look at the sediment? (When the urine is that dilute the "dipstick" used to test urine for signs of infection will often show false negatives)
    Did they do a water "dep" (as in deprivation, where they withheld water) test?
    Does he strain when he's urinating? Is it one big long pee or lots of little pees when he's outside?
    Does he "wet the bed" when he's sleeping?
    Thanks for your reply. To answer your questions:

    I am in Eastern Canada.

    Boris was 14 weeks Saturday.

    He's not old enough to be neutered.

    No my other dog is not a sibling to him.

    Yes, they are pure labs, parents are registered stock (pups are not- I did see the parents CKC papers though)

    I seen the parents of both pups. All very healthy animals, mothers in typical shape after whelping a litter. Nothing to note..

    He is eating 2 cups of Canidae a day. One at 9am and the other at 5pm.

    Treats and training treats, kong yummies etc. in between.

    He will urinate in the house, not just in his crate - however, its hard to notice in the crate until you take him out. I am pretty diligent on taking him out as soon as I walk through the door if I have been out.

    They checked for UTI, Bladder Infection, results were normal. They spun the urine and there were more crystals than normal in the bottom of the tube, but apparently all dogs have minute amount of crystals and if their water has been restricted (which in Boris's case it had been) more crystals than normal will appear...so she did not treat the crystals. No protein, no glucose, everything was normal, however, at that time come to think of it, she did say that he had an abnormal concentration level, it was very high especially for a puppy. I forget what the reading was, but he was well over it. But I had been restricting his water to 2 cups x 3 daily.

    They did not do a water Deprivation test.

    I have noticed their have been times that he seems to strain to pee. There it is clear, long pees - just like he is peeing the water he drank right back out - he will actually walk while peeing because I think in his mind he thinks he's done! There are times there is small clear amounts, sometimes there is light yellow, and what I would consider normal puppy amounts. But most times, its very clear (water type consistency) large amounts with small clear dribbles behind. Squatting twice.

    When this first started, he did pee himself in his sleep a few times. One time, it was an unbelievable amount. I actually thought my kids dumped a bucket of water on him. No joke. That was ruled out because they were just arriving home from school when he got up soaked and was peeing again as he was standing up and walking over to them. It was very weird. That was when I took him to the vet about it. I thought he was drinking wayyyy tooo much water for a puppy. I have never seen this behavior before, I know a lot of breeders, worldwide from the shows, I describe this to them and they say Renal Failure??

    The vet did ask me if he was lethargic. I never thought anything of it, puppies sleep a lot. He does sleep a lot, but that may be normal for him. Each puppy is different.

    I have heard of Pschyological Polydipsia. I thought, and my vet thinks that this is what is going on.

    But, something doesn't seem right. It doesn't explain the hair thinning under the eye, no sign of infection or mites, just thinned out and dark pigment is showing through. It doesn't explain this water retention and release thing that is going on with him. It has been noticable to me for 2wks this started to occur after he was to the vet, everyone that I mentioned it to said the dog looked ok, and didn't see what I was seeing...(he is going back, I just got to get some money together first - bill week for the next 2 wks), Peter just pointed it out lastnight that he seen a very noticable change in his physical appearance from morning to night, so that confirms that I am not some crazy lady with delusions over my pup (Trying to make humor out of a very puzzling and stressful situation, sorry). This is not normal.

    A friend that I met at our trap and skeet club is an experienced veterinarian for over 30 years except he's semi retired (verses my vet is young and only has a couple years experience) I am going to see if I can get a hold of him in the next couple days and see what he says.

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    I also find that he does pee more when he has that 'sickly' appearance to him. When he has what looks to me like a normal physical appearance, he doesn't pee so much - almost like he is a normal puppy. Thats where I am getting the water retention/release theory.

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    If his urine concentration was high chances are it isn't Diabetes Insipidus. With DI the animal cannot concentrate the urine. There are two forms: central, in which there is a lack of ADH produced, and nephrogenic, in which the kidneys don't respond to ADH. ADH is antidiuretic hormone, it tells the body to conserve water, thus resulting in concentrated urine. Since DI animals lack ADH or a response to ADH their urine is always very dilute, even in the face of water restriction. Maybe I am misunderstanding what she said about concentration being very high though.

    If it was my dog at this point I would want the urine sent to a lab, cultured, bloodwork, and a leptospirosis titer done. Do you have Lepto in Canada? Silly question but I'm not sure. The bloodwork will really give you a lot to go on, since the differential diagnosis list for PU/PD is practically endless.

    Are any of the university vet hospitals near you? They may take Care Credit (again, not sure if that's an option in Canada) and could be more helpful if you're not happy with your current vet and the retired vet can't help. They generally have someone who specializes in pediatric diseases and problems too, which might be very helpful for Boris. Here's a list:
    Atlantic Veterinary College (PEI)
    University of Guelph (Ontario)
    University of Montreal (Quebec)
    Western College of Veterinary Medicine (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan)

    One last thing, are any of the treats you're feeding cured or salty? Pigs ears, rawhides, etc. even some boxed cookies can be very high in salt, leading to lots of drinking and urinating. That doesn't explain the hairloss, but one more thing to check. I hope you can find out what's going on with him, this has to be frustrating for all of you

    Only after the last tree has been cut down, only after the last river has been poisoned, only after the last fish has been caught, only then will you find that money cannot be eaten. - Cree prophecy

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    Thanks again. The Atlantic Veterinary Hospital is the closest one to me. I am in New Brunswick. I believe they do have a Care Credit option, my brothers dog needed a surgery done on one of his knees on growth plate that was missing (born that way from what the vets said). I will look into this care credit stuff and hopefully we can get things sorted out...I really hope that there is nothing wrong with the pup, but at this point, it seems like something is definitely wrong.

    You're right about the Diabetes Insipidus. However, he has all the other symptoms of it. I will give the vet a call and find out what exactly those results were again. I think I am going to switch vets as I am not happy on a diagnosis on an ear infection that Nickey has/had - she said there was nothing wrong. I knew she had an infection - my rottie Akira was a chronic before she passed.

    His breeder wants me to get some bloodwork done on him and we will work from there.

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    No problem It could all turn out to be psychogenic, but it's probably best to look into it. That's great that the breeder is involved too, and Atlantic is a great school if you do end up going for an appointment there. Please keep us updated on him!

    Only after the last tree has been cut down, only after the last river has been poisoned, only after the last fish has been caught, only then will you find that money cannot be eaten. - Cree prophecy

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    I agree with getting full blood work (I'm thinking kidney function problem) and go from there. I don't have experience with diabetes but from what others posted it sounds like it could be that too.

    I disagree with your vet saying crystals are normal in the urine. That is not true IMO and I have had more urine samples tested than I can remember. Any time crystals were present it was a concern of my vet.

    Crystals can eventually form bladder stones.

    Have you had any testing done yet? I know money is tight but I would not wait on this. I don't like the way you describe him looking emaciated in the a.m. and back to normal in the p.m.

    I pray it is not something serious (or at least treatable).

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