Is it time for a new vet? Or am I being oversensitive?
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Thread: Is it time for a new vet? Or am I being oversensitive?

  1. #1
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    DefaultIs it time for a new vet? Or am I being oversensitive?

    Cassie came home with us at 10 weeks old, with fleas, Giardia and a severe UTI. I brought her to the vet, who I like (personality-wise) and trust medically since I've been using him for 5+ years with Piper. We did a course of Clavamox (UTI), metronitazole & Panacur (Giardia) and things seemed good.

    7 days after finishing the first course of meds the UTI symptoms were back - frequent urination, specks of blood in her urine - along with overall lethargy and refusal of food. Vet kept her for one day and overnight observation, got a sterile urine sample for re-culture and prescribed a higher dosage and longer course of antibiotics. The urine culture came back positive for the UTI and we assumed we never knocked it out the first time around. Did 14 more days of Clavamox and things seemed good, again. Brought Cass back in for another urine culture 48 hours after finishing the meds to be sure we were free of the UTI.

    5 days post meds this time around the symptoms are back, urine culture results came in last night and the infection is still present (surprise, surprise). Back on another course of abx, this time the human med Nitrofurantoin, since the Clavamox is clearly not working and nothing else in the vetrinary abx arsenal is safe for use in growing puppies.

    I understand these UTIs can be diffucult to eliminate and I agree with the vet's treatment plan to date. BUT, I expressed a concern both the last time I saw him and again today on the phone that I think Cass may have vaginitis. She's been licking and I'm seeing a white discharge from her vulva. I asked about the use of probiotics or acidophilus to re-establish the flora in her gut and to battle the vaginal yeast and he TOTALLY blew me off. Not even a patronizing answer, just a "that doesn't work". I explained that I'm finding many articles supporting it and asked if he feels it would be harmful to try. His answer was very flippant and something along the lines of "well, either you can treat her or I can treat her". He also poo-pooed my questions about using cranberry and/or vitamin C as a longer term UTI preventative once we get this under control. His answer was something along the lines of "well, some dogs just have to be on antibiotics long term", which is a really undesirable solution to me. Thirdly, mentioned today that most puppies who suffer UTIs and vaginitis are "cured" by being spayed. I know that shoe was going to drop soon .

    I'm really starting to feel like he'd rather keep pumping her full of antibiotics than help me try to control her urinary health more naturally. Also, I'd like to wait until she goes through one season and is fully mature before spaying her and don't want to battle with him over it. So, am I being too senstive in this or is his advice good? Should I start looking for another vet?

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  3. #2
    Canyon Labradors's Avatar
    Canyon Labradors is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Is it time for a new vet? Or am I being oversensitive?

    I would be mad if I got treated like that...anyone in your area you can get a recommendation from. Any lab breeders? Even if you didn't get Cassie from them, you can still call them for a recommendation...

  4. #3
    Kinderwood's Avatar
    Kinderwood is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Is it time for a new vet? Or am I being oversensitive?

    This is kind of the same reason I changed vets- and I haven't been happier! Blue went through 3 puppy visits- which included wellness exams as well as vaccs. Then, she developed UTI symptoms. They were so bad, we took her to the ER vet- who prescribed 3 weeks of Clavamox. 3 days after finishing the Clavamox, the symptoms were back. Took her to the another vet at the regular clinic who then discovered she has a recessed vulva and then wanted to put her on antibiotics until her first heat (more $$$) or surgically correct it (more $$$), in addition to bringing her back in for a urinalysis every 2 weeks (more $$$). I also asked about probiotics and such and was "blown off". Needless to say, I was irrate. After 3 puppy visits over a 3 month time span, never once had our regular vet (who we'd been going to for 3 years) caught the recessed vulva and now they wanted to pump her full of antibiotics during her crucial growing stages?! I said no way and found another vet (who was just as irrate after I explained my story and agreed puppies should only be put on antibiotics as a last resort), asked around for a more "holistic" home remedy (if you're interested, you can PM me), and retested her in 2 weeks- she's been "clear" ever since and I've never looked back!

    So in short, nope I (for one) don't think you're over reacting at all...
    Darcy Litzinger
    Kinderwood Labradors
    Piper, Faith, Mocha & Pink

    In Loving Memory:

    HIT UCD Bel Air Blue Chip Of Kinderwood CD RE JH CGC "Blue" 06/25/06-04/26/10

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  6. #4
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    DefaultRe: Is it time for a new vet? Or am I being oversensitive?

    the "you can treat her or i can treat her" comment would have flipped me out. Most vets are happy to have involved clients.

  7. #5
    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Is it time for a new vet? Or am I being oversensitive?

    Do you live near a School or College of VetMed?

    They usually have a higher level of skill to diagnose it right the first time.

    Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]

    Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
    http://forum.justlabradors.com/showt...?p=748#post748

  8. #6
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    DefaultRe: Is it time for a new vet? Or am I being oversensitive?

    I've never looked into using a Vet school. That might be good idea.

    Our problem is not so much diagnosis, I think we've known what is wrong all along. The issue I'm having now is a bit of divergence of opinions on a longer term treatment plan. I'd rather go more natural and preventative, while the vet seems to be comfortable with the use of long term antibiotics. I have to question his whether his motivation is financial, which is a feeling I've not had about this man before. My vet bills in the past 5 weeks have topped $1,000 and if we keep up the antibiotics and the repeat urine cultures it will keep the bucks flowing in for him.

  9. #7
    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Is it time for a new vet? Or am I being oversensitive?

    http://netvet.wustl.edu/vschool.htm#colleges

    You can look at each one to see if you can self-refer (about 2/3rds allow it) or whether you need a vet referral (about 1/3rd require it).
    Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]

    Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
    http://forum.justlabradors.com/showt...?p=748#post748

  10. #8
    Labsrme is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Is it time for a new vet? Or am I being oversensitive?

    IMO it's definitely time for a new vet. His comments to you were totally uncalled for. Any vet that thinks that my opinion is worthless is not one that I care to trust my dog's care to.

    I would also strongly recommend using probiotics and cranberry capsules on your girl. She could easily have vaginitis now as a result of the antibiotics given to cure the UTI. This is a common problem with women when on antibiotics too.

    I started supplementing my dogs with probiotics and digestive enzymes almost a year ago. I am a big believer in them.

  11. #9
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    DefaultRe: Is it time for a new vet? Or am I being oversensitive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Labsrme
    ......
    I would also strongly recommend using probiotics and cranberry capsules on your girl. She could easily have vaginitis now as a result of the antibiotics given to cure the UTI. This is a common problem with women when on antibiotics too.

    I started supplementing my dogs with probiotics and digestive enzymes almost a year ago. I am a big believer in them.
    That's precisely why I immediately thought of the vaginitis - I always get a yeast infection when on antibiotics if I don't take a whopping dose of acidophilus from the get go (probably more than you needed to know ).

    Susan, could I ask you to share which probiotics and enzymes you're using? You dogs' coats look glorious!

    Bob, I checked and there's not one single vet school within a reasonable distance (and I'm willing to travel pretty far). Thanks for the advice, yours is always good and I appreciate your taking the time.

  12. #10
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    YellowJakesMom is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Is it time for a new vet? Or am I being oversensitive?

    You said the vet did a culture and it came back positive for a UTI - did they just look for bacteria or did they do an actual culture and sensitivity test? This involves growing the bacteria and seeing what antibiotics it responds to - it usually takes 3-5 days. It sounds to me like your vet did not do this, or the dog wouldn't have been put on a second clavamox course. For persistent infections you should ask your vet if this was done, and if the urine wasn't collected via cysto (needle inserted into bladder to get sample, rather than risking bacteria on the way out) that might be a good idea as well.

    With the probiotics I can understand why your vet was not overly enthusiastic. The problem with probiotics is there is no real way to measure efficacy. That is, you can't ever tell if the body grows more "good bacteria" on its own or if the probiotics can actually "survive" the digestive tract trip long enough to take up residence in the gut. From a scientific point of view (which it sounds like your vet is big on) it's easier to go with something proven - we know definitively that antibiotics kill bacteria.

    Regardless of the above, I would explain to my vet that I wasn't happy about the "you can treat her or I can treat her" comment. If you've been happy with him for the last five years it's very possible he was just having a bad day. Vets are people too If he's willing to work with you on looking into other treatments I would give it another shot, if not maybe you can find another vet who has some holistic ideas or a personality more to your liking. I hope your puppy feels better soon and you can get the results you want without having to go to surgical methods like spaying earlier than you'd like to.

    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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