Just Labradors banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
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?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,575 Posts
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...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
440 Posts
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...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,653 Posts
the "you can treat her or i can treat her" comment would have flipped me out. Most vets are happy to have involved clients.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,472 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
922 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Labsrme said:
......
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,276 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,265 Posts
I would find a vet that's willing to work with you and your ideas, as well as his/her own. You are not the typical Ol' Roy feeding, non-involved, cheapskate dog owner, and you sholudn't be treated as such.

Huge red flags at the idea of keeping your pup on antibiotics time after time after time.

Good thoughts that she feels better soon!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
922 Posts
That is a good point by Yellowjakesmom about making sure they are doing a sensivity study as well as a culture. When you said culture I assumed that they would do a C&S, but it does sound like they just checked for bacteria without checking to see what antibiotic it would be sensitive to. That would be the first step I would take, although I would take it with a new vet with a better attitude, if it were me.

The probiotics and cranberry caps aren't going to cure anything on their own, your vet is right about that, however, they are very helpful in preventing future problems by getting intestinal flora back on the right track. The fact that studies can't quantitate bacteria as a result of probiotic supplementation doesn't faze me in the least. I've seen remarkable differences in my dogs health as a result of the dietary changes I've made and that is good enough for me. I also see a holistic vet as well as a regular vet, and I've seen dramatic changes with accupunture treatment for a dog with back problems - something that Western medicine practitioners also say "can't be proven".

I have used a couple of different probiotics and digestive enzymes with my dogs. I have used a refrigerated children's probiotic that is available at my local health food grocery store - it is called "FloraBear" and is orange flavored. The dogs think it is a treat. When I'm using that one I use Prozyme or D-Zyme enzymes, whichever I can find around town - either are fine. I have also used Nzymes brand BakPak combination probiotics and enzymes, and they work fine too. When you feed the refrigerated probiotic tablet is is best to give it a few hours before or after a meal, if possible. My dogs get theirs for a mid-morning, mid-day, or mid-afternoon treat, whenever I happen to think about it.

BTW, my regular vet knows that I take my dogs to a holistic vet for accupuncture and deep tissue massage treatments (my dogs are performance dogs). In fact, my regular vet was the one who suggested that I might want to give accupunture a shot, back when one of my girls was having a back problem. My holistic vet has also guided me on things like food, probiotics, and other supplements. My regular vet is not threatened by this in the least, in fact, she is very interested in the things I have tried and the results I have gotten. A good vet is not threatened by the fact that you want to be involved in your dog's health care and will also not be threatened by new ideas which he may or may not be familiar with.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
137 Posts
I have personally left behind two vets who had the "you can treat them or I can treat them" attitude. It just doesn't work for me. My current vet, who I like, tends to not be as holistic or to recommend as high-quality as I prefer, but is laid back and fully supports whatever decisions I make even if they are against her recommendation. I recently told her I was switching two of my cats w/ urinary tract problems off of prescription food and onto a high quality holistic food and she just said "that's fine. Let me know if you want their urine tested in a couple of months to check if their ph is stable."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
I would say find a doctor you trust... BUT when you do, then trust him and let him tell you what is best for your dog. Does anyone else think that some people read way too many articles for their own good, and start to think they know more than the vet in some circumstances? This isn't a criticism, just an observation that I notice among people who own dogs... it's the same with the moms who have the giant medical book at home and think they have a leg-up on their doctor when they go in... it must drive the docs nuts. lol

Anyway, just to be clear... I don't necessarily agree with your doctor either about going on antibiotics and doing nothing else for the 4th time (although I do agree about spaying... I think some people are too resistant to it)... but I'm not a doctor either.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,623 Posts
Sorry I can't come up w the direct link right off the bat but go to my website, click on "Library" and scroll down to where it says something about "Looking for a Holistic Vet?". See if you have any in your area. http://www.windycanyonlabs.com/

I would try to do everything you can to build her immune system. This is a tough age. If you aren't already, consider some fish oil, B50 (maybe a 1/2 per day), and perhaps some MSM (has some anti-inflammatory properties). Also, if she's got a high urine pH (typical of bladder/UTIs), a half of a chewable Vit C would not hurt (I've done this instead of the cranberry successfully) to help keep the pH down and discourage that environment from being favorable to more bacterial growth. I wholeheartedly endorse a good digestive enzyme too (I use the N-zymes BacPak plus).

Clavamox usually works on UTIs, yikes... my old vet used to use it all the time but it is $$$$. My newer one (a lab breeder vet) usually starts w/ amoxy unless they are stubborn, but the one time she did a culture and sensitivity test, it still came back e. coli or something very common. 10 days just wasn't quite long enough. I feel for you. -Anne
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,656 Posts
I would do some research about inverted vulva before you had her spayed. Cinder used to suffer from repeated UTIs when she was a puppy, and still gets them occasionally. She was spayed before her first heat, and from what I've learned since then, sometimes going through a cycle will help their "innies" "pop" without surgery. I have found that giving her esther c and cranberry tablets has helped. As for acidopholis, I have never tried it on Cinder, but always take it when I need to be on antibiotics. Just be sure it has "live cultures" and keep it in the fridge.

I would be offended if my vet spoke to me like that as well. You have a right to express your opinions and concerns without being dismissed, after all, no one will know your dogs as well as you do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,662 Posts
Did the vet ever do anything to get Cassie's ph back into balance? Oona had three UTI's before she was 1. Each time we changed the brand of food she was on but in the meantime he made us feed her Wathams for a couple of weeks until the ph was in a normal range.
Olie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
He has not once mentioned PH. I brought it up when asking him about cranberry capsules, I asked him if that would change the PH or change the environment in her bladder because I didn't know exactly how it was effective. He completely blew off the question, so I didn't get and answer about using cranberry or about changing the PH.

I've decided to go ahead with some of the more natural curative/preventative measures, while giving this last round of antibiotics a chance to do their thing. From everything I've read nothing I'm doing will in any way hurt her or counteract the rx meds. I give her one cranberry capsule in her morning meal and one probiotic (acidophilous, lactobaccilus, etc) tablet around noontime (between abx doses). I tried adding apple cider vinegar to her water but she was refusing the water, even with just a teaspoon in a large bowl, so I stopped that. I need her drinking right now to make sure her bladder is getting well flushed.

I know the cranberry and probiotics are not likely to "cure" her UTI, but I'd like to set her up so that once we kick this thing we can keep it GONE. I'm looking to create a healthy bladder environment that is not a welcoming host to bacteria. I'm also hoping the probiotics will help with the vaginitis and it could be wishful thinking, but she seems to be licking considerably less and I haven't seen any gunky discharge in a few days. I'm not just ready to cheer yet though. One clear urinalysis and then I'll send up the fireworks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,662 Posts
I think that you have to get the ph back into balance before you can begin to get this resolved. Once it is the thing that worked for us was a tablespoon of plain Dannon yogurt once a day with her food.
Olie
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top