As some of you might remember, I was panicking a few months ago about the state of Beloved Dog’s health.
I posted a couple of updates afterwards on Twitter:
Well, the upshot was that I decided to get him an ultrasound.
The ultrasound specialist is a super nice guy, and he did a really thorough job on Beloved Dog. He said the liver looked good, no sign of “hepatocellular syndrome” which was what had caused my previous dog to limp. The pancreas looked normal (bafflingly). There were some nodes in his spleen which were “probably benign” but he aspirated them just to be sure. And he thought the bladder wall looked a little thickened.
“Has he ever had a bladder infection?”
“He had blood in his urine after he got into the Thanksgiving ham. I put him on antibiotics and he seemed better. I never got around to rechecking his urine to be sure.”
“Well, let’s take a sample just to see.”
So he took a urine sample.
The urine looked pretty clean. There was some blood, but since he took the urine directly from the bladder with a needle, that’s not unusual. No sign of infection. He also sends all his reports to a specialist in the states for a second opinion, and the U.S. specialist thought the bladder looked fine, so I thought no more about it.
The cytology came back as normal spleen.
So we just kind of dropped the diagnostics.
For some reason my dog’s blood keeps testing positive for pancreatitis, but he doesn’t actually seem to have it, or any kind of cancer that could cause it.
Then, on Saturday, he peed in the house. He was standing right next to Perfect Husband and he just started to go. Since he hasn’t done such a thing for years, I caught a sample and brought it in to work on Monday.
LOTS of blood.
The kind that I qualify as “TNTC” because the red blood cells were too numerous to count under the microscope.
At the same time, there was very little bacteria, very few white blood cells, and no crystals. No signs, in other words, of an infection.
Dr. Azaria recommended a urine culture, but I wanted a sterile sample. Beloved Dog has a lot of fur, and I didn’t want to pay the lab a bunch of money to grow the bacteria from his penis hair.
The next day I brought Beloved Dog in with a full bladder, but before we had a chance to try and take it out of him, he peed on the floor.
We collected it just in case, but it looked like this:
“Maybe the floor was dirty,” I said hopefully. “It didn’t look like that yesterday.”
“I keep that floor clean,” said the kennel attendant indignantly.
Grand. My dog is peeing brown.
Now, I see a lot of urinary tract infections at work; in fact, at my clinic we just sniff urine and say “ugh, smells like UTI”. But my dog’s pee was a weird enough colour that even the receptionist remarked on it.
By coincidence, the ultrasound specialist happened to be coming in that same day, so he did another quick scan and collected a new sample, and he didn’t even charge me for it.
No stones in the bladder, no tumors, just that thickened bladder wall.
I’ve sent it away to culture, and in the meantime I’ve put him on antibiotics.
Hopefully his pee will change back to yellow soon.
One thing’s for sure – this time I am rechecking his darn urine.