It’s been 3 weeks since Abroozi’s “operation” and he’s been in great shape. Just when you think all is well, maybe it’s not… Last Sunday when we took him out to pee in the afternoon, a few of hours before his walk, all was fine. But a few hours later on his walk we noticed blood in his urine. He must have peed out at least 5 ml of dark rusty coloured blood at the end of his urination. At first it’s a shock and you’re not quite sure you saw it right and then when it happens again, your mind races from urinary tract infection (UTI), then it escalates to kidney stones, bladder infection and then to the big C – Cancer. This is how the mind floods you with emotion and third rate second hand medical knowledge.
We called the vet immediately but he was not in town to examine him. But over the phone he prescribed a drug called Styptovit to halt the bleeding. This helped. But again the next morning he had blood at the end of the urine. The vet wanted to know two things – is the blood at the end of the urination and is he in pain. It can be difficult to tell if your pet is in pain because animals have a very high threshold for pain and their survival instinct forces them to not show weakness.
But I later learned that if a male dog is squatting while peeing and rubbing his bum against the ground, that means he is straining and in pain.But Abroozi was lifting his leg high and he looked just as he normally does when peeing. He was his active playful self and not at all lethargic. The next day we took him to the vet’s clinic (you already know the story at the vets) for an X-ray to check for stones and a couple of blood tests to check his blood urea and Creatinine levels. Your Creatinine level shows how much toxicity is present in your urine and how well your kidneys are functioning to filter these out. The higher the level, the more likely it is the kidneys are not functioning well. Blood Urea levels show how much urea is still present in the blood that has not properly passed in to the urine. The normal creatinine range for dogs is 0.5 to 1.6 mg/dL Blood Urea range for dogs is: 6 to 25 mg/dL. Your pet could also have high Blood Urea level if it is not getting enough protein in his/her diet.
Things you have to watch out for for suspected kidney problems in dogs when this happens in combination: frequent urination and excessive drinking of water, excessive thirst, excessive salivation, vomiting, refusal to eat/finicky eating, straining while peeing, lethargy.
After the 1hr 45 minutes wait at the vets and minutes before his arrival, all of a sudden Abroozi’s mouth started twitching and he began to salivate uncontrollably. He was definitely not looking like his active self that he was just a few minutes ago. It looked like his BP went way down, he became lethargic and I almost felt him slipping away from me like he would lose consciousness. Yes, it was that hairy. Perhaps I exaggerate being his mother… but it was the sudden deterioration that was scary.
In hindsight I think it was the heat, the exhaustion, the waiting, fear/frustration and definitely dehydration. The vet’s assistant had given him some dog food that he usually does not eat. Dog food always makes him very thirsty and it was my big mistake to not insist that he be given water after he ate. It was a natural instinct that I ignored, to his peril. Excessive thirst and salivating is also a symptom of kidney trouble. The X-ray showed no visible stones in either the kidney or the urethra. So the vet concluded that there must be a small build up of minerals (precipitation, he called it) in the upper urethra that happens particularly to male dogs. As the urine passes over these minerals, they grate against the urethra lining causing it to bleed. That’s why it is visible at the end of the urination when there is not much urine output. Also male dogs tend not to urinate all in one place and prefer to spread it on many trees. So the few drops that come out causes more straining and bleeding. But looking at this slightly elevated Blood Urea (29, when the upper limit is 25) and Lymphocyte level but normal creatinine the vet said he was not too concerned and the condition was at its very early stages. So early in fact that there was no need for antibiotics especially as he had no other symptoms of kidney trouble like vomiting.
Abroozi’s been given a special Renal diet by Royal Canine for around 2 weeks, two homeopathic drugs – Alkapet and Nefrotec DS by Himalaya. He also said that lots of fluids will flush out the mineral deposits. His ragi (millet flour) has been stopped. This is so that he can have a more alkaline rather than acidic diet.
I suspect that we were not taking him out often enough to pee. Holding urine can cause UTI in humans and dogs. We would take him out in the morning around 6 am and after that only in the evening. He never drank much water in between except with his lunch. This was a big mistake on my part. He was probably holding his urine. Even after 3 and a half years, a rookie mistake on my part. So now we take him out in the morning at 6am for his walk, then at 10:30am, then around 3:30 pm and then, for his walk at 5pm and then at night around 9pm. Each time he comes back in he gets a bowl of buttermilk or milk with water or vege/beef stock. Right now we are pumping him with fluids and after another blood test which will hopefully reveal normal results, we won’t be so excessive. As a guide, a puppy should not be expected to hold his bladder for more than 1-2 hrs and a grown dog should be allowed to pee every 4 to 6 hrs.
The reason behind telling you this is that from day one we always looked at Abroozi’s pees and poos. As a dog owner you or whoever walks your dog must look at what’s coming out because this is a good indication of whether your pet is healthy or not. If we hadn’t been watching, we’d never have seen the blood in his urine and the problem could have seriously escalated to dangerous levels. Dogs, like babies can’t tell you when something’s wrong. The difference is that babies will cry bloody murder when they’re uncomfortable but a dog (with or without his cojones) will remain steadfast even when in great discomfort.
Rest assured, after those two episodes of blood in his urine, one week later and Abroozi is absolutely fine. I hate that he’s been to the vet quite a few times this month for his operation and his cough. According to the vet, his neutering has nothing to do with the UTI. But other than that he’s been great all year round. So I’m not complaining.