If you care for an elderly, injured or special needs pet, you've come to the right place!
quick question, does anyone have any suggestions for something to put on front paws that are irritated? Since Ella isn't using her back legs at all, I've noticed her front paws are getting a little raw and she licks at them constantly after being walked in her cart...the last thing I want is for her front legs/paws to become impaired...thanks : )
My vet is out of town for the week so I just wanted to throw this question out there in case anyone has an answer : ) so my dog Ella has been 5 months now post FCE..she's still not using her back legs but I manage her very well with her wheelchair and we've gotten used to caring for her post FCE...however, the one recurring issue I'm having is recurrent urinary tract infections : ( she's probably had three/four since December when this all happened....I keep her very clean, as clean as possible, I express her bladder at least 3 times a day...my question is whether or not anyone thinks or has used cranberry tablets to help reduce the frequency of UTI...I know this must be painful for her and she just finished a round of antibiotics for UTI and the vet basically told me that because of her mobility issues, she is likely to suffer from UTI for the rest of her life : ( I want to know if there is ANYTHING I can give her in the way of preventative medicine (i.e. cranberry) in order to make these UTI's less frequent....help!
I have given my dog CranActin [Yikes! I checked the ingredients, it currently contains xylitol, NOT safe for dogs] chewable tablets in the past, partly because she liked them as a treat, but I think you might want to consult the vet about this, there is something about getting the urine pH too far off and increasing the possiblity of stones/crystals, and I don't know the details on that. However, looking at what you said from this distance, it sounds like she's had 4 infections in 5 months, and each time she was probably on antibiotics for 2 weeks. Assuming you are expressing well (hopefully after 5 months you are, but there was one very conscientious person here who discovered they were not expressing completely after doing it for year), I wonder if she has been given the correct antibiotic, because why does this keep coming back? My dog gets an infection maybe once a year, so this does not have to be a chronic problem. There are 2 kinds of urine tests. There is the kind where you take the specimen to the vet and they look at it under the microscope for a minute, see blood cells or an indication of infection, and prescribe an antibiotic that will normally work. But after 4 infections, I think you need to do the other kind of test, a urine culture. That is one where the vet sends it off to a lab and you wait a week or so for the results, but it will tell you if there is still an infection, and exactly what kind of germs are causing it, and then you know exactly what kind of antobiotic to use to really knock it out. The urine culture is more expensive than in house testing but it sounds worthwhile. Possibly you are using the right anitibiotic but it might need to be continued longer than 10 days or 2 weeks or whatever you have been doing. Or possibly you need a different antibiotic. I think it would also be a good idea to do an express check, where you express her in your normal way at the vet, then the vet expresses her after you to see if you got it all. Glad to hear everything else is going so well!
Thanks for the replies everyone, the info. was very useful...I called her regular vet today and I'm waiting to hear back from her...I did have one of the more expensive urine cultures done a few months ago where the sample was sent off and the vet also did a quick xray to check for stones...that test came back positive for MRSA infection!! I was stunned, at the time she was getting regular physical therapy and I could only assume maybe she got it from being around all the other doggies there, I'm not sure. As far as knowing whether or not I'm expressing her properly, I feel I do it diligently but of course there is always that margin of error...I express her at least three times a day and after the first time (which is usually a full stream) I do it a few more times to make sure it's empty...but again, the only way I can judge if it's empty is when the stream/trickles of urine stop....I had a little meltdown this morning because I just KNOW she's got another infection from the smell of the urine and she's trickling when I put her in her wheelchair....I am so committed to taking care of her but the vet bills have been no joke...I'm waiting for the vet to call me back to see if maybe she can call in a refill of the last antibiotic which seemed to work so I can possibly avoid taking her in again and paying for another test...I hate to overlook any major issue Ella may be having but money is tight and I'm doing the best I can...I'm thinking if she maybe takes another round of antibiotics and gets rid of the UTI then I can start her on a cranberry tablet to help decrease the chances of her getting them so often...when I asked her regular vet about the cranberry, she kind of looked at me like I was nuts...the other vet I'm referring to (who's out of town) is the one that runs the physical therapy center, she is much more knowledgable about holisitic medicine so I'm hoping she will know more about what I can give Ella to help decrease her chances of having chronic UTI's....the thought of my dog being in any discomfort is sometimes more than I can handle : ( she is a strong/loving/gentle 11 year old blue pitbull and even with these UTI's she never shows signs of discomfort..but I know sometimes bigger dogs have a high threshold for pain, the UTI has got to be uncomfortable for her and it's heartbreaking for me :(
I just checked the ingredients on CranActin and it currently is forumlated with xylitol, which is not safe for dogs. When I used it before I don't think it did. I put a note in my post above.
http://www.nutraceutical.com/search/vie ... ex=5505766
People here have also recommended Solid Gold Berry Balance, which is formulated for pets.
Yikes, thanks for that info.. Ella's vet is going to call in another antibiotic to the pharmacy for her...when my other vet is back in town I'm going to ask her what kind of cranberry tabs she recommends...Thanks Carol C!
You know, I've been thinking about your post for 2 days but haven't had time to write. Did you say it's been 5 months now? Because there is something a number of us have experienced with paralyzed pets at about the 5 or 6 month point, give or take. Here is the best description of it, see if this rings a bell..."The 6 Month Wonder".
It hit me at about 5 months, too. My dog's injury was September 23, and I cared for her all winter. The biggest adjustment was expressing because of the time it took and because I had to get up to do it no matter how tired I was, so I never got 8 hours of sleep. By April I was beyond dead, I didn't have anything left to give to anyone. Others here have observed the same thing. Somehow you go to the limit of physical and emotional exhaustion, and then somehow right when it is at its worst, for reasons that are hard to understand you begin coming out of it and it is never that bad again. Don't know why, but it's true. You may be about there, now. You've been doing this for 5 months. It's scheduling, and money, and appointments, and hopes and disappointments and delays, and the physical lifting, endless figuring out how to do things better, just all of it. And even if people around you are nice (there have been some amazing stories here of how sometimes they can be just the opposite) they can't really understand what you're going through. All I can say is, hang in there. There are 2 really good articles here about caregivers and what they go through, if you want links let me know. It does get better. Obviously it will get better when you know the UTI is OK, but the rest of it gets better, too. I might mention as an afterthought, one of the gals here, who had a dog that kept getting UTIs, discovered it was from the place she was swimming him, he was picking up e coli. I think you'll figure out what is causing it...and when you do, I hope you will post here because it may help someone else some day.
That post was lovely Karol C. : ) I hope I don't sound like I'm giving up because I'm really not : ) in fact, I have almost forgotten what it was like when she walked around freely....but like your passage said, the whole experience is full of ups/downs, joys/disappointments...but overall, I know I made the right decision to care for her and although she is still not standing on her hind legs, Ella can sure hop around like nobody's business! lol, she goes wherever I go in the apartment, it's actually really sweet/cute.....I guess my main frustration right now is the constant UTI's because the thought of her being in any pain breaks my heart...she got her antibiotics which btw were FREE : ) apparantly Publix has a list of free antibiotics and my vet prescribed one on that list so not only did I get her help, I managed to save some money as well : ) I'm still waiting to speak with her physical tx. vet to see what she recommends as far as the cranberry tablets in order to hopefully prevent the frequent UTI's....I'll be in touch! Once again, thanks a million for all of the advice and support!!
Dear Monique, how is your dog doing?? I haven't logged onto this forum in awhile and just re-read some of your posts....has the bladder situation improved at all? Unfortunately, my pitbull Ella is still getting UTI's frequently, she is probably going to be on antibiotics for the rest of her life...I'm surprised the vet didn't find an infection in your dog's urine...that odor is very distinct and it's usually how I can tell if Ella has a UTI....although I don't have any professional advice, I just wanted to let you know I feel your frustration with the urine accidents...I live in an apartment with carpet (I rent so I have no choice) and I know when Ella has accidents/leaks, the smell can be overwhelming...I've become very patient and come to terms with this being out of my control...I just clean the urine immediately with water/papertowels and I spray the spot with a carpet/pet deodorizing spray...it seems to work because whenever I have guests, everyone says my place smells good...I'm always asking them because only I know the real messes I sometimes have to clean up ; ) anyways, I hope Riley is doing better...hang in there!!
Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 1 guest