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My heart is broken and I need advice. The Vet has done a scan on my little baby's bladder and found that the bladder wall is about 3 times the thickness that it should be.
She had a birth defect and on 6 months we had to operate on her to take the pressure off the spinal cord. We were told by the specialist that she would be able to walk again but that did not realise.
We have in the mean time adapted to live with her and she now has her own sleeping cot next to our bed and lives a very loving and caring life. We virtually never leave her alone and she gets all the love and attention.
She started to get this bladder infection a few months after the operation and the vet gave us some antibiotics which we used. It worked and for a while she was back to normal. Then it came back and agin we did the same. It worked and when we stopped it took a few weeks and it was back again. We went through various types of antibiotics and even went through injections for a period. While we are using it it works fine and we can assist her to empty her bladder but the moment we stop we cannot assist her and it just leaks out.
This is the reason he suggested we get a specialist to do a sonar scan of the bladder and she then found that the wall of the bladder is 3 times as thick as it should be and that her quality of life is just not worth this pain and suffering and that she must be put down.
We are broken and I cannot look at her and not cry. This is terrible news and we asked the Vet to give us a week..
Am I selfish in wanting her to stay alive or am I looking at this the wrong way. Can something still be done for her?
Please help me...
You are not selfish. I think it is something that can be treated. When there is a bladder infection that does not respond to antibiotics, the usual course is to do a urine culture, which takes a few days, and determine what the exact pathogen is that is causing the infection, then use a drug that is appropriate for that type of germ. Have they actually done a urine culture or do they just keep trying different medications that might work for a UTI?
I have sent an email to a member here who has 9 pugs, several of them are disabled, and she knows a lot about preventing UTI. Praying she will be able to help.
I don't think a thick bladder is a terrible deal; my Buddy had one, too. I don't remember now what causes the bladder to become thickened, but Buddy was spinal cord injured too. There are pee meds like phenoxybenzamine (PBZ) and bethanechol which might help the peeing problem.
No he is only giving us antibiotics. Have gone through about 4 different types. One seems to wrok for the 10 days he gives us but as soon as we stop the infection starts again.
I really hope that the lady with the pugs can give us some pointers - I really want to see our baby growing up and staying with us a while longer.
Thanks for the reply
Hi, I am so sorry you're going through this with your obviously well loved and well cared for pug. I have had a number of pugs over the years who have had recurring UTIs caused by spinal issues. Firstly, and MOST importantly, let's dispense with ANY idea about putting your little pug down, and if your vet is suggesting that I suggest finding another vet who's not so ready to give up and more dedicated in treating her.
Carol's suggestion of identifying the bugs causing the UTI is spot on. This can only be done by sending a urine sample to the lab for a culture to be grown and a sensitivity test done so the right antibiotic can be established. Absolutely essential. Also, if you are dealing with "fastidious" organisms, sometimes they can only be identified through a biopsy if the bladder wall. The thickening of the bladder wall can improve. Whereabouts are you? Can you find another vet more aggressive in treatment and ready to fight with you? My vets never gave up and it was a constant battle, but we fought. Sounds like you are willing to do all you can and it will help. Ask me any questions you like. After dealing with 4 pugs with spinal issues (number 4 asleep besides me now, at age 13.5) I have had HUGE experience in all these issues. I had one pug live to age 17 with spinal issues and recurring UTIs. Never give up!!
I am living in South Africa, Pretoria.
I have gone back to our vet and after a long conversation he has agreed to assist us to try again with a more aggressive antibiotics treatment. She is now in day 3 of the treatment and she is doing SO good. I am sure she smiled at us last night and she is even giving her brother a hard time (he is a normal pug). There is no signs of pain or discomfort although she gets tired very quickly.
Problem is I do not know of a vet that specialise in SPECIAL doggies.
I am going to speak to my vet again (He is a good person) and go for the culture solution. I am sure they will be able to do it for us here in Pretoria, as our countries veterinarian school is also in Pretoria (Onderstepoort) very close to us.
Few things I was wondering about.
We have tried to get her some wheels but she cannot seem to get it going with them. On another thread I read that someone said that walking her with a sling will also assist in getting her muscles working a bit better and so assisting with the bladder control. Currently she only slides through the house at very high speeds and I think we tend to assist more than we have to as she has this way of looking at you with those big begging eyes to carry her around.
She hates water and gets anxiety attacks when she sees the water therapy rooms. We did not take her back after the first visit.
Do you think exercise will help?
2. Eating habits and diet
Also everyone is referring to adding stuff to their food and changing eating habits etc.. Will this help and is there things we can avoid to assist or add to her diet to assist her?
3. Expressing a dog bladder
My wife are doing it as I am scared I might hurt her and she is doing a good job as well. What do you do when the UTI is there and it just does not want to come out. Is there something you can do?
Thanks for assisting.
Food and exercise are certainly important, but I wouldn't place huge importance on either at this point. As long as she has a good diet and is eating well, that's the most important thing. Cranberry supplements are always suggested in helping keep UTIs at bay, but it isn't a magic bullet and will not stop a UTI developing, only might make it a little harder. Exercise is good of course, but if her mobility is limited and she is not taking well to her wheels, don't stress over it. Using a sling can certainly help.
Right now the single most important thing you can do to get these UTI's under control is doing a "C.& S." (culture and sensitivity) and find out what antibiotics the bugs are sensitive to. It really sounds as though, even with all the different antibiotics given, they aren't the right ones. Bugs can be gram positive or gram negative; fastidious, exotic...all sorts of different varieties and sensitive to a limited number of meds. If your vet is reluctant to do this find another vet!!!! A C&S is standard procedure in UTI's. Once you get the results and the right meds things should start getting better. Oh, one VERY IMPORTANT THOUGHT!! You should wait at least a week after any course of antibiotics have been give before doing a C&S, as the meds in the system can skew the results. Very important. Are you close to any university vet school? That might be a good place to go.
As to expressing your girl's bladder, it really is an art and once you learn it, it isn't difficult. If you feel unsure about it and your wife can do it easily, I'd leave it to her. I liken it more to "milking a cow", feeling things at the top of the bladder and then pushing the urine in the direction of the urethra and out.
The best of luck and please, I am happy to answer any questions or help in any way I can. Tell your vet putting your baby girl to sleep is out of the question and to put his training to good use and fight this battle with you. That's what he's there for!
Even in the US there aren't any vets specializing in disabled critters, but some are more interesting in being creative than others.
Thanks to all and I just want to report back that we have had another chat with the Vet who is now going to assist us.
Our little girl is currently doing much better with the last set of antibiotics he gave her. We are going to finish this course, wait a week and then do the culture. Then we are going to go with the findings there and fight the battle and not give up.
Thanks for all the info and videos.
I will report back in a months time.
I'd like to know how this little pug is doing and if any one has a similar experience and advice for me:
My Bernie is 7 years old and has been hind limb paralyzed (surgery was unsuccessful) and incontinent since he was 6 months old. I was successfully expressing his bladder until this June when he became blocked- he had a urinary infection (Klebsiella bacteria) and Struvite stones (which I understand come from the bacteria.) He had surgery to remove the stones but despite numerous cultures and courses of various antibiotics that are supposed to be effective on this bacteria, the infection does not clear. The doctor says that his bladder is extremely stretched out and suggests a trial on bethanechol and daily urinary catheterizations in addition to antibiotics to see if we get rid of the bacteria and get his bladder to shrink a bit. He is otherwise a very happy and healthy dog, gets a long great in his cart or just dragging around.
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