See? I knew I wasn’t crazy: or, why I love my vet

February 19, 2011 § 6 Comments

For the past few days (several?) Annie has been having some accidents in the house. They’re not big puddles. They’re not on anything of particular value to us (although…I’ll come back to this in a moment). They’re these little dribbly trails that indicate where she was walking (apparently in twisty patterns, as though she were lost). And, the most befuddling of all: she still rings her little jingle bell by the door to tell us when she has to go potty. Just sometimes we’ll walk into another room and find a dribbly trail.

Flashback to September.

Less than a couple of weeks after we brought her home, Annie developed a UTI–the dreaded urinary tract infection. We managed to catch her condition before red blood cells appeared on the scene, thank goodness. We had taken Annie for a routine puppy wellness check, and our vet (who we abso-stinking-lutely adore) asked us how potty training was going.

“Well…” Robert and I said simultaneously.
“We got her this bell to ring by the back door,” I said. “And it only took her five days to learn the bell. So generally we’re doing pretty well. But then….”
“Sometimes we’ll find these accidents in the house when she hasn’t rung the bell,” Robert finished.
Dr. Vet looked contemplative for a moment and asked, “Are they puddles?”
“No…” I said, suddenly feeling like we were uncovering a great Annie-sized mystery. “They’re more like little trails…like dribbles. It really looks to me like she might have started to pee before she realized she should ring the bell.”
Dr. Vet looked at her tech and said, “I think we’ll want to run a urine sample. It could very well be a urinary tract infection. Female puppies in particular are prone to them.”

Several minutes later, the urinalysis came back, white blood cell positive–an indicator for infection. She prescribed us two weeks’ worth of Clavamox, and Annie soon started to feel better and stopped dribbling on the carpet.

Flash forward to today.

This morning, I awoke to find a chewed-up trouser sock (one of Robert’s…sigh…) as well as little dribble trails of pee all around the front of our bedroom by the door. A couple of my sweaters that had been on the floor were in the line of fire as well. I woke Robert up immediately. “We have a problem!” I told him. And we set to work–he got out the Resolve to spray the carpet (we’ve already gone through an entire can in a few days, since this started), and I threw my sweaters into the wash and Robert’s sock into the trash.

After breakfast and another potty break, Robert and I attempted to make sense of what happened. We tossed around the obvious (maybe she’s pushing boundaries, maybe she’s not as potty trained as we had originally thought), but then we started to recall her last UTI. I called Dr. Vet and made an appointment to have her seen immediately. Of course, since she had already emptied her tank in our bedroom and the yard after breakfast, Annie wasn’t forthright with a urine sample at the veterinary office. But Dr. Vet didn’t even need one.

Dr. Vet asked me to explain what had happened (after all, she had just seen us a week ago for her second round of the flu vaccination), so I walked her through what we’ve been experiencing this week. “I don’t know, Dr. Vet. Do you think I’m overreacting? Is she just being defiant?”
Dr. Vet smiled and shook her head. “It doesn’t make sense for her to decide to sometimes ring the bell to go outside and sometimes not. When dogs are trained, they’re trained. She wouldn’t be making active decisions like that.”
“Yeah…it just doesn’t seem like she’s acting out. It’s not like she’s peeing on our bed,” I told her.

As I was talking, Dr. Vet knelt on the floor with Annie and loved on her (Annie so so loves her Dr. Vet love). Annie laid on the floor, showing her pink belly, happily snorting and spinning her little tail. And then Dr. Vet reached out and palpated Annie’s bladder. And Annie sprung up to her feet, pinned her ears back, and leaned against the wall. If she could have tucked her tail down, I’m sure she would have. Dr. Vet attempted once more to palpate her bladder. Annie cried and jerked away from the tech’s hold.

“Yeah,” Dr. Vet said soothingly to Annie. “That doesn’t feel good, does it, sweet thing? I’m sorry to hurt you…but you don’t want me to touch your bladder, huh?” Looking up at me, Dr. Vet smiled and said, “It’s okay she wouldn’t give us a urine sample. That reaction has confirmed it for me. Her bladder is painful, so I’m going to go ahead and prescribe her an antibiotic rather than keep putting her through a painful examination.”

I was so grateful to Dr. Vet for reassuring me that I was not overreacting, that I was not jumping at shadows. I am sorry that my poor little puppy girl isn’t feeling well, but I’m also glad that Dr. Vet has taught Robert and me the early early warning signs of a UTI that can help us get a diagnosis before the infection gets really painful.

So here’s to amazing vets everywhere who help loving pet owners take care of these precious animals. 🙂

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§ 6 Responses to See? I knew I wasn’t crazy: or, why I love my vet

  • I’ll drink to that! Here, here to awesome vets everywhere! 🙂

  • We love our vet, as well. He’s cared for my pets for 12 years, and I truly do love the guy. A good vet can make a world of difference!

    Unfortunately we have not found a great vet here in Haiti. In fact, we had one dreadful experience.

    Hope you Baby is feeling better soon!

  • Lauren says:

    So sorry that she had has a UTI! But glad she’s getting treated for it now 🙂

    Just curious: could her quirky tail be increasing her risk for UTI at all?

    I hope she feels better very soon 🙂 Much love to Annie!

  • Glad you were reassured about Annie. And I have really liked all the vets I’ve dealt with. Special people.

  • Jack says:

    Poor Annie! I hope she feels better. We love our Vet, too. She’s well-known and is the “Ask a Vet” for quite a few trainers (who have their own television shows.)

    As for UTIs….a UTI is how we were blessed with Gidget (lovingly called “YaYa” since we decided her “show name” should be “Giuchie Giuchie YaYa Da Da.”) When Gidget was five months old, her initial owners dumped her at a high-kill animal shelter for “not housebreaking.” Luckily for us, a wonderful Southern PolyTech student and her parents saw this adorable bundle of energy (who has mastered the “please don’t club me” seal look: saucer eyes and all!) and couldn’t leave her there to die. $1800 later in Veterinary bills (severe UTI, spaying, vaccinations, HW testing and preventative, etc.) she was all better. Unfortunately, she has A LOT of energy, and the student’s parents’ Dachshund and Shih-Tzu were attacking poor Gidget (whom they named “Spork,”) and they decided to find her a more suitable home.

    Ta da! That’s where we came into play 🙂

    I can’t believe her initial owners never bothered to take her to the Vet, but methinks her owners were the “a dog is a dog” type.

  • […] just like that, Annie’s back on an antibiotic. This is her third UTI since September. Of course, she wouldn’t offer a urine sample despite the fact that she desperately had to […]

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