The life of a dog owner is very blessed. Lots of love, wiggling tails, and a bond that is difficult to describe. From the “gotcha” day, until the last breath in your arms at the end of a long life, they bring amazing happiness, and companionship to you.
Alas, they also have health issues to deal with, and fortunately there are veterinarians who are there to work with you (although sometimes it is best not to ask the price). Both Lizzie and Cerbie have needed some care in their time with us.
Cerbie came to us and had a “stink” that smelled like oily coat. He got a bath when he landed in the US, and we gave him a bath almost as soon as we got him (next day) yet, the wafting, “oily” stench was still there. I had a hunch that it was his anal sacs that were full and the source of this uck.
Tuesday, he gets to the vet, and indeed, they were both packed full, and worse, one of them had a bit of blood (indicative of an infected or abscessed anal gland.) On an antibiotic for a week, and a recheck. Alas, that didn’t clear up the bloody discharge, so a switch to a different antibiotic, and another week and recheck. Still some blood, and some pain, so switched back to the first antibiotic, and another week. If this didn’t clear it up, we had some unpalatable choices. The first was to irrigate the sac (eww) and hope that cleaned up the gland. If that didn’t work, well, it was surgery and removal of the abscessed gland. A risky procedure (if they cut the wrong way, a nerve will be severed, and he would be fecal incontinent. shudder)
Last Monday, we needed to take Lizzie in for an X-Ray (see below) and since Cerbie is her emotional support animal, we got his glands cleaned a day early. To our shock, the blood was gone, and he is normal. The three weeks of antibiotics had helped him heal his gland.
If you’ve been following the blog, you will note that Lizzie has enjoyed her cousins visiting to avoid the hazards of the fires near my Sister’s house on Lake Shasta.
Throughout this almost 5 weeks, there have been instances where lizzie has, uh, leaked, as in soaking the bed/couch/dog beds with urine. Usually while she is sleeping (or resting her eyes), it had become rather disturbing.
We took her to the vet, and his initial thoughts were a UTI, very common in a girl. I had been fortunate to catch a few CC’s of her urine so they could culture it.
Alas, it wasn’t an infection, but an examination of the captured urine found crystals, crystals that could irritate the urethra and cause the leaks. There could also be kidney stones, hence the visit with her emotional support Cerbie for an X-ray.
The X-Ray turned out negative, but the recommendation was to switch to a food that is specially for canines with urinary issues (Purina Pedigree UR prescription food). The idea was to test with a diet that is known to prevent the buildup of compounds in her bladder that could form crystals.
Like a miracle, the frequency, and the amount of leaking has dropped precipitously. Yes, there was still some leakage, but it was far reduced from the puddles, and manageable.
This prompted me to remember that during the first visit of the cousins, Lizzie discovered their Salmon based food, and since she enjoyed it so much, we just switched from Turkey LID to Salmon. Around this time was when the incontinence began. In hindsight, it is pretty clear that the oily, rich Salmon based diet was the catalyst. There is no way I would have connected those dots, but alas, Dr. Solomon from ArchVet did, and Lizzie is on her way to being leak-free (sounds like a blurb in a Craigslist ad for a clunker car).
And, as a bonus, the UR food isn’t that much more than the food we were buying, so win, win win. (Unlike Tate’s Science Diet low residue prescription formula that was $110 a sack)