Dog Urination Problems

by Sue

Reader Question: Dog Urination Problems

My dog (female, eleven years old, rescued from Valencia in Spain at approx six weeks old) has Leishmaniasis.

This was diagnosed when, aged three, she developed skin lesions, crusty nose (externally), was lethargic and had inflamed joints.

She had an initial course of daily injections (needing to be licensed by the Home Office) and then was put on a daily dose of Allopurinol which has been continuous ever since. The dose was based on her weight at that time and has only recently (two weeks ago) been increased to reflect her current weight.

About five years ago her urine became incontinent and has been given Propalin ever since, albeit at one third of the recommended dose for her weight. (At full dose she was becoming aggressive and distressed.) She has had no further problems with incontinence since that time.

She has been given Flexivet+ for a similar length of time to counter her joint problems. This seems to have been successful, as she is a very fit and active dog.

In the last three years, she has had persistent problems with anal gland infection which, on each occasion, after several courses of antibiotics (and repeated expression of anal glands) was finally 'cured' with a course of Marbocyl. It is clear that this is an ongoing problem.

So...To the current problem...

The dog has been having great problems in urinating. Initially, urinating normally followed by a tendency to squat interminably, sometimes with a few drops, sometimes with nothing. Now, even first thing in the morning, she struggles to urinate at all.

Her first attempt yields practically nothing (this takes up to two minutes). Her flow improves on the third or fourth attempt but this is still nowhere near normal. On average, she will continue to attempt to urinate once per minute for perhaps an hour, with only a few drops, if anything, as a result.

The only distress she has shown is from the 'long squatting', when sometimes she trembles - perhaps with the effort.(She has minor signs of this problem in the past, but they have always gone away within a day or two.)

What our vet has done over the past two months:
. Prescribed Clavoseptin
. Several courses of Norodyne
. Anal and vaginal examination and x-rays under general aesthetic
. Blood tests showing slightly impaired kidney function and
normal liver function
. Prescribed higher dose of Propalin, then a reduction to previous levels
. Urine lab tests showing non-specific coliform infection
. Now being treated with Marbocyl which, after five days, is having no effect

What we have done:
. Have stopped giving the dog any Propalin for the last two weeks (without telling the vet)...
. She has shown no signs of incontinence.

So that's our story! Whilst we have every confidence in our vet, who has undoubtedly saved our dog's life, and is conscientious in seeking solutions, we realize that the sharing of information on the internet may be a key to discovering solutions in an area that is currently in flux.

If you can offer any suggestions, they would be welcome.



Vet Suggestions on Dog Urination Problems

Hello Sue,

What a story! First I have to say how lucky your dog is to have you in her corner. It is not every owner who would have stood by her through all her health concerns.

Secondly, I am very impressed with how your veterinarian has been handling everything, and he or she is definitely in a better position than me (a vet who has never examined your dog or her records) to make recommendations on her care.

With regards to your dog’s current urinary troubles, there is no harm (other than finding a little urine around the house) to stopping the Propalin. Your dog’s case is so complicated that I think simplifying things as much as possible is a good idea. You can always start the Propalin back up if the incontinence returns.

You mentioned the finding of a coliform infection on a urine test. In my opinion, this is what needs to be addressed first since a urinary tract infection certainly fits with your dog’s current symptoms. I don’t know if this was diagnosed based only on a urinalysis, but if your dog has not had a urine culture and sensitivity run on a sample of urine collected directly from the bladder using sterile technique, I would recommend this test.

Your dog has been on a couple of different antibiotics, neither of which seems to have worked well. A culture and sensitivity is the best way to determine exactly which bacteria is to blame for the infection and which antibiotic is the best choice for treatment.


Jennifer Coates, DVM

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