My Springer Spaniel is Prone to Uninary Infections. How Can I Help Her?
Answers from a Vet
By Dr. Mahaney
She is prone to urinary infections – always has been – and I’ve learned to see the signs and to take her urine to my vet to be tested. They say they see blood, but not a lot of white blood cells, so they want to put a tube up her to get a sterile sample. I see this as unnecessary and horrible for a dog her age. I just want the antibiotics – I am always good about retesting her at the end of her meds, etc.
The treatments have been successful, but must I put her through this? In the meantime they do nothing, and it was two days before they finally called with the test results. My poor dog just sits and suffers.
I am sorry to hear of your dog’s underlying health concerns. Hypothyroidism and Cushing’s Disease are common afflictions affecting may dogs of pure and mixed breeds. Managing the underlying secondary issues associated with these illnesses, such as chronic infections, can be quite challenging.
When evaluating a pet’s urinary health with diagnostics, it is vitally important that a sterile sample is collected. When a sterile sample is collected via cystocentesis (needle into the bladder) or urinary catheter, then we know that if bacteria is growing, it is definitely from the urinary tract (and not a contaminant from the skin or environment). The urine culture tells us what type of bacteria grows and a MIC (Minimal Inhibitory Concentration) susceptibility determines the antibiotic(s) to which the bacteria are sensitive.
A “free catch” urinalysis can yield helpful information about the urine, yet the sterile collection is vital to determine the best means of treating infection.
If antibiotics are dispensed without doing the appropriate testing, such medication may not even be necessary or useful. Superinfection or antibiotic resistance can occur as a result of non-judicious use of antibiotics.
Please follow up with your veterinarian to get the best sense of what is currently going on with your dog’s urinary tract health. Radiographs (X-rays), ultrasound or other diagnostic techniques may be needed to get a complete picture of what is currently happening in her urinary tract.
Dr. Patrick Mahaney