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LauraV

Reoccurring UTIs

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My 16 year old male BC gets UTIs every 3ish months. We take him to the vet, gets the urinalysis, gets antibiotics, and we go home and finish them off. He does great. Then, in about 3 months, he gets another one. Has anyone else had this problem? Anything you have tried at home help prevent them?

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One thing you might try is giving d-mannose powder. You can research it and find all kinds of info.

 

I would not recommend it, of course, for a diagnosed infection - give the prescribed antibiotics for that. But if in-between infections, it might be worth a shot.

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My senior girl has had that problem the last few years. We started giving her a daily cranberry/d-mannose supplement, and I believe it helps.

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I will third the cranberry/d-mannose supplement. When my sheltie mix rescue reached about 15 years of age, she developed a UTI - first one since I adopted her at 3.5 years of age. IIRC (it has been 5 years) I believe that she was put on amoxicillin which did not clear up the UTI. The vet then sent out a sample for culture and ID, and the culprit was E.coli. The antibiotic was changed to cephalexin ?? (can't remember) The vet also suggested the cranberry/d-mannose supplement because the d-mannose specifically prevents attachment of the E. coli to the bladder walls. My understanding is that the d-mannose does not protect against other organisms that can cause UTIs. The cranberry is supposed to help create an environment that is inhospitable to infecting organisms.

 

After about a year of supplementing, I got lazy and stopped. About 3-4 months later, she had another UTI. E. coli again. I was a bad dog mom.

 

I don't know if the same approach would help a male. I believe that the cranberry supplement helps in general, but my understanding is that the d-mannose specifically targets E. coli - so you would have to culture a urine sample to ID the infecting organism.

 

Oh, and another thing, I also started trimming her hairs around her anus and vagina so there would be less hair and less chance of the E.coli traveling from one to the other. Obviously, less of a problem in males, but if he has a lot of hair around his penis, it may not be a bad idea to keep the hair trimmed for cleanliness.

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Has your vet checked for bladder stones? My boy gets a special diet to lower his urine PH.

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How are his teeth? If he keeps getting UTI's then something could be introducing the bacteria to his blood stream (ie bad teeth, bad skin etc). Or, he could have a bladder stone or crystals that predispose him to getting a UTI.

My 5 year old female has never had an issue and then exactly a month ago got one, antibiotics for 2 weeks and now after she was done that for 2 weeks another UTI. Vet suggested we culture the urine to see exactly what type of bacteria it is and what is the best antibiotic for it however it was friday afternoon of a long weekend so we would have had to wait until tomorrow to do the culture and I wasn't going to make her suffer all weekend without antibiotics. We get the odd dog that we treat for a longer time if they are prone to it (4 weeks instead of 2).

 

We had 1 patient where I work (however it was a cat), that kept getting recurrent UTI's. Treated it and it would go away and then just come back. We did a culture and it ended up being MRSA and there was essentially no antibiotic that it was entirely sensitive to that was safe to use in a cat. We would just cut down the numbers every time we treated and then it would come right back. In the end the owner euthanized the cat (partly because she was concerned about the MRSA and her kids, and also because the cat was partially paralysed in the back end so didn't have the greatest quality of life).

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Also, if they are recurrent has the urine been cultured to determine the type of bacteria? Some are strong enough that treatment causes them to reduce in number, but then bounce back when the treatment stops.

 

Also sometimes knowing the bacteria will give you a clue where it came from.

 

ETA: oops did not read all the replies, and see someone already suggested this

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The past two times have been different types of bacteria. His teeth aren't great but with his age and kidney bun slightly elevated, anesthesia is a no go. His treatment last time was covenia and this time is zeniquin.

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I get the "age/no anesthesia" thing - I'd likely do the same.

That said, when my 8 yr old (female) had some dental work done, her UTIs almost completely stopped - for the next 8 years! Ask about the dental - perhaps a dental vet? (I travel 400 miles to one - and wouldn't ever do it "locally" with a geriatric.) Anesthesia is way better than it used to be. A reversible kind is the ticket.

 

Other than that - sorry, no advice. But good luck to you both.

diane

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Maybe some raw edible bones would help clean his teeth? I've seen some amazingly nasty looking teeth transform into nice healthy teeth when I switched to feeding raw. I recently ran into a vet I used to see who had relocated due to a divorce. As we were talking she mentioned a dog I'd adopted 14 years ago who had absolutely horrible teeth on her first vet visit and she saw her they were perfect, all from feeding raw. It was such a dramatic change that she still remembered it . . . and she'd make a point to tell visiting vet students about it.

 

Now I wonder; maybe it's at least part of the reason my dogs have never had a UTI. (And I've never had to subject them [or my pocketbook] to anesthesia for a dental cleaning!)

 

Anyway, maybe some nice edible bones (chicken backs, turkey necks, pork necks, etc.) or other would help your dog's teeth.

 

Best wishes figuring it out.

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It's not just the age for me that make us say no anestesia. It's his kidney values and slow heart rate that cause the no go. I had his last dental when he got neutered at 13. He's just an older guy with older teeth. However, I had my 6 year old golden get a dental last February and she almost died due to the anestesia but that's a whole other story.

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I strongly second Gentle Lake's suggestion to try raw bones. My current dogs have had good teeth, and I have occasionally given them raw bones, but seemed to forget more than remember to provide the raw bones - so I probably gave the raw bones (ribs or pork necks) at the most 3-4 times per year.

 

Recently I noticed some brown tartar near the gum lines on Torque (almost 9). Nothing bad, but I didn't want it to get any worse. I gave him (and Kiefer too of course) a rib bone (~6-7 inches long), and then a second rib bone about 10 days later. I didn't check his teeth until another week had passed because I didn't expect to see a dramatic change. Wow, was I surprised. Perfectly clean teeth!!! Yippee.

 

Note: he didn't have much tartar. With really bad teeth, I would expect that more than 2 'applications' would be required.

 

I also know of another young dog (~1 year old) who had slightly tan teeth and bad breath. Ate one rib bone. Teeth sparkling white and normal breath.

 

When I had a very, very senior dog with very, very bad teeth, I discussed the raw bone 'treatment' with my vet, and he felt that for a dog with very bad tartar, raw bones might help, but he would have still wanted to do a dental to get what he believed would be leftover tartar beneath the gum lines - which, in his opinion, the would not be removed by the raw bones.

 

Going forward, I will certainly be giving my dogs more raw bones.

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His teeth are to the point that he doesn't like anything hard. He will pick through his food and drop anything hard out of his bowl. So I'm not sure a raw bone would help in this case.

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Can they just keep him on low dose antibiotics? I had to that with one of my old dogs who had an infected canine tooth. He was not a candidate for surgery but the law dose antibiotics kept the infection under control.

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His teeth are to the point that he doesn't like anything hard. He will pick through his food and drop anything hard out of his bowl. So I'm not sure a raw bone would help in this case.

Awww. I understand that because it also happened with my old dog. I felt bad that she had to live with nasty teeth because she couldn't chew bones or undergo anaesthesia for cleaning. Sounds like you are in the same place.

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Yeah it's hard knowing there isn't much I can do fo his teeth. His last dental was 3 years ago and the vet said they get bad fast as they get older if you don't keep a close eye on them. My other two get their teeth brushed every night then a dental treat then tooth gel.

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Same thing happened with my old gal, too. It's hard seeing them not being able to do the things they used to be able to do.

 

There are some dental products that can be added to a dog's food and/or water. Dunno how effective they are, but it might be worth looking into.

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Recently I noticed some brown tartar near the gum lines on Torque (almost 9). Nothing bad, but I didn't want it to get any worse. I gave him (and Kiefer too of course) a rib bone (~6-7 inches long), and then a second rib bone about 10 days later. I didn't check his teeth until another week had passed because I didn't expect to see a dramatic change. Wow, was I surprised. Perfectly clean teeth!!! Yippee.

 

I had the same experience with Livi recently. I noticed some tartar and gave her a turkey neck. Next time I noticed her teeth, they were all nice and white. She's young and we do turkey necks, etc., regularly so, like you noted, this wasn't a bad buildup and if it was it would probably require more to get her teeth clean. But I was really pleased to see a visible difference!

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Yeah....at 16 and with iffy kidneys I wouldn't want to anesthetize either (and I didn't with either of mine who had iffy kidneys and heart murmurs). We haven't always had the greatest luck with convenia. Hopefully the zenequin works better! He may just need antibiotics every few months if the teeth are potentially passing bacteria into his bloodstream and then to his bladder.

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Never understood the great fear of anesthesia. High kidney levels don't stop me from doing what needs to be done. I just make sure BP stays normal and I give plenty of IV fluids before, during and after the procedure. Better to take care of the problem and stop further damage from infected teeth. JMHO.

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Urine culture came back negative for any bacteria. Dr will call Monday to discuss any other results.

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