Tuesday, September 6, 2011

That Lulu Pup

As of today Lulu has been in our lives for approximately 1 month and 1 week. She will be 4 months old next Monday and is weighing in at a healthy 18.6 pounds (according to the vet's scale last Friday) which means she has gained about 8 pounds since we got her. She is getting so big, so quickly--I can't believe it!

Since coming home with us Lu has been a typical puppy--bouncy, playful, full of mischief, cuddles, and curiosity. However she has also come with a lot of ailments. At her "wellness" appointment 3 days after we adopted her from the Humane Society the vet found that she had both hookworm and ringworm. A few days later she developed a nasty upper repiratory infection. Luckily all of this was covered through the Humane Society (who apparently partners with a local vet and will cover certain common illnesses that come with their animals for up to 2 weeks after adoption). This was fantastic for us because as most all pet owners know, these friends don't always come cheap.

One of the issues that we asked the vet about on our initial visit was about Lu's tendency to pee--a lot. We realized that she was a puppy and not house trained yet but it seemed like she was going every 15 minutes. Initially the vet told us not to worry--it probably wasn't a UTI becuase that is uncommon in puppies and she was probably just learning to control her bladder yadda, yadda. But even weeks later Lu was still having accidents and some of them were happening when she was dead asleep. Admittedly this was kind of funny at first because the first time she did it she was sleeping on Erik and it got all over him (sorry honey) but once it  got all over my new couch (!!) among other places we thought there had to be something else going on. Erik immediately made the phone call to the vet and they told us to bring her in.

Once at the vet they did a UTI test which involved using an ultrasound to locate Lu's bladder and a needle to extract some urine. All the while Erik and I were keeping our fingers crossed that this was the problem because we had admittedly committed a cardinal sin by reading about all kinds of dog incontinence issues on the internet. The doc came back with some mixed results. He said that he wasn't 100% sure that what Lu had was UTI because he didn't really see any blood or protein in her urine but he did notice something else that was a bit strange.

He said that while looking at the ultrasound to locate the bladder he noticed what he thought might have been some fluid outside of Lu's bladder. The fluid could indicate a condition called an Ectopic Urethra which is a birth defect where one ureter attaches to the bladder and the other one connects somewhere else. He proposed that if Lu has this condition it could explain why she has been having incontinence issues and has been peeing in her sleep. However, since he wasn't entirely sure this was the problem he proposed doing a radiogram (x-ray) of Lu's belly and sending it to a specialist to diagnose her properly. According to his estimate this would cost us around $500. Then, if the specialist confirms that she does indeed have an Ectopic Urethra we could opt to have it surgically fixed which would require what the vet described as a very tedious and delicate surgery (i.e. very costly). I think he could tell by our deer-in-the-headlights eyes that we were both freaking out a bit and mentioned that we could always try to seek financial help from the Humane Society but that since we were most definitely out of their 2 week care window he wasn't certain that they would help at all.

After taking a few breaths we asked the doctor if this was a life threatening condition. He assured us it was not, and that if Lu was diagnosed with it and we decided not to do surgery she would be fine and we would just have to deal with her being incontinent the rest of her life. Great. In the end we left the doctor's office with some antibiotics to treat a UTI in the hopes that the doc was wrong and that she would be better soon.

Since we've been treating her the last few days we have seen a noticeable spike in her energy level (she went from crazy to crazier within hours it seemed) and she hasn't had any accidents in her sleep. We are taking these as good signs and hope that the problem has been solved, with this whole Ectopic Urethra thing turning out to be nothing more than a one time scare. I love Lu and would never want to give her up but I have to admit that having a dog who leaks urine all over the place does not exactly thrill me (because lets face it, I hardly have $500 to diagnose her let alone pay for a costly surgery). So, fingers crossed that everything turns out okay for Miss Lu and she feels better soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment