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Friday, May 4, 2007

Medical Alert, Urinary Track Infection

When in pain, Emma's response seems to be to chew on her foot.

Emma has a urinary track infection (UTI)! What were her symptoms? How would a puppy contract such a thing? What we are doing to treat her condition and prevent another.

What was different? Emma, at 11 weeks old, soaked her crate bedding in the middle of the night, and didn’t know she had done it until she awakened in the morning. I let her out of the crate/kennel, took her outside to finish her chores, cleaned her up and cleaned up the mess. There was no particularly unusual odor, so I thought she just slept too hard after a hard play that evening. A couple of days later, it happened again. Again, she didn’t even know she was wet until she awakened in the morning. I spent time with her breeder, Lin Hainlen, who was troubled by the behavior. The crate is supposed to be a clean place, and animals strive to keep their bed clean. I contacted my veterinarian who requested a urine sample to rule out a UTI. Instead of ruling it out, Dr. Junger discovered rod shaped bacteria. Emma is now on antibiotics for the infection.

Female puppies squat when they urinate, and sometimes the little hairs around the vulva touch the ground. If this happens, bacteria can make their way up the hair and into the puppy’s urinary track. I don’t know if this happens with male puppies.

Preventing UTIs is simple, but not foolproof. Dr. Junger and Lin Hainlen both mentioned the hair touching the ground scenario, so Lin suggested gently trimming the hair so that nothing touches the ground when the puppy squats to urinate. Do not pluck the hairs, or shave the hairs, only trim them up close to the vulva.

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Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Emma and Food Issues

Emma and her best friend and playmate, Pippin, enjoy a shared dog bed.

Emma is nearly 13 weeks old, and she is growing like a weed. There are some food issues, she doesn’t have a reliable appetite for her food. Variety seems to be important for her dining pleasure, even first thing in the morning.

Emma and Pippin, our young Sheltie, co-support one another during mealtimes. After their breakfast of The Honest Kitchen Embark, Missing Link, Vitamin C tablet with home made bullion to complete the dish, they each have a whole carrot to chew on. Emma has lunch each day of Natural Balance kibble, and she manages to get a half a cup eaten. There is a morning play and at least 2 hours of hard napping, then play and nap in the afternoon. She is awake and most active when the children are home and ready to play or go for a walk. The evening meal is always tasty and inviting. However, yesterday both girls decided their regular meals were not edible, and refused to eat. I left the dishes down for them, but still nothing was eaten. Lunch time I set down fresh kibble, and very little was eaten. The evening meal was the same way, very little eaten.

Neither Emma nor Pippin have less energy, they are not chewing on things, nor are they more aggressive. They just are not eating. This morning the same thing happened, so I called Lin Hainlen, the breeder, for suggestions and direction.

Any suggestions?

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