Thursday, August 19, 2010

Bailey's Trials

Our dog Bailey is a Miniature Schnauzer. This is a wonderful breed known as a great companion dogs. Bailey was born 20 April 2000 and we've had her since she was 8-weeks old. She's been spayed, has a lipoma, and has had some dental work. This spring after we returned from the NRA Annual Meeting she began to show signs of change in her urinary habits. We attributed that to how she was treated at the boarding animal hospital and were none too pleased. Then, she suddenly became lethargic and we took her to her vet.

The vet immediately noted that she had a fever and took steps to rehydrate her but could not find a reason for the fever. I supposed an infection but the doctor wouldn't commit to any reason. The fever passed and Bailey seemed better. She needed to have updated vaccinations and some dental work and this was done. She seemed ok for about 4 days after that. Then she began to rapidly change habits, needing to pee more and more frequently and then to have "accidents". Nana took her to the vet and they refused to handle her not even to help in getting a urine sample. I took her back to the vet, demanded and got a sample cup, produced a sample in about 3 minutes and I told them that I wanted her well and to do what was necessary. They evaluated the urine sample without looking at the dog and prescribed Zeniquin for 10 days. After 4 days she seemed to be slightly improved and still having faith in the vet Nana and I departed on the Alaska trip.

While gone, Bailey boarded with our daughter in McLean. She administered the complete course of Zeniquin and Bailey seemed better but was more and more incontinent. When Bailey returned home late on the 15th it was obvious she was in distress as she had to urinate within minutes of taking water and every 30-45 minutes. I decided to take her to another vet.

Bailey's Bladder Stone (1 of 3)
On Monday, the 16th, I took her to the new vet. I had urine and fecal samples and told them to do what had to be done to determine what was wrong. By 10:30 they had determined that Bailey had 3 bladder stones the largest of which was golf-ball sized and these were filling her bladder. Surgery was the only option. Surgery was done that day and the stones removed. The vet told me that her bladder wall was 1/4" thick when it should be the thickness of a sheet of construction paper. The largest stone was indeed the size of a ping-pong or golf ball.

I have to admit to complete ignorance on this subject. I had no idea and had never had any experience with this condition. I feel badly for not having taken Bailey to another vet earlier. I am extremely disappointed in her old vet. It seems to me that any EXPERIENCED and COMPETENT veterinary practice should be able to handle any dog and have identified the condition without any more difficulty than did Bailey's new vet.  Her old vet did neither.

Bailey seems to be doing well now. In the course of this experience she has lost 12% of her starting body weight and her lipoma is almost undetectable. She seems to be healing and is able to go through the night without urinating. She doesn't seem to have blood in her urine (although some might be expected). However, I take her out every 2 hours, watch her water intake so that she's not putting too much pressure on her bladder, carry her up and down stairs and watch her closely to ensure that she doesn't damage her stitches at the incision site (center line of her belly). She really, really doesn't like the e-collar. Consequently I have to watch her constantly for the time being. Stitches come out in 10-14 days but she might have months of recovery time. We'll have to wait and see.

8/20/2010 10:30 PM

Bailey has been doing really well (knock on wood). She is obviously more comfortable. Her incision seems to be healing properly. Her urination and defecation activity seems to be returning to normal in as much as we are allowing it. We are taking her out for a walk every two hours except for night-time sleep (11PM to 6AM). Her energy level is up. We have to watch her because of that. She isn't working at the incision (yet). She isn't balking at medication and getting it on time. I am really pleased so far.

Our new vet is Commonwealth Veterinary Clinic in Fishersville/Waynesboro, VA.

1 comment:

David aka True Blue Sam said...

I have lots of respect for the vets that take care of our pets. I am glad you have a good one now. I would rather have one of our vets with me on a wilderness trip than my family physician, and from ER visits with sick family members.