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I really need your help - sorry this is so long

Discussion in 'Dogs - small breeds (toy) specific' started by dbuzzw, Mar 27, 2004.

  1. dbuzzw

    dbuzzw New Member

    Hello everyone. Please forgive the length of this post, but I am a little desperate and want to give all the facts. My sweet maltepoo, Baxter, is having some problems and I'm hoping someone here can offer some insight into what the problem is. A little background.... he is 17 months old, 12.5 pounds, and somewhat aloof. He has never been much of a lap dog, but he loves to sit at my feet and have me pet him. We adopted him at 7 weeks and he was a very submissive dog. Very fearful. When he was 5 months old, we adopted another dog - a malt tzu named Graysie - and although he adores her, he has definitely established himself as an alpha dog now. At about 4 months, Baxter started being much more territorial - he barks and goes crazy for about 5-10 minutes when someone comes over, until he realizes they're okay and then he calms down. He also barks at the back gate when we're outside and someone walks by. He was neutered at 4 months and attended an obedience class soon after. Basically, he knows that I am the boss, but sometimes he challenges me a little. For the record, he was very well socialized and we go on walks around the neighborhood often. He especially loves children, but he sometimes growls at other dogs or men (although he loves my husband). For the last few months, he's been much more protective of any special treat that he has - like a greenie. It's the only time he would growl at me, if I tried to take it out of his mouth. I would usually pick him up and put him in the "powder room" for a timeout. He would immediately drop the treat as I picked him up and sit quietly in the room until he was let out. He also nipped at my husband once when he tried to get him out of his crate one morning. He didn't want to get out until I got up and opened his door. Now here's the current problem....

    On Saturday, I was laying on the couch and halfway brushing Baxter, who was at my feet on the floor. Suddenly, he screeched loudly and jerked away. I know I didn't get a tangled area, so I wasn't sure what happened. I thought maybe he had been stung by something outside earlier? (Although I never heard/saw anything, and I was with him the entire time). Later on that day, I reached down to pet him and he snapped again (missed my finger) and screeched. Again, I'm thinking some sort of bite. He definitely wasn't himself - he usually follows me all over the house, but he just laid around and looked at me. That evening, we went to bed and he went into his crate, as usual. I then remembered that his crate pad was in the dryer and I tried to (very gently) get him out of the crate. He bit my thumb! It was very sudden, with no warning. Although he broke the skin, my biggest "hurt" was my ego - I can't believe my baby would bite me. Sunday morning (after Benedryl the night before), he seemed a little better, but there were still episodes. He was very lethargic and would just stand and stare at me sometimes. Getting him to go out to the grass to potty was difficult. A few times, I had to VERY GENTLY AND SLOWLY pick him up and place him there (there are steps from the deck). Once there, he went with no problems. Then I had to carry him back in the house. I was getting very worried at this point, but he was eating, peeing, and pooping just fine. He seemed to be avoiding any type of stairs, or jumping on the couch. Monday morning, he wouldn't come out of his crate. I was panicking and calling the vet for an appointment, when he suddenly came bounding down the stairs. I thought he was okay! I still decided to take him though. while we were waiting for the appointment time, again he flinched when I touched his side. This doesn't happen every time though! Not sure why. Anyway, the vet did a very thorough checkup over his entire body looking for pain -couldn't find any tender areas. He also checked his mouth and did a blood work up and a urinalysis. A BLADDER INFECTION! BINGO! This surprised me because he really didn't seem to have any peeing problems - no accidents in the house, not frequent (in fact, he went less often because he didn't want to move). I believe that his vet is a good one and we are very happy with him. He also kept Baxter there all day, just to be able to check him over periodically. Monday night, we took Baxter home and started him on his 2 weeks of medicine for the "crystals" in his urine (thankfully, no bladder stones). Now here's the big question - while he has had longer and longer periods of playfulness (with no tail between the legs), he still is not totally better. Is it a slow process? Could there be another issue? On Tuesday night, he was lounging with my husband and actually letting him hold him in his lap, when suddenly he jumped like he had been hurt. My husband (who had been out of town all weekend) did find a little sticker ball near Baxter's ear, so we though maybe that had been a problem. ?? I had planned to call the vet again yesterday if he wasn't better. Well, yesterday was a very good day. We thought we were past the rough time. Yea! Then last night, I picked him up to put him in the grass, and he yelped (although not as loudly as he had on those 2 occasions on Saturday) and jumped from my arms. From then on, he was back to moving slowly with his tail tucked. When he got in his crate for bedtime last night, I decided to test his dominance issue a little. I always give him a little yogurt treat when he gets in the crate, and I immediately put my hand back by his face. He bit my finger again! I have no idea what is going on. There was no treat to take, he just didn't want my hand in his crate or near his face. Is this a behavioral issue? Is he in pain? Is the pain from the bladder infection? If so, how long does it take to heal? Is the infection just a side issue to a bigger problem? Where is the bladder - is it under the ribs because that seems to be where his occasional pain is. And why is it not all the time? Is this a problem that has been around for a while and is just now getting worse - thus, the change from a very submissive dog to a fear biter? I am so confused. And very worried.

    I'm so sorry to ramble, I am just very worried about him and want to get others' input. And in anticipation of your questions... yes, I am definitely calling the vet again today, I just wanted to hear others' experiences before I talk to him. And no, no one has abused Baxter. He is very very loved and knows it.

    On a side note - I've heard one possible cause of crystals in the urine is a diet too high in protein. ?? Baxter has been eating California Natural for months now. We tried several other premium foods, but his sister Graysie has a much more sensitive stomach and this is the one that worked best for her. Incidentally, Baxter never vomits or has runny stools. In fact, the vet said he was in great shape and very very healthy, other than the bladder infection. He has mentioned on every visit that Baxter is obviously very well taken care of and how much he loves to see that with people and their dogs. He also said he was too young for arthritis and not overweight.

    I'm so sorry to ramble, I am just very worried about him and want to get others' input. And in anticipation of your questions... yes, I am definitely calling the vet again today, I just wanted to hear others' experiences before I talk to him. And no, no one has abused Baxter. He is very very loved and knows it.

    I would appreciate any and all responses.

    Thanks,

    Diane in Houston
    Mom to Baxter & Graysie
     
  2. ilovemaltipoos

    ilovemaltipoos New Member

    Dianne ,a bladder infection is very painful to a dog and there will be times he is in and out of alot of pain .Also ,even though you have never hurt him on purpose ,when he was in pain and was touched in the area where it hurt ,he thought you caused the pain .I hope I am saying this right and can help ..
    Dogs only feel the pain ,they can't tell us where it hurts or where for us to avoid touching ,if we touch an area that is sore or hurting and it hurts more ,they think we did it ...so give him time to heal and try not to touch any sore areas and as he gets better he will come to realize that you didn't hurt him and will go back t the loving baby he was .Just takes time .
    Just continue to love him and show him that you are not trying to make it worse but better .
    I had a Bichonpoo puppy once that jumped off the table where he was getting trimed and he bruised his ribs ,I rushed him to the vet and no break but he was bruised ,had to be painful for the little guy ,when we tried to pick him up he would yelp and snap at us .He thought we were hurting him on purpose ,so we had to pretty much not pick him up until he healed and was back to his little baby self .Eventually he got over his anger with us ,cause I do believe he thought "we" hurt him ,I think that is the case with Baxter .Just give it time and love him .When petting ,only pet the head and not the body until he is better He will come round .
    Also ,you could talk to your vet about giving him a calming dose of something so he can rest better .Valium maybe if the vet feels it will not hamper the healing process of his bladder ,I assume he is on antibiotics .I know I calmed severeal rescues with valium until they learned I was not hurting them but helping ,also had to use it on Oreo once each time a puppy left .He loves the puppies and does not want to see any go ,he would start shaking and growl if we tried to pick him up after ,vet said valium 45 minutes before people came to get their puppy and it worked ,he was more calm and we could deal with him afterwards much better .On the diet part ,yes I would look into that also ,find a food that agrees with him ,your vet can help in that situation also .I hope this helps .
     
  3. dbuzzw

    dbuzzw New Member

    Baxter

    Thank you so much for your kind words, Shirley. I understand what you are saying about me possibly being the "source" of the pain, in his eyes.

    I know you have a lot of experience - do you think it's the bladder infection that's making him act weird? I thought of bruised ribs, but I would think they would hurt all the time.

    I have tried not to pick him up, but sometimes he just stands there in the grass, waiting. I've even gone back in the house and watched from the window - he doesn't move. It's almost like he's waiting for me to pick him up, I just have to be very careful. I'm almost afraid to get too close to him, because he has sharp teeth for a little guy. And feeling that way makes me sadder than anything.
     
  4. ilovemaltipoos

    ilovemaltipoos New Member

    It is the infection .The pain is constant though at time he will have sharp pains ...which is why he snaps or jumps away .also he stands there cause his body is fighting the pain and the confusion as to what he is experiencing .The antibiotics have to have time to work and in the meantime you have to reassure him in little ways .I would check into the food too and into those treats ,anything red ,like beef chews and other store bought treats have red dye in them and can cause kidney and bladder problems .Give him a special treat .Boil some chicken and give him only the meat ,no bones .And check int osomething to help him to relax more ,he has to be really tense with all the pain so a realaxing med will help ease his tension ,he will be able to rest better to which will hellp in the healing process .
     
  5. MyBabyShihPoo

    MyBabyShihPoo New Member

    dbuzzw~

    ilovemaltipoos has provided you with some excellent advice! :idea:

    Bladder infections can range from mild to severe, and the same is true in regards to the amount of pain they cause. It does sound as though your pup is experiencing some significant pain, and only time and apporpiate medication will heal the infection and eliminate the pain. Some dogs bounce back real quick, while others do take some time to fully recover and return to their normal selves.

    However, I do want to add one suggestion if you feel as though there may be more to the problem besides just the bladder infection. Have you considered seeing another vet, and having him/her examine Baxter? Now please don't think that I am underestimating the expertise of your current vet, as I am sure he is exceptional. Nevertheless, I always recommend second a opinion when one is experiencing such difficulties as yourself, and feel that there may be more than what was diagnosed. That is not to say that you must discontinue seeing your current vet if you seek a consultation from another, actually most people I know who have done this only see another vet for the purpose of a second opinion, and continue using their "regular" vet.

    Although I do suspect it is just the bladder infection, it never hurts to get a second opinion when it comes to health problems.

    Just my opinion!

    I hope things get better with Baxter!!! :D
     
  6. dbuzzw

    dbuzzw New Member

    Baxter

    Shirley- The information about the red dye is very interesting! In fact, when I was trying to remember if he'd had anything bad (like rawhide) in the days before, I thought of the beef sticks that I had given him. He loves those, but they almost certainly have red dye in them. Maybe that is a factor. ?? And although I'm very happy with the California Natural, I'm also wondering about the high protein in it.

    Kristi - Thanks for the advice. I have actually considered getting a second opinion, but I thought I'd give the medicine a little more time to work. Vets are very expensive here and that first visit cost me $280. I'd do anything for Baxter, but I'd hate to spend another $200-$300 to find that nothing else is wrong. I was with him all morning when it started and I know he didn't hurt himself at that time. I'm going to call his vet tomorrow morning, just to get some reassurance that it may take a while for the meds to work. I truly appreciate you taking the time to read and answer my message. I don't post often, but I do read the boards frequently and I think your shih-poos are adorable!

    I would also love to hear from anyone who has gone through the "urinary/bladder infection" problem with their dogs.

    Thanks again,
    Diane

    P.S. Shirley, if I ever get another dog, I'll be calling you! :D
     
  7. ilovemaltipoos

    ilovemaltipoos New Member

    If you have benedryl on hand that can help to calm him also .Also if you have valium ,5 mg he can take once a day for 10 days .
    Thank you and if you need anything else ,let me know and please let me know how he does .I hope and pray he is better soon ...Rememebr warm chicken and warm turkey without the bones has a calming effect also .NO more beef sticks ...use natural treats ...chicken ,peanut butter creamy kind ) dab of honey in the middle ,roll in bread and you can even toast the bread for crunchy treats ...better than those things you get at the pet store any day of the week !
    God Bless


    On the PS ....You may not have one of mine now ,but you are a member of our family .A Maltipoo is very special to me and that makes you part of us .Welcome and God Bless !
     
  8. ilovemaltipoos

    ilovemaltipoos New Member

    There is another thing about very high protein dog foods ..
    I was talking to Amy ,one of my vets the other day and she was telling me she has a dog now that she is treating for a liver shunt .Now ,Amy says that there are several type liver shunts ,some can happen in puppies that are inhereited but she says you would know by 10 to 12 weeks old on those ,she says high protein can cause liver shunts in adult dogs and puppies ...May be that food does have something to do with him being sick .When I see Amy again ,I will ask some questions about bladder and kidney and food ,but I do know that high protein foods can cause problems with the kidneys and bladder ,just as the food coloring can but high protein can also be a major factor in liver problems too ...Thought you might like to know this .Not saying it is that ,more than apt just the bladder now ,but I would switch that food anyway .
     
  9. dbuzzw

    dbuzzw New Member

    update on Baxter

    Well, here's the latest on my boy. He still doesn't seem much better. Last night, I gave him just a little bit of pain medication that I had left over from Graysie's spaying in July (same meds that Baxter had been prescribed). I was hoping that would help him relax. So far today (it's now 9:30), he peed once this morning and that's it. I also had to carry him out to the grass to do it. He doesn't want to maneuver the steps that are only about 6 inches high. I called the vet and they said he should be feeling better by now. That was not the news I wanted to hear. So we are now going back to the vet at 11 to have them check him out again. I think they're also going to take another urine sample - they think his antibiotics may not be strong enough. Strange thing is, I believe his vet said the other day that it was a mild infection. He just had his checkup less than 2 months ago and he seemed fine then (although they didn't do a urinalysis). Dr. K is not in today, so Baxter will be seeing another vet on staff. Maybe that'll be good for a 2nd opinion. I wish I knew what was causing this - makes me wonder if the "premium" food isn't quite the great thing that I thought it was.

    Thanks for your concern. I'll keep you updated. Please say a little prayer for Baxter - he is the sweetest boy and it's breaking my heart to see him so lethargic.

    Diane
     
  10. MonsterBailey

    MonsterBailey New Member

    Diane,
    I haven't had to deal with this type of thing (knock on wood), but I've been watching this thread since you posted it..... worried for your baby and you, of course. I think the other vet will be a perfect fit for the "second opinion"...... Keep us posted!!! (((((((hugs))))))
     
  11. ilovemaltipoos

    ilovemaltipoos New Member

    I am praying .He should have showed some type improvement by now .He should have been on a strong antibiotic in the first place .VETS!!
    Good second opinion ,lets us know .
     
  12. MyBabyShihPoo

    MyBabyShihPoo New Member

    Your little Baxter is definitely in my thoughts and prayers!!! :(

    Keep us updated! :idea:
     
  13. ilovemaltipoos

    ilovemaltipoos New Member

    Dianne ,please let us know how he is .I have thought of him on and off all day .Hope all is okay ...not a liver shunt ,I hope .The lethargic part and him not wanting ot move any now worries me more and more ...so let me know ..Okay ?
     
  14. dbuzzw

    dbuzzw New Member

    Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers! My internet access has been down most of the day until now. I have good news (I think)....

    We went back to the vet earlier today and Baxter gave a urine sample on the floor in the front office. :) Actually, that was good because I wasn't sure how they were gonna get one in such a short amount of time. The vet on duty said that his urine was full of stuvite (?) crystals and bacteria. The results were basically the same as the other day. It's definitely a urinary/bladder infection. We got a new "super" antibiotic that he is now to take once a day, because apparently the other one wasn't strong enough. She also gave us new food (Science Diet s/d) that is very low in protein and calcium, and high in fat. The combination of the pill and the food should flush it all out. She seemed to think that Baxter probably just has a metabolism that produces these crystals. He's going to be on this food (gradually introduced over 4-5 days) and the pill for the next 2 weeks, then he'll be tested again. I believe he will also have to be on a special diet after that time. Who knew too much protein could be a bad thing? I sure didn't. The tough part is going to be keeping Baxter & Graysie's food separate and having them eat actual "meals" instead of just grazing whenever they were hungry. Also - no treats. None at all! Even the little tiny yogurt treats we use for "good potty" are out. Poor Graysie, she has just now finally gotten to the point where I believe she is totally potty-trained. I hope she doesn't regress without the immediate gratification of a treat. (I snuck her one earlier when we came inside. :))

    Anyway... tonight, Baxter seems to be doing a little better already. Then again, we've had bouts of "feeling good" over the last few days - they just didn't last. But I am much more confident now that we have identified the problem and he's on his way to recovery. Poor thing, I think he has probably had this for over a month. He actually bit our housekeeper's finger a month ago when she suddenly picked him up! I felt terrible, but she was very understanding. I thought she had startled him, but now I know it was painful for him. Thankfully, it didn't happen when she was here again last week. I guess the silver lining with all this is that I now know we weren't suddenly having a behavioral problem with him, he was just very tough and living with his pain until it became unbearable.

    Again, I apologize for rambling and using up so much bandwidth with this saga, but I sure hope this can help anyone else who has to deal with this. I had no idea a urinary/bladder infection could be so debilitating and hard to beat. I'll keep you all updated on his progress - I'm feeling pretty positive right now. You are all so incredibly thoughtful to take an interest!

    God Bless You,

    Diane in Houston

    P.S. Shirley, I believe the blood tests on Monday ruled out any liver problems. (At least I hope so).
     
  15. ilovemaltipoos

    ilovemaltipoos New Member

    :eek: I am so happy to hear that !!!!!!!!
    I was worried !!
    Keep us informed and hopefully that little guy will be all love and smiles really soon ...
    I am sorry ,maybe I missed about the blood tests in your earlier post ,but I was beginning to wonder about the liver too .
    I have used that type science diet before when Zena ,a scotty has a kidney infection ,she seem to get better faster too after the food change also ....Lots of thoughts (all good ) and prayers headed your way !!!
     

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