Little Bear has his first health problem

Except for one growth on a paw that went away on its own, LB has never apparently had a moment of ill health in his life. He’s pushing nine years old, though, and I think we’ve found one. On the mid-day walky, he had some blood in his pee.

That was … alarming.

Now, I’ve been a bit concerned for him lately because he has been peeing strangely for him. He’ll have one enormous squirt at the beginning of a walky and then seems to labor to squeeze out a few drops, several times along the way. “Urinary infection” came to mind, and I always put it out of my mind for lack of anything I can do about it, but now I’m seeing blood.

So I went to the internet. Most popular suggestion: Urinary infection. Not normally life-threatening, but I need to read up and get more serious about what I can do about it.

Second suggestion: Kidney stones. And you know I never really thought about that. I give him tap water because I don’t like hauling around all the water bottles I’d need to give him filtered water. But drinking the tap water damn near put me in the hospital a few years back, because it’s super hard. Blood in the urine was the least of my problems. Since then I’ve hauled around bottles of filtered water, and I’ve been fine. Now I’m thinking I should be doing the same for LB. I’ll have to move some things around to store that much water every week, but I’ll be in the process of shifting things around soon anyway when the addition’s done.

What’s the usual treatment for a urinary infection in a dog? Anybody know?

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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15 Responses to Little Bear has his first health problem

  1. feralfae says:

    Joel, cranberry extract for any mammalian UTI. Lots of water (filtered) with a little beer would be nice.
    For stones, apple cider vinegar. You can mix that with beer or water. Be sure to dilute it.
    I am not sure you can use both protocols at the same time. You would need to research that, but I hope these bits give you a direction to begin to find treatments you approve.
    I hope LB is much better very soon.

  2. Kentucky says:

    A vet would probably prescribe an antibiotic for urinary infection.

    I dunno about stones.

    Good luck with the big guy.

  3. Claire says:

    I second getting a proper antibiotic for LB. You might be able to get something from the feed store rather than having to go to the vet. I know both the logistics and the money can be difficult for you, but I’d do it sooner, rather than later.

    After that cranberry juice, filtered water, etc. will be great helping him get over it and helping prevent it for the future. But if he’s got an infection so advanced there blood in his urine, I’d go straight for the hardcore cure.

    Stones, I don’t know. Please keep us posted, though. And good luck to you and LB.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Bragg’s apple cider vinegar is great for dissolving stones. 1_2tablespoon a day diluted in h2o if you can get it in him. Is he whining at all? Several remedies that might help. Lmk if you want to go in that direction. You have my email. Hope he is well soon.

  5. Joel says:

    That’s what’s perplexing me: he shows no discomfort at all. I’ve had both conditions and neither left me cheerful and full of fun, which he is.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Is he showing any sensitivity to being touched anywhere or does he have swollen gums, tongue, etc?

  7. Claire says:

    “he shows no discomfort at all. I’ve had both conditions and neither left me cheerful and full of fun, which he is.”

    I hope that’s because there’s nothing serious wrong with him. But it also may just be because he’s a dog. They’re programmed not to show the world when something’s ailing them. Robbie had an abscessed tooth and must have had it for months before I finally thought, “Gee, I wonder why he’s drooling like that.” Otherwise, he was his happy old self. My heartdog Jasmine caught a parasite that’s 100% fatal if untreated and I took her to the vet only because she seemed a tad sluggish (this on the fifth day, which is commonly the day of death).

  8. Badseed says:

    Joel, I had a dog that developed a stone about the size of a green pea, it moved from his bladder into his urethra and blocked his ability to urinate. I have a country vet here in TX and according to the vet these things develop from their food. I have always fed dry kibble and had never had a problem prior to this particular dog. I do have a cat (semi feral) that had the same problem, vet was able to extract the blockage from the exterior. The dog was not so lucky, he required surgery to remove it and peed from 2 locations for about 6 weeks. The surgery site had to be left open so it would heal from the inside out, this required a lot of personal attention to the dog and had to keep him in a crate. We have a large pond on our place and it was a favorite thing for him to do, go jump in it and chase ducks across it. Not for 6 weeks he didn’t, we escorted him on a leash to potty. If your dog has a similar issue and it moves into or has moved into the urinary canal and it is not relieved it can be fatal. Sorry to throw shade on your situation but I’d suggest you try to have the issue professionally diagnosed. Good luck!!!

  9. susan bates says:

    I would second the hard water as a potential issue. My male cat had never had any problem until we moved to western MI with it’s hard water. Noticed he was getting cranky, and just slowing down, took him to the vet, yup, lots of blood in his urine. He needed to have surgery as he had an entire quarry of stones in his kidneys/bladder/ureters. Had the surgery, switched to distilled water and a special cat food and he is going great. Acts like he is 2 instead of almost 16.

    If you can get LB checked out, and it’s just an infection, UTI antibiotics are usually pretty inexpensive. They have been around forever.

    And, yes, a UTI is serious…folks die from them all the time, as it is very easy to go septic from a bladder or kidney infection.

  10. Anonymous says:

    What about a diy reverse osmosis water filter? That would work for both of you and no more lugging.

  11. I was thinking reverse osmosis too but a little Googling says RO systems tend to clog from hard water requiring faster membrane replacement ($$), plus use more water than you get. Then thought what about distillation? You could build this:

    Looks like a 4′ x 4′ model would yield a couple gallons a day. Lord knows you get enough sunshine for one to work.


  12. take him to the vet, pronto.
    if i had $$ i would send it to you but things are terribly tight.the antibiotics are cheap.
    filtered water from now on, only.
    if he needs cranberry, get the capsules. use the long ‘pill giver’, also cheap at the vet’s.
    i have to give benadryl to oskar or he would chew himself raw.
    also had to undo changes to his diet and go back to previous diet.
    has LB had a change in diet or has the formulation of his regular food changes?you always have to read the lab
    you MUST find out if it is stones.

  13. Joel says:

    Jerry, I looked at a solar still a couple of years ago but decided it was less trouble to lug bottles to town. But if LB going on my water diet I might end up giving it another look, thanks.

  14. Sorry to hear that. I’ll ask my daughter, she knows a ton about animals. I’m guessing that the people who already commented are right, and that it’s a UTI that can be addressed with cheap antibiotics.

  15. MJR says:

    The list of things that can cause blood to be in a dog’s urine is very long and runs the gambit from simple to very nasty. One thing I’ve learned from working at the Toronto Zoo is that there are no simple cures for sick animals. Animals, pets included, tend to cover up their health issues very well because to do otherwise turns them from predator to prey which hinders diagnosis. I’ve read the above and one thing I will say is at best these posts are just guessing. In short Joel it’s time to get LB to a vet.

To the stake with the heretic!