Sarah and Emma enjoy getting in the shower stall and licking water from the floor; Emma especially likes suds and soap (and after last night, she needs some soap in that mouth). Today, though, Sarah got in the shower with me, while the shower was still running. This sudden appearance of a dog in my shower sent up big red flags in my mind.
What sent up even more red flags was the trails of urine I saw all around the house once I got out of the shower! Sarah, who I’d shooed out of the shower before she got drenched, was hiding under the bed, obviously afraid she’d done something wrong. But this wasn’t just another hard-headed dog’s pissquiggles, though.
This won’t make sense without a little background. In mid-December 2001, we learned that Sarah had been urinating in the corner of our large living room area rug; we didn’t even realize she’d been doing it until a friend noticed the carpet was damp by our Christmas tree. Talk about mortifying…Happy holidays, everyone!
This dog isn’t one to have accidents like that, and we were frustrated by it. We noticed in the following week or so that she appeared to have some discomfort and irritation, too. We took her to our vet, who said she might be forming bladder stones and suggested we start out by feeding her a special diet. So, armed with few cans of Hill’s Prescription Diet, we hoped for the best.
By Christmas Day, though, she was in obvious discomfort. She stuck to us like Velcro that day, doing things like sitting wedged between my legs and the kitchen cabinet when I did dishes and prepared dinner.
She also hunched and strained, inside and outside. You could tell she was hurting when she did pee. Then, she was not able to pass any urine at all.
This is about the time she appeared in the shower with my husband. The poor thing was so scared and sick, she was willing to brave the water in order to be near him. Talk about something to rip your heart out!
We called the vet and he told us it was vital to get her to the emergency vet clinic in Columbus if she was not able to urinate, because she’d otherwise end up poisoned by the toxins in her own urine. So, I put our partially-cooked Christmas dinner in the fridge, called my folks to cancel, and headed into the city with Howie and Sarah.
To make an already way too long story short, she spent an extremely expensive night at the emergency clinic, where they catheterized her and flushed out the main stone that was blocking her urethra. They stabilized her so we could take her to our own vet for surgery the next day. We picked her up early the next morning and took her to our vet for emergency surgery to remove the stones. Some six or so hundred dollars later, she came home to recuperate.
With the exception of a day or two here and there, she’s been on Hills Prescription Diet ever since, and must remain so to keep the struvite crystals from forming again.
The problem is, we ran out of her food last week and just let her have some of Emma’s Innova dog food in the interim. That wouldn’t have been so bad, but we off picking up a new bag until today.
So, now Sarah’s been off her regimen for a week. Is that enough time for stones to form, so quickly? I really hope getting her back on her special diet will clear up any problem she may have. We feel terrible for letting her go so long without her food. We feel like such bad dog parents. 🙁