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From: Jennifer (
Subject:         Severe UTI in our puppy--Help!
Date: September 18, 2005 at 4:54 pm PST

We are at wits end with our puppy's UTI. It is severe and has been resistant to amoxicillin. The vet will be sending a sterile urinary specimen to the lab next week, to be cultured so an effective antibiotic can be found. But this process will take 1.5 to 2 weeks. (This is because he needs to be off of the amoxi-drops for a week before getting the sample taken, then a few days to culture the urine, etc.)

Here is the background, and then I have a couple questions. He is a 10-week old Brittany pup that we got from a breeder. We have had him 3 weeks yesterday. We got him at 7.5 weeks old. When we went to pick Charlie up, he was in the whelping box furiously drinking down a puddle of piddle he had just left on a piece of newspaper. "That's odd," we thought, but we were too excited to think much about it.

On the way home from the breeder we stopped to give Charlie some water. He ended up drinking an ENTIRE Nalgene bottle of water! He was just desperate for water, we had never seen anything like it. We got him home and he would piddle every 5 minutes. As the initial days ensued, this continued and the ravenous drinking did too, but he very, very quickly caught on to piddling outside in the grass. All we’d have to do is take him to the same spot and he would get down to business. This still continues, which is nice.

We started crate-training him and just taking him out ALL the time to go piddle. We later that week discovered that he was piddling in the crate and quickly drinking it up, so we started putting a towel in with him to soak it up. We were deep into the crate training process, he was starting to get used to the crate, and we didn’t want to stop the process.

But I realized there was a problem, so I took him to the vet. He diagnosed a “very prolific” UTI with 30% white cells, and said the Charlie had had the UTI for a long time. He gave us a 2-week supply of amoxi-drops. A few days after starting treatment, he was drinking and piddling less, and crate training was coming along okay as long as we took him out to piddle a lot round the clock.

After about 7-10 days, we realized that he was again drinking furiously and piddling constantly, as the crate towels were always soaked when we took him out. We bought a bunch of towels and we change them like diapers. We also took him back to the vet who determined that the UTI is still bad and has resisted the amoxicillin. So, back to what I explained about sending the piddle out for culture, etc., and this is where we are at—a bad UTI that is going untreated and will continue untreated for about a week until we know what antibiotic will actually work.

Now my questions:

We have decided to hold off on the crate training for now because we realized that he has learned to piddle in the crate and sit in it. We put him in the bathroom yesterday with just a towel and he piddled on it (and left other puddles all over the bathroom) and sat on it, of all the clean places he could sit in the bathroom, he chose to sit in the piddle. How in the world can we reverse this and eventually housebreak Charlie once his UTI is cleared up?

How did this happen? How does a tiny male puppy get a severe UTI? The vet hasn’t really answered this question. Does the piddle drinking cause a UTI? Or does he drink the piddle because he is so thirsty from the UTI? The vet thinks it’s that he is just thirsty and none of the vets on staff have ever heard of piddle drinking (only feces eating). If drinking the piddle is causing the UTI, then how do we stop him from doing it? The towel in the crate helps with this, but if he is in the bathroom and makes a puddle, he can just go ahead and drink it down. Ack! What is the right thing to do?

How do we prevent another UTI once this one is cleared up?

Is it possible to give him TOO much water? We have been letting him drink as much as he wants, and he will eventually stop, but only after his belly is so unbelievably bloated that he can’t stand up or even sit down. It takes about an hour to work through his system and then he is skinny again and ready for more water. I know with people, it is good to flush out your bladder by drinking as much water as you can.

We just want to do right by our puppy, any help or advice would be so appreciated.


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