Dog is asymptomatic

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Dog is asymptomatic

This is a discussion on Dog is asymptomatic within the Dog Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Twice now my 2 year old mastador has had significant things wrong with her and she’s been completely asymptomatic. I had zero clue. I took ...

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Old 05-09-2018, 09:39 PM
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Dog is asymptomatic

Twice now my 2 year old mastador has had significant things wrong with her and she’s been completely asymptomatic. I had zero clue. I took her in once for a follow up blood draw and she had a 104.5 degree fever and they had to keep her and hook her up to IV antibiotics and fluids.

For her annual this year, I randomly took in a urine sample. She’s had no symptoms but I wanted blood and urine checked just as a precaution. Her urine had blood, bacteria, and “wall to wall crystals”. Basically she has a raging UTI. Zero symptoms of a UTI.

Both times she’s been her goofy and playful self. Running around, chewing stuff up, being a pain. I don’t know how to keep her healthy if she doesn’t show signs that something is wrong.
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Old 05-09-2018, 11:47 PM
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In regards to the urine; did you bring the sample in or did they collect it? How was the sample collected? Was the sample run in house or sent out to the lab? What type of crystals did they see? What was the rest of the urine results, pH, specific gravity, etc.?

Dogs in general tend to be rather stoic and will naturally try to hide any symptoms of illness or weakness. If you have a dog who is exceptionally good at hiding symptoms, I've found recommending a more rigid daily or weekly routine helps to make those symptoms become more apparent when they occur and get the both of you more in tune with eachother.
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Old 05-10-2018, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by animalcraker View Post
In regards to the urine; did you bring the sample in or did they collect it? How was the sample collected? Was the sample run in house or sent out to the lab? What type of crystals did they see? What was the rest of the urine results, pH, specific gravity, etc.?

Dogs in general tend to be rather stoic and will naturally try to hide any symptoms of illness or weakness. If you have a dog who is exceptionally good at hiding symptoms, I've found recommending a more rigid daily or weekly routine helps to make those symptoms become more apparent when they occur and get the both of you more in tune with eachother.

I brought it in. They’ve only taken urine once and that was to culture urine from my other dog. The pH was high as well but I don’t know about the rest. She completed it in house. It’s silly bc the pup doesn’t hide pain well. She cries out when things hurt but when she has a 104.5 fever or raging UTI then she’s still running laps in the yard and chewing stuff up.
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Old 05-12-2018, 04:12 PM
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Unfortunately urine is a very sensitive substance that begins to degrade rather quickly, it can also change and give false positives with different values based on how it's stored. In particular, urine can begin to form crystals with prolonged storage in the fridge. If you are using a refrigerated sample, it's recommend to allow it to warm back up to room temp before processing, but then you also run the risk of other values becoming altered while you wait for it to warm up. In general urine should be processed within 30 minutes of collection, with ultrasound guided cystocentesis being the preferred method for collection. Our reference lab doesn't even like us send in urine samples for a routine urinalysis because we get better more accurate results in house. Free catch samples will have erroneous bacteria due to the collection method. Personally I given the quapity of the sample I would have them recheck the urine with a fresh cysto sample to confirm the findings. I would also find out what methodology they're using to evaluate the sample since each of those have additional factors to consider.
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Old 05-29-2018, 07:32 PM
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My dogs urine only had minimal improvements on antibiotic. pH went from 9 to 8, no bacteria, crystals still present, and some white and red blood cells present. Vet did xRay and ultrasound and didn’t find any stones or anything remarkable.

My vet sent off the urine to culture. She said if it comes back negative then she needs a diet change. Why? She doesn’t have stones...? I’ve researched the foods and they’re super crappy. Corn as the first ingredient and chicken by-product. Do you all know if there are homemade diets to try? I would much rather make her food if need be.
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Old 05-31-2018, 05:12 PM
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When are you collecting the urine that is being tested? If it is too close to a recent meal, this can affect raise the pH. For this, as well as other reasons, it is best to collect urine first thing in the morning.

A diet change might be necessary because having chronically high pH can lead to recurring infections (UTI/bladder infections) as well as certain types of stones/crystals. The crystals can be very painful.

What type of food is she eating right now? The veterinary diets you're looking at are specially designed to help reduce urine pH, but if you don't like the ingredients, I'm sure there are other options to consider. However, it would be helpful to know what she's eating now as a starting point.

In the meantime, I would increase her water consumption (I mix my dog's food - which is already high in water content - with extra water, which helps her - she is not a big drinker), and talk to your vet about Vitamin C supplementation (usually in the form of cranberry supplements), which can help and may be enough to bring her pH to normal.
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Old 05-31-2018, 06:20 PM
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Thanks for your input.

The urine was taken through the bladder first thing in the morning. It was a culture tho and she didn’t mention pH or crystals - just that the culture didn’t grow anything so there’s likely not any bacteria.

I just have problems putting a 2 year old dog on prescription food. I feel like all options need to be exhausted before we take that step. She doesn’t have stones - only crystals and a pH of 8 (as of a week ago).

I’m thinking about finishing the last 3 days of her antibiotic, really pushing the water, and getting her urine rechecked for an accurate baseline. The antibiotic helped some before so I’m hoping it helps a little now.

Should I go see an internal medicine specialist? My vet was supposed to get me information for a nutritionist.
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Old 06-01-2018, 11:50 AM
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Since it's only crystals and high pH at this point, what I would do (and by the way, my vet at a busy Manhattan practice has told me I am their most "conscientious" client - for whatever that is worth. I think it means they think I'm crazy. I am super overprotective, and my sister is a vet) is try with increasing her water intake, and putting her on a cranberry supplement. I'd retest her urine in 2-4 weeks, and see where she is at.

This is what I suggested in my first reply, but your response was just to the rx dog food part of my comment, so I want to make sure you saw it. You don't have to take the advice, but you asked for advice, so that's why I provided it.

The antibiotic will only help if there is bacteria (and if it is a bacteria that responds to the particular antibiotic you're giving her).

The crystals are there because of the high pH. The reason for the high pH is unknown (unless the culture comes back positive). It's good that there are no stones, but that doesn't mean that stones won't develop if the high pH is not corrected.

I am still wondering what type of food you feed her right now, because if the water + cranberry/vit C supplement doesn't work, you may be able to change foods to a non-rx diet that will help her. I could make suggestions, but I need to know what she is eating right now.

Personally, I would see an internal medicine specialist if small changes don't help, because I would want to identify the underlying cause. However, I wouldn't rush out to see one at this point. And, keep in mind that an internal medicine specialist may still push the rx food.

A nutritionist will be able to give you more ideas (and recipes if you're interested in home made) on how to lower the pH of her urine, but they likely won't be able to help you identify the underlying cause.
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Old 06-01-2018, 11:53 AM
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Also, has your vet told you what kind of crystals they are?
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Old 06-01-2018, 03:45 PM
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I’m pretty sure my vet thinks I’m crazy, too - so we’re in the same boat there. And I did start upping her water intake. She eats dry kibble but I’ve been dumping around a cup of water in her food. It looks like kibble cereal but she eats all the food and water. I also added a little chicken broth to her water bowl to entice her to drink more.

She eats Canidae All Life Stages. She gets very little people food but she does get some during the week. Mainly just small pieces of meat or fruits and vegetables. Sometimes peanut butter.

She didn’t confirm the type of crystals but I assume they’re struvite given that they can be modified with a diet.

We have an appointment in 3 weeks with a holistic vet that focuses on homemade diets and nutrition. But I’m open to suggestions. My vet said that the prescription food is a fine food but I’m not buying it. When my dog went off Canidae last summer her coat got super brittle and she started shedding like crazy. What you feed them absolutely matters and I don’t want her to have side effects from the food.

Thanks for your help!
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