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Great Dane puppy has hooded vulva and a CONSTANT uti.... any experiences or guidance on this?

1312 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  BKaymuttleycrew
I am soo upset right now, we are on a 21 day course of an antibiotic and maybe at day 15 and my poor girl while she seems BETTER, as in she seems comfortable at least (ie not squatting to pee so much that only drops come out) she is still going very often and having accidents here and there so it is not gone even though its better. we tested it a few days ago while on the antibiotic - bacteria still present. she is 8 months now and this has been going on for a couple months now I think. she's over 90 lbs now.
I am so upset and anxious about it not going away. This is the 4th round of antibiotics I believe. At this point we have done countless UA's, all w. bacteria... we have had it cultured twice (E. coli - so it's not an "antibiotic" resistant bacteria. Then we had a "sterile" sample cultured (where they draw the urine out with a needle directly from the bladder)... still just e coli.
We did a full blood/chem panel with an additional malabsorption panel (bc additionally it seems the constant antibiotics have given her serious poop issues/colitis) which all was good - except her eosinophils were "mildly" elevated - which my vet was not very concerned about all things considered I guess.
She has a hooded vulva (which I have been now relentlessly wiping and trying to keep dry much to her dismay... lol). I've seen much worse looking hooded vulvas in my research...which is not my favorite new hobby. However in trying to keep it clean I have noticed some skin squished under the fold that tends to get red & irritated at times despite me wiping her w wet wipes and pat drying w a clean towel. My vet says this is the likely cause of this but is not sold on it entirely as she mentioned there could be other reasons why e coli is making its way into her bladder.
Soo we are going to wait until she goes through a heat to see if that resolves it before doing the surgery - which I think the irritated squished part would DEFINITELY benefit from a heat cycle. she's still 8 months though so it could be a while before this happens...is it even a good idea to KEEP her on antibiotics that long?? I of course will to keep her comfortable but this is worrisome for me not to mention extremely expensive.
She has also been put on a veterinary diet to quell the diarrhea, which is costing $200 a month at 99$ per bag. The most irritating part of this is that IT HAS THE WORST ingredients of any dog food ive ever fed (purina pro plan gastroenteric fiber balance) I cringe feeding it to her but it is WORKING so god bless. Not going to mess with that right now I just cant believe they charge that much for it.
Anyway this is a desperate rant now so I will stop... but I really would love to hear any thoughts if anyone has had experience w the hooded vulvas or recurrent UTIs!!

Luckily she is still the happiest dog on the planet and STILL loves the vet somehow lol..
miss maple bacon, for reference
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thank you! when this round is up I will ask about supplements, a friend also suggested ester c. cant hurt I would think... hopefully. but I'll definitely ask first since this round is coming to an end im sure we will need more and get to have that convo soon ):

Since you mentioned a 2nd opinion I probably should have asked more questions about what else she thinks could be the cause of it cause that has been in the back of my mind now and is making me pretty anxious. She tends to say things real quickly or things that are over my head and then doesn't fully explain them and I am too scatterbrained to stop her until it sinks in later and im like wait... what did you even mean by that lol. That being said she is very kind and I dont doubt she's doing a good job and I do trust her opinions. I used to see another vet at the practice w my last dane who unfortunately passed away in July of last year and I LOVE him so much. He was amazing for her 11 years and came to my home very early to put her to sleep when she took a bad turn and I couldn't get her into the car. I was really hoping to continue w him. Our first appointments were w him w the new puppy but due to having to squeeze her in for emergency visits/covid etc we kind of got forced onto this vet, which was fine bc I used to see her here and there w my last dog but now they keep scheduling us with her and now I feel super awkward about asking to see him which is too bad because I would be more comfortable w. him going forward since it is getting to be a more complicated issue and honestly even if he would handle it the same way it would be better for my personal anxiety levels lol.

thank you for your thoughts though!! I appreciate it

Poor girl. I'd consider asking whether bladder support supplements - things like cranberry extract for dogs - are appropriate to help her get through until she has a heat and/or surgery down the line. These are definitely NOT a replacement for medical treatment when it comes to an active UTI, but may help prevent them from reoccurring. It's one of those things where the scientific evidence is shaky, but it can't hurt and so may be worth it just in case it does help her.

I feel you on the medicated diets being expensive. We've had to use them once or twice for digestive episodes with our older dog. But if they're keeping your dog healthy and reducing/eliminating the symptoms they're meant to target, it's absolutely the right call. While they may have 'substandard' ingredients, they are formulated to be extremely effective at what they do, and if your dog isn't able to handle the dog foods with 'good' ingredients, then that isn't a good food for her right now. It sounds like once you get her past this rough period where she's having bad UTIs you'll likely be able to transition her to a more affordable diet, but it's important to do whatever supports her best right now.

And I'll defer to your vet on long-term antibiotic use. It's of course not ideal, but neither is letting an infection go and have it potentially spread to the kidneys (absolutely a possibility with a UTI). You can (and should) get a second opinion with another vet or request a referral to a specialist if you feel like your current vet isn't handling things well or taking your concerns seriously, but my understanding is that UTIs can be very tricky to get a handle on, so it's very possible that there's not much more anyone can do for her than what you're doing now.

Good luck, and keep us updated!
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