Canine Pet of the Month
Jax is a seven-year-old neutered male Toy Poodle. He presented to us in January for several days of not feeling well, poor appetite, some vomiting and mucous diarrhea. His physical exam was unremarkable with a minor heart murmur auscultated and mild dehydration. What was remarkable was how poorly Jax felt. His eyes were dull and he was very depressed.
A full blood screen was run which revealed a low blood protein along with a strange white blood cell count that pointed toward a serious infection. While looking for the cause of the infection a urinalysis was needed. Since he was dehydrated and his bladder was small we decided to use the ultrasound to guide our sampling. While the bladder proved normal, Jax’s prostate gland was very large for a neutered male and was more hypoechoic that what would be considered normal. The urinalysis confirmed infection in the urine. Infection of the bladder does not cause a change in the white cell count nor does it cause pets to feel as bad as Jax did. A rectal exam did indicate an enlarged but non-painful prostate. On further questioning of the owner, Jax had only been neutered 6 months previous. Even so, the prostate gland tends to shrink quickly after neutering and enlargement is not considered normal. A tentative diagnosis of prostatitis was made and Jax was hospitalized and placed on IV fluid and antibiotic therapy.
The next morning Jax felt much better. He was eating well, and he had developed a twinkle in his eye. Continued treatment led to continued improvement through the day as his appetite returned to normal. Jax was discharged that evening and, with continued treatment, returned to normal.
Jax is a strange case in that prostatitis, though not uncommon, is almost exclusively found in non-neutered male dogs. The fact that Jax had been somewhat recently neutered probably factored into the confusing presentation. While prostatitis can be very severe and even life threatening, if caught early it has a good prognosis in dogs. Jax will not have to deal with the second part of preventing prostatitis from recurring - neutering. Because of his quick recovery from a potentially very serious condition, Jax is our canine Pet of the Month.
Feline Pet of the Month
KC is a middle-aged adult female cat that presented for having to urinate very frequently, having accidents and severe amounts of blood in the urine. A radiograph indicated uroliths or bladder stones. The stones were large enough that they were occupying space in the urinary bladder and not leaving room for urine, hence the increased frequency and urge to urinate. Bladder stones tend to cause irritation to the bladder lining as well, as they often have a rough surface. This irritation leads to bloody urine. Some types of bladder stones can be dissolved with food that changes the urine pH and antibiotics that eliminate concurrent infection. These stones were large and dissolution of the stones can take months if effective at all. In addition, there is no way to know stone type without removing the stone, so the stone type may not be one to be dissolved. Surgical removal was recommended for KC to provide relief quickly and have the retrieved stones analyzed so appropriate therapy could be recommended to prevent recurrence. KC did well through surgery and recovered uneventfully. KC felt much better and her urinary signs resolved. Her stone type was struvite after analysis. This stone often forms with diets high in magnesium and diets that produce an alkaline pH. In dogs, this stone is often related to urinary infection but this is typically not the case in cats. KC’s urine was cultured to be sure (it was negative for bacteria). KC was started on a prescription diet with lower magnesium and a neutral urine pH. The diet also produces a dilute urine to prevent crystals from coalescing into stones. Filtered water was also recommended to reduce mineral intake. KC is doing well and she will be monitored every 6 months to be sure there is no evidence of reformation of bladder stones.