Saturday, October 12, 2013


This post is an outgrowth of Annie's recurring urinary tract infections. One of the major problems encountered in the successful treatment of UTIs is the need to obtain a clean urine specimen. How do you do this with a dog that can't hold its urine? The doctor or veterinary technician will extract urine from the bladder with a needle.

On 2 occasions, I heard Annie yell when this was done. To say I was upset is an understatement and for a couple of reasons. I collected urine in a plastic container only to be told it wasn't sterile. The fact that I cleaned and dried the containers thoroughly didn't matter. The wait for a doctor to see Annie coupled with her urgency to urinate meant most of what was in her bladder landed on the waiting and examining room floors. The needle procedure did not yield any urine to analyze. Annie was given a broad-spectrum antibiotic, the infection reoccurred shortly after the course of treatment ended. We had additional medical visits, expenses, wasted time and most importantly, Annie had to take more antibiotics than necessary to cure her.

What to do? I read up on this issue deciding to do what people do for this condition - I purchased sterile urine cups from Amazon. Then I came across a great post by Dr. Olson from Greenbriar Animal Hospital in Fairfax, VA.

I devoured Dr. Olson's article, followed it to the letter, collected and brought Annie's sample to her doctor visit. The technician was not thrilled with the sample and still wanted to do the needle procedure, I was adamant. No needle procedure this time or any other time. The doctor was OK with the sample after we discussed how it was collected and the origin of the container. 

The reasoning behind drawing urine by needle is to get a clean sample - no contamination from fur, dirt, etc. Supposedly the dog (or cat) should have no discomfort but I distinctly heard Annie yell. She was in surgery at the back of the office while I was in the waiting area out front. Now we wait for the results of the sample and whether or not I managed to get a clean workable sample along with a procedure I can continue to use in the future.

One more thought - I can't even begin to figure out how to get a urine sample from Orphée. Let's hope I never have to.

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