My vet has officially classified Coco as a member of the seniors’ club – it’s a label that makes my heart sing. Post-IVDD surgery in 2015, Coco was paralysed in the back legs and her bladder function was also affected. Whilst it took six months to help her to wobbly walk through a cocktail of therapies, Coco’s bladder still leaked, it wasn’t emptying and UTIs were a regular event. Antibiotics were prescribed, along with human probiotics for each episode, and she was becoming immune to the medication.
It’s been 5 years since Coco’s IVDD surgery and her first UTI. I’d like to share what I learnt and practised over the years to enable Coco to be UTI for the first time in six months (December 2020):
1. Get used to the smell of your Dachshund’s urine as UTI has a pungent odour.
2. UTI can be very painful. Coco’s right leg was labouring. The vet physio picked up the pungent odour – there was nothing wrong with her leg – Coco’s bladder was sore from UTI.
3. Acupuncture and a laser pointer helped immensely to improve bladder function.
4. Overtime with the acupuncture, Coco was slowly weaned off being expressed so her bladder memory could resume, along with the verbal cue “Toilet Time Coco”. She can urinate by herself and only requires expressing before bed at night.
5. Add water to meals to help the bladder expel more liquid.
6. Add half a capsule of Go Healthy Cranberry 60,000 (this dosage/quality is equivalent to the top-quality US cranberry powder)
7. Half a 10mg tablet of Urocarb three times a day to help stimulate the bladder muscles to expel urine (it’s a human medication prescribed by a vet only). 8. ¼ tablet of Hiprex, am and pm. It’s a human antibacterial medication that helps prevent bacteria from sticking to the bladder wall. It does this by helping to acidify the urine and create a low urinary pH, minimising the risk of UTIs.
9. Two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (am and pm in meals).
10. Your vet will advise the frequency of urine samples and the type – i.e. Urine samples done at home in a sterilised vet-supplied container and dropping off to the vet for analysis and a vet visit to withdraw a sample from the bladder using a syringe and sending off to a lab for analysis).
11. Partner with your vet and other practitioners to work together on managing or resolving UTI infections.
Whilst this regime may sound onerous, Webster’s 7-day pill pack is my best friend to set up Coco’s pills every Sunday night – I’ve got into a great routine. I am extremely grateful to Coco’s vet, acupuncturist and physiotherapist for helping Coco and I on the UTI journey.
Why is my heart singing? Coco is on her way to celebrating her 11th birthday in May 2021 along with her twin sister Chanel – who, by the way, has had three IVDD surgeries and not one issue with her bladder or ability to walk! My girls have not let IVDD defeat them or me! Note: I am not a qualified practitioner, just a totally committed owner of two dachshunds with IVDD. Please consult your vet for advice on your dog’s UTI before commencing any therapies.
ARTICLE BY ANASTASIA KALLIS