Pet of the Week: Bing


Bing is an 11-year-old Standard Poodle, and like all poodles, she is a total sweetheart.

Last week, Bing’s owner noticed a small spot of brown urine that had leaked onto Bing’s bed.  Other than that, she seemed to be perfectly healthy.  Wanting to stay on top of any health problems Bing might have, her owner brought her in right away for an exam.  We performed a urinalysis on Bing, which revealed an enormous population of bacteria.  Bing had a bad urinary tract infection (UTI), and her only symptom was a little bit of dark urine!  (The urine was dark because it contained some blood, which can happen when the bladder is irritated by an infection.)  We prescribed some Amoxicillin (an antibiotic) for Bing, and sent some urine to a lab to have it cultured to make sure that particular antibiotic would kill the bacteria.  The lab results came back a few days later, and revealed that the type of bacteria in Bing’s urine would be killed by most of our common antibiotics, including Amoxicillin.  Bing is already doing better, with no more leaking!

More about UTIs:

Symptoms of UTIs can include frequent urination, accidents in the house or outside of the litterbox, dribbling urine, bloody urine, increased drinking with large volumes of urine, and licking the genitals.  If your pet exhibits any of these signs, he or she should be examined.

Performing a urinalysis involves measuring the specific gravity (how concentrated the urine is), testing it for sugar, protein, and other chemical properties, and looking at a drop of urine under a microscope.  Each of these parts of the urinalysis gives us different information that can be used to diagnose various conditions and diseases.  For instance, diabetic animals have sugar in their urine, we will often see white blood cells and bacteria under the microscope in animals with UTIs, and animals with kidney failure have dilute urine.

A urine culture test includes sending some urine to an outside lab where they see if any bacteria grows from the urine, determine what kind of bacteria it is, then test it to see which antibiotics are the best to use for that particular infection.  This process takes several days, but we don’t want to delay treatment, so we will often start an animal on antibiotics while we wait for the results, knowing that we may have to switch to a different kind when we get the results.

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