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What’s Wrong with the Elderpin?

What’s the matter with Scooby? 

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Answer: a lot of things.

If you follow Wayward Dogs on Facebook, you may have noticed my request on Friday to keep my little, old miniature pinscher in your thoughts.

Around midweek, Scooby the elderpin stopped eating. When it comes to the guy whose high food drive has caused him to be described as a “walking alimentary tract,” a sudden disinterest in eating is always alarming. This time, the trouble was also accompanied by lethargy and puking.

After 24 hours of these symptoms, we hustled Scooby to our trusted neighborhood vet.

Here’s the diagnosis:

The Bad News

Scooby is currently suffering from what the vet described as a “raging” urinary tract infection. An x-ray taken to rule out the possibility of kidney stones also revealed a mass in his gall bladder and some significant deterioration of his vertebrae. He also suffers from chronic infection related to his gross teeth.

The Good News

According to his blood scan, Scooby’s red and white blood cell counts are appropriate for his age. His only elevated enzyme levels seem related to the urinary tract infection, which  is the most immediate concern – and likely what made him lose his appetite.

The vet concluded that the mass is actually a bunch of gall stones that have accumulated over time and do not warrant surgery.

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The Outloook

Following 10 days of anti-biotics, a urinalysis will tell if Scooby has recovered from his UTI.

From there, we’ll determine the right medication regimen and lifestyle changes that will help reduce his propensity for infection of his urinary tract (this is not his first UTI) and mouth, and manage pain related to his bad back.

In the meantime, Scooby is enjoying much rest, pampering and unlimited amounts of any food he wants to eat.

No lie – before the bloodwork came back, it seemed as if the demise of my littlest best friend was imminent. Although I have been bracing for news like this from the moment I accepted his gray face into my life more than six years ago, I didn’t feel ready when the vet said she had found a “mass.” 

I’m glad the current diagnosis is more optimistic, but I know my little guy isn’t out of the woods yet. And as an elderpin of indeterminate antiquity, he’s kind of on borrowed time as it is. But I’m grateful for every snuggle we have left.

Thanks to the Facebook followers who shared well wishes. Your support means a lot!

Have your dogs ever dealt with any of the ailments from which Scooby currently suffers? Share your experiences and suggestions in the comments.

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About crystalwayward

I live with two formerly wayward dogs. I care deeply about the environment, and I think gardening is a revolutionary act.

Posted on January 5, 2013, in Dogs, Dogtography, Family, Random Life and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. I’ve been wondering how Scooby is doing. I’m glad he’s got some meds and will start to feel better soon, UTIs are the worst! Give him some get well smooches from us!

    We’ve been dealing w/ UTIs and Boomer off and on for about 2 years now, I can always tell when something is wrong b/c he starts w/ the licking. Usually we run a ua and then get meds and it’s OK. But, now he’s having thyroid issues which are just as “fun”.

    Dottie has spondylosis where several of her vertebrae are fusing together and she also has arthritis so she goes in every two weeks for a therapeutic laser treatment.

    It’s always hard when our pups get older and have some ailments!

    • Boomer and Dottie are lucky to have you for a mom. I had a feeling this time that Scooby’s trouble was from a UTI, but that x-ray threw us all for a loop. I’m actually glad to know about the spinal issues so that I can make him extra comfy all the time. Do you have a special bed for Dottie?

      • Scooby is lucky to have you to take care of him!

        We have three beds in our house, Dottie is the only one that will sleep on them, Boomer refuses. Two of them are memory foam and the other is just a big pillowy thing. She likes the memory foam ones better but spends most of her time on one of our couches. They are both quite spoiled!

  2. Hey Crystal,
    Pug is constantly battling UTI’s. He also has some spinal issues which has caused him to loose feeling in his back legs and he’s pretty much incontinent. I can tell when he’s getting a UTI because he urinates blood 😦 He is also food driven, I mean he’s a pug so it’s always alarming when he doesnt eat. Sending Scooby healing thoughts from Chicago.

  3. Feel better, little man! Sounds like you’re going to be a-ok 🙂

  4. So sorry and so sad. My daughter is putting her cat down tomorrow……Gizmo was 20 years old last August. Even though you give them a good life, it’s so sad to say goodbye.
    I’m very excited for you and Scooby…..more happy days are coming!

  5. Get well soon, Scooby!

  6. I hope Scooby feels better soon! We are quite experts at UTI’s and all things urinary in my household. Poor Maggie has suffered from incontinence and UTI’s since she was a puppy. Adding cranberry powder to his diet can help prevent the UTI’s and Tinkle Tonic is an excellent all-around urinary tract health herbal supplement – one of the things it’s especially helpful with is male dogs with stones, though I can’t speak to how well it eliminates existing stones so much as how it helps prevent them from forming.

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