Are These Trips To The Vet Normal?

by Nanc
(Federal Way, WA)

My Aussie is 5 months. She has had a problem with frequently urinating, yelping occasionally and running off. Squatting and walking while peeing in the yard every 20 ft or so. We took her to the vet and they said she had 2 infections. 1 was a staphylococcus treatable with antibiotics and the other was ecoli in the urine. The vet said this test has to be taken by needle from her bladder and sent out to grow it. $200 per test.

She said the ecoli in the urine is resistant to the antibiotic that she gave to treat the staph infection usually but the type of meds they normally use for the ecoli is used on adult dogs and can cause issues in pups with their joints. She wanted to treat her for 2 weeks and then test again, which we did today. Another $200. She said the medication my pup would need is very expensive but we'll wait and see if she still has it. (If its usually resistant to the first antibiotic, I'm not sure why we are even trying it). She said the ecoli can be caused from bacteria from stool getting on her urethra. She is do for spaying in a week. $379 plus the vet wants to do explore and look at her bladder, kidney and the tube running to her bladder to rule out anything that didn't develop correctly in case that was what was making her piddle at times during excitement or upset. Total bill for spaying and taking a look at her bladder, etc $696.00.

My question is, does this sound normal at all? Or am I getting taken advantage of financially? This is a new vet as my old vet didn't even detect an infection. Ugh! Tired of the money continuously flowing out! Has anyone had this issue? I don't know what to do at this point. I just want my dog and us to all be happy and healthy. Is there a light at the end of this tunnel?


Peed Off!

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urinary tract infection
by: Anonymous

E. coli, Staphylococcus, and Proteus spp. account for more than half of all cases of bacterial infections of the lower urinary tract, so that's not unusual. I am just another dog owner, but I personally would want to give antibiotics a chance to clear up the infection. I would not consider any sort of surgery at this time. I think it is unwise to consider spaying a dog who currently has a medical problem. Also, she is quite young for spaying. Many researchers now recommend waiting until the female is 12 to 14 months old or even older.

by: gayle--big run aussies

First of all, at 5 months your pup is too young to be spayed. I suggest that you do some research on early spay/ neuter. You may end up with a lot more UTI problems with an early spay and worse. AND if she has infections, WHY would any vet do surgery on her? She is sick.
I had my retired girl spayed at age 10. My vet apologized for the cost of a dental, tooth extraction and spay with exploratory surgery-- because she is older-- at $500. I live in the Chicago area. Everything here is expensive. The almost $700 sounds a lot to me. However, some lab tests are really expensive. My vet usually apologizes for those, too, and there is nothing he can do about it. If I were you, I would get another opinion. If you are in training class, ask to see where others take their dogs. It's always hard when our "fur babies" are sick. They can't tell us what is wrong.

pee problem
by: marsha bosshold

Has your vet checked for bladder stones. Our aussie had the same symptoms and she had bladder stones which required surgery. She was fine after that. No further medications needed.

Just a thought. Of course there is always the second opinion. I would be concerned that your first vet did not find an infection.

Walking and peeing
by: Anonymous

Sorry you are going through so much with your puppy. We also have had bladder or kidney issues with our now one year old Aussie. She has been on antibiotics 3 times and I think she needs them again. She also walks when she pees and when it all started at 4 months she would look up at me like this husband did not believe me until the vet said bladder infection. Just the inhouse test at our vet is $60 and that doesn't tell you what kind of is $160 to be sent away and grow. After each round of antibiotics she would be ok for a month or two and then it all started again with the leaking (horrible smell - like strong garlic) and walking as she peed. Our vet said if we can get her to 1 year and it comes back there is a strong antibiotic that they will give her. She just started leaking 2 days ago so think we will be heading to the vet soon. sorry that doesn't help you in the here and now. If you wouldn't mind posting the results of her tests I would love to have some idea what may be wrong with our Charlie because it sounds very similar.

In response to everyone who has written so far
by: Anonymous

To the first respondent, I have researched the spaying and they say it can save on health issues if the spay is done prior to the first heat which is usually at 6 months. I haven’t seen anything to the contrary. If you have, please post a link and I will be happy to read about it.

To the second respondent, I have read that this is just the right time to spay in order to prevent certain cancers, etc. I have read that some do it as early as 8 weeks which I believe to be way too early and cause urinary incontinence problems. Etc.. I am suppose to hear back from the vet today to see what grew and how we will treat her ecoli infection at this point. If its still present, which I would imagine it is, I will put off the spay until this is cleared up.
I just can’t believe the cost this early on. Its been pretty overwhelming.

To the last person, I really appreciate all your comments. Our situations do sound very similar. What infection did your dog have? After the treatment for the staph infection her leaking has become much better but not completely gone. I haven’t noticed any foul smell at all. I would imagine the ecoli issue is still present and causing issues. And yes, the high cost is sending her urine test out of state to grow it and then get an answer each time. Who knew an infection could be so darn expensive? I’m waiting to hear from the vet today and I will post what they tell me next back on here so you or anyone else who is interested can stay informed in this situation.

Thank you for everyone's responses, I really appreciate everyone's input and I will give everyone's comments a lot of consideration. Its great that we have this site to help us in times like this when we need others opinions!

by: gayle--big run aussies

A couple of references to early spay/neuter are Dr Karen Becker on the healthy pets website at
For detailed information you can check Chris Zink is a well know among those who participate in dog sports. Many breeders are highly suggesting their pups are not spayed or neutered until they over a year and have their full growth. Chris Zink's article is well documented. Personally, I lost one of my dogs to hemangiosarcoma. He was neutered at 10 months and I thought that was long enough to wait. There are other articles published by well know veterinary schools. My girls are strong, healthy and extraordinary lives not being spayed until they are over 7. It just falls on you to be a responsible dog owner to not let them out unsupervised when they are in season. And, my girls usually do not have their 1st heat until they are over 18 months. Puppies need to grow.

Vets can be so complicated!!!!
by: Peed Off

I spoke to the vet today. They have not received the urine test result that they sent out for growing as of yet. They expect to know tomorrow or Sunday. They said they did their own testing in their location and feel that Maiya still has ecoli in the urine. They say the staphloccocus is gone now but she has a new infection called interrococcus. The vet said she is not too concerned with this infection as it doesn't really cause symptoms of any kind. She said her urine is very concentrated so that is a good sign that it is not causing problems with the kidneys. She wants to wait until the urine growth results come back before she treats. She said, its important to know for sure what they are dealing with and the growth test can give much more detail. They would typically treat with a drug called Batril but the vet feels that this could cause possible joint problems when she is older if given to a pup this young. She said if they give the other treatment she is thinking of it could cost around $500. So we will have to have a discussion about what is best for the dog. They also have put off spaying her until this is cleared up. I will post again when I have more information. I love my puppers but I can't afford to keep putting out this kind of money continuously and never ending. UGH!!!! This needs to come to an end very soon! So frustrated! So sad. I just want my aussie healthy and happy!

Finally Healed
by: Anonymous

Just to sum this up, we changed vets. Our Auss was given Batril (sp?) It cleared up the ecoli infection and she is doing much better. I wish I could report that the piddling has stopped but it hasn't. It has lessened as far as frequency and amount though but when she does get excited or upset she goes right there no matter where the location. We are still hoping she outgrows it but we aren't holding our breath! lol

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