Meet Ruby Grace a 3-year old Beagle

Like all Beagles I love sniffing and exploring. But lately I have had to cut my exploring short due to a very irritating but somewhat personal issue.

As soon as we are out on a walk, I can’t go 2 min without needing a bathroom break. It has become very annoying having to want to urinate every few steps. I am not sure if any of you have noticed, but a decent bathroom is pretty hard to find these days.

Mommy has also noticed that I have been needing a break more often than before and decided to take me to the vet for a check-up. Mommy booked an appointment for me with a lady vet.

When we got to the clinic the vet immediately introduced herself and made me feel at ease. She spoke to me softly and told me she knows how uncomfortable it is discussing urinating issues with a stranger. Mommy and I sat and chatted to her for a few minutes before she took me to the back.

Once we were in the hospital the vet ensured I had my privacy. The vet needed to do a cystocentesis which is a procedure to get a urine sample.

The vet asked one of the nurses to help her hold me in lateral recumbency (which is when a dog is lying on their side). Dr then told me I was going to feel a little sting and as soon as I looked at her, I saw her holding a sterile urine sample.

Dr took a small drop and placed it in something that looks like a telescope (a urinary refractometer) to measure the specific gravity of my urine. Specific gravity is a measure of kidney function and hydration status.

Dr then took a few more drops and dripped them on a large strip with small little blocks. As soon as the blocks were wet, they changed colour. Dr then took a canister and held the strip next to the canister and took a few readings. She explained that this was a urinary dipstick that measured the pH of my urine as well as telling Dr if I had any protein or blood in my urine.

Once again Dr took some more drops and filled a small laboratory tube. The tube was placed in a large machine called a centrifuge. I saw Dr taking a second tube and placing it opposite my tube. Dr said this was to balance the machine. I could hear the machine starting up and Dr explained that it was spinning down the urine sample to separated the different components of my urine. Each of the components have a different weight and concentration and spinning the sample at high speed makes the sample separate into the different components.

When the machine was done spinning the Dr took the small laboratory tube and transferred the sediment to a glass slide. Under the microscope Dr would be able to see any bacteria that were present in my urine. Much to my surprise Dr said she saw RODS on my urine slide. RODS are a specific shape of bacteria.

Just when I thought there was nothing more to test, the remainder of the sterile urine was labelled and packed before sending it off to the lab for bacterial culture.

Dr told me it was time to go back to mommy as she took my leash and led the way back to her consult.

As we walked in the vet explained to mommy that I have a bladder infection. Dr dispensed some standard antibiotics and told mommy we would have to wait for the bacterial culture results to come back from the lab to tell if the antibiotic prescribed was correct.

It will take a few days for the lab to do the culture and to then do an antibiogram (test which antibiotics work against the bacteria).

Hopefully pretty soon I will be off to enjoying a long walk with lots of normal sniffing and very few bathroom breaks.

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