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Severe arthritis and leaking urine.

Species: Dog
Breed: boarder collie
Age: 11-15 years
Hi we have a 13 year old dog with long term hip dysplasia. he has cartrophen once a month and is on daily metcam for analgesia and weekly hydrotherapy sessions.

3 weeks ago we noticed an itch rash on his ears and his hair was falling out. He was diagnosed with mites (scabies) ? picked up from the foxes in our area.

He was treated by a spot on treatment (by the vet) "bayer adcocate" (once a month for three months)- he had his first treatment 3 weeks ago. we have also started this week giving him some neem dog chews as we have been told these would be good form him. (he has about 3-4 in total)

His mobility has been getting progressivly worse - but he is a spritly thing (a mind of a 5 year old) he has started to loose some sensations - having little accidents around the house (bowel movements). his mobility in his legs is worse again as we have been unable to take him swimming.

This week however he has also started passing urine without any notice (even when he is lying down)this has started to get worse. He was a bit quite the day before yesturday but eating and drinking and yesturday he was back to normal.

last night he went to sleep on the sofa and passed urine (didnt even get up)he was still asleep in it when we found him. he has been very quiet refused food and a walk - I have managed to get him to drink but only this evening. he appears to have picked up a little but has once again passed urine without any notice. I noticed it is very very yellow and smells strong.

He has also swollowed a rubber band this week - although he has swallowed much worse with no ill effects.

? if this is a side effect of some sorts or heading towards end of life or a complicatin of the rubber band any advice apprechiated.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh, I am so sorry that Jordan is going through all of this. I am quite concerned by the symptoms that you mentioned.

There are a few possible reasons for a dog to leak urine. It's possible that Jordon has some problems in his spine. This could be from the arthritis getting worse and affecting the spine.

It's also possible that he has something called degenerative myelopathy. This condition is very common in German Shepherds but can happen in any breed. What happens is that the nerves to the back legs get affected first and then we see problems with the spine and bladder. Unfortunately there is no cure for this problem.

I am concerned by the fact that his urine is very yellow. This can be an early sign of jaundice. It's possible that he has a serious problem with his liver such as a cancer in the liver.

I don't think this is connected to the mange or the elastic band at all.

I think it would be a really good idea to have your vet run some blood tests to see if they can determine if there is a serious liver problem.

If your vet thinks this is all due to increasing arthritis and there is nothing else serious going on then you could ask them about adding a medication called Tramadol to the medicines he is currently on.

I really hope everything is ok!

Dr. Marie.



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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

Hi we have also just managed to get him out side but he wouldnt go past the drive - he passed a small bowel motion that was a bit hard for him.

is it best not to keep encouraging him to eat? and just try and increase his water.

if the blood tests tell us that his functions are deteriorating is there anything that can be done?



Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

It's worthwhile to offer him different foods to see if he will eat, but if he won't I wouldn't force it on him. He can have as much water as he wants to drink.

If the blood tests determine that there is a liver problem, then I am worried. There are definitely a number of liver problems that can be treated, but when we see serious problems in an older dog then I get really worried about liver cancers. Unfortunately we don't have good success with treating liver cancer.



Customer reply:

thankyou- he has had lots of lumps and bumps appear over his body over the last year- are vet and ourselves came to the conclusion that at his age it probably was not worth putting him through the risk of an op if they were anything nasty. - as he has always been such a lively dog and has never usually let his ailments get him down.

I think its just so sad to see him disinterested in doing anything- especially not walking or playing.

we will take him up with us t bed tonight give him lots of tlc and take him to the vets first thing in the morning.

Thankyou for your help.


Customer reply:

thankyou- he has had lots of lumps and bumps appear over his body over the last year- are vet and ourselves came to the conclusion that at his age it probably was not worth putting him through the risk of an op if they were anything nasty. - as he has always been such a lively dog and has never usually let his ailments get him down.

I think its just so sad to see him disinterested in doing anything- especially not walking or playing.

we will take him up with us t bed tonight give him lots of tlc and take him to the vets first thing in the morning.

Thankyou for your help.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

That sounds like a good idea. I'd love to hear how things go tomorrow so feel free to post another response after your visit.

Dr. Marie.



Customer reply:

Hi sorry for the late update.

He was actually fine the next day running around and playing! pink gums, eating and drinkng etc going outside to wee so we didnt take him to the vet - however over the last few days he has slowed down hill again and developed a slight cough again - not himself and his gums became very pale

we had bloods done at the vets yesturday and they have come back that he is mod to severly anemic it appears that his cells are not regenerating. his liver and kidneys were fine no change from 2 years ago when he had them done.

Initial thoughs were that it might be heart failure but they are leaning more toward a tumour or bone marrow problem.

They are looking more closley at his blood picture today and have prescribed antibiotics as his white count is up a little (no temp)

He is still up and down - this morning coughing a lot and his breathing was a little deep (recessing slightly) he is eating and drinking a little and going out to urinate. He is curled up asleep and his breathing has settled again and not coughed for a few hrs.
Difficult to know what to do for the best at 13+ he has had a good innings we wouldnt want to put him through anything invasive that means he isnt with us or stressed - but at the sametime want to do everything we can to make him comfortable.

any advice would be apprechiated.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh, it sounds like this is a tough situation. A non regenerative anemia really does have me worried about a bone marrow cancer. This can be hard to diagnose without doing a bone marrow biopsy. A bone marrow biopsy can be expensive and painful, so it is not always done.

The antibiotics are likely given in the hopes that the anemia is due to an infection. While this is a possibility, it is not a high possibility.

I think what we do from here depends on how Jordan responds. If he is eating then this is a good sign. But, I think we need to be prepared that things do not look good.

Here are some criteria that will help when it is time for euthanasia.

Dr. Marie.



Customer reply:

some good news his coombs test came back negative - so they are now considering a tumor although couldnt rule out drug related reaction.


could I please ask your opinion on giving advocate to collie breads - as this was given for his mange but I have since read lots of litrature on how it should not be given to colie dogs.

They have said that there is a chance that his anemia is drug reaction related?????? but that the advocate is safe to give

we are taking him to another vet tomorrow for a second opnion as they were a bit defensive when we mentioned we had done some research on advocate.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Sounds like your vet is taking all of the same steps I would.

Advocate (which is the same as Advantage Multi) is safe to use in Collies. It is not the same thing as ivermectin which is not safe for collies.

Any time we have an anemia that we can't figure out, it is possible that a drug of some sort could have triggered the reaction. Sometimes we don't find out what medication was the culprit.

It's never a bad idea to get another opinion. I am really concerned about a bone marrow cancer though. :(



Customer reply:

Just dropping a line to let you know are darling little man lost his fight for life on 26/2/11

thankyou so much for your advice over the last few weeks. We found it very helpful in deciding what to do for the best for him x x x


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh, I am so sorry to hear that. It is never easy saying goodbye.

I have been thinking about dedicating a portion of my blog to memorials for our pets who have passed on. Would you like me to create a page for Jordan? If so, you can email me a photo and a little writeup. You can send the email to photos@askavetquestion.com, and I'll publish it in my blog.

I hope everyone is coping ok with the grief.

Dr. Marie.



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

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