I knew something was wrong after watching a TV show about ‘signs’ of illness in your dog.
The sign was too much/too little water consumption. The TV personality gave some figures about your dog’s weight, activity levels, outdoor temperatures and quantity of water consumed. That stopped me in my tracks. Daisy was drinking 10 times the quantity she was “supposed” to consume. I called her vet and made an appointment for the next day. I tracked Daisy’s water consumption for the rest of that day. I also had the pleasure to collecting a urine sample the next morning.
Tip: Get a disposable metal or plastic pie dish. Once your puppy starts to pee, slide the dish under her and collect the sample. Help her move forward, away from the dish, when she finishes. Pour the pee into the collection container (while you are still outside) and throw the dish away. 🙂
Here is a link containing some helpful information about how much water a pooch needs.
The vet tested Daisy’s urine and said the specific gravity levels indicated kidney problems. The vet did an ultrasound on Daisy and verified congenital kidney disease. (The vet also noted that her heart looked slightly enlarged, but nothing to be concerned with. I completely forgot about this statement until November, 2009.) The vet explained that Daisy was excessively drinking water to flush out the toxins from her body. She was doing what her kidneys could not. The vet felt Daisy would live a long, health life. Daisy’s blood tests were all normal. We believed she would continue to be a health dog.
We were told to give her all the water she wanted, to provide frequent potty breaks and to keep her on a lower protein diet. NO table scraps!
The only “down-side” to her condition was, while she slept, she sometimes would not be able to control her bladder. She would often pee in her sleep. Annoying, but something she could not control.
I got tired of washing her bedding every morning. Daisy’s tail was docked, so I decided to try extra large diapers on her at night. It works for kids, why not dogs?!
It worked great! Over the years, Daisy’s bladder got better. She would go days with a dry diaper and I started to feel bad about all the diapers I was adding to the landfill. Since it was only pee, I decided to try cloth diapers. Loved them! I had 2 so one could be in the hamper while she had one available for that night.
While we were at work, Daisy was kept in a small area in our basement. It was large enough for her crate, a small play area with her extra large water dish and her dog litter box. That’s right, I said litter box. We trained her on the box when she was a puppy and it was the best thing we did! It had recycled newspaper pellets instead of traditional cat litter (safer for puppies). She used it throughout the day and I’d clean it when I got home from work. Great peace of mind!
Eventually she had access to the entire house while we were gone and she would always go to the basement to use her box. We even traveled with it on vacations!
Here are the items we used to make our life easier and Daisy’s life comfortable & normal.
Daisy went on to live 6 wonderful, happy, mostly healthy years!!
Then the other shoe dropped.