As I've mentioned, Ferguson has had some issues with urinary infections over the past few months. As in, since May, he's had two. While they've both appeared to clear up, I made some adjustments to help prevent them from recurring.
One thing Ferguson would do is chew on rawhides or other toys, which would in turn make him thirsty, and cause him to drink waaay too much water. We think this caused him to put too much stress on his bladder and in turn, cause the UTIs. After he got the second UTI, I started only offering smaller portions of water throughout the day, three cups at a time (about 9-12 cups total per day, depending on our activities), and then picking up water and chews at 8pm, with maybe just a few sips allowed before bed. This seemed to work well; most of the time he would leave a good bit of the three cup portion for hours, so I felt confident he was getting all the water he needed and it was easier for me to keep track of how much water he was taking in and how fast. It's been a bit of a pain, especially with trying to make sure Winry gets her fill as well, but it seemed to be under control.
This week, unfortunately, he's suddenly acquired an unquenchable thirst. He drinks up every last drop of water like it's his last. I've tried my best to satisfy him, but honestly, if I put two gallons in front of him, he'd drink it all, when before, he wouldn't have. He's also become increasingly antsy when we're at home, even after being let out and hour or so before. Last night, he woke me up twice to go out, despite me doing our usual routine of picking up water at 8, and each time he went out, he REALLY had to go. He's not been acting himself and has a hard time settling (which for a greyhound especially at night, is quite unusual). So, to calm my nerves, I called the vet and scheduled an appointment for tomorrow morning, in hopes of ruling out medical causes and hoping it's...I don't know. Something else.
But honestly, what came to mind was my black Labrador, Gerta, I had raised in 2008 for Guiding Eyes. During the time I had Gerta, she had two UTIs, was ALWAYS thirsty, and also had a hard time settling at times and had occasional accidents here and there. 8 months after she left me, they found out she had acute renal failure at age 3, and died not even a few months after that.
I'll admit that right now, I'm fearing the worst. I suppose it's possible it could be just another UTI, but I'll say the way he's acting is a bit different than he has in the past. Normally when he'd have UTI, he'd randomly get up and pee on the carpet without a moment's notice, like the urge was so strong he couldn't even think to ask. Now he's up and asking and actively tries to get your attention to go out...it's just...different. In any case, I'd like to do more than just a UA this go-around. Gerta had two UTIs and never once was bloodwork or an ultrasound done; had they done these things, they'd have noticed right away that her kidneys were small, since her diagnosis said she was actually born this way. I last completed bloodwork on him in August of 2012, and while all seemed well then, he never once had experienced any urinary troubles at that point. They did conduct an x-ray last time he went, but that was only to check for stones, and wouldn't have shown the state of the kidneys or any potential tumors.
So tomorrow, in addition to the UA, I'd like to conduct full body function bloodwork, and possibly from there, an ultrasound. While this will all be a bit pricey, I think it's important we find out, or at least rule out, what could be bothering him. It's clear he's uncomfortable; I'm just hoping the underlying reason isn't matching my gut feeling :(. For now, besides being thirsty and anxious, his appetite and energy level continue to be pretty normal. He still likes to run a play, but I'm forced to remember that Gerta was also very much this way while I had her. I'm fortunate that I never had to see her in a state other than this and can remember her fondly as a happy-go-lucky dog.
Here's hoping for good, or at least manageable news...