World Wine Domination
Snakes on a Yellow House

Dog Drama, More and Again

When I picked Ceiba up from the pound post-Grand Adventure*, one of the workers who'd cared for her told me there'd been some blood in her urine that morning. 

"Uh oh," I said, before blabbering on to her about our ongoing saga with accidents, the multiple urine and blood tests that all came back negative for multiple conditions, the re-crate-training that seemed to help until it didn't, and the ultimately unsatisfactory diagnosis of a old-age-related behavioral problem, likely linked to dementia. 

But obviously, bloody pee is some next level shit (SEE WHAT I DID THERE), and means that we've missed something. 

I brought her home and watched her carefully (frankly, beyond obsessively) and everything actually seemed okay for the next couple days. No blood that I could observe, so I wondered if maybe it'd been a fluke from the stress of the whole ordeal. 

Then Monday morning I came home from dropping Ike off and was immediately greeted by a red-tinged puddle right by the front door. We were back at the vet with another urine sample within a couple hours.

Once again, no sign of an infection. Bloodwork ruled out all the most likely culprits. But there was definitely a good amount of blood. After an unsuccessful ultrasound attempt (her bladder was empty so they couldn't get a good look at anything), they sent us home with an antibiotic "just in case" and an appointment for a proper ultrasound and X-ray. 

That was a week ago. Our appointment is still a few days away (I have to drop her off in the morning and leave her so they can load her up on fluids to force a full bladder), but I can officially report that the antibiotics have not improved anything. 

She also lost two pounds since her last weigh-in at the vet. Which at first seemed like great news, except that her last weigh-in was not even a full two months ago. That's too much, too fast, especially since her eating and exercise habits haven't changed at all in that time frame. It's likely related to whatever else is going on. 

So. Sigh. I thought about maybe not writing about this until after the appointment, since this isn't exactly the most riveting or satisfying storyline. Something's wrong with my dog! It is taking forever to figure out what! I am very worried it is cancer! But maybe it is not (could also be stones!) and I should chill! 

But again, sigh. I hate this medical limbo. (And the vet bills are getting awfully tiresome as well. I do appreciate that the practice didn't jump right to the most expensive tests from the get-go, but throughout the whole process of elimination we've spent quite a bit of money just to figure out what ISN'T wrong.) And you know, the idea that my dog is suffering or in pain and we're not helping her is a hard one to sit with. 

But sit with it I do, until Thursday. She seems more lethargic than usual, but is eating and drinking normally and is very happy to snuggle. She continues to test the fence for weaknesses and/or spots just wide enough for her newly svelte butt can sneak through, oh my God, dog, you did not learn a single damn thing. 

*Her "Grand Adventure," by the way, turned out to be all of TWO YARDS AWAY. Our neighbors found her on their front yard and didn't realize she was ours. They assumed she wandered from farther away and even PUT UP SIGNS (for a "red chihuahua") on the other side of our neighborhood, which Jason wasn't able to see when he went driving around at night looking for her. They took her to a vet first to scan for a chip, literally one of two vets within a mile of our house; naturally we take Ceiba to the OTHER one. Since the vet couldn't ID her they figured Animal Control was the best option, and my poor worried sick neighbor actually called them several times to inquire about her, until she got the report that she'd been claimed.

She then saw me outside with Ceiba as we arrived home after our vet appointment and came running over like, "OH MY GOD I TOOK YOUR DOG TO THE POUND INSTEAD OF BACK ACROSS TWO STUPID LAWNS I AM SO SORRY!" 

I assured her that it was seriously okay, all's well that ends well, plus I'm just exceedingly grateful someone got her out of the cold and took her someplace safe where we could easily track her down. Plus now she's microchipped! Which is great because she clearly did not give a single shit about being lost and taken to the damn pound! She's ready to do it again! 

And that's the State of Dog. Still driving us batshit crazy after all these years, but hopefully will stick around for a few more.




OMGawd. Geriatric dogs. It's so tough. The worry. The vet bills. The dementia. The love. All of it. Hoping for easier days ahead for you and Ceiba!


Poor Ceiba, and poor you guys! For what it's worth, her symptoms sound a lot like when our cat had bladder stones. Hopefully it's something relatively innocuous.

Sue W.

We were going thru the bloody pee in random places with our almost 20 year old cat. Vet did tests and they all showed nuh-thing. She is currently on Dasuquin, a pill in powder form that I sprinkle on her Fancy Feast Broths (which YOU turned me on to!) and mix it in so Her Highness cannot detect it once a day. It seems to have lessened the peeing incidents and she does not seem to be in pain when she does pee. I hope the vet can figure out what's up with HamsterDog!


We, too, are dealing with an older dog with surprise behavior and health concerns on the regular and I have the same mix of frustrated, sad, worried feelings that you do. Here's hoping we both have lots of time left with these guys to drive us crazy/cost us a fortune.


Many hugs.


Sorry puppy. I feel you- my kitty Orange is hating his life right now in a cone collar post surgery :-(

Ann Uphill

My dog was also having some vague health issues not long ago and when I took her to get it checked the vet tossed out the phrase "elderly dog" I gasped and was about to correct her when I realized my dog was born in 2005, it is now 2016.

It hit me really hard. My baby dog is 11 and she's not supposed to get old, but the more I watch her the more I realize she's slowing a bit and she sleeps a little more than she used to.

I hope you have more healthy years with Ceiba just as much as I hope I do with Niamh. (Unique dog names for the win)


We had a neighbor who had a small dog. They attached an empty but largish clorox bottle to her collar. If she got through the fense couldn't. Then they'd know where the hole was and where their dog was. Crude, but effective :)


I have a similarly riveting ongoing medical drama right now with my 14-year-old cats. It wasn't until one of them had gained a lot of weight, that I realized how he was doing it was eating his sister's food, because they both used to scarf down every meal immediately but now she was leaving food behind - it dawned on me that, hmm, she really has lost a lot of weight! When she started making a truly terrible grinding teeth type noise I took her to the vet right away. All tests are normal...she continues to grind her jaw and lose has no idea what's up :'(

Another Stephanie

Oh, Amy. So sorry. Elderly pets are so tough. Been through it more than I want to count. Hope you have many more years with your Ceiba and that this is a fairly minor, fixable issue.


I did that to my new neighbors! This poor dirty old dog showed up in my yard a few years back walking sideways. He was so sweet but definitely looked like a stray. We took him to the humane society. We didn't know it but new neighbors had come by in the morning and dropped off their dog in the back yard and then left for several hours. The dog found an open fence (which they didn't know existed) and wandered over. I felt awful that they had to pay $100 to get her out of the pound. But then they ended up being terrible neighbors so I don't feel bad anymore.


It might be diabetes insipidus? My elderly pug was diagnosed with it at 15 when she started having frequent accidents and becoming lethargic. It was controlled with a nightly eyedrop and she went on to live two more years...


I did that to my nextdoor neighbors once. Their usually very long haired dog had just gotten a massive cut and was covered in dirt from running out of their yard, so I didn't recognize him. Whoops!

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