Things were going very well with the two new dogs. We’ve had Hank for about three months at this time. He’d been neutered and the attitude had settled down, somewhat.
During February of this year, while visiting my mom and step-dad in my home town, things took a turn for the worst for little Hank. He was out back, playing with the two resident female malamutes and Doo. They seemed to be having a pretty good time.
When it was time to go Doo came right inside w/ the girls… but Hank didn’t. I went out back to see if he had gotten himself into any trouble, and there he was. Standing, leg up in the air, aiming himself at a post with a very determined look on his face. The first thing that came to mind was that he had been running around marking everything in my mom’s yard, and he had run out of pee, yet was determined to get this one last post. I called to him, he casually glanced over his shoulder at me. Then I told him it was time to go, and with a sigh he trotted into the house.
After we had leashed up the dogs and said our goodbyes, we headed out to the car. Hank stopped again, trying to pee on a snow bank. It was actually pretty amusing at the time. Him just standing there, leg up in the air, not doing anything. Jason tugged on his leach to get him walking again but Hank refused! He gave a little grunt and kept right on attempting to pee. We all giggled a little, but worry was starting to creep into my mind. I suggested we get on the road since it was a two-hour drive to get home. Then we would see why he was acting so strangely.
The drive home was AWFUL. Hank started whining about halfway back, so we pulled over and tried to walk him. Poor little guy tried soooo hard to muster up a good pee but he just couldn’t. He was just whining, trying to pee. Something was definitely wrong.
Maybe he was dehydrated and getting some sort of UTI? Maybe he peed so much that he somehow hurt himself. We offered him water and he turned his nose away. Since he wasn’t making any progress we forced him back into the car and kept driving home. We stopped a few more times with the same results, then we decided we were just delaying ourselves from getting home and getting him some help.
We finally made it home and Hank was now in so much distress that he gave up even lifting his leg. The poor little fella just stood there on all fours, crying and peed just a little on the carpet. We didn’t scold him or get mad at all, in fact, that was the only time we’ve ever cheered about a dog peeing in the house.
We call around to a few vets, trying to find somewhere that could take a look at him. It was late enough that many were closed and we didn’t have a regular vet at the time. We had to do something, upon examining him, his belly was as hard as a rock, and the whimpering was continuous at this point.
We packed the pups up and went down to a local emergency vet. When we got inside, Hank peed a little on their floor. There was blood in his urine now, but that seemed to reflect the urgency of our situation and they took him back right away.
After waiting for what seemed a like a lifetime, we were called back. The doctor came in the room and showed us Hank’s x-ray:
As you can see, there was something blocking him up. They explained that he had some sort of sediment in there that was making it nearly impossible for him to pee, and that his bladder was completely full.
The doctor explained that they were going to empty his bladder to relieve the pain, and then they would have to have someone massage the grit out of him. (As serious as the situation was, that still just sounds funny). We reluctantly left him over night and went home. They were supposed to call us after the procedure and let us know what was going on. Neither one of us got any sleep that night. I guess a dog that was severely injured in an accident came in after Hank, so our little guy was put on the back burner. But they eventually did get to him, and get him all fixed up.
We drove over to pick him up the next morning. Boy, was he happy to see us! He had been through such an ordeal and since we had only adopted him a short time ago, he may have even thought we were abandoning him (he was taken to the kill shelter we rescued him from as an owner surrender).
Our sweet Hank was okay. After a follow-up visit with who is now our regular vet, we now have Hank on a special diet. It turns out his body was creating little stones, similar to kidney stones, but it was making so many of them that thousands of the tiny stones had plugged him all up and more were sitting in his bladder. We were all happy to have the little guy back home, and I’m pretty sure he was happy to have us as well. 🙂