A ray of Labrador Sunshine - Urinary Tract Infection

Sunshine is a cheeky 6 year old Labrador who came to us with a urination problem. She was passing blood stained urine and had been doing so for some time.

Unfortunately for Sunshine, she also had a tremendous appetite that had resulted in her becoming very overweight so the 2 things combined to make her pretty uncomfortable.

We started Sunshine on a strict diet of Hills prescription R/d foods and tested her urine, which confirmed a urinary tract infection. She started on antibiotics.

After several attempts to get the urinary tract infection under control, the decision was made to rule out any other underlying causes. Her blood tests showed no changes that would predispose her to repeat infection. The next tests involved x-rays and sedation, which are quite difficult and somewhat riskier in a very overweight pet, so we were all thrilled that Sunshine was managing to lose weight so successfully, down 10kg in 3 months.

The x-rays failed to show any bladder stones which left us with an increasingly concerning picture. This either meant she had a very rare type of bladder stone, or that she had a resistant urinary tract infection that we would have to manage and not be able to cure or that she had a growth in her bladder. The last diagnosis was the most worrying as the most common bladder growths are cancerous.

Due to Sunshine's size and the need to perform specialized ultrasound, she was referred to Melbourne Veterinary Referral Centre for the next step. The ultrasound was performed confirming the presence of a large growth attached to the inside of Sunshine's bladder wall, we were very worried. Surgery was performed at the referral centre to remove the growth and associated bladder wall, we all thought that at least ,this might alleviate the constant discomfort that Sunshine was experiencing even if only temporarily. The surgery went well in that the mass seemed to be fully removed and that the somewhat smaller bladder knitted back together neatly with no leaking. The next step was the nervous wait for the pathology results to come back on the mass, fearing that our suspicions would be confirmed and that Sunshine had cancer.

However, the sun was certainly shining on Sunshine! The growth was just an incredibly excessive inflammatory reaction, most likely due to the ongoing infection, it had been entirely removed, there was no sign of cancer- all in all the very best result we could have hoped for.

Sunshine is continuing to lose weight and has never felt better, her owner says she is doing things that she hasn't seen her do since she was a pup, generally much more energetic and happy. She is a hot contender to win the "slimmer of the year competition", well on the way to losing the 20kg that will get her down to her optimal bodyweight. Everyone is enjoying her company even more now that her urination patterns are getting back to normal- no more leaking or smelly urine.

Her cheeky grin will shine on and on.