Dog urology - dog wee, UTI and drinking enough.

Female dog frequent UTI - Canine Vulvoplasty - recessed vulva

Dog urology - dog wee, UTI and drinking enough.

If your dog isn't drinking enough, or their wee is very strong because they are not drinking enough, then ask your vet to refer you to a specialist Urologist. 

When I took on a 3 year old dog, she was only weeing once a day. The previous owner had walked them once a day for fresh air, and not to toilet. So the dog had no routine, and no idea that she needed to be going more times per day.

She kept getting UTIs, and I was paying for pointless Ultrasounds. The results being that she either had cystitis which I knew, or she was clear in the bladder, which I also knew.

A couple of vets in two different practices wanted to cut her bladder open, and take a sample of the bladder wall. But I knew that the issue wasn't in her bladder, but was further down the urethra.

I got her referred to a Urology specialist, and were passed to Langford Vets, at Bristol University.

Katie has a recessed vulva, which is caused by excess skin around the vulva. This can be caused by excess weight. The  complete resolution for this constant bacteria forming around her vulva is called vulvoplasty. 

These images show the procedure of vulvoplasty - to reduce the excess skin  of the vulva.

Urology specialist advised that as a part of the investigation and treatment, I should make some fish broth ice cubes, and put one in her water to encourage drinking.  You are urged to speak to a urologist specialist about your dog.

Which means cooking things that I don't have in the house.

I found Tasty Topper Artic Fish, by Barker and Barker. They are a pet treat company, so there is no salt, onion or garlic in the product - ideal.

The instructions from Barker and Barker are
To make a tasty liquid for ice cubes or pouring over your dogs food we recommended adding 4g (1 x 5ml teaspoon) with 200ml of boiling water.  Stir and let stand until cool.  Stir once more when cool to agitate the mix and pour into ice cube trays or directly over food.

To fill an ice cube bag takes about 350ml, and a very small funnel. 

I need to get a decent ice cube tray, that easily releases the cubes. Many of the modern plastic ice cube trays are impossible to get the cubes out of.

So I used an ice cube bag, and as the filler hole is so small, most of the bits settled into the jug. 

The freezer, the dog's muzzle and bowl all smell of fish, so it must be flavoured.

Next item to find is a decent ice cube tray.

This bowl had been washed out, filled with clean water and a fishy ice cube added the day before. It still has a mild fish smell to it.

Female dog frequent UTI - Canine Vulvoplasty - recessed vulva

I created a support group / information page on facebook, to help others after my Katie's own issues. You should always speak to your own vet for advice, and ask to be refered to a Urologist when you think that will be beneficial

Female dog frequent UTI - Canine Vulvoplasty - recessed vulva support group 

The following is from the group


This group is to raise awareness of a condition where female dogs keep getting Urinary Tract Infections.

I'm based in the UK, but this is open to the globe - to help everyone.

Even at the end of a course of antibiotics, some female dogs will still be licking despite urine tests showing that their bladder is clear of cystitis and struvite crystals.

My own dog has had a number of UTIs, and I got tired of repeatedly paying for ultrasounds, urine and blood tests, and culture growing - when they all provided no information that helped me understand what was going on.

Every culture produced a different bacteria.

Following a consultation with a urologist, it turns out that she has a recessed vulva, something that many vets clearly know little about.

This actually means that she has excess skin, which traps and holds a tiny bit of urine in the folds of her girl bits.

This wee in a warm, damp place turns into bacteria, which works its way up the urethra. The first thing you know about it is the poor girl has blood in her wee again.

If your girl constantly has UTI's then consider looking at this group, and taking some advice from others.

My own vet has suggested using natural yogurt around the vulva folds, for the yogurt bacteria to combat the bacteria that is created from the wee.

I am advised that surgery is the best option, but you need to speak to a urologist. And you need to ask what the success rate is after surgery.

I hope that others will share their story on here.

Wiping them with CLX wipes can also help to keep the area clean, so long as they don't already have infection.

It is important to use CLX wipes, as they have

Chlorhexidine digluconate (0.3%),


zinc gluconate,

glycerine and


CLX wipes

Does anyone else use CLX wipes by Nextmune, to wipe around the outside of their girl's bits.

The specialist advised wiping her twice a day, to remove any bacteria from the exterior area.

Important to use CLX, as they have

I cut them into four, so they last for two days. Bought a Sistema 2.2L container, which is the ideal size for keeping them moist. And the scissors live in there as well.

CLX webpage is at 

L-Methionine 500mg

A vet at my own practice was convinced that Katie had something embedded in the bladder wall, and wanted to slice her open to take a biopsy. I was convinced that the issue was in the lower tract, and not in the bladder - so refused.

He suggested using L-Methionine 500mg, to help flush the struvite crystal sludge out. She's been on these a month, and not noticed any difference really. She's only on these for the course of the 60 tablets in this bottle. 

I pull the caps open, and sprinkle it on her breakfast. 

Dorwest Herbs Green Releaf tablets.

I took on Katie when she was three. Before that she was walked once a day for the owner's fresh air. She was accustomed to only going once a day, with no encouragement by the owner for her to go more frequently. It took 18 months to get her to wee twice a day, and a couple of years to get her to wee three times a day. She just wasn't drinking enough, no matter what I did. I have no idea as to why she didn't drink that much.

I saw an advert for Dorwest Herb's Green Releaf tablets, so put her on two a day. She weighs 8 kg at the moment.

I think they have helped in the daily going at least three times a day, although they're not always big wees. But anything to help flush the bladder out. 

Natural yogurt

A large part of the issue is bacteria forming in and around the vulva, which then creeps up the urethra and creates a UTI.  

One of the vets at my own vets suggested smearing a bit of natural yogurt around and in the folds of the vulva. The bacteria in the yogurt will kill off the bacteria that's formed from wee trapped in the vulva folds.

Putting disposable gloves on, simply take a teaspoon of yogurt from the pot and put the tip of your index finger in the yogurt. Then open the folds and smear it around. Use the teaspoon to stop any cross contamination.

Whilst the yogurt says to be used within 3 days, that can be ignored whilst you carry out two weeks of applying the yogurt. 

It is best to not let the dog lick the spoon or your finger, so that they don't get a taste for the yogurt. Ensure that the dog doesn't lick the yogurt off herself, and stop her if she even thinks about it.

This does seem to be giving Katie some comfort whist waiting for the Synulox.

Flavouring the drinking water

The Urology specialist suggested that I make Katie fish broth ice cubes. Problem with that is I don't usually cook that sort of thing, or buy fish. All my veg is frozen.

So I did a search, and found Barker and Barker, who are a pet treat manufacturer. Something very important is that their Artic fish toppers does not have garlic or salt in it. Stock cubes are not suitable for dogs.

Katie does seem to have increased water intake a little.

Barker and Barker recommend;

To make a tasty liquid for ice cubes or pouring over your dogs food we recommended adding 4g (1 x 5ml teaspoon) with 200ml of boiling water. Stir and let stand until cool. Stir once more when cool to agitate the mix and pour into ice cube trays or directly over food.

It takes around 300ml - 400ml to fill those ice cube bags 

Litmus paper and urine test strips

Lets talk UTIs, pH levels and recessed vulvas. Ideally, a healthy dog's urine will have a pH of around 6.5 pH. Litmus paper and Urine test strips are really cheap on eBay. 

Every time that Katie gets a UTI, her pH level shoots up to anything up to around pH 10.

This video was taken when she clearly had a UTI, caused from bacteria in the vulva creeping up the urethra. The paper turns dark green, which is around pH 10. Vets like to do their own tests, and grow cultures before accepting that the smelly urine with spots of blood in it is actually a UTI. 

When she starts a course of anti-biotics, such as Synulox, she is very response. Having given half a 250mg tablet at 11 am, and the second half at 9 pm - at midnight her pH was down to around 7.5

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