Ask Dr. Pawz: How do you heal a dog’s recurring eye infection?

Katy Nelson, special to wtop.com

WASHINGTON – Our Ask Dr. Pawz questions today come to us via The Pet Show with Dr. Katy’s Facebook page.

Our first question comes to us from Wendy E.

Dear Dr. Katy, I need help with my 6-year-old Rottweiler. She will not stop urinating in the house. She is not fixed and I do have another female dog in the house. Is she marking territory? Will fixing her help or stop this?

Hi, Wendy – this is a very good question. First, I would start with a professional floor cleaning, using an enzymatic cleaner to make sure there is no urine protein left in the areas where she’s soiled that she may be able to smell, even if you can’t. Also, consider a consultation with a trainer who would work with both of your dogs to sort out any dominance issues that she may have.

Finally, at her age, I would certainly consider discussing this issue with your veterinarian. In working with a situation like this, the first step is to do a urinalysis with a culture and sensitivity. This means you want a sterile sample, usually taken at the veterinary hospital so that there is no contamination, that can be sent out to a laboratory and analyzed.

They will look for bacteria, crystals, abnormal protein levels and abnormal metabolic byproducts like glucose or bilirubin. Any of these could be a sign of a problem that needs to be treated. The culture and sensitivity will test for bacterial growth and determine which antibiotics might be therapeutic in order to treat any infection that is found.

As she ages, she is more likely to develop a condition called pyometra, along with other hormone-related conditions, that could be deadly if not diagnosed and treated in time.

If all of the tests are clear, and both bloodwork and x-rays show no signs of a problem, then have a discussion with your veterinarian about spaying her. Since she is not spayed, she is actually more likely to develop a condition called pyometra as she ages, along with other hormone-related conditions, that could be deadly if not diagnosed and treated in time. It may not totally cure the urination-in-the-house problem, but it will help to keep her healthier in the long run.

Our next question is from Laurie W.

Hi, Dr. Katy – I am watching your show this morning and have a question. I have four dogs, one large Weimaraner and three miniature Dachshunds. They were exposed to and then treated for eye infections. The red inflammation of the membranes has cleared with eye drops, but they continue to have gooey drainage from their eyes.

I clean the eyes several times every day and it has lessened, but it won’t go away. Should I get more drops (they have had drops since Christmastime) or is there something else I could do?

Hi, Laurie – it sounds like while some of the clinical signs have improved, the problem with your pups’ eyes still has not been solved. If the antibiotic drops that were initially prescribed were going to work, they should have done so in the first couple of weeks of treatment.

If just one of your pups was affected for this long, I would be talking about having tests for corneal ulcerations, tear production quantified, and even allergy testing. However, with all four dogs being affected, it is much less likely that this is an allergic or autoimmune condition, like dry eye syndrome.

However, there could still be a bacterial, viral or fungal infection that may explain what you are seeing. It may be a good idea to have some further diagnostic testing and a culture done, to rule out antibiotic resistance as the cause of the lingering signs. Then the proper treatment protocol can be instituted to nip this in the bud for all of your pups.

Dr. Katy Nelson is an emergency veterinarian in Alexandria, Va. Tune in to “The Pet Show” with Dr. Katy every Saturday at 11 a.m. on Washington D.C.’s News Channel 8, and listen on WTOP for her Dr. Pawz segments every two weeks. Have questions for Dr. Katy? You can follow her on Twitter @drkatynelson, on Facebook or email her at askdrkaty@wtop.com. Follow @WTOPLiving on Twitter.


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