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Old 09-04-2019, 11:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Unexplained blood in urine

Hey guys. It's been a while since I've had to post anything, but I'm at a loss.

My girl Ash has had blood in her urine for maybe a couple of months now. Took her to the vet with the initial assumption that it was a UTI. Got antibiotics for two weeks. About a week in with no improvement we scheduled an ultrasound. We didn't see anything in the ultrasound that would explain the bleeding. So we finished out the course of antibiotics with no change. After talking with the vet we decided let's just do a spay. Odds are pretty good there's something wrong in there so it made sense. So we scheduled that for the 27th of August. Got it done, everything went really well. The uterus looked enlarged and was pale and firm. Basically my vet felt that it did not look healthy. This still did not resolve the bleeding. So we sent the uterus off for analysis and in the mean time we started another round of antibiotics, because why not? I got a call back from the vet today. The good news is that it's not cancerous. The bad news is that we're back to square one. The spay was probably a good move, but just not the one we needed. So I'm hoping someone has an idea of what else may be the problem.


I'm just not sure where to even start. I'm using the same brand of food that I used for my previous hedgehog, and she's been on it since I brought her home and she's nearly 2 years old now. There's no obvious signs of injury. She drinks lots of water. I don't know what other direction to go to figure this out, so any suggestions are welcome!
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Old 09-04-2019, 11:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It may be the same brand of food but they may be sourcing the ingrediants from different places than before. We have found this with dog food. Purina dog chow from the farm store is fine for our dogs but Purina dog chow from Walmart gives them the bloody scours every time. We contacted Purina head office and was told that there are 2 different formulas they use, the one they make for Walmart has different ingrediants in it but still sold as the same dog chow ($1.00 per bag less than the farm store, I wonder how!). I would maybe try a different flavor or brand and just see if any changes. It may be a changed ingrediant that is irritating the bladder.
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Old 09-05-2019, 08:48 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Two thoughts come to mind... Has your vet done a urinalysis or a urine culture and sensitivity test?

A urinary tract infection could be resistant to whatever antibiotic you are using, sometimes doing a culture & sensitivity test is necessary to determine what antibiotic will resolve the infection. The other thought is that crystals in the urine, or a stone could cause bleeding and/or infections as well.
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Old 09-05-2019, 05:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I guess the only way here is to contact a veterinary, this is not a good sign.
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Old 09-05-2019, 08:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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We have not done a urinalysis. Would we need to do a sterile draw directly from the bladder? I imagine we would need to knock her out and probably guide the needle via ultrasound? I'd hate to knock her out again. It would be nice if we could just collect a urine sample from her the old fashion way just to be less stressful on her.


I think what I'll do then is finish out the current antibiotics since there's a week left on them. My vet said she would do more research in the mean time. I'll call her when the antibiotics are done if the situation has not resolved and talk to her about a urinalysis or doing a culture (thank goodness for pet insurance!). Hopefully she'll call me before then with her own ideas. I doubt we'd be able to get her in for anything before the current meds are up anyway. Thank you for the idea Kalandra!


belties, thanks for the suggestion. She's been on the same food from the same merchant since she was a tiny hoglet. I'll look into trying a different food after everything calms down some. I don't want to toss in another thing to stress her out while we're still looking for a diagnosis.
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Old 09-06-2019, 09:25 AM   #6 (permalink)
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A sterile draw would yield the most reliable results. However, I have had both done from urine that was collected externally and feel like the results we got were reliable enough. The problem with collecting it outside of the body is that it almost always will test positive for something as it quickly becomes contaminated. And its hard to collect as some of our little ones have shy bladders when you want them to go.

Another question is has the vet commented much on the bladder? He did an ultrasound, did he also look at the bladder for any stones or note any thickness to the bladder?

I'd ask to have the urinalysis done though.

I've debated posting this as I don't think its going to help in your situation, but just in case you see something, here is a story from 2006 for one of my rescues, Patton. We had many veterinary visits, C&S tests done on urine, ultrasounds, etc.

9/18, Patton was diagnosed with a bladder infection via a urinalysis with sedimentation. He was put on Cipro and the bleeding got worse. Seven days later, a C&S was done and of ~25 antibiotics that were tested, only 1, Cefazolin (an injection) was found to work. He was put on 7 days of injections. After 5 days he didn’t show much improvement. Doc extended his medication to a total of 14 days and added metacam to reduce inflammation in the bladder.

We went through 14 days of injections, and he showed a lot of improvement, but his urine was still blood tinged. Metacam was continued and another C&S was performed. Test came back negative. Metacam was continued as we were seeing improvement and his bladder was less thick.

10/26, we had yellow urine again. He was still on metacam and was due to come off in another week. He also went blind in the last month, thick cataracts developed in both eyes.

12/11, He started having 3 days of normal yellow urine and then would have 1 pink or brownish one. Back on metacam, C&S coming back clean, no signs of the staph coming back.

During the next 10 days he developed a tumor on his chest/neck area that was aggressively growing, it had two very large veins feeding it and it began to force his front leg out of socket. He was euthanized 12/21 while on an operating table. Gross necropsy showed his bladder and kidneys appeared 100% normal. One of his Cowper glands was enormous and irritated. We felt this was the source of his bleeding. Most likely cancerous, but no pathology was sent off to confirm.

Looking back, had we done a sterile draw after we cleared up the initial infection, we would should have found no blood in his bladder and would have tried to figure out what was wrong with his reproductive system. Lesson learned.
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Old 09-06-2019, 11:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I have seen at least 3 posts similar to this, all with female hedgehogs. Is there possibly a virus going around?......
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Old 09-07-2019, 01:59 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Lol, Spiky, probably not. This just seems to come with the territory with girls.


Kalandra, there's been so many conversations I don't know if I remember or not. I remember when we were going over the ultrasound that they just weren't seeing anything that really raised any flags and I feel like they got images that involved the bladder. But I could be remembering wrong. When I call them next week I can ask.


I'll also ask how she feels about doing a sterile draw. She sounded kinda hesitant about doing it when we were going back and forth about maybe this maybe that. I'll report back after I talk to the vet.
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Old 09-19-2019, 06:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Ok, time for an update. We finished the second round of antibiotics last week on Thursday. The bleeding had not stopped at that point. But over the weekend, it stopped. I decided to wait and see if it just happened to be clear for a couple of days, but so far the blood has not returned. I'll continue to keep an eye on it and if it changes I'll get her in for a urinalysis. But it's been clear of blood and light colored urine since Saturday or Sunday, so I'm not wanting to mess with it and stress the poor thing out more if I don't really need to. I'm wondering if maybe she did have a stone and just finally passed it? I'll report back if anything changes.
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Old 09-19-2019, 09:05 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Wishing you guys the best of luck!
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