I've been sleep deprived for several months now. Besides getting up at 4:30 to feed everyone and let them out, Samba has been waking me several times a night to go outside. I assumed it was a result of the Prednisone.
At her last exam I mentioned to Dr B that Samba can't sleep thru the night. He suggested that I try some Melatonin, but it didn't help. She seemed to have no response to it at all. He also requested a urine sample. When she was first diagnosed with MMM, I was told that infection is our biggest concern. Now he suggested that she might have the start of a urinary tract infection and we should check.
Now, getting a urine sample from a dog isn't as easy as handing them a cup and telling them to go fill it. Dr B has started recommending an annual urine sample along with an annual blood test. He feels they're tools that may show problems in the early stages before symptoms start showing up.
I decided to get samples from the three oldest dogs. Tsar was easy. When he lifted his leg, I held the cup under the stream and we were done. The girls were another story. I thought about my plan overnight and this is how I did it, in case you need to try. I have an old Tupperware container that is flat, it was originally made to store hot dogs or cheese slices. I never use it. I put each girl on a short leash and held it in my right hand so that the dog was directly in front of me. As soon as she squatted, I stuck the container under her from the back, under the tail. When she finished she walked forward and I had my sample. Just pour it into a cup or baggie and we're off to the vet.
Now, if you're still with me, Samba's test showed some protein in her urine, but it wasn't too bad considering her prolonged steroid usage, so we decided to repeat it in six weeks. Last week we repeated the test and there was a little more protein in the urine. Now we knew that there might be an infection starting so we sent the sample to the lab. When the report came back it was positive for staph. The report also told which antibiotic would be best for knocking out the infection. We started her on it for ten days.
We are now on day six and I am happy to report that Samba has shown no bad effects from the antibiotic and she has slept thru the night for the past four nights. We are both feeling better in the morning for getting more sleep and I'm happy knowing that Samba is on the road to recovery.