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Dr. Lee
Dr. Lee, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 5355
Experience:  7 years of experience in veterinary medicine and surgery
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My 2 1/2 year old male golden retriever has low urine specific

Customer Question

My 2 1/2 year old male golden retriever has low urine specific gravity 1.020. We have completed many many tests including, full blood work, full abdominal x-ray and ultrasound, water deprivation for 12 hours, and STILL the vet wants to pursue other tests. This whole thing started with slight incontinence but he has not had an issue in over 2 months. I want to fix him but we seem to be spinning our tires trying to find out what's wrong. As we carry on the suspected problems become more and more unlikely as he is an otherwise healthy, energetic, and outgoing dog. normal drinking and eating habits and high energy. We are spending a LOT of money and seemingly getting nowhere. HELP!! Is 1.020 REALLY that low and of huge concern?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Lee replied 1 year ago.

Dr. Lee :

Hi. I'm Dr. Lee and will do my best to help.

Dr. Lee :

Can you tell me something more about the tests:

Dr. Lee :

1. urine test, aside from USG of 1.020, anything else in the urine that is abnormal?

Dr. Lee :

2. Was a blood biochemical panel done? If so, anything abnormal?

Dr. Lee :

Was the ultrasound of the urinary system normal?

Dr. Lee :

It looks like you are offline at the moment. If you can please provide me the above information when you have time, I will get back to this chat room as soon as I can. Thanks.

Customer:

all blood and urine screening came back normal. as did the ultrasound. i feel as if the testing is just expanding to rarer and rarer diseases instead of narrowing it down.

Customer:

we are spending hundreds of dollars to eliminate possibilities but my vet is baffled and its begining to feel as though we are stabbing in the dark to find the problem.

Customer:

I guess my question is, is the slightly low specific gravity a genuine concern when there are no other signs of illness in an otherwise healthy animal?

Dr. Lee :

Thanks for the info.

Dr. Lee :

Given all the numbers from the blood is normal. I can say that a USG of 1.020 is really ok.

Dr. Lee :

Technically speaking, it is a red flag when the USG is between 1.007 to 1.015. This signals that the kidney might be having an issue.

Dr. Lee :

At 1.020, it is not a big deal. Although one question would be, after the water deprivation testing, did the USG go up significantly?

Dr. Lee :

Or is the 1.020 from the water deprivation testing.

Dr. Lee :

?

Customer:

thanks, XXXXX XXXXX is consulting internal medicine specialists tomorrow and is going to suggest the next course of action. why is he having trouble concebtrating his urine?

Customer:

the 1020 has been constant since we started testing almost two months ago

Dr. Lee :

Well, if he is unable to concentrate urine, assuming that after water deprivation test it is still not concentrated, then we might be dealing with something called diabetes insipidus.

Dr. Lee :

Do you know what the USG was after the 12 hours of water deprivation test?

Customer:

1020 it has been constant every time. my vet wants him at 1030

Customer:

we have done specific gravity test three times

Dr. Lee :

Well, in all honesty, since he is otherwise normal, I would simply opt for holding off on further tests and recheck it in 3 to 6 months.

Customer:

is there a screening for diabetes we can do to rule that out? my vet has an entire list and we seem to be starting at the top and spending as we go

Dr. Lee :

Well, this is not the "regular" diabetes you are thinking of.

Dr. Lee :

DI is a specific disease that is related to either a lack of hormone or lack of response from a hormone, called ADH, or anti-diuretic hormone.

Customer:

my vet has mentioned diabetes incipidus but feels its to rare for such a young and healthy dog with no other signs from testing

Dr. Lee :

Since we cannot concentrate urine after the deprivation test, the best thing to do next is to do a response to ADH testing.

Dr. Lee :

The fact that the USG is low after water deprivation test IS a sign there is a problem.

Dr. Lee :

So I am unsure on why your vet would say 1.020 is not a problem after deprivation test.

Dr. Lee :

1.020 is not a problem for a regular urine test. But for after deprivation test, that is a problem.

Dr. Lee :

But even with a problem, as I have said, there is no clinical problems, so I am unsure as to why we want to continue digging.

Dr. Lee :

It would be better to either do nothing, and recheck in a few months, because there is absolutely no clinical signs....

Dr. Lee :

Or go with ADH testing.

Customer:

no, my vet says there is a problem hes not happy with loe low sg. he thinks it might be a kidney problem.

Customer:

ill suggest adh testing

Dr. Lee :

It is definitely possible. But if ultrasound was done, and deemed it to be normal, then if you want to proceed further, you should go see a specialist instead of continue with a general practitioner.

Dr. Lee :

If the person who did the ultrasound was not a board-certified specialist, then it would be better to seek a specialist.

Dr. Lee :

It is entirely possible that 1.020 is normal for Hector.

Dr. Lee :

One of the key thing you might want to mention to your vet is that we should be treating the patient, not the lab data.

Customer:

very tru thanks for the great advice. you were very helpful

Dr. Lee :

You're welcome. I hope Hector will continue to stay healthy!

Customer:

thanks

Dr. Lee :

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Dr. Lee :

If you do, you can simply come back here for follow up.

Dr. Lee :

An excellent rating will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Dr. Lee, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 5355
Experience: 7 years of experience in veterinary medicine and surgery
Dr. Lee and 3 other Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

my vet spoke tome today and toldme hector has mild dialation in his kidneys. they want to start him onBetro trail antibiotics. for a minimum of four weeks. they are afraid of renal failure. he said it might be a kidnay tissue infection.

Expert:  Dr. Lee replied 1 year ago.
Hi Chris,

With dilation of the kidney, assuming it is the pelvic region, then yes, infection is one of the possibilities. Another would be obstruction, which I have to say that it is unlikely if the ultrasound did not pick up anything else. For infection in the kidney (pyelonephritis), often times it does take 3 to 6 weeks of antibiotic for resolution. Baytril is a good antibiotic to use for this purpose. I would suggest to ask your vet to do an urine culture to see if the lab can pick up any bacteria from that instead of blindly picking an antibiotic as it is possible that we are dealing with a resistant bacteria.

I hope Hector will get better! Please let me know if you have any questions!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

we did a urine culture a while ago and nothing was found. not sute if an infection can still be present if the culture was negative?

Expert:  Dr. Lee replied 1 year ago.
If culture is negative, the chance of there having any bacteria is much less, though not impossible.

Using antibiotic is definitely a good way to go at this point.

Another option I would suggest to consider is to see a board-certified specialist in internal medicine to get a second opinion. You can find one here: www.acvim.org
Expert:  Dr. Lee replied 1 year ago.
Hi Chris,


I'm just following up with you to see how everything is going.


Let me know,
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

we are proceeding with four weeks of baytril for the internal kidney dialation. hopefully it will take care of any infection. we'll go from there. thanks for the follow ups. your concern is appreciated. fell free to msg. ill keep you posted.

Expert:  Dr. Lee replied 1 year ago.
Please do keep me posted. I will contact you again in a few weeks to see how the kidney is doing!

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Dr. Lee
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