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Dr. Meghan Denney
Dr. Meghan Denney, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1395
Experience:  Veterinarian at Kingsland Blvd Animal Clinic
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I have a 14 week old puppy that is having what seems to be

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I have a 14 week old puppy that is having what seems to be excessive urination. She isn't 100% potty trained which I don't expect. But cleaning 7 puddles in 30 minutes is concerning.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Strange behavior is often perplexing. I'm sure the Veterinarian can help you. Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about the puppy?
Customer: No

Hi I am Dr. Denney. I am currently reviewing your post now. Please give me a few minutes to type my response. Thank you for trusting us with your response.

She may have a urinary tract infection. In female dogs common symptoms of this condition is peeing more than usual and in some cases drinking more than usual.

How long has she been having this issue?

Other possibilities is that she has some congenital kidney issues which means that her kidneys may not be able to concentrate her urine so whatever she intakes goes straight to her bladder which fills up much faster than normal then the urine and gets peed out.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Since she was 9 weeks or so. But her urine isn't darker than usual. She also urinates a lot even when not drinking water within the last hour or two.

What breed is she?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
She is a Bloodhound

Hmm so liver shunt would be unlikely but should be on our list of possibilities.

This is where the liver does not have the appropriate blood supply so it cannot filter the toxins like it should and also does not make enough of what it should and one of the products the liver makes is urea which helps with urine concentration.

Ok so we need to start considering a few things and get some testing done on your pup to get this figured out.

First and the most easy to fix and cheapest is checking for a urinary tract infection

The urinary tract consists of the kidneys, ureters (tubes that carry urine to the bladder for storage), the urinary bladder, and the urethra that conducts urine outside the body. A urinary tract infection could involve any of these areas though most commonly when we speak of a urinary tract infection, or UTI, we mean “bladder infection.” Because bladder infections are localized to the bladder, there are rarely signs of infection in other body systems: no fever, no appetite loss, and no change in the blood tests. If the infection ascends all the way to the kidneys, then we do tend to find other signs and other lab work changes. While a kidney infection is technically also a urinary tract infection, we usually use the term pyelonephritis to describe a kidney infection (see the section on "Not So Simple Infections" below).

It is also important to note that the term UTI is frequently erroneously used to refer to feline idiopathic cystitis, which is a common inflammatory condition of the feline bladder affecting young adult cats. It is not a bladder infection.

Bladder Infection: What Does it Look Like and Where did it Come from?
The kidneys make urine every moment of the day. The urine is moved down the ureters and into the bladder. The urinary bladder is a muscular little bag that stores the urine until we are ready to get rid of it. The bladder must be able to expand for filling, contract down for emptying, and respond to voluntary control.

The bladder is a sterile area of the body, which means that bacteria do not normally reside there. When bacteria (or any other organisms for that matter) gain entry and establish growth in the bladder, infection has occurred and symptoms can result. People with bladder infections typically report a burning sensation during urination. With pets we see some of the following signs:

  • Excessive water consumption.
  • Urinating only small amounts at a time.
  • Urinating frequently and in multiple spots.
  • Inability to hold urine the normal amount of time/apparent incontinence.
  • Bloody urine (though an infection must either involve a special organism, a bladder stone, a bladder tumor, or be particularly severe to make urine red to the naked eye).
  • Sometimes there are no symptoms at all so it is important to periodically screen patients at risk (such as elderly patients and patients that use cortisone-type medications long term).

The external genital area where urine is expelled is teeming with bacteria. Bladder infection results when bacteria from the lower tract climb into the bladder, defeating the natural defense mechanisms of the system (forward urine flow, the bladder lining, inhospitable urine chemicals etc.). A bladder infection is not contagious.

  • Bladder infection is somewhat unusual in cats under age 10 years.
  • Bladder infection is somewhat unusual in neutered male dogs.

Testing for Bladder Infections
There are many tests that can be performed on a urine sample and people can get confused about what information different tests provide.

Urine Culture (and Sensitivity)
This is the only test that can confirm a urinary tract infection. In this test, the urine is spun rapidly in a centrifuge to separate out the solids from the liquid. The solid part, called the sediment, is transferred to a specialized container and incubated for bacterial growth.

If bacteria grow, that confirms the presence of bacteria; furthermore, a positive culture done by a reference laboratory is usually followed by additional important information: an estimate of the concentration of bacteria, the identification of the bacteria, and the antibiotic sensitivity profile. Knowing the concentration of bacteria in the sample helps determine if the bacteria cultured might represent contaminants from the lower urinary tract or bacteria that are transient and not truly colonizing the bladder. Similarly, knowing the species of bacteria also helps determine if the bacteria grown are known to cause disease or likely to be innocent bystanders. The antibiotic profile tells us what antibiotics will work against the infection. There is, after all, no point in prescribing the wrong antibiotic. Clearly, the culture is a valuable test when infection is suspected.

Urine culture results require at least a couple of days as bacteria require this long to grow.


The urinalysis is an important part of any database of laboratory tests. It is an important screening tool whether or not an infection is suspected. The urinalysis examines chemical properties of the urine sample such as the pH, specific gravity (a measure of concentration), and amount of protein or other biochemicals. It also includes a visual inspection of the urine sediment to look for crystals, cells, or bacteria. This test often precedes the culture or lets the doctor know that a culture is in order. Indications that a culture of a urine sample should be done based on urinalysis findings include:

  • Excessive white blood cells (white blood cells fight infection and should not be in a normal urine sample except as an occasional finding).
  • Bacteria seen when the sediment is checked under the microscope.
  • Excessive protein in the urine (protein is generally conserved by the urinary tract. Urine protein indicates either inflammation in the bladder or protein-wasting by the kidneys. Infection must be ruled out before pursuing renal protein loss.)
  • Dilute urine. When the patient drinks water excessively, urine becomes dilute and it becomes impossible to detect bacteria or white blood cells so a culture must be performed to determine if there are any organisms. Further, excessive water consumption is a common symptom of bladder infection and should be pursued.
  • If the patient has symptoms suggestive of an infection, a urinalysis need not precede the culture; both tests can be started at the same time

​Second condition we need to check for is congenital kidney dysfunction

This condition can happen in us too. Some People are born with 1 kidney or 2 small kidneys etc. Blood work and Ultrasound imaging would check for this

​Third condition is liver shunt

A portosystemic shunt (PSS, portasystemic shunt, portocaval shunt, portacaval shunt, liver shunt, hepatic shunt, or porto-systemic vascular anomaly) happens when a pet’s venous blood from the stomach, intestines, pancreas, and spleen bypasses the liver. The pet can be born with the shunt (congenital) or can get it later (acquired). About 80% of the cases are congenital, although sometimes a pet can have both types. About 25-33% of the congenital shunts are within the liver. Approximately 0.18% of all dogs have congenital shunting.

During pregnancy, the portal blood vessel in the fetus bypasses the liver (the mother’s liver filters out toxins for the fetus). Normally this shunt closes within three days after birth. In affected animals, the shunt doesn't close and the blood continues to bypass the liver. Because the liver filters toxins, if it is bypassed the toxins build up in the body. This results in the puppy or kitten having slow or nonexistent growth (failure to thrive). If left untreated, puppies and kittens are not likely to survive.

Congenital shunts seem to happen more in purebreds than in mixed breeds. Breeds with increased risk of PSS include Yorkshire terrier, Maltese terrier, Silky terrier, miniature schnauzer, miniature and toy poodles, Lhasa apso, Bichon Frise, shih tzu, Havanese, Dandie Dinmont terrier, Pekingese, German shepherd dog, golden retriever, Doberman pinscher, Labrador retriever, Irish setter, Samoyed, Old English sheepdog, Irish wolfhound, Australian shepherd, Australian cattle dog, Himalayan, and Persian.

No sex predisposition has been documented.

An acquired liver shunt is usually caused by liver problems (hepatic cirrhosis, portal hypertension, hepatic arterio-venous malformations, etc.) that resulted in the body routing blood through whatever blood vessels are available, even if it means bypassing the liver. (It would be like taking side streets to your final destination, instead of using the interstate highway.) As happens with congenital shunts, the liver can't filter what doesn't pass through it, so toxins build up in the body.


Signs include stunted growth, not gaining weight, losing weight, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, unresponsiveness, temporary blindness, seizures, spaciness (staring into space), disorientation, circling, poor skin and coat, excessive drinking, excessive urination, etc. Sometimes the pet will just act odd after eating, or pace around or press his head against the wall. The signs you will see depend on the location of the shunt and how many toxins have built up in the body. Some pets will only have one sign, while others could have several. Many of the clinical signs associated with PSSs are related to hepatic encephalopathy.


Clinical signs, blood tests, urinalysis, and imaging tests (e.g., radiographs, ultrasound images, portograms [an image of the blood vessels to the liver], or nuclear scintigraphy [a nuclear scan that measures blood flow]) can be used for diagnosis. Blood bile acids are elevated after a meal, so the before-meal and after-meal bile acid levels are compared. Despite the variety of tests available, a confirmed diagnosis may not be available until surgery is done.

Can you get her an appointment with your regular veterinarian to get her urine checked and some baseline blood work. That is where I would start. Hopefully this is just an urinary tract infection which we can treat with oral antibiotics.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I will call my regular vet as soon as they open tomorrow.

Good luck!

If this was helpful I would be most appreciative if you could take the time to rate my assistance so the site will credit me with helping you.

I am also here for additional questions you may have just reach out to me here and I will be more than happy to assist you.

Kind regards,

Dr. Meghan Denney

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