Facing a Challenge We Hadn’t Foreseen with Our New Dog

Facing a Challenge We Hadn’t Foreseen with Our New Dog

Christine Tender Points

It’s been a trying week at our house. It turns out that the puddles our new little dog was leaving were not the result of his recent neutering as we had assumed. Despite several walks on a leash every day during which he completes his business outdoors as he should, he continues to leak upon returning home.

A urinalysis revealed a urinary tract infection requiring antibiotics and expensive prescription dog food to prevent recurrences. Unfortunately, in addition to his medical issue, our veterinarian suspects that his constant urination may be a behavioral issue. I’m exhausted from cleaning up after this poor little dog. And poor little me is still having head and neck pain from suboccipital neuralgia that didn’t totally respond to the trigger point injection I received nine days ago.

We all know that stress worsens our fibromyalgia symptoms. And this dog situation is stressful indeed — as well as disappointing! We finally found a dog with the perfect temperament, size, age, look, and trainability, and we discover that he has issues. With any luck, this little dog will be perfect for us, after a course of antibiotics and some special dog food made to dissolve the crystals in his urine. Sadly, that has not been our experience in the past.

Our previous dog of similar size and breed had similar issues. We tried several different prescription dog foods, but they didn’t prevent his body from forming crystals, which periodically led to bladder stones and to three very expensive surgeries to remove them. His health issues didn’t appear until much later in his life, by which time he was firmly a member of our family.

So, here we are two weeks in with our new dog, and we have discovered a similar challenge. We’d like to believe the medications will solve the problem. However, we can also foresee a possible money pit in our future. So, we’re faced with a dilemma. Can we afford to keep this dog? Will keeping him be more stressful than therapeutic? Will his issues rule out his ever becoming a therapy dog? If there’s one requirement that is essential for that designation, it’s that a dog is thoroughly potty trained.

Our current plan is to wait until the antibiotics are finished and his urine is retested. Depending on whether any crystals remain, we will re-evaluate the situation at that time. I think we could overcome either a health issue or a behavioral issue. I just don’t think we could survive both.

In the meantime, I’ve just applied a doggie diaper to Sam’s cute little bottom. It was surprisingly easy to do. Now, at least he has the freedom to roam our house without ruining furniture and carpets. I can finally put down my bottle of odor remover and take a nap. It’s not ideal, but it’s the best we can do for now. Stay tuned for further developments.


Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.


  1. Michele Henne says:

    I know that with cats who develop crystals in their bladder/urinary tract, vets often put them on Xanax. It helps them relax and helps prevent the crystals from building up. I don’t know if it would help with a dog, though. My cat had that tendency but I was able to prevent his crystals by feeding him the Urinary SO formula food. I hope you are able to help your puppy. <3 <3 <3

  2. Cindy H. says:

    I too hope you are able to help your puppy. However, don’t feel guilty if your intuition/gut instinct tells you that this may be too much. Having fibromyalgia isn’t easy and you don’t need to be on “potty detail” all the time. Your are smart to be willing to do a reevaluation later. I love having multiple cats yet have discovered my limit is three and no more. Good luck with your fur kid and give him a hug for me:)

  3. Val Jones says:

    I read this website because as stated:
    Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease.
    My question is what does a urinary tract infection with a dog have to do with the disease? I’m aware that it was stressful for the owner but it clearly has nothing to do with the disease.
    I read this site because I’m looking for information on how to treat fibromyalgia.

  4. Christine Lynch says:

    This week you received a bonus from this particular column. In addition to learning about a successful treatment for occipital neuralgia (common to FM sufferers) you also learned how challenging and stressful dog ownership can be – information that may be useful in making a decision about owning a dog yourself.

  5. Maria says:

    I can totally relate to having Fibro and an emotional companion dog. I would like to suggest to the owner of the therapy pup to change all foods to RAW and to do some research on the benefits to feeding RAW dog food and having a holistic veterinarian treat your pup/dog for the sake of having a healthier pup/dog. Having Fibro/CFS is no joke especially when you have to continually clean-up after your loving pup/dog. Yet, where would we be without them? Signed…been there and still there.

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