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I hope this doesn't turn into a hugely long post....the point of this post, I guess, will be to share a story that might help someone, a thought about how we got here, and also see if anyone has advice on preventing this from happening again.

First off....I have had Willow for almost 3 years and she has never asked to go outside. Never. Sometimes she will go 12+ hours without peeing, and then only pees because I put her outside and ask her to.

Second...she is a HUGE scent-marker. When we go for walks, she will pee every 2 minutes or so, a little bit at a time, and she'll squat even when she's "out of gas" as I like to say. So I wonder sometimes if she holds in her pee so she has more in her arsenal for our walks. I joke that she has "Mondo Bladder".

I noticed this morning as we were playing that she had a little bit of yellowish, milky discharge on the inside of her leg, near her vulva. I figured I would give it some time to see if it'd clear up. but then I noticed she was licking the area a lot more than she normally does. So I called and made a vet appointment (I guess I'm one of those lucky SOBs who can get a same-day vet appointment...). We just got back.

The vet, who was not the normal vet but one visiting from Missoula, said she thought the discharge looked "normal" (which made me pause because I found a website that said any vaginal discharge from a spayed female is abnormal). She said they could take a urine sample if I wanted and test it, or wait and see if things improved. I decided to just go ahead and do a urine sample, and thanks to Willow's penchant for scent-marking, I was able to get one outside the clinic in about 20 seconds. Lo and behold--there was bacteria and mucus in the urine, and the vet noted the pH was on the basic side. Prescribed me some antibiotics for a UTI.

Willow has not presented with any increase in needing to pee--took her for a long walk at 7:30am and she didn't pee again til we got to the vet clinic at 1:30pm. All I noticed was some mucus and her licking. So I'm guessing this was a very mild, or very early-stage, UTI. But I'm wondering if this was caused by the fact that she only pees 2x-3x per day? Should I take her out more??? Just because she can hold it, doesn't mean she should?

Also wondering if any of you add anything in the diet to prevent this. I read recently that the whole cranberry juice thing for humans was proven to be bunk. Willow does get a probiotic tablet with her dinner, but otherwise nothing special. Any advice?

OK sorry this ended up being long. Here's a pic of Willow being super chill at the clinic.
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Ilita and Rusty
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I don't have any helpful advise. Just wanted to say glad you caught it fast and hope Willow recovers soon.

I used to control bladder infections with Vit C. I never liked cranberry juice unless it had rum in it (that was a long time ago).
 

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Fern GSD 5yrs, Chloe the Cat
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Fern and Willow has a lot of similarities. Fern does indicate but not in a reliable way. If I am actively doing something or very busy, she would rather wait 10+ hours vs asking me to go out. So far I've been taking her out 3-5 times a day and it's been good. She also marks every 2 seconds when we're outside and she will definitely hold urine for the rest of the walk. Luckily no UTI for Fern but still the same behaviors!
 

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No advice either, sorry. Buffy sometimes will also go 12+ hours without a pee. She would let us know if she needs to go during the day or even in the middle of the night which happens rarely. She settles down with us at around 8.30pm every night, she would sleep through the night, I always let her out first thing in the morning but sometimes she prefers to stay in bed a bit longer or the weather is too warm for her and won't go until she needs to. She is 3 now and touch wood she hasn't had any UTI but back in my mind I do worry a bit that she holds it for so long.
 

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I've had a couple of foster dogs where we caught a symptom-free UTI by chance -- our rescue's vet figured out that the IDEXX senior wellness panel with urinalysis was cheaper than running separte panels we sometimes do, so we ended up getting a "free" urinalysis if we did it as a package. More than once, we caught an early UTI on a dog who didn't have symptoms.
 
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