Bill and Chris got Arwen, a beautiful purebred Rough Coat Collie, as a “six- to seven-week‐old teensie puppy, ” says Bill. “We’d gone to a breeder in Lebanon, picker her out, and went home to wait for her to be old enough to leave the nest.”
The day they picked her up, they made an appointment for a puppy check with their Newberg vet. Upon examination, the vet declared that Arwen appeared to be healthy, but her vulva was positioned too far into her body cavity. This condition could lead to infection in some dogs and could be dealt with a procedure in the future if needed.
The family went home with their new addition. They were hopeful of quick pack acceptance by their two current dogs, Pepan (100-lb 10-year-old male Rough Coat Collie) who is a sweet but stern soul; and Manchu, a 110‐lb six-year-old male Great Pyrenees. Within two weeks, Arwen and the boys found their pecking order and bonded into the pack structure. Manchu became like a puppy again, enjoying the companionship of his new girlfriend.
Within the first couple of weeks of Arwen’s arrival, the family noticed some abnormal behaviors. She appeared to have trouble urinating, and also was having some drippy urine discharge when she lay down.
Back to the vet they went, and Arwen was prescribed medication for a bladder infection. After a short time with no slowing of the dripping, they returned to the Newberg vet. After confirming there was no longer infection, the vet suggested they try medication for bladder control. This too was unsuccessful and alternative options were discussed.
Arwen was then referred to Cascade Veterinary Referral Center. The Family vet said they were the leaders in orthoscopic surgery for bladder issues. Not only was the doctor renowned in his field, Bill says, but he actually invented the procedure they were considering for Arwen.
“The doctor was absolutely fabulous,” says Bill. “The entire staff was just great with Arwen . . . and also with our other two dogs, who came along with us to some of her appointments.”
Bill says when they arrived at CVRC, Arwen walked right up to the doctor, who sat right down on the floor with her. “Basically we were all sitting on the floor — it was pretty amazing.”
The doctor determined that Arwen had an ectopic ureter. “The kidney has a tube to the bladder.” Bill explains. “The bladder holds urine, which then passes through the urethra.” In Arwens case, the bladder wasn’t properly connected to her kidney.
The doctor suggested various options. Arwen’s family especially appreciated that he gave a detailed, step-by-step explanation of all the options, and plenty of time to discuss her options. An example of the decision-making process was that the doctor planned to go in with a scope and said, ‘If I’m up there and find a problem, I need to know whether you want me to go ahead [and fix it] or stop.” The family thought this was excellent, because they were drawn into the decision-making process prior to the procedure. “It was the best brainstorming session conducted based on facts and probable solutions that any pet parent could hope for,” says Chris. “I appreciated the fact that we were part of the solution and that we had an active voice in the direction prior to the procedure.”
The family gave the go ahead, and the procedure was successful.
Not long after, “We decided to have Arwen fixed at the Newberg vet clinic. After about a month and a half, during which there was no leakage whatsoever, there was a leakage issue from the spaying. “Of course during that time,” Bill chuckles, “we were looking at every little drop on the floor — which turned out to be her brother Manchu’s slobber or something else.”
After her spay, the family vet warned Bill and Chris that Arwen might start leaking again as a result of the procedure and hormonal changes. In about six weeks, she did.
The family then began giving Arwen artificial hormones every day, to keep her from leaking. “We’d gone full circle!” Bill says in a ‘go figure’ way.
“She is a wonderful kid. It was expensive, but well worth it — every bit of it,” Bill affirms. “Someone else might have left her as an outside dog . . . or given her away . . . or had her put down. Once we take responsibility [for an animal] it’s our responsibility for life. She’s a wonderful, loving little kid.”
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