A friend recently told me that if he ever owned a dog he
wouldn't ever need to seek my advice as a vet as he reckoned
that having previously read all my articles he was well
equipped to diagnose most problems himself! If only it were
Three years ago when Max was only 5 years of age he was
brought to me by his owners because they had noticed him
passing blood in his urine. Normally, this should be a relatively
straightforward diagnosis but sadly not everything in life
is that simple despite my friend's "black and white"
vision! Many of the patients I treat that never quite make
the newspaper occupy that rather large "grey"
With regard to "Max's" symptoms an infection
would be top of the most likely list but antibiotics failed
to produce any improvement.
Further investigation involved assessing the entire urinary
tract for other possible causes. The bladder and prostate
were visualised using radiography, contrast studies and
The kidneys and ureters were evaluated using special contrast
dyes. Blood tests and coagulation profiles were performed
to check the ability of his blood to clot. Bladder stones,
cysts, blood dyscrasias and tumours were all crossed off
the list. Finally when we couldn't think of any more places
to search for the continued blood in the urine "Max"
was taken to the University of Bristol. There the search
was repeated all over again all to no avail.