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 Persistent Bladder Infection

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
bobvicki Posted - 12/15/2011 : 1:16:14 PM
History: The subject is a 3 year old female with 1st pregnancy. Good health, normal growth and bred for a cria birth on or around 4-18-2012. Breeding was normal to a sire who has many cria on the ground. No noticeable signs of discomfort except everal months agon noticed she was visiting poop pile and peeing frequently. Vet checked and appears to have a bladder infection which is persistent.
Small crystals seen in urine under microscope. Been treated for infection with several drugs and current observations are,
From current owner,
report from my vet about XXXX. She was out last night to do an ultrasound to check for stones as XXXX just does not seem to be improving. We have had her on Excede for the past 6 weeks and are acidifying her diet to try and rid her bladder of the infection and the crystals that it causes. We have done two ultrasounds and have had her catheterized and a culture was taken and sent to Purdue for testing. It showed that there was infection. We have aggressively treated her with antibiotics, but she just doesn't seem to be getting much better. On a positive note, she did still see the baby and it was kicking and moving around, so all seems to be on course with her pregnancy

from vet,
So I didn't see anything that looked like well formed stones however I would say there is some sludgish looking stuff. Bladder wall looks thickened to me also. What concerns me is the way that this infection is not clearing. (suggests Purdue)They may be able to find small stones as they have a better ultrasound than I do, also
they could scope her if needed. I am very concerned that this will be an ongoing problem, however If you want to try different antibiotics I would use Nuflor, give it subQ every other day for 4 doses... I don't have any at the clinic but can get some in for you. Tom may have some, he said he had used it. There is no data for safety in pregnant animals. I called the company and they really couldn't tell me much about its use in alpacas, they have had no reported problems in pregnant cattle. XX said he has used it in preg. animals and I know we did a few times in school. I guess it is another risk/benefit situation. It wouldn't bother me to use it in a pregnant animal, but this is my opinion there is nothing published about it either way.

Anyone have any experience with this type of situation? Any treatments for persistent bladder infections that have worked?

You can reply here or send emails if you don't want to do a public reply.


Bob & Vicki Blodgett
Suri Land Alpaca Ranch
10371 N 2210 Road
Clinton, Oklahoma 73601
11   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
delphi Posted - 12/22/2011 : 11:06:48 PM
P.S. -
Staph Epidermidis is a very common contaminant in cultures as well.
Normally found on the skin - hence the name.

For what it's worth.
It can cause infection in the bladder, which should of course be sterile -
but if it truly came from there, there should be significant WBC's and probably RBC's found on the UA as well, indicating an ongoing infection.

Just a thought.


Linda Bat
Delphi Alpacas
Coaldale, CO
delphi Posted - 12/22/2011 : 10:58:32 PM
Acidifying the urine of alpacas is tough. We tried it on one of our boys that had crystals and it failed to work for more than a day - (we were using ammonium chloride which is Uroeze I guess).
Even at double the dose it would have little or no effect, and it's not a risk free drug, so we discontinued. We were testing the pH with test strips daily.

We ended up increasing his salt intake to increase his water intake in hopes of flushing crystals and sludge out.

His UA culture grew bacteria, but it was a common contaminant bacteria, and no cells were present (there should be white blood cells if there is truly an infection present), so we felt the bacteria grown were from the collection - which was not sterile it was free catch.

He ended up doing fine. Hope your girl does as well - - -


Linda Bat
Delphi Alpacas
Coaldale, CO
pawsnpaca Posted - 12/20/2011 : 12:23:54 PM
No experience with UTIs in alpacas, but lots in dogs. With my dog with persistant UTIs we gave her a daily cranberry supplement, Vitamen C, and never treated her with antibiotics for less than 30 days.

Cranberry supposedly prevents the bacteria from attaching to the urinary tract.
Vit C acidifies the urine (you can buy simple paper-strip tests to monitor urine pH - too acidic can be just as problematic as too basic).
A long course of antibiotics is more likely to get ALL the bacteria, rather than leaving a few drug-resistant bugs behind.

Not sure if any of this applies to alpacas, but... FWIW...

Lisa Cadieux
Wit's End Farm Alpacas
Rochester, NH
Kate Posted - 12/20/2011 : 10:38:31 AM
I have a friend who was putting a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in the water buckets daily, which would acidify the system... The alpacas accepted the flavor with no problem.

Merry Christmas,

Kate M
Alpacas of Sunset Fields
Glen Rock, PA
bobvicki Posted - 12/19/2011 : 6:56:26 PM
the urine culture came back. Staph epidermidis. The good news is that is is susceptible to just about everything. We need to get her on a looooong course of antibiotics and keep acidifying her.

She has been started on the nuflor, any other experiences with this problem.


Bob & Vicki Blodgett
Suri Land Alpaca Ranch
10371 N 2210 Road
Clinton, Oklahoma 73601
highpeaksalpacas Posted - 12/18/2011 : 4:14:15 PM
why don't they culture the urine and find out what the infection is from and treat accordingly...

Debbie Potter
High Peaks Alpacas
Wilmington, NY

Kate Posted - 12/18/2011 : 10:03:03 AM
Hi Bob,

My vet's dosage for Nuflor is 3 ml/100pounds, or 20 mg/kg given every other day until the infection is cleared. We gave a 150 pound girl 4.5 mls every 48hours.

This resolved a recurring abscess high in the cheekbone, and another girls chronic recurring jaw abscess that had been treated with two surgeries and insertion of antibiotic beads by Dr Anderson years ago. 30 day course of treatments never resolved it completely, but an almost as long as 90 day finally course did the trick!

Good luck to your client, and Happy Holidays!

Alpacas of Sunset Fields
Glen Rock, PA
bobvicki Posted - 12/16/2011 : 1:35:23 PM
Does anyone a dosage for Nuflor? Is it a straight dose per animal or based on weight?


Bob & Vicki Blodgett
Suri Land Alpaca Ranch
10371 N 2210 Road
Clinton, Oklahoma 73601
Kate Posted - 12/16/2011 : 11:23:48 AM
I definitely would try Nuflor. It can be used safely for a longer treatment until the infection is cleared up. We have used Nuflor for longer periods-up to several months for persistent infection, successfully. Dr Anderson uses it for persistent jaw infection.

I also would consider a diet change. Suggest that they look at the diet and the minerals that the owner is using, as well as whether the hay has been treated with anything!
Usually the crystals cause infection, not the other way around. I like the cranberry juice suggestion!

Best wishes,

Kate McKelvie
Alpacas of Sunset Fields
Glen Rock, PA
El-Bar Posted - 12/15/2011 : 6:10:34 PM
Hi, i am having a few problems with one of my boys and we suspect something similar. While looking for how to treat it i came across Chanca Piedra so have ordered some, i think i read somewhere about not giving to anything pregnant though so would double check on that.
Heres one link i found that may be of interest

Hope she gets better soon
renfarms Posted - 12/15/2011 : 2:45:52 PM
This may be completely off the wall, but I thought I'd mention it anyway. I know in humans that cranberry juice is often recommended by doctors to help avoid UT infections. I'm not a vet and have no idea of the side effects it may cause, but thought you might want to explore that possibility with your vet. A simple ph test would let you know how acidic cranberry juice is. I know cranberries are contraindicated with certain medications as they can impact the effectiveness of some meds.
For what it's worth...

Bill and Louise Goebel
Renaissance Farms
McArthur, Ohio 45651
(740) 596-1468

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