It started on Christmas Day when we noticed that she was trying to have a wee continually during our walk and immediately thought she had a urinary tract infection (UTI). We called the emergency vet for some advice as we were worried about leaving it until our normal vet was open again on 27th December. They gave us some advice and said we should be OK to wait until 27th unless she took a turn for the worse.
On 27th we got an appointment at the vet and she agreed that she thought it was a UTI so gave us a course of antibiotics. Sadly we didn't see much change over the week so called the vet for another appointment where she suggested doing a bladder scan to check for crystals and bladder stones. We had to leave Pepper at the vet - it was awful! We made ourselves really busy taking the Christmas decorations down in record time and eventually got a call to say we could go and pick Pepper up. She couldn't find any bladder stones and they hadn't found any crystals in her sample so she decided that the best course of action was a different antibiotic.
After a few days she appeared to have improved and by the end of the week she wasn't trying to go continually so we really thought she had got better, but unfortunately we spoke too soon. After another couple of days she was struggling again so we called the vet to see what she would recommend. We took another sample in for them to analyse and this time they found crystals so wanted to do another bladder scan. Unfortunately the scan revealed at least one bladder stone so their recommendation was surgery to have it removed.
On Thursday Pepper was admitted for the operation - another worrying day! We got a call at lunch time to say they had found one large stone, approximately 1cm diameter, and several smaller ones which they had removed, and that Pepper had come round and was recovering nicely. We could pick her up at 6pm - phew!
We saw the vet first so that she could explain what she had done and give us the post op instructions. She showed us the x-rays that had been taken and the large stone was a significant size in her little bladder. She also commented on how brilliantly Pepper had coped with everything that had been done to her and that she couldn't believe how little fuss she had made about the pain she must be experiencing.
She went and got Pepper who was subdued but clearly pleased to see us, and managed a little tail wag! Ian and I are so relieved to have her home - she's such a character that the house just isn't the same when she's not here.
Here she is snuggled on the sofa in her little onesie: