This is Lola.
Lola was one of five puppies born by emergency caesarean Section on the 20th September 2017.
This was our first litter and a very well planned one with all available prebreeding screening carried out. We were delighted with Ellie's bundles of joy and she was a fantastic mum always caring for her brood.
On day three, Lola was noted to be wet and leaking urine. She was given antibiotics by our local vet incase an infection was present. However it appeared that Lola more than likely had ectopic ureters (where the ureters bypass the bladder and open up into the urethra). She was totally incontinent all the time but had slight bladder function as she could voluntarily urinate tiny amounts.
I was advised we may have to say goodbye to her? Feeling absolutely devastated, I looked at her face, how could I possibly let her go? She was perfect in every other way. I needed to give her a chance, I owed her the chance to have a life!
I began researching ectopic ureters and we were then referred to The Queens Veterinary College in Cambridge who were undertaking research and treatment into ectopic ureters in Golden Retrievers. We sent DNA samples to the AHT for their research into the condition and the plan then was to continue to bath daily and protect her skin to prevent urine scalding and infection until she reached 12 weeks of age, the age she could undergo investigations and treatment at the Queens.
We kept on with the daily bathing and protecting her skin with Cavilon spray and then Isoderm during a flare up, along with regular urinalysis and antibiotics when needed. Her bath's started off in a desert bowl, progressing onto a washing up bowl, then the main bath as she grew. All this time, she remained a playful and happy pup, who loved her cuddles, loved her Mum and us, but most importantly loved her life.
Lola went to the Queens in December 2017 where a diagnosis of ectopic ureter on her left side was confirmed. She underwent laser ablation surgery to the left ureter. The right ureter although positioned in her bladder but very low down close to the bladder neck was left alone in the hope that as she grew, the position would improve. She also had an abnormal band of tissue lasered and further scans to rule out a possible liver shunt due to some bloods being slightly abnormal. Luckily a liver shunt was ruled out.
Off we went home, praying our beloved Lola would become drier in the days to follow. Sadly this wasn’t the case, and despite further antibiotics, she became much more severely incontinent as she grew bigger with further infections occurring. We had to battle to keep her skin as dry and protected as possible to prevent urine burns.
We took her back to the Queens at Cambridge in early May once she had reached 7 months of age for further cystoscopy and possible laser ablation. This time, both ureters were now positioned abnormally low down deep into the bladder neck, therefore both sides were lasered right back. Lola also underwent urodynamic studies and this confirmed a very poor bladder function with severely weak sphincter, and a second diagnosis of urethral sphincter mechanism incompetence was made.
We left hoping that despite the USMI diagnosis, with the ureters both now being positioned much better in her bladder, things would improve to a degree.
Unfortunately Lola had no improvement at all and it was decided to start her on medication. We commenced Propalin which usually works by tightening the sphincter muscle, sadly in Lolas case this stopped her being able to voluntary urinate which significantly increased her incontinence. This was immediately stopped and further urinalysis was undertaken and confirmed clear. We restarted a week or so after on a much lower dose, with the plan to build the dosage up. We had no change in her incontinence initially but as the dosage started increasing, once again Lola stopped being able to voluntarily urinate and began flooding again much worse than usual. Again we had to stop the Propalin.
We then tried Oxybutinin which works as a bladder relaxant and this again caused the same side effects to Lola as the Propalin did, no longer able to urinate but a significant increase in incontinence from severe to flooding.
Along with our vet Laura at the Queens who has guided us through the whole process, we decided to wait for her season, hoping that when it does, the estrogen surge will increase sphincter tone and render her dry. We just had to keep infections under control and continue regular urinalysis.
In early June 2018, she started to become drier as each day went by, a week later she was completely dry and then her season started, we were delighted to see it and could not believe our lovely Lola was finally dry. We prayed she would remain dry after her season ended. However in true Lola style this wasn’t the case and she only remained continent for 3 weeks.
So now the plan is to go back to the Queens at Cambridge and fit an Artificial Urethral Sphincter which should, all being well render her continent. This is the best hope now for Lola.
However as although Lola is insured, her urinary system isn’t covered as she was born with this, I need to raise approximately £3000 to get her through this next treatment.
In view of the excessive vet bills we’ve already paid to get Lola to this stage and in order to get her this much needed further surgery, I am undertaking a 100 mile bike ride from Pontefract in West Yorkshire to the Humber Bridge and back on the 8th October 2018 as well as a 10 mile run on the 14th October in order to raise sponsorship towards the surgery to fit the artificial urethral sphincter (AUS). I’m nowhere near fit enough for this challenge but I owe this little girl the chance of a life.
In the event we have surplus funds, this will be donated to the Queens Veterinary College at Cambridge.
I’d like to thank you for reading this and hope you’d like to sponsor this event with a view to getting Lola this operation and a chance of a normal life that she deserves.
Thank you so much for reading xxxx