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Bladder Stone Advice - Exercise

AbigailH

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Hi, I hope someone can offer some advice for me. I have a 1 year old Male pig who has had repeated UTI's and now diagnosed with substantial bladder stone. He has been sent home with a bottle of loxicom which he has twice a day. i'm reducing his nugget intake, upping his water intake and the vet advised more exercise. I have 2 pigs, they share a nice sized pen with toys, plenty of hay, water and places to hide...but honestly they sleep near enough all day. Even when I move them into a new room they explore for maybe half an hour then find somewhere to sleep! Is this normal?
How do I increase his exercise?
Any advice appreciated..he squeaks every time he goes to the toilet and it's still quite red. I want to help him anyway I can. Condition aside he is 100% himself!
 

Claire W

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I’m sorry to hear that your boy has a bladder stone :( has your vet scheduled a date for surgery as surgery is the only way to get rid of them.

As for exercise, it’s impossible to make them exercise. All you can do is keep offering them floor time. My piggies prefer to lay down and sleep during floor time too

As for diet, hay is making up 80% of their diet veg 15% and pellets 5%. They only need a tablespoon of pellets per pig per day

You could also try filtering the drinking water especially if you live in a hard water area
 

AbigailH

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Oh that's good to know it's not just mine! No, the vet has recommended surgery as a last option as she said the stone will come back quickly once removal has happened, so I've just been advised to up his water intake and make him exercise more, I just hate hearing him in pain when he pees and I feel so helpless.
 

Piggies&buns

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:agr: With @Claire W

In terms of further stone prevention, filtering their water is also important as well as keeping their nuggets strictly limited and high calcium veg (kale, spinach, parsley) alsp limited . Nuggets and water contain most calcium though so that step alone can have a great impact. Although it can take weeks for diet changes to have an effect on calcium levels in the body, none of these steps will do anything for the current stone and surgical removal is going to be necessary.

Otherwise, plenty of floor time and enrichment. Big piles of hay with forage hidden, scatter feeding their food rather than using bowls etc can get them moving about more.
 

Piggies&buns

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Oh that's good to know it's not just mine! No, the vet has recommended surgery as a last option as she said the stone will come back quickly once removal has happened, so I've just been advised to up his water intake and make him exercise more, I just hate hearing him in pain when he pees and I feel so helpless.
Surgical removal of a stone is essential, I don’t know why a vet would say it is a last resort. If it moves and get stuck in the nook boars have, then he will be in immense pain and emergency and immediate surgery will be needed. I’d get a second opinion

Stones don’t always come back and some piggies have no reoccurrence particularly with diet changes, but some piggies are just predisposed to them.
 

Claire W

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Oh that's good to know it's not just mine! No, the vet has recommended surgery as a last option as she said the stone will come back quickly once removal has happened, so I've just been advised to up his water intake and make him exercise more, I just hate hearing him in pain when he pees and I feel so helpless.
I would really encourage you to opt for surgery as the stone isn’t going to go away by itself and if it gets stuck in the urethra, this is a medical emergency
 

Swissgreys

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Oh that's good to know it's not just mine! No, the vet has recommended surgery as a last option as she said the stone will come back quickly once removal has happened, so I've just been advised to up his water intake and make him exercise more, I just hate hearing him in pain when he pees and I feel so helpless.
I am sorry you are dealing with bladder stones - they can be nasty and very painful.

However the bladder stone will not go away without surgery, and in a male leaving a bladder stone can result in a full blockage as it moves down the urethra leading to a life or death emergency.

I don't want to scare you , but the stone most definitely needs to be removed as the situation will not improve while it is in place.

And whilst some piggies do sufferer with recurring bladder stones, a large number don't, and once the original stone is removed with a controlled diet it is possible that they will not return.

Is your vet experienced with guinea pigs?
At this point I would consider asking for a second opinion from a cavy specialist.
 

AbigailH

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Gosh I didn't realise it was common to have surgery...yes, we travel to a vet 40 mins away because she is an exotic pet specialist! I think I will have a word with my fiance and talk to the vet about surgery - I don't like the fact i'm just giving him pain meds twice a day and hes still in pain. I am now filtering the water as I live in a hard water area - he has oxbow nuggets and has had for 6 months or more... for veg they have spring greens, green / yellow pepper, carrot, coriander, broccoli, tomatoes, cucumber and the occasional bit of cauliflower... (all of this is mixed and matched and given about a cup a day) do you think there's something bad in what I'm feeding them?
I just don't understand how he has got this stone, could it really be the water alone?
 

Piggies&buns

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Gosh I didn't realise it was common to have surgery...yes, we travel to a vet 40 mins away because she is an exotic pet specialist! I think I will have a word with my fiance and talk to the vet about surgery - I don't like the fact i'm just giving him pain meds twice a day and hes still in pain. I am now filtering the water as I live in a hard water area - he has oxbow nuggets and has had for 6 months or more... for veg they have spring greens, green / yellow pepper, carrot, coriander, broccoli, tomatoes, cucumber and the occasional bit of cauliflower... (all of this is mixed and matched and given about a cup a day) do you think there's something bad in what I'm feeding them?
I just don't understand how he has got this stone, could it really be the water alone?
As we said, surgery is essential. If it is a ’substantial‘ stone then it needs to be taken out of him before it blocks his urethra. If this vet won’t operate, then look for a different vet.

Nuggets (even the lowest calcium nuggets) and water contribute a lot of calcium to the diet, more than the highest calcium veg (Kale) does, but some piggies are simply more likely to get them no matter what you do. Filtering the water and keeping nuggets strictly to one tablespoon per day can go a long way to reducing calcium intake.

Veg wise it looks fine - although only give carrot or tomato once per week (carrot is high in sugar and tomatoes are too acidic and can lead to mouth sores).
 

AbigailH

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Oh yes the carrot and tomatoes are given as treats! I will continue to limit nuggets and filter water in the meantime, and I am going to have a conversation with my vet about surgery. I'm so cross that I was told to just keep doing what I'm doing and that surgery is a last resort! Thank you everyone for all your help x
 

AbigailH

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It's been quite a journey to get him under the right vet, but we are in with an exotic specialist. I had a phonecall consultation with them this morning (they have seen his x-ray) and they have said that the stone is quite large and it wouldn't be fair to keep him on pain meds indefinitely as he is only 1 and a half! Which was what I was concerned about really. So yes, he is scheduled in for surgery on Tuesday. I'm so nervous, I know i'm doing the best thing for him - but its horrible to know the risks that come with anaesthetic 😢 especially when he is such a spritely little chap, it's only when he wee's that you would know there was a problem, otherwise he is his usual happy self.
But i'm crossing all fingers for him 💕
 

Siikibam

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All the best for Tuesday. It’s okay to worry. Hopefully it will all go well. 🤞🏾
 

Swissgreys

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You have done a great job with him, and he sounds like the perfect candidate for surgery so hopefully it will go well.
We will all be thinking of you.
 
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