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Bladder stones/bilateral cysts

Pigmom95

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Hello,

I’m new to the Guinea pig forum. I have 2 adopted guinea pigs- Scruff & Ginger who are roughly 3/3.5 years old.

On New Year’s Day, I noticed blood in their cage and quickly realised it was Scruff. I called the vets immediately and few days later she was booked in and given metacam 0.38ml- she was 1 kg. They performed a conscious ultrasoud scan and found the dreaded bladder stones and also to our surprise bilateral ovarian cysts which they advised will need to be operated on at some point.

Since the diagnosis of her bladder stones her metacam has been put up to 0.6ml- (She has lost weight through being unwell and is now 0.89g) and have started her on Catease and antibiotics.

My worry is, the vets want to leave her 7-10 days to see if she passes the stones naturally. She will then have another ultrasound and if they are still present she will need them surgically removed.

Is this normal practice to leave them to ‘wait and see’ if they pass? She is crying every time she wee’s or poo’s and is bleeding, very puffed up and hunched over.

Any advice would be much appreciated!
P.s, She already has had a low calcium diet for over a year due to stomach issues. She only has romaine lettuce or pepper and is not allowed any pellets or treats. She has unlimited Timothy hay and I have always filtered their water since I’ve had them x
 

Claire W

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I’m sorry to hear your piggy is poorly :(

Guinea pigs very rarely pass bladder stones themselves and it’s risky leaving them because if they get stuck in the urethra stopping urine flow, this can be fatal and is a medical emergency.

If I were you, I would speak to the vet about these concerns and see if they will do the operation sooner. If not, I’d be looking for another vet who is willing to do the surgery straight away x
 

Pigmom95

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Thanks for your reply Claire, I feel the same way.

What surprised me most is my vets is an exotic specialist and has won many awards in this field! I’ll give them a call and express my concern in waiting.

Many thanks! X
 

VickiA

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Some piggies are just prone to developing stones. However, once they’ve been seen on scan unless they are very small, they usually require surgical removal. Did the vet show you the size of them and indicate the likelihood of them passing naturally?
 

Pigmom95

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Hi Vicki, thanks for replying.

Due to covid we had the pass the pigs over in the car park so we didn’t get to see the scan etc or know how big they are, that’s something I will call and ask.

They seemed confident in waiting to see if they pass along with metacam, catease and antibiotics, but I’ve never heard of this before and was under the impression they should be removed ASAP! Hate leaving her in pain like this
 

Wiebke

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Hello,

I’m new to the Guinea pig forum. I have 2 adopted guinea pigs- Scruff & Ginger who are roughly 3/3.5 years old.

On New Year’s Day, I noticed blood in their cage and quickly realised it was Scruff. I called the vets immediately and few days later she was booked in and given metacam 0.38ml- she was 1 kg. They performed a conscious ultrasoud scan and found the dreaded bladder stones and also to our surprise bilateral ovarian cysts which they advised will need to be operated on at some point.

Since the diagnosis of her bladder stones her metacam has been put up to 0.6ml- (She has lost weight through being unwell and is now 0.89g) and have started her on Catease and antibiotics.

My worry is, the vets want to leave her 7-10 days to see if she passes the stones naturally. She will then have another ultrasound and if they are still present she will need them surgically removed.

Is this normal practice to leave them to ‘wait and see’ if they pass? She is crying every time she wee’s or poo’s and is bleeding, very puffed up and hunched over.

Any advice would be much appreciated!
P.s, She already has had a low calcium diet for over a year due to stomach issues. She only has romaine lettuce or pepper and is not allowed any pellets or treats. She has unlimited Timothy hay and I have always filtered their water since I’ve had them x
Hi!

Your piggy should be operated as soon as possible; she is in a great deal of pain. It may be a cystitis or a stone stuck in the urethra. How big are the stones and how likely they are to come out naturally. However, in most cases, this is just a prayer on a wing when a vet is not happy to operate.

Please step in with syringe feeding support to keep her strength up
Emergency, Crisis and Bridging Care until a Vet Appointment
Complete Syringe Feeding Guide

Please be aware that most calcium in a diet is coming via unfiltered water and pellets but that a diet too low in calcium can also cause long term problems. You cannot cut out everything; I would recommend to feed at least some herb in order to cover for trace elements and minderals etc that would normally come with their forage. You can also not say how long she's had those stones in her bladder.
The calcium absorption process is very complex. Unless your calcium balance is way out of kilter, diet is just the only aspect that we can control. Genetic disposition or something major going suddenly wrong in the absorption process can flip the switch.


Ovarian cysts are very common, the more the older a sow gets. The most common variety are the non-hormonal fluid cysts, which don't cause any symptoms unless they grow very large and impact on other organs. It is only the hormone driven usually relatively small cysts that cause the 'typical' symptoms and behaviour - and no necessarily all of them all the time.
Sows: Behaviour and female health problems (including ovarian cysts)
 

Pigmom95

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Hi Wiebke,

Thanks for your reply. I agree she should be operated on ASAP and am surprised my vet is delaying this, especially being an exotic specialist vet! I will call and express my concerns in waiting and as Vicki advised I will ask how big the stones are as if they are tiny maybe that’s why the vet wants to leave it for a week? I also give the pigs Pro C in one bottle and normal water in another. What herbs would you recommend I give scruff to provide her with some calcium?

Many thanks,
Hannah
 

Pigmom95

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Hello,

I hope I am writing this on the correct forum. I have written another post about Scruffs bladder stones and bilateral cysts.

I know it is recommended to give probiotics alongside antibiotics. Is there any harm in giving these immediately after eachother? I read somewhere you should give either an hour before the antibiotics or an hour after. Does anyone know the reason behind this?/if it will harm the pig giving them together. Only reason I ask, is if I give the probiotics first she loves the taste so I can trick her into then taking the antibiotics immediately after haha.

Many thanks,
Hannah
 

CV26

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I'm not certain but I was under the impression that the probiotic can stop the antibiotic being fully effective if they're given too close together.
 

DougalandDiego

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:agr: It definitely needs to be given an hour or two before or after the antibiotics. I think for the same reason as @CV26 has mentioned that it’s not effective otherwise
 

Pigmom95

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Thanks so much! I’ll make sure I give with a hour or so gap between from now on! X
 

Wiebke

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Thanks so much! I’ll make sure I give with a hour or so gap between from now on! X
Hi

You either give the probiotic one hour before the antibiotic (US recommendation) or two hours after the antibiotic (UK recommendation). Either way works the same. You can find more information in this guide here which is also part of the Emergency, Crisis and Bridging Care Guide I have linked into your original thread. Please take the time to read it. You should find it helpful.
Bladder stones/bilateral cysts

PS: I have merged your two guides on the same case. Unlike social media, we can run a support thread on any ongoing case for as long as needed and provide personalised support as long as we can keep all information together. You are welcome to post any further questions and updates on this thread. The more new threads you start the more confusion you create and the more generalised or contradictory answers you'll get. You can always pick up your thread again via the 'find thread/you threads option or via the search option by the top bar.
You can recognise our trusted monitoring team via the signature badge or the designation as moderator under their avatar picture.
 

Pigmom95

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Thanks so much! I’ll be sure to ask any further questions about scruff’s condition on this thread. I appreciate your help and advise, I will make sure I give the probiotics separately from now on. I will keep a close eye on Scruff today and contact the vets and ask why they want to delay the op to see if the stones pass naturally/ask how big the stones were etc. She is still eating, but eating less so therefore pooing less, however I read that can be a fairly common side affect of antibiotics. I will make sure I weigh her every day to keep an eye on it. Fingers crossed to passes the stones naturally (she did pass one the other day), but I am doubtful and imagine this will result in surgery. My poor baby girl :(

Many thanks everyone, Hannah
 

Piggies&buns

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Thanks so much! I’ll be sure to ask any further questions about scruff’s condition on this thread. I appreciate your help and advise, I will make sure I give the probiotics separately from now on. I will keep a close eye on Scruff today and contact the vets and ask why they want to delay the op to see if the stones pass naturally/ask how big the stones were etc. She is still eating, but eating less so therefore pooing less, however I read that can be a fairly common side affect of antibiotics. I will make sure I weigh her every day to keep an eye on it. Fingers crossed to passes the stones naturally (she did pass one the other day), but I am doubtful and imagine this will result in surgery. My poor baby girl :(

Many thanks everyone, Hannah
Yes antibiotics can upset their tummy but less poops is also down to not eating enough. Are you syringe feeding her either a recovery feed such as critical care or mushed up pellets?
 

Pigmom95

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Hi, thanks for your reply. No I am not currently feeding her any mushed up pellets as she has stomach issues so we were told by our vets about a year or so ago not to let her eat pellets again. This morning she ate x2 Romanian leaves and after her antibiotics, metacam and probiotics she also ate a bit of cucumber to get the taste out her mouth bless her. I’m also syringe feeding her water and making sure all veg is wet to increase water intake. Do you think alongside this I should also syringe feed a critical care formula? Many thanks, Hannah
 

Piggies&buns

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Hi, thanks for your reply. No I am not currently feeding her any mushed up pellets as she has stomach issues so we were told by our vets about a year or so ago not to let her eat pellets again. This morning she ate x2 Romanian leaves and after her antibiotics, metacam and probiotics she also ate a bit of cucumber to get the taste out her mouth bless her. I’m also syringe feeding her water and making sure all veg is wet to increase water intake. Do you think alongside this I should also syringe feed a critical care formula? Many thanks, Hannah
If she is pooping less, then it can mean less food is going in.
Is she eating hay?
Is she maintaining her weight? Weigh her daily while she is unwell.

Critical care is a fibre rich recovery feed. Fibre is important for their gut function and it’s advisable for a piggy who isn’t eating enough hay (which will be seen as weight loss) to be syringe fed a recovery feed. The guides wiebke linked in explain.
Mushed up pellets is the emergency version when critical care isn’t available. You don’t need to give mushed up if she can’t eat them but while a piggy isn’t eating hay, syringing feeding replacement fibre is what to do. If her hay intake has reduced due to her feeling unwell, then lettuce and cucumber isn’t going to sustain her. Do speak to your vet though
 
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Pigmom95

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She is eating hay but less than usual. I weighed her yesterday evening so I am planning to weigh her each evening now so will monitor if she is losing weight. I will look into getting some critical care recovery feed and will run this past the vet as you suggest. Thanks so much for your advice and help! It really is appreciated x
 

Pigmom95

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Thank you, that means a lot.

I’ve noticed something a bit odd..I find after she has her medication, for about 4 hours after she is MUCH worse and in lots of pain, but after about 4hrs from taking them she is then fine for the rest of the day and seems a million times better. I’m not sure if the medication is getting everything moving so that’s why she’s worse after taking it, but it does seem odd. I am calling the vet again tomorrow to update them.
 

Pigmom95

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Update on scruff-
She has been a very poorly piggy the last few days. She had her surgery today and thankfully got through it okay. The vet found stones along with a 1cm blood clot (they think it’s a blood clot) that had collapsed her bladder walls. They are sending everything off for testing.

They finished the surgery a bit before 5pm, I presume it’s normal for them to keep her overnight? Apparently his sister ginger was crying the whole time Scruff was in surgery, broke my heart!

The vet says she needs them in separate cages tonight to be able to see how Scruff’s wee & poo is, but she assured me the cages will be next to each other and they will be able to see and smell each other. The vet will update me tomorrow morning and hopefully she makes it through her first night okay, then it’ll be over to me for post op care! I’m sure the vet will tell me everything I need to do, but any advice or tips/info would be so appreciated.

Many thanks,
Hannah x
 
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