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Bladder Stones Please Help!

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Flumpsy

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Hello, I have just made this account to find more information about my guinea pig, Flump. Last Friday i took him into the vets as he was squeaking whilst urinating blood. The vet gave us some antibiotics called Baytril to give him as she said he did not have stones, it was just a UTI and to come back in a weeks time. Unfortunately, Flump then stopped eating and drank very little so I took him back to the vets 2 days later. A different vet gave him an X-ray and noticed he has stones in his bladder and that I had to decide on whether to operate or put him down. I know deep down I do not want to put him down but I can't see him go through any more pain. So I went back in to discuss it further and I was seen by a different vet who seen I was distraught about the decision I was having to make. He gave me a medication called Metacam and said to give Flump 3 drops daily for 3 days. He told me by the third day if there was no improvement I would have to put Flump out of his misery. I have had Flump for 4 years and I would do anything for his happiness.
Basically is there anything else I could do to help Flump get any better apart from an operation as I know the stones may come back and do not want to put him through the pain.
I am giving him unsweetened cranberry juice by a syringe and syringing water into him as he is hardly drinking.
Please, if you have any other ideas which could save Flump please let me know, he's only got 2 days.
 

Tbag

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Hi there, I'm very sorry to hear about poor Flump and your predicament.

I'm glad that Flump has been x-rayed so you have a firm diagnosis to go on, however the metacam you have been given is only a pain killer and will not 'cure' the stones, only relieve Flumps pain whilst he carries them, and/or if he is able to pass them. Did the vet let you know the size or number of stones?
Unless Flump is particularly weak or unstable, or if the stones are particularly numerous or wedged in his ureter (the tube going from the kidney to the bladder which is very difficult to operate on) then I would say you are definitely not facing a PTS situation. Many members on here, most recently @lauraboara and @Midge&Panda , have had bladder stone removal operations performed on their piggies.
Stones are caused by a build up of calcium which can be managed in a variety of ways such as filtering water and a low calcium diet so it is not necessarily guaranteed that they will form again.

If he's still eating you can soak his veggies in water to help up his fluid intake.

I would strongly advise that you ensure the vets you are speaking to are cavy savvy, and if not really try to contact one to make sure Flump is being given the best chance possible (our vet locator may help you identify any recommended practises close to you).

Best of luck and lots of vibes for you and Flump x
 

rufcjoe87

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Hi. Sorry to hear about Flump - lots of love being sent his way

As for the op - I have a boar, Henry, about 1 year old, who has just had a bladder op to remove stones. He's still in recovery (1 week later) and not 100% himself but the op went well and he's getting there. There are many mroe people who know much more than me but my vet is not cavvy savvy and he performed the op successfully. Reccovery will take a while but hopefully this may help you make a decision. I suspect if Flump is healthy then the op is a definite consideration. People like @Wiebke will know more but I know these ops have a good success rate. Luckily, so far, mine has :)

Lots of hugs for Flump :)
 

Coco&Luna

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I had a 4 year old sow who underwent bladder stone surgeries and recovered really well!
Back to her usual wheeking shrieking self within 4 days! x
 

Flumpsy

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Thanks for your messages. The vet did not say how many stones or the size but on the X-ray I could only see 1 and it was relatively small. If this medication does not ease the pain at all then I think I may reconsider letting him have the operation, just I have heard it is a very high chance of the stones reoccurring. He isnt eating much at aall just nibbling at foods however he is eating carrot the most. Do you know of any foods which would be better to give him to help him? X
 

rufcjoe87

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If you check out my thread - https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk...t-op-piggy-ga-advice-etc.128969/#post-1771296
there are some great links in there for what to do and foods which are better than others. I now filter my water, and try and give them low calcium veg. Also changed the pellets. I'm told there's still a change that they may recur but i'm doing everything i can to prevent them. Syringing plenty of water too. Loads of tips on that thread and if you check out more threads on here and in diet section theres loads of helpful tips :). Henry currently loves celery which is great as lots of water in it! Avoid things like kale too.

this was my original thread too https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/poorly-piggy-mystery.128625/

hope this helps! :) x
 

Tbag

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The best thing you can do is to cut down on his calcium intake, big offenders for high calcium content are spinach, fresh herbs, kale and rocket. This page has a great list of calcium content per veggies http://www.guinealynx.info/chart_calcium.html

You could also get a water filter and look at changing his nuggets to a low calcium brand.
 

7squeakers.

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:( Very sorry to hear about Flump's bladder stones. Sending lots of healing vibes and wheeks!
Lots of good advice already given on here. One more thing I would add, try giving him barley water instead of cranberry juice. If you can, buy a bag of whole barley and soak a small amount, a few ounces, in hot water. Drain the barley off and let the remaining water cool. Then syringe it into him. I have read that barley water is better for this sort of thing than cranberry . Hope this helps.
 

Midge&Panda

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So sorry Flumpsy and you are going through this. Rosie has been through 2 bladder ops since Easter (this year) and both times has bounced back remarkably well. She's 5 1/2 yrs. I think that the vets I use are not particularly cavy savvy but they have looked after mine for the past 12 yrs with very good success. I've built up (I think) a fairly good relation ship with them and 2 in particular are always willing to discuss ideas and treatment. Rosie's surgery was very delicate and I asked for a specific vet because she is skilled in surgery the second op was done by a vet from a different branch but who has an interest in surgery and small furries. When I first found out Rosie had stones It kind of put a death sentence over her because of her age as well as the complex surgery. Thinking it through though I would rather give her every chance and try the surgery rather than put her straight to sleep. I was fortunate Rosie was in good health and now after her second op (touch wood) continues to be in good health. Although some big changes have been made. Additional water to drink, low calcium food/ veggies, filtered water even her veggies are washed in it and her critical care is made up with it. She also has a glucosamine supplement to soothe the bladder @helen105281. The best advice has already been given - find a vet that is cavy savvy who will help you do the best for Flumpsy. Much love to you both xx
 

helen105281

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If you can find a vet who is able to operate the Glucosamine would be something to consider going forward, it lines the bladder wall and helps with inflammation. I notice there are 2 threads so wasn't sure which one to answer on. Have you checked our recommended vets locator to see if there is one close to you? Your vet doesn't sound very piggy savvy, especially as they are dosing the Metacam in drops.
 

babydoll

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My boy went through two bladder stones operation and both times he bounced back fit as a fiddle :nod:
 

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Thanks for your messages. The vet did not say how many stones or the size but on the X-ray I could only see 1 and it was relatively small. If this medication does not ease the pain at all then I think I may reconsider letting him have the operation, just I have heard it is a very high chance of the stones reoccurring. He isnt eating much at aall just nibbling at foods however he is eating carrot the most. Do you know of any foods which would be better to give him to help him? X
Please syringe feed him to make sure that he is keeping his body mass; the fitter he is going into an operation, the better. Weigh him daily at the same time in the feeding cycle to monitor the food intake. You can make up the syringe feed with a bit more filtered water than usual if you wish to. As his appetite is impaired by the pain, let him eat what he likes on his own, but don't just rely on him doing the job!

We have got tips for bladder piggies. Calcium absorption is a complicated and not yet well researched issue, but there are some factors that you can control and that you can minimise the risk of a reoccurrance.
One of them is a low calcium diet, including filtering water. Many bladder piggies are not good drinkers, so bacteria and gunk can build-up in the bladder; guinea pig urine is naturally alkaline. Some guinea pigs have a genetic disposition, with others, the stones result from dietary issues.
As for bladder pig diets, you can either follow the IC diet, as listed under "daily veg" in our general diet or you can have a look at the foods listed in the low calcium thread. You may also want to look at low calcium pellets, like bunny pellets; you feed about 5 pellets per piggy per day.
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk...or-a-balanced-general-guinea-pig-diet.116460/
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/forums/caring-for-an-ill-guinea-pig.53/
http://www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/small_pets/food/guinea_pig/bunny/195679

I have had successful bladder operations on elderly and very low weight sows myself. As boars have a longer urethra with an inglenook, bladder stone ops are preferably done by a piggy savvy vet in case the stone is sat in the urethra and not the bladder - that will go a long way towards risk minimising and a quicker recovery.
 

Flumpsy

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Thank you everyone for all of your comments, they have been very helpful for me. I have come to the decision to go through with the operation, I can't give up on Flump and after seeing all of the positive feedback have decided giving him this extra chance will be worth it. I am going to contact the vets tomorrow to see when I can book him in.. Hopefully soon. If you have any helpful tips and advice on how to care for him and to build him up for the operation then this will be appreciated.
 

Wiebke

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Thank you everyone for all of your comments, they have been very helpful for me. I have come to the decision to go through with the operation, I can't give up on Flump and after seeing all of the positive feedback have decided giving him this extra chance will be worth it. I am going to contact the vets tomorrow to see when I can book him in.. Hopefully soon. If you have any helpful tips and advice on how to care for him and to build him up for the operation then this will be appreciated.
See my remarks in the previous post - syringe feeding until the operation and if necessary afterwards is going a long way. Make sure that you have got recovery food (your vet should hopefully have some to give you until your online order comes in). Weigh daily, so you have a good idea how much he eating; just watching him chew crud can be very deceiving. Here is the link again - please read through it carefully; it lists all in terms of recovery food brands, probiotics etc. and also tells you how much to feed in which situation.
Ask your vets when you pick him up how soon after the operation he can have painkillers when you pick him up in case the recovery is not smooth. Contact your vet promptly if the recovery is not smooth and he is not eating or lethargic. Bladder stone surgery is usually one of the operations with a high rate for a smooth recovery.
 

Flumpsy

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See my remarks in the previous post - syringe feeding until the operation and if necessary afterwards is going a long way. Make sure that you have got recovery food (your vet should hopefully have some to give you until your online order comes in). Weigh daily, so you have a good idea how much he eating; just watching him chew crud can be very deceiving. Here is the link again - please read through it carefully; it lists all in terms of recovery food brands, probiotics etc. and also tells you how much to feed in which situation.
Ask your vets when you pick him up how soon after the operation he can have painkillers when you pick him up in case the recovery is not smooth. Contact your vet promptly if the recovery is not smooth and he is not eating or lethargic. Bladder stone surgery is usually one of the operations with a high rate for a smooth recovery.
Thank you, I will have a look at those websites you have gave me, you have been extremely helpful :)
 

Veggies Galore

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I have just read this thread and am glad you have been given advice you are happy with.
My boar recently had a bladder stone removed . I am much stricter with my guineas diet nowadays - they mostly have the daily veg listed in the link Wiebke has posted. I live in a soft water area so don't filter their drinking water - but it is well worth doing this if you live in a hard water area.
 

Flumpsy

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Hello everyone again, flump has had his operation this morning and is back home now, the vets have given us some recovery food and has told us to keep him warm. If there is any more information which could help Flumpsy's have a better recovery please let me know?
 

helen105281

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Glad all has gone well, do you know if the vet has sent him home on any pain relief? He may have had a 24 hour injection at the vets but he will need oral pain medication once that has worn off. It will most likely be Metacam if so.
 

Flumpsy

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Glad all has gone well, do you know if the vet has sent him home on any pain relief? He may have had a 24 hour injection at the vets but he will need oral pain medication once that has worn off. It will most likely be Metacam if so.
We have still got a bit of metacam from before and they have gave me more baytril for him
 

Wiebke

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We have still got a bit of metacam from before and they have gave me more baytril for him
Great that he has made it safely through! You must be so relieved! :)

Please ring the clinic to ask when you can give more metacam at the earliest. Painkillers are part of the operation cocktail, so you cannot just give any right now.

Please follow the tips in our syringe feeding guide (which tells you how much and how often to sryinge depending on the appetite), but hopefully, Flump is going to pick up soon and is starting to eat on his own. Try to give him some tasty things like fresh herbs or grass to encourage him. Also offer him water in a syringe. Keeping him warm and comfy, but not hot is the best you can do.

Make sure that he is on light towels, fleece or vetbed and change frequently, depending on how mobile he is. There is likely to be a bit of blood in the urine in the first days, so don't panic.

What you can do long term to minimise the risks of a return of stones:
- IC diet (a limited range of carefully balanced veg): 1 slice of bell or sweet pepper/capsicum of any colour; 1 slice of cucumber; 1-2 chunks of celery; 1 French bean; 1 sprig of coriander/cilantro; 1 one inch strip of spring greens
- more information on aspects of low calcium diet: https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/low-calcium-diet-for-bladder-piggies.105930/
- filter any water. It really makes a diiference!
- I would recommend that you offer Flump as much water as he will take in one go once daily as soon as he is picking up, so his bladder is being flushed out as much as possible. Many bladder stone piggies are bad drinkers, which contributes to the build-up of bacteria and gunk in the bladder. You can't force guinea pigs to drink more, but by encouraging them to have a good drink (via syringing up to 10-15 ml, but it is likely less with bad drinkers) at least once daily, you can try to get them to make one strong pee. ;)
- look into cystease, a bladder wall coating glucosamine based cat food supplement, or vegetarian glucosamine to help protect irritated bladder walls. It is now being widely used in guinea pigs with chronic bladder issues.
 
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