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Bladder stones

Sophie10

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Hi guys,
So.... my snuggly Star is poorly. He was sent home from vet yesterday with metacam (0.25ml) and baytrill for uti. I felt his pain was not under control and he was worse today so I took him back. Xray revealed bladder stones. Vet said prob needs op but should wait a few days and see if he improves. I wasnt happy so got in touch with exotics vet who spoke with my vet. Star is now on 1.3ml of metacam for pain! How can vets get this so wrong!?!?
Anyway, even the exotic vet said wait a few days but it is so hard to hear him cry out when trying to wee....
Should I be pushing for faster surgery or wait it out?
Any experiences similar out there?
Love and guinea snuffles
 

Siikibam

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Sorry to hear that Star is unwell. I have no experience of stones so I'd say go with what the vet thinks. Did they tell you whereabouts the stone was located? I'll tag @Piggies&buns and @PigglePuggle they can hopefully give you more answers.
 

Sophie10

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Thank you for responding. Stones are in his bladder. Can they pass these eventually?
 

Piggies&buns

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Unfortunately a lot of general vets just give the metacam according to the packaging without knowing piggies can take a much higher dose and take it twice a day rather than once.

Bladder stones particularly in boars are not likely to pass - it’s certainly not something I’d bank on. They have a curve in their urethra that mostly stones can’t get past. If it started to pass and it stuck, he would need emergency surgery.
Now you know it’s there he will need surgery and I’m not sure what waiting is going to achieve when he is clearly in discomfort.

It would be a good idea for you to look at his diet and start to make changes if appropriate. Any diet changes can take a while to have an effect but ensuring his diet isn’t too high in calcium early can go towards preventing a further stone forming.

Ensure pellets are kept strictly limited to one tablespoon per day, less if your piggy is now going to have issues with his bladder. You could also look to switch brand to a lower calcium one. Keep high calcium veg such as kale, spinach, parsley strictly limited to one small amount per week (again or don’t feed at all now he has had a bladder issue). Always ensure drinking water is filtered. Pellets and unfiltered drinking water contribute most of the calcium to the diet and contain more than the the highest calcium veg.

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Sophie10

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Unfortunately a lot of general vets just give the metacam according to the packaging without knowing piggies can take a much higher dose and take it twice a day rather than once.

Bladder stones particularly in boars are not likely to pass - it’s certainly not something I’d bank on. They have a curve in their urethra that mostly stones can’t get past. If it started to pass and it stuck, he would need emergency surgery.
Now you know it’s there he will need surgery and I’m not sure what waiting is going to achieve when he is clearly in discomfort.

It would be a good idea for you to look at his diet and start to make changes if appropriate. Any diet changes can take a while to have an effect but ensuring his diet isn’t too high in calcium early can go towards preventing a further stone forming.

Ensure pellets are kept strictly limited to one tablespoon per day, less if your piggy is now going to have issues with his bladder. You could also look to switch brand to a lower calcium one. Keep high calcium veg such as kale, spinach, parsley strictly limited to one small amount per week (again or don’t feed at all now he has had a bladder issue). Always ensure drinking water is filtered. Pellets and unfiltered drinking water contribute most of the calcium to the diet and contain more than the the highest calcium veg.

Nugget Comparison Chart
Long Term Balanced General And Special Needs Guinea Pig Diets
 

Sophie10

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Thank you for responding. I am just so worried for him.... will be on the phone to the exotics vet this morning again. He is still vocalizing when trying to wee and that is on the much higher dose of metacam. Not sure what baytrill will achieve as this is for infection and wont remove stone.... feel like he is in holding.....
I always prided myself on providing the best care for my piggies and I feel this is my fault.
Daily, they have lettuce, some bell pepper, cucumber and the occasional parsley or coriander. Also they love spring greens and green beans
Thank you
 

Piggies&buns

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Thank you for responding. I am just so worried for him.... will be on the phone to the exotics vet this morning again. He is still vocalizing when trying to wee and that is on the much higher dose of metacam. Not sure what baytrill will achieve as this is for infection and wont remove stone.... feel like he is in holding.....
I always prided myself on providing the best care for my piggies and I feel this is my fault.
Daily, they have lettuce, some bell pepper, cucumber and the occasional parsley or coriander. Also they love spring greens and green beans
Thank you
Yes definitely do ring them. You’re right baytril isn’t going to cure a stone.
Are his pellets limited? Veg wise it sounds absolutely fine.
The calcium process is a complicated one. Stones happen, genetics etc it really is not your fault. Please don’t blame yourself.
 

PigglePuggle

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If your piggy has a bladder stone big enough to show on xray it will really need surgically removing, there's no other option I'm afraid especially if your piggy is already in so much pain. If the stone gets into or blocks the urethra it may not be possible to remove it so I would go for surgery straight away while the vet can see the stone clearly in the bladder!
Most of the excess calcium in piggy diets comes either from the pellets (even lower calcium pellets contain 4x as much calcium as high calcium veggies) and the drinking water if you live in a hard water area. But there are many other things that can contribute to bladder stones, stress seems to be a factor, and in some cases piggies are just more genetically susceptible to developing stones for some reason we dont understand- just like some humans are more likely to get some health issues because of a family history of that.
So getting the surgery, then really minimising the pellets and filtering the water, and continuing to feed lots of wet veggies as you are doing already, are things you can do to help. Hope your piggy will be ok x
 

Sophie10

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So.... Star (and his love-love Feather), were admitted to RVC Camden today. So glad I pushed it with my local vet, the exotic vet said it was the absolute right thing to do, he was in such pain.
Scans show the stone is deep in his urethra within the pelvis which makes access very, very hard....
They are trying meds to move it to a better spot for surgery but his life really hangs in the balance.... devastated that a 3mm stone could poss blow out the light on the snuggliest, most gentle boy.
If you get a moment, think of us all tonight. We are crossing everything
x
 

PigglePuggle

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So sorry to hear this, that makes for very tricky surgery but it sounds like he is getting the very best vet treatment. Paws crossed and many healing wheeks and hugs that the stone can be dislodged x
 

Katsycakes

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Keeping everything crossed for sweet Star and sending you and piggies lots of hugs and best wishes!
 

JimmythePig

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Absolutely beautiful. Come on Star, we are all sending healing vibes and I even caught Jimmy crossing his toes for you.
 

Sophie10

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My beautiful boy lost his battle yesterday... second xrays showed stone had not moved...they let him go whilst he was under. x
 

Siikibam

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I’m sorry for your loss 💓 you did the very best for him that you could, and he was loved. That’s the important thing.
 

Wiebke

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My beautiful boy lost his battle yesterday... second xrays showed stone had not moved...they let him go whilst he was under. x
BIG HUGS

I am ever so sorry.

Boars have unfortunately a longer, narrower urethra with a very awkward inglenook in it where stones that are flushed out of the bladder usually end up in. Sadly a urethral stone in boars is never the kind of news you want to hear as it can be very difficult to get them out of there; even for a very experienced vet. It is always very much a make a or break operation that doesn't always come off or has an easy recovery.

Please try to take consolation that Star is free of his excruciating pain and that he didn't have to go through the full ringer. It was the kindest decision.

Here is what you can do for Feather and for yourself: Death, Dying, Terminal Illness and Grieving: Information and Support for Owners and Their Children
 
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