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Blood In Urine

Willows-Mum

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Hi all,

Hoping I can get some advice on blood in my Guinea pigs urine she is just 3 years old. I noticed that “Willow” had blood in her urine 4 weeks ago and she looks to be struggling when she urinates.

I initially took her to the vets and he prescribed “Meticam” and told me to keep giving it to her to reduce inflammation in case she had an irritated bladder. This did not help so the vet prescribed “ Baytil“. She did a 5 day course and unfortunately it did not solve the problem.

Took her back to the vet and he then thought it might be bladder stones, so advised me to adjust her diet and continue on the “Metacam”.

This did not have any effect, so yesterday we took her for a “Scan” and the vet has seen a stone or a mass in the wall of her bladder.

The vet has given us 2 choices….

  • Surgery but the outcome might not be good.
  • Keep her on "Meticam", but this surely can not be a long term fix?

Is there any advice fellow pig parents can give as we are unsure what to do?

I will also add that she still has a perfect appetite and is quite full of energy you wouldn't know anything was wrong except for the blood in her Urine.

Many thanks

Chris

(P.s this is my girl below)

willow.jpg
 

Siikibam

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Hi. Sorry you seem to be having a bit of a runaround with your girl. I’ll tag @PigglePuggle @Piggies&buns @Wiebke @VickiA hopefully they can help answer your questions.

Did he say surgery is risky because of where the stone is? Is it a stone or a mass?
 

Piggies&buns

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i am sorry she is unwell
I agree though, if it is a stone then surgery is needed. Diet changes and metacam alone won’t help now if there is a stone. However, if your piggy is going to be prone to bladder issues, then diet changes can help but they won’t have an effect right now on this stone, and will take some time to help going forward.
 

Wiebke

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Unfortunately the only way is an operation to remove any stone rather promptly as the longer it stays in, the more the bladder becomes traumatised; especially if it is attached to the bladder wall. If it is a cancerous growth, then the longer term prognosis may be not as good. Of course we can only give a very general assessment on this since we haven't seen the scan.

I have had piggies operated successfully with crystals and stones embedded in the bladder wall.

For the longer term, you may want dietary changes (water, pellets AND veg) in order to avouid a reocurrence; however, these changes take several weeks to work through the body and they can't do anything about existing stones.
You will also have to take measures by additional ongoing metacam and glucosamine support to support the traumatised bladder to heal, which is also not a quick process.

Is your piggy still on metacam (which is an analgesic, i.e. a painkiller and anti-inflammatory) because they definitely need as high a dosage as possible. If yes, have you been given cat or dog metacam and how much?

Baytril is the antibiotic licensed for guinea pigs also 5 days won't get you anywhere with an infection, which your piggy can still have from the bladder trauma (cystitis). What kind of dosage have you been given?

How experienced is your vet with guinea pigs?

It would also help us greatly if you please added your country, state/province or UK county to location in your account details (access by clicking on your username on the top bar). This makes it visible with every post you are making and allows us to tailor any advice to what is available and relevant where you are so we can tailor any recommendations straight away with just a quick glance to the left. We have members and enquiries from all over the world and from very different backgrounds, climates, access to vets experienced with guinea pigs or rescues, not to mention medical brand names... Thank you!
 

Willows-Mum

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Hi. Sorry you seem to be having a bit of a runaround with your girl. I’ll tag @PigglePuggle @Piggies&buns @Wiebke @VickiA hopefully they can help answer your questions.

Did he say surgery is risky because of where the stone is? Is it a stone or a mass?
Hi Siikibam,

Thanks for your reply ....

No, he was just saying about her age.... she's only just gone 3 so that's not too old IMO.

Not sure if its a stone or mass at this stage.
 

Willows-Mum

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i am sorry she is unwell
I agree though, if it is a stone then surgery is needed. Diet changes and metacam alone won’t help now if there is a stone. However, if your piggy is going to be prone to bladder issues, then diet changes can help but they won’t have an effect right now on this stone, and will take some time to help going forward.
Thank you for your kind words Piggies&buns, we are at that point where we might get an x-ray done to see if they can tell us if its' definitely a stone or a mass.
 

Willows-Mum

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Unfortunately the only way is an operation to remove any stone rather promptly as the longer it stays in, the more the bladder becomes traumatised; especially if it is attached to the bladder wall. If it is a cancerous growth, then the longer term prognosis may be not as good. Of course we can only give a very general assessment on this since we haven't seen the scan.

I have had piggies operated successfully with crystals and stones embedded in the bladder wall.

For the longer term, you may want dietary changes (water, pellets AND veg) in order to avouid a reocurrence; however, these changes take several weeks to work through the body and they can't do anything about existing stones.
You will also have to take measures by additional ongoing metacam and glucosamine support to support the traumatised bladder to heal, which is also not a quick process.

Is your piggy still on metacam (which is an analgesic, i.e. a painkiller and anti-inflammatory) because they definitely need as high a dosage as possible. If yes, have you been given cat or dog metacam and how much?

Baytril is the antibiotic licensed for guinea pigs also 5 days won't get you anywhere with an infection, which your piggy can still have from the bladder trauma (cystitis). What kind of dosage have you been given?

How experienced is your vet with guinea pigs?

It would also help us greatly if you please added your country, state/province or UK county to location in your account details (access by clicking on your username on the top bar). This makes it visible with every post you are making and allows us to tailor any advice to what is available and relevant where you are so we can tailor any recommendations straight away with just a quick glance to the left. We have members and enquiries from all over the world and from very different backgrounds, climates, access to vets experienced with guinea pigs or rescues, not to mention medical brand names... Thank you!
Hi Wiebke,

Many thanks for your reply .....

1. She is still on a daily dose of "Metacam" which is 0.24 ml

2. It says "Oral Suspension for cats and guinea Pigs" ( Meloxicam) on the box.

3. Yes, you are not the first to say that 5 days on "Baytril" is not long enough, do you think that she has an infection as well? (Her urine does smell "Fishy" which is not great and that would cause additional inflammation "IF" she has stones making the situation worse.

4. He's a "Vets4pets" vet so we are not exactly sure how experienced he is with guinea pigs. We do know of a more experienced vet we used to take her to but he is now 30 miles away but we are seriously thinking of taking her to him for an x-ray as he does know alot about piggies.

5. Location info added to profile.

Again many thanks for your help and advice so far.....
 

Piggies&buns

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Is she only being given metacam once per day? Piggies can tolerate pain meds well and take it higher in doses than a lot of people realise and need their pain relief to be twice a day for it to be effective. They process meds quickly and it’s out of the system much quicker leaving piggy potentially experiencing pain until the next dose If it is only given once every 24 hours.
 

Willows-Mum

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Is she only being given metacam once per day? Piggies can tolerate pain meds well and take it higher in doses than a lot of people realise and need their pain relief to be twice a day for it to be effective. They process meds quickly and it’s out of the system much quicker leaving piggy in pain until the next dose If it is only given once every 24 hours.
Yep just 0.24 ml as per the directions label on the box. Should I increase it? She seems quite sprightly and eating well in herself so we are not noticing any noises of pain or anything different in her behaviour except for the blood in her urine. Obviously there must be some discomfort there when she goes for a wee.
 

Claire W

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Yep just 0.24 ml as per the directions label on the box. Should I increase it? She seems quite sprightly and eating well in herself so we are not noticing any noises of pain or anything different in her behaviour except for the blood in her urine. Obviously there must be some discomfort there when she goes for a wee.
I Would phone your vet and ask if you can increase the metacam dose as she is currently only on a low dose
 

Wiebke

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Hi Wiebke,

Many thanks for your reply .....

1. She is still on a daily dose of "Metacam" which is 0.24 ml

2. It says "Oral Suspension for cats and guinea Pigs" ( Meloxicam) on the box.

3. Yes, you are not the first to say that 5 days on "Baytril" is not long enough, do you think that she has an infection as well? (Her urine does smell "Fishy" which is not great and that would cause additional inflammation "IF" she has stones making the situation worse.

4. He's a "Vets4pets" vet so we are not exactly sure how experienced he is with guinea pigs. We do know of a more experienced vet we used to take her to but he is now 30 miles away but we are seriously thinking of taking her to him for an x-ray as he does know alot about piggies.

5. Location info added to profile.

Again many thanks for your help and advice so far.....
Thank you for adding your location!

If the urine is smelling strongly fishy or stale, then it is a typical sign of a bacterial cystitis, a bladder infection caused by the trauma from the stone moving and banging into the bladder walls or stuck in them, especially when peeing.
Please ask your vet for sulfatrim antibiotic, which is now also licensed for guinea pigs in the UK. She will need that for quite a while. Sulfatrim (better known under the US brand name bactrim and previously adult septrin in the UK) is more effective for any urinary tract problems but it doesn't work quite as quickly and will have to be taken for a minimum of 3-4 weeks.

As to the metacam (meloxicam is one of the UK brand names for it): please always split any dose and give it every 12 hours due to the much faster metabolism that guinea pigs have. They also need much higher dosages than cats or dogs but they do not have the same risk of kidney damage. This is the reason why general vets who are not experienced with guinea pigs tend to massively underdose. You can safely give 0.24 ml twice daily and be still very much at the very low end of dosages.
Just to give you an idea: In extreme pain you can safely go up to 1.2 ml twice daily for a 1 kg with cat metacam; normal prescription is around 0.5 - 0.7 ml twice daily, depending on the weight.
Dog metacam is three times stronger than cat metacam. Unfortunately it is only the cat metacam that has been licensed for guinea pigs, so you won't get the dog metacam from any vet who is not aware of the issues. Bladder stones are excruciatingly painful.

If you would like to get a second opinion or see a more experienced vet for an operation then you may find our vet locator on the top bar helpful. Here is the link again: Vet Locator

Here are our emergency care and post-op care links, which you may want to bookmark so you can find them quickly in case you need them:
Emergency, Crisis and Bridging Care until a Vet Appointment (link to all information you will need if your piggy is suddenly very ill, has had an accident and is off its food/lethargic)
Tips For Post-operative Care
 

Willows-Mum

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Thank you for adding your location!

If the urine is smelling strongly fishy or stale, then it is a typical sign of a bacterial cystitis, a bladder infection caused by the trauma from the stone moving and banging into the bladder walls or stuck in them, especially when peeing.
Please ask your vet for sulfatrim antibiotic, which is now also licensed for guinea pigs in the UK. She will need that for quite a while. Sulfatrim (better known under the US brand name bactrim and previously adult septrin in the UK) is more effective for any urinary tract problems but it doesn't work quite as quickly and will have to be taken for a minimum of 3-4 weeks.

As to the metacam (meloxicam is one of the UK brand names for it): please always split any dose and give it every 12 hours due to the much faster metabolism that guinea pigs have. They also need much higher dosages than cats or dogs but they do not have the same risk of kidney damage. This is the reason why general vets who are not experienced with guinea pigs tend to massively underdose. You can safely give 0.24 ml twice daily and be still very much at the very low end of dosages.
Just to give you an idea: In extreme pain you can safely go up to 1.2 ml twice daily for a 1 kg with cat metacam; normal prescription is around 0.5 - 0.7 ml twice daily, depending on the weight.
Dog metacam is three times stronger than cat metacam. Unfortunately it is only the cat metacam that has been licensed for guinea pigs, so you won't get the dog metacam from any vet who is not aware of the issues. Bladder stones are excruciatingly painful.

If you would like to get a second opinion or see a more experienced vet for an operation then you may find our vet locator on the top bar helpful. Here is the link again: Vet Locator

Here are our emergency care and post-op care links, which you may want to bookmark so you can find them quickly in case you need them:
Emergency, Crisis and Bridging Care until a Vet Appointment (link to all information you will need if your piggy is suddenly very ill, has had an accident and is off its food/lethargic)
Tips For Post-operative Care
Hi Wiebke,

Thank you so much for the reply, we have called pets at home and they have told us to come back down tonight so we are going to press them for some "Sulfatrim antibiotic". There was quite alot of blood in her last wee and it does smell bad so we are pretty convinced that there is definitely an infection going on.

We have also booked her in with our old vet for Thursday morning and he is going to do an x-ray and said if it is stones he will operate there and then, if it's bad news then he will discus options for making her comfortable.

We hope she will be ok but feel a little bit helpless at the moment.

Thank you to all of you who have chipped in.

Willows Mummy
 

Willows-Mum

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I Would phone your vet and ask if you can increase the metacam dose as she is currently only on a low dose
Will ask them tonight but I think you guys know best, I trust "Wiebke" recommendations of twice a day and keep an close eye on her, if she gets worse then we'll increase it. I do get the feeling that not all vets are particularly knowledgeable about pigs.
 

Wiebke

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Hi Wiebke,

Thank you so much for the reply, we have called pets at home and they have told us to come back down tonight so we are going to press them for some "Sulfatrim antibiotic". There was quite alot of blood in her last wee and it does smell bad so we are pretty convinced that there is definitely an infection going on.

We have also booked her in with our old vet for Thursday morning and he is going to do an x-ray and said if it is stones he will operate there and then, if it's bad news then he will discus options for making her comfortable.

We hope she will be ok but feel a little bit helpless at the moment.

Thank you to all of you who have chipped in.

Willows Mummy
Fingers very firmly crossed!

You are doing all you can, which is as much as you can do and are expected to do. Miracles are not part of any good owner's job description!
 

Wiebke

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Definitely wish they were sometimes though @Wiebke!x
So do I - occasionally you actually get one...

But you can never count on pulling off any miracles and never should expect yourself to be pulling them off against all the odds as your duty. That way you can only fail and set yourself up for a fall, which only reinforces a vicious circle of unreasonable expectations in a kind of 'all or nothing' attitude with the 'all' mostly out of reach. :(

@Willows-Mum , you ARE doing her best! Unfortunately many vets, especially general ones, are not piggy savvy. Guinea pigs and other small rodents are classed as exotics although they have become a lot more popular as pets over the last decade - but they still don't feature much on the curriculum.

There is a reason why we have a recommended vets locator on the top bar!
 
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