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Chronic Bloat/uti? Vet Stumped.

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CraigGlasgow

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Hello again all,

Weasley's been back in and out of the vets all week with bloatig and what looked like a recurrence of his uti. They had him in for an xray today and couldn't find any stones in the bladder or urinary tract which is positive, but they also said his stomache still looks very gassy and they have no idea anymore what could be causing it.

He's been off veg again since the end of last week and was only back on it overnight (literally a piece of cucumber) after being off it for a week and a half prior. He has been peeing and passing poops throughout this, but the quality has been highly variable and he's been up and down every few hours. He's had long clear pees with no straining all the way through to very thick white/yellow pastelike consistency. He's passed lots of lovely well rounded and dark poops but then will pass some that are half green or full of holes and then nothing for a good few hours before starting up again in reverse order. He's also been itching a fair bit and has turned his lower face in to a scabby mess :( however he is still eating plenty pellets and running about fairly happy the majority of the time, just occasional depressed and lethargic phases when he's at his worst.

The vet wants to leave him on his current meds (meloxaid, zantac, emeprid and septrin) for a fortnight to see if it clears since he seems to do better on all 4, but they said they are now beyond anything they know how to diagnose. Does anyone have any ideas what the issue could be or how to fix it? Could this still just be a reaction to losing Potter? Hes been on his own for a month now so I'd have thought that may have been lessening but I could be wrong?

I was reccomended to take him to a specialist in Cumbernauld if it persists, does anyone have any experience of this and can reccomend if it worth going anyway for a second opinion? Money is now very tight as between the two of them I've now spent over £600 on vet bills and meds, so if I was to fork out for a specialist I really want it to be worth it so I'm not left short if he needs the vet again soon.

Thanks all :)
 

Poppy'sMum

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Has he had an ultrasound at all? Has he recently had an anaesthetic? One of mine had chronic gut issues after her spay & I spent 3 months with her having awful wet type poops after two weeks of completely concrete like ones, the anaesthetic mucked her guts up badly. Has he had a fecal sample taken & sent for analysis? That probably would be the cheapest option for you & least invasive/stressful for him.
 

Tiamolly123

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Although it's not all the problem, I wonder whether he needs a friend. At least if you get him a friend, you'll be able to rule that out, as part reason.
 

CraigGlasgow

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@Poppy'sMum Sorry to hear your girl had such a bad reaction, I've heard bad things about anasthetic so asked them to only put him under if absolutely necessary. He had an ultrasound after his xray as the vet wanted to be 100% sure he was stone free, but he said they only used mild gas sedation since he was already having his gassy issues. He got the UTI a few weeks after the gut issues started, having spoken to them again today they think this may be the result of calcium overload and vitamin deficiency due to the veg cutback and being on mostly just pellets and hay for several weeks and his bladder being irritated by the extra sludge. They've ordered in some Oxbow vitamin suplements and digestive aids for me to collect tomorrow to see if that helps.

He's not had a faecal smaple yet, they said that would be the only other option but with him being on so many meds it may be a bit hit or miss, so best to get him to a specialist anyway since they've had no luck with him so far.

@Tiamolly123 I had considered this but after discussion with the vet, because Potter went so suddenly and because he's having so many issues, there is still concern over wether he's going to be with us much longer if his guts stay gassy for too much longer, as well as the chance of them not getting along and this causing extra stress. The vet felt it would be better to wait until he was at least reasonably stable before adding a new pig, but again I am more than open to it and am planning to do so as soon as it looks safe to do so.
 

Poppy'sMum

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Ok that sounds like a good plan. If you decide to get some fecal analysis done, if you get your vet to send it off to Mary at Chester Zoo lab, she will do a full fecal analysis if you ask her to, as a normal vet lab usually only does a fecal float test which won't be detailed enough :)
 

CraigGlasgow

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I wasn't aware of that, good to know there is a difference, thank you :) However if that's part of the actual Chester zoo is that not a bit far away to be sending a sample without it losing integrity? It's a fair ways from Glasgow haha. I will have a look to see if there is a similar facility close by that will do a full analysis in that case or ask the vet/specialist if they can do a full one or have a service connected to their practice who will?
 

Poppy'sMum

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Nope all vets send stuff by courier usually to labs so it should be fine, plus fecal samples aren't so time crucial to testing unlike blood :) I don't live near Chester Zoo either but my vet sent the samples off to Mary & I have spoken to her myself, she is lovely :) If any doubt you can always ask your vet to contact her to find out what analysis she does in detail, in my experience it is definitely worth sending samples to her.
 

Toots33

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Ok that sounds like a good plan. If you decide to get some fecal analysis done, if you get your vet to send it off to Mary at Chester Zoo lab, she will do a full fecal analysis if you ask her to, as a normal vet lab usually only does a fecal float test which won't be detailed enough :)

@Poppy'sMum I've been having ongoing problems with my Elsa's poo in that it has been very strange shapes for over a month now although she seems well in herself. I've taken her to the vet three times now re the same problem and at the most recent visit was told that I'm looking for problems that aren't there . I also asked if there was anyway of testing the fecal sample I provided and was told that there isn't.

Do you happen to have the contact details of Mary at Chester Zoo lab and can I contact her directly or does this need to be done by a vet?
 

Poppy'sMum

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You really need to go through a vet as far as I know, have you tried a different vet at all? One that is an Exotics vet or more piggy savvy?
 

CraigGlasgow

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Will definitely be asking them then @Poppy'sMum as some very weird and wonderful things popping out of him tonight and a LOT of gurgling. Will be keeping a very close eye :S
 
D

DM030819

I'd add in a probiotic, to try to help settle his stomach and return his digestive system to normal.

Have you tried an elimination diet to try to work out what is causing the bloat?

One of my boys has a really gurgling stomach and weird shaped poops some days, although he doesn't bloat. My vet is very guinea savvy and can't find a medical problem that's causing it.

So we monitor his food. I know dill and tomato definitely upset his stomach. I recently tried swapping their pellet food to Science Selective and his stomach reacted to that.

My vet is very much an advocate for only giving meds when necessary. Has your vet suggested starting to reduce and stop all of his med's. His stomach is never going to work properly on it's own when meds are causing it to work differently. Obviously he might still need them though if he is worse without them.
 

CraigGlasgow

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@Jaycey He's getting the Pro-C Probiotic water both by syringe and in one of his bottles which he is drinking plenty of but it doesn't seem to make much difference (I've read on here that it's fairly useless) so I've ordered the Oxbow digestive aid hay capsule things which should arrive today so hopefully that will help.

We eliminated all veg when he first started bloating the second time almost a month ago. Since then he's manage a day or two on one but regardelss of which one we've tried (lettuce, cucumber, carrot, pepper) after that he's huge and gassy and stops pooping again within 48hours. Weasley doesn't bloat per say day to day whilst off the veg, he still feels soft but he is still very gassy and you can feel it bubbling away and can feel the air shifting around if you give his tummy a rub.

I was reading about how grains can cause bloat and he gets the Excel mint dry food which seems quite high in wheat and oats and has added calcium so I'm debating if this could be the issue but I am slightly nervous about switching the dry food when it's currently making up such a large part of his diet. I'll have a look for the science selective and see if he'll bite for it though :)

They tried reducing his meds last week after a week on all 4, and took them off one day at a time starting form the Thursday, and by the Wednesday he was back to bloody thick pee and the size of a house, so they want to keep him on for 2 weeks this time to see if they can just out-dose the issue. :( He's starting to really fight me on the Septrin and the Emeprid which must be adding to his stress and makes me feel awful to see him squirming :/
 

Toots33

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You really need to go through a vet as far as I know, have you tried a different vet at all? One that is an Exotics vet or more piggy savvy?
Thanks for getting back to me. We are seeing the exoctics vet supposedly . Might be time for a change!
 

Tiamolly123

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I think the vets right, I didn't think of the extra stress.
You are really going through the mill with Elsa. It's awful seeing them go though illness.
(Now I'm Not Saying You Do This) but I had a hamster, who was close to death, & wriggled through the medicine, & I knew she had, had enough & I let her go.
I do hope Elsa improves shortly. Thoughts are with you both.
 

CraigGlasgow

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I had discussed this with the vet when he was at his worst and they feel there is nothing actually life threateningly wrong with him so euthanasia wouldn't be necessary at this stage. Unlike Potter who went downhill really fast and never came back up for more than a hour or so, Weasley's weight is still up and he is still eating, drinking, running around etc most of the time, they just can't figure out the cause of his symptoms. He is gettong quite large doses (0.7ml) of the septrin and emeprid aswell so it can't be pleasant for him but they do seem to be keeping him fairly on target for the moment. The only new change with all the meds is that he is now bubbling a bit more and passing a mix of very wet soft and very dry hard poops, which the vet says is expected with so much going through his system :/
 

CraigGlasgow

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@Tiamolly123 Just spoke with one of the other vets at the practice who's a rabbit specialist who asked me to come in. She's looked over his case and said she can see no medical reasons for his symptoms to be ongoing, especially after being on the meds this long. She is convinced it is just loneliness setting in and he seems as stable as he is ever going to be so reccomended looking in to getting him a new companion as soon as appropriate.
 

Toots33

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@Tiamolly123 Just spoke with one of the other vets at the practice who's a rabbit specialist who asked me to come in. She's looked over his case and said she can see no medical reasons for his symptoms to be ongoing, especially after being on the meds this long. She is convinced it is just loneliness setting in and he seems as stable as he is ever going to be so reccomended looking in to getting him a new companion as soon as appropriate.
It would be lovely if getting him a companion would help to resolve his problems as it really sounds like both him and you are going through the mill at the moment. We're going through a lot of poo / bladder problems ourselves so I understand how upsetting it is when you can't get to the bottom of things. I really hope it all works out and getting a companion helps. Fingers crossed.
 

CraigGlasgow

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It would be lovely if getting him a companion would help to resolve his problems as it really sounds like both him and you are going through the mill at the moment. We're going through a lot of poo / bladder problems ourselves so I understand how upsetting it is when you can't get to the bottom of things. I really hope it all works out and getting a companion helps. Fingers crossed.
Thank you Toots, the good vibes are appreciated :) I've no idea how much it will help and I definitely don't feel ready in myself for a new piggy but if there's a chance it's going to stop him going through this horrible ordeal then my feelings are ireelevant, I'll be doing whatever is best for Weasley.

Sorry to hear you're also going through the mill, it really is horrible. Best wishes to you and your pigs and I hope your issues resolve quickly and peacefully!
 

CraigGlasgow

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Of course, it will be a difficult fit I think, Weasley is quite fragile and he and Potter were a really good fit after he had such a rough time with his first cagemate, he was very fond of Potter even if they had the occasional tiff. I think it will be a fair task to get Weasley to bond with another pig, especially given how hard he seems to have taken it. I'm hoping to go to the SSPCA om Saturday and see if they have a pig who might be a good match, I've been told they do an inhouse bonding process to let the pigs get a feel for each other in a truly independent environment so I think this may be a good option. If not my dad's workmate is a breeder and he's offered to let me bring Weasley round to meet some of his pigs so we'll be able to see if some socialising does him some good and he'll be able to give me some pairing reccomendations after getting a feel for his personality, although it would be a fair bit of travel for him as dad works up in Angus.
 
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