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Cystease, Cystaid plus or Cystophan

Laura 1899

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Hello

My 2 year old boar Graham is still suffering with what we believe is IC. Metacam does not help at all. He has been on Cystease too but not showing much improvement. Baytril for 2 weeks, and Panacur in case he needed worming. Not much is helping. We had about 5 days with nothing but last night he was squeaking in pain alot. I am about to do an order for more Cystease but see that there are others. Are they the same supplement? Also my guinea pig has been given Betamethasone as metacam not helping him but I have not tried it yet as worried. Has anyone tried this on their piggies please? Thank you..
 

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How long has he been on the cystease? It is a nutraceutical so takes a while to build up any effect in the bladder
 

Piggies&buns

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If he is in pain, then I would ask your vet to look at his metacam dose - it may be too low or perhaps its only being given once a day (they need their pain meds twice a day as they metabolise them so fast).
 

Swissgreys

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I agree with the others.
It would help us a lot if you could let us know what meds he is on, what dosage and how long he has been on them.

Also what diet is he having?
Is his water filtered?

Small dietary changes, plus long term Cytease and twice daily metacam during flare ups helped my girl Lucy a lot.
We also took a long time to sort out her diet and decide what specific veggies triggered a flare.
 

Laura 1899

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If he is in pain, then I would ask your vet to look at his metacam dose - it may be too low or perhaps its only being given once a day (they need their pain meds twice a day as they metabolise them so fast).
I have been asking the vet if it can be increased for about a year now & they inform me he is on the highest dose for him (although the online guinea pig vet disagrees) he is on 1.5mg 0.4ml once a day dog strength. He weighs 1.24kg. He has now been given Betamethasone but I am a bit worried to use it but will try tonight i think.
 

Laura 1899

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I agree with the others.
It would help us a lot if you could let us know what meds he is on, what dosage and how long he has been on them.

Also what diet is he having?
Is his water filtered?

Small dietary changes, plus long term Cytease and twice daily metacam during flare ups helped my girl Lucy a lot.
We also took a long time to sort out her diet and decide what specific veggies triggered a flare.
Ok he is on 1 capsule of Cystease (been on it constantly for 2 weeks sold) he has filtered tap water although we live in a very hard water area. He has Marriages cold pressed grain free food. 2 scops of Pro Fibre probiotic granules. Sometimes Fibreplex. Every day he has Timothy Hay (big piles of it), cucumber, a thin piece of carrot and romaine lettuce or little gem lettuce leaf. A few times a week he has celery, red pepper, banana, fresh mint, fresh basil, fresh coriander and fresh parsley but only a few sprigs or leaves. I did not give him anything other than hay, pellets & cucumber for a few days and nothing changed. I have a feeling though pepper may be a culprit. He has had scans & Xray plus urine tested. Swabs taken from bum & penis and it did show some nasty bacteria but baytril was given. No ulcers on penis anymore. No blood ever seen. He has just been wormed as advised by vet. He acts normal & happy apart fom when he squeaks in pain & hunches up as he poos and wees.
 

Swissgreys

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OK, the diet looks good and filtered water is excellent.
Don't loose hope - you are definitely on the right path, but you also need to be patient. This can be a fairly long journey to achieve a good result.

I am not an expert but a few points to consider that helped me get this under control;

I found it took around a month for the Cystease to start to have an effect - it needs time to sooth the bladder walls so 2 weeks isn't very long.

With dietary changes you need to go the total elimination route for at least a week - 10 days. So the first step was feeding nothing but hay, a small amount of pellets for 10 days. After that introduce 1 veg (cucumber is a good starting point) and feed only hay, pellets and 1 veg for at least a week. After a week introduce 1 more veg. I kept a food diary and quickly worked out what veg caused Lucy to have flare ups. This was a very long process. Looking back to took almost 3 months to develop a diet that worked for her and even then it was more limited than my other piggies.

The Metacam does is very low and definitely needs to be split into twice daily doses. He is currently on around a quarter dose, and you should try and talk to your vet about this. Your boy can have 1mg/kilo of body wight twice a day to get things under control. Once everything has settled back down you can slowly start to reduce the Metacam but in the short/medium term pain control is critical.

Lucy also only had blood in her urine right at the start. Even during the occasional flare up blood was never seen, and I don't think this is uncommon.

Hang in there - it can be a gruelling process and you are doing a fantastic job advocating for your boy.
He is lucky to have you on his side.
 

Laura 1899

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OK, the diet looks good and filtered water is excellent.
Don't loose hope - you are definitely on the right path, but you also need to be patient. This can be a fairly long journey to achieve a good result.

I am not an expert but a few points to consider that helped me get this under control;

I found it took around a month for the Cystease to start to have an effect - it needs time to sooth the bladder walls so 2 weeks isn't very long.

With dietary changes you need to go the total elimination route for at least a week - 10 days. So the first step was feeding nothing but hay, a small amount of pellets for 10 days. After that introduce 1 veg (cucumber is a good starting point) and feed only hay, pellets and 1 veg for at least a week. After a week introduce 1 more veg. I kept a food diary and quickly worked out what veg caused Lucy to have flare ups. This was a very long process. Looking back to took almost 3 months to develop a diet that worked for her and even then it was more limited than my other piggies.

The Metacam does is very low and definitely needs to be split into twice daily doses. He is currently on around a quarter dose, and you should try and talk to your vet about this. Your boy can have 1mg/kilo of body wight twice a day to get things under control. Once everything has settled back down you can slowly start to reduce the Metacam but in the short/medium term pain control is critical.

Lucy also only had blood in her urine right at the start. Even during the occasional flare up blood was never seen, and I don't think this is uncommon.

Hang in there - it can be a gruelling process and you are doing a fantastic job advocating for your boy.
He is lucky to have you on his side.

Hello thanks so much for replying! I have asked & asked about the Metacam/Meloxidyl not working but they keep insisting that he is on the strongest dose. He is on 0.4ml of DOG strength (1.5mg) once a day. Just in case I never made that clear before, but the guinea pig vet online called Ellie she once told me he can be on more. It's hard when your vet tell you one thing but everyone else seems to tell me another. He weighs 1.24kg?

Thank you & I will certainly try more time and eliminating foods etc.
 

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Swissgreys

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Hello thanks so much for replying! I have asked & asked about the Metacam/Meloxidyl not working but they keep insisting that he is on the strongest dose. He is on 0.4ml of DOG strength (1.5mg) once a day. Just in case I never made that clear before, but the guinea pig vet online called Ellie she once told me he can be on more. It's hard when your vet tell you one thing but everyone else seems to tell me another. He weighs 1.24kg?

Thank you & I will certainly try more time and eliminating foods etc.
Your boy is gorgeous - honestly I think silver agoutis are my absolute favourite guinea pig colour.

And I am sorry but your vet is wrong about the Metacam dosage and there are many (many) recent studies not he use of meloxicam in small animals (rabbits. rats, guinea pigs, etc) that prove this.
The does they are giving is one based on dog and cat dosages which have been shown to be ineffectual in both rats and rabbits.

It isn't easy reading if you aren't familiar with scientific papers, but this is a good place to start covering dosages, bioavaibility and long term effects of high dose Metacam in guinea pigs:

DOI:Redirecting

Your boy can receive up to 1.25mg of Metacam twice a day in the short term.
This would equate to 0.8ml DOG Metacam TWICE a day.
At the current dose your boy is receiving a half dose ONCE a day.
The study above also talks about the half life of Metacam in guinea pigs and shows it is metabolised very rapidly and will not offer effective pain relief if only given once every 24 hours.
Would your vet consider speaking to a guinea pig expert about the Metacam dose?
Or just doing some research? My local vet (not a specialist ) is always happy to call a colleague or look into something further if she isn't sure.

I truly think pain control is so important and so often overlooked in guinea pigs and I am sure your boy would feel a lot better if his pain was more under control.
It isn't the solution to everything, but at least he would be more comfortable.
 

Katsycakes

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Our IC piggie Luna took about two months of a consistent low calcium diet and cystease to stop showing symptoms. We’re in a ridiculously hard water area so we moved from filtered water and they now get the lowest calcium bottled water we could find, and we’ve cut the pellets right down as well to almost zero. We were in your shoes and losing hope that we could help her have a normal life, but it seems to be something that takes a while to improve. But of course take the advice above and increase the metacam as well.
 

Zanzan

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Our IC piggie Luna took about two months of a consistent low calcium diet and cystease to stop showing symptoms. We’re in a ridiculously hard water area so we moved from filtered water and they now get the lowest calcium bottled water we could find, and we’ve cut the pellets right down as well to almost zero. We were in your shoes and losing hope that we could help her have a normal life, but it seems to be something that takes a while to improve. But of course take the advice above and increase the metacam as well.
Out of interest, what was the lowest calcium bottled water that you found?
 

Laura 1899

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Hello

My 2 year old boar Graham is still suffering with what we believe is IC. Metacam does not help at all. He has been on Cystease too but not showing much improvement. Baytril for 2 weeks, and Panacur in case he needed worming. Not much is helping. We had about 5 days with nothing but last night he was squeaking in pain alot. I am about to do an order for more Cystease but see that there are others. Are they the same supplement? Also my guinea pig has been given Betamethasone as metacam not helping him but I have not tried it yet as worried. Has anyone tried this on their piggies please? Thank you..
Your boy is gorgeous - honestly I think silver agoutis are my absolute favourite guinea pig colour.

And I am sorry but your vet is wrong about the Metacam dosage and there are many (many) recent studies not he use of meloxicam in small animals (rabbits. rats, guinea pigs, etc) that prove this.
The does they are giving is one based on dog and cat dosages which have been shown to be ineffectual in both rats and rabbits.

It isn't easy reading if you aren't familiar with scientific papers, but this is a good place to start covering dosages, bioavaibility and long term effects of high dose Metacam in guinea pigs:

DOI:Redirecting

Your boy can receive up to 1.25mg of Metacam twice a day in the short term.
This would equate to 0.8ml DOG Metacam TWICE a day.
At the current dose your boy is receiving a half dose ONCE a day.
The study above also talks about the half life of Metacam in guinea pigs and shows it is metabolised very rapidly and will not offer effective pain relief if only given once every 24 hours.
Would your vet consider speaking to a guinea pig expert about the Metacam dose?
Or just doing some research? My local vet (not a specialist ) is always happy to call a colleague or look into something further if she isn't sure.

I truly think pain control is so important and so often overlooked in guinea pigs and I am sure your boy would feel a lot better if his pain was more under control.
It isn't the solution to everything, but at least he would be more comfortable.
Thank you SO much, I will certainly pass this info on. Yes I would love to give my vet your vets contact number etc please. Do you think Metacam is better than the buprecare?
 

Laura 1899

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Out of interest, what was the lowest calcium bottled water that you found?
All I have is the Brita water filter but our tap water is extremely hard too. I did research bottled but cannot find the one which is always recommended (cannot think of name now) so bought a Brita jug & filter again. Thanks for your help too.
 

Laura 1899

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Did anyone try giving Cranberry juice (Ocean Spray)?
 

Wiebke

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All the products mentioned above are the same in different packaging.

Please be aware that it can take several weeks to get on top of IC - easily 2-3 months. You may start woth a pretty high dose of metacam at first as it takes time for the glucosamine (Cystease to build up). From my own experimentation, you can give in more severe cases initially 1 capsule every 12 hours instead of half of one. You have to brace for acute flare-ups about every 2 months with gradually lengthening intervals after you have got the IC halfway under control - that is the 'interstitial' part of it. There is unfortunately nothing quick about it and you have to figure out for your individual case how much/little glucosamine and metacam does eventually work as a maintenance dose in the interim and how much you need to up the dosage during flares as this varies quite a bit individually.

If things are not improving over that time or are deteriorating, you may want to ask your vet to research into (glucosmine based) cartrofen; recent European research has shown that it is effective for the more severe cases of sterile cystitis in guinea pigs. It is however still being used on an individual trial basis in the UK and there is not yet a pooling of practical experiences and a consensual treatment approach from exotics vets - it is that new.
 

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I've kept my 7yrs old boy on oxbow urinary support instead of cystease (pain to syringe) after his UTI. Anyone knows if there's a difference in how effective they are?
 

Laura 1899

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All the products mentioned above are the same in different packaging.

Please be aware that it can take several weeks to get on top of IC - easily 2-3 months. You may start woth a pretty high dose of metacam at first as it takes time for the glucosamine (Cystease to build up). From my own experimentation, you can give in more severe cases initially 1 capsule every 12 hours instead of half of one. You have to brace for acute flare-ups about every 2 months with gradually lengthening intervals after you have got the IC halfway under control - that is the 'interstitial' part of it. There is unfortunately nothing quick about it and you have to figure out for your individual case how much/little glucosamine and metacam does eventually work as a maintenance dose in the interim and how much you need to up the dosage during flares as this varies quite a bit individually.

If things are not improving over that time or are deteriorating, you may want to ask your vet to research into (glucosmine based) cartrofen; recent European research has shown that it is effective for the more severe cases of sterile cystitis in guinea pigs. It is however still being used on an individual trial basis in the UK and there is not yet a pooling of practical experiences and a consensual treatment approach from exotics vets - it is that new.
THanks so much again. Graham is on 1 whole capsule of Cystease now. I have started to sprinkle it onto veg as he hates the Baytril so much and all I do is syringe liquid into his poor little mouth! Yes I have read about Cartrofen too. I think my German Shepherd had injections of this for 4 weeks for her arthritis.
 

Katsycakes

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Out of interest, what was the lowest calcium bottled water that you found?
We were the weirdos looking at the back of every single bottle in the supermarket aisles. We found volvic had the lowest that we could see in our supermarket.
 
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