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Guinea Pig With Recurrent Bladder Stones Advice

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Skelly

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Hi All,

Long time no speak!

Unfortunately I don't have good news, Oliver had an operation 4 weeks ago today to have a bladder stone removed. I'd noticed he had lost a little weight and was peeing pinkish urine so took him in for a check up.
The vet initially gave me some metcacam and baytril to take away for a suspected UTI but after 2 weeks with no improvement we decided tot take an xray which showed nothing, so we carried on with the medication for another week before I requested another xray, upon the last xray we identified what was possibly a stone but an ultrasound was carried out just to be sure. We found a medium sized bladder stone that was removed during surgery on the 20th Feb.
After surgery Oliver was very unwell and refusing to eat, it took 7 days of force feeding until he finally started to slowly eat for himself but in this time he'd lost just under 50% of his body weight :(
Today whilst I was cleaning the pigs out I noticed oliver had produced a pink wee again, I observed him for 5 minutes and in that time he produced a further 4 large pink wees.
I'm absolutely devastated, I knew there was a high chance of recurrence but I didn't think it would be so soon!
Ive rang my vets and am awaiting a phone call to discuss our options, however the whole procedure last month, as you can imagine with the multiple xrays, ultrasound, surgery and after care cost an arm and a leg, and as a full time student at uni who has just moved out it was hard.
Of course Oliver was worth it but my worry is now that I still haven't paid the initial surgery off my credit card yet and Oliver has such a hard time after the surgery that I'm not sure whether its worth the pain for oliver?
I'm desperate for some advice, I feel very lost.

Thanks in advance,

Jess.
 

Wiebke

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I am ever so sorry; sometimes, stones can come back very quickly. It is very disheartening and, as you say, not cheap at all.

The calcium absorption is a very complex and still little understood process in guinea pigs. There is a genetic component, not being a great drinker can contribute and also a high calcium diet (including hard and/or mineral rich water).
Sometimes, the calcium absorption can simply go out of kilter for a time. I have been through the last with my Cariad, who needed several bladder flushes by a specialist in the wake of developing a large and very fast growing stone.

Did you adjust Oliver's diet after his first operation and switch to a low calcium diet? Is he on cystease/cystaid/vegetarian glucosamine to protect the bladder walls?

I would in any case have an x-ray done to see how bad the problem is before you make any decisions.

How piggy savvy is your vet?
 

Skelly

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Hi Wiebke,


Thanks for your reply.

Oliver drinks very well and often so I don't think that's the cause and his diet has plenty of timothy hay, Burgess pellets and veg so I don't think its high in calcium per se.
I have a feeling it may be genetic, I was too afraid to try and change his diet after his surgery because of his lack of eating and so I've left it be until he builds his weight back up (He was 1.4KG and is now only 850g).

He isn't on anything to protect his bladder walls, in all honesty I hadn't realised you could source a product that did.

My vet isn't the most savvy when it comes to guinea pigs however she has contact with those that are and regularly consults with them, she also knows my financial situation and is very kind with prices.

Thanks again for your reply,

Jess.
 

Wiebke

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Too much high calcium in veg can contribute as well. Usually there is more than one factor involved, but too little is yet understood.

here is information on low calcium diets:
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/low-calcium-diet-for-bladder-piggies.105930/
Just serving the herbs and veg listed in this thread under daily veg will also give you a balanced low calcium diet: https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk...or-a-balanced-general-guinea-pig-diet.116460/

We have now got a piggy savvy UK vets locator on the top bar.

I am very sorry; that is a massive weight loss, which will take some time to recover from even considering that Oliver was likely a bit on the porky side before. However, my Cariad was just around 700g and no longer young, so with the right vet, it can be done.
 
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