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Pig Hopping After A Bladder Stone Operation

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Matt

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Hi everyone

A few weeks ago I noticed my boar called Logan was having difficulty with going to the toilet. My girlfriend and I get him and his friend Toby out to play on the couch each evening with a towel under them and we noticed that there was a bit of blood in his urine.

Long story short, he ended up having surgery for a bladder stone this Monday just gone. The vet said everything went as well as it could and we got him back on Tuesday evening. The vet also said there was a bit of hard skin on his foot that they trimmed off (Toby has had this before as well but we've always managed to deal with this ourselves). Logan is doing well all things considered but I noticed earlier that if he walks a short step forward he will hop with his back legs rather than move them one at a time like normal. If he runs from one end of his cage to the other he seems to move OK though.

Maybe I'm just being paranoid and I know he's probably still getting over the surgery but just wanted to get people's thoughts. My girlfriend thinks the vet cut the spur on his front foot too close as his foot was a bit red on Tuesday night (not bleeding though), although I'm not sure how this translates to hopping with his back leg. It seems too much of a coincidence to me for it to be a vitamin deficiency that is affecting his joints given all he's been through though.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.
 

Matt

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Just to add, the vet gave us vitamin c tablets which we've been feeding 1/5 of one to him each day since.
 

Gem789

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Hi everyone

A few weeks ago I noticed my boar called Logan was having difficulty with going to the toilet. My girlfriend and I get him and his friend Toby out to play on the couch each evening with a towel under them and we noticed that there was a bit of blood in his urine.

Long story short, he ended up having surgery for a bladder stone this Monday just gone. The vet said everything went as well as it could and we got him back on Tuesday evening. The vet also said there was a bit of hard skin on his foot that they trimmed off (Toby has had this before as well but we've always managed to deal with this ourselves). Logan is doing well all things considered but I noticed earlier that if he walks a short step forward he will hop with his back legs rather than move them one at a time like normal. If he runs from one end of his cage to the other he seems to move OK though.

Maybe I'm just being paranoid and I know he's probably still getting over the surgery but just wanted to get people's thoughts. My girlfriend thinks the vet cut the spur on his front foot too close as his foot was a bit red on Tuesday night (not bleeding though), although I'm not sure how this translates to hopping with his back leg. It seems too much of a coincidence to me for it to be a vitamin deficiency that is affecting his joints given all he's been through though.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.
I'm thinking it could be his foot is sore.Is he on any painkillers?
 

Wiebke

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Hi and welcome!

Has your boy got painkillers? Is his foot painful/hot to the touch (compared to the other foot) and is he putting his weight on it full when sitting? Is favouring one of his legs when hopping or not? if not, then the problem may lay in his body with an internal post-op problem. How piggy savvy is your vet?
I would in any case recommend strongly to contact your vet on Monday and see an out-of-hours service in case things deteriorate at any moment.

Are you weighing your boy daily at the same time to keep a close eye on the food intake? Hay, which should make up to 80% of the daily food intake is often dropped when a piggy is in discomfort/pain, so i you cannot necessarily just go by seeing him nibbling on stuff. If necessary, you need to step in with syringe feeding.
Tips For Post-operative Care
Complete Syringe Feeding Guide

In order for us to help you best, could be please add your country, state/province or UK country to your details, so we can tailor any advice to what is relevant and available where you are. Climate, access to vets/cost and brands vary quite a lot for our members from all over the world. Please click on your username on the top bar, then go to personal details and scroll down to location. Thank you!
 

Wiebke

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Here is our advice for guinea pigs with ongoing bladder stone problems:
- please filter your water, whether you are in a hard or soft water area. Minerals can also contribute to the formation of stones, not just calcium. It can make a difference in preventing a new stone from forming.
- Adjust your vegetable diet.
- Switch to low calcium pellets
@helen105281 can advise you on a balanced daily veg diet and also on the currently best pellet brands available for this purpose once we know which country you are in.
Low Calcium Diet For Bladder Piggies

- Glucosamine or a glucosamine-based cat food supplement like cystease or cystophan can help the natural glucosamine coat of the inner bladder walls which are very irritated from the stone.
Some people also swear by giving barley water (the gloopy water in which pearl barley has been cooked) to help the bladder recover.
 

Matt

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Hi and welcome!

Has your boy got painkillers? Is his foot painful/hot to the touch (compared to the other foot) and is he putting his weight on it full when sitting? Is favouring one of his legs when hopping or not? if not, then the problem may lay in his body with an internal post-op problem. How piggy savvy is your vet?
I would in any case recommend strongly to contact your vet on Monday and see an out-of-hours service in case things deteriorate at any moment.

Are you weighing your boy daily at the same time to keep a close eye on the food intake? Hay, which should make up to 80% of the daily food intake is often dropped when a piggy is in discomfort/pain, so i you cannot necessarily just go by seeing him nibbling on stuff. If necessary, you need to step in with syringe feeding.
Tips For Post-operative Care
Complete Syringe Feeding Guide

In order for us to help you best, could be please add your country, state/province or UK country to your details, so we can tailor any advice to what is relevant and available where you are. Climate, access to vets/cost and brands vary quite a lot for our members from all over the world. Please click on your username on the top bar, then go to personal details and scroll down to location. Thank you!

Yes he's got painkillers, seems happy to take them. The hop is kind of like what a rabbit does in that he'll move his front pass forward then hop his back legs together. It's only for short distances though, running he's fine. His front right foot doesn't feel hot compared to the other one, but it's clear where the hard skin was cut off. He doesn't seem happy putting too much weight on this foot at the moment which makes me think it's not related to the stone surgery or hip problems and more likely that the vet cut a bit too close to the healthy skin.

As far as I can tell he's munching down on hay just the same as always. He's always got his head buried in their hay basket. His weight has decreased by a few hundred grams recently, but I'd put that down to the stone he had affecting his eating before the surgery.
 

Wiebke

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Thank you for adding your location.

It sounds like he is rather favouring his front leg. Most of the weight when moving around and sitting is resting on the front legs whereas the back legs act as spring. That is why spurs and foot infection (bumblefoot) mainly affect the underside of the front legs, but rarely the back legs. By using the back legs together, they make a stronger support for a painful front leg. I agree that it sounds like your vet has cut a spur too close to live skin. :(

I would strongly recommend to weigh any post-op guinea pig daily for the forst two week, irrespective of whether they are eating fine or not. I do with any of mine, as problems can appear in the days after the op, too.

We have got a recommended UK vets locator on the top bar: Guinea Pig Vet Locator
 

Matt

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Thank you for adding your location.

It sounds like he is rather favouring his front leg. Most of the weight when moving around and sitting is resting on the front legs whereas the back legs act as spring. That is why spurs and foot infection (bumblefoot) mainly affect the underside of the front legs, but rarely the back legs. By using the back legs together, they make a stronger support for a painful front leg. I agree that it sounds like your vet has cut a spur too close to live skin. :(

I would strongly recommend to weigh any post-op guinea pig daily for the forst two week, irrespective of whether they are eating fine or not. I do with any of mine, as problems can appear in the days after the op, too.

We have got a recommended UK vets locator on the top bar: Guinea Pig Vet Locator

Thanks for your help. I'll post back in a few days, hopefully his foot will have healed by then.
 

Matt

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OK update since the weekend, Logan doesn't appear to be putting any weight on his front right paw at all. I picked him up and gave his toes a squeeze and there wasn't any sign of pain, but when I squeezed his pay he let out a high pitched squeak which makes me think it's just tender from the spur being removed. I know it could be vitamin deficiency, but it still seems like such a coincidence that it's happening just after his surgery and spur removal.

I've watch him run around in his cage while I've been in the room as well as on a web cam from another part of the house so they're completely undisturbed and it doesn't seem to make much difference.
 

Wiebke

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OK update since the weekend, Logan doesn't appear to be putting any weight on his front right paw at all. I picked him up and gave his toes a squeeze and there wasn't any sign of pain, but when I squeezed his pay he let out a high pitched squeak which makes me think it's just tender from the spur being removed. I know it could be vitamin deficiency, but it still seems like such a coincidence that it's happening just after his surgery and spur removal.

I've watch him run around in his cage while I've been in the room as well as on a web cam from another part of the house so they're completely undisturbed and it doesn't seem to make much difference.

Please have Logan checked by another vet if it is not getting any better.
Guinea Pig Vet Locator
 

Matt

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Well, Logan has been on antibiotics since Monday now. There's improvement, he's putting weight back on his paw now, although he's limping on it at the moment rather than running freely. Still have 5 days worth of medicine to give him yet so I'll see how he does over the weekend and report back.
 

Wiebke

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Fingers crossed that he improves steadily! Thank you for the update!
 
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