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Pig squeaking when peeing / pooping

piggydobz

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Hiya,

Our piggie Howard has suspected bladder stones. Unfortunately the vets he has seen haven’t been the quickest to diagnose anything and its been about 3 weeks since the first symptoms started. Vets gave him a week of Baytril to try incase UTI, however there was no improvement.

In the last few days he’s started squealing almost every time he pees. Other than that, he’s eating fine and not lost any weight and seems cheerful enough, mostly annoyed and uncomfortable I think.

We’ve upped his metacam to 0.4ml twice a day and giving him regular syringes of bottled water. We’re regularly putting in a paper towel to check he is still peeing ok. We’ve also done a home urine sample, which came up negative for blood.

He is booked in at our new more cavvy savvy vets for first Monday morning for an examination and X-ray. We’re all ready on standby for an emergency vets trip if he needs it, but I’m hoping he can hold on til Monday.

Is there anything else we can do to keep him more comfortable until then?
 

Wiebke

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Hiya,

Our piggie Howard has suspected bladder stones. Unfortunately the vets he has seen haven’t been the quickest to diagnose anything and its been about 3 weeks since the first symptoms started. Vets gave him a week of Baytril to try incase UTI, however there was no improvement.

In the last few days he’s started squealing almost every time he pees. Other than that, he’s eating fine and not lost any weight and seems cheerful enough, mostly annoyed and uncomfortable I think.

We’ve upped his metacam to 0.4ml twice a day and giving him regular syringes of bottled water. We’re regularly putting in a paper towel to check he is still peeing ok. We’ve also done a home urine sample, which came up negative for blood.

He is booked in at our new more cavvy savvy vets for first Monday morning for an examination and X-ray. We’re all ready on standby for an emergency vets trip if he needs it, but I’m hoping he can hold on til Monday.

Is there anything else we can do to keep him more comfortable until then?
Hi and welcome

Apart from the metacam there isn't any quick fix.
- For vital medium to long term solutions you are looking at diet (filtering water and reducing your pellets to 1 tablespoon per piggy per day at the most as the two areas where most of the calcium actually comes from plus review of your veg). However, it takes several weeks for the nutritional changes to gradually filter through to the body.
Long Term Balanced General And Special Needs Guinea Pig Diets (see general diet and special diets chapter)

- Glucosamine will help support the natural glucosamine coating of the walls of the urinary tract that prevent the corrosive urine from coming into contact with raw tissue. It is strongly recommended for guinea pigs with both bladder stones or a sterile interstitial cystitis (i.e. a non-bacterial recurring bladder infection), which also presents with the same symptoms as you mention, does not react/cannot be healed by an antibiotic and can usually only be diagnosed by default after all other potential issues like stones have been excluded. Sterile IC has become a lot more common in the last decade but is not widely known outside vets that see guinea pigs on a regular basis. We recommend feliway cystease capsules as they are easiest to handle/dose. Please discuss this with your vet. Glucosamine is classed as a food supplement but not a medication but it can really make a difference in guinea pigs with urinary tract problems and is key in the treatment of sterile IC. It is a problem that cannot be healed, only managed; especially during the regular flare-ups until it very eventually goes away on its own in a matter of years rather than months. That is the bad news. the good news is that sterile IC doesn't lead to bladder stones and isn't fatal. Just unpleasant!

Here is the link to our recommended vets locator on the top bar, which is there to help members find the best vet for their guinea pigs in their area as much as possible. Rescue Locator

All the best for Monday!


PS: Please see an out of hours vet asap if your boy is suddenly lethargic and off his food. In boars this usually means that a stone has moved into the urethra and got caught in the awkward inglenook they have where it is blocking the flow of urine. This is a life or death any time of the day emergency. Just in case so you know what to do.
Emergency, Crisis and Bridging Care until a Vet Appointment
 

piggydobz

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Yay he had his X-ray, and the vet couldn’t see anything that would suggest bladder stones. See his pic below, cute lil round belly hehe.
So UTI is ruled out, and bladder stones are ruled out. Not sure where to go from here, and neither is the vet! ☹

670AFC93-0EE6-4F3E-97FB-2EE2C2AE673C.jpeg
 

Wiebke

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Yay he had his X-ray, and the vet couldn’t see anything that would suggest bladder stones. See his pic below, cute lil round belly hehe.
So UTI is ruled out, and bladder stones are ruled out. Not sure where to go from here, and neither is the vet! ☹

View attachment 147463
What a relief for you!

See my remarks about sterile interstitial cystitis in my last post. It has become the most common urinary tract problem in well kept guinea pigs; we see piggies in comparable situations to yours with this eventual diagnosis on average at least once a week if not more. It is however not well known outside piggy savvy vet circles. Please ask your vet to contact an exotics vet with guinea pig experience or do their own research on it.

It can only be managed but not healed. Treatment is similar to feline sterile cystitis with glucosamine being the key as what is most affected is the natural glucosamine lining of the urinary tract as well as the walls. For the pain/inflammation you treat with metacam as needed (i.e. you give a higher dosage especially during the acute flare ups once you have got the initial symptoms under control), which can take a few weeks and plus the time it takes to eliminate all the other possibilities.
But in my personal experience, glucosamine is the one thing that really does the trick. It is not classed as a medication but as a food supplement, which means that you do not need a prescription even though we recommend to discuss it with the treating vet.
If you are in the UK, feliway cystease capsules are what we recommend as they are easiest to dose - the contents of 1 capsule mixed with 2 ml water daily in a small medication bottle. shake well before every use. You can either give 1 ml of the mixture every 12 hours or 2ml every 24 hours. Please make it up freshly every day or ever second day. You can use other (human) glucosamine tablets preferably vegan but in a pinch anything will do but you will have to work out the dosage for yourself (it comes out at about 150mg per day).
Recent research has shown that cartrofen injections can help guinea pigs in severe cases; this a dog/cat arthritis high glucosamine based medication. However it is so new that there is not yet a guideline for its use established in the UK and the monthly or fortnightly injections are not cheap either.

Our urinary tract diet recommendations cover sterile IC as well. In more severe cases it can be that certain foods, especially not regularly fed ones, can trigger acute symptoms but this has to be worked out on an individual basis. A regular diet without too much variation seems to be of advantage.
Long Term Balanced General And Special Needs Guinea Pig Diets

The good news with IC is that while it can last for years, it can go away on its own, never to return again. And it doesn't impact on longevity. My Nerys (the big piggy in my avatar) had sterile IC for 3 years while it was still a rather 'new' problem but then had another 3 years without any bladder issues altogether and lived well past her 8th birthday before old age caught up with her.
My Caron had sterile IC for 18 months and then another 18 months without it, being one of the longest lived from her large rescue bunch from horrible rat infested conditions.
IC is just not very pleasant during the flare-ups every few weeks and than every few months as the intervals will gradually lengthen.

Currently my Breila is the most affected with my Heilin and Begw being a bit borderline on and off with it but mostly symptom-free.

Here is a little more information: Links - Interstitial Cystitis - Guinea Lynx Records
 

piggydobz

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Thankyou so much for your detailed advice and help. I will speak to my vet about IC and hopefully we can get him sorted out, poor little piggie! 😁
 
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