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Possible Bladder Stones/infection?

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#1
Last month, my gorgeous 3yr old piggie Robbie passed a huge plug of some kind out of his urethra and had to get it removed by the emergency vet. His normal vet then prescribed him a week's worth of Baytril and said we'd keep an eye on him.
He seemed to be doing okay, eating fine and everything, but then the day before yesterday, he passed another plug of mucus-like stuff, so I took him to the vet.
The vet (not his usual one as this was an emergency appointment) had seen on an ultrasound that he had a huge bladder stone and lots of silt, and that the bladder was very inflamed.
I took him in the following day (yesterday) for emergency surgery to remove the stone.
The vets phoned me (I had a mini heart attack, oh god!) at 1pm to tell me there'd been a power cut so depending on when the power returned, they may not be able to operate that day. I phoned them back at 3pm to see what was happening, and they said the power was back on and he was just going in for surgery now. 30mins later, the vet phoned me back and said all went well and he was just waking up.
So I went pick him up, and his vet said he didn't operate after all, and that despite the fact that yesterday I was given the option to put Robbie to sleep because the situation was so dire, there's nothing in his bladder so there's no need for the life-threatening operation. It's just an infection.
I was up all night worrying, I was crying yesterday, so stressed all day - and they never needed to operate after all, apparently.
So I've got a doped up guinea pig here with me, on loads of antibiotics and pain meds, with no apparent bladder stone after all even though yesterday the vet was shocked about how big the stone was.
They still charged me over £100.
Is this normal? Is this the sign of a bad vet? Is this worrying - do I need a third opinion?
Now, the reason I took to this forum is because he is acting very strangely!
He is on 0.45ml of co-trimazole (I've never heard of this and can't find anything online), because he had a bad reaction to the Baytril before, and he is on 0.5ml of Loxicom for pain and anti-inflamatory. He is still sitting in one spot, not moving, since I picked him up from the vet. He 'growls' at me whenever I stroke him. He won't eat still. And now, his eye is red and has started watering a lot, just his left eye - very strange. He is obviously still in a lot of pain when going to the loo (either number ones or number twos), and more importantly, last night - the same day I collected him from the vet - he passed another lump of gunk out of his urethra!
Very worried Mummy here. Any help welcome!
 

Wiebke

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#2
Hi and welcome!

Here are our post-op care tips. Please start with syringe feeding and watering asap to keep him alive as he is having a bad reaction to GA.
Tips For Post-operative Care
Complete Syringe Feeding Guide

I would recommend to see a more piggy savvy vet. I cannot find any information about co-trimazole either, but suspect that is a form of Sulfamethoxazole/ trimethoprim, better known under brand names like bactrim/septrin or sulfatrim. If in doubt, please ring the clinic and ask about whether the mouthful is in fact the active ingredient. In this case, it is the second most commonly used antibiotic for guinea pigs and the one recommended for urinary tract infections.
You can split the dosage for the antibiotic and the painkiller into two and give half twice daily to accommodate for the fast metabolism that guinea pigs have. Loxicom is another brand name for metacam; your vet is giving as much of that as he can.

I would recommend to have his eye checked in case he has got a poke injury and not just a reaction to GA (as can happen). It would also be good if you could have an x-ray done from two different angles. I had a case of a disappearing white blob on Terfel's x-ray right where a sizeable stone whould turn up, only it wasn't there anymore on the pre-op control x-ray.


Can you please take a picture of those gunks? They are not quite usual. Could you please add your country, state/province or UK county to your details, so we can help you more effectively. We have got members and enquiries from all over the world. Please click on your username on the top bar, then go to personal details and scroll down to location to make it appear underneath your username and avatar picture in every post you make. Thank you!

These are mostly exotics vets, so they are not cheap if money is an issue:
Recommended UK vets: Guinea Pig Vet Locator
Recommended vets in some other countries: Guinea Lynx :: GL's Vet List

@helen105281 @Jaycey @Freela
 

Freela

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#3
Aw, poor little guy! It sounds like you are both having an awful time. I'm so sorry your are dealing with this. First thing... as Wiebke said above, if he is not eating, it's important to syringe-feed him food to keep his digestion working properly while he recovers from the anesthesia and just from feeling bad due to the infection. The guides above are a great resource for that.

The indecision between whether there is, in fact, a bladder stone or not is really puzzling. Bladder stones appear white and solid on x-ray, like a bone. I had a pig with a stone and even to a layman like me it was apparent on viewing the x-ray that there was a bright white shape in the grey soft tissue of the x-ray. I am just as baffled as you as to what they are seeing on this x-ray! Would your usual vet sit down with you and show you the x-ray and talk you through what he is seeing? I know that, for peace of mind, I would definitely want someone to go over the fine details of the scan with me at this point in time. It's possible that the emergency vet was not too knowledgeable about guinea pigs (when it's an emergency it's hard to be choosy, and I know I've had an exotic pet misdiagnosed by an emergency vet that was not knowledgeable with the species- it does happen.) But I would definitely want someone to explain the x-ray to me step by step and explain what exactly they see or don't see there. It's definitely worth a followup, particularly with the new symptoms with the eye that could indicate a poke or infection or other issue.

I agree with Wiebke that if your pig passes anything more in his urine, it would be worth posting a picture here to get an opinion. All I can think of is that, with a severe infection, he may be passing some pus that is in the bladder. I never saw this with my bladder pig, but having had some terrible urinary tract infections myself, it is certainly possible to pass visible pus in the urine. Just another stray thought, as he is a boar, is it possible a sperm rod? That would be a more normal cause of plug/gunk from the urethra.

Hope this helps a little bit... please keep us posted!
 

helen105281

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If he has had an anaesthetic that could explain the watery eye but I am not sure. I am struggling to see how they saw a stone one day and not the next. I wonder if some of the sludge showed up on the xray. I have a pig with sludge at the moment and it is very difficult. It sounds to me like he is in pain still, could you speak to a different vet about increasing the pain relief or adding in something like Tramadol which he could have alongside the Loxicom.
 

helen105281

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Aw, poor little guy! It sounds like you are both having an awful time. I'm so sorry your are dealing with this. First thing... as Wiebke said above, if he is not eating, it's important to syringe-feed him food to keep his digestion working properly while he recovers from the anesthesia and just from feeling bad due to the infection. The guides above are a great resource for that.

The indecision between whether there is, in fact, a bladder stone or not is really puzzling. Bladder stones appear white and solid on x-ray, like a bone. I had a pig with a stone and even to a layman like me it was apparent on viewing the x-ray that there was a bright white shape in the grey soft tissue of the x-ray. I am just as baffled as you as to what they are seeing on this x-ray! Would your usual vet sit down with you and show you the x-ray and talk you through what he is seeing? I know that, for peace of mind, I would definitely want someone to go over the fine details of the scan with me at this point in time. It's possible that the emergency vet was not too knowledgeable about guinea pigs (when it's an emergency it's hard to be choosy, and I know I've had an exotic pet misdiagnosed by an emergency vet that was not knowledgeable with the species- it does happen.) But I would definitely want someone to explain the x-ray to me step by step and explain what exactly they see or don't see there. It's definitely worth a followup, particularly with the new symptoms with the eye that could indicate a poke or infection or other issue.

I agree with Wiebke that if your pig passes anything more in his urine, it would be worth posting a picture here to get an opinion. All I can think of is that, with a severe infection, he may be passing some pus that is in the bladder. I never saw this with my bladder pig, but having had some terrible urinary tract infections myself, it is certainly possible to pass visible pus in the urine. Just another stray thought, as he is a boar, is it possible a sperm rod? That would be a more normal cause of plug/gunk from the urethra.

Hope this helps a little bit... please keep us posted!
Maud has passed pus too from her bladder. It even tracked into her uterus so she needed a spay.
 

Jaycey

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#6
Is he peeing okay? Other than the vet you used being inexperienced with pigs the only other thing I can think of for a disappearing stone is if it has moved. If it has moved on from the bladder it could cause a problem for him peeing, as depending on the size it could get stuck and block urine from moving past.

A photo of the gunk would be good. A stab in the dark guess would be a combination of a sperm rod mixed with sludge?!

If he were my pig I would seek out a different vet, preferably a guinea pig vet, to do another xray. They will confirm if there is a stone present or not.

Let us know where you are and we might be able to recommend a guinea pig vet @DaisyandRobbie
 
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