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Repeated cystitis in male guineapigs

AbigailH

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So I posted on here a little while ago about my two 1year old Male guniea pigs.
They both had a really bad water infection and were squeaking and weeing blood.

Both were treated with metacam and septrin antibiotics. One was treated for 3 weeks one for 2. The infection cleared up and they have been fine for nearly 2 weeks.

Now all of a sudden they are both weeing pink and squealing again!

Could this be stress related? The vet said that could be the answer the first time it happened...can guniea pigs pick up on emotions like dogs can?

I'm at a loss... any help appreciated x
 

AbigailH

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Thabk you...No, I only noticed it tonight... and of course I have to wait till monday now. I have metacam leftover from last time so I've given them both a dose tonight.
 

Wiebke

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So I posted on here a little while ago about my two 1year old Male guniea pigs.
They both had a really bad water infection and were squeaking and weeing blood.

Both were treated with metacam and septrin antibiotics. One was treated for 3 weeks one for 2. The infection cleared up and they have been fine for nearly 2 weeks.

Now all of a sudden they are both weeing pink and squealing again!

Could this be stress related? The vet said that could be the answer the first time it happened...can guniea pigs pick up on emotions like dogs can?

I'm at a loss... any help appreciated x
Hi!

You are either dealing with too short a course of antibiotics in the case of UTI (urinary tract infection) or you are dealing with sterile (i.e. non-bacterial) interstitial (repeatedly flaring up) cystitis (bladder infection). Sterile IC has become a lot more common over the past decade but is not well known outside vet circles that see piggies frequently. It can usually only be diagnosed by default after all other urinary tract issues have been ruled out (which all present with rather similar symptoms) and can only be managed but not healed as antibiotics won't work. It may go away on its own very eventually; more in a matter of years rather than months. The good news is that it is not causing any bladder stones and is not usually shortening the life span unless you are dealing with the most severe form - and for this there seems to have been very recently found a way to treat.

Treatment for sterile IC is with plenty of glucosamine and metacam. Glucosamine based Feliway cystease capsules for cats is usually what we recommend as the most convenient way to help repair/replenish the affected natural glucosamine coating of the walls of the urinary tract that prevents the corrosive urine coming into painful contact with raw tissue. It takes however a while to build up but is key for any IC treatment. Glucosamine is classed as a food supplement and not as a medication.

Please contact your vet.
 

AbigailH

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Gosh that's a lot of information. Thank you for that. Ita such a worry, they're so young. And I cant believe theh both are like it 😓
 

Wiebke

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Gosh that's a lot of information. Thank you for that. Ita such a worry, they're so young. And I cant believe theh both are like it 😓
Sterile IC can be transmitted to others, as can UTI (which is a urine infection caused by faecal bacteria getting into the urinary tract through scent marking. An immune system lowering trigger like a heat spike or cold damp ground can then set it off).
Sterile IC st seems to affect guinea pigs with a nervous disposition more - sadly they are very common in this age of mass breeding either by commercial pet shop suppliers or for sale breeders. Most healthy companions usually get over it on their own eventually without suffering much from acute symptoms. I have currently one affected piggy (Breila is coming up to two years of IC) and two borderline ones that only show acute symptoms if something is stressing them out.

We see quite a lot of IC cases on here because of people looking for help with a persistent/recurring UTI and they/their vet being at wit's end.

PS: My big Nerys in my avatar picture on the left has had sterile IC for three years (starting before much was known about it), then had another three years totally free from urinary tract issues and eventually passed away aged 8 years.
 

AbigailH

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Oh wow 8 years. Thats a good age, though I'm sorry for your loss. Well that certainly makes sense as to why they both have it, I think one stresses and then stresses the other out. Weve certainly had a heat spike and I'm sure one started the pink weeing before the other. So other than the medicine and glucosamine, is there anything I can do to help them? Be it food or something?

I really appreciate your advice, thank you.
 

Veggies Galore

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Oh wow 8 years. Thats a good age, though I'm sorry for your loss. Well that certainly makes sense as to why they both have it, I think one stresses and then stresses the other out. Weve certainly had a heat spike and I'm sure one started the pink weeing before the other. So other than the medicine and glucosamine, is there anything I can do to help them? Be it food or something?

I really appreciate your advice, thank you.
I was going to ask you if you’ve seen our diet threads
 

Wiebke

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Oh wow 8 years. Thats a good age, though I'm sorry for your loss. Well that certainly makes sense as to why they both have it, I think one stresses and then stresses the other out. Weve certainly had a heat spike and I'm sure one started the pink weeing before the other. So other than the medicine and glucosamine, is there anything I can do to help them? Be it food or something?

I really appreciate your advice, thank you.
Please have a look at our diet thread in the special needs diets chapter. Long Term Balanced General And Special Needs Guinea Pig Diets

We will help you with further advice re. glucosamine when you have got a diagnosis. It is however likely that your vet may want to try another course of antibiotics with a different antibiotic first. Since it is clearly an infection, you need at least not worry about the stones/sludge angle.

My IC piggies have pretty much the same diet as the others, just getting a little more on the fluid rich veg if they aren't good drinkers. Only Breila needs ongoing support with daily glucosamine. IC is more in the way of an unpleasant longer term complaint with acute flare-ups every few weeks/months. You will work out the best individual maintenance dosage and how much you need to up the metacam/glucosamine individually to get the flares under control again as quickly as possible with your own piggies as the severity varies. Breila doesn't have it very badly and is mostly symptom-free on outside her flares.

PS: Nerys passed away four years ago on August bank holiday 2016 and the little baby in the avatar, Tegan, a year ago nearly to the day 10 weeks before her own 8th birthday.

This here is Breila:
DSC04352_edited-1.jpg
 
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