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Thickened Bladder And Uterus Wall

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LizzyHoy

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Hello, I'm posting to see if anyone else has experience of this condition in their guinea pigs.

Over the past 8 months or so my female guinea pig (aged 2 and a half) has had bleeding from around her bottom area. This has happened 3 or 4 times now. Each time I went to the vet and it cleared up with antibiotics, but came back a few months later. Throughout these periods she has been happy in herself, her eating and behaviour has been normal and she has remained a good stable weight.

As it was happening repeatedly we decided to do an X ray and ultrasound (so she now has a shaved tummy!). These showed that she didn't have any tumours or bladder stones, but that the uterus and bladder walls were thickened and inflamed. The vet thought that was probably from scar tissue from repeated infections, and maybe also her being in season.

I have been given a longer course of antibiotics, as well as anti-inflammatories, to give her for 3 weeks (instead of the 5 day course she has had in the past).

Has anyone else encountered this? If so how did you treat it? I am hoping this course of antibiotics does the trick as she really doesn't like taking them.
 

biscandmatt

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it's good you have been given a longer course. this is actually usually the minimum course that would be given for these problems, alongside the anti-inflammatory aswell. so the previous course on just antibiotics for five days only sadly would not have been enough to fully clear the problem. it's a shame as now obviously repeated infections may have caused some scar tissue damage.

this bladder condition is common in guinea pigs but can be a pain to manage. i'm currently going through it with my piggy mollie at the moment, although slightly different as she has inflammation and an issues with calcium salts.

did the vet rule out bladder sludge aswell as stones? preferably taking two different xray views of her bladder? was a sterile urine sample taken to be sent to the lab? this can provide alot of information which may help. bloods can also be useful aswell. i'd recommend getting these done next if this three week course doesn't work. it could 'just' be inflammation in which case antibiotics won't do anything. for inflammation, usually anti-inflammatories are given, usually alongside something else specifically for the bladder walls. our vets use cerenia for this.

bladder inflammation also requires adequate doses of metacam, usually started higher and gradually reduced. many vets still under-dose metacam.

is your vet exotics/guinea savvy? if not, there is a vet locator at the top of the page to help you locate your nearest one if you would like to :)

you are welcome to read my thread about mollie for comparison if you would like, and there are lots of other threads about these issues aswell if you use the search box :)

eta: sometimes recurrent bladder issues and ovarian cysts go hand in hand so this is something else to look into aswell.
 
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gizzy

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In extreme cases a vet can scrape the bladder walls
this is generally effective , but a lot of after care is needed as it is a big opp .

A pigs anatomy differs, from other animals , so a piggy savvy is of paramount importance
 

helen105281

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A product like Cystease may help too, so worth asking your vet about. Vegan glucosamine can be used to and is the active ingredient in Cystease. It can reduce inflammation of the bladder wall.
 

LizzyHoy

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biscandmatt - Thank you very much for your detailed reply. I knew that bladder stones could be an issue for guinea pigs, so that was what I expected to be the problem, but it seems that they didn't find anything to suggest that.

The vet didn't mention bladder sludge. They didn't take a urine sample, although the vet commented that Denise did a wee when she was given the anaesthetic and that that looked normal. I'll bear your recommendations in mind if the problem returns after the antibiotics.

She is on 0.4ml of Baytril and 0.2ml of Metacam per day.

This vet does have an RCVS icon on their website which says "Small animal hospital". They are much better with guinea pigs than vets I have been to in the past (I have owned guinea pigs for about 14 years and this is the only practice that has done a good job with my animals). They aren't listed on the vet section of this website though.
 

LizzyHoy

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Thanks for your reply. Denise my guinea pig apparently coped well with the anaesthetic that she had during her X-ray/ultrasound, although I'm not sure if I'd want to put her through a big operation as I don't know how she'd manage with the long period of recuperation.
 

biscandmatt

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biscandmatt - Thank you very much for your detailed reply. I knew that bladder stones could be an issue for guinea pigs, so that was what I expected to be the problem, but it seems that they didn't find anything to suggest that.

The vet didn't mention bladder sludge. They didn't take a urine sample, although the vet commented that Denise did a wee when she was given the anaesthetic and that that looked normal. I'll bear your recommendations in mind if the problem returns after the antibiotics.

She is on 0.4ml of Baytril and 0.2ml of Metacam per day.

This vet does have an RCVS icon on their website which says "Small animal hospital". They are much better with guinea pigs than vets I have been to in the past (I have owned guinea pigs for about 14 years and this is the only practice that has done a good job with my animals). They aren't listed on the vet section of this website though.
baytril isn't the best antibiotic for these issues really to be honest. a longer course of something like septrin or marbocyl would be a better choice. and the metacam dose is very low. it won't be enough to bring inflammation down. our vets start higher and reduce usually each week as the course goes along. bladder inflammation takes weeks and weeks to bring down. if the dose is too low, your don't ever seem to get on top of the swelling. then when it's stopped, the symptoms aren't fully controlled and you end up usually with the same problems weeks down the line. same with baytril and short courses. it appears to work but then people say the problem has come back, when infact it probably never fully went in the first place. hope that makes sense. the exotics vet told me this after i went there after seeing a regular vet with my rabbits and their respiratory problems and not really getting anywhere. i've been to the exotics vet since with my rabbits and guinea pigs and the difference in treatment is like night and day compared with the regular vets (in my experience)

i suppose the 'good' thing is that she hasn't been given a proper course yet so with it, she may beable to fully clear this and you may not have to go down the route of all the testing.

with the vets, ideally they need to be exotics or a regular vet with a special interest in guinea pigs. i would recommend going to one to get the very best treatment from the start. even if your vet now could consult with one, that would be helpful :)
 

Poppy'sMum

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I am another owner with a badder piggy :) My piggy had the same symptoms as yours, with intermittent bleeding. Basically the cells inside the bladder will stretch apart when they have infections & over time they remain like this so making more infections likely as bacteria get into the gaps. My piggy also eventually had to have a hysterectomy as her womb started to get infected as well. A low dose of Metacam can be given daily as an anti-inflammatory.My piggy has monthly Cartrophen injections & is also on a low dose of Potassium Citrate daily to help remove bladder sludge too :)
 

biscandmatt

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if your vet is worried about using higher metacam (ours don't consider it high but some do) then it can even be trialled higher for say five days and then reduced. it depends on how much inflammation there is. the maintenance dose can be low but it's important to have that initial 'higher' dose to bring the swelling to a more manageable amount.

it also depends on the vet and what they have felt and seen and also the age and weight of the piggy. some give it 'higher' initially and then stop, some will give it for the full course but reduce each week and some like yours, give small doses to take the edge off but according to our vet, for inflammation, especially somewhere like the bladder, the dose needs to be adequate. and there is no reason why the dose can't be reduced and maintained at the lowest amount possible, afterwards :)

i think alot of vets try to limit the amount of time the piggy is on it and at the higher end dose especially, but long term, if you don't get it under control as soon as you can, they end up on and off it later on anyway, and then it has to be higher because it's all got out of control.

again, hope that makes sense. it's 4am and i'm tired but can't sleep :))
 

LizzyHoy

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Thanks for all your replies, sorry it has taken me a while to get back to you.

Your comments have made me a little concerned about whether the treatment she has been given will be enough to get on top of the problem. Given that in the past 5 days of antibiotics cleared it up for a couple of months, I am hoping that 2 weeks' worth will clear it up for longer, although maybe not entirely.

At least she has had the X ray and ultrasound now, so we have a better idea of what is/isn't the likely cause. She is going for a check up this Thursday.
 

LizzyHoy

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it also depends on the vet and what they have felt and seen and also the age and weight of the piggy. some give it 'higher' initially and then stop, some will give it for the full course but reduce each week and some like yours, give small doses to take the edge off but according to our vet, for inflammation, especially somewhere like the bladder, the dose needs to be adequate. and there is no reason why the dose can't be reduced and maintained at the lowest amount possible, afterwards :)
Regarding her age and weight she is about 2 and a half years old, and her weight tends to sit around 1kg (1.05kg last time it was measured). And I empathise with your difficulty sleeping - it's very frustrating!
 

biscandmatt

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sorry, it wasn't my intention to worry you, just share our experience and info given to me by our vet, for comparison. good luck at the check-up :)
 

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biscandmatt

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I've just read through this post and my Henry has something similar, though a large bladder stone has been removed (https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/caring-for-post-op-piggy-ga-advice-etc.128969/)

I wonder if maybe I should ask my vet for anti-inflammatory or different anti biotic to baytril? From reading @biscandmatt advice it seems piggy savvy vets are the best way to go. cant fault my vet but can't help but think he's missing something?...

Hope your piggy is ok @LizzyHoy :)
bladder inflammation takes weeks and weeks to come down, so after having a stone i'd be concerned if the metacam was stopped too soon. i don't have experience with stones but my piggy ches had sludge and he had a bladder flush and treatment for a good while afterwards. i can't remember the exact treatment but as a guide and for comparison, you could read his thread if you wanted to. i'll try and find it and come back and link it for you :)

eta: because it was out of hours when ches needed the vet asap (and ours didn't do out of hours yet), we had to go to a regular vet. you can see the treatment they gave and what our exotics vets changed it to. and then what happened after he needed the sludge flushed out and the treatment given. it's not exactly the same condition but still a serious bladder related one. https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/uti-treatment.82927/ https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/blood-in-the-cage-maybe-ches.82908/
 
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rufcjoe87

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bladder inflammation takes weeks and weeks to come down, so after having a stone i'd be concerned if the metacam was stopped too soon. i don't have experience with stones but my piggy ches had sludge and he had a bladder flush and treatment for a good while afterwards. i can't remember the exact treatment but as a guide and for comparison, you could read his thread if you wanted to. i'll try and find it and come back and link it for you :)

eta: because it was out of hours when ches needed the vet asap (and ours didn't do out of hours yet), we had to go to a regular vet. you can see the treatment they gave and what our exotics vets changed it to. and then what happened after he needed the sludge flushed out and the treatment given. it's not exactly the same condition but still a serious bladder related one. https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/uti-treatment.82927/ https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/blood-in-the-cage-maybe-ches.82908/
Thanks for this - just had a read through your thread. Glad to know i'm not the only one who worries alot when my piggies are not themselves!

The general consensus i seem to be seeinf from this and advice on my thread is perhaps the meds were stopped too early? It's clear bladder problems take a while to clear up. Maybe I'll talk to my vet about putting him on painkillers, especially as I'm going away for two weeks and my dad is looking after them, i'll see if i can get a good supply. Thank you! :)
 

biscandmatt

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Thanks for this - just had a read through your thread. Glad to know i'm not the only one who worries alot when my piggies are not themselves!

The general consensus i seem to be seeinf from this and advice on my thread is perhaps the meds were stopped too early? It's clear bladder problems take a while to clear up. Maybe I'll talk to my vet about putting him on painkillers, especially as I'm going away for two weeks and my dad is looking after them, i'll see if i can get a good supply. Thank you! :)
i'm definitely a worrier :roll: but think most people are when they're concerned about someone (somepig?!) they love so much. :luv: that's what i tell myself when i'm worrying to the point of a heart attack anyway! :))
 

rufcjoe87

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i'm definitely a worrier :roll: but think most people are when they're concerned about someone (somepig?!) they love so much. :luv: that's what i tell myself when i'm worrying to the point of a heart attack anyway! :))
that's exactly right! unless both my boys are 100% i will worry but as you say it's because we love them so much!

Got some more painkillers from vets yesterday who said 'give it while you think necessary'. No i know it takes a while for it to settle down I'll keep giving it to him and keep an eye on him and try not to worry as much knowing he is hopefully getting better but slowly! It's meloxidyl not metacam that we have but vet says its a similar thing!
Thanks again :)
 

LizzyHoy

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Hi again, I mentioned your comments when I took her for her check up, and the vet agreed that it would be a good idea to continue with the antibiotics and anti-inflammatories for an additional 3 weeks.

The bleeding had cleared up immediately when she started her treatment, and the vet was pleased with how she had got on at the check up.

However yesterday and today she has dried blood once again around her bottom area - I don't know why this would have happened as she is still on the treatment. Does anyone have ideas about why this might have happened?
 

biscandmatt

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the bleeding can be on and off for a little while along the course as the inflammation changes (visible and non-visible blood) but it shouldn't last too long after starting the course. there might still be alot of inflammation there, so thinking about increasing the metacam or adding in a bladder wall treatment might be the best thing. or it could be that something else is going on alongside the bladder issues, especially if the uterus is inflammed aswell.

does she have any other symptoms?

usually when blood reappears i have been back in touch with the vet and they will reassess the meds and maybe make some slight adjustments. it's certainly ongoing with these issues unfortunately x
 
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