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Time To Say Enough Is Enough? Help

WinnieandBear

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Hello,

Long story very short - my girl Bear is 3 years old and has had peristent bladder sludge and infections for her whole life. Took a couple of years for a decent vet to finally diagnose and not assume bloat (useless some vets are!) and at Christmas she had a bladder flush op.

She was much better afterwards and no more crying whilst pooing/weeing for a couple of weeks but shortly afterwards a hernia appeared. This seemed to get bigger and bigger and aggravated her bladder again.

Some episodes of the crying and hunching keptnle up all night and she has been on metacam almost non stop and also so opiate medicaiton at her worst.

She then had a hernia op a couple of moths ago which failed and left an open infected wound. Two weeks later I drove miles to a specialist exotics (Scotts in Bedford, fantastic knowledgeable vets) who performed what they called a miracle op and removed the infected mesh from the hernia surgery which had attached itself to her intestines too. This involved removing part of her intestine and repairing - they really had hardly any hope for her.

Miraculously we nursed Bear back to health and she has had some amazing weeks of happiness and painfree times. Sadly the hernia has started to reappear along with it, the horrible pains while going to the toilet. I thought/hoped it was a bad bought of sludge but tonight she is really sore and crying like she did before during the "bad times" before her ops.

I love this pig more than anyone and have spent so much time money and love the last three years on trying to fix her, I am scared to say when enough is enough, but I have exhausted all options - diet, filtered water, bladder tablets, extra water intake.

Has anyone got any advice or words of wisdom on when to say stop? And let her be pain free and in peace? I can't put her through another op, I refuse after she was so unwell last time and the vets agree she has used up her "piggy nine lives".

X
 

Janice C

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Hello,

Long story very short - my girl Bear is 3 years old and has had peristent bladder sludge and infections for her whole life. Took a couple of years for a decent vet to finally diagnose and not assume bloat (useless some vets are!) and at Christmas she had a bladder flush op.

She was much better afterwards and no more crying whilst pooing/weeing for a couple of weeks but shortly afterwards a hernia appeared. This seemed to get bigger and bigger and aggravated her bladder again.

Some episodes of the crying and hunching keptnle up all night and she has been on metacam almost non stop and also so opiate medicaiton at her worst.

She then had a hernia op a couple of moths ago which failed and left an open infected wound. Two weeks later I drove miles to a specialist exotics (Scotts in Bedford, fantastic knowledgeable vets) who performed what they called a miracle op and removed the infected mesh from the hernia surgery which had attached itself to her intestines too. This involved removing part of her intestine and repairing - they really had hardly any hope for her.

Miraculously we nursed Bear back to health and she has had some amazing weeks of happiness and painfree times. Sadly the hernia has started to reappear along with it, the horrible pains while going to the toilet. I thought/hoped it was a bad bought of sludge but tonight she is really sore and crying like she did before during the "bad times" before her ops.

I love this pig more than anyone and have spent so much time money and love the last three years on trying to fix her, I am scared to say when enough is enough, but I have exhausted all options - diet, filtered water, bladder tablets, extra water intake.

Has anyone got any advice or words of wisdom on when to say stop? And let her be pain free and in peace? I can't put her through another op, I refuse after she was so unwell last time and the vets agree she has used up her "piggy nine lives".

X
I’m so sorry that you are going through so much pain and heartbreak trying to keep your Bear with you. Sounds as if you’ve tried everything possible to help her and if the Vet is of the same opinion and she is suffering yet again you are right in thinking it’s time to let her go. You’ve both been through so much together and you will be the best one to judge whether you are making the right decision. It’s something we all dread but at least we CAN do this for our furry friends. All the best and try and be strong for Bear. x
 

piggieminder

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I'm so sorry you and Bear are having such a terrible time. I always feel we know in our hearts when it's time to let our fur babies go. Sending you and bear big hugs and my very best wishes.
 

Wiebke

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Hello,

Long story very short - my girl Bear is 3 years old and has had peristent bladder sludge and infections for her whole life. Took a couple of years for a decent vet to finally diagnose and not assume bloat (useless some vets are!) and at Christmas she had a bladder flush op.

She was much better afterwards and no more crying whilst pooing/weeing for a couple of weeks but shortly afterwards a hernia appeared. This seemed to get bigger and bigger and aggravated her bladder again.

Some episodes of the crying and hunching keptnle up all night and she has been on metacam almost non stop and also so opiate medicaiton at her worst.

She then had a hernia op a couple of moths ago which failed and left an open infected wound. Two weeks later I drove miles to a specialist exotics (Scotts in Bedford, fantastic knowledgeable vets) who performed what they called a miracle op and removed the infected mesh from the hernia surgery which had attached itself to her intestines too. This involved removing part of her intestine and repairing - they really had hardly any hope for her.

Miraculously we nursed Bear back to health and she has had some amazing weeks of happiness and painfree times. Sadly the hernia has started to reappear along with it, the horrible pains while going to the toilet. I thought/hoped it was a bad bought of sludge but tonight she is really sore and crying like she did before during the "bad times" before her ops.

I love this pig more than anyone and have spent so much time money and love the last three years on trying to fix her, I am scared to say when enough is enough, but I have exhausted all options - diet, filtered water, bladder tablets, extra water intake.

Has anyone got any advice or words of wisdom on when to say stop? And let her be pain free and in peace? I can't put her through another op, I refuse after she was so unwell last time and the vets agree she has used up her "piggy nine lives".

X
It is always heart-breaking when you come closer to the line with a piggy you have been through so much and it is perfectly normal to worry when is the right time to call it shots.

In many cases you'll know when the time has come; your piggy will tell you when it has had enough.

In some cases it can be much tougher as the whole responsibility when to call it shots lies fully on you and you have to make this decision for your beloved one. These situations are the hardest, and we all dread them. It is often most difficult when you have spent a very long time on battling health issues and you have to then switch your mind set from keeping your piggy alive to that of sparing it any unnecessary suffering.

You have to make this decision somewhere in the triangle between your guinea pig's wellbeing, your own desire of keeping it with you for as long as possible and your financial possibilities. The latter is a perfectly valid aspect once you get from basic care into very expensive lab tests, treatments and operations that may or may not be successful and may or may not buy your piggy more time. There is no right and wrong within this triangle; we all draw the line differently.
The main thing is that any decision is made with your piggy's wellbeing/not letting it suffer upmost in mind - you have to make the decision that you can live best with in the long term. Nobody can make that decision for you, as it has to feel right for both your piggy and for you when you make it and again once you have been through the inevitable soul-searching in the wake of your decision and the grieving process, which cannot be hurried on. But there comes a time when your head and heart will be together again, and that is the time when you can look back and say that as heart-breaking as it was, you have done the right thing.

If you are totally torn and in pieces, try to take a step back and look at it as if you were an uninvolved stranger. Be honest with yourself when it comes to any fears of yours about letting your guinea pig go; you need to factor them into equation as well. None of us ever wants to send a much loved piggy to the Rainbow Bridge. Look at your piggy as if it were somebody else's piggy. What kind of advice would you give to a stranger if you saw their guinea pig as yours is for the first time?

I hope that this helps you.

You will always carry your piggy in your heart; the love you feel now will never die nor can the time it has shared your life be taken away. I imagine my RIP piggies as little furry guardian angels that help me do things even better with my current piggies - it is just a visualisation of the legacy they leave behind and one that is kept alive by handing it on. ;)
 

WinnieandBear

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Thank you so much guys all of these comments are so helpful to me - it's so difficult because she goes so up and down with the bladder issues, last night she was really not happy and clearly having pain when going, then this morning haven't heard a peep from her and she's happily munching away. I think that's why this situation is so hard, like me and the vet kept saying, she is so so happy and active in herself, not hunched and withdrawal and she is eating loads - if any of those were different I wouldn't think twice but it's the crying that makes me feel so bad but then it seems to flare up for a night and dissappear! It's so difficult! She isn't as bad as she has been at all but o want to prepare myself so if she does worsen, go downhill or cry more often then I can know I'm doing the right thing. Going to see how she goes over this weekend x
 

helen105281

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I had this with Maud, she had chronic sludge that we could not get on top of, it even led to her having an emergency spay. We did eventually have to let her go but that was once she had no interest in food anymore, and when she tried to eat she just didn't have the energy. Let Winnie be your guide and while she seems happy and eating that is a good sign. Just take each day at a time. You will know when the time is right.
 

Wiebke

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Thank you so much guys all of these comments are so helpful to me - it's so difficult because she goes so up and down with the bladder issues, last night she was really not happy and clearly having pain when going, then this morning haven't heard a peep from her and she's happily munching away. I think that's why this situation is so hard, like me and the vet kept saying, she is so so happy and active in herself, not hunched and withdrawal and she is eating loads - if any of those were different I wouldn't think twice but it's the crying that makes me feel so bad but then it seems to flare up for a night and dissappear! It's so difficult! She isn't as bad as she has been at all but o want to prepare myself so if she does worsen, go downhill or cry more often then I can know I'm doing the right thing. Going to see how she goes over this weekend x
Has your vet researched interstitial cystitis (IC) treatment?

That tends to flare up with squeaking when peeing and pooing during acute episodes. At this stage, it can only be managed with diet, anti-inflammatories and glucosamine (cystease), but not healed. IC is always a default diagnosis for persistent UTI symptoms that do not react much to antibiotics (it is an inflammation of the bladder walls) and after stones/sludge etc, have been eliminated. All three present with the symptoms, so it is not a quick and easy process to come to an informed diagnosis. IC had unfortunately become a lot more common in recent years. There is not much in the way of research as to what is causing it.

However unpleasant and upsetting acute episodes are, IC does NOT kill, does NOT cause stones and eventually goes away on its own, but that is a matter or years rather than months.
You can find tips for a balanced bladder diet by our sample picture in the diet thread. Recommendations For A Balanced General Guinea Pig Diet
 

WinnieandBear

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Has your vet researched interstitial cystitis (IC) treatment?

That tends to flare up with squeaking when peeing and pooing during acute episodes. At this stage, it can only be managed with diet, anti-inflammatories and glucosamine (cystease), but not healed. IC is always a default diagnosis for persistent UTI symptoms that do not react much to antibiotics (it is an inflammation of the bladder walls) and after stones/sludge etc, have been eliminated. All three present with the symptoms, so it is not a quick and easy process to come to an informed diagnosis. IC had unfortunately become a lot more common in recent years. There is not much in the way of research as to what is causing it.

However unpleasant and upsetting acute episodes are, IC does NOT kill, does NOT cause stones and eventually goes away on its own, but that is a matter or years rather than months.
You can find tips for a balanced bladder diet by our sample picture in the diet thread. Recommendations For A Balanced General Guinea Pig Diet

Thanks wiebke, neither vets have mentioned IC but I highly suspect it is, I have been treating it as such for the last year since her bladder flush as it does seem to have flare ups and it always seems worse in the evening? Not sure if that is common. Bear only has IC diet veggies and she has had cystease a while back when she was struggling before, but wasn't sure if I saw a difference, but since she has had some bad flare ups maybe I should start it back up? She has some oxbox bladder support tablets now, but neither pigs are keen - tonight was the first time I saw her decide to eat one!
 

WinnieandBear

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I had this with Maud, she had chronic sludge that we could not get on top of, it even led to her having an emergency spay. We did eventually have to let her go but that was once she had no interest in food anymore, and when she tried to eat she just didn't have the energy. Let Winnie be your guide and while she seems happy and eating that is a good sign. Just take each day at a time. You will know when the time is right.

Oh I'm sorry to hear that! Bless her. Yes Bear has had times like that in the past, it is so horrible to see. She was worse when the vet tried a new antibiotic and she lost so much weight and was wobbling around - I genuinely was about to take her to be PTS for a few days in a row but she picked up again and again. She's just such a strong little thing and she has baffled and surprised multiple vets this year. I love the name Maud by the way that's such a perfect piggy name! I love old fashioned names for pigs Xx
 

Wiebke

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Thanks wiebke, neither vets have mentioned IC but I highly suspect it is, I have been treating it as such for the last year since her bladder flush as it does seem to have flare ups and it always seems worse in the evening? Not sure if that is common. Bear only has IC diet veggies and she has had cystease a while back when she was struggling before, but wasn't sure if I saw a difference, but since she has had some bad flare ups maybe I should start it back up? She has some oxbox bladder support tablets now, but neither pigs are keen - tonight was the first time I saw her decide to eat one!
Cystease may not have any obvious effect and cannot prevent acute phases, but it DOES help to support the bladder walls. Withdrawing it however can cause an acute bout of IC in guinea pigs.

Persistent squeaking when peeing has been reported by several memberswith diagnosed piggies. They have also found that this rather distressing.
 

WinnieandBear

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Cystease may not have any obvious effect and cannot prevent acute phases, but it DOES help to support the bladder walls. Withdrawing it however can cause an acute bout of IC in guinea pigs.
She stopped having Cystease a while back as in 6 months or so, I have just found some Cystophan tablets and given her one - she was on these a month or so ago but the new exotics vet said they wouldn't do anything as they are for cats but if you think they are good it's worth keeping them up so I will see how she goes again with them x
 
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