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Ultrasound for piggies

Jasmine-sleeps

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Hi everybody,

My two year old sow had a bit of blood in her urine on Monday, I noticed a few patches in the cage and then nothing since. She’s not loosing weight and is completely normal otherwise. This also happened to coincide with a very dramatic performance of chattering and chasing Monday night with her sister caused by her being on heat, which she doesn’t usually react to.

Regardless, we went to a pig savvy vet yesterday as I know any level of blood in the urine isn’t normal. He pretty much gave her a clean bill of health other than saying her stomach felt a bit distended but he said he wasn’t sure what was normal for her. He suggested an ultrasound scan to investigate further as a possibility, but was kinda vague about whether that or just monitoring her was the best thing to do.

I have done a bit of research and I’m not sure what’s best, or whether this is needed. Does anyone have any thoughts on whether an ultrasound or x-ray is better? After reading some posts I can see ultrasounds are better to check the bladder and reproductive organs but sometimes can miss stones that x-rays can pick up. I was also quoted about £400 for an ultrasound (with gas and air) and a urine analysis.

All I want is what’s best and I was just wondering if anyone could give me some help with this please ☺

Thank you!
 

Siikibam

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Any change in behaviour should be investigated to rule out anything medical. Is it the 2 year old or her sister who was in season? If the 2 year old, could it have been a strong season? Where did the vet say felt distended?
 

Jasmine-sleeps

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Any change in behaviour should be investigated to rule out anything medical. Is it the 2 year old or her sister who was in season? If the 2 year old, could it have been a strong season? Where did the vet say felt distended?
Hey!
Thanks for your message! ☺ The only change in behaviour has been the blood her urine. It was her that was in season, it was more dramatic than usual but nothing out of the ordinary. It was certainly a strong season but I don’t think that would cause blood. He just said her tummy which he said wasn’t normal but at the same time also said it might just be because she’s a bit fat! So I’m really not sure on that one. I haven’t noticed any changes in her stomach, but I’m not a vet!
 

Wiebke

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Hey!
Thanks for your message! ☺ The only change in behaviour has been the blood her urine. It was her that was in season, it was more dramatic than usual but nothing out of the ordinary. It was certainly a strong season but I don’t think that would cause blood. He just said her tummy which he said wasn’t normal but at the same time also said it might just be because she’s a bit fat! So I’m really not sure on that one. I haven’t noticed any changes in her stomach, but I’m not a vet!
Seasons in sows don't cause any bleeding. Bloody urine is generally down to either a urine infection (UTI), a bacterial or a sterile interstitial cystitis (i.e. a bladder infection that does or in the second case, does not react to antibiotics) or stones/sludge somewhere in the urinary tract. The symptoms in all these issues are very similar. It can often take up to a week for symptoms to solidify.

More information on things you have mentioned:
Digestive Disorders: Diarrhea - Bloat - GI Stasis (No Gut Movement) And Not Eating (swollen belly; bloating can also also be a secondary problem to another ongoing problem, which is the likely reason why your vet wants a scan to get a better idea as to what is actually going on)
Sows: Behaviour and female health problems (including ovarian cysts) (your girl is at the age where hormonal ovarian cysts can get going; hence an exceptionally strong season)
Guinea Lynx :: UTI

I hope that this helps you?
 

Jasmine-sleeps

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Seasons in sows don't cause any bleeding. Bloody urine is generally down to either a urine infection (UTI), a bacterial or a sterile interstitial cystitis (i.e. a bladder infection that does or in the second case, does not react to antibiotics) or stones/sludge somewhere in the urinary tract. The symptoms in all these issues are very similar. It can often take up to a week for symptoms to solidify.

More information on things you have mentioned:
Digestive Disorders: Diarrhea - Bloat - GI Stasis (No Gut Movement) And Not Eating (swollen belly; bloating can also also be a secondary problem to another ongoing problem, which is the likely reason why your vet wants a scan to get a better idea as to what is actually going on)
Sows: Behaviour and female health problems (including ovarian cysts) (your girl is at the age where hormonal ovarian cysts can get going; hence an exceptionally strong season)
Guinea Lynx :: UTI

I hope that this helps you?
Hi Weibke,
Thank you so much for that brilliant information ☺ It’s extremely useful. I think I’ll probably go ahead with the ultrasound just to rule out all possibilities and be on the safe side. In the meantime I’ll keep monitoring her for any changes. Do you think an ultrasound is a better choice then than an x-ray?
I really appreciate the time you’ve taken to help me! Thanks again ☺
 

Wiebke

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Hi Weibke,
Thank you so much for that brilliant information ☺ It’s extremely useful. I think I’ll probably go ahead with the ultrasound just to rule out all possibilities and be on the safe side. In the meantime I’ll keep monitoring her for any changes. Do you think an ultrasound is a better choice then than an x-ray?
I really appreciate the time you’ve taken to help me! Thanks again ☺
Ultrasound is better for soft tissue problems; an x-ray if a stone is acutely suspected. It can also show up any bloating better. Your vet will base the choice on what they primarily suspect.
 

Swissgreys

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I have nowhere near as much experience as members like Wiebke, but when Ruby had bladder issues our specialist vet suggested an x-ray first as it is cheaper and can be quite useful. Based on the result form that we agreed ultrasound was an option if needed.
In Ruby's case the x-ray confirmed bladder sludge but no large stones, and was enough for her to receive the necessary treatment.
 

Jasmine-sleeps

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Ultrasound is better for soft tissue problems; an x-ray if a stone is acutely suspected. It can also show up any bloating better. Your vet will base the choice on what they primarily suspect.
Thank you. That’s great, seems in this case ultrasound would be better then. I’ll just ask him when I book it in. Thanks again for all of your help 😁
 

Jasmine-sleeps

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I have nowhere near as much experience as members like Wiebke, but when Ruby had bladder issues our specialist vet suggested an x-ray first as it is cheaper and can be quite useful. Based on the result form that we agreed ultrasound was an option if needed.
In Ruby's case the x-ray confirmed bladder sludge but no large stones, and was enough for her to receive the necessary treatment.
Hey! Thank you for sharing your experience with me! I’m glad Ruby managed to get what she needed. I’m guessing then as Weibke said x-rays are the first choice for suspected stones or sludge, and perhaps better to do first depending on what the suspected issue is. I think I’ll just discuss the option of an x-ray with my vet before I book her in.
Thanks again! ☺
 

GPTV

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Think I would query the £400 for the ultrasound?!

I had one of my girls with a suspected ovarian cyst & she had an ultrasound done....

It was pre covid & a few years ago now mind, but..
I held Ellie, the vet shaved a bit of her belly hair & under by her back legs.
Splodged on a big dollop of clear ultrasound gel & we watched on the screen parts of her digestive system working, we then spotted an inch diameter sized cyst!

This cost the maximum of £20 - if anything over the price of my usual consultation fee, no gas or air needed, fully conscious the same as an expectant human mother's ultrasound.

Please get them to itemise a quote/estimate before anything is done.

Hopefully it's just a UTI urinary tract infection that should clear with antibiotics.
If she's in pain she may be eating a bit less, possibly causing a slight bloat as shes not eating as much?

Discuss with the vet painkillers/anti inflammatories like Loxicom twice a day & antibiotics like Baytril to clear any infection.

Make sure you wash off her veggies & leave them wet to try to rehydrate her & get water going through her kidneys.

Also if she's older like my Ellie was, her repeated UTIs & severe bleeding was due to her ovarian cyst, might be something to consider if it becomes a persistent problem?

Also bladder stones, sludge, cystitis could be a possibilities?

Fingers crossed for a full & speedy recovery
Xx
 

Jasmine-sleeps

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Think I would query the £400 for the ultrasound?!

I had one of my girls with a suspected ovarian cyst & she had an ultrasound done....

It was pre covid & a few years ago now mind, but..
I held Ellie, the vet shaved a bit of her belly hair & under by her back legs.
Splodged on a big dollop of clear ultrasound gel & we watched on the screen parts of her digestive system working, we then spotted an inch diameter sized cyst!

This cost the maximum of £20 - if anything over the price of my usual consultation fee, no gas or air needed, fully conscious the same as an expectant human mother's ultrasound.

Please get them to itemise a quote/estimate before anything is done.

Hopefully it's just a UTI urinary tract infection that should clear with antibiotics.
If she's in pain she may be eating a bit less, possibly causing a slight bloat as shes not eating as much?

Discuss with the vet painkillers/anti inflammatories like Loxicom twice a day & antibiotics like Baytril to clear any infection.

Make sure you wash off her veggies & leave them wet to try to rehydrate her & get water going through her kidneys.

Also if she's older like my Ellie was, her repeated UTIs & severe bleeding was due to her ovarian cyst, might be something to consider if it becomes a persistent problem?

Also bladder stones, sludge, cystitis could be a possibilities?

Fingers crossed for a full & speedy recovery
Xx
Wow, thank you very much for that. I'm going to ask for an itemised costing because after what you said I did some further research into the costing online and it does seem excessive.

Sounds like the ultrasound wasn’t a stressful experience for a Ellie, which is really reassuring. I’m sorry you went through such a tough time with her, though you sound like an amazing owner so Ellie I’m sure had the best care.

Thank you so much for your advice. I really hope it’s just nothing or something minor, but I’ll remember what you said about the meds if it is a UTI diagnosis. Currently she has literally only bled once (fairly diluted) on Monday morning, and is behaving totally normally otherwise which is all good signs. Shes eating as normal too and not loosing weight.

Thanks for advising me on what to look out for with ovarian cysts. The vet said it could be that, stones, cystits, a UTI or a nothing. Let’s hope it’s nothing but it’s better to check! And also to know what to look out for.

Thanks again for the brilliant advice and kind words, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it ☺
 

Jasmine-sleeps

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My Steve showcasing his shaved belly from his ultrasound.

Good luck please do give us an update
He‘s gorgeous! Thanks for sharing 😁

Steve brought a big smile to my face. It’s great to know an ultrasound/ x-ray isn’t such an ordeal for them. Its good to know what she’ll look like after as well!

Thank you so much, I shall post an update on Petunia when I have one ☺
 

YvonneBlue

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Mavis, one of my piggies, has regular ultrasounds as she has a bladder problem. They are done conscious and usually cost around £100 including the consultation with the specialist exotics vet.
 

Freela

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Price can really vary according to vet practice and location... just got quoted 800 dollars Canadian for an ultrasound of Leela's kidney because she would have to be referred to a specialty clinic (our vet doesn't have ultrasound on site.) I'm frankly shocked at what diagnostics cost here for animals!
 

Jasmine-sleeps

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Mavis, one of my piggies, has regular ultrasounds as she has a bladder problem. They are done conscious and usually cost around £100 including the consultation with the specialist exotics vet.
Hey!
Thank you for that. Thats great to know, as I’m seeing an exotic vet as well. Seems like the price is a bit inflated. He also suggested a bit of gas and air though I guess that’s up to the vets personal preference! I hope Mavis is doing well ☺
 

Jasmine-sleeps

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Price can really vary according to vet practice and location... just got quoted 800 dollars Canadian for an ultrasound of Leela's kidney because she would have to be referred to a specialty clinic (our vet doesn't have ultrasound on site.) I'm frankly shocked at what diagnostics cost here for animals!
Hello, thanks for your message! I’m sorry it’s so expensive in Canada! I wonder why it costs so much more? I guess the cost of living is a lot higher where you are. That is pretty shocking, I thought my price was bad. Either way I hope Leela’s okay and makes a good recovery quickly ☺ Good luck with her ultrasound!
 

Jesse's pigs

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He‘s gorgeous! Thanks for sharing 😁

Steve brought a big smile to my face. It’s great to know an ultrasound/ x-ray isn’t such an ordeal for them. Its good to know what she’ll look like after as well!

Thank you so much, I shall post an update on Petunia when I have one ☺
Steve has had everything done bless him and is not fazed at all! My biggest wuss pig (Bellamy) has had an X-ray himself and even he was okay with it!

I’m glad he bought a smile to your face. He is my big silly baby🤣😍🥰
 

Jasmine-sleeps

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Hi everyone!

Didn’t really have any updates until now about Petunia, as after discussion with the vet and no further symptoms I decided to just monitor her and book the scan if I see any further issues. She seemed to pass blood once which was on January 25th (reason for the original appointment.) Today I noticed a small bit of blood and a wee that looks bloody, no other symptoms.

I do have a tendency to panic so I’m trying not too as she’s fine in herself. I’m going to book her into the vets this week, probably for the scan. Is this likely to be connected to the previous blood? If so does this mean it’s something more like stones/cysts please? Any thoughts would be very much appreciated.

I discussed the cost with my vet and he explained it was due to his additional qualifications and the facilities they have there.
 

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