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Update on Athena and the benefits of metacam

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Gems

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As some of you are probably aware my piggie Athena has had ongoing issues for almost a year now which presents itself as bleeding from her back end. Since January she has been to and from the vets multiple times, been on various antibiotics incase it was a UTI, had x-rays done which ruled out bladder stones and we're now at the stage of thinking it's either a tumor or that she's had a stubborn infection that has caused her bladder to become permanantly thickened which can flare up.

She's been on metacam for a while and since being on metacam the bleeding has all but stopped. Curiously though about a day before she is due to come into season she'll start bleeding ( a small amount ) and it generally lasts a couple of days, this has happened the last few times she's come into season. Has anyone else had experience of this? Do you think it could be hormonal that perhaps causes this particular flare up?

Last weekend we ran out of metacam saturday night ( I only had enough to give her half the normal dosage she gets ). Sunday morning she seemed a bit subdued and by Sunday night she was bleeding again, and quite alot and was very quiet. I went to the vets monday morning to get her some more metacam which I called in to give her before going back to work then carried on giving her her daily 0.5ml dose and within 2 days the bleeding had cleared up again. She's now her normal, happy self and runs around just as much as the rest of the herd. I'm completely amazed at what a difference having her on the metacam has made and we're both in no doubt that had we not got her on this we would have lost her months ago. There was even talk about having her PTS as she went seriously downhill at one point and went down to 837g but weighs in at 1050g now and the weight gain has been since she's been on the metacam. I know that she's never going to live as long as guineas generally do but I feel blessed she's still with us and she's now 3.5 which whilst still young we thought she'd never see.
 

Wiebke

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I am so glad that Athena is so much better in herself!

Have you thought about trialing cystease in addition to metacam? I have my interstitial piggy Nerys on it, and her constant cystitis trouble has stopped since she has started taking it, which is several months now. Cystease is a bladder coating food supplement for cats and available on the internet. It is increasingly being used for guinea pigs as well.
http://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=52087&highlight=cystease

I have heard of a little bleeding when in season occasionally. However, that rather points to problems with the womb than the bladder.
 

doglovinpiggylover

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awww thats brilliant news.

I too used Cystease for the late Pepmeister and it helped a lot x

Give Athena (i love that name) a big sloppy kiss from us lot x
 

Gems

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Thanks for the link Wiebke, I think someone recommended it to me and I meant to look into it but forgot rolleyes The only thing is the blood isn't in her urine, when she bleeds it's directly from her back end and is continuous and can be quite thick at times so I'm not sure whether cystease would be beneficial as I don't think it's an infection she's got, just the inflammation which the metacam seems to keep under control. Is it a prescription only medication? If not then I may get some to try but I'll have a proper look into it later as I'm supposed to be working at the moment rolleyes

I have given her a big kiss for you and a big handful of readigrass ( they're getting spoilt as I'm working from home! )
 

Wiebke

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As cystease is technically a food supplement, it is not on prescription. You can order a bottle with 100 capsules for under £20.
http://www.vetmedsdirect.co.uk/products/Feline-Cystease-S-Capsules--125mg-x-100-capsules.html
http://www.vetuk.co.uk/index.php?ma...d=nrcr6kb3nb05m2mnop5cbo4ku1&keyword=cystease

After one week of 1/2 a capsule daily, you can switch to 1/4 capsule daily. I mix the contents of 1 capsule (without the plastic encasement) with 2ml of water. Syringe 0.5ml of the solution daily and keep the rest in the fridge.

Metacam can have long term side effects.
 

Gems

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Eeek just worried myself by looking on guinea lynx and thought I was overdosing her! Then realised they were talking about the dog metacam which is 3 times the strength of the cat metacam that Athena is on so I would think 0.5ml per day would be the equivalent to around 0.16 of the dog metacam?

What are the long term side effects? I can't seem to find anything on it, other than the effects on cats.
 

flips

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I'm glad the metacam is providing relief for your girl. Athena is such a special and beautiful piggy. xx>>>
 

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Eeek just worried myself by looking on guinea lynx and thought I was overdosing her! Then realised they were talking about the dog metacam which is 3 times the strength of the cat metacam that Athena is on so I would think 0.5ml per day would be the equivalent to around 0.16 of the dog metacam?

What are the long term side effects? I can't seem to find anything on it, other than the effects on cats.

Yep = 016666ml of doggie metacam

The correct drug dose is dependent upon the weight of the piggie and the mg/kg rather than the actual ml given.

From what you say: metacam for cats is 0.5mg/ml. If you are giving her 0.5ml you are giving her 0.25mg in total.

The recommended dose for piggies on metacam (assuming piggie is approx 1kg in weight) is:0.3mg/kg one daily (although this can be increased slighty in dire cirumstances)

This means for cat metacam at 0.5mg/ml you should be administering 0.6ml per kg piggie weight once daily. So administering 0.5m once daily is fine....assuming your piggie is slightly under 1kg...ie 850g

If she weighs less (or more) than 850g, then put her weight on here and I will calculate dosage.

HTH
x
 

Gems

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She's just over 1kg ( she was 1050g at their weigh in last week ) however, although I can technically give her more I don't want to give her more than needed so because this dosage seems to be keeping her symptoms at bay I think I'll just stick to this dosage now knowing I can increase it slightly if need be. I'm assuming I can take it up to .63ml per day if needed?
 

Wiebke

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Laura-CCC4 used to recommend rimadyl instead of metacam for long term use. Something to look into? It comes in tablet form, though, which is the reason my own vet is not so keen on rimadyl.
 

Laura-CCC4

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CCT advocates Rimadyl as ideal anti-inflammatory pain relief, I do not know the exact reasons why, all I can find so far is that Rimadyl is very well tolerated by guinea pigs. Metacam is not even mentioned in Vedra's book/RHA notes.

Gwenny has done very well on Rimadyl with her joint problem, but Jules also did very well on Metacam with the pain from his abscess.

I am so pleased Athena is responding to the Metacam Gems, I do remember the thread you made about her when she was bleeding a few months or so ago. So glad she's doing well now.
 

Pebble

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She's just over 1kg ( she was 1050g at their weigh in last week ) however, although I can technically give her more I don't want to give her more than needed so because this dosage seems to be keeping her symptoms at bay I think I'll just stick to this dosage now knowing I can increase it slightly if need be. I'm assuming I can take it up to .63ml per day if needed?

Yep up to 0.63ml.

Possible side effects/adverse reactions for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (both rimadyl and metacam are NSAID's) include gastrintestinal bleeding/ulcers; kidney toxicity/renal impairment and liver damage.

Long term use could therefore have implications for the gut and the kidneys....and these drugs should not be prescribed to animals with pre-existing kidney, liver or cardiac problems

The only difference I can find between the two drugs is the half life - rimadyl is 8 hours in the dog while metacam is 24hours.....hence because rimadyl is broken down more quickly it may be that higher or more frequent doses are needed to maintain the levels within the body. The only other difference I have found is that pet owners have reported rimadyl acts more quickly to prevent pain relief than metacam following the initial dose..(probably because it is broken down faster to release the active ingredients in the body)


Bear in mind neither drug is licensed for guinea pigs......so whether you use or the other is down to the vet's willingness to prescribe and how well you piggie will tolerate either drug......

My own preference would be to use rimadyl for post-operative pain management and use metacam for longer term pain/anti-inflammatory treatment.

Moving on to why the bleeding stops when metacam is given - logic suggests that the anti-inflammatory effects are reducing some type of destructive tissue/immunological reaction that causes the bleeding. However it is not clear exactly where the bleeding is coming from. Is it the urinary tract or the reproductive tract? Presumably the X ray not only ruled out bladder stones but also kidney/ureter stones?... It might therefore be worth getting an ultrasound done to look for tissue mass in both the urinary and reproductive tracts. The fact that the bleeding appears to be associated with her oestrus cycle (i.e. every 15-17 days?) would indicate it is more likely to be reproductive rather than urinary issues.

HTH
x
 

Pebble

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I've just gone back and read your last thread on Athena including the vet's previous coments regarding the thickened bladder and a possible tumour, and ruling out problems with the uterus.

The sudden bleeding episode in August could have been the passing of a stone - not necessarily from the bladder but previously descended from the bladder and lodged in the urethra....

The thickened bladder could be tumour-related - but it could just be chronic inflammation aggravated by the crystals in her urine - i.e. interstitial cystitis with no infection

Other points to note: could it be possible that the hormones released during oestrus could be aggravating the bladder at that time if it does contain some type of tumour cells? - Many human tumours carry oestrogen receptors and many of the treatments are designed to block these receptors from being activated. That would tie in with the bleeding approaching oestrus. Alternatively it could be that there are not any tumour ells present but the hormones are just aggravating the thickened bladder lining, causing a flare up inflammatory response and hence the odd spot of bleeding?

As long as she doesn;t have kidney stones then longer term NSAID usage should be OK. An ultrasound would pinpoint once and for all if there are any problems with the reproductive tract or whether it is just urinary/bladder issues - however your vet appears confident that it is the bladder and ultrasound is expensive and need to be carried out by someone who is really cavy savvy.

I would see how you go with the pain and inflammation management plus the associated changes in diet to reduce the crystals/stone formation....and keep a diary of any episodes of bleeding and the cirucmstances leading up to them in terms of food given etc.

HTH
x
 
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