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UTI/bladder stones?

Natashaaaaa

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Hi all, we recently lost one of my guinea pigs very suddenly (Cinna). We still have her two beautiful sisters (Butterscotch and Humbug) however Butterscotch has fallen very ill during and since her sisters passing. We noticed mucus on her bum to begin with, but it was rarely there so of course we focused on her very poorly sister. The day after her sister died, she began bleeding excessively from her bum. It hasn’t been bad like that since, but has bled little amounts for a few days and has since stopped. We took her to the vets nevertheless and they think bladder stones. We used antibiotics, probiotics and anti inflammatory just in case it was an infection though. Halfway through the course of antibiotics she developed a uti. 4 days on from developing the uti she is now off the antibiotics and still has a very bad uti (worst I’ve ever seen, she has had one previously that was treated easily back in May). She has pain sometimes when passing poos and it is slight diarrhoea, however other than that, she’s quite well in herself. She is swollen but rarely squeaks in pain when handling, but squeaked a lot for the vets. (She isn’t good with strangers though). Her and Humbug spend all their time together since losing Cinna. The vets have offered a scan and operation if needed if it’s stones. Both of these are very expensive and we refuse to operate anyway as Butterscotch is 4.5years now and a 50% chance of survival doesn’t cut it for me. They recommend that we should have her put down, I of course don’t want this and have asked for continuous anti inflammatories for a week to help the pain to see if the uti goes on it’s own since we see no point continuing antibiotics. I don’t feel comfortable euthanising her knowing she’s fine at home, and it COULD just be bad uti’s repeating? I don’t know what to do
 

Siikibam

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Sorry to hear of your loss and Butterscotch being ill. There are piggies on here who have recovered well from (normal and emergency) ops at 4 and older, so I wouldn’t discount it entirely. If they are stones she would be in pain continuously. I think sometimes the stones are too big to pass or they’re in a place where they won’t get through. I also wouldn’t consider putting her to sleep yet.

If she is having any diarrhoea then you should take her to the veg again. I’ll tag @Wiebke @PigglePuggle @VickiA @Piggies&buns who can answer some of your questions.

I hope you find a solution soon. Lastly, if she’s having soft stools you should take her off all veg and fresh grass until at least 24 hours after her poos are normal again.
 

Natashaaaaa

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Thank you so so much for replying!
We’ve been told it’s a 50% chance to survive the anaesthetic and then 50% to survive the op itself. It’s very expensive and we are expecting a baby within 6 weeks so money is tight for a £160 scan and a £570 operation. I’ve had hundreds of Guineas pigs and after a few ops with other pigs we are fearful as we’ve seen all the pros and cons.
I’ll definitely try taking her off the veg and see if it helps, luckily she’s still loving hay. Not drinking much at all now though. I don’t think it’s a constant pain, I do generally think it’s only with some poos and she would wince the same as she did in May and that was never considered to be stones. We’ve had 3 visits to the vets so far for her so they’ve seen the progressions day they don’t see a need to try antibiotics again.
Huge huge thanks for replying, definitely reassured me as I 100% want to avoid euthanising if possible!
 

Siikibam

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Are you weighing her daily to make sure she’s not losing weight? And is your vet experienced in treating guinea pigs? As I said, there are older piggies on here that have survived surgery. The cost bring prohibitive is an issue but you have to consider her well-being if she does have stones.
 

Natashaaaaa

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We don’t have accurate scales but from what we can tell she’s lost a tiny amount, nothing worrying. They’re not, however this is the second vet we’ve seen and they’ve been much more knowledgable than the previous. It’s something we’ll have to think over more. I’d be more up for it if I could see her going downhill but she’s still well in herself considering
 

PigglePuggle

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Based on the symptoms you describe, and what your vet has said, personally I wouldnt be convinced that this is definitely a bladder issue- and if your vet has only a 50% survival rate anaesthetising piggies, I would really be seeking a second opinion from a more experienced vet... mucus sounds more like a reproductive tract issue, and diarrhoea is not a usual symptom of a bladder issue either...
As your location says you are in the UK, please check our vet locator to find a more experienced and more optimistic vet- piggies in the UK very rarely die under anaesthesia these days with an experienced vet, and many spays and bladder stone removals are conducted safely on piggies that age all the time, all over the UK- and at a lower cost than you have been quoted there!
 

Natashaaaaa

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Thank you ever so much! It has baffled me how varied all of her symptoms have been, I don’t particularly agree with the vet either but I do understand she reacts differently to anyone handling her beside me. So with the squeaking they are adamant she has lots of swelling internally. We will find a different vet, I refuse to give up on her
 

PigglePuggle

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Thank you ever so much! It has baffled me how varied all of her symptoms have been, I don’t particularly agree with the vet either but I do understand she reacts differently to anyone handling her beside me. So with the squeaking they are adamant she has lots of swelling internally. We will find a different vet, I refuse to give up on her
A scan and/or xray may be needed to see exactly what is going on, and that may cost about £160, but it may well be something that can be safely and easily treated, and even if surgery is needed for a spay or a stone then I would really expect most good UK vets to charge around £300 for the surgery and give you a 99% chance of surviving the anaesthesia and an 80% chance of surviving the operation, with any fatality risk being due to unforseen complications... your piggy may then have another 3 or 4 happy healthy years ahead of her!
 

Natashaaaaa

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Thank you ever so much for this information! We have found a vet close by that we used to attend with several rspca piggies so they should definitely have more knowledge on similar situations to butterscotch! I appreciate your help so much, thanks again!
 

Wiebke

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My Ceri had an emergency stone operation for a very slow growing mahoosive stone that hadn't caused any symptoms until she started going downhill very quickly. Ceri was 4 years old and went down over the weekend from around 700g to 520g (despite support feeding). Even though this was a borderline operation, she did come through it and was back to normal 750g within 2 weeks post op.
IMG_5097_edited-4.jpg IMG_8865_edited-1.JPG

I have had several 5 year olds requiring a spaying operation and the oldest one so far has needed a large burst cyst removed just a month short of her 7th birthday.

I hope that this will give you hope! Unfortunately if there are stones, then the only option is to operate. It very much depends on your vet's experience and confidence when operating on guine pigs.
Here are our post-op care tips: Tips For Post-operative Care

I hope that that helps you?
 

Natashaaaaa

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What were Ceri’s symptoms of stones? Butterscotch has strangely picked up loadsss today. She’s not wetting her stomach anymore and is enjoying food more. She is wincing and almost ‘contracting?’ and doesn’t seem to pass urine or poo when doing this, just a small amount of liquid.
That is definitely reassuring though! She is a strong piggie, we’re just so scared to lose another one so soon after. How much did the operations cost may I ask? And was it a scan that helped them show up or how did the vet know?
So so helpful though, thank you for the reply!
 

Wiebke

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What were Ceri’s symptoms of stones? Butterscotch has strangely picked up loadsss today. She’s not wetting her stomach anymore and is enjoying food more. She is wincing and almost ‘contracting?’ and doesn’t seem to pass urine or poo when doing this, just a small amount of liquid.
That is definitely reassuring though! She is a strong piggie, we’re just so scared to lose another one so soon after. How much did the operations cost may I ask? And was it a scan that helped them show up or how did the vet know?
So so helpful though, thank you for the reply!
Hi!

Sorry, symptoms can vary.
I would make sure that your vet is not only looking for bladder stones, but also checking both the urethra, the kidneys and also the womb. Butterscotch's symptoms could fit with any of these. It can be that a stone has been passed, but badly scratched the tubes on the way out. Urine is very corrosive so if it comes into contact with raw tissue it is very painful.
On the other hand, Ceri's cousin Cariad had a very wet, smelly belly from a grossly enlarged fluid filled womb that was borderline pyometric (potentially fatal infection of the womb lining), so she needed an emergency spay just months after her own bladder stone op roughly at a similar age to your girl. Cariad lived for another year after that despite ongoing other health problems. Her stone is one of the two on the left. I had a spate of them when I experimented with the diet and got the calcium balance just wrong for a while in 2012. Ceri's stone in 2013 was the last hangover from that. I haven't had any stone ops since then and about 60 more piggies in my life in the meantime.

Please accept that our guesses are as good as yours. Your main aim is support her and to get her to the vet as soon as possible. She will need a proper hands-on examination and potentially an x-ray.

Ceri was more unusual but not totally unique that she didn't show any symptoms until she suddenly started gowing downhill very quickly but without showing any distinct symptoms.

If your guinea pig has indeed got issues with the urinary tract, then please implement our diet recommendations. They do not work instantly (it takes several weeks to work its way through the body), but they are vital for the long term.
You may want to read the very detailed and comprehensive guide but especially the chapter on urinary tract piggies: Long Term Balanced General And Special Needs Guinea Pig Diets

All the best! Please let us know how you are getting on by posting on this thread so we can keep all the information together and support you better without having to waste time to ask you for the background information yet again. You can always pick it up again via the search function on the home page by the top bar. Type in a key word from the title or your username.
Please keep in mind that we are all doing this for free in our free time and we are too lively for everyone of us to look at all threads. We are jumping between lots of different threads in a day already so remembering a short enquiry from several weeks ago is a bit tricky. Unlike social media we can keep a thread running for as long as needed and provide ongoing personalised support but we need your cooperation for that. Thank you.
 

Natashaaaaa

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Thank you for all of the advice! We’ve had a vet trip today and she’s having a scan on Monday which is only £60. She’s been given capsules to help with her bladder pain so should have more answers soon
 
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