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UTIs - do they need strong antibiotics to shift

BlueBird

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Hi there,

My guinea Bonnie is definitely entering the PTS grey area. She's been showing pain barbing signs for a while after she was so painful that she couldn't walk which I assumed was related due to the fact it was limited to her back legs. Over the past week the barbing has gotten worse.

I've just come back from the vets. She's had a history of bladder stones so I took a urine sample with me. The sample showed UTI signs with bacteria, blood and other signs present in the urine. The vet felt the bladder which seems fine right now but I got the impression she suspects a stone somewhere else in Bonnie's water works. Due to her age and her history, the vet also suspected urinary disease which would need a blood test to determine.

Bonnie's still eating, squeaking (she's always been our loudest wheaker) and always looks up at me saying 'hello' when I come to the cage to check on her. But as my Scottish Granny would say 'she's no right'. She likes to stay 'in bed' all day and she's not been as good at grooming herself and keeping clean. I've found her covered in pee a few times. Bonnie is no spring chicken. She has had multiple problems including back, urinary and mamory tumours. Her health is definitely in decline. But I'm trying to formulate a plan in my head as to when treatment is too much treatment. My aim is prolonging her health not just her life.

That said if this truly is a UTI. I've been given enrobactin 25mg/ml for 10days to try and shift it. Does anyone have any experience on how effective it's been at getting rid of UTIs? If Bonnie's problem is something more sinister I don't want to needlessly be bounced from antibiotic to antibiotic.
 

Wiebke

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Hi there,

My guinea Bonnie is definitely entering the PTS grey area. She's been showing pain barbing signs for a while after she was so painful that she couldn't walk which I assumed was related due to the fact it was limited to her back legs. Over the past week the barbing has gotten worse.

I've just come back from the vets. She's had a history of bladder stones so I took a urine sample with me. The sample showed UTI signs with bacteria, blood and other signs present in the urine. The vet felt the bladder which seems fine right now but I got the impression she suspects a stone somewhere else in Bonnie's water works. Due to her age and her history, the vet also suspected urinary disease which would need a blood test to determine.

Bonnie's still eating, squeaking (she's always been our loudest wheaker) and always looks up at me saying 'hello' when I come to the cage to check on her. But as my Scottish Granny would say 'she's no right'. She likes to stay 'in bed' all day and she's not been as good at grooming herself and keeping clean. I've found her covered in pee a few times. Bonnie is no spring chicken. She has had multiple problems including back, urinary and mamory tumours. Her health is definitely in decline. But I'm trying to formulate a plan in my head as to when treatment is too much treatment. My aim is prolonging her health not just her life.

That said if this truly is a UTI. I've been given enrobactin 25mg/ml for 10days to try and shift it. Does anyone have any experience on how effective it's been at getting rid of UTIs? If Bonnie's problem is something more sinister I don't want to needlessly be bounced from antibiotic to antibiotic.
Hi!

Baytril (active ingredient is enroflaxacin) can be sold under different brand names these days; enrobactin is the version sepcifically marketed for small exotics pets in the UK - the same way sulfatrim is now the licensed version of the good old bactrim/septrin for small exotics. I assume that you have your own experiences with the efficiency of baytril for Bonnie considering her history?

The problem is that urinary tract problems do manifest with very similar symptoms. A vet will usually work their way down from a bacterial URI to looking for stones (if your vet couldn't feel any in the bladder and the bladder is relaxed, then that is less likely) to a bacterial cystitis (often the result of the irritation from a bladder stone) to a sterile interstitial cystitis (i.e. a non-bacterial recurring bladder infection) that cannot be cured by antibiotics. The latter is not widely known outside vet circles that see plenty of piggies but it has become a lot more common over the last decade. Management is plenty of glucosamine and metacam (which now also comes under a range of different brand names).

Has Bonnie been put on or is she already on metacam? This is not only a painkiller but also an anti-inflammatory.
Glucosamine is not a medication but classed as a food supplement and widely available. It is given to support the natural glucosamine coating of the walls of the urinary tract which prevent the corrosive urine coming into contact with raw tissue (which is often causing the squeaking).
If you wish to, you can mix the contents of one capsule of (cat) feliway cystease with 12 ml of water. Shake well before use and give 1 ml twice daily or give 2 ml once daily. In my own experience with bladder issues and sterile IC, the glucosamine really makes a big difference in comfort although it takes some time to build up. If in doubt, please ask your vet.

All the best!
 

BlueBird

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Hi!

Baytril (active ingredient is enroflaxacin) can be sold under different brand names these days; enrobactin is the version sepcifically marketed for small exotics pets in the UK - the same way sulfatrim is now the licensed version of the good old bactrim/septrin for small exotics. I assume that you have your own experiences with the efficiency of baytril for Bonnie considering her history?

The problem is that urinary tract problems do manifest with very similar symptoms. A vet will usually work their way down from a bacterial URI to looking for stones (if your vet couldn't feel any in the bladder and the bladder is relaxed, then that is less likely) to a bacterial cystitis (often the result of the irritation from a bladder stone) to a sterile interstitial cystitis (i.e. a non-bacterial recurring bladder infection) that cannot be cured by antibiotics. The latter is not widely known outside vet circles that see plenty of piggies but it has become a lot more common over the last decade. Management is plenty of glucosamine and metacam (which now also comes under a range of different brand names).

Has Bonnie been put on or is she already on metacam? This is not only a painkiller but also an anti-inflammatory.
Glucosamine is not a medication but classed as a food supplement and widely available. It is given to support the natural glucosamine coating of the walls of the urinary tract which prevent the corrosive urine coming into contact with raw tissue (which is often causing the squeaking).
If you wish to, you can mix the contents of one capsule of (cat) feliway cystease with 12 ml of water. Shake well before use and give 1 ml twice daily or give 2 ml once daily. In my own experience with bladder issues and sterile IC, the glucosamine really makes a big difference in comfort although it takes some time to build up. If in doubt, please ask your vet.

All the best!
Oh Weibke! You're a star and a font of knowledge as always. We have been given meloxaid which is the anti-inflammatory/painkiller. The box says its a mix of meloxicam and sodium benzoate. Given the similar name I'm assuming the meloxicam might be the same drug? Bonnie's generally quite good with it and will take it without me even having to hold her or lift her out of the cage.

Our vets support a few small animal rescues in the area and our vet seems to be (thankfully) pretty knowledgeable in small furries and not just cats and dogs. Trouble is because she's so knowledgeable her explanations tend to be very technical, and drawn out and difficult to pick out the headlines.

As you have rightly sited, she is most likely at the start of a list of stuff to cross off one by one. Trouble is because Bonnie hasn't been too well for a while and her weight is at the lower end of normal (thankfully she was quite porky in her youth) and I don't want her to be on too many antibiotics that may mess with her gut health and effect her eating. Hence the post here.

On this antibiotic, Bonnie has been pretty good. But we've had mixed success using them. One was an infected mastectomy wound which took a while to clear up, others were simply crossing off possibilities and therefore were less successful but out of the 3 pigs she is the only one who's escaped the antibiotic squits so far. (touch wood)

I will keep the Glucosamine in mind for the next appointment if it doesn't seem to be the 'standard' UTI. My vet isn't adverse to prescribing supplements. She did ask me to use baby vit c drops for her, to support her while she was recovering from the bladder surgery. So perhaps it is already on her radar...?

But anyway we've got 10days so fingers crossed it fixes her and the barbering stops or at least subides. It's not nice having a pig that has barely any fur left on her legs. Bless her. Thankfully it seems to just be the fur and not the skin.
 

Wiebke

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Oh Weibke! You're a star and a font of knowledge as always. We have been given meloxaid which is the anti-inflammatory/painkiller. The box says its a mix of meloxicam and sodium benzoate. Given the similar name I'm assuming the meloxicam might be the same drug? Bonnie's generally quite good with it and will take it without me even having to hold her or lift her out of the cage.

Our vets support a few small animal rescues in the area and our vet seems to be (thankfully) pretty knowledgeable in small furries and not just cats and dogs. Trouble is because she's so knowledgeable her explanations tend to be very technical, and drawn out and difficult to pick out the headlines.

As you have rightly sited, she is most likely at the start of a list of stuff to cross off one by one. Trouble is because Bonnie hasn't been too well for a while and her weight is at the lower end of normal (thankfully she was quite porky in her youth) and I don't want her to be on too many antibiotics that may mess with her gut health and effect her eating. Hence the post here.

On this antibiotic, Bonnie has been pretty good. But we've had mixed success using them. One was an infected mastectomy wound which took a while to clear up, others were simply crossing off possibilities and therefore were less successful but out of the 3 pigs she is the only one who's escaped the antibiotic squits so far. (touch wood)

I will keep the Glucosamine in mind for the next appointment if it doesn't seem to be the 'standard' UTI. My vet isn't adverse to prescribing supplements. She did ask me to use baby vit c drops for her, to support her while she was recovering from the bladder surgery. So perhaps it is already on her radar...?

But anyway we've got 10days so fingers crossed it fixes her and the barbering stops or at least subides. It's not nice having a pig that has barely any fur left on her legs. Bless her. Thankfully it seems to just be the fur and not the skin.
Use 'poo soup' (i.e. live healthy gut microbiome transfer) from a healthy companion to support the gut. It is more effective than probiotics if done properly. Meloxaid is used and prescribed the same as metacam or meloxicam etc...
You can find the 'recipe' in this link here: Probiotics, Recovery Foods And Vitamin C: Overview With Product Links

Personally I would start with the glucosamine as soon as possible; it helps with the comfort in the urinary tract whatever is causing the problem and gives you a head start if she turns out to have sterile interstitial cystitis because it takes a few weeks to build up. You can call the clinic and ask whether you vet would be OK with you doing it. We are recommending only what is endorsed by other vets experienced with guinea pigs and sterile IC. ;)

Has your vet checked arthritis for the leg barbering?
 

BlueBird

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Has your vet checked arthritis for the leg barbering?
Unfortunately, I don't know. I'm not allowed in the surgery so no idea what she checked and discounted unless she tells me. And she didn't mention arthritis.

I've bought some oxbow vit c to make sure she's getting enough. But I've run out of liquid feed and my vetuk order has only just been dispatched. This is the same day Bonnie has decided to go right off her food. I'm unsure whether she's only nibbling at stuff then losing her appetite quickly or just not eating.

Had a frustrating phone call with my vet receptionist this morning when I asked to buy a sachet off them. I don't think she quite understood the emergency of the situation. I don't think they are used to someone phoning up saying 'I need this please'. She said she needed to check with the vet and then it would be 24hrs before it was available. As I say, I don't think she understood the urgency of the request. I'm going to wait a few minutes before trying again and be a little firmer this time. Don't need this stress right now.
 

Wiebke

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Unfortunately, I don't know. I'm not allowed in the surgery so no idea what she checked and discounted unless she tells me. And she didn't mention arthritis.

I've bought some oxbow vit c to make sure she's getting enough. But I've run out of liquid feed and my vetuk order has only just been dispatched. This is the same day Bonnie has decided to go right off her food. I'm unsure whether she's only nibbling at stuff then losing her appetite quickly or just not eating.

Had a frustrating phone call with my vet receptionist this morning when I asked to buy a sachet off them. I don't think she quite understood the emergency of the situation. I don't think they are used to someone phoning up saying 'I need this please'. She said she needed to check with the vet and then it would be 24hrs before it was available. As I say, I don't think she understood the urgency of the request. I'm going to wait a few minutes before trying again and be a little firmer this time. Don't need this stress right now.
Hi

Very sorry about your problems!

Please switch to feeding mushed up pellets instead as a stop gap measure.
You can find our emergency tips on how to improvise with what you have got at home or easily available in our emergency and bridging information and tips collection, which we have compiled for easy access in a panic via this link here. It is worth bookmarking it: Emergency, Crisis and Bridging Care until a Vet Appointment

You will have to cut off the syringe tip just before the syringe widens to allow the rougher pellet fibre to pass through but still stop the plunger.

All the best!
 
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