"I don´t know if you remember, but I posted about a month ago that my guinea pig, OINK, had a urinary infection. She´s been on Baytril since then, but it doesn´t appear to have helped at all. She´s going to the vet again Friday, and when I spoke with them on the phone about it, they said they may try another antibiotic after they examine her again. My question is, do you know of any other antibiotics that can safely treat a urinary infection in pigs? I want to make sure whatever they give me will be fine for her to take. I know nothing with penicillin in it....Also, do you know of anything else I should tell them to check her for? She squeals horribly when she urinates, and I think I´ve noticed her doing it when she poops as well. Could that be an affect of the urinary infection, or do you think it could be something other than a urinary infection altogether? There was blood in her urine the first time they examined her, but I don´t think they checked for anything else other thna urinary infection. They´ve taken 2 x-rays and they haven´t seen a stone on either one. Please help me if you can, I´m very worried about her, and I feel so helpless when I hear her squealing because there´s nothing I can do for her. Thank you in advance."
I told her to ask for a sulfa drug and get tests done on the poops..She did and this was her most recent email..
"So, my guinea pig has been on the Sulfatrim for a week, and there has been no improvement. The results from the lab showed that there was no bacteria in the urine causing the infection. Their main concern now is how to eliminate the calcium crystals that they have found in her urine. They recommend that I start her on a different diet, but I don´t know what else I can change about what I feed her. She does not get alfalfa, only timothy hay. I have eliminated all carrots, because I know those can cause problems. I have switched her to Oxbow´s timothy based pellet, and I have not been feeding her parsley anymore because I know it´s high in calcium. They recommended I try to find foods that are high in Vitamin C, but have little calcium. Do you happen to know any off the top of your head? Do you think I should add Vitamin C to her water (provided it´s not tap water, of course)? Also, my vet consulted with another vet and they recommended that I try these injections that my guinea pig is to get twice a day under her skin. I wasn´t clear as to exactly what they do, do you know what this might be for? Have you heard of this? They said it´s common to do it in dogs and cats that have this same problem. They inject fluids under the skin, kind of like an IV in humans. If you know of anything else I should ask them about, or anything else I can recommend they try, or what I should be doing differently for her, please let me know. Thank You.""
Can anyone help?? Please?? I told her to go with the sub-q injections and give her red and yellow peppers for now, but, I dont know what else to tell her.
I´m hoping someone more experienced will be able to give you better advice.
I have read some things that indicate vitamin C supplimentation for a UTI might not help. I would ensure she had a good diet that provided it naturally.
Unsweetened cranberry juice is a good supplement for pigs prone to UTIs.
Potassium citrate or Polycitra might help.
An exerpt from an email from Lilly whose Sam(who suffered from bladderstones) did very well on Polycitra:
Sam took Polycitra Syrup, which comes in a standardized dosage. My vet spoke with another vet (from a fellow GPDD person) who explained her dosing on another guinea pig. We settled on 0.13 cc once per day, which I mixed with water to fill the 1 cc syringe. I do not know if it was helpful for Sam, but I always fed him a little starchy veggie before medicine, in case it was irritating to his stomach.
Polycitra Syrup, as I understand it, has 2 functions:
1. to alter urine to become alkaline (which in humans is a shift from acidic, but in guinea pigs has no effect)
2. to bind with excess calcium. This prevents it from binding with other excess calcium crystals that form the core of new stones. It may also help a guinea pig excrete calcium crystal "bladder sludge."
Potassium citrate is the same component as #2, so I can see how that might have helped a lot.
With Sam, the vet & I compared urine samples before taking Polycitra & after being on it for two weeks. The difference was impressive. Before it, the urine sample settled into layers and the crystalline content was visible as a significant layer. After the polycitra was in effect, the crystalline content was almost entirely gone. Just before his surgery to remove existing stones, the vet took an x-ray to confirm the number and location of stones. Sam had formed a new stone in 2 days. In my vet´s experience, that indicated he would likely continue to form new ones. Whether it is genetics, bladder qualities, or who knows what, some guinea pigs seem more prone to develop stones, and the ones who form new ones even while they have older ones are likely to be prone to forming stones all their lives. After the polycitra. Sam never formed a new stone (calcium carbonate).
For general reference, polycitra syrup is made by Alza corp. You can get patient info leaflets and etc. from them at: (800) 634-8977
Yes - sludge shows up on xrays. A white mass.
An ultrasound would diagnose pyometra(infection of the lining of the uterus). The vet can usually palpate an enlarged uterus. Enlarged teats is also a possible sign of Pyometra. Spaying is the only cure that I know of. An ultrasound will also show cysts. An xray won´t.
Sometimes the stone is in the urethrea and can be missed being seen on the xray. I had a pig with a stone in the urethrea that the vet only confirmed by comparing the xray with another xray. The stone looked exactly like part of the backbone. If there´s a stone in the urethrea, it will need to be flushed out. Calcium can also collect into a stone just before the outside opening to the urethrea. Swelling and a hard mass are signs of a stone near the opening of the urethrea.