I think the clue is with the metacam. It's an NSAID. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory. It sounds like the metacam is keeping down inflammation and as the drug wears off something is getting inflamed and bleeding.
Could he have a sensitivity to something that's causing swelling somewhere? Bladder lining? Hmmmmmm - what kind of sutures were used for his first surgery? Could he be intolerant to the suture material? Seems to be a common problem with a lot of pigs.
Josephine knows more about particular sutures than me(I know piss all about the details of the materials) - I just know many pigs are rejecting sutures that are supposed to be perfectly safe. From what you are describing, it really is pointing toward suture rejection.
-Trouble since surgery, never fully recovered.
-no stones on xray
-ABs aren't helping
-anti-infammatory seems to be the only thing really helping which indicates something is inflamed which indicates something is reacting to something else.
I really appreciate your help with this. I've gained many gray hairs these last 2 months between Chestnut and Stevie. I just don't know where else to turn with him. I hate seeing him go through all of this.
One of my pigs(amputation) just thrust all the sutures up on her own(think Alien) but another one(spay) required emergency surgery through a healed incision site to get all the sutures removed. The rejection had caused a massive infection requiring 2 ABs concurrently and a huge clean up. She made it but it was very touch and go.
- Little Jo Wheek
I would ask about abdominal ultrasound. The ultrasonographer/radiologist can get a cysto that way and see how reactive the bladder is. Potentially, biopsy could be another diagnostic. I'm not sure if they can get a good sample via ultrasound, but it would be worth asking. If there was any suture reaction (not too common, but possible), you should be able to see something on ultrasound. It really depends on the suture material used (too many to comment), but most absorbables they'd use on such a surgery take a couple of months to completely dissolve. Stainless steel is the least reactive suture, but never dissolves and can be less comfortable in the long-run. Usually, it's a non-issue.
If you don't have a very experienced radiologist nearby, you can also ask if one would be willing to do your pig (and a healthy, comparison pig's bladder) as a professional interest case for a reduced fee (or no-charge). It just depends on who's available and if you're willing to accomodate their schedule.
Long-term, if this is simply chronic UTIs, I would definitely make it mandatory to dose the pig with daily cranberry/blueberry extract (the apple doesn't help with the bacteria) and consider giving NSAIDS +/- Shi Lin Tong (and you may want to consult with someone who does TCM before dosing). If there is a decent antibiotic that he doesn't react to and the bacteria seem sensitive to, then you can also consider long-term pulse therapy (off/on dosing indefinitely).
I finally got him to eat fresh blueberries and now he gets 5-6 per meal, twice daily. So now onto trying to convince him about the cranberry juice. We still have him on towels that are changed twice daily, still eating a lot of veggies, hay and some fruit and drinking lots of water and diluted apple juice. Activity levels, peeing and pooping are all still normal. We just might beat this yet!
If I can figure out how to post photos, I would love to introduce Chestnut and Stinker to you all.
He still won’t touch cranberry juice or the berries. Syringe feeding the juice just results in a huge mess, choking, and a very angry pig. He gets his twice daily dose of fresh blueberries though. We’ve also removed all spinach, parsley, celery and strawberries from his diet. His bleeding seems to still happen, but nowhere near as often now. Maybe once or twice every 5+ days. Not great, but far better then what it was. Everything else with him still seems perfectly normal – weight, eating/drinking, energy, attitude, bodily functions.
Below is a list I made up for Dr. Munn so she could see everything Chestnut eats. Maybe someone can tell me what else to remove from his diet or something that should be added (besides cranberries) that would help him?
Base for breakfast and dinner daily
Cilantro – approx 10 sprigs
Romaine lettuce – 1 leaf
Dandelions – 2 leaves
Baby carrot – 1
Red pepper – 1 whole ring
Blueberries – 5
Tomato slice – 1
Daily cereal from list below – 1 (breakfast only. The type of cereal depends on what my kids are eating that day)
Random food or treats
English cucumber with peel – 3-4 times weekly
Peeled cantaloupe – 2-3 times monthly
Apple skin – all from 1 small apple – 1 weekly
Orange slice – 2 – 2-3 times weekly
Rice Krispies – small handful – daily
Corn Flakes – small handful – daily
Cheerio’s – small handful – daily
Banana – half of a small banana (no peel) – 1 weekly
Green beans – 3 times weekly
Cauliflower – 2 times weekly
Pear slices- 2-3 times monthly
Seedless grapes – peeled – 3 or 4 - 3-4 times weekly (My youngest son loves to peel them for him)
Basically Chestnut eats anything we do. Once we figure out all his food restrictions, I will be putting Stinker on the same diet in hopes of preventing problems down the road. He also gets an unlimited supply of Timothy hay, Timothy based pellets, diluted apple juice and fresh water daily and is bedded on towels changed twice daily
If you get an accurate gram scale, you can enter these items in the stones diet calculator and find out how your ratios are working.
Read over www.guinealynx.info/fave.html
Read over www.guinealynx.info/diarrhea.html for a discussion on food and intestinal bacteria. Definitely go light on the fruits.
Hey, and feed fresh grass! It's good for them!
As for the peeled grapes, that's another case of a very spoiled pig. From day one, my son has always peeled them for him. The hay and pellets were listed in the last paragraph of the list “unlimited supply of Timothy hay, Timothy based pellets”.
For the fresh grass, it’s winter here, so that’s not possible right now. Is there a type of grass seed I can grow indoors that he would like? He’s never been a big grass eater in the summer when we have him outside with us (he doesn’t live out there, just comes outside to play for an hour or so – under tight supervision of course)
Now off to read the links you suggested.
I know lots of children that go crazy when they pass McDonalds, but knowing parents tell them sorry, but no. You are the responsible adult. Cut out the cereals.
Also, I'm guessing your diet has way too much phosphorus. Almost all fruits (except oranges) have an inverse ca:ph ratio.
Substitute endive, escarole and green leaf lettuces for the romaine. Up the greens and lower the fruits and veggies. Just the smallest piece of fruit and veggie once a day. Throw a handful of blueberries in before bed so they can snack.
Also, it took a long time before my pigs would eat fresh cranberries. Fortunately, they can stay in the cage for a couple of days without going bad. You might try leaving the cranberries in for a while until a brave pig gives it a try.
Enteritis, and the resulting endotoxemia, is a problem commonly associated with diets that contain high levels of energy, starch and glucose. A low fiber, high starch diet promotes gut hypomotility and changes the pH environment, which then allows pathogens to produce toxins that can kill a guinea pig. Feeds high in grains contain high levels of carbohydrates that are digested in the cecum and can lead to enteritis. Enteritis is commonly overlooked by the pet owner, even when diarrhoea and gas symptoms are exhibited.
My vet once hopefully suggested cheese when she knew my pig required extra calcium. That time it was my turn to derisively snort at her. See, she knew the pig needed calcium but didn't know the best way to deliver it for that species. It was my job to find out.