Reoccurring bladder infections


Post   » Wed Jan 04, 2006 7:32 pm

He has had a recent xray, right? stones can form very quickly.

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.

User avatar

Post   » Wed Jan 04, 2006 7:42 pm

Chestnut had an x-ray done tonight – 3rd in about as many weeks. All came clear from signs of any stones and swelling. I’m not sure what type of sutures were used inside, I never thought to ask after his surgery and his next appointment isn’t until Jan. 13th so I will ask then. On the outside, she used some type of glue to close him up. After 2 months, would his bladder be healed enough for the stitches to either dissolve or fall off depending what type the Vet used? I’ve never been through this before with any of my piggies or with any of my other animals, so I’m not sure what to expect.


Post   » Wed Jan 04, 2006 8:04 pm

Don't wait til Jan 13th. Find out now what kind of sutures were used. I've had sutures erupt out of totally healed pigs weeks after surgery. Their bodied rejected them and instead of the sutures benignly dissolving, they were gradually cast out of the body thru healed skin by what I assume was the immune system response.

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.

User avatar

Post   » Wed Jan 04, 2006 8:17 pm

Your suggestion sounds exactly how Chestnut is reacting since his surgery. I will phone them first thing in the morning and ask and will post it here for you. If this is the case, how can we find out if this is what's happening and how do we solve the problem?

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.

User avatar

Post   » Wed Jan 04, 2006 8:26 pm

Maybe an ultrasound would help. Or perhaps bloodwork would show up an infection? If the sutures are being rejected, I would imagine there would be one?

I'd continue with the Metacam for the pain. I'm assuming it gave him some relief before.

I'm sorry you aren't finding the cause.

User avatar

Post   » Wed Jan 04, 2006 8:32 pm

Thanks Lynx, when I call about the suture type tomorrow morning I will also book an appointment for Friday morning before the office closes and get the ultrasound and blood work done if possible. Dr Munn is very good at fitting us in on short notice. I just worry because her office is closing very early morning for a week. I don't have another Vet that I would trust enough to take care of him properly.


Post   » Wed Jan 04, 2006 8:36 pm

Ooh, time for Josephine to hop in since she actually knows what the heck the sutures do once they're in there. Possibly over time they would gradually dissolve and be expelled from the body but I don't know if any fragments would be left and if there is a reaction if that reaction will subside in time.

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

Post   » Wed Jan 04, 2006 9:36 pm

It sounds as if the initial infection from October never cleared up? That is difficult. Perhaps ask if your DVM can post on VIN re: antibiotic choices. Do you know the actual microbes that have been cultured? It sounds as if you're saying he's never had a clear culture. That's not great. The method of collection (free catch vs. cystocentesis) can have a lot to do with what is cultured, but since the signs are there--he's definitely got something.

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).

User avatar

Post   » Thu Jan 05, 2006 5:10 am

Thanks for all the info and suggestions. I have printed off and faxed it to Chestnut's Vet. I will phone her once I get into work to see what she says. I'll let you know.

User avatar

Post   » Mon Jan 09, 2006 3:04 pm

Just wanted to give an update on Chestnut. This is his 12th straight day of Nitrofurantoin and Metacam and everything seems to be going well. There’s been no blood at all for the last 4 days. He has at least 1 more week to go before we can think of stopping the medications. He goes in to the Vets for another urine test next week to make sure the infection is gone first. It will depend on those results if the medication can be stopped yet or not. The ultra sound showed nothing out of the ordinary.

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.

User avatar

Post   » Mon Jan 09, 2006 4:41 pm

There's a sticky in the Feedback forum with tips (also in the FAQ linked to at the top of each page).

Thanks for the update.

User avatar

Post   » Mon Jan 09, 2006 5:29 pm

Here are some photos of our babies:

Chestnut, the king of the house


Stinker, our newest addition and soon to be Queen of the house


And Stevie, whose sadly died on Dec 29th, 05 and is greatly missed


User avatar

Post   » Sat Jan 21, 2006 8:09 am

Another update on Chestnut. He is now on pulse AB therapy long term – first 5 days of every month he will get Nitrofurantoin. He is also on a long term daily dose of Metacam to help reduce any pain and swelling since he still cries all the time when he pees or poops. We’ve still had no luck seeing anything on the x-rays that could be causing the problem. His next x-ray is scheduled for Feb 11th.

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

User avatar

Post   » Sat Jan 21, 2006 10:37 am

I don't understand the cereal. I think these simpler carbs could promote the wrong kind of bacterial growth. When I give banana, it is a 1/4" slice infrequently. Canteloupe, they love the rind. I don't understand peeling grapes either. Where is the hay? Where are the timothy pellets?

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

Read over for a discussion on food and intestinal bacteria. Definitely go light on the fruits.

Hey, and feed fresh grass! It's good for them!

User avatar

Post   » Sat Jan 21, 2006 1:59 pm

The cereal is because Chestnut is extremely spoiled and goes nuts every time he sees the box. (the pigs have their breakfast in the dining room with us, not in their cages). He gets 4-5 small pieces in a handful, just enough to make him happy. The Vet doesn’t see a problem with him having it since it is such a small amount. He won’t eat the rind of cantaloupe, he just eats around it and leaves the rind.

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.

User avatar

Post   » Sat Jan 21, 2006 2:11 pm

I strongly disagree with your vet. NO processed carbs!

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.

User avatar

Post   » Sat Jan 21, 2006 2:14 pm

Sorry I missed your timothy and pellets. Listen to Becky. She's my heroine.

User avatar

Post   » Sat Jan 21, 2006 2:29 pm

Aw, shucks!

User avatar

Post   » Sat Jan 21, 2006 2:51 pm

This is from an article by Dawn Hromanik. The bold is my emphasis as it pertains to this thread.

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.


Post   » Sat Jan 21, 2006 5:23 pm

Many good vets aren't great on knowing the nutritional requirements of pigs and shouldn't expected to know this when they are dealing with multiple species. This is the owners' responsibility to research. The vet's expertise lies in diagnosis and treatment protocols.

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.

Post Reply
87 posts