Pax, I'm so sorry about Kirby. It's interesting that you mention massage...my husband was attempting to handfeed Zachary tonight, and somehow managed to get Zach on his back and in the most awkward position. I was just about to fuss at him for stretching Zachary in all directions, when we noticed that he was urinating and not hunching or crying very much at all! I don't know if it was a coicidence, but I was wondering if maybe the stretching and manuevering somehow helped. ?
Just a little while ago, though, he was back to hunching and crying. :(
He's getting approximately .05 cc's of Metacam; based on his weight (just over 1 kilo), he should only be getting .03, but the lower dose didn't seem to be doing much.
How much is Kirby getting?
The other thing worrying me, is his poops. He has been on Bactrim just over a week, and his poops are now tiny and mis-shaped. He's also losing his appetite. I'm going to drop the Bactrim, I think, in the hopes that it gets his gut back to semi-normal (it was small poops and gas that started this whole thing...still not sure how that fits with having stones).
- I GAVE, dammit!
In a situation so drastic I believe I'd be inclined to discuss this dose with my vet.
I ordered my butterfly sets from www.goldenhourmed.com (I think). You don't need a prescription for these.
- Let Sleeping Pigs Lie
If you scroll down a little bit, you can read what her KState vet said.
Somechick -- what is the name of that muscle relaxant you mentioned that your vet gave you for Nug? It's on my email at work, and I wanted to ask folks here what they think of me asking Dr. M about either an anti-spasmodic or a muscle relaxant (not sure how they differ-?). Noticed that when he was on the sofa with me earlier, and I was giving a deep massage on his sides, he urinated without any crying or hunching. Put him back in a cage a little while later, and he is hunching and crying again. I can tell that when he does that, his sides are really, really taut. He is really tensing up those muscles to eliminate.
Any thoughts on this type of drug? What would a muscle relaxant/ anti-spasmodic to do motility?
Another good subcue today, thank goodness. He is really fighting the Critical Care like crazy, which doesn't make sense to me. Just a few days ago, he couldn't seem to get enough. What has changed?
- You can quote me
In extreme cases we've mixed Metacam and Torb with no problem, if done carefully and at the minimum doses of both to be effective.
Note the emphasis on effective. IMO his Metacam needs to be 10X what you're giving him. MO only.
It was a "well, let's see if this does *anything*" state we were in. It's not something she normally prescribes for pigs or anything. But then again, Henry wasn't your average case either.
- We miss our sweet Oreo
I do agree about the metacam dosage being too low. Bilbo is on .24 ccs and Oreo was on .20 cc, once a day. I think there's something to be said for the larger dosage as opposed to a weaker one, based on what I've observed here.
Fluids and pain management certainly is the best you can do now. Some of the pain might be due to the stones/sludge settling in the bladder. That's why massage is so effective. It sort of keeps the shards from embedding into the bladder wall.
Sef, was the quote you got from Circle City here in Indianapolis? One thing I found out was that who actually calls them makes a big difference in their price quotes. I got an outrageous price quote for an ultrasound there, but when a different vet (who works closely with them) called for a quote, it was a third of the cost. They really are a premiere facility. However, if both ureters are blocked, I'm not sure I'd opt for surgery myself.
If you get up to the Indy area, I have tons of butterfly sets and an entire bole of metacam. I haven't changed my profile (and probably won't) but if you let me know here, I'll get in touch with you.
He has one blocked ureter, and one that has a single stone in it. I have been desperately trying to find information on how to keep the second one from clogging, too, and it seems that fluid therapy and maybe a pellet-less diet are the best way to go?
What would your thoughts on a muscle relaxant be? What would you suggest on pain management? Higher doses of Metacam? Torb? Both?
And for trying to prevent the second ureter from becoming blocked?
What recommendation would you make on fluids? Out vet suggested around 15cc's daily. Is that too much? Too little?
I would really appreciate your thoughts.
Zachary is playing with one of his toys this evening, which is the first time he has shown any playfulness in well over a week.
Certainly fluids are essential as I imagine pain meds also are. Elvis only had a small stone in his ureter and had moderate pain from it. The metacam seemed to take care of the pain.
I also imagine that any movement of the materials in the ureter would increase the pain and this might explain why sometimes he's better than other times.
I also wonder what the success rate is for that type of surgery.
Do you know what the likelihood would be of him passing the ureteral stones on his own? I mean, is it unheard of for that to happen? Or is there a possibility?
What is your own personal opinion on subcues for this type of fluid therapy? Do you think daily is too much? Is 12-15cc's daily too little? Vet had said something about not wanting to "over-tax" the kidneys by giving too much at a time...I'm just not sure what's considered "too much" for a stone pig. With the holidays, I've had a hard time reaching her.
I thought I might go ahead and "up" the fluids tomorrow to 15cc's, since I've only been doing 12cc (is it the only size syringe I had until today when I picked up larger ones).
Would a muscle relaxant do anything to help the stones pass from the ureter? I'm not sure I understand why they're getting stuck there and not moving on down to the bladder (other than the 1 that is in the bladder).
Can anyone give me an opinion on whether or not removing the bladder stone would have any benefit?
I'm willing to try anything.
There is also a supplment on KV Vet that claims to have a "high success rate" in dissolving crystals "of all kinds." I started a thread on it quite some time ago, but couldn't find it when I did a search earlier today. Here is the product. I contacted KV Vet about it yesterday, and they in turn contacted the manufactuer to ask if it is considered safe to use in guinea pigs. They were told that it is.
So I'm thinking -- we could remove the bladder stone if there's a possibility of it helping with the pain. Our vet felt confident that it could be done as successfully as Sebastian's. She just couldn't say for sure if it was the source of some or most of the discomfort.
The big thing, as I understand it, is trying to prevent more stones from forming in both of those ureters. That's why I was looking for something that might dissolve crystals -- the crystals lead to stones (right?).
If we could prevent the other ureter from getting clogged up, and manage the pain from the one that is, isn't there a chance he could still have a halfway normal life for a while yet? Even without one kidney functioning normally?
Or is this just wishful thinking?
I am so sorry you are in this situation. We will all support whatever decision you make.
DaCourt's guinea pig Scooter had a string of stones in one ureter:
More pics and xrays on this page: