Henry's Thread

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Post   » Thu Oct 16, 2008 4:49 pm

I think you should wait a week and start him on Polycitra-K now.
We did that for our Richie and we can now say it has helped.

Richie has made it to 4 years old. He has undergone 4 surgeries to remove bladderstones in the last 2 years. The last surgery was done in March 2008. The third was done, what 5 months prior? Each time the vet is pulling out these huge stones. In April, the x-ray looked like Saturn, a huge stone and rings of little stones. The vet could not even get all the stones out.

I just had x-rays taken of Richie done again. Seven months later? The stones are the same size. I cannot believe it. Not with him. I cannot believe he is still with us!

What we changed?
  • 1. Super low calcium diet with this pig.
    Heck, I made him a food bowl out of a seashell that only holds one Tablespoon of pellets. It gets filled twice a day. I'm happy if he doesn't finish. (He gets bottled water too, just in case our water has minerals. We worry that spring water has minerals!)
    I do not worry about Ca:P ratios with this pig, his body mishandles calcium big time.

    2. When the bladder stone was removed, we had a culture done of the urine inside the bladder.
    Turns out, Richie had a staph infection that was resistant to Bactrim and Baytril. He had to have injectable anti-biotics.

    3. The vet called the Safeway pharmacy for a prescription of Polycitra-K. Richie gets .25cc 2x a day.
    We started this prior to the surgery and it will be for life. Richie's urine is cloudy white, still, even with his low calcium diet.


Post   » Thu Oct 16, 2008 5:53 pm

Henry has never produced cloudy urine. Ever. The only sign we had that anything was wrong was when we noticed a little blood in the urine.

I am going to talk with the vet about getting his urine tested and doing injectable antibiotics. He just doesn't tolerate the regular antibiotics very well, and I don't want him to feel any worse than he already does.

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Post   » Thu Oct 16, 2008 7:40 pm


Richie's urine used to be clear too. Richie's symptoms are pink urine and squeaking when pooping. Soon, his appitite decreases.

Now Richie's urine is very cloudy. (It really surprised a friend of mine.) We are guessing the Polycitra-K helps his body expel the calcium collecting in his bladder.

Do talk to the vet about having a culture done on the urine. Make sure they find out what bacteria is in there and what kills it.

I admit the two of us are big on starting the Polycitra prior to surgery for 2 reasons: it took the pharmecy a few days to get it in stock and we wanted it to be in Richie's system to help expel calcium right after surgery (and not a week later allowing, a stone to grow).

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Got Pigs?

Post   » Thu Oct 16, 2008 10:41 pm

I will be on pins and needles until we hear that Henry is fine and recovering. Pleaser let us know. Stay strong Henry.

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Post   » Fri Oct 17, 2008 12:18 am

We had no luck with Polycitra treatments with Gilbert. First of all, he HATED the medicine like no other. It was torture to give it to him, and I will forever regret that I forced him to take it.

And, it appeared to have no effect whatsoever on his stone formation.

Post-surgery, we're going to work on keeping Henry very well hydrated, and getting him moving around as soon as it is safe to do so. One of our former KSU vets is very positive about Henry's chances, and advises us to keep him on the Actigall to help prevent and/or slow stone formation post-op.

I am beyond nervous at this point, but Henry is showing us that he still has a strong will to live. He is a fighter, he is strong, and he wants to live. I hope that we can help keep him around (and in good health) for a while longer.


Post   » Fri Oct 17, 2008 12:33 am

Frost is never far from Henry's side. He has been sleeping with his head resting on the side of the cuddle cup.


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I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Fri Oct 17, 2008 12:38 am

Oh wow - that stone is absolutely enormous - I'm so sorry the Actigall hasn't helped.

I do hope the surgery goes well tomorrow - Henry has a huge fan club here!

4 the Good of all Pigs

Post   » Fri Oct 17, 2008 8:51 am

Crossing all our crossables for Grandpa Henry. Hugs to you humans as well.

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Post   » Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:36 am

He was in good spirits last night and this morning.

I'm just going to work on not vomiting from worry until he gets through surgery and can come home.


Post   » Fri Oct 17, 2008 10:13 am

Henry is at the vet's right now. Frost is sitting in his giant tuperware container next to my computer. He's hiding under a towel, but he's sticking his face out just far enough that he can get to the lettuce and hay.


Post   » Fri Oct 17, 2008 10:18 am

Does anyone know if Oxbow gets any of their ingredients from China? Jim and I were talking last night about all of the animals that were getting kidney stones and things because of the melamine, and wondered about the content of our pellets.

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Post   » Fri Oct 17, 2008 10:19 am

We discussed this back when the major recall went through and Oxbow would only say that none of their food was affected. I believe the hay is grown in the midwest (it seems cost prohibitive to try and import that much), but I can see them getting the vitamins/supplements from abroad.

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Supporter in '11

Post   » Fri Oct 17, 2008 10:27 am

Sending lots of good thoughts Henry's way.

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Bugs Mom

Post   » Fri Oct 17, 2008 10:28 am

That's a good question TWP and Rshevin. I wonder where KM gets hers?

I agree the hay is probably not imported.


Post   » Fri Oct 17, 2008 10:37 am

I would imagine the hay is grown from somewhere around here...I mean, the company is in the middle of Nebraska, but then Menu Foods is in the middle of KANSAS, and they were importing their wheat gluten.

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Post   » Fri Oct 17, 2008 10:45 am

The one difference here is that dog/cat foods are designed to be high in protein whereas herbivore food is specifically low. Oxbow isn't looking for new, cheap sources of protein like wheat gluten (which sounds pretty highly processed if you ask me, not like hay).


Post   » Fri Oct 17, 2008 10:50 am

This is true.


Post   » Fri Oct 17, 2008 11:59 am

Know there are people here sitting and waiting with bated breath along with you. Sending good thoughts.

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Post   » Fri Oct 17, 2008 12:29 pm

I hope you all know how important your support has been over the years. Most "normal people" (ha ha) don't understand the level of concern and worry over a pet, especially one that isn't a familiar pet to them like a dog or cat.

Henry may not know he's famous, but we all appreciate the thoughts, well-wishes, and prayers.

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Bugs Mom

Post   » Fri Oct 17, 2008 12:34 pm

You bet Henry is famous. I'm always telling my little one about him and saying if Henry can live so long-so can you!

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