Candy - weightloss

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Post   » Mon Jan 29, 2007 9:27 pm

I'm looking at all the things the strips will test, and I have absolutely no idea what abnormal levels of some of the components would mean:

Leukocytes ?
Nitrite ?
Urobilinogen ?
Specific Gravity
Ketone(Acetoacetic Acid)
Bilirubin ? (I know this is do with kidney function)

Perhaps someone can enlighten me? (I'm hoping we have a list of norms for all these things too!)

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Post   » Mon Jan 29, 2007 9:38 pm

Leukocytes are white blood cells and Nitrites (plus WBC) would be present in an infection probably. Protein has to do with kidney function too. There should be some normals I assume.

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Post   » Mon Jan 29, 2007 9:42 pm

Ah, the list of norms is here:

I don't know what the specific gravity norm would be though.

Wheekness for Pigs

Post   » Mon Jan 29, 2007 10:30 pm


That link that I posted to:

talks a little bit about what the various tests are looking for and what they mean. Of course, the absolute numbers (and consequently, the range of "normal") will vary with the species being tested.

One thing that I did notice when I looked at it was that one of the tests on the strip can be affected by the presence of ascorbic acid (vitamin C). Now for humans, that is a big deal because we just pee out vitamin C we don't use...But I don't know if piggies spill excess ascorbic acid in their urine like we human critters do...

Just a small correction...Billirubin is an indicator of liver function.

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Post   » Mon Jan 29, 2007 10:49 pm

Billirubin is an indicator of liver function.
Ah thank you.

And thanks for the links - I'll have to check them out.

My vet is under the impression that guinea pigs also pee out excess vitamin C.

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Post   » Sat Feb 10, 2007 2:52 pm

Candy is just maintaining her weight with twice daily handfeedings which come to about 60cc a day.

She looks much better - her coat is glossy, and her eyes have cleared up.

She eats pretty well - not quite enough pellets, but enough that she shouldn't be having trouble maintaining her weight alone.

I'm finding what I think is sludge in her cage, and I have no way of knowing if she still has the stones without getting another xray.

I'm thinking that she may have other issues: she's very perky - not that she's particularly active in her cage, but she's extremely lively when I have her out, although she adores having her butt rubbed and lets me know. She's so thin that I can feel each individual rib. Her eyes are very prominent - so much so that one can almost always see the white around her eyes. Her coat is in great shape. Her appetite is good.

I know that thyroid tests can be inaccurate in both people and other animals - does anybody know how accurate they are in guinea pigs? Is there any chance that the weight issue could be attributed solely to stones?


Post   » Sat Feb 10, 2007 8:50 pm

Still trying to get norms for the T-4 count in pigs. All I can suggest is get a T-4 count done and compare it with the counts listed on the sticky in this forum.

She could be hyperthyroid but we don't know much about the effects of tapazole on pigs. So far it's worked very well for my suspected hyperthyroid pigs. Heart is up to what my vet considers is a massive dose of tapazole(5mg daily) and she is just barely maintaining her weight despite eating well on her own and being augmented with subcues and handfeeding.

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Post   » Sat Feb 10, 2007 9:15 pm

My vets have also told me that guinea pigs excrete excess vitamin C in their urine.

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Post   » Sun Feb 11, 2007 11:10 pm

Is there any chance that the weight issue could be attributed solely to stones?

Absolutely. Every stone/sludge pig I've had (three out of seven) has had weight loss.

Is the suspected sludge very gritty? If it's more like chalk, then I wouldn't be too concerned. Any grittiness and you can pretty much conclude it's sludge.

There certainly could be other issues, especially given her history. For the most part, though, those other issues might not be treatable.

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Post   » Sun Feb 11, 2007 11:26 pm

A friend went down to see Dr. R. on another issue and discussed the issue of hyperthyroidism with him. He says that the hyperth. test in guinea pigs is very accurate whereas the hypoth. test is not. He also agrees that Candy sounds like she might have thyroid issues.

He needs to see her xray to see whether he can flush the stones from her bladder - and of course we need to get a T4 test done.

I'll take her on down there sometime within the next month and have some tests run.

I *think* I'm seeing sludge in her cage: it's not quite as chalky as the stuff I see in the other pigs' cages, but it's not exactly gritty - more like very fine sand? And it's a different color - more orangy.

Candy squeals now when she sees a subcue needle. I'm using a tiny 25 gauge butterfly, but even with warmed fluids she finds the whole experience traumatic.

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Post   » Sun Feb 11, 2007 11:44 pm

Make sure you take a look at Cotton's thread for test results from her suspected thyroid/pituitary issues.[url]

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Post   » Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:52 am

Poor Candy. I really hope she starts packing on those ounces ASAP.


Post   » Mon Feb 12, 2007 3:11 am

Heart is a massive pain to get the needle into but even before the fluids are completely in, she's looking around for her slurry because she knows she gets it as soon as the subcue is finished.

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Post   » Mon Feb 12, 2007 10:20 pm

Candy was percolating today (the fluid in the lungs percolating). And she has mushy poop (I read this is typical of thyroid issues).

I gave her lasix, which I hate to do with stones.

The phrase 'train wreck' keeps popping into my mind here.

Stones, thyroid, heart issues (ok, I realize they may be from the thyroid).

And somehow I need to find time to take her to my experienced vet, which is a 90 minute drive (and get back to pick up my daughter from school).

I need two of me (and a spare $500 for more xrays, stone removal via bladder flushing, and blood tests) :-p

(And I've been home all day with a sick child).

Can you feel my frustration?


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Post   » Mon Feb 12, 2007 10:25 pm

Oh mum, if I could I would give you a hug!

Sick kids are all the rage these days, mine both just got over a nasty bout of RSV.

I can sympathize with poor Candy, i have had both thyroid problems and stones. Poor girl!

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Post   » Mon Feb 12, 2007 11:11 pm

I'm sorry, Mum. It is no picnic trying to sort out the problems of an ill pig with a complicated history.

Sparkles N Daisy

Post   » Tue Feb 13, 2007 1:36 am

Love to Candy. Let me know if there is anything I can do for ya. Tell Emma that I hope she feels better. :)


Post   » Tue Feb 13, 2007 4:36 am

I haven't heard mushy poops are typical of hyperthyroidism. If anything our suspected hyperthyroid pigs have bigger poops than normal.

Stressed pigs can have diarrhea.

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Post   » Tue Feb 13, 2007 11:04 am

Mum, I'm so sorry you having so many problems at once. I wish there was something I could do.

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Post   » Tue Feb 13, 2007 3:57 pm

I took Candy to the vet this morning and had another xray and a bunch of blood taken. Among other things I'm having a T4 done.

Her bladder is still full of 10-20 1mm stones.

I'm going to copy the xray and email it to my other vet and ask his opinion about the stones.

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