Did you read the Mar Vista link? It gives a nice explanation of how polycitra introduces more citrates into the bladder. These bind with the calcium and help it be safely eliminated. That, more than raising the ph, is the theory behind using it for guinea pigs.
And yes, you wouldn't want to use it for struvite, but struvite crystals and stones are extremely uncommon in guinea pigs.
Holly, since there are lots of small stones in the bladder, it's probably safe to assume there are crystals as well.
- Wheekness for Pigs
Someone mentioned having some pH paper laying around. I looked into getting some a year or two ago to help out my daughter's science teacher - they were doing a unit on forensics. As a chemist, when I did that sort of thing, I used a pH meter - I hadn't used the strips since high school. There are broad pH paper/strips that will measure a wide range of acidity/alkalinity. There are also strips you can buy with a tighter range that may be more accurate for the purpose of monitoring piggy urine output. I recall that they were pretty expensive compared to the broad ones. (since kids were going to use/trash them, I went with the cheapo ones...)
If people would like me to get some info on tighter range pH strips, I'd be happy to do some digging.
- I GAVE, dammit!
I started Candy on subcues this morning - I suspect this is the only way there'll be a chance of her passing all those stones.
I absolutely loathe giving subcues - and I must have given at least 50 of them (not a great number but enough I shouldn't find them hard).
I really need to teach my 9-year old how to hold a pig still for me - but she can't bear to be around if there's a needle involved!
- Wheekness for Pigs
I have some data on pH strips. It is fairly lengthy - about 50 lines of text including blank lines.
What would be the best way to post this? Directly to the thread? Not a problem for me but I want to be sure I don't freak anyone out with a lengthy post. It consists of name of product, price, amount, sensitivity, and a link to the manufacturer's site for more detailed info. There are 5 products listed.
Also, some info about obtaining product and better pricing via retailers.
- I GAVE, dammit!
Candy is now on twice daily subcues, twice daily cc (about 30ccs), bactrim, shilintong, and polycitra-k, along with 50mg of vitamin C and 0.15cc metacam.
She continues to be perky when I take her out, but she hides in her pigloo the rest of the time. When she gets her tiny amount of evening greens (literally 1 cup), she grabs them into her pigloo!
This pig eats every new veggie I throw at her! (Her new favorite is green pepper). But she's not eating much in the way of hay or pellets, so I'll continue with the cc for a while.
- Wheekness for Pigs
Well, I am going to post the pH stuff below. This will be a bit longer than what I promised since I did some digging on Mum's product, too.
I did have a look at the bottle of indicators that you got Mum...probably a good general test strip. There were no specs on the stuff on the CalVet site, so I noodled around a bit...I found a very similar set of strips that may be a repackage by the vet folks. They test for the exact same thing - but the specs are provided.
That product has a urine pH range of 5-9. Read the specs on this page and see if they compare to the strips you have. It makes a comment that certain heart meds will often alkalinize urine a bit. If these strips have the protein indicator right next to the pH, the acid buffer can wash into the pH site and falsely acidify the pH reading. That can probably be minimized by positioning the strip so pee runs over the side edge...
Since pH 9 seemed to be a "center point," I looked for test strips in a somewhat shifted range. I looked only at chemical companies...The ability to test for other stuff is attractive but at this point, I only looked at pH.
The sites that are listed are for chemical companies that manufacture the pH strips. The reason I posted those is that they usually have the details of the accuracy and other relavent data that you might find of interest in making a buying decision.
The prices listed are SRP (suggested retail price in US Dollars).
You can buy these from the manufacturer but you will generally pay SRP. A retailer will often give you a better price. Once you have looked and decided what you might like, I would suggest you Google the particular product for retailers. For example, the first product, ColorpHast (SRP $19.95) is available for USD $13.49 from VWRLabshop.
You may be able to find even better prices from a local chemical supplier (check the phone book.) Retailers often buy cases and pass the savings along. I am sure the same or similar products are available from the foreign offices of many of these manufacturers or local retailers.
pH Indicator Strips
ColorpHast - Fisher Scientific (pH Range 6.5-10) Pk of 100 - USD$19.95/ Caseof 6 for $107.75
These have a sensitivity of +/- (0.2-0.3 pH units)
Riedel-de Haën - Sigma-Aldrich (pH Range 8.0 - 9.7) Pk of 200 - USD$26.10
J.T. Baker - Mallinckodt Baker Chemical (pH Range 7.5 - 9.5) Pk of 100 USD $20.74
Accuracy is listed as +/- 0.2-0.4 pH units.
Baker's detailed info is wrapped up in their online PDF catalogs...an exercise to retrieve. If you have a desire to see some Baker info, which is minimal, go to
The product # is 4398 - ask for specification and hit go.
Economical - Fisher Scientific (pH Range 7.0 - 10) 50 strips for USD$3.85
No error range supplied but given the price, I would surmize it is at least +/- 0.5 pH units.
Whatman - - Fisher Scientific
These are fairly broad range strips so the accuracy won't be great.
The wider range strips appear to have an error range of +/- 0.5 pH units, which is fairly significant.
Well, that is a start! I hope that helps a bit.
Mum, you can get strips very, very similar to those at any human pharmacy if you're ever in a pinch. You should probably be careful not to touch the test area with your fingers. They typically need to be stored in the dark. Otherwise, the plain glucose ones at least last a long time. That almost gives you a complete urianalysis in a bottle though! You'll know right away if someone has a UTI.