Are there some specific signs at the onset of renal failure?
Took Sebastian in last night for xrays to rule out stones, because he started passing blood in his urine on Sunday. I had already started him on Bactrim (he's also still on Prednisone every 3-4 days). Despite reservations about traveling with him yesterday in the awful heat, I didn't like the way he was still passing blood and looked a little dehydrated.
Our vet squeezed us in at the end of the day. It was crowded as hell. After a 40-minute wait, she saw us and did another set of xrays (this makes the 4th or 5th Bassy has had in 3 months) and showed it to me -- a large stone.
We discussed options (with his age and other health issues, we agreed that surgery really isn't a possibility). She lanced the lump on his thigh again, then prepared to do a subcue, which she has done several times before, always without incident. This time, though, Sebastian squealed and screamed bloody murder. She switched to a smaller gauge needle (the first one did seem large) and he seemed less uncomfortable, but still screamed and fought it. Usually, he's very cooperative with her on subcues.
Got him home last night, he seemed okay. Fed him veggies, which he ate without any problem, and handfed CC because he has dropped weight again. From what I could tell, he was sore from the subcue (noticed that he had a slight limp when he went into his hidey after feeding), but nothing really seemed unusual.
I woke up a little while ago with a bad feeling, not sure why. Went in to check on Sebastian, and found him in pretty much the same spot that he was in at bedtime. I picked him up and he was responsive, cooing, eyes bright and seemed alert. Relieved that he seemed okay, I put him back in his cage and watched him for a minute. He was hopping. Hopped to the hay box, hopped over to his buddy. Not a limp; it's the same hop pigs have when they are suffering from scurvy (we adopted an older boar a couple of years ago who had scurvy when we first got him). OMG.
Could the vet have done something wrong with the subcue?? Damaged a nerve? The subcue was at the scruff of his neck. Could the heat have caused this? He was only outside for a few seconds, and had a freezer pack in the carrier, water and wet veggies, and the car air was on. Could the stress of the visit have brought on a mini-stroke of some sort?
I can't believe this is happening. I haven't even had time to let the "stone" news sink in, and now this.
Any help/advice appreciated, because I totally give up.
However, I was just reading that stress can worsen symptoms of autoimmune disease. Considering that the vet has attributed everything thus far to an autoimmune issue, could the stress from yesterday have triggered an autoimmune response in the form of joint inflammation?
The autoimmune response could be a possibility I would imagine, but my first thought was pain as well, that maybe he was hurt while struggling and is now uncomfortable. Possibly some muscle soreness from being tense and distressed during the procedures that will subside? I'll keep my fingers crossed that that's all it is and it's not something permanent or major. *fingers crossed*
If this is a pain response, is there anything I can do for it? I know he can't have an NSAID since he's on the Prednisone. Any other options?
He's spending a lot of time in his pigloo, which isn't normal for him. He did seem to appreciate that I put hay on the floor of the cage, so that he doesn't have to try to jump into the hay box.
Here is our little old man:
Not to mention that this is my second kidney stone pig in less than a year.
What the heck am I doing wrong??
- Let Sleeping Pigs Lie
I use filtered water. Changing to bottled water may be a good idea.
- Supporter in '08
I don't know if this will help but recently one of mine hurt himself somehow, out of the blue he was limping and obviously uncomfortable. His situation was different because I was able to give him Metacam but I also gave him a warm spot to lay on and that seemed to help. I think he strained a muscle or something and the heat made him more comfortable. If Bassy is sore for some reason then heat may help him too.
We ending up talking outside the office, and she was telling me about the water around here. She's convinced it has something to do with all of the urinary tract problems her pets have had, and she has decided to switch to bottled. She said, "My husband is retired from the water company and he gets pissed every time I try to tell him that the water around here is no good, but I don't care. It can't be a coincidence..." then she went on to tell me about friends and family members who have had kidney stones or recurring urinary tract problems. Most of her water comes from a different source than mine does, but still -- she was saying how much flouride and goes into it, and how toxic it is if you don't add it correctly. I said, "Well, I know I can't use our water for an aquarium...it has so much ammonia in it already," and she shook her head in agreement, and said, "Well, have you SEEN Lake Patoka right now?" (where my water comes from) "...it looks disgusting."
So starting tonight, the guys are all on purified water.
Bassy is still hopping. I can't help but think the vet did something by mistake. She's always so upfront about things and I really trust her, but...just not sure what has happened.
Does anyone know if steroids can cause or contribute to the formation of stones? I'm not sure if this applies to Prednisone, but I did find this disturbing bit of information on a page about steroid use in humans:
"Damage to the kidneys includes kidney stones, kidney disease, and kidney malfunctions."
Source: Vegetarian Journal 2006 Issue 3It may seem that high dietary calcium could lead to this type of [calcium oxalate] kidney stone. Actually, low calcium intakes are much more likely to lead to calcium oxalate stones and higher calcium intakes to lead to a reduced risk. Apparently, dietary calcium limits the amount of oxalate that is absorbed, and it is excess oxalate that can cause calcium oxalate stones to form. Health care providers may tell people with a history of calcium oxalate stones to limit their use of high oxalate foods and to avoid large doses of vitamin C that can lead to excess oxalate in the urine.
Bassy seems a little more himself this evening. Still has a little bit of a limp, but I *think* it seems like less of a hop. I have his mobility somewhat limited right now by partitioning off the cage. I can better monitor input/output this way, too. Doesn't seem to be passing blood at the moment. He is eating pellets fairly well now, and is interested in hay again. Drinking a decent amount of water, too.
Vet wants him on Bactrim for a total 14 days, and suggested upping the Pred to every other day for a while (we had weaned him down to once a week right before these recent symptoms appeared).
I'd feel a lot more optimistic if it weren't for that damned stone.