Sakura - Medical Thread

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Let Sleeping Pigs Lie

Post   » Mon Apr 12, 2010 3:22 am

Wet bum quickly turns into dirty bum when your white-long-haired girl chooses to sit in the hay/food/poo.

Shaving her fur around her bottom has really helped, I believe. I may keep that area trimmed for a while. I'm not sure that I feel confident enough with an electric hair clipper/shaver to actually shave that area by myself.

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Post   » Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:06 am

I think it helps prevent UTIs too (trimming the hair).

Let Sleeping Pigs Lie

Post   » Wed Apr 14, 2010 3:23 am

Things aren't going so well.

Sakura's incontinence is back; it started again the afternoon of the 12th.

Earlier this evening (the 13th) I noticed that her urine smelled different again.

We haven't missed any doses of Bactrim, and it seemed like it was starting to help her situation.

Should I ask for a higher dose of Bactrim, or perhaps a different antibiotic?

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Post   » Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:42 am

I am surprised you are smelling anything. Are you using the standard dose of Bactrim? I've always noticed the pigs smelled sweeter because I suspected some of the Bactrim was being passed and killing odor producing bacteria. You've trimmed her butt hair, right?

Let Sleeping Pigs Lie

Post   » Thu Apr 15, 2010 2:24 am

The bottle reads:
0.8 ml/cc of Trimethoprin/Sulfa 48 mg/ml every 12 hours for 14 days

She weighs 1330g.

She had her rear area shaved, but it may be time for a trim.

She seems happy. She wheeks for snacks. Her weight is good. She is eating and drinking normally, and her poops look perfect. She has been dividing her time between playing with her Chube (giant cardboard tube) and napping next to the hayrack this week.

If she wasn't dribbling urine, I'd think she was completely healthy.

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Post   » Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:58 am

The drug calculator came up with 0.83125 cc. I imagine you could increase it to 0.9 and see if it made any difference (the small amounts are hard to measure accurately)

Let Sleeping Pigs Lie

Post   » Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:28 pm

Sakura finished the second round of Bactrim yesterday, March 21st.

Increasing the dose has not helped her incontinence.

She has an appointment with Dr. Wright tomorrow. I did not have the heart to take her to the vet today, since it is her 4th birthday.

She is such a sweet girl. I hope that he will have some suggestions to help her.

You can quote me

Post   » Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:33 pm

Jennicat had a chronically incontinent girl IIRC. She nearly tore every last hair out of her head before she finally got it resolved, but it did, again IIRC, finally resolve.

Maybe search for "Jennicat" and "incontinent (or incontinence)" or email her.

Let Sleeping Pigs Lie

Post   » Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:34 pm

Thank you, Talishan.


Found the thread:

It is encouraging. Mnemie's problem may have been related to bladder stone surgery, though.

Let Sleeping Pigs Lie

Post   » Fri Apr 23, 2010 7:57 pm

From today's vet visit:


Dr. Wright doesn't think that Sakura would be able to pass this stone.

I wish that it had been discovered in the x-ray from 3/14. Dr. Wright said that the it may have been smaller, and hidden in the position that she was in (they only took one view last month; today's x-ray was taken from two positions).

This explains why her incontinence disappeared and reappeared.

I am amazed that Sakura hasn't been showing signs of pain, and has not lost any weight.

Dr. Wright feels that the Bactrim that she has been taking continually since March has been helping her bladder during this time.

I now have Meloxicam and more Bactrim for her.

He has given me quotes for bladder stone surgery, and he says that she seems healthy otherwise. Her heart is strong and her lungs are clear. He seems to be hesitant to perform this surgery because of her age (just turned 4 years old).


I asked Dr. Wright about his opinion on the cause(s) of bladder stones. Sakura has always had filtered water (reverse osmosis), lower calcium veggies, KM's alfalfa pellets when she was young, and mostly KM's Hayloft timothy pellets as an adult (there was a year of Oxbow pellets).

He told me that he and some other exotics veterinarians from around the US (including Dr. Michelle Hawkins) were recently discussing theories of the causes of bladder stones.

He feels that in Sakura's case, it may be related to the infection from her UTI; sitting around in her urine may also have contributed. He also mentioned that it doesn't take much for an infection to get started in a guinea pig's bladder (they are so close to the ground).

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Post   » Fri Apr 23, 2010 8:39 pm

That's a big stone! Poor Sakura!

You can quote me

Post   » Fri Apr 23, 2010 8:42 pm

"He seems to be hesitant to perform this surgery because of her age (just turned 4 years old)."

Oh mumble. That's not old, especially if she is in good health and thrift otherwise. It sounds like this otherwise excellent vet still thinks they live only 3-5 years.

Are we 115% sure that's a stone and not an admittedly nasty large cloud of sludge?

Obey My Authority

Post   » Fri Apr 23, 2010 8:56 pm

That is a big stone/sludgie...
Poor girl...

I too am amazed she has not experienced much pain and discomfort.
I understand your worry about the surgery, especially with Ginny's shadow hanging over you...

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Post   » Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:12 pm

Yes, that is a fairly large stone! Perhaps he is not confident about doing the surgery?

Let Sleeping Pigs Lie

Post   » Fri Apr 23, 2010 11:15 pm

"Are we 115% sure that's a stone and not an admittedly nasty large cloud of sludge?"

I'll have to ask. He seemed sure that it was a stone. Sakura hasn't passed any sludge. I've not seen any signs of sludge, and I've been changing her cage bedding twice a day (it gets messy so fast when she's leaking).

The entire white "stone" area isn't the entire "stone". I think he said that the lower, brighter area was the stone, and the lighter white part around it was her bladder.

Can a large bladder stone be felt from the outside of her body? Does sludge feel different than a stone? Now I am curious.

You can quote me

Post   » Fri Apr 23, 2010 11:46 pm

"Can a large bladder stone be felt from the outside of her body?"

Yes, but I think it has to be pretty darn big, one, and it will also depend on the stone's placement. Capybaras had to deal with this.

I would think a stone would feel hard and firm, and sludge a little easier to push around. I would think. I am **not** a radiologist. It's just that the other stone radiographs I've seen on here, and in our own pigs, the stone has been baldly clearer than that. That rad looks more like our very (admittedly very, very, very) sludgy girl. If the sludge is bad enough, though, it ends up affecting the pig just about the same as a stone. Our sludgy girl was bleeding and screaming in pain all the way to the vets' office right before her surgery (this was a few years ago). She wasn't completely obstructed but near enough to make her feel horrible and me a total mess. They did surgery and scooped her out, essentially the same as they would have for a stone.

Ultrasound may (or may not) give you more information. It may be worth an ask.


Post   » Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:37 am

My Timothy is 4 and going to have a cystotomy next week. How comfortable is your vet getting blood from a pig? Pre-anesthetic bloodwork might significantly increase his comfort level, I know it's definitely helping my vets feel more comfortable. Although, not so much pre-anesthetic since we did have to do a very brief (15 minutes including induction) anesthetic in order to get the sample.

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Remembering Nemo

Post   » Sat Apr 24, 2010 1:09 am

My Spin had one cystotomy at 4 and a half and one at 5 years and 9 months old. I think it is all a matter of the piggie's general health and the surgeon's skill.

That looks like a giant stone to me :(

Poor Sakura!

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Post   » Sat Apr 24, 2010 9:39 am

Also, if the wall of the bladder has thickened considerably over time, palpating stones may be difficult to nigh impossible. Xrays are definitely superior.

Have you tried any vibration and subcues? What does her urine look like? Do you see piles of calcium deposits?

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Post   » Sat Apr 24, 2010 6:51 pm

Yikes! Poor Sakura. If that's a stone, it's pretty huge. I agree that it looks a little fuzzy compared to most images I've seen (of my guys and others'), but that one view of the stone could be partially obstructed by sludge -- making the stone look less clearly defined. I would want to see it from a couple of other angles.

Four is not too old for surgery, in my book, if the pig is in otherwise good health and the vet is knowledgeable. Bassy was 4 when he had his stone removal surgery -- but of course, his was a critical situation. He was in a lot of pain and there was a growing risk of obstructon, so it had to be done.

I also agree with your vet; if that's a stone, it's not going to pass on its own. I'm just really surprised that a stone that size wouldn't cause any discomfort. :\

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