Intermittent very thick blood - not like pink urine

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TheFerg

Post   » Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:16 pm


Super long post, sorry, but here's all the background on a weird issue I'm having.

Has anyone had experience with intermittent really thick blood in the cage? I don't think it's coming with urine, certainly not all of the time, because last night it was pure sticky blood, slimy like snot and if you stick your finger in it, it pulls up like strings of slime kinda. And there was no urine around it.

Here's some history:
Back in May/June we had intermittent blood in the cage - and I'm not talking the pink urine with a slight bloody dot in the center that you see with UTIs. This was BLOOD, like you sliced your finger and smeared it on the fleece. But it wasn't round in shape and it was not consistent....we'd get a streak one day, nothing for 2-5 days, then 1-2 streaks, then several days or even a couple weeks again with no blood. I could never figure out who it was - private parts and hair in the area were always clean. Everyone had stable weight, no squeaking when peeing or pooping, no "weird" behavior or lack of appetite. I was totally stumped. But when it kept happening I said enough is enough you guys, and quarantined them into 4 separate cages. Everyone was absolutely miserable being separated and all of their weights started to drop (even though all 4 cages were side by side and we did supervised lap time of 2 at a time, so if someone did bleed we would immediately witness it and know who it was).

Two weeks went by in quarantine, and not a single drop of blood or even a pink urine. So I put them together onto a combined floor time and did a cage clean....and wouldn't you know it, a tiny pink urine spot left by Astrid. So I took her to the vet, but her urine was totally clear. She had a thorough exam by Dr. Nakamura and was declared totally healthy. So we went home...and lo and behold there, in Fergie's bed, was a huge blood smear. Two weeks Fergie, you had two weeks to do that and let me know it was you ha! Go figure, that's how life goes. So I apologized to Astrid for the unnecessary poking and prodding, gathered up Fergie, and headed to the vet. She was ALSO declared totally healthy. They said a tiny bit of bacteria in the urine sample but that could also be just from the exterior of her body. We did TMS just to be safe, in case it was some latent infection she had a hard time kicking.

Fast forward from mid-June to last night. No blood in the interim, everyone is still acting normal. Fergie's weight has been fluctuating anywhere from 900-970 over the past year but, again, she's seen Dr. Nakamura at least 4 times in the last year (we are also trying to figure out a chronic stuffy nose from one of the other threads on the forums) and he sees nothing wrong with her. She's even had x-rays, etc. But last night I found a big blood spot - but it was more spread out so I thought originally it was with urine. But, again, checked everyone's privates and hair in the area and no blood so I was stumped again. I set up a floor time and started to pull the piggies out so I could set up quarantine again. I always pull Fergie first because she loves to be held and is easiest to catch, but thankfully for me she was eating hay and I wasn't about to disturb her given I'm always trying to get her to gain some weight and she was on the low end of her spectrum this week. So I pet them all and the bricks in front of the hay rack were clean. I saw Fergie hop onto the clean bricks, and so I grabbed Fabio and headed off to do his weight and overall health check, then put him down for floor time. Head back and grab the other 2 (Lilo and Astrid) and did the same. Fergie was still in the exact same spot eating hay. Then she hops off the bricks and BAM there's a puddle of what looks like pure blood. It was slimy and sticky and not at all watered down with urine or anything. So I was grateful to know right off the bat who it is. I also flipped her over and checked her privates and sure enough they had blood all inside the creases.

So at least they don't need to be quarantined, and I know who to take to the vet. But it's so confusing to me. I've had Fergie since 2011, and she's never had a cyclical blood issue. I've also always had girl guinea pigs (Fabio, our neutered boy, is the first male for us). I've never seen a guinea pig menstruate and I don't think they really do bleed externally like that, right? Especially when she's older now (6.5)? She has no hair loss, no grumpiness with the other guineas, no hard/crusty/dark nipples that would be typical indications of the ovarian cysts or mammary tumors.

Does anyone have any experience with this? Any questions I should be asking the vet? It's so weird to have the chronic stuffy nose and then this random bleeding from her vaginal area. My first kinda thought would be bladder sludge at but the blood isn't diluted with urine (other than the spot on the fleece cuddle cave - and I am thinking that likely came out as blood then she stayed in the same spot sleeping and just happened to pee on it and spread it out, it's the only time the blood has been spread out in that type of formation). I believe I've read in other threads that various cancers can cause bleeding in the urinary tract. But it's just so mind boggling to me.

I am so "lucky" to have so many weird issues lately, ha! Between Fergie's chronic stuffy nose, this random bleeding, and Astrid's big ol' cyst/tumor on her face (we get results on that tomorrow). I just want healthy piggies ha!


<a data-flickr-embed="true" href="
" title="Fergie Blood Spots"><img src="https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4422/37046780521_61c7ca7504_z.jpg" width="640" height="640" alt="Fergie Blood Spots"></a><script async src="//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:37 pm


I'd suspect some sort of uterine problem. I don't think it's coming from the urinary tract at all. Blood from there, even when there's not a lot of urine present, doesn't look like the spot on the right.

I also don't think it's spotting during heat, although I suppose it could be. But it's not usually nearly that much.

Has she had a ultrasound?

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TheFerg

Post   » Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:51 pm


She hasn't had an ultrasound on her abdomen that I can recall. We had that a few times in the past on another pig....but I don't think on Fergie. Certainly not in the past 6-12 months. I'm guessing they'll want to do that today; I certainly want them to! She did have an ultrasound on Friday but they were specifically looking at her heart. I wasn't there for that, they did it in another room, so I'm not sure if they also did abdomen but will ask when we go in this afternoon.

Do guinea pigs spot during heat sometimes and not other times? I thought about that with the first round thinking maybe it was Lilo (who was born June 29, 2016 so the first round of blood was happening around the time she was 11-12 months old). But Fergie's never spotted before and we've had her almost 6 full years now.

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:05 pm


Occasionally we'll hear about a sow that spots a bit during heat, but nothing like the very dark spot in your picture. It's usually more of smear mixed with mucus, and is pretty small. I'd bet my hat that's not Fergie's problem.

Clint The Cuy

Post   » Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:05 pm


I have known non-guinea pig animal male patients to have frank blood following a urine stream if they have a damaged vessel in their urethra either due to trauma or some other reason. And they can produce a lot of blood (and I mean a lot) in those instances. But since you have confirmed that it is one of your girls, I would suspect the uterus as well, perhaps a growth or maybe a case of pyometra. However, depending on the animal, a pyometra can go one of two ways and I don't know where guinea pigs sit in the spectrum. Dogs become extremely ill and septic where a horse can show no outward signs and you would not know unless you performed a rectal palpation/ultrasound of the reproductive tract because they seem to wall that infection off so well. Do let us know their findings on her.

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:25 pm


I was going to suggest possible pyometra too. If that is the case, one would expect there to be bacteria present.

I hope you are able to sort this out.

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TheFerg

Post   » Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:06 pm


We saw the vet last night and re-checked the x-rays from June; nothing showed up. But palpating the abdomen the vet could feel a mass near the uterus, and that combined with the look and feel of the blood led her to believe it was a uterine or vaginal mass. So off to ultrasound we went, by-passing a new round of x-rays which would usually not show a mass as well anyway. On the ultrasound you could clearly see a mass that was a couple centimeters in size, where her uterus and vagina meet. The vet is going to get a second opinion today from another vet and they may have me come back in to see the second, more experienced exotics vet.

At this point it appears she has a uterine mass that is causing the bleeding. Because she seems to not be in pain, is acting normal, and has more or less maintained her weight over the past year (the bleeding first occurred in May/June then stopped), they believe that "benign neglect" of not treating it is the best option. She is 6.5 and on the light side, so spay surgery is the only option but probably too high a risk. Again, waiting for a second opinion from another vet but that's where we stand as of now.

I wasn't aware of pyometria. Fergie hasn't ever had a litter or been near an intact male, but I'm interested in asking the vet his thoughts on this given that the course of "just in case" antibiotics for a potential UTI back in June did seem to stop the bleeding at least for a couple of months. My gut tells me it is related to the mass, but I will still ask the question. Thank you for the input and the guidance. Pyometria sounds pretty scary, and I did a quick read of a few threads and seems it can come and go like Fergie's did in June.

I forgot to take a picture of the screen of the mass or the x-ray since I see them often requested in other medical threads. But I might see if they can email me over her file and I can grab them from there.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:49 pm


I'm glad you are getting answers, though it would be better if she was well!

I would be happy to add any images you can get. Experiences like yours can certainly help other people.

Bookfan
For the Love of Pigs

Post   » Sun Sep 17, 2017 2:05 pm


I'd think twice before doing a spay on a 6.5 year old, for several reasons. Not trying to influence you, just my two cents.

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TheFerg

Post   » Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:08 pm


Life has been crazy between piggy illness and work projects lately. We've been using a nebulizer on Fergie 2x a day for 15 minutes to clear up the congestion but that + antibiotics made no change, so we're left with "monitor" and officially diagnosis of rhinitis. No issue with her lungs, so she's clear unless it flares up.

The blood lasted for 8-9 days but then stopped. Which is similar to the cycle we had earlier this summer. We had our re-check today and the lump does appear to have grown but it's hard to say since piggies are wriggly. Weight still bounces around, and now she's only 876g which makes me sad. But she's still very feisty and totally normal from a personality and activity perspective. She eats enthusiastically and still stands up on the side of the cage for her veggies and scritches. Nothing makes me happier than seeing her hungry little nose waving around in the air! But I do miss my 1100 - 1150 gram hevyweight chunko pig when she was at her prime from 2-5 years old! Feeling little piggy hips is very sad.

Dr. Nakamura did say surgery is the only treatment option. So it's up to us now...he was very gung-ho on surgery previously for another guinea pig, is more reserved this time. But still says with proper post-op care chances are ok to good. And if she continues to deteriorate, then we lose our chance at surgery as an option.

I wish I had a magic 8 ball that actually worked that could tell me which option would give me the most time with her - will surgery remove the issue and let her regain strength, or will surgery take her away from me? I'd rather have a few months or a year of good times and ultimately lose her to this, than to lose her next week after surgery, etc. I know there's no answer for that, so we're thinking and praying and will decide in the next day or so.

I have friends that have both had to spay older guinea pigs and the surgeries went well, recovery went well, and the piggies are fantastic. I know there are others in the forums with similar experiences. But I'm also all too aware of the opposite outcome. So, we shall see....

In happier news Fergie is very happy to be done with the evil nebulizer, at least from twice a day now we can do it less going forward!

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:17 pm


These decisions can be difficult. If you go with the surgery, I hope all goes well!
http://www.guinealynx.info/postop.html

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TheFerg

Post   » Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:44 pm


Thanks Lynx <3

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TheFerg

Post   » Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:09 pm


Update:
Fergie continues to lose weight, even with critical care supplementation, so we are syringe feeding her a lot more. She got down to 796 (her adult weight was 1150, she slowly dropped over 12-18 months down to 950, then really fast 950-900 when the bleeding started, then stabilized when it stopped, and then from 900-800 really fast again with no visible issues/symptoms). Got her back up to 840 today when I weighed her before the next round of critical care. The bleeding has stopped, and Nakamura and I have no idea why she's losing weight. So he drew blood and we're waiting on results Monday or Tuesday.

The mass is most likely uterine but could be something else. Uterine he said is, in his experience, typically cancerous but because it's encapsulated within the uterine wall doesn't spread to other organs very easily so that is a good thing. But we haven't ruled out an intestinal mass, or something else, and that would be a much bigger deal. Doesn't feel like it's really gotten bigger in the past 2 weeks.

He doesn't think weight loss would come from a uterine mass, so either it's another type of mass or she has something else going on.

I also asked him about CBD oil (non-THC/non-psychoactive oil from hemp plants). It's been really helpful for my friend's cat, but I wasn't sure if it was guinea-pig safe. He said it was and didn't hurt to try, so she gets 1 drop 3-4 times a day. It's only been one day (took a while to find someone who sold the oil locally) so we'll see if it helps with any pain she might be in and her appetite. She is still excited for veggies, ate grass like crazy on the lawn today, and begs for food. I see her eating hay primarily, but she does also eat pellets. We ruled out a tooth issue.

So far we've seen Nakamura every 1-2 weeks and are hoping we get an answer soon!
Image

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:36 pm


Fergie looks like such a sweet guinea pig. I hope you only see more weight gain and that you and Dr. Nakamura get some answers.

User avatar
TheFerg

Post   » Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:51 am


I don't know if it is causation or coincidence, but ~24 hours after we started the CBD oil Fergie finally started to gain weight! I was feeding her 2-3 syringes a day and now we are doing 4 (the large 12CC syringes) but she is putting on weight quickly and we are thrilled! She's more alert; previously she'd been awake only to eat, really, but then fell right back asleep. I've seen her puttering around the cage a bit the last 2-3 days. I'm not sure if CBD reduced some discomfort she had so she wants to move more, or if maybe she wasn't eating enough and didn't have energy so she slept to conserve it, or again if it's just coincidence. But we will definitely keep it up.

She was 796g when we started, and stayed in that 796-808 range for several days even with syringe feeding. But since Sunday she's packed on the grams, and last night before her feeding she was 883g! That's the heaviest she's been in a month. We are so happy! I want to get her to 950 where she was before this all started, then ease back on the syringe feeding and see if she can maintain her own weight. If so, we're good. If not, then we discuss surgery to remove the mass just in case that is causing the issue, or if we just continue supplemental feeding and hope for the best.

Anyway just keeping this thread updated in case anyone runs into a similar issue in the future.

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Delaine
Supporter in '14

Post   » Sat Oct 14, 2017 1:44 pm


Thanks for keeping your thread updated. I am very interested in the CBD oil. My sow is just over 6 1/2 years and has ovarian cysts. She has no physical symptoms such as hair loss but her vet felt them upon examination. Her vet and I have decided not to do a spay at her age so I am like you struggling to keep weight on her. She is also blind with cataracts in both eyes, she has some degeneration in her spine and she lost her sister from the same litter three months ago. Like your sow she spends most of her day lying in her house. I supplement her with a ground pellet/critical care mash which she licks off my finger. She is getting a daily dose of Metacam to help with any pain.

I think CBD oil may help her. I will ask her vet about it on Friday when Abbey goes for her checkup but in the meantime I am not sure where I go to find it. Do you know if it comes in a standardized concentration? How did you determine what dose to give? I would really appreciate any more information on how you went about finding the oil. Thank you.

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