My little guinea pig Zelda is sick and my small animal & exotics vet cannot find out what is wrong. For three weeks, Zelda has been straining and crying when trying to go to the bathroom - both when she urinates and poos. I've been at the vet 3 times in three weeks - spent $750 on tests - X-rays for stones, blood work and urine tests for a UTI, and a handful of other things they tested for. Each time they tell me they can't diagnose what is wrong based on tests. We did one round of Baytril in case it was an undetectable UTI which didn't help. And now are doing Metacam to see if that helps with the straining. I've had her hydrated twice in case she's dehydrated, although both times they said she didn't appear dehydrated. Neither meds worked - and even worse, now as of tonight there is blood in both urine and feces. Zelda is a two year old female pig - she is still eating, drinking, and running around. I did syringe feed her some extra water tonight though as I feel like she's not drinking as much. The vet now gave me critical care to try, but I don't feel hopeful this will clear up the bleeding and the pain. The vet says in all of her X-rays she has gas trapped but doesn't seemed concerned at all. It bothers me because I've read about bloat, but she isn't worried that's what it is. I don't know why we aren't trying an anti gas medicine!!! Do you know of anything else that would mimic symptoms of a UTI or a stone - but not be ones of those? It just breaks my heart, I tear up every night with her. I want her out of pain and now that there is blood, I'm incredibly anxious and upset. I love my 2 little piggies and need advice on how to help Zelda when the vet isn't finding anything in her tests. Thank you! - Catherine
- And got the T-shirt
The signs are classic for stones, but I suppose it could be something else. Given that your vet has done a full battery of tests, I think I'd want a second opinion from another vet. They should be willing to provide you with the test results to take somewhere else with you.
- And got the T-shirt
Here's GL's list of Illinois vets -- http://www.guinealynx.info/records/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=251&sid=b273a37520c160599c9662fef773e1a0
And just so you know, "small animal" vet does NOT mean exotics. Those are dog and cat vets, and unless they've done special training, have very little education/training in the care of exotics.
Interstitial cystitis links:
I may have missed whether or not you are giving pain medication? Metacam?
Xrays are usually done in sets of two. Is that how your vet did them?
Guinea pigs can get a pyometra (which literally means pus in the uterus) just like dogs and cats do and it is caused by a bad infection. Antibiotics are not strong enough to fight off that bad of an infection so emergency surgery to spay your guinea pig is the only cure.
Bladder stones, also known as uroliths, are also common in cavies. Bladder stones are caused when microscopic crystals in the bladder clump together to form a stone. These crystals are formed from changes in the pH of the urine and some research suggests that a diet high in calcium is also at fault. Surgery is the only alternative to removes stones too large to pass through the urethra. Your exotics vet will rule out bladder stones by taking radiographs.
Urinary Tract Infection
An infection in the urinary tract and cystitis (inflammation of the bladder) can cause blood to pass in the urine. You may see blood tinged bedding or drips when she isn't trying to urinate that you may think is from the uterus but it could be from her urine instead. If your cavy will urinate on a non-porous surface, such as a hard kitchen floor or empty plastic litterbox, try to collect the urine with a syringe or pipette to bring into your exotics vet.
They will test the urine for an infection and confirm your guinea pig has a UTI (urinary tract infection) or cystitis.
A mass or tumor, cancerous or not, on any part of a guinea pig's reproductive tract or urinary tract may cause you to see blood being passed. The mass may be irritating to whatever it is growing off of or it may have started bleeding itself and your guinea pig is just passing the blood that is coming from the tumor itself. If this is the case, surgery is once again what is required to see if the tumor can be removed."