The vet isn't helping!

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mcbrooke1

Post   » Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:08 pm


Hi everyone,

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

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sun Oct 22, 2017 11:18 pm


I'm sorry you and Zelda are having such problems.

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.

mcbrooke1

Post   » Sun Oct 22, 2017 11:44 pm


That's what I was thinking too - I've had two X-rays done three weeks apart with no signs of a stone on either. There's only one other small animal / exotic vet in Chicago. I'm going to see if I can transfer all the records and get a 2nd opinion and hopefully just bring her in to get hydrated and talk to the vet. I just had the last Xray on Thursday afternoon. If anyone else reading this has been in a situation where the vets couldn't figure out what is wrong, please share & let me know how you were able to help your guinea pig. Or if yours has had these symptoms but did not get the typical stone or UTI diagnoses. Thank you everyone!!!!

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:14 am


There are a BUNCH of exotic vets in Chicago -- google "exotic vets Chicago" without the quotes and you'll find at least a half dozen, maybe more.

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.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:59 am


A close look at the spine on xray might show up a spinal injury causing pain. I take it there was no sign of collected grit? Interstitial cystitis can cause intermittent pain. Also consider pyometra (an infection of the uterus).

Interstitial cystitis links:
http://www.guinealynx.info/records/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=21

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?

mcbrooke1

Post   » Mon Oct 23, 2017 5:10 pm


Thank you for the information and the list of other vets. I spoke to my vet again today because as of last night, there is now blood (it's a red tint - not dark orange) in her urine and feces. Two xrays were done at each time - three weeks apart. At this point, my vet said Zelda needs an ultrasound & to be treated at different facility with more advanced technology. She said ultraounds can detect stones that xrays can't. The vet also said Zelda might have a strain of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Right now she prescribed a 14 day course of Baytril again combined with Metacam. If I don't see improvement soon, I'm to go to this other facility. Also as of last night, her urine is exceptionally milky when it's not tinted red. Not milky in the way it has been in the past. I'm going to check out that list of other vets, again thank you for all the information. I hate not being able to help my little piggie and the more vet visits and more money I spend, the worse she seems to be getting.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:22 pm


I trust the vet has tested for infection? Is there any odor? What is her diet?

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Catie Cavy
Supporter 2011-2017

Post   » Tue Oct 24, 2017 6:54 am


Bactrim is a better antibiotic for a UTI than Baytril. Since she has already been on Baytril, how about asking the vet to switch her to Bactrim?

Phantomhorse

Post   » Tue Oct 24, 2017 11:58 am


Has the vet done a fecal? Have they taken a culture? Have they drawn blood on her? Have then tried a urine test? I have a possible thought, but it is pretty uncommon... is she spayed? If she has gas trapped, buy some infant gas medicine from your local pharmacy or grocery store, and give her .5 CC's (mL's). If she does indeed have gas trapped, it will get rid of it, and if she doesn't, it won't hurt her one bit. It is the safest medicine I have. They also love it, because it is really sweet!

mcbrooke1

Post   » Tue Oct 24, 2017 1:58 pm


The vet has tested fecal, urine, and has drawn blood on her twice. I don't think she's spayed - I rescued her from a family where she was severely neglected and I know they got her at a Petstore. The vet asked me that too - if she was spayed. What would being spayed or not being spayed cause? I will for sure pick up the infant gas meds and call about Bactrim. There is no odor at all, I check regularly. Her diet is fresh hay and pellets shipped from a farm for SmallAnimalSelect.com. Zelda is very picky with what she eats - she has no interest in fruits and only likes a limited amount of veggies. So she has cucumber slices, either green or red bell pepper slices, and/or a few pieces of romaine lettuce. I asked the vet if I should cut any of those out or reduce the amount and she said no. I decided to cut the amount in half anyway in case she's getting too much calcium or if that's causing the gas. The only treats she and Tizzle get are once in a while - and it's strictly Oxbow timothy treats, the ones shaped like a heart. I don't give my pigs any of those yogurt treats or anything with nuts and seeds. She's in a 7 ft by 4 ft cage so she has plenty of room to exercise and I do take her out for floor time everyday. Thank you to everyone for your words of wisdom!!!

Phantomhorse

Post   » Tue Oct 24, 2017 2:38 pm


Small animal select is a very good company, they definitely wouldn't be the issue.

If she isn't spayed, Pyometra could be the problem.

See. viewtopic.php?t=54297

Phantomhorse

Post   » Tue Oct 24, 2017 2:42 pm


"Pyometra
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.

Uroliths
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.

Tumors
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."

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