Bladder problems - ongoing

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Post   » Sun Oct 07, 2018 6:47 am

Hello everyone!

I am new member if this forum, however have been reading the posts here for a long time. You all seem very knowledgeable, so I thought I will try to get some help 9n my piggy's ongoing bladder issue.

My guinea pig Nutka is a female and nearly 5 year old. She's had bladder problems for around 1 year now.

it first started in December last year, we noticed she was squeaking when peeing, but other than that, no other symptoms. She had a course of antibiotics (always Sulfatrim) and Metacam for around 10 days (following a visit at the vet) and it has helped her pretty much straight away.

The same issue hit her in March this year. This time round, our vet suggested an X-ray to rule out any possible stones. They have found one tiny stone at the very bottom of the urinary tract, so luckily no surgery was needed, they only flushed her bladder out with a solution using a catheter and that has got rid of the stone and any sludge build up. Again, a course of antibiotics and Metacam followed to ensure no infection was formed afterwards. She had no symptoms at the end of the course.

Back in June this year, our poor baby has had another episode, but as we had some Metacam left, we carried out a course of that (following a telephone conversation with the vet). Again, this helped.

Unfortunately, now she has got the same symptoms yet again. In addition to the squeaking, for the first time round she also started passing blood. We went to see our vet and after thoroughly examining her (proper feel of her bladder and kidneys), he told us to have a course of antibiotics and anti inflammatory again. He said that since her last xray was not that long ago and the repeated one (once the stone was removed) has came back clear, for now we will try the medication first.

In the past Nutka responded to the meds very quickly, therefore we were very worried when after a week the squeaking and blood were still present. We went for a check up just to make sure and the vet advised that perhaps it's taking a little longer this time round to clear it. Again, he examined her carefully and said that stones are not likely - she had a little wee on his table & he said normally with stones there would be loads and loads of blood in the urine after such bladder examination and the pee she's passed was only pale pinkish colour.

We therefore took her home and carried on giving her the meds. She's been on them for nearly 3 weeks now. Shes been very on and off with the symptoms: e.g. shes fine for a couple of days just to get worse on the third day. Today we noticed blood in urine and she's clearly in pain when peeing. We are now also worried about keeping her on antibiotics for so long as we read it can cause bloats?

We just don't know what to do :( it's very upsetting to see our baby struggle like this...
We try to keep her on low calcium diet (Timothy pellets only), she drinks lots of water and gets to run around the room a lot.

Our vet is very knowledgeable and deals with loads of guinea pigs on daily basis.

Any advice?

Thanks in advance!

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sun Oct 07, 2018 9:18 am

Stones can recur in as little as a week, and unless they're large, can't be felt by a vet. I'd want an x-ray and possibly another vet.

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Post   » Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:09 pm

Ditto on the xray. Stones can develop very quickly and I second that they cannot always be felt.

If you haven't read this over and followed some of the links on this page (to interstitial cystitis, for example, and diet), I would do so:

Pain medication, a diet change, increased fluids can all help. Surgery if there are stones. Blood is not always present when there are stones.


Post   » Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:06 am

Hi Guys - thanks for your advice.

We took her back to the vet who basically confirmed what you said, an x ray is needed.
They found a stone in her bladder and today the doctor carried out a surgery. They just called to advise it's been successfully removed and she is just coming round now.

We are due to pick her up in a couple of hours, have you got any advice on recovery care? I know the vet would probably tell us everything, but maybe you have some handy tips and recommendations?

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:12 am


Post   » Fri Oct 12, 2018 3:36 pm

So we are home with our girl.

She got some critical care at vets (just about 1.5h ago) and now she is at home, looking very weak and sleepy, her hear keeps falling down. Tried to give her a little bit more food through syringe, but she was not keen.

Just panicking now and thinking if this is normal for her to be like this?

She did have a long journey (40min in car) and the vet said the medicine will make her lethargic, but what if she does not want to eat?

I am really worried as really want to nurse her back to health..

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Fri Oct 12, 2018 4:09 pm

It sounds like they may have given her a little too much anesthesia. They're generally pretty lethargic after surgery, but usually able to hold their heads up.

She doesn't need to eat immediately, but try again in a couple of hours. If she doesn't eat, you'll need to hand feed her. But this isn't a time to worry about diet. Whatever she'll eat, let her have, within reason. You don't want her to overdo it on veggies, especially wet ones like cucumber and tomato, but if she'll eat greens, she can have more than usual.

She'll likely feel better in the first 24 hours than she does in the next 24. That's normal, as she'll still have pain medication on board today.


Post   » Fri Oct 12, 2018 4:24 pm

Thank you so much for replying. It really feels so much better to share a problem with someone!

She now started nibbling on some hay, very tiny amount and had a tiny bit of lettuce. I just put it next to her little face and it seemed to encourage her.
She kind of has one bite, rests for a few sec and then another bite.

As she started eating a little, shall I still give her some critical care later? and what about night time? shall I set myself alarm to feed her again?

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Fri Oct 12, 2018 4:35 pm

Yes, I'd check on her a couple of times during the night to feed her. Space the critical care feedings out about every 3-4 hours.

She may start eating on her own. When one of my pigs had a stone removed, I got up about 2 AM to go feed her. She was sitting at the pellet bowl, chowing down, so I just went back to bed!

The rule of thumb about handfeeding is that a pig that isn't eating anything else needs 100+ cc. of Critical Care for every kilogram it weighs, every day, spread out into 6-8 feedings throughout the day and night. Adjust up or down according to the pig's weight, and down if the pig is eating some on its own. So if she's not eating anything, you need to get 12-15 cc of CC in her at a feeding. You may be able to get more, which means you can get one more hour of sleep before having to get up again! Mine have always pretty willingly taken 20 cc. or so at one feeding.

If she likes the stuff, you may just be able to put a thick glob of it on a plate and let her eat it. I've always given mine a glob of it every week or so. They like it, and it makes it MUCH easier to feed them when they get sick.

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Post   » Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:39 pm

Weigh her once or twice daily, too, so you know that between your feeding her and her eating, she is getting enough.

Read everything on that postop link that bpatters gave. It has very valuable information on it.


Post   » Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:49 am

Thanks guys - I read everything about piggy post op recovery, but I am still unsure about so many things!

Nutka is not pooping at the moment and still very lethargic. It's a real struggle to feed her critical care, she just keeps it in her mouth - I have to give her a bit of lettuce to ensure she swallows it. Even though I do this, I only managed to give her only 1ml of CC this morning. She had 6 Timothy based pellets alongside and a rather large lettuce leaf - not sure if this is enough? Should I worry about her not pooping? :(

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Post   » Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:21 am

Perhaps you could talk to your vet this morning? What medications and pain relief has he given you? Any instructions on what to expect? Is she able to walk at all? I would think the anesthesia would have worn off completely by now. No poops can mean not eating enough. A few guinea pigs eat all their droppings (even the regular ones) making it look like they are not pooping.

I think there were links on the postop page to these pages:


Post   » Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:47 am

Nutka left us (*)

Despite all improvements and lots of food given to her before bedtime and even her eating all by herself, when we woke up at 4am, to give her her next feed, we found out Nutka has gone completely downhill. She looked completety exchausted, very lethargic and flat on the floor.
We knew this was it. I gave her some painkillers to make her as comfortable as possible and both me and my husband told her it was ok and she does not need to fight anymore if it's too difficult. We sat with her fir ages trying to comfort her.
I think she felt it, as we wrapped her up and placed her back in her house, our little baby crossed the rainbow bridge. In her own home, with the presence of the two people who loved her with all their hearts.
I just hope we did not fail her...

Today we lost our best friend and not quite sure how to get on with our lives. She gave us the most beautiful 5 years and we will never ever forget her. It's going to be extremely difficult and empty without her.

Make sure you give your furry ones a special cuddle and appreciate them for us.

Nutka (*)

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Post   » Sun Oct 14, 2018 8:21 am

Oh, kuka90, I am so sorry. There is no doubt you did the best you could do. I am sure Nutka felt loved. You have all our sympathy.

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Post   » Sun Oct 14, 2018 8:57 am

I'm so very sorry you lost her.

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Supporter in 2018

Post   » Sun Oct 14, 2018 10:51 am

You and your S/O have my sympathy, kuka90. You did everything you could.

Rest in peace, little Nutka. You are loved and missed.


Post   » Sun Oct 14, 2018 1:43 pm

I’m really sorry, kuka90. You are a very good piggy owner, and it is obvious that you really care about Nutka and did the best you could do to help her.

For the Love of Pigs

Post   » Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:08 pm

I am so sorry. You really did all you could.

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