Even on the special diets they had some stones. After all the special diets, and documenting the time of the year of most episodes, I realized most of them occurred when the temperature was higher. The only thing in their world that changed was the water they were drinking. The treatment plant adds more chlorine and probably other chemicals too when the temperature is higher to kill bacteria. After thinking about this, I bought a water purifier and started giving them only filtered water. Knock on wood, but one of the cats is still with me six years later and has not had a single episode. (The other died at the age of ten-cause unknown) I hope this helps in some way. Since talking about this with my vet he agrees it could be a possibility.
- My home, ruled by pigs!
- Contributor in 2014
My mom doesn't relay information very well so I couldn't ask questions. All she knew of the results was "it's mostly diet, most people aren't as careful as Rachael." Well that's not exactly news to us.
I'll have to ask for more info the next time I'm in. I will say it's not unusual for data to be discussed and presented at a scientific conference months before it's even submitted for publication.
When our Zachary was first diagnosed with stones, we switched to filtered water. In his case, it made absolutely no difference whatsoever. His stones were aggressive, fast-forming and (being in both ureters) inoperable.
I truly hope we can find some answers to this devastating problem.
New Insights into Guinea Pig and Ferret Health
Highlights from the Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians conference Savannah, GA,
August 2008 attended by Drs. Peter Fisher and Tony Poutous.
Peter G. Fisher, DVM
Bladder stones are a fairly common malady affecting guinea pigs. Guinea pigs with bladder stones will have frequent urinations, many times with blood in the urine. They may be uncomfortable and as a result affected guinea pigs will be less active and hunched up in pain. Bladder stones can be removed surgically but have a strong tendency to recur after removal.
Dr. Michelle Hawkins from the College of Veterinary Medicine at University of California, Davis, presented findings from a bladder stone analysis study performed over a two year period.
In this study, samples of urine and actual bladder stones were submitted from cases from throughout the United States. Information such as patient weight, diet, Vitamin C supplementation was gathered along with the stone and urine analysis. It was determined that in general bladder stones are seen more frequently in middle aged males weighing less than 1300 grams. However there was not a statistically significant difference in overall incidence between males and females. There was no geographic predilection, but it was found that guinea pigs fed lots of free-choice timothy hay along with a good quantity and variety of fruits and green leafy vegetables were less likely to develop stones. Was this because the increased fluid intake associated with the fruits and vegetables flushed the bladder more often and therefore prevented crystal and subsequent stone formation in the bladder? It was also determined that sedentary pigs that spend a lot of time in a hide box or plastic igloo covering within their cage had a higher likelihood of developing stones. It was theorized that maybe these pigs sit in soiled bedding and therefore are more prone to bacterial bladder infections and subsequent bladder stone formation. Unfortunately this study could not accurately analyze many of the submitted urine samples for underlying bacterial infection in the urine as most of these pigs were already on antibiotic therapy prior to obtaining samples, thus giving negative readings on the urine cultures. Bottom line in preventing bladder stones: keep pigs active and at the correct body weight, don’t allow them to hang out all day in hide boxes and add a nice mixture of vegetables (primarily mixed greens) along with a moderate amount of fruit to their hay and pellet diet.
As we well know, diet alone does not seem to control stones. If it did, TwoWhitePiggies' and TWP_2's guinea pigs would not have had to struggle with this, along with the many other great guinea pig caretakers who do the best they can providing a sound diet.