Rare bowel disease

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Post   » Thu Mar 27, 2003 8:02 pm

Oh dear, I just fed them and watched, they all eat with their mouths open! All 13!

Watching MJ eat pellets right now and her mouth is closed. Maybe I'm a bad judge of this.


Post   » Thu Mar 27, 2003 8:03 pm

It depends what you mean by "open mouth", I guess. I don't think Pinta is talking about their lips.


Post   » Thu Mar 27, 2003 9:50 pm

If they're chewing with their mouths open enough for food to drop out then you have a real problem.

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Post   » Fri Mar 28, 2003 8:52 am

Ok, none of my guys necessarily lose food, just little bits here and there. But their lips are open. No worries here then!


Post   » Fri Mar 28, 2003 3:33 pm

Do pigs even have the necessary muscles to close their lips completely over their teeth like humans do?

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Post   » Fri Mar 28, 2003 4:48 pm

My pigs lips are usually closed. When they stretch their necks out to reach for something, their lips open slightly, but otherwise they are usually closed-mouth chewers.


Post   » Fri Apr 04, 2003 12:25 pm

Tomorrow is Piglet's last day on TMS. Her urine has still been pink or red tinged on and off while on the antibitiotic, although it hasn't really looked that way recently. But recently, she has started sqeaking when she pees - not all the time, but I have seen her doing it 2 or 3 times. Her urine is also very thick and yellowish sometimes. I guess it is sludge, although it doesn't feel gritty, but like a very fine powder.

Question is, how long can this wait for a vet visit? I am sure he will want to see her a few days after she finishes the antibiotic to recheck her urine. Could it wait until then? Or, can she have her urine rechecked for blood now while she is still on the AB or as soon as she finishes it? (there never was bacteria found, just blood).The first time I heard her squeaking was quite a while ago (maybe 2 weeks), but it was only once. Then she did it again several days ago.

I'm afraid that on the chance she's developed a stone that's causing her the pain, waiting isn't good.

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Post   » Fri Apr 04, 2003 2:16 pm

I forget what you're feeding -- a timothy pellet? Low calcium foods? Increasing fluids?

What you describe is troubling. Some vets put the pigs on antibiotics for some time as it really takes a while to clear up. If you're having intermittent bleeding and sludgy urine, I have the feeling you need a longer period of antibiotics and maybe an xray if you haven't done so.


Post   » Fri Apr 04, 2003 3:47 pm

Timothy pellets, low calcium foods. Haven't been doing increased fluids.

She's been on the anitibiotic for 6 weeks now. (I know this thread is getting so long that it's hard to follow and remember what happened.) We've done several x-rays. I can't remember when the last one was, but it was awhile ago.

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Post   » Fri Apr 04, 2003 5:33 pm

Becky did subcues to flush some of the sludge out. Maybe that would help you. Talk to your vet.


Post   » Fri Apr 04, 2003 5:42 pm

I don't think the subcue flushes the sludge out. Only a bladder flush would do that. I think the idea is to try to prevent the formation of sludge.

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Post   » Fri Apr 04, 2003 5:46 pm

The idea is to increase water consumption -- to increase the passage of water through the urinary tract. Sludge is supposed to be gradually flushed out. It isn't like filling and flushing the bladder, but more liquids are supposed to help prevent a sludge buildup.

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Post   » Fri Apr 04, 2003 9:15 pm

Lynx and E., yeah, what you both said.

The subq's help keep the sludge moving and keep the urine concentration lower which should help prevent the formation of sludge.

Chippy has had her bladder flushed, but the sludge came back.

Laura, I looked back a few pages, but couldn't find this info. Have you had the urine cultured? If there's no sign of an infection, it could be an ulcerated bladder. That's what we seem to be dealing with now.

You have to wait two days after the ab's to culture a sample. I'd say wait and take her in two days, do an x-ray and a urine culture.

If there's no infection, you might want to have your vet consult with Dr. Murray in Monterey. He's dealing with a few chronic bladder/UTI/who-knows-what pigs right now.

You're in Canada and could get injectable (sp?) meloxicam, which, I believe, is the treatment for ulcerated bladders.

And while you're at it, get some for me! It's not availabe in the US!


Post   » Wed May 07, 2003 12:30 pm

Piglet's doing worse now. Her urine doesn't look sludgier than before but she is squealing when peeing, more than just occasionally. Last night she was peeing very frequently too.

I'm thinking I will bring in a urine sample in case she's developed an infection, and maybe try the subcue's. I guess I don't really know what to try first. We didn't decide to "do" anything at her last appointment, after she came off the AB, because her urine did not look overly sludgey (not like I've heard some people describe here) and it wasn't like it all the time. I talked about the subcue's, meloxicam, etc. but we didn't decide anything since she seemed not too bad at the time. I went home with the intention of watching her diet (Ca:ph wise) hoping that maybe it could be controlled that way. Didn''t really work out since the only "good" veggie we can get here is lettuce and I felt bad not giving her a variety.

Becky, wasn't Chippy also on Polycitra to help control the sludge? What do you feel helped her the most - the subcue's, the Polycitra or the diet? Or a combination?

Piglet's "sludge" is not gritty, her urine is just "thick" sometimes. Could this cause enough irritation to cause blood and pain?

We never did a culture after the AB, either...her bladder was empty at the appointment and I was going to bring in a sample but then I saw blood in her urine (which she has had constantly since this started, but not always visable) and figured there was no point since blood was all he was checking for anyway and it was obviously still there. (She has had several cultures done and none showed bacteria, and there was no reason to think that had changed.)

I'm going to call the vet today to see what we can do now. How long would it take to see an improvement with the sludge? If the sludge clears up and the pain continues, I guess we can assume it's not that?

Also, would this warrant doing another x-ray? She has had them done before, showed no stones. (Didn't do it at the last appointment.)

Her pain when pooping has gotten worse recently too. Not sure where to go with that either. She's still on Rimadyl twice a day and I've also been giving her Critical Care for extra fiber which seems to help sometimes.

If she ends up needing injectable Meloxicam for her bladder, would she have to go off the Rimadyl? She tried Meloxican (oral) before and it did not help her pain (bowel).


Post   » Wed May 07, 2003 12:47 pm

Oh, one more thing. Is it possible for ovarian cysts to cause painful urination, or would it only cause blood?


Post   » Wed May 07, 2003 1:13 pm

The one sow I had who had cysts cried when she peed.


Post   » Wed May 07, 2003 2:51 pm

I don't know what to try first. It could be sludge causing the problems, although her urine does not look particularly sludgey now. It is thick on and off (when it is thick, it almost looks like pus coming when it comes out, then dries to a powder), but never really gritty...does this sound like sludge? Other times it looks normal. Or, it could be ovarian cysts. Or, it could be an ulcerated bladder...

Is it normal for sludge to come and go? If it was sludge, wouldn't her urine always have a lot of calcium crystals in it even when it wasn't visably sludgy?

I wish I knew what to do! I haven't called the vet yet because I don't really know what to say/ask for...

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Post   » Thu May 08, 2003 12:36 am

Laura, you sound like you're in a similar boat as me.

Here's my Chippy "update"/situation. She's had painful urination and blood clots beginning about a year ago. She was spayed and had ovarian cysts. We thought we had found the solution to her problems. Well, not completely.

She has had intermitten pain on urination, usually accompanied by thick mucus, sometimes bloody mucus. At these times, she also has lots of sludge--similar to what you describe as coming out as pus and drying to a powder.

These symptoms go away usually after a few days, then return a few weeks later on a regular basis.

I think it's important to do a urine culture. With Chippy, she never (except right after her spay) had an infection.

We've done many urine cultures, tried extensive AB treatment, took a tissue sample of her bladder during her spay, and recently did an ultrasound to rule out adrenal tumors.

Now we're pretty sure it's interstitial cystitis. During these episodes her bladder is inflammed, she produces excessive sludge and sometimes has some bleeding. When she's better, the sludge pretty much stops.

And yes, they always have calcium crystals in their urine. I took three pigs for the ultrasound and they all had really beautiful, snow-like flakes floating in their bladders.

We've stopped doing the AB treatment. It seemed to help, but Dr. Nakamura convinced me to see if it would run it's course and I discovered the cycle repeats with or without ABs.

The difficult part of this is that it depends very much on eliminating other possible causes. The first thing to find out is if there is an infection. That will take you in a completely different direction.

If there's no infection, then Chippy's case probably can be instructive.

I would recommend a sterile urine culture first of all. Then take it from there.

Regarding the hydration sq's, we cut back on them and the sludge and pain seemed to get worse. She's back to three times a week. Personally (certainly not scientifically), I feel it's the most important treatment I give her in terms of dealing with her sludge.

Who knows about the polycitra. It can't hurt, so I do it. The diet change I would do regardless, mainly because what I've read seems to support this as a good diet for all of my pigs.

If it makes you feel any better, this has stumped at least three really competent vets that I've known. It's all new territory for the most part.

Also, I've come to expect and accept that Chippy will have these episodes. When they come on, I cut out any high calcium foods (kale and parsley) until she's better. The rest of the time she's a happy pig. Her weight is consistent, she plays with the other pigs and seems to really enjoy her life.

It makes it a bit easier to take when I do hear her in pain.

Hope this helps.

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Post   » Thu May 08, 2003 7:29 am

And of course the xrays ruled out stones for your girl, correct? How frequently does she have these episodes and how long does it take to run a course?

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Post   » Thu May 08, 2003 10:11 am

Lynx, you mean my Chippy or Laura's Piglet?

Either way, yes, Laura, you do need to rule out stones. The first four or five times, we did x-rays, but nothing showed up except a pile of sludge. Sometimes, however, the sludge can hide small stones.

Chippy's episodes come almost every four weeks, like clockwork, although sometimes she'll have a day of squeeking inbetween. They last about three or four days.

At Adobe, there are two vets dealing with similar situations involving three guinea pigs. They've both seen very similar situations. The first thought was hormonal because it's so regular, but two of the three have been spayed. Both had ovarian cysts. The episodes continue.

That's why we were looking at Cushing's or adrenal tumors. It seems like hormones have to be involved somehow.

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