I am new to Guinea Lynx and am hoping you all might have some experiences you can throw my way to help soothe my fears. I have 2 5 1/2 year old male pigs, Speedy Catastrophe (Speed) and Buca di Beppo (Beppo).
Beppo was diagnosed with a kidney stone AND a heart condition a few months back, and since the stone wasn't moving and didn't seem to be bothering him, our vet recommended putting him on meds to try to shrink the stone and get the heart condition under control. Last week, the stone seemed to have moved, so he had another ultrasound today to see if it moved to the bladder and surgery could be performed.
The stone is still in his ureter, which has now become distended and painful. His heart condition has stabilized, so they are recommending surgery to remove his kidney. They say his heart condition is stable enough that they believe he'll make it through, but they will need to remove his whole kidney, so the tricky part will be making sure the other kidney kicks in after removal of the stone-infected one.
The surgery is scheduled for 5/24 and I'm just freaking out now. I've read all about post-op care...surgery...heart conditions... it just seems that my pig has 3 huge strikes against him and everything I read about is just 1 of the 3. Has anyone else been in a situation where the surgery & post op is so risky and how did it go?
I love my little guy so much and I know his brother would be heartbroken if he passed. But we have to do the surgery...to not would be too painful for him and even if it is really risky, we want to give him the chance.
P.S. Since it's my first time posting, I'll introduce my family: my husband, 2 cats with cerebellar hypoplasia (wobbly cats), 2 "normal" cats, and a tilty-head foster bunny.
My guinea pig had two stones in his uretre, we originally thought they where in his bladder. The vet called me when he had my guinea pig opened, said the stones where firmly stuck in the uretre, if he left them he would die of kidney failure. He said he was willing to try to remove them. I believe the vet put a tiny slit in his uretre popped the stones out and stitched the incision shut. The vet said he could not advise on the prognosis at the time as Patrick was his first uretre operation, and to be honest at the time I think everyone was a bit doubtful if or not he would pull though but he did.
10 weeks on Patrick is still here and stone free, I wonder if your vet could do something similiar. My Patrick is over 5, but he didn't have any other health complaints.
We had a guinea pig (Zachary) who had what started out as a single stone in his ureter, and then quickly multiplied to multiple stones - and eventually in both ureters. At the time, we didn't have a vet at our disposal that was experienced enough to attempt any type of surgery on the kidney or ureter, and we lost our boy. It was devastating. I can totally understand your fears.
I guess what would give me pause in your situation, is that Beppo has already had one stone in a kidney. If they remove that kidney and a new stone (or stones) forms in the other one, then what? In Zachary's case, he ended up with numerous stones lodged in both ureters, so I know that in some cases and for whatever reason, they do have a tendancy to become lodged there.
I'm sorry; I know I haven't helped you with this decision. :( I'll see if I can find that info on that case where the stone was flushed into the bladder in case it's an option in your case.
Fred_and_Co: Can you maybe post a link here to your thread with details on that surgery?
Page 9 is the day Patrick had his surgery. I know for definite the vet was not able in Patrick's case to move the stones into the bladder that's why he had to make a small incision in uretre to pop the stones out, he used one stitch to close over the incision. Although he came round well, our main concern was the stitch holding, however it did and my P is still with me.
The reason the vet wants to remove Beppo's kidney is that the stone moved farther down the ureter and has caused it to become very distended. More smaller stones are starting to form behind it and his kidney has stopped functioning.
They didn't mention flushing it into his bladder as an option... Maybe because it is so firmly stuck?
By any chance is Dr. Horton your doctor? I believe sef1268 is referring to my Creole (my avatar), & Dr. Horton was the one that performed the surgery. I know removing his kidney was one of the options she mentioned to me, but she didn't seem to be recommending it.
Creole was over four years old at the time of his surgery. He too had a heart condition, although it wasn't diagnosed until after the surgery. The surgery was successful (& there was no recurrence of stones), but recovery was an up & down battle against ileus. I believe his ureter also became outstretched from surgery, but shrunk back to normal size (if that makes any sense).
He lived for close to another seven months, but eventually passed due to heart & kidney failure (was suspected to have kidney neoplasia). I don't know if things would've gone differently had his kidney been removed?
Feel free to e-mail me if you'd like any further details. Creole was my furry best friend/the strongest bond I've ever had with a pig, so I can definitely relate to what you're going through.
Elise & I do use the same veterinary practice (I recognize you from the CC message board), but I don't know if you specifically use Dr. Horton?
Creole sounds like he was on all the same meds as your Beppo.
The only options that we have for Beppo are the kidney removal surgery or nothing, but he is in pain even with being on metacam and so NOT an option to us...
Thank you and Charybdis for the links...I'll read over them tonight ( at a conference for work out of town this week, which also isn't helping my anxiety over this )
Guinea pig surgery seems to be much more complicated and delicate than I thought (not that I thought it was easy!)
Thank you all for giving me the information above, I really appreciate it. I'll post more next week as we learn about his surgery.