Snowy has possible bumblefoot :(

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Jessie
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Post   » Wed Jun 26, 2013 5:58 am


That's exactly what the vet said. There are many things we can try, that may or may not work. As long as we're not making Snowy ill with what we try I'm happy to give it a go.

The urinary supplement we are using is new to the vet. It has a good success rate with helping ease cystitis in cats, and she has used other feline supplements on guineas with no ill effects, so after we discussed it, we agreed to give it a try.

I have to pick up the potassium citrate today. It's much cheaper for me to get from a chemist than to get from the vet. we then have to make it up so we can dose it at 20mg. I'll post calculations here once I've picked it up. Again, it could help, it may not. Studies suggest that changing the pH of the urine in the bladder can help stop stones forming and allow the calcium to pass. It's worth a try.

I can't find any information on vaginal stones. I'm confused as to why one would form there.

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Lynx
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Post   » Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:34 am


I believe the potassium citrate must be given with lots of water. I have not heard of vaginal stones. If you had one, get it analyzed.

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Jessie
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Post   » Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:34 am


I had a quick google to see if I could find somewhere to send it, but it only pulled up labs in the states.

I can't get the potassium citrate over the counter. Chemists, by law, can't sell me anything over the counter if they know it's for an animal. I tried to thwart that by telling the next chemist it was for me, but they showed me the pre-prepared mixtures. I spoke to my vet, and they are going to order some for me.

My vet tweets, and asked if she could tweet Snowy's x-rays. I said yes, if you want to use her as a case study or anything like that please feel free. I then tried to join twitter, but it wont let me follow people I want (suggested Kim Kardashian) so I gave up.

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Jessie
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Post   » Thu Jun 27, 2013 3:33 pm


I've found someone who can analyse the stone, or at least say if it's oxilates or carbonates. He's a foster Daddy for the local rescue, who by day is a specialist analyst in a lab. It's not his usual work, but he thinks he can do it from a small scraping of the stone.

I collected the potassium citrate this evening. It's Potassium Citrate EP, a brown jar of 500g. We are to mix 1 level teaspoon with 1 level teaspoon of water, and administer 0.02cc twice a day, which is 20mg per dose.

Snowy is feeling better. So much better that she jumped in the hay rack to avoid medicine time.

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Lynx
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Post   » Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:03 pm


Ironic that sometimes you see the most enthusiasm and energy in trying to escape handfeeding/care/medicine!

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Delaine
Supporter in '14

Post   » Thu Jun 27, 2013 11:38 pm


I have been following along. We are trying to figure out where the blood is coming from in my sows urine but so far no luck.

I am curious about a vaginal stone. Does it actually form in the vagina or somehow get from the urinary tract to the vagina? Everything is so close in guinea pigs. Are these common? Can you please let us know if the removal of the stone cures the pain she has when urinating. Thank you.

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Jessie
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Post   » Fri Jun 28, 2013 5:08 am


We believe the stone is from the urinary tract, and somehow lodged in the vagina as she was passing it. The only other case I know of is with a pig called Mabel from my local rescue. Hers was the sized of a baked bean.

The stone was removed on Monday, I presume with tweezers as she hasn't had surgery. From the xray it looks fairly close to the exit.

It was definitely causing her pain. The difference in her is amazing. She's found her breakfast wheek again. I'm surprised she hasn't woke the neighbours.

The night it was removed I watched her like a hawk. She went to one of her pee corners, looked like she was hunching and almost braced ready for pain, looked a little confused when she had none, and started doing laps of the cage. I've not seen any hunching or heard any pain squeaks since.

She didn't have any blood in her urine this time round, it was just the pain squeak that I've been seeing on and off since last year. The vet confirmed that there was no blood.

It's nice to have finally made some progress. I feel for you Delaine. Do you have a knowledgeable vet?

In my experience, a skilled vet has made a massive difference to Snowy's treatment. We had this sorted in a single appointment (we did chat over the phone first so that there would be an x-ray slot available), rather than running back and forward for one test at a time. The vet had a list of things she wanted to rule out, and an order for how that would be done. They priced everything beforehand so that I wasn't just getting surprised with a bill at the end. They only separated Snowy from Fluffy for around 15 minutes, the time it took to x-ray and remove the stone.

My local vets, who have been wonderful, said that they could have run all the tests again, but wouldn't really know where to go from there. Honest with their lack of knowledge, and happy for me to see a more experienced vet.

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Lynx
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Post   » Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:48 am


I'm glad it went so smoothly for you, Jessie.

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sef1268

Post   » Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:43 am


We believe the stone is from the urinary tract, and somehow lodged in the vagina as she was passing it.
That would make sense. I was wondering how in the heck she could have formed a stone in her vagina. Either way, ouch.

Very glad to hear she's recovering well. :)

CF7

Post   » Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:22 am


I had two pigs with vaginal stones removed within a month of each other. One of them was the heart pig in my cardiomyopathy thread. I mentioned in that post she passed the stone, but it was actually removed from the vagina by the vet. I figured it wasn't really pertinent to her heart issues, and the post was already long, so I didn't want to get into the details about it.

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Delaine
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Post   » Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:35 pm


Would a stone show up on an X-ray better than on an ultrasound? I keep pushing the stone issue but when this nonsense all started last August her X-ray showed no stones or sludge. I just had an ultrasound done on Abbey and it was totally normal. The vet I go to is the exotic vet in the area my local vets would refer me to.

Abbey's vet is pushing to have her spayed to rule out any reproductive issues. Compared to an ultrasound spaying is very reasonable but I still feel any operation is risky and what if I put her through a spay and we still have problems? I really would like to know what the problem is before I randomly start doing surgeries.

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Lynx
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Post   » Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:07 pm


I would definitely have an xray before doing a spay. Xrays generally do a better job of showing stones.

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Delaine
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Post   » Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:37 am


Thanks Lynx:

The last x-ray she had was about 10 months ago. The ultrasound was less than 3 weeks ago.

The vet keeps insisting stones or sludge is not the issue and right now my girls urine is pretty good and free of sludge. Would a bladder tumor show up on an ultrasound?

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Delaine
Supporter in '14

Post   » Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:46 am


Jessie:

I am so glad you were able to resolve Snowy's problem. You must feel so relieved that Snowy is feeling comfortable.

I have only seen Abbey look uncomfortable twice. Most of the time you wouldn't think she had a problem, except for the blood. Right now her urine looks clear but tests positive for blood.

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Lynx
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Post   » Sat Jun 29, 2013 7:52 am


I am guessing a bladder tumor would show up on an ultrasound.

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sef1268

Post   » Sat Jun 29, 2013 9:06 am


I had two pigs with vaginal stones removed within a month of each other.


I'd be really interested to hear more about that (feel free to email me if you'd rather not post here about it). Were they calcium carbonate stones? Did your vet think the stones actually formed in the vagina vs. somehow migrated there?

CF7

Post   » Sat Jun 29, 2013 1:48 pm


The first one, in the heart pig, was so far along that it didn't even show up on the first x-ray because the tailbone was just outside the image zone of the machine. The vet said she popped it out very easily while the pig was sedated for the first echocardiogram. We never sent it for testing, and I never really questioned where it had originated. I just assumed it had formed in the bladder.

The second pig's stone was much smaller, maybe 1-2 millimeters in diameter at most, and it was further up, so it was slightly more difficult to pull out, but they got that one as well. That one was tested and came back calcium carbonate.

I wonder if maybe the location of the urethral opening (the pee hole) can have a slightly different location from one female pig to another. Maybe the most logical explanation is that a stone formed in the bladder, passed through the urethra, and instead of landing in a puddle of pee on the bottom of the cage, it somehow got stuck in the vagina and had to be removed by a human.

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Jessie
Supporter in '13

Post   » Sat Jun 29, 2013 5:11 pm


Would a stone show up on an X-ray better than on an ultrasound?
My vet says x-rays far outweigh ultrasound when it comes to stones. It was one of the things she mentioned during her talk at the rescue party a few weeks ago.

Ultrasounds are great for assessing soft tissue, like tumors, kidneys etc, but they can miss stones.

The vet could tell the exact position of Snowy's stone, which needed no surgery. If she hadn't had the exact position, Snowy could have been operated on for no reason.

Having a knowledgeable vet makes a difference. I looked back at Snowy's first x-rays and the difference in quality is amazing. The original x-ray doesn't have as much detail as the new ones. During the visit the vet showed me Snowy's heart, Lungs, bladder, full of food gut, and the position of her Kidneys. The kidneys weren't clearly visible, but the vet said she could say 100% that there were no stones in them.

Xray by bad vet
Image

Xray by new vet
Image

I'm not convinced that the first x-ray shows enough detail. I'm wondering if the stone was there from the beginning of the UTI saga.

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Lynx
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Post   » Sat Jun 29, 2013 10:24 pm


There are definitely different techniques for taking xrays. And different equipment these days. I like the second one too. Would you like them added permanently to your thread?

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Jessie
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Post   » Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:41 pm


Yes please Lynx. I hope from the comparison they can see the difference having a cavy savvy vet can make. It's taken a year, but now that I've found one only an hour away, I feel a lot more confident about caring for the girls properly.

Snowy update - she's been on dark blue fleece while on her mini break. I gave it a good check over for powder, and there's none! She had a few really powdery deposits last week, but over this weekend they seem to have reduced dramatically.

Just in case anyone is trying to sift through all of the info, here's Snowy's current diet and meds.

6 burgess pellets per dish per feed
Dried Tomato flakes, pepper flakes, dried beetroot flakes, flaked peas (100g of each in mix, 1 tbsp per pig per feed)
Leafy lettuce
Cucumber
Pepper
Occasional tomato
Occasional blueberry or other low calcium fruit

Britta filtered water (my water supply is soft water)

20mg Potassium Citrate EP, twice daily.
1/4 Feline Urinary Support supplement twice daily http://www.nutravet.co.uk/cats/nutracys-plus
0.15cc metacam once a day

For the potassium citrate, we mix one level teaspoon with the same amount of water until fully dissolved, and draw 0.02cc into a syringe to get 0.02g or 20mg.

I've been reading the stone study thread, and the bacteria mentioned in the report is the same as Snowy's culture grew last year.

The lovely Foster Daddy who has been looking after the girls this weekend is the person who can test the stone for me. I've said Oxilates and Carbonates. Is there anything else of interest we should look for? My guess would be that it's calcium oxilate.

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