My question, that has not been answered by anyone, is what exactly are these "gummy worms"? They're mineral sand in nature and if left for one day they dehydrate to half the size. This one is 4cm long and maybe 2.5mm wide. They have the consistency of a slightly hard gummy worm, but are more brittle, like soft cartilage. One forms every 3-4 days, ranging from 1.5cm to 4cm.
Other details, 2.5 weeks ago we began antibiotics and the UTI cleared up normally. 1.5 weeks ago Little Mouse was in such pain we went back to the vet and he pulled out the first gummy worm and prescribed Loxicom (Meloxicam). LM then passed a lot of sandy pee and has been on the pain meds ever since.
Passing sand and these things is extremely painful for him and like all of you, I don't want him to suffer if there's something we can do... and if there's nothing we can do? :(
Little Mouse is 2 years old, male, tortoise shell short hair of no fancy lineage and is not castrated.
My vet isn't a specialist and did not know the answers. Obviously answers can vary depending on the pig, but any one with experience with these "gummy worms", or a proper name for them, would be appreciated:
1. What are these?
2. Will they go away?
3. How long does a case of sludge take to clear up?
Thanks, sorry for the rambling, we've been doing 24/7 water and feedings and checking for the last 1.5 weeks and are exhausted.
Edit: The "head" of the worm forms outside his penis, from dripping urine I assume. The smooth part is inside. I grab the head and can pull it out. Let me know if you need more detail, but I'd love to talk to anyone who knows about these things.
Seriously though: He's 2 years old so he's a bit past the teenager stage. These are pretty painful for him since they're happening with passing sand. It seems like he cannot urinate while one is in there. He just strains and cries until it gets far enough out for us to remove.
Is that normal for sperm rods? Could it be related to the pain or the process of passing all the sludge? Do you think the pain meds are err, relaxing his inhibitions?
What do you guys recommend, just continuing with the pain meds, a low calcium diet and wait and see at this point?
You mention sand. When your boar pees, do you see whitish gritty calcium deposits? You might want to read this page and review your diet.
I just knew that something else was up.
His diet *has been* Oxbow pellets, unlimited timothy hay, and his main treats are cukes, with fresh grass and dandelions in season and things like lettuce, parsley, basil, apple, celery, etc. all in moderation because our boys are fat. We never strictly monitored the calcium intake because it wasn't a problem. This summer perhaps dandelions, clover and other "bad things" were probably more frequent. Anyhow.
*Now* his diet is much more selective. Limited pellets, no high calcium dandelions or parsley, etc., a bit of cranberry juice every day to help the UTIs, wetted timothy hay, and wet treats like watermelon to encourage more water intake. All in moderation, of course.
Please, do add the photos. Maybe, if you can, also add stupid key words for this problem too. I had a really hard time searching because I was assuming that this was a mass of pus + grit from the first infection and sludge problems. Stupid terms like: worms, string, white spaghetti thing, etc.
We'll be looking in to castration tomorrow. We know of at least one exotic specialist vet in the area.
Thanks again everyone, your fast replies were really wonderful!
Edit: Or actually, why isn't this a photo featured problem under medical and health? I checked GuineaLynx first, but only got stones and sludge! You guys are THE resource, you know ;)
- Supporter in '13
Maybe try cutting out pellets too. It made a massive difference for us. We tried Oxbow pellets, and they gave more sludge than the Burgess we were using. We're now pellet free and seeing the best results yet. Here's our diet and regime.
- And got the T-shirt
I don't the the cranberry juice will do anything. In humans, it makes the urine slightly more acidic, but herbivores don't have acidic urine to start with. My theory is that you'd have to give a LOT of cranberry juice to tip it over to the acidic side. That's just my theory, mind you, and I have no way to prove it.
Canuckenstein, feel free to add any searchable words you care to, to this thread. They all get added in to the database. If you can come up with an appropriate place to add this to the guide, feel free to make any suggestions. I'll go add your photos.
We have already gotten more strict with his diet in the last two weeks. Their diet was fairly low calcium and restricted because of their likes and dislikes; neither like things like berries, herbs, lettuce or juicy fruits. They both get gas from some vegetables and they hate that Oxbow herbal flowery mix and dried vegetables.
Oxbow pellets and fresh dandelion, parsley and whatnot in summer were the biggest repeat offenders. It makes sense that this acted up at the end of summer.
Keywords: White lump under foreskin, thing sticking out of penis, lumpy white penis blob, pulling white thing from penis.
Where to put this in Medical? I think it's a good differential diagnosis item for: UTI, Bladder Stones, Impaction (penis cleaning would be the idea place). The symptoms of straining, no urine, discomfort, not eating are the same.
Under normal care? Under What's Normal, maybe a line under Sexing and any place male-specific care is mentioned.
I added a separate entry on the normal page ("Boar Glue"), added some info on the impaction page in the cleaning the penis area and also a differential diagnosis for a uti.
We went to the "good vet" who confirmed that this was a hormonal imbalance causing over production of sperm. We schedules a castration and it went well; the next day he looked better than he had in weeks!
In the first few weeks he had a few isolated incidents of passing the leftover sperm rods. It has been 2 months and they seem to be gone (at least, any that he passes do not require assistance).
His pee is a bit sandy at times, but that is something he may always have and that we watch his diet for.
Today he did something to his front leg and is favouring it. When I poked him there was no sharp pain reaction and he's acting completely normally other than the sore leg. Probably a pulled muscle. I gave him a low dose of painkiller and locked him up for the night.
Poor Little Mouse. He can't catch a break! He'll be fine, yet again.