Zoe's Medical Thread

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Delaine
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Post   » Wed Sep 21, 2016 6:30 pm


Zoe still has blood in her urine so I took another urine sample in for testing. There was a slight odor but I am wondering if Talishan is right about the odor coming from the blood.

I get my girls' nails cut at a local vet clinic and so I went there. I saw a new vet and although she is not an exotics vet I really needed their lab more than the advice of the vet. I just needed to know if she needed antibiotics or not.

The sample was once again positive for blood but negative for WBC and infection.

She suggested giving her Metacam for three days to help with the inflammation which I did. She said she did some research on her lunch hour when she saw I was bringing in guinea pigs.

She mentioned that Vitamin C supplements increase the absorption of calcium and that it is not something she would recommend giving to a pig prone to stones.

I am in the process of sorting through articles and trying to put together something that supports this.

Has anyone read anything that supports the theory that Vitamin C supplements could increase stone formation in guinea pigs?

bpatters
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Post   » Wed Sep 21, 2016 8:22 pm


Yep, I have. And it's not only in guinea pigs.

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Delaine
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Post   » Wed Sep 21, 2016 9:00 pm


I would appreciate picking your brain just a little more bpatters.

I read this in regards to humans. "Oxalic acid can bind with minerals. Oxalates are kind of boring until they crystallize with calcium to form kidney stones. Vitamin C supplement is a source of oxalates." I read most stones found in humans are composed of calcium oxalate.

According to the Medical Guide most stones found in guinea pigs are composed of calcium carbonate not calcium oxalate so would the above even apply to guinea pigs?

Have you found any good articles in reference to this? I would love to read them.

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Wed Sep 21, 2016 9:57 pm


I had a list of articles, but they were on the hard disk of a laptop that died, and I've never gotten the files off the disk. I can't do it this weekend, but I'll try to look for them early next week. If I don't to get back to you soon, feel free to remind me.

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Delaine
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Post   » Thu Sep 22, 2016 12:44 pm


Thank you.

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Delaine
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Post   » Wed Sep 28, 2016 9:07 pm


I am taking Zoe to the vet on Friday and so I did a summary of all the diagnostic tests she has had since she started having blood in her urine.

I was surprise to see that she has had ten X-rays since July 19, 2012. Eight of the ten X-rays were bladder related.

How many X-rays are too many for a little piggy? Could there be side effects from having that many X-rays?

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Lynx
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Post   » Wed Sep 28, 2016 10:47 pm


I don't know how many is too many. I think for safety sake (both your pet and staff), it is a relatively low amount of radiation.

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Delaine
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Post   » Sun Oct 02, 2016 1:22 pm


Update on Zoe.

I took her to the vet again on Friday so we could discuss a treatment plan to manage her urinary tract issues. Since the X-rays and urinalysis consistently show no major issues other than sludge, crystals and blood we are going treat her symptoms because we are not 100 % sure of the cause. I have Metacam to give her if she seems uncomfortable. If things go downhill we will do another urinalysis, X-ray and possibly an ultra sound.

So for now I will continue to push the fluids, increase her exercise during floor time, keep her on a low calcium diet and offer her limited KMS pellets.

I calculated her Vitamin C intake from her diet. I weigh all their food so it was pretty easy to do. Without a supplement she is getting about 45 mg. of vitamin C daily. There may be some loss to food being stored and I can't say for certain if she is getting exactly half of the pellets I offer but it seems adequate. I hand feed the peppers and their nightly greens so that is accurate. The good thing about KMS pellets is they have almost twice the amount of Vitamin C Oxbow does. 1 level tbsp. (12 grams) KMS pellets has 11.88 mg Vitamin C.

After calculating their Vitamin C I decided to discontinue their Vitamin C supplement. I have wondered for awhile now if it was creating some of the bladder issues so I thought I might as well give it a try. After Oxbow discontinued their original vitamin C I have tried several other options. The Oxbow C hay tabs seemed to cause discomfort with both girls and I stopped them when Zoe got her urinary tract infection and went with a calcium ascorbate powder. It is ascorbic acid buffered with a small amount of calcium. It is the Vit. C Oxbow used to use in their supplements before switching to the hay tabs.

Since I have stopped all supplementation just over a week ago the sludge and deposits on the fleece have also stopped. Once I saw a very small amount but I had given them more pellets that day. All I am seeing is a very tiny white stain on the dark fleece. I will monitor them for any signs of a Vit. C deficiency and it will be interesting to see how Zoe is doing a month from now. She does seem more comfortable and active but only time will tell.

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Lynx
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Post   » Sun Oct 02, 2016 1:39 pm


That is very interesting!

I do not know if you have the time or inclination to do so, but it would be great to have you document her issues, treatment, your care, chronologically (with dates) for a post in the Records forum. If you are interested in maintaining your own post, you could sign up for the Records forum.

Due to so many irritating signups where people do not read who can sign up, I have a secret signup word check (you would need to write me and I'd give you the secret word).

I always feel a really short summary of ones discoveries (like the one you describe about not supplementing vitamin C if your pet is getting enough) put at the beginning of a thread can help a reader get valuable info quicker. A post in the Records forum can be edited by the author or staff.

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Delaine
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Post   » Sun Oct 02, 2016 2:50 pm


Lynx: I would like to continue on with what I am doing for a month or two to see if what I am seeing is long term. If it is and she improves I would like to pass this information along. I will do daily documenting for a month and see how it goes.

Because guinea pigs need Vitamin C I would hate to see people cut out the supplement unless they are sure the pigs diet is adequate.

I looked up Oxbow Essentials Adult pellets and they have 250 mg. Vitamin C per Kg. My KMS bag of Timothy Choice lists 450 mg. Vitamin C per lb. That is quite a difference.

This is important to know because I can feed less KMS pellets to my girls and still get a good amount of Vitamin C.

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Lynx
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Post   » Sun Oct 02, 2016 9:13 pm


I never gave my guinea pigs vitamin C supplements. With a good diet and fresh vegs, healthy pigs do fine. I hope you have success!

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Delaine
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Post   » Sat Oct 15, 2016 2:00 pm


I was just thinking how well everything was going with both girls. Well, yesterday morning I woke up to Zoe limping and holding up her left back leg. I think she might have jumped over the high part of the litter box rather than using the low entrance during floor time the evening before. I remember hearing something that made me think that but I didn't see what happened.

Anyways, I gave her some metacam in the morning and hoped things would get better as the day progressed. They didn't. She cried every time she moved her back end and by 4:00pm she was dragging the foot when she moved. So off to the vet.

Her vet was not in and the vet on call made it very clear she was not familiar with guinea pigs. Three X-rays later (now a total of 13 in her short life) she could find no breaks or dislocations so it must be soft tissue. She poked and prodded her to the point I could hear her crying in the back room. I called back to let them know I could hear her so they let me come back. I finally suggested enough was enough.

She is no better today. I am continuing with the Metacam and moved her into her 1 X 2 travel cage this morning so I could pile water, food, etc. all around the entrance to her house. She is eating hay but I haven't seen her drink yet. I am offering water by syringe and I wet all her greens and thankfully she will eat soaked and drained hay.

I am concerned about her inactivity being prone to stones but not much I can do about that.

My biggest stress is I have to work Monday to Thursday next week and won't be around to encourage eating and drinking. After her urinary tract infection I worry about not being home to change out her bedding during the day.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated. My anxiety levels haven't been this high for some time.

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Lynx
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Post   » Sat Oct 15, 2016 10:08 pm


The only thing I might have suggested is one of those cool two way remote cameras that allow you to talk to her, I think by using a phone app. No idea how well they would work but if you had funds to burn and she responded to your voice, you might be able to encourage movement. The reviews aren't stellar but it looks interesting:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01DCAK7M0/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_6?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

Some analgesics help prevent/slow swelling which should also make a difference with the pain. I hope her foot heals quickly.

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Delaine
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Post   » Sun Oct 16, 2016 11:01 am


Thanks Lynx for the information. It is just bad luck that this happened on one of the few weeks I work. I am retired and only pick up the odd shift to help out.

My real concern is Zoe's condition is not improving. She will move from one end of her 1 x 2 to the other end but she is still dragging her leg and is in pain. She is getting Metacam once a day. Thankfully she is eating hay and her veggies but I haven't seen her drink water on her own yet.

The vet thought the injury was either in the hip area or maybe even her back. Pinched nerve was suggested. My usual vet is back in tomorrow so I will call after work.

I have started her back on vitamin C just in case that has anything to do with it. She is eating very few pellets. I have seen Zoe at the pellet dish before this happened but now I am wondering if her sister was eating more than her share. Could a vitamin C deficiency cause something to come on suddenly?

I was hoping to see some improvement by now.

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Lynx
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Post   » Sun Oct 16, 2016 1:54 pm


I am guessing you feed a solid diet and a vitamin C deficiency is unlikely. I hope she improves!

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Delaine
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Post   » Sun Oct 16, 2016 6:54 pm


I calculated the vitamin C I was feeding which was within the range. I even added in more pepper slices. The only problem is I don't know how many pellets she is actually eating. I feed 1 tablespoon in the morning and 1 tbsp. in the evening for the two pigs to share. This is half of the recommended 1/8 cup. I limited them due to sludge. KMS has added more vitamin C than Oxbow so I am ahead by just feeding KMS. I started supplementing her with extra C just in case. If she is eating half of the pellets she should be okay but I can't guarantee who eats more.

I was getting so stressed I had to leave for the afternoon. Getting the stressed out human out of the house was probably a good thing. I was delighted to see her out of her house eating hay when I got home. I haven't seen her walk yet so not sure of her pain level.

I have arranged to have my husband drop her off at the clinic in the morning for observation if she hasn't improved. I have an appointment to meet with her vet in the afternoon after work. Hopefully she will be better and on the mend by then.

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Delaine
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Post   » Fri Mar 31, 2017 2:50 pm


Any idea why Zoe has started rumbling on and off around her sister as if she was in heat? She was spayed two years ago and uterus and ovaries were removed. Could it be some sort of dominance behavior? Both sows are 6 years old.

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Fri Mar 31, 2017 2:53 pm


They might have left a stump of an ovary and she's got some residual hormone production.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Fri Mar 31, 2017 5:28 pm


Ditto bpatters. We have also found a few vets that do not remove the uterus but do remove the ovaries. There may be other drivers of hormones but the reproductive system is the most common.

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Delaine
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Post   » Fri Mar 31, 2017 8:25 pm


Thanks bpatters and Lynx: I have a vet appointment for her next Friday so I will ask her vet if she can think of anything. I know she had her ovaries and uterus removed but I didn't think about the stump. She was spayed two years ago but it has only been the last month or so that I have noticed this.

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