Basically about 5 months ago i discovered that my guinea pig, Shaun, had small stones which were in the early stages of forming in the ureter. As he was not in any pain i proceeded to give him cranberry juice and antibiotics with hope that this may break them down or help all 3 move into the bladder where they could be surgically removed! Now a xray 4weeks ago showed that all 3 were now medium sized stones and had infact moved to the bladder, so i gave my vet the go ahead because i thought this would be the end of our problems. But unfortunately it turned out only one of the stones had passed into the bladder so he removed that and tried to masssage the other two which were near the enterance to the bladder into the bladder, but this didn´t work !. So i decided it would be worth trying him on a drug which at this stage i had only just got a dosage, that would help break down the stones ( im not sure if im allowed to say what its called on here?) Now up until this operation he was bright and chirpy - but he has now become very lethargic, his appetite has reduced ( although he is slowly getting this back), he is now slightly underweight - v. worrying for a piggy who was reknown for being chubby! He also seems to struggle to hold a balance when walking, which i am extremley concerned about. This could also all be side affects from the drug know but the person who recommended this drug had used it on hers for years and never had any of these problems, and drug itself doesn´t list any side affects!
PLEASE HELP, i am grateful for any suggestions you may have to offer?
ps. he is 4yrs old now.
Your description of your pig makes me think something else is going on -- perhaps an infection that has not healed from the surgery. What antibiotics was he given and for how long post surgery?
I am a little fuzzy here. They were forming in the ureter not in the bladder itself? Am I mistaken that pee is peed out the ureter? I take it you are hand feeding if he is not eating well?
It sounds like you need to contact the vet to see if there is a recurrance of stones, an infection, malocclusion due to reduced eating.
It is so hard when our pigs are ill. I´m sure others may have some ideas.
i really don´t know what to do, the stones originally started in the ureter ( the tube which links the kidney to the bladder) - you were thinking of the urethra!
thank you anyway
I still think he should be checked for possible infection. The whole area is quite sensitive and only one week of baytril may not be enough. I understand with a urinary tract infection, it can sometimes require several weeks of treatment. An infection increases stone development.
Sorry I can´t be of more help.
- I GAVE, dammit!
Stones are still a difficult area for pigs. There is slowly getting to be more information and increased survival as more people do the surgery for their little friends.. Do a search here and you´ll find lots of information.
Have you made dietary changes? Did you get the stone analyzed? There are two, possibly three, different types of stones . Treatment varies with the type of stone.
Stones piggys often require a longer course of anti-biotics. This is a major surgery for them. I would would talk to your vet about this and continuing with the AB.
With the two remaining stones, he might be in some pain. These will irritate internally and can lead to infection. Lethargy usually means they are not feeling well.
Are you supplementing his eating? Adding probiotics? I like critical care but my pigs don´t. I force feed it to them and it has worked wonders for me with pigs in recovery. It should be available through your vet or you can order through Oxbow.
I just nursed a stone recovery pig for T. She was back to her self in about a week and has now been returned to her family.. I´d suspect something is still going on with Shaun.
When the x-ray was taken, were there still stones in the ureter? These are extremely difficult to move out of this area. I assume the stones were just in one ureter?
Has your pig been peeing OK? If the ureters get blocked, it´s a serious situation. The lethargy could be a reaction to the AB´s, but the unbalance doesn´t sound like anything to do with the stones.
The balance problem sounds very serious and is not a normal side effect of bladder surgery. He might have an infection that is resistant to the baytril. After a recent spay, my sow rejected her sutures. The culture from the lab showed there were 2 bacteria growing - each one needed a different AB. The infection was raging in the line of sutures under perfectly healed skin.
You do need to hand feed and hydrate. Lethargy can be a sign of dehydration.
He should definitely see a vet for the balance problem.
firstly - the stones did start in the ureter but have now moved ( confirmed by another xray 2 days ago) into the bladder. But no 2 medium sized stones are evident , which i suspect may indicate that the destolit is working! Unfortunately today he went down hill, so i have got in touch with the cambridge cavy trust and i am taking him there tonight.
Thank you for all your help and support