guinea pig with stones and serious side affects!


Post   » Sun Sep 08, 2002 5:43 am

Dear all,
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.


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Post   » Sun Sep 08, 2002 9:20 am

What drug is this? I think some people recommend polycitra?

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.


Post   » Sun Sep 08, 2002 10:22 am

Shaun is currently on destolit ( actigall in america) and was on a weeks course of baytril antibiotics after surgey. What i forgot to mention earlier was that just 2 days ago Shaun went back to the vets for another xray which no longer showed 2 medium sized stones in the bladder, but lots of smaller ones, which could be the bigger 2 breaking down?

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

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Post   » Sun Sep 08, 2002 11:26 am

Thanks for the clarification. I had the feeling I need to get more familiar with internal body parts.

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!

Post   » Sun Sep 08, 2002 11:59 am

Is your vet supervising the actigal? I´d want to know what the side-effects of the meds might be. I am not familar with this but would like to know more.

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.


Post   » Sun Sep 08, 2002 1:48 pm

Are you hand feeding this pig? He needs Critical Care.

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Post   » Sun Sep 08, 2002 10:44 pm

When I asked my vet about actigall, he wouldn´t give it to her. He said it is a very strong drug and he didn´t consider it safe. (From what I understand, it is a drug for kidney stones in humans which changes the Ph of the urine, much like polycitra.)

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.


Post   » Sun Sep 08, 2002 11:04 pm

I doubt the symptoms are from the actigall - we tried it on a pig and there were no side effects.

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.


Post   » Mon Sep 09, 2002 10:29 am

Thank you for all of your messages,
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.

thanks again

I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Mon Sep 09, 2002 1:43 pm

Best wishes for Shaun. I truly hope he pulls through. Please keep us posted.
Last edited by Julian on Mon Sep 09, 2002 1:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Post   » Mon Sep 09, 2002 6:29 pm

You might want to read Sonia´s adventures with the CCT. I´ve heard many people complain about them, over the years.


Post   » Tue Sep 10, 2002 7:30 am

We took Shaun to the cct last night she gave him a painkiller and advised us that he would probably perk up once this set in - but unfortunately this morning Shaun was badly paralysed and couldn´t even hold his own body weight, we had made the decision it would be kinder to put him to sleep, but thank fully he actually died in my arms in the waiting room at 8.45am today, so atleast i got to hold him whilst he passed over.

Thank you for all your help and support

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Post   » Tue Sep 10, 2002 7:48 am

Poor Shaun. I´m so sorry.

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Post   » Tue Sep 10, 2002 9:37 am

Oh, I´m so sorry. I´m glad you were with him. It´s always tough to lose a pet.

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Post   » Tue Sep 10, 2002 1:18 pm

I´m sorry you lost your little guy Claire. It´s so hard.

I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Tue Sep 10, 2002 1:23 pm

You have my deepest sympathy.

It is so difficult to lose something you love.


Post   » Tue Sep 10, 2002 4:58 pm

They just gave him painkillers and sent you home? Ohhhhhhh, these people make me mad!!! You´d think they´d try to treat the cause, not the symptoms. $%?#?$/#%#@&?%!!!

I´m sorry you lost Shaun.

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Post   » Tue Sep 10, 2002 8:37 pm

I´m so sorry. How sad.

You might think about a necropsy to find out the cause of the paralysis. I know that´s difficult at this time, but sometimes it helps to know exactly what was going on.

Again, so sorry.


Post   » Wed Sep 11, 2002 2:58 pm

we just brought Shaun home, and burried him under his favourite bush in the garden, where he loved lying in the sun, it has been tough and hearing your thoughts has helped!

once again thank you.


Post   » Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:45 pm

that Actigal just kills to the pigs that much quicker.

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