Male with bladder stone--need a good vet

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capybara
Supporter in '13

Post   » Sun May 29, 2005 9:04 am


It's been a while since I've been able to sign on. My husband and I have had a lot of life changes, and recently moved to the Madison, WI area. Of course, right when we moved, we discovered our 5 yr. old boar, Peppi, has a bladder stone!

Yesterday he was crying while he was peeing and there was blood in his urine. He had been sleeping more than usual during the day. Of course this happened on Memorial Day weekend, but we could tell he was feeling crappy, so we took him to the emergency vet and got him some x-rays, two views. He has a stone that the vet thinks is right at the base of the bladder, about to enter the urethra. It was visible on both side views, but not the "front" view, probably hidden by the pelvis.

Basically, our problem is, they were not confident about operating to remove the stone. They seemed uneasy about anesthetizing him. So, we're looking for someone else to operate as soon as we can. We would like the UW vet school to do it, but they have weird hours, and won't be open till Tuesday, but I'm sure most other vets won't be either.

Does anyone know of any vets in the Middleton or Madison WI area that are experienced with surgery on pigs, or have done many successful stone removals? We'll be calling around today to see if we can find someone good. We did see Dr. Erickson at All-Pets for a general check up earlier this month for all of our pigs, but this problem was not apparent then. However, he said he ususally refers surgical stuff to the vet school.

Peppi is still urinating at the moment, but if he's no longer able to later, I'm worried we might have to take a gamble with the emergency vets....

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sun May 29, 2005 9:19 am


Did they at least prescribe bactrim for you? Good luck finding a great vet and getting the surgery done quickly.

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HappyBuds

Post   » Sun May 29, 2005 9:20 am


Talk to LadyVeg, she has a good vet near Madison. I'm in Milwaukee, so I won't be much help unless you want to drive all the way out here. Probably best to get established with someone closer to home, though. Good luck with your little guy.

capybara
Supporter in '13

Post   » Sun May 29, 2005 9:49 am


Thanks to both for your replies.

I forgot to mention, the vet prescribed Baytril. I tried to convince him to give us Bactrim because that's what I'm used to, but I think he was more familiar with Baytril and wanted to try it first.

We also asked for Metacam. He said he had never used it on GPs before, but we told him we had, so thankfully he gave it to us. Overall he seemed more knowledgeable than I expected, but I really wish all emergency vets would have an experienced exotics vet on staff.

The Baytril is 20mg/ml and they said to give 0.4 ml every 24 hrs. Peppi weighs about 1100 g. Does this sound right? Or do you all think we should switch to Bactrim? We do have a bottle; it's about 2 months old.

HappyBuds, I wouldn't mind driving out to Milwaukee if you would like to recommend your vet. I know stones can be dangerous, and if we can't find someone around here, I'd be happy to have other resources.

Thanks again, I appreciate it.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sun May 29, 2005 11:48 am


If it were me, I would switch to bactrim because I don't have much confidence in baytril and uri's. But this doesn't mean it won't help (and may vets turn to baytril). Your dose is 8mg or 7.3mg/kg. www.guinealynx.info/medications.html#baytril

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HappyBuds

Post   » Sun May 29, 2005 1:48 pm


I use Dr. Diane Bennetts at the Small Animal Hospital.

2340 N Newhall St., Milwaukee

(414)276-0701

She's a really nice lady who is very knowledgeable, I like her a lot. There are other members on here that use her as well. If I remember correctly, she recently operated on one of Snowflakey's pigs. (not 100% sure about that though)

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Serena
It started with Louie...

Post   » Sun May 29, 2005 2:35 pm


Yes, e-mail Ladyveg. She has a great vet right in Madison.

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snowflakey
E's Moriarity

Post   » Sun May 29, 2005 2:53 pm


She's operated on two of my pigs! She's great. But a vet in Madison would be more helpful. They have the vet school there, too. Ladyveg all the way - she can point you in the right direction.

capybara
Supporter in '13

Post   » Mon May 30, 2005 5:54 pm


Hi everyone,

I just contacted ladyveg reg. vets. For the time being we are looking into the UW vet school and Animal Hospital of Verona. Our old vet in PA recommended Dr. Paul-Murphy at UW, so when they open tomorrow we'll be giving them another call right away.

The good news is, Peppi isn't screaming or straining when he pees anymore, so I think the stone may have moved elsewhere in the bladder, not so close to the urethra. And hopefully the pain meds are helping.

The bad news is, even though we decided to switch to Bactrim because we're more comfortable with it, after 2 doses of Bactrim (plus the Baytril injection they originally gave him at the ER late on Sat. night) Peppi isn't eating as much as usual. He still wants all his veggies, but is eating much less pellets and hay. I think he might be intolerant to the antibiotic. I just remembered that when we first adopted him, he had a runny nose and our vet put him on Bactrim just in case he had a URI, and after a couple days he wasn't eating.

We just bought some critical care to supplement what he is eating.
He has only lost about 25 grams, but do you all think it's best to discontinue the medication so he can eat and be at his strongest before his surgery?

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snowflakey
E's Moriarity

Post   » Mon May 30, 2005 5:59 pm


How do his poops look? My pigs always get a little "off their feed" when they have antibiotics, but nothing really bad, and I give them probiotics to help them feel better. Depending on what you see, you'd need to decide what to do. If his poops look okay, and he's eating some (particularly eating favorite foods), I would probably continue with the antibiotic, but I would give him a probiotic 1 hour after each dose of the AB: either a poop or two from a healthy pig, or some acidophilus (I just mix the contents of a capsule with water and syringe it in). I would also hand-feed (read: force feed if Peppi is really off his food).

capybara
Supporter in '13

Post   » Mon May 30, 2005 6:14 pm


He isn't pooping as much as usual, but they look uniform, maybe just a little smaller.

We did buy acidophilus capsules from Walgreens (they're called Florajen) and have been sprinkling the powder on his veggies, but he really seems to hate how it tastes. We used to get acidophilus from our vet in PA, and I guess it was formulated for animals because all our pigs loved the taste of it when they were on antibiotics. We can try syringing it, though, that's a good idea.

We did syringe him Critical Care today, but only about 5 ccs so far, since he's still eating some stuff on his own. It's hard for me to tell if he just feels crummy from the stone or the Bactrim, but it seems like it's from the Bactrim. Maybe I should make him some "poop soup"...

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thundermuse

Post   » Mon May 30, 2005 6:20 pm


I take my pigs to Middleton Veterinary Hospital. Dr. Marcus Gordon is their exotics specialist. He graduated from the UW in 2002, and I've been impressed with him. I know he's experienced in operating on pigs, but I don't know if he has specific experience with stones. Luckily I've only had to see him for regular wellness checkups so far. You would have to call and see what his experience with this problem is. He's usually there on Tuesdays.

Middleton Veterinary Hospital
2705 W. Beltline Hwy.
Middleton, WI 53562
608-836-8561
www.middletonvet.petplace.com

The emergency vet they use for after hours care is:
Veterinary Emergency Service
1612 N. Highpoint Rd.
Middleton, WI 53562
608-831-1101

I've taken my dog to Veterinary Emergency Service and was happy with them, but I don't know if they are experienced with guinea pigs.

The UW Veterinary Teaching Hospital is also excellent. I've taken my dog there for his eye and back problems, and I had a friend who got excellent care there for his sugar glider. They will take in emergencies right away with a referral from your regular vet.

Hope this helps, and good luck. I live in Middleton, by the way. Welcome to the area!

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Mon May 30, 2005 8:11 pm


The not eating much may also be related to the stone.

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ladyveg

Post   » Mon May 30, 2005 8:21 pm


I thought I'd reply here in case someone does a search for Madison vets. Yes, I do use Dr. Erickson for my main routine pig needs, and he has done surgeries for me on pigs and rats, so I'm not sure why he said he refers surgeries away.

I use the Verona clinic for the dental stuff because they have specialists just for that. And the doc I saw there was fully knowledgeable about pigs, and open to suggestion (trusted me with Metacam AND asked the dose). I was impressed with them and would certainly ask if they would do that surgery. Great people.

I have not been to the University but have heard excellent things from adopters. I'd feel comfortable taking a pig there. It seems that people I know who have taken pigs there take them in with things like cancer and other complicated issues. I'm not sure of their setup.

Just FYI, on the near east side is Dr. Carla Christman of Healthy Pet. She's on East Wash near First Street. She has great interest and knowledge about the small furries. She has ferrets and she adopted two pigs from me years ago. Her partner isn't as comfortable with the pigs so she consults with Carla if she needs to.

Diane Bennetts in Milwaukee is excellent but I do hear that it can be hard to get in.

I have had some negative experiences related to me as well. I have had negative personal contacts and also anecdotes related to me about Citywide Vet Clinic. Maybe they have changed vets, but I have had several people email me with a sick pig that they took there and were only told that the pig needed more Vit. C. One adopter took the pig she adopted from me to them and said that she adopted him from guinea pig rescue, and the vet said, "Ohhh, you should breed him! Guinea pig babies are so cute!"

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snowflakey
E's Moriarity

Post   » Mon May 30, 2005 8:37 pm


ACK!

It sure sounds like the Madison area is well-fixed for pig vets. Good luck to Peppi.

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ladyveg

Post   » Mon May 30, 2005 8:39 pm


I should add that the reason I never tried the University is I was under the impression I could never afford it. I don't know if that's an assumption or what people have told me, but you might want to ask for an idea of how much it might cost. Because I know that the other clinics are reasonable.

capybara
Supporter in '13

Post   » Mon May 30, 2005 9:28 pm


Thanks so much thundermuse and ladyveg! It's really encouraging to know there are so many resources, and now I feel a lot more comfortable being new to the area with the pigs.

Regarding Dr. Erickson, I do remember him mentioning that he has done spays and neuters. I don't know why I thought he said he refers surgeries to UW. Maybe he was only talking about really complicated issues? I'll definitely call him first tomorrow, then, because I thought he was really great with my pigs.

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thundermuse

Post   » Mon May 30, 2005 9:30 pm


The UW is more expensive than regular vet clinics. It's been about the same as going to an emergency vet for me. It's also been my experience that it's harder to get an appointment and appointments take much longer because a student does a preliminary evaluation, then the doctor does an evaluation. I believe they provide excellent, top of the line care, and for me it's worth it. But I only use the UW if my regular vet cannot solve the problem and refers me to the UW. In fact, for some things, you NEED a referral first, otherwise the UW won't accept your pet as a patient. And it can be hard to get in. I had to wait almost 4 weeks to get my dog into Neurology. Of course, if it's an emergency, they will get you in ASAP. Your regular vet can often call and get you an earlier appointment as well.

I have also had negative experiences with Citywide Pet Clinic as far as guinea pigs go, although that was years ago. The owner of Citywide is a really good dog & cat holistic vet, but there other doctors there who see the non-holistic cases, and the quality of care varies by doctor. Most don't have specific exotics knowledge. I only take my dog to see the owner for his acupuncture treatments (in the hope of avoiding a $4000+ back surgery at the UW). I wouldn't take my pigs there, and my dog gets his routine care elsewhere.

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ladyveg

Post   » Mon May 30, 2005 9:52 pm


capybara, I was searching my memory to think of what he has done for me and/or my friend--I drive her rats to their appointments because she has to work. He has done spays and neuters for rats and pigs, he did two bladderstone removals on a male rat, eye removal on a pig, he's done various lumps and bumps, mammary tumors, abscesses. I can't think of any more right now. I suppose having the stone where it is might make it a more difficult surgery? I've known him for years and never doubted his capability based on my experiences with him, not that I'm any expert.

capybara
Supporter in '13

Post   » Tue May 31, 2005 10:21 pm


Peppi's surgery is at 9 am with Dr. Voss at the Animal Hospital of Verona tomorrow. Dr. Erickson saw his x-rays and said he'd like to refer us because of the positioning of the stone, even if it may have moved since then.

We called the vet school, and man, they really are expensive! They were estimating $250 for prelim exam + x-rays and then $600-$800 for the surgery! They also said they couldn't get him in till next week because they wanted to evaluate him, just like thundermuse said.

The vet at Verona said they use sevoflorane instead of isoflorane. I googled it (and asked the vet) and it's a similar but safer gas that allows faster recovery from the anasthesia. Has anyone else heard of sevoflorane before?

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