Ongoing bladder problems-advice?

capybara
Supporter in '13

Post   » Fri Nov 11, 2005 2:19 am


Lately two of our pigs are having ongoing spells of sludge and/or UTIs.
With Mims it is very infrequent. Becky's diet has helped a lot since we started it for him a year ago. We also syringe feed water.

All the pigs get the same veggies, and we've been syringing Chester extra water as well, but it seems to be really hard to get rid of his bladder troubles.

We adopted Chester in Feb. of this year and he's had occassional problems with sludge the whole time we've had him. About once every month or two, he'll have a day with gritty urine, sometimes with blood, or squealing when he pees. My husband took him to the vet on Tuesday. A urinalysis was done and a UTI was indicated. Our vet prescribed Baytril. We have given him Bactrim before for suspected UTI, and it would clear up his problems for a while, but a few weeks later they'd flare up again.

The Baytril is in 23 mg tablets which we're supposed to break in half and give him ever 12 hrs. We've been grinding them into a powder and mixing it with water and a little liquid vit. c, which he likes the taste of. The problem is, this method isn't allowing us to tell exactly how much he's getting. Sometimes powder is left stuck to the edge of the dish we mix it in...it just doesn't seem very accurate. When people make a suspension in pina colada mix, how is it done, and how do you know if the proper amount of meds are getting into the pig? (IMO, Bactrim is much easier to give. We may try to talk him into switching Chester to that)

Chester weighs about 930 grams, by the way. Does the dose seem ok? Or too high?

Also, can anyone direct me to an exact place to get Polycitra? Our vet is kind of weird about prescribing it and all I can find over the counter is a carbonated form.

Any other advice on how to stop recurring UTIs or sludge would be much appreciated! This is very frustrating! It seems like a lot of people have trouble dealing with it.

pinta

Post   » Fri Nov 11, 2005 4:43 am


Just cut the pills in half with a pill cutter(available at your local pharnacy) and shove the pill section to the back molars. If you're nervous about doing it (go in at the side of the mouth) use tweezers.

The dose is the same my pigs get. It's the high end of what's allowable but it's okay. My pills are 50mg and I quarter them.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Fri Nov 11, 2005 8:50 am


For the polycitra, do a Google search and see if you can find a way to get it OTC.

Personally, I like bactrim better for urinary issues. Be sure to monitor weight so you know if the baytril is not being well-tolerated. www.guinealynx.info/antibiotic_advice.html

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amyjane

Post   » Fri Nov 11, 2005 11:03 am


Polycitra is a potassium citrate solution. You might try searching for that instead of Polycitra (more of a brand name).

You might suggest that your vet log onto VIN. Several vets on there use it and could reassure him. It's fairly inexpensive at pharmacies, but mine had to special order it for me.

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Becky

Post   » Fri Nov 11, 2005 7:22 pm


Personally, I'd start giving hydration subcues at least three times a week. I know you're syringing water, but with bad sludge, I think subcues are more effective.

By all means, try to start the polycitra, but keep in mind, it's not a quick fix.

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ladyveg

Post   » Fri Nov 11, 2005 10:37 pm


I had wondered if syringing the water just caused them to hit the bottle less, so to speak. I don't have much experience with this problem, but I have experience with the vet you're talking about, and he definitely has his own ideas about meds that people here have found to be helpful (the meds, not the ideas). I like him a lot, but have been running into that roadblock more often with him lately. Good luck finding the polycitra.

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Becky

Post   » Sat Nov 12, 2005 12:33 am


You know, we don't know if the polycitra actually helps. The standard argument is that guinea pigs' urine already is alkaline. Since the primary purpose of polycitra is to make the urine more alkaline, conventional "wisdom" says it won't help.

However, since UTI's actually make the urine more acidic, in my untrained, scientifically flawed brain, it seems like it's worth trying.

As my vet said before finally giving in and Rx'ing it for me, "It can't hurt, so let's give it a try."

pinta

Post   » Sat Nov 12, 2005 1:31 am


I firmly believe it helped my pig who couldn't metabolize calcium at all. Her bladder was so full of sludge it was like cement. The vet went in expecting to remove a huge stone and only found sludge.

The only meds she was on along with a "no" calcium diet, was potassium citrate and a daily dose of Baytril to prevent infections from the sludge irritating her bladder wall and urethrea.

She went from a constantly hunched pig to a pig that just cried when she peed. She had another 6 months of life we didn't think she'd get.

Since it was impossible to completely cut out calcium, the potassium citrate was our only weapon against sludge.

capybara
Supporter in '13

Post   » Sat Nov 12, 2005 1:10 pm


Thanks for the advice, everyone.

Becky, we have been thinking about having our vet show us how to do subcues for Chester. The only question I have is, he told us when he did the urinalysis on Tuesday that his urine seemed diluted, which he thought meant Chester was drinking plenty of water. Would the subcues still be helpful if he is drinking enough to dilute the urine?

And ladyveg, I've honestly never been able to tell if syringing water affects how much they choose to drink from their bottles. Mims seems like he actually gets inspired to drink more, but I haven't noticed a difference in what Chester drinks. Hopefully it helps somehow.

So does irritation from sludge cause UTIs or is it the other way around? It just seems like a vicious cycle.

Thanks again.

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ladyveg

Post   » Sat Nov 12, 2005 2:03 pm


capybara, I understand why you do the syringing thing. At least that way you know they're getting a certain baseline amount. I know how you take care of these guys and you're so conscientious. It's too bad you're dealing with this with two pigs.

I don't know if this info helps any, but I just remembered what Jason and I told you when we pigsat and had them on towels, that we thought their pee smells really strange. It's not that it seems concentrated, it's a different smell altogether. I imagine that's related to this.

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Becky

Post   » Sat Nov 12, 2005 4:32 pm


I'm sure the techs or someone else can comment, but I thought dilute urine means the kidneys aren't working properly.

capybara
Supporter in '13

Post   » Sat Nov 12, 2005 4:48 pm


Uh oh, that doesn't sound good. I'm anxious to hear if anyone can tell me more about that. Chester also has a congenital heart murmur from a tiny hole in his heart. (We had an ultrasound done) I wonder if any of these other problems could be due to just plain bad genes?

GP Lover
My home, ruled by pigs!

Post   » Sat Nov 12, 2005 9:07 pm


Kidneys either concentrate or dilute urine. Your vet was right...dilute urine means the water he's drinking is probably sufficient. I can't tell you if the subcues would help or not. I believe the more water he gets, the better it would be to flush out the bladder.

capybara
Supporter in '13

Post   » Mon Nov 14, 2005 3:34 am


Well, last night I noticed Chester had yucky looking poops. They were very soft and greenish, misshapen, and some were really tiny. There had also been a little blood in his urine earlier in the day, and this was after being on the Baytril twice a day since Wednesday.

Since I was so concerned about the weird looking poop, and the fact that he hadn't shown any improvement, I decided we should switch him to Bactrim. Didn't like the idea of doing it without the vet's input, but of course no one is in on Sundays. I thought rather than risking bad GI upset or stopping the antibiotics completely, we'd try Bactrim until we can talk to the vet. The poops are still a little soft today, but larger, and formed into pellets--much closer to normal.

I've been thinking of taking Chester, and possibly Mims, since they seem to be the biggest "problem pigs" to the UW vet school. I remember their schedule seems a little harder to work with, and their prices seemed kind of high, but I heard they're supposed to be pretty good. Has anyone here in the Madison WI area actually used them before?

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Mon Nov 14, 2005 8:57 am


The yucky poops you saw are most likely cacael droppings. They're soft, stinky and can be green. They're reingested by the guinea pig. There are various reasons you might see them, one is eating too many rich foods and producing more cacael pellets than he can or cares to eat.

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Amy0204
We miss our sweet Oreo

Post   » Mon Nov 14, 2005 9:01 am


Lynx, what qualifies as a rich food?

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Mon Nov 14, 2005 9:11 am


I would say alfalfa pellets and not eating much grass hay.

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ladyveg

Post   » Mon Nov 14, 2005 10:33 am


capybara, I've used them, and they're great--and yes, expensive too! But since they're a teaching hospital, the way I understand it is that they'll only take an animal on if the animal's regular vet sends a referral. They want teaching cases. Your guys could qualify, I'd think, because of the chronic problems, but I'm almost positive that Dr. Erickson would have to refer them. Please let me know if that isn't the case!

capybara
Supporter in '13

Post   » Mon Nov 14, 2005 12:17 pm


Chester's poops weren't quite as green as cacael droppings. I'm pretty sure they weren't, anyway, and they were tiny tiny poops. They were just lighter in color than normal, and soft. Peppi actually has left some of his cacael pellets lying around before, and did it recently. They looked different than what we saw with Chester. Thanks for the info, though, Lynx, I didn't know why Peppi was leaving those behind and not eating all of them. They don't get any alfalfa anything and eat plenty of timothy hay. Could he be eating too many pellets? We only give a couple tablespoons a day and he acts like he's getting veggies when we put them in his cage. He's nuts for them!

Oops, and I forgot: ladyveg, our old vet had recommended one of the vets at the UW school, so when we first moved here we called them directly to make an appointment. They were ready to take us, but their hours were inconvenient for us so we decided to take them to Dr. E instead. Could they have changed their policy since then? Or was I just lucky to get through somehow? I'll let you know what happens.

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Becky

Post   » Mon Nov 14, 2005 10:30 pm


Sounds like it could be an overgrowth of yeast.

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