Reoccurring bladder infections

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Post   » Sat Jan 21, 2006 7:19 pm

No problem about removing the cereal, we’ll just substitute that treat for something else. Probably more blueberries since he will only eat those if they are hand fed. I’ll try leaving the cranberries in the cage a few days, if I can find them now. They usually are only sold at holiday time around here.

I guess we’re lucky, because our Vet makes the pets nutritional needs a vital part of every visit. I have printed off the article clip Becky posted and will bring it with us on our next visit so she knows for the future that pigs shouldn’t be eating even small amounts of cereal. In the 12 years I’ve been going to her, she has been a huge part of all our animals diets and is more then willing to research, ask questions and learn from others.

I’m going shopping tomorrow so will pick up the suggested new greens to try him on. He wasn’t overly impressed with the reduced fruits and veggies tonight and has been whining non stop since dinner as if protesting. He’s never been a huge greens eater so it will take him a while to get used to. He’d much prefer his veggies, fruit and hay if he fully had his way.

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Post   » Tue Mar 14, 2006 6:47 pm

Chestnut just completed his 2nd month of pulse therapy with Nitrofurantoin on the 3rd of March and was doing great until Sunday night. I had him out for floor time and noticed a large puddle of pink pee. Nothing in his diet or cage has changed, so I have no clue what is happening now. He has been bleeding on and off since then. He still gets his daily dose of Metacam, still on towels changed twice daily etc.

This is the first flare-up since January. His weight hasn’t changed at all, still very active, and pee/poop are both normal (minus the blood of course)

The only food he gets now is cilantro, endive, leaf lettuce, tomato, 1 baby carrot, dandelion, green pepper, and blueberries – twice daily. He also still has unlimited Timothy pellets and Timothy hay. Still drinks a lot of water as well. Still can’t get him to eat or drink anything related to cranberries.

When the blood was noticed on Sunday, I immediately started the AB again, contacted his Vet Monday morning and was told to keep him on the AB for 5 days and to bring him in if he’s not improving after the 5 days – sooner if he gets worse.

I now have a nice hole in my wall from banging my head over and over again and a few more gray hairs.

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Post   » Tue Mar 14, 2006 10:04 pm

How discouraging. I imagine you'll be getting an xray? Do you have a digital scale that weighs in grams that you can use to calculate the Ca/Ph ratio using the excel calculator in the site?

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Post   » Tue Mar 14, 2006 10:37 pm

You bet he’ll be getting yet another xray, I have to rule out the possibility of another stone, though I’m really hoping that isn’t the case. At 3+ years old, I hate the thought of him having to go through another surgery, especially since he hasn’t 100% recovered from the first surgery and stint of infections.

Using the excel calculator, his food reads in as: Vit C 0.65, Cal 1.76, Phos 0.95 (CA:PH 1.87). His food is weighed out daily to be exact every time. I’m not sure if this is good or not, since I don’t fully understand how to read these ratings. The only thing I don’t weigh is his Timothy pellets and hay. Should I be as well?

This is the weight of his food, maybe someone can offer suggestions on anything that needs to be changed:
Cilantro 0.5g
Dandelion 0.5g
Leaf lettuce 0.5g
Endive 0.5g
Blueberries 0.2g
Green pepper 0.2g
Baby carrot 0.1g
Tomato 0.1g

Like I said, I don’t weigh his pellets or hay which he has unlimited of.

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Post   » Wed Mar 15, 2006 3:49 am

Hi Kallie,

Sorry to hear about the troubles with Chestnut, it is very frustating and can indeed result in more grey hairs (I know!!).

The amount of grams look strange to me? Are you sure you are talking grams? Say, for example, if I give my pigs 10 grams of green pepper, that piece is appr 1,5 inches big (square). 0.5 grams is nothing really. Try to reduce the ratio but not less than 1.33. Glad to see you have excluded certain veggies like spinach and parsley.

Also, have you stopped the apple juice???
I strongly suggest to stop that as have other people on this post. For fruit I would give banana, melon or peer, which they only get as a treat say once a week maybe (small piece).
I would also decrease the carrots to maybe every other day or less even.
Like Becky said, concentrate on the good greens (lettuces, endive) combined with say peppers or tomatoes or cilantro.

I have found out that certain veggies cause sludge with my Flatman. So it is a matter of trying things out.

I actually never read whether Chestnut is peeing sludge?

Also, did you read up on interstitial cystitis? My Snoop and Frenkie were diagnosed with it. I believe one of Becky's piggers suffers from it as well. Snoop and Frenkie (both female) have been on Cystaid for a couple of months, it helped Frenkie after say 1.5 months, but Snoop was still bleeding so now and then when she peed. She did not have any stones and was not in pain every time she peed pink. Kidneys were checked, they were fine. The vet then advised to continue with the Cystaid (to thickens the bladder lining) and to give Metacam for a week every time Snoop was peeing blood. So I did the Metacam thing twice since and Snoop has not peed any more blood for a couple of weeks now. It is very hard sometimes to find out what is wrong. With Snoop and Frenkie I have to make sure to reduce any stress due to their condition.

How much is Chestnut drinking on a daily basis?

Timothy pellets, I think they are ok but I think it is better to measure the amount instead of giving it unlimited. My pigs are not even on pellets.

Supporter in '13

Post   » Wed Mar 15, 2006 11:45 am

Have you considered using Polycitra? It has done wonders for Chester, who was diagnosed with interstitial cystitis. He has been on 0.1 cc twice daily for 3 months, and in that time has gained about 50 grams and kept it on, and has only had one mild episode with blood in his urine since we started it. Before, his weight constantly fluctuated. He's also very rarely in pain anymore when he pees.

It might be worth a try for Chesnut.

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Supporter in '14

Post   » Wed Mar 15, 2006 12:43 pm

I would consider going pelletless, I know Prangus did that because of one of her pigs with chronic bladder issues and it helped tremendously. I have pigs with bladder issues too and I have gone to KM's timothy pellets but only once every three days and not unlimited. It has helped. Expect though for a small amount of weight loss initially around 30-40 grams, but many of mine regained it later.

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Post   » Wed Mar 15, 2006 4:07 pm

Chestnut has an appointment tomorrow morning; I’m not waiting until Friday. He’ll get his x-ray and urine tests done again to hopefully figure out what is happening and what else we can do for him.

Trisha, I did stop the apple juice in January and as for the sludge, he would pee the odd time and there would be a bit of chalky sludge, which I was told was fine. He has irritable bladder syndrome – so basically anything even slight will set him off. It apparently is very similar to irritable bowel syndrome, where if the diet is even off the slightest bit it can flare up. But for Chestnut, it can be anything from a slight change in his diet, to stress, to god knows what. This is apparently genetics related, as well as his intolerance to the majority of medications that would normally help him.

He cries every time he goes to the bathroom still (since October 05) and it is only getting worse and louder as he gets older, even with the daily dose of Metacam. He drinks anywhere between 10-15 ounces of water a day, plus he gets some water from his deliberately wet veggies.

Capybara, I will ask his Vet tomorrow when we see her about the Polycitra and if she thinks he’ll tolerate it, or if it will even help him in this case.

Mkkayla, he has a bowl of pellets in his cage which holds approx a ½ cup of pellets max. He goes through the bowl every couple of days, he’s never eaten a full bowl – I normally have to dump the remainder out. We’ve tried removing the bowl and he protests by chewing on the bars and breaking his teeth, so it’s a choice between two evils now.

I will post more tomorrow when we get back from the Vet.

GP Lover
My home, ruled by pigs!

Post   » Wed Mar 15, 2006 4:23 pm

If there is no infection or stone please consider trying the chinese herb, Shilintong, for pain control.

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Post   » Thu Mar 16, 2006 4:25 am

Hey Kallie,

Good thing you stopped the apple juice. The chalky stuff is not bad indeed.
As you have ruled out suture infections and stones at the beginning of January you might be looking at IC. It is a pity the Metacam is not having much effect anymore.

I think you are doing the right thing, have another xray as it has been more than 2 months since the last one I believe?

Also, ask your vet for Cystaid (this will thicken the lining of the bladder and has helped my Frenkie and Snoop, although Snoop needed add help with Metacam when she has flare ups) and read up on Interstitial Cystitis on the internet. With IC you will not find any bacteria when you do an urine test so therefore AB’s will have no effect. It is usually diagnosed when all other bladder related problems are excluded.

You were talking about irritable bladder syndrome? Did the vet say this? Ask the vet about IC and see what he or she thinks.

10-15 ounces? I get a weird amount in milliliters when I convert the 10-15 ounces…but maybe I am doing it wrong ;-)
He should be drinking at least 50cc daily, at least (!)
My Flatman (stone pig) drinks about 20-30cc during the day, which is not a lot and then I orally syringe 50cc daily to make sure he is peeing out as much excess calcium as possible.
I also syringe Snoop (IC) as she is not a big drinker either. The more she pees out anything that can irritate her bladder lining the better. Frenkie (IC) is a waterholic so no need to give her more water by syringe.
And watch any stress factors. (I remember when Snoop had flare ups recently, builders were making a lot of noise (bulldozers) at the back of our house during the day. They are now gone and Snoop has been fine since....coicidence? maybe..maybe not)

I do not have experience with Polycitra, but Becky has.

Shillington: did not have effect with my Flatman back then so I stopped, but many others have experienced good results. Ask
GP lover for the website in case you wish to order some. I believe there is several “types” of Shillington (different ingredients).

Pellets: try to reduce slowly, don’t take away his bowl all at once. He will hardly notice the decrease this way. It is really worth a try.

It must be horrible to hear him cry so much, and believe me I know !! You feel so helpless. Good luck at the vets Kallie.

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Post   » Thu Mar 16, 2006 9:29 am

Info on shillington is on stones page (how to use, where to get).

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Post   » Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:17 pm

Well no stones, no infection – so who knows what’s happening. He’ll be on AB’s for at least 2 weeks as preventative and we’ve upped his Metacam slightly to help with his pain. Things haven’t improved much over the last couple days except he is whimpering a little less, so the Metacam must be helping.

We haven’t been getting much sleep as we are up most nights with him, making sure he’s comfy, extra fluids etc. I think I am beyond exhaustion at this point. All we can do at this point is make sure he gets his meds, stay with him as much as possible and make sure everything remains the same with his diet. As I said, even the slightest change makes a big difference for him.

He goes back next week for a follow-up, and the vet and I will discuss in detail the medications everyone has suggested. She didn’t want to change anything right away incase it aggravates him even more. She wants him a bit stronger and the pain/bleeding under control first.

Keep your fingers crossed.


Post   » Sat Mar 18, 2006 4:52 am

Is he just crying when he pees or is there blood present?

I had a pig with a old back injury that cried when he peed and pooped due to the pain from arching his back.

Did the vet check for arthritis in the back when looking at the xrays?

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Post   » Sat Mar 18, 2006 5:51 am

It’s both Pinta. He always cries when he goes to the bathroom, but the blood is the majority of the time now. Normally when he isn’t flaring up like this, it’s just the crying every time he either pees or poops. When he’s not voiding, he is perfectly fine, playful, very active, cuddley, and no whining.

He had 2 fully body extras done, and the Vet looked at them very closely for anything from possible stones, spots in his bones, curves in bones that shouldn’t be there compared to old x-rays etc. I suppose that’s the advantage of having so many of his old x-rays to compare with. At one point she was even measuring parts of the x-rays to make sure all bones were still the same thickness, same curves etc. Even physically checked all his muscles and stretched his legs to make sure nothing was tight or tender, including along his spine and neck.

Hopefully he will improve enough soon so we can try some of the other meds on him.

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Post   » Sat Mar 18, 2006 12:03 pm

If you've eliminated all other possibilites, (which, it seems you have) chances are it is IC. Chippy has had it now for over three years.

It does appear to happen when they pee or poop, but keep in mind, all of these functions take place in a very small area. Inflammation of the bladder due to thickening of the bladder affects all elimination.

Where the blood fits in, we haven't been able to discover. It just shows up periodically, I treat with metacam for a few days and it goes away.

I've never used Shilintong since the metacam seems to do the trick.

Also, other than crying when eliminating, is he acting perfectly normal? No weight loss? No lethargy? As strange as this sounds, I've gotten used to Chippy's symptoms. I've watched her happily running around the room, stop, cry, pee or poop, then go right back to her activity. In other words, it really doesn't seem to be interferring with her life for the most part. And she's old--turned 7 in February.

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Post   » Mon Mar 20, 2006 3:15 am

Did you ask your vet about IC and Cystaid?
(I give Snoop and Frenkie half a capsule daily, each).
It will not hurt your pigster. You can put in an empty syringe and add water and than shake until dissolved.
Bear in mind it will take a couple of weeks to take effect.

Other then that I can only recommended to continue the Metacam, the additional water, and keep him away from as much stress as possible.

Good luck!

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Post   » Wed May 10, 2006 3:45 am

On Sunday Chestnut stopped eating and drinking. We started hand feeding Sunday night & giving water and by Monday he was at the vets. We can’t figure out what is going on with him now. His tummy sounded gassy so he was put on 0.1ml of Cisapride 2 times daily to help get him eating and settle his tummy and his Metacam was doubled to 0.2ml. He ate his full dinner Monday night after his first dose. Tuesday morning he ate only half his breakfast, so I hand fed him before work. And my son came home at lunch to feed him. Didn’t eat much of his dinner last night either, so was hand fed 3 times before bedtime.

His teeth and bladder were checked and they seem fine. Nothing in his diet has changed and our other pig is fine, so I don’t think it is the food or a virus since they eat the same things and live in a large C&C cage with a divider. He has no other symptoms of being sick – no eye or nose discharge, no coughing, sneezing etc. His weight has dropped from 1127 down to 1050 despite hand feeding Critical Care 5+ times a day and giving lots of water. He’s to go back to the vets on Thursday if he isn’t showing any more improvements with eating on his own… sooner if he gets worse.

He still has quite a bit of energy for a little guy who isn’t eating much. Last night he was seen drinking from his water bottle and eating a little piece of hay on his own, which I am hoping is a good sign that things will turn around for him. Is there anything else I can get his vet to look for? We haven’t done blood work yet because she figured he’d bounce back with the Cisapride and hand feeding. He hasn’t been on his Nitrofurantoin for a couple of weeks either and doesn’t start that part of his AB therapy until the end of the month.

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Post   » Wed May 10, 2006 11:50 pm

Did they check his teeth?

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Post   » Thu May 11, 2006 3:53 am

Becky, his teeth were one of the first things checked. No spurs or anything different happening there. Nothing regarding his teeth, roots, bones etc showed up on his xray. He did manage to eat 2 full meals yesterday, plus got some Critical Care, so I'm hoping we're coming to the end of this mysterious problem. We'll see how today goes.

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Post   » Mon May 15, 2006 2:34 pm

We had Chestnut to the vets again this morning. He was doing so good with eating until last night. He ate approx half his dinner, and then this morning wouldn’t eat anything. He’s also been drinking a lot of water. Blood work was done and the results should be in tomorrow afternoon.

X-rays were done and we found out he has a rather large stone lodged in the tube from his left kidney to his bladder. Sorry I can’t remember what she said this tube was called.

She says he is most likely functioning on only 1 kidney and his not eating is most likely because of pain. She’s not sure if he can have surgery to remove the stone or not, so will be posting on her vet board to ask for advice.

My questions are:
1) What are the chances of a successful surgery with the stone lodged in this tube?

2) What are his chances of passing this stone into his bladder where it can be safely removed?

3) Will he ever recover or should be consider putting his to sleep now before his pain gets totally out of control?

Right now he is on 0.2ml of Metacam, 0.5ml of Vit C, and 0.1ml of Cisapride. Is there anything else I can do to make him comfortable or to help him, or even to get him eating regularly again? Like I said he is drinking a lot, is getting CC 5 times daily, we got his weight back up to 1027 grams. He seems to be pooping and peeing fine so far. We still leave his salad in his cage along with pellets and unlimited timothy hay. He seems quite lively for such a sick little boy.

Any help, info, suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated. I really don’t know what to do at this point.

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