Widget - another stone pig?

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TwoWhitePiggies

Post   » Sat Jan 19, 2008 3:43 am


I mentioned in passing on another thread that Widget peed out two goodly sized stones last week. The amazing thing is that he had shown almost no signs that anything was wrong. No bleeding. No sludge.

It wasn't until the day I found the two stones in the cage that I realized I had indeed noticed that the day before, he was drinking more water than usual, and was not as interested in pellets, but I didn't associate it with a problem.

But that's all the warning I got. One day.

The day after he passed the stones it was time for his weigh-in, and he did lose two ounces, but when a pig weighs 3 lbs 2 1/2 oz normally, this is hard to see. (I can usually spot a two-ounce weight loss on our smaller pigs.)

This morning he piddled a slightly bloody urine (such a small spot, I wouldn't have noticed if his fleece were any color but white). I took him to the vet, and she x-rayed him. He has one stone left, the same size as the two he already passed.

He's drinking like water is going out of style, and his eating is fine. He's active and doesn't seem to be in pain. He's still on TMS, which we started after he passed the first two stones.

I'm thinking if he doesn't pass this one within a week, I'll contact K-state and see what they think. I just HATE the idea of putting another pig through stone surgery. HATE it.

What's baffling me is that Widget drinks between 1/2 and 2/3 of a big bottle of water a day. I have to have two bottles in his cage because he will occasionally finish one off in a day. I have to change his towels every other day to keep him dry because he's such a serious urinator. How on earth did anything sit in there long enough to turn into a stone, much less three of them? Could they have been kidney stones that just ended up in the bladder?

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JaneDoe

Post   » Sat Jan 19, 2008 3:48 am


Man, I can't help, but am sending best wishes.

TwoWhitePiggies

Post   » Sat Jan 19, 2008 4:26 am


Thanks for the good wishes. I think Widget is preparing for something. He just drank 3 oz of water in one gulping session, ate a pellet, and drank another oz.

I hope the stone fairy leaves a stone under his cuddle cup tonight.

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Topaz

Post   » Sat Jan 19, 2008 8:14 am


I'm sending "stone-passing" thoughts your way TWP!

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sef1268

Post   » Sat Jan 19, 2008 10:04 am


Zachary has always been a big drinker, too, and has always had two bottles in his cage because of it (he lives by himself). Yet, stones. LOTS of them. Makes no sense to me at all when, like you said, it seems the kidneys would be flushing this stuff out.

I'll be glad when that report from UC Davis comes out. Not that I think it'll yield some miracle cure that will end stones forever, but *maybe* it can shed a little more light on what's causing these damn things.

Sending good, hopeful thoughts your way.

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Mum
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Sat Jan 19, 2008 10:48 am


Wow, TWP, you must have the Stone God living in your house - poor little Widget.

Did you happen to read Pinta's post on Actigall

http://www.guinealynx.info/forums/viewtopic.php?p=1235538#1235538

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Zoe

Post   » Sat Jan 19, 2008 11:07 am


Imagine how bad it would be if they weren't big drinkers.

I'm taking my stone pig Serena in today. She is also a member of the stone pig club. She isn't a big drinker and I've done zillions of subcues.

Good luck Widget

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sat Jan 19, 2008 11:09 am


I am beginning to wonder if all guinea pigs are genetically predisposed to developing stones and there is not a damn thing we can do about it. I feel so badly for everyone who has to deal with this. I also suspect if thorough necropsies were done on every single middle to older aged pig, we would discover more stones than currently suspected.

I wish I knew more. I wish I knew how to stop them and we could tell the world.

Ledasmom

Post   » Sat Jan 19, 2008 11:36 am


Would it be possible to start a sticky thread with stone pig histories - episodes, whether the stone passed, surgeries and so forth? There seem to be so many stone pigs, I wonder if might be useful to have the information where it can be looked up easily.

TwoWhitePiggies

Post   » Sat Jan 19, 2008 11:39 am


My local vet said this yesterday:

"I'm beginning to wonder if lots of pigs develop stones and just quietly pass them and we never find them in the cage or they don't survive them and we just never know why the guinea pig died."

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Mum
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Sat Jan 19, 2008 11:42 am


A good reason for getting pigs necropsied. If everybody did this, we'd know a lot more.

TwoWhitePiggies

Post   » Sat Jan 19, 2008 11:45 am


In our home, the magic number is two. Sullivan was just shy of two years old when he developed his first stone. Gilbert was two. Tom was two when he passed his stone. Widget is just shy of two.

There must be some magic hormonal transformation that makes guinea pigs susceptible to producing them right around that time.

No passed stone in the cage yet - but Widget is drinking and happy and perky, so that's good at least.

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Amy0204
We miss our sweet Oreo

Post   » Sat Jan 19, 2008 12:13 pm


Is it possible there's something in the water that's causing this? It just seems unusual that they drink so much of it, then develop the stones.

TwoWhitePiggies

Post   » Sat Jan 19, 2008 12:49 pm


Jim went to our local water treatment plant and talked with them. I can't remember the unit of measurement they use, but from what I remember, drinking water is allowed to have up to 200 parts per (?) calcium in it, and ours only has 20 parts per (?). We would be in serious trouble if we were on well water around here, because our ground has so much limestone, and many humans who drink well water around here develop bone spurs.

I am going to call K-State on Tuesday and see about having our water analyzed, though.

I am also wondering about geographically mapping locations of pigs that develop stones. Maybe all of the ones here in Kansas originated from a 4-H litter years ago, whereas the guinea pigs in Wyoming are a heartier bunch.

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Bugs Mom

Post   » Sat Jan 19, 2008 1:00 pm


I've been reading the various postings on this and it seems to be a really heartbreaking problem. I don't know if my info helps or clouds the issue but:

5 1/2 year intact female. X-rays and ultrasounds taken at UC Davis as well as her vets a few months ago show no signs of either sludge or stones. She stopped drinking water after her 4th birthday and gets her hydration from lettuce etc. When she did still drink she got Brita filtered water.

I wonder why some don't seem to develop this problem.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sat Jan 19, 2008 2:34 pm


Excess calcium seems to be normally excreted through urine, not passed through the droppings. There is something that encourages the stones to form, the calcium to join together instead of allowing it to pass like a milky liquid. Seems some pigs have sludge which are larger particles. If we could just keep the calcium suspended and it never precipitated out, the pigs would not form stones. I think this is the theory on giving lots of fluids, giving subcutaneous fluids. Diluting things and flushing them away.

Hydrohoki

Post   » Sat Jan 19, 2008 2:43 pm


I'd be interested for those who have the full water tests of the water they give their pig (tap water for most or the water after britta) in compiling the results. I can look at trends in the water composition as a function of stone pigs and non stone pigs. I'd need about 3 of each minimum though (preferable more). People who have well water should have this information.

If this data is available there are lots of things I can look at as to why the calcium might be precipitating (saturation indices, mineral precipitation, etc). No guarantee I'll find anything, but this is the kind of stuff I do at work all the time (ie, why is iron precipitating here and not there sort of stuff).

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sat Jan 19, 2008 2:55 pm


Water alone cannot explain it. Really. I think the genetic component (how guinea pigs insides work) that causes this to happen. There are pigs drinking calcium free water that develop stones.

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sef1268

Post   » Sat Jan 19, 2008 3:21 pm


I tend to agree with Lynx, I think there is a strong genetic component to all of this. Has to be. All three of our "stone" pigs - Sebastian, Zachary and Sidney - were from our local pet store, back before we started adopting. They *could* have a genetic link; impossible to know for sure. It just seems strange that *so far* (and knocking wood) they are the only ones to develop stones.

It's why I'm considering taking a couple of our non-pet store pigs in for x-rays, just to see if they are forming stones, too. If not, it make a stronger case for genetics vs. environment where my guys are concerned.

Hydrohoki -- I have our latest water quality report, as well as the one from last year. Would you want me to email one or both to you on Monday to see if you spot anything unusual? We use a Brita filter on our tap.

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Mum
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Sat Jan 19, 2008 3:48 pm


All three of our "stone" pigs - Sebastian, Zachary and Sidney - were from our local pet store, back before we started adopting.
Probably from the same breeder, therefore a strong likelihood of a genetic issue.

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