Pinniped's problems: random calcification (+ sludge, cysts)

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PooksiedAnimals
Supporting my GL Habit

Post   » Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:57 pm


Background - Pinni has had a variety of issues. She has sludgy tendencies. We've been watching her calcium intake and she gets occasional shilintong.

She was diagnosed with ovarian cysts in 2012, treated with hormones. Came back again in Dec 2013, treated again with Cystorelin. Cysts have shrunk again.

I could see that the cysts had shrunk, but she didn't gain back weight. She was grunting every so often, and seemed to need to pee all the time. Brought her into the vet a week ago. Vet found a stone in her urethra, and another floating around (in what appeared to be her digestive tract). Dr. Holmes removed the urethra stone, wanted us to come back in a week to try and figure out where that other stone really was.

We came back this week, and the stone still appeared near Pinni's backbone. Not at all where we'd think. Certainly isn't in Pinni's bladder. The calcification hasn't appeared to have moved at all, and appears to be the same side. Ultrasound confirmed that it's not in a kidney. We're due for a recheck in six weeks, unless something goes wrong with Pinni in the meantime.

Except for the occasional grunting (which I think is when she's pooing, or getting ready to poo) Pinni is her usual self. She's a bit on the light side than what I'd like, but she's eating on her own, and is maintaining her weight on her own. She's on tramadol, mostly from the stone removal, but she's still on it. The grunting is getting less frequent, and I'm hopeful to take her off the tramadol soon.

Anyone ever come across a random calcification that is not in the bladder or kidneys?

piggycosy

Post   » Mon Jan 20, 2014 1:44 am


I came across something about calcification which may be of interest to you, and wrote about it on this thread (as a guinea pig owner having dealt with similar problems): http://www.guinealynx.info/forums/viewtopic.php?t=69607

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PooksiedAnimals
Supporting my GL Habit

Post   » Wed Mar 19, 2014 2:08 pm


Pinniped did better through February, and was a little light, but otherwise alright when she went in for a recheck the first week in March. I had weened her off of the tramadol. Xrays showed that the calcification was still near her spine, but the vet said it looked like it was breaking up.

Last week she took a nose-dive on Wednesday. I had her back into the vet on Thursday: smelly pee, crying, hunched in the corner. I had figured UTI. Sure enough, the vet expressed bloody sludge from her bladder. So I've got her on Baytril, metacam and back on the tramadol.

Pinni made tremendous progress during the weekend. Pee stopped smelling, whimpering lessened, she gained nearly 60g. I stopped the metacam (I was only to give her three doses), and on Monday she started to nose-dive again. Called the vet, and she's back on full doses of everything. I'm hand feeding and trying to get more water into her as well.

She's unhappy. I think the whimpering has improved a little today, after two doses of metacam. I was hoping to see more of an improvement. I honestly figured, when we went in last week, I'd get the drugs, and it would all be taken care of. It's discouraging.

Not necessarily looking for advice. Mostly here to document, vent and ask that you send healing thoughts her way.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Wed Mar 19, 2014 3:23 pm


Hard when they need drugs but satisfying when they work. Hoping for the best.

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mmeadow
Supporter 2004-2017

Post   » Wed Mar 19, 2014 5:04 pm


Oh, Pinni, feel better soon!

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Delaine
Supporter in '14

Post   » Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:21 pm


I hope Pinni is feeling better very soon.

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PooksiedAnimals
Supporting my GL Habit

Post   » Fri Mar 21, 2014 3:29 pm


At what point should I worry about blockage? She's been peeing little bits all afternoon, although I'd like to see more, given her intake, I'm not surprised. However, I have seen her slowly graze all afternoon, and I fed her about 12cc of critical care at 1pm, and all I have is 4 poos. Every time she cries, she seems to pee, but I'm wondering if she's having problems pooing? I guess it's only 3:30pm... it takes about 4 hours for stuff to go through, right? I'd think I'd start to see the critical care making it's rounds soon? When do I worry that there's not enough poo?

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Fri Mar 21, 2014 3:36 pm


Stones make it painful for them to poop or pee.

I would think the metacam is slowing her digestive tract down, but not stopping it. I haven't re-read the whole thread, but did he give her any sort of motility drug along with the pain meds?

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PooksiedAnimals
Supporting my GL Habit

Post   » Fri Mar 21, 2014 6:36 pm


No motility drugs. I didn't know that about the metacam. I can see why the vet had wanted to use that as little as possible.

We have poo, though! They're small, but dark and not so crumbly as before. And she's eating more on her own. I'm crossing my fingers that this trend continues (she gained a whole ounce today).

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PooksiedAnimals
Supporting my GL Habit

Post   » Thu Apr 03, 2014 6:34 pm


We went back last week, put PInni on hydrochlorothiazide and subcues to try and get all of the sludge out of her bladder.

Pinni is driving me crazy. She gets better for one day, gains weight, looks good. Then she loses weight for two days. Then she gets better for a day, and the whole cycle starts again.

She wheeks and runs around the cage like nothing is wrong, yet has a constantly wet bum. She looks like she's eating hay and pellets all day, but she's losing weight. Her poos look healthy and she's peeing all over the place (which makes sense, given the subcues).

What the hell?

Awaiting a call back from the vet. I know she's as unhappy as I am about this whole thing.

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Delaine
Supporter in '14

Post   » Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:13 pm


It must be frustrating not to have answers. Black and white issues are much easier to deal with.

I quickly re-read the info so hope I didn't miss this. Did the calcification near her backbone totally break up? Has she had any more X-rays?

Please keep us posted.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:13 pm


Are you logging her food? Is it easy to look at dried urine for calcium deposits on the bedding/fleece? Sounds like you are weighing regularly. Are the changes significant? (an ounce or two might not indicate a problem - it's a pattern of loss you would worry about). Are there changes in behavior too? Signs of pain? I'm sorry you are having a difficult time with this.

gl/weigh.html

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PooksiedAnimals
Supporting my GL Habit

Post   » Thu Apr 03, 2014 9:28 pm


I'm weighing three times a day (each time she gets meds). She's at least 100g less than the minimum she should be, so any kind of a loss makes me unhappy. She feels so lightweight. She fluctuates between 790-830, and she should be, at a bare minimum, over 900g.

The calcium deposits have gotten fewer, which I'm taking as a good sign from all of the subcues. Originally she was leaving bloody calcium deposits. I think there's some blood still in her urine, but I'm seeing a lot less of it in the bedding.

When she's not flirting with me, and not acting normal, she's puffed up in the corner, and cries occasionally (I'm guessing it's when she pees, but not every time she pees.

The last xray showed the back calcification started to break up.

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PooksiedAnimals
Supporting my GL Habit

Post   » Fri Jul 11, 2014 9:17 am


Pinni's been pretty stable for the last month or so. She's still on the hydrochloralthiazide (which I can now spell and pronounce without looking at the bottle), as well as fluids. She's keeping her weight up in the 850-890 range, with occasional weigh-ins at over 900 (which causes happy dancing).

Fluids are becoming an issue. As she started to stabilize, I pulled the subcues to once a day, instead of twice a day. But now, she's fighting me even with the once a day, and seems to be in discomfort for several minutes afterwards. It's demoralizing.

I just went into the office yesterday to pick up more meds and fluids, and asked the vet about it. The goal is to keep up with the 30ml a day of fluids, and she said if I can syringe feed that into her, to skip the injections. She also said I could give her the lactated ringer's orally. Have you heard of doing this? I tried it last night, and Pinni took it quite eagerly. I had noticed that Cannoli loved licking off the extra that squeezed out of Pinni's injection site. I'll try plain water today and see how it goes - I might end up with a mix of the two, if it gets Pinni to drink it willingly.

I tried googling lactated ringer's orally, but didn't really find anything. My guess is giving her Pedialite would be similar?

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Jaycey
Supporter in 2014

Post   » Fri Jul 11, 2014 10:55 am


My sludge/stone piggy has extra fluid each day as I give him Potassium as a supplement.

He easily takes 30ml of water from a syringe if I add in a tiny bit of 100% fresh orange juice. He won't even take 2 syringes if it's just water.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Fri Jul 11, 2014 10:59 am


I hope giving oral fluids helps. Perhaps the lactated ringers is a little like giving pedialyte orally? Don't know enough to comment on giving it orally.

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Sat Jul 12, 2014 8:11 am


This is from Wikipedia:

"Ringers Lactate solution is grouped with intravenous fluids known as "crystalloids" – which include saline and dextrose solutions (compared to the "colloids" which contain larger molecules such as starch or gelatine)." (Emphasis mine.)

Here are the ingredients:
  • 130 mEq of sodium ion = 130 mmol/L
    109 mEq of chloride ion = 109 mmol/L
    28 mEq of lactate = 28 mmol/L
    4 mEq of potassium ion = 4 mmol/L
    3 mEq of calcium ion = 1.5 mmol/L
I see nothing in there that could not be ingested. If she likes it orally, I'd say go for it and if you can get as much (or more) into her than via subcue, you're not only ahead of the game, it's much less stress on her and on you.

I've not tasted it but I would think it would have a slightly sweet taste due to the lactate. (Bpatters, am I way off the mark here??) I'll taste it next time we have to use it.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sat Jul 12, 2014 9:03 am


And perhaps a slightly salty taste?

I guess we need a taste-tester :-)

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sat Jul 12, 2014 10:15 am


Like Lynx, I'd guess more salty than sweet. But googling the taste turns up a bunch of hits that say it doesn't taste good at all. Except, apparently, to PA's guinea pig!

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PooksiedAnimals
Supporting my GL Habit

Post   » Tue Nov 11, 2014 4:30 pm


Oral fluids had been working well, and Pinni had been on that for a while, along with the hydrochloralthiazide. But Pinni had been feeling poorly the last week or so. Extra fluids (subcues) worked, but then she lost weight and started bleeding on Sunday night. She went to the vet today.

Both the vet and I expected to xray her and see stones all over, or at least one farther down her bladder. Imagine our surprise. The weird calcification near her spine had split in half, and was much less dense, but still in about the same spot. Evidently the hydrochloralthiazide was working! But then an ultrasound revealed a mass in her bladder - even I could see it on the screen! It looked like a mountain right in the middle of the bladder! She also had fluid all around her organs. Dr Holmes says it's some kind of tumor, likely cancer.

So she's on baytril, which seems to help with her incontinence and reoccurring infections. We're swapping the tramadol for metacam, and we're sticking with the 60ml fluids twice a day (I'm giving 30 subcue, and 30 orally, which suits Pinni). And basically, I'm trying to make her comfortable for as long as I can, until the Schnoz doesn't feel up to nosing around any more. :-(

Added bonus for shocking news: Dr Holmes is leaving Windhover. I panicked until she confessed she's setting up her own practice along Rt 1 in Walpole - so same town, different spot. Whew! But things could be dicey getting care in between her leaving Windhover (in 2 weeks) and getting the new place operational (sounds like it will be a few weeks after that).

So - I could use good thoughts for Pinni, and I am hoping she'll take herself out quietly and pain free when the time comes like many of my other tumor-y pigs have done. But given the source is in her bladder, I suspect I'm going to have to be the one to help her along. I hope the metacam helps and she has some pain free days until that happens.

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