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Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)

Urinary tract infections are common in guinea pigs. Their short legs put them low to the ground where they are more likely to pick up bacteria from wet bedding and droppings.

The most noticeable signs of a UTI are:
    dot Blood in urine
    dot Squeaking while peeing

DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSES
(other possible conditions)

    dot Pyometra
    dot Bladder stones
    dot Interstitial Cystitis
    dot Arthritis, spinal injury (pain peeing or passing droppings)
    dot Sperm plug obstruction in males

WHAT YOUR VET WILL DO

    dot Your vet will examine your guinea pig and palpate the lower abdomen.
    dot An x-ray (two views) may be taken to rule out bladder stones.
    dot Your vet will collect urine or drawn it directly from the bladder using a needle.
    dot If there is no visible blood, the urine can be tested for the presence of blood.
    dot A urine culture can help determine which antibiotics are most effective.

TREATMENT

UTIs are generally treated with a safe and effective antibiotic like Bactrim (trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole) for two or more weeks. Many guinea pigs require longer treatment to clear up the infection and allow the bladder walls time to heal. Call your vet immediately if bleeding recurs after antibiotics are stopped. If your vet did not take an x-ray and the original signs you observed are still present while on antibiotics, be sure to have an x-ray taken immediately. Up

PREVENTION

Your goal is to keep your guinea pig as dry as possible to prevent infection.

    dot Keeping the butt hairs of a long haired cavy trimmed may help.
    dot Change bedding more frequently, especially areas that are wet (spot clean).
    dot Look into polyester fabrics which reportedly allow the urine to drain through but stay dry.
    dot Some people use a safe plastic grid flooring like Envirotiles (different from wire flooring) to keep the guinea pig from direct contact with urine. Up

CRANBERRY JUICE

If your guinea pig has recurrent UTIs, try offering plain unsweetened diluted cranberry juice. Antibiotics are required to cure a UTI but cranberry juice may interfere with its development, cutting the incidence of UTIs in half.

Use only unsweetened, natural cranberry juice. Syringe feed or place in water bottle. Change bottle containing juice at least daily and preferably twice a day. Plain unsweetened cranberry juice is quite strong and bitter in taste. Dilute with water. Do not use human cranberry drinks sweetened with sugar, apple juice, or other juices.

Check your local health food stores for this product.

Blood in urine:

Urine sometimes changes to an orange color on standing (this may be the oxidation of porphyrins in the urine). When your guinea pig has blood in its urine, it will appear red or pinkish (if diluted). Blood dries a brownish color.Up

Guinea Pigs are for Life

MEDICAL REFERENCE

    dot Anorexia
    dot Bladder Stones
    dot Cheilitis
    dot Diabetes (LINK)
    dot Diarrhea
    dot Eyes
    dot Feet
    dot Fungus
    dot Hair Loss
    dot Heart
    dot Impaction
    dot Lumps
    dot Parasites
    dot Physiologic Norms
    dot Reproduction
    dot Scurvy
    dot Teeth
    dot URI
    dot Urine Scald
    dot UTI
 

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