I adopted guinea pig three weeks ago. He was kept outside for the last months, in Iceland (!). The poor thing is thin. He is alert, cuddly and eats well, but he had a serious UTI. White sludge in cage. Got bactrim and meloxycam, 2 weeks later he started to pee blood. Weeks often when he poops and pees. Sludge was less in the bedding after these two weeks, but then suddently I noticed blood in his pee.
I have had him x-rayed 2 times (two visits to check stones) - but they don't see any stones on the x-rays. They see the sludge in the bladder.
Vet confirmed confirmed blood in the pee.
He started on Baytril today, the vet recommended that I would stop using Meloxicam as it can have negative affects on their health longterm (?).
Tonight he was weeking a lot when he was pooping, and now some of the poop is bloody. He is still alert and is eating, what can I do? :(
- I dissent.
Everything you describe screams bladder stones, although sludge can be painful to pass as well. Is this vet experienced in treating exotics like guinea pigs, rabbits, etc.?
What diet is your guinea pig on?
I will continue to give him Meloxicam, once per day (0,2 ml ((1.5 mg/ml)).
I'm supposed to give him Baytril two times per day (0,2 ml - Baytril 25mg/ml).
Is that sufficient dose? He is 1050 gr.
Sadly there aren't any exotic vets in Iceland but this clinic has been doing well with guinea pigs and rodents, have helped me with many issues before.
- You can quote me
Bladder sludge can cause almost as much trouble as outright stones, and can take a while to clear out. They can also become fully blocked (i.e., cannot urinate at all) with sludge, although it's far less likely than with a stone.
Keep a close eye on him. If he reaches a point where he cannot urinate at all, that is a 100% drop dead emergency, and he will need to see an emergency vet *immediately*.
Not trying to scare you; just advising to keep a close eye and ear out.
That said: 1) why is he on Baytril? Bactrim (sulfa trimeth) is usually the first go-to for urinary tract problems. It's easier on their systems and generally effective on urinary tract bacteria. Unless there's a known infection responsive to Baytril, I'd at least ask the vet about using Bactrim instead.
2) The best way to flush out sludge, at least nonsurgically, is for the piggie to get lots and lots of fluids. Does he drink well? Encourage him to drink as much as possible -- lots of wet greens; maybe offer more than one water bottle.
A children's electrolyte solution like Pedialyte can help hydrate and flush out sludge if he isn't a big drinker. We've offered ours unflavored Pedialyte by syringe and many pigs love it -- they'll take it readily by syringe.
The vet can also administer fluids subcutaneously for additional hydration/flushing. If it helps, you can learn to do it at home. It's a skill, but once learned it's not difficult.
Meloxicam can cause stomach ulceration -- but we've had pigs on it for extended periods of time (months at a time) with no difficulty. The vet may be erring on the side of caution, and that's fine but chronic pain is as debilitating for them as it is for us, and causes other issues as a consequence. I think you're wise to keep him on meloxicam. Do check out Lynx' IC link.
Again, bless you and thank you for helping him. All best wishes that the sludge starts to clear out and resolve. Please keep us posted.
Here's information about subcutaneous fluids that Becky contributed, with additional tips from Talishan:
He was on bactrim for 2 weeks, but then I noticed blood. The vet recommended to try Baytril instead.
On Friday the bleeding stopped and he stopped weeking, but today the bleeding started again.
Should I change to bactrim?
I own a foot bath massager which works great as a vibration pad, have used it on guinea pigs with bloat with good results over the years. Will try that!
Thank you <3
Also also, make sure he has plenty of play time and let him run around outside of his cage. My Pumpkin had suspected bladder sludge and we went about letting him out on a regular basis, and the movement from that alone was a huge help. You can do this in conjunction with a vibration pad, but both will definitely both lower the risk of bloat and will help prevent the sludge from forming huge crystals in his bladder, like Lynx said.
Also also also, what diet do you have him on? Has it changed since you adopted him, if you know what he was on before? Again, with Pumpkin, I noticed more gritty white deposits when we put him on a new pellet, but promptly switched him to a lower calcium pellet ASAP. After that, no issues except his occassional white deposit. Water with minerals can also play a part in this too, and getting a Brita filter pitcher can take out alot of minerals that can lead to sludge/stones. It's ALOT of experimenting and research, but believe me, it was well worth all the trouble of analyzing Pumpkin's diet to eliminate further risks for sludge. The pellet we put him on after his sludge diagnosis was Oxbow Timothy Pellets, and although he wasn't the biggest fan, he still ate them.
Just throwing all I can think of out there! I wish you luck. There's nothing worse than seeing our pigs in pain and going through rough times. But you're definitely putting in the work and I'm sure your little one is grateful for you!
I have been feeding him hay, cucumber, green paprika, small carrot and a little bit of this food every day:
https://www.versele-laga.com/en/gb/comp ... lete-cavia
Sadly we don't have the Oxbow food in Iceland - but we have this one, should I change? (Burgess Excel)
https://dyrabaer.is/en/product/burgess- ... -pig-food/
Do you give him very much cucumber?