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sgprescue
05-14-06, 03:10 pm
I have a group of 5 sows (all around 2 years old) living in a large cavy cage in my bedroom. They are fed on Oxbow cavy cuisine pellets, Oxbow orchard grass, meadow hay plus plenty of veg. About 3 weeks ago Silver started squeaking when going to the loo, an x-ray showed 3 small bladder stones, my vet did not operate at the time as he felt they were small enough for her to pass on her own so she was put on baytril and metacam. 1 week later her sister Diamond also developed bladder stones, again she was put on the same meds. They have both been back to the vets twice since and my vet was confident they had past their stones and felt the bladder was no longer inflamed. This afternoon they both started squeaking again when trying to go to the loo so I put them both back on Baytril and Metacam. This evening I found Silver really straining to go to the loo, she was in so much pain she had started to bite her genitals. I rushed her straight up to my vets who is doing an emergency op as I type. I came home and was about to clean their cage out when I noticed Polly (unrelated sow that lives with them) starting to look uncomfortable when going to the loo and she is a bit wet around the rear end. On feeling her bladder it also feels like she may have stones. I can't understand how 3 out of a group of 5 pigs have all developed bladder stones in such a short space of time. They have been on cavy cuisine and orchard grass for a long time, both are low in calcium and designed to prevent stones. When silver first had symptoms 3 weeks ago I omitted all calcium rich veg from their diet.
Can you help? Any suggestions are gratefully received.

Cheryl
Sprowston guinea pig rescue

WEAVER
05-14-06, 04:11 pm
Stones can be caused by several things. The main thing like you mentioned is a good diet and from the sounds of it you have that covered. The next thing would be their veggie intake and what veggies you are feeding. Are you familiar with the veggie chart on GL? Please give us a list of veggies you feed and how often. The last thing (and I had to learn this the hard way) is your water. Some area all depending where you live have hard tap water and that may cause stone formation. You may want to find out if your area has hard or soft tap water. If you have hard water I would change to bottled water (that is what I have had to do as well).

sgprescue
05-14-06, 04:19 pm
Thanks. Lynx just pointed me in the direction of the veggie chart. I had a look at the sample diet and to be honest it isnt too far different from what they have now. They get a fair bit of the fresh prepared salads from the supermarket which usually have things like endive, escarole, frisee, lambs lettuce etc. They also get herbs like parsley, corriander, mint and also occasionally celery, cucumber, melon, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli. I no longer give them spring greens, spinach or kale. We are however in a hard water area and the couple of bladder stone pigs I have had in the past have been put on bottled water, dont know why I didnt think of it this time. Well thats the first thing on my shopping list for tomorow now.

Cheryl

Percy's Mom
05-14-06, 04:22 pm
You might also want to ditch the parsley for cilantro instead. Parsley has more calcium.

sgprescue
05-14-06, 04:25 pm
They only get parsley once a week or so if that as I know its quite high in calcium, they do get the other veggies more frequently though.

sgprescue
05-14-06, 04:33 pm
I have just realised that Coriander and Cilantro are the same thing lol thats what comes of being in a different country I suppose ;)

Percy's Mom
05-14-06, 04:37 pm
My apologies, I totally skimmed over the coriander you had listed. I totally knew they were the same thing. And I seriously doubt that the parsley once a week is causing the problem.

sgprescue
05-14-06, 04:43 pm
No worries, until I googled it I had no idea it was the same thing :o That only leaves the water but it still seems very odd that 3 in the same cage should get it at once. I have 50 other pigs here at the moment, they are having a different diet but water from the same tap :confused:

WEAVER
05-14-06, 06:16 pm
Well that could also have to do with the amount of water they drink. I have heard that the more water they drink the more they go potty and therefore their bladder empties more often so stones have a harder time forming. Which really makes sence wen you think about it.

I am so sorry you have having to deal with all of this bad luck at one time. I would definetly change the water, at least for the pigs in your care over a long period of time. As I am sure you know they form with time and once a pig has them they are more proned to getting them again.

Do you bed on fleece? I imagine with fifty pigs that would be a heck of a lot of laundry, but it is easier to spot symptoms of them having a stone before they are actually in a whole lot of pain. Calcium deposits are visable on the fleece giving a warning of calcium sludge builing up in the bladder. Maybe for your personal pigs you could give it a try, especially if you have any with reoccuring issues.

Ly&Pigs
05-14-06, 09:17 pm
Have you seen this page? It's a sample diet for pigs with stone issues.
http://www.guinealynx.info/stones_diet.html

sgprescue
05-15-06, 03:02 am
Well that could also have to do with the amount of water they drink. I have heard that the more water they drink the more they go potty and therefore their bladder empties more often so stones have a harder time forming. Which really makes sence wen you think about it.

I am so sorry you have having to deal with all of this bad luck at one time. I would definetly change the water, at least for the pigs in your care over a long period of time. As I am sure you know they form with time and once a pig has them they are more proned to getting them again.

Do you bed on fleece? I imagine with fifty pigs that would be a heck of a lot of laundry, but it is easier to spot symptoms of them having a stone before they are actually in a whole lot of pain. Calcium deposits are visable on the fleece giving a warning of calcium sludge builing up in the bladder. Maybe for your personal pigs you could give it a try, especially if you have any with reoccuring issues.

I am not worried about the water intake for the moment as between the 5 of them they drink around 800 - 900ml of water per day. All the pigs here are bedded on Megazorb (much like the carefresh you get in america) so its easy to spot if any of them are passing blood. Its a good idea about the fleece, there is no way I could use it for all of the pigs but for these 5 especially I will probably switch over.
I could really have done without this this weekend. I have spent all weekend nursing a guinea pig belonging to my boss. She feeds an awful mixed food and last week I took him to my vet who removed one hell of a large stone from his bladder. When I got into work on Saturday he had not been eating, was passing a lot of blood and looked terrible so I rushed him back up to my vet then brought him home with me. Thanks to lots of meds, fluids and TLC he is well on the road to recovery but he is going to stay here with me for a while yet so I can make sure he is ok. I have changed his diet and got to try my best to make sure she sticks to it :melodrama

Cheryl
Sprowston guinea pig rescue

GEMMACOOPS
05-15-06, 03:30 am
Hi Cheryl,

Sorry to hear about you poorly pigs. Bet you got your hands full, I didnt live so far away I'd come and help you with the others.
Could it really be the water, it worries me because Im in a hard water area too.

Gemma

sgprescue
05-15-06, 06:40 am
Just a quick update for you. I have just come back from the vets. He opened her up last night and could find no stones atall, the bladder was very inflamed but fluid flushed through the Urethra without a problem. She is still very swolen, wet and sore down below. Diamond is still really wet and sore down below aswell. This is certainly no ordinary bladder infection, especially as the symptoms appeared so quickly yesterday (it was only mild squeaking yesterday afternoon but she was screaming in pain last night). Silver is currently being given Valium and I am sure he said he gave her dexadresen (sp?) which will help with the inflamation. They are keeping them both in for a couple of days and he said he will probably switch the antibiotics to ceporex. Polly is still on Baytril and Metacam but if she doesnt respond to them we will switch to a different one. My vet has no idea what this could be, they are normally very good and can sort most problems out :confused:

GEMMACOOPS
05-24-06, 03:10 am
How are your piggy's getting on?