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View Full Version : Urine Sporadic blood in urine - been to the vet 3 times!



jdallas2
11-01-12, 01:26 pm
I have a male guinea pig (Oats) that for a little over 6 months has blood in his urine. We've had him in to the vet several times now and each time they've determined it's a UTI and they give us anti-biotics (2 different kinds now, can't remember them offhand) which seems to help for a bit but then his urine goes back to having blood in it. However, it's sporadic. Sometimes his urine is perfectly clear, sometimes it's bright red. He's 1 1/2, so I'm hoping stones are not the case - the last time we had him to the vet for this issue they did X-ray and no stones were found. Urinalysis has been done and has shown presence of blood.


He has a girl (Hawley) for a cage mate that shows no symptoms.

Yes, they are Hawl and Oats. :)


They do have some calcium deposits (non-gritty) but we've adjusted their vegetables to feeding once a day with less calcium in them. Usually romaine/green leaf lettuce, broccoli slaw (small amounts of carrot and red cabbage) and green pepper. It hasn't made a difference yet but I'm hoping.


He has no discomfort, popcorns all the time and they have access to Kaytee hay 24/7 and LM Vit C fortified pellet. We're not supplementing their Vit C intake at this time other than veggies once in the morning.


He doesn't like his belly touched, but has been like that since he was a pup (we adopted him at about a month old when he was neutered). I occasionally palpate the area when I'm feeling quick enough to not get bit and things don't feel swollen or distended to me.


I feel terrible that he still has blood in his urine but am not sure what else to be trying and I don't want to run him to the vet every time I see it because he acts perfectly normal.


Help. :)

foggycreekcavy
11-01-12, 03:26 pm
It does sound like a stone, but the xray showed none? Did it show sludge?

jdallas2
11-01-12, 05:15 pm
I have a sneaking suspicion about sludge but the X-ray was clear... You can see the X-ray below... It was the very first time we took him to the vet for the issue.

You can access the online X-Ray here: https://www.antechimagingservices.com/mainsite/viewStudy.html?&optionalAuthentication=true&token=ee504a619d393a73faf43d5d704103a&orgUid=26678&patientID=17237A

At the time they said he was too young to have stones. When we first noticed the issue he was noticeably lethargic, but after the round of anti-biotics he never acted that way again. He now acts perfectly normal but still occasionally has the blood. It's not on any sort of cycle either as I've tried tracking it. He's had 3 rounds of antibiotics, it may be 2, I'd have to check. I'm drawing a blank right now. :)

MoesMom
12-10-12, 12:27 pm
Hi, I was wondering if there was any update on your piggie's condition... I have had 2 pigs with the same symptoms you described - Intermittent blood in urine, but acting fine and no other visible symptoms. The first pig was treated several times with antibiotics under the assumption that it was a UTI, but the blood always seemed to return after a few months. Once, I decided not to treat him and the blood went away on its own, which is when I decided it must be something else. I did notice a pattern that the bleeding seemed to be linked to certain foods high in vitamin C like red peppers, and when I would limit his treats to watery veggies like lettuce I never saw a problem... although I have no conclusive evidence of this. The vet said it might be stones, but at that point he was over 5 years old, and after the absence of blood in the urine for several months, he passed away from suspected lymphatic cancer.

My new guinea pig is almost 4 years old and has started showing the same symptoms of intermittent bleeding. I do have a vet appointment scheduled, but I am going to try feeding only lettuce as a treat in the mean time (it has a high water content and might help flush out whatever is bothering him). I will let you know what happens, but would appreciate an update if you found any other explanation for your piggie's condition.

ellisa
12-10-12, 12:37 pm
My new guinea pig is almost 4 years old and has started showing the same symptoms of intermittent bleeding. I do have a vet appointment scheduled, but I am going to try feeding only lettuce as a treat in the mean time (it has a high water content and might help flush out whatever is bothering him). I will let you know what happens, but would appreciate an update if you found any other explanation for your piggie's condition.

Hi MoesMom,
Is your new pig a male or female? A few months ago my female started to spot blood. After weeks of tests and antibiotics we decided for an exploratory spay since we had a good feeling it was coming from her reproductive system. Sure enough she had ovarian cysts. The strange thing is that she wasn't showing any other symptoms of cysts. Just something to think about if your new pig is a female and the blood isn't mixed with urine.

CourtArtanis
12-10-12, 12:45 pm
IS your vet an Exotic vet? (Guinea pig specialised)

MoesMom
12-10-12, 02:11 pm
Hi MoesMom,
Is your new pig a male or female? A few months ago my female started to spot blood. After weeks of tests and antibiotics we decided for an exploratory spay since we had a good feeling it was coming from her reproductive system. Sure enough she had ovarian cysts. The strange thing is that she wasn't showing any other symptoms of cysts. Just something to think about if your new pig is a female and the blood isn't mixed with urine.


My piggie is a male, so i can rule out ovarian cysts :( Also, the blood is mixed with urine, so I know it's coming from the bladder. I will have to see what the vet says - and yes, it is an Exotic vet, she only treats cats and small mammals.

couchon
12-10-12, 02:35 pm
Could it be internal cystitis?

http://www.guinealynx.info/records/viewtopic.php?t=21

Onetwo
12-10-12, 03:51 pm
I don't know if the OP is still around... But Romaine and broccoli are NOT low calcium foods. Is there are reason why you are reducing veggies? Have you checked the Ca content of the pellets? I've heard that Kleenmama's pellets have the lowest Ca rate for timothy pellets. You need to ensure the pellets have NO alfalfa in the ingredient list. No high Ca veggies or fruit and make sure they get TONS of water. Be sure to give them good quality low Ca hay as well no alfalfa or oat hays. Only grass hays like timothy, blue grass and such. You could also promote more water intake if you can feed fresh grass (build up to a larger amount slowly because it can cause gas at first) that would be a help in water intake as well. Also you can get your veggies really wet after you washed them and give them soaking wet to the piggy in the cage so they drink in some of that extra water! Might want to also consider why your piggy doesn't drink much either. You could try washing and refilling the bottle twice a day and/or getting a wider or smaller mouthed bottle. My piggies like the really really wide stemmed bottles so they can fit their whole bottom jaw inside the tube to push the ball berring...

jdallas2
12-10-12, 09:46 pm
Thanks for all of the thoughts and suggestions everyone. MoesMom, we just got done with our latest round of Baytril. His urine (in addition to the blood) was starting to smell unusually strong which was worrying. There was also an almost gel/mucous-like substance starting to form on his underbelly near his privates which also was not normal. The same mucous was found in his poops as well. This round of anti-biotics took care of the smell and the mucous but not the blood as I just saw some new blood as well.

The vet called me this morning to check in on Oats to see how he was doing and I let him know about the blood. He said he's had a case like this before where the pig just was pre-disposed to having trouble passing calcium and that it seemed in our pig it was the same case. He feels the blood is just due to small calcium pieces causing small abrasions as urine is passed and to continue reducing his calcium intake which we are doing. I'm just not sure how much further I can reduce it as I feel like we've already made huge changes.

The thing that is good (but drives me batty) is that he seems to act fine, no squeaking loud or any of that when he's peeing. The vet said it seems that if it doesn't seem to bother him then we should just see how it goes and keep a watch for new issues (like the smell).

The immediate issue is addressed but I'm still left with nothing definite to help. We are being careful as we don't want to reduce the calcium intake for our pig that seems to have no issues.

It's frustrating not knowing how to help and even though he doesn't squeak in pain it can't be comfortable! But he popcorns and runs around like normal so I'm just not sure what else to do.

ughhhhhh. :)

jdallas2
12-10-12, 09:50 pm
Also @Onetwo (http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/member.php?u=12773) , we did stop Romaine completely and the broccoli slaw pretty quickly after that post and are using only green/red leaf lettuce for their leafy greens. We also wash them off to add more water every day. I thought maybe switching them to just one feeding of veggies for a couple of weeks would help us see if maybe that was part of the issue but hasn't seemed to make a difference. My boyfriend tends to over feed them veggies in the morning before work as it is. :) And they get the occasional parsley even though that is high in calcium... they love the stuff so it is fed sparingly.

Both pigs put their entire mouths around the stems of the couple of water bottles so I think we're good there. They do drink pretty frequently on both levels of the cage.

Onetwo
12-10-12, 09:55 pm
Cilantro is equally as yummy and is much lower in calcium...

What about pellets and hay? I've heard the Kleenmama's pellets are the best and her blue grass hay is also the lowest in Ca...

jdallas2
12-10-12, 10:06 pm
We use LM pellets (.5%-1.5% calcium) and Kaytee hay (.25%-.75% calcium).

Cavy Treenie
12-10-12, 10:11 pm
Instead of it being a big costly problem, it could be as simple as what water you are giving him. I gave unfiltered water to my guinea pigs 2 of them were perfectly healthy and my other piggie Treenie has developed this problem too and has had it for a really long time. It was frustrating, but once we started using filtered water the blood disappeared practically overnight. I suggest using filtered water. If you try it, tell me how he is doing after a day or two please.

MoesMom
12-11-12, 01:08 pm
We use LM pellets (.5%-1.5% calcium) and Kaytee hay (.25%-.75% calcium).

I use Oxbow Cavy Cuisine pellets (.85% max calcium) and Oxbow Western Timothy Hay which also has a low calcium level... however there are several details that I am putting together with the help of this forum that might start to clear things up. I started buying Oxbow's Organic Barley Biscuits and Veggie Treats several years ago, right around the time my first piggie started with the intermittent bleeding in the urine. My current pig LOVES these treats and probably eats way too many. The 2nd ingredient listed is Alphalpha, so I bet they have a lot of calcium.

I also live in an area with a very high PH (around 7.8 or higher) in our tap water which is what I give to my piggies to drink. I wonder if the excess calcium/minerals in our drinking water are accumulating in his bladder and causing the abrasions and thus the bleeding.

For the last 2 days, I have not given any treats or veggies other than cucumber and romaine lettuce, and I have not seen any blood as of this morning. I think I might switch over to bottled water for the pigs for the next few months, and cut way back on any calcium-rich treats and see if I see any recurrence of the bleeding.

jdallas2
12-11-12, 01:29 pm
We have always given them filtered purified water out of the gallon jugs. Thanks so much for the suggestions, and please keep them coming. I know I'm trying to do the right thing but I feel just terrible I can't figure out how to help him!

Onetwo
12-11-12, 02:09 pm
I'm still not sure what LM pellets are? Also anything kaytee is junk and generally isn't recommended as quality food for guinea pigs.

Pellet recommendations here are Kleenmama's hayloft first for hay and pellets. They a tie between Oxbow and another one I can't remember the name of...

Those Ca levels seem high but I'm not sure. Here are some links to KM's hay and pellets....

KMS Hayloft, Grass Hays & Fortified Feeds From the Valleys of the Pacific Northwest (http://www.kmshayloft.com/pellets.html)

TIMOTHY CHOICE

"We are thrilled to announce the arrival of KM's Hayloft Timothy Choice pellets. This is a top quality, weed-free formulation of a fortified guinea pig pellet that has a timothy hay base instead of alfalfa. For those of you concerned with feeding a timothy based pellet, we think this is one of the highest quality pellets available. The calcium/phosphorus levels are right in line with the current literature in keeping with urinary tract health. We have also added whole wheat and barley for added fiber."

"We know that sometimes it can be worrisome to change your pets from another feed. We suggest that for the first couple weeks, you mix your old brand with this new pellet to limit any problems. We have found this feed to be highly digestible and also extremely well received by the animals!"




Crude Protein
(min)
14.00 %


Crude Fat
(min)
2.5 %


Crude Fiber
(min)
20.00 %


Crude Fiber
(max)
25.00 %


Vitamin A
(IU/LB)
13,640


Vitamin D-3
(ICU/LB)
455


Vitamin C
(MG/LB)
450


Calcium
(max/min)
.43/.41 %


Phosphorus
(min)
0.23 %



Ingredients: Timothy grass hay, oats, wheat, barley, soybean hulls, soy meal, Choline Chloride, stabilized Vitamin C, Vitamin A supplement,Vitamin E supplement, Manganese Oxide, Meniodine Bisulfate, dl-Methionine, Zinc Oxide, d-Calcium Pantothenate,Copper Sulfate, Niacin, d-Biotin supplement, Pyrideoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin D-3 supplement, Riboflavin supplement, Cobalt Sulfate, Vitamin B-12 supplement, Calcium Iodate, Cane molasses

REMINDER
Feed is perishable and should be stored out of direct sunlight in a clean, dry, well ventilated area so it will remain fresh and palatable. DO NOT feed moldy feed or any feed that has become infested with insects as it may cause illness or death.

Here's the hay info:

http://www.kmshayloft.com/hay.html#orchard

Oxbow:

Oxbow Animal Health | Essentials - Adult Guinea Pig Food (http://www.oxbowanimalhealth.com/products/animal/detail?object=1582)

Ingredients

Timothy Grass Meal, Soybean Hulls, Wheat Middlings, Soybean Meal, Cane Molasses, Sodium Bentonite, Soybean Oil, Salt, Lignin Sulfonate, Limestone, Yeast Culture (dehydrated), L-Ascorbyl-2-Monophosphate (Vitamin C), Vitamin E Supplement, Choline Chloride, Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, Copper Sulfate, Selenium Yeast, Vitamin A Supplement, Folic Acid, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Copper Proteinate, Riboflavin Supplement, Manganese Proteinate, Biotin, Manganous Oxide, Thiamine Mononitrate, Magnesium Sulfate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Cobalt Carbonate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Calcium Iodate
Guaranteed Analysis



Crude Protein (min) 14.00%
Crude Fat (min) 2.00%
Crude Fiber (min) 25.00%
Crude Fiber (max) 28.00%
Moisture (max) 10.00%
Calcium (min) 0.35%
Calcium (max) 0.85%
Phosphorus (min) 0.25%
Copper (min) 30 ppm
Vitamin A (min) 19,000 IU/kg
Ascorbic Acid (Vit C.) (min) 400 mg/kg
Vitamin D (min) 900 IU/kg
Vitamin E (min) 190 IU/kg






Plus here is an EXCELLENT guide on the different kinds of hay and their nutritional value according to what guinea pigs need:

http://www.guinealynx.info/hay_chart.html



But its not EXACTLY just about the Ca. Its also about the ratio of Ca (calcium) to P(Phosphorus) If the Ca and P are too close it causes issues. If the ca and p are too far it causes stones. So you can click on the top tabs on this chart you can sort it by any of those values. The hays that are in the blue and the orange are very bad for adult GPs. The hays in the light green are the ones that are probably the best for piggies with stones and sludge...


Hopefully that helps! But I swear by KM pellets and hay! Really its a fav among guinea pig people. The shipping sounds expensive but if you factor in the cost of time and gas to go to the store and get the smaller bags as well as the vet costs for the health consequences of the other pellets KM's is FAR cheaper. I buy a years supply for my 3-4 piggies and I dont have to think about when I need to get it again for 9-10 months! Hehe

MoesMom
12-11-12, 03:22 pm
Wow, I had never even heard of KMS Hayloft brand before, but it looks like the Calcium levels are about half of Oxbow's pellets and about 1/4 the level in the LM pellets. FYI - I used to feed the LM Animal Farms pellets (not sure if this is the brand that jDallas2 referenced earlier) but I realized that they were not Timothy based and actually had a high level of alfalfa and thus a calcium level MUCH too high for adult guinea pigs.

jDallas2 - you might want to switch pellets to another brand mentioned above if the LM Animal Farms pellets are the ones you are currently feeding.

I just stocked up on hay/pellets (I usually get the 9 lb. bale of Oxbow Timothy hay and the 10 lb. bag of Cavy Cuisine pellets from Drs. Foster & Smith website - $5.99 shipping!). But I may consider ordering some of the KMS stuff next time (their shipping IS expensive - almost $20!). I'm sure it's worth it if you buy in bulk.

MrWhistles
12-11-12, 03:28 pm
LM pellets is a very low quality pellet. Much like the pet store generic brand pellets.
LM Animal Farms™ Classic™ Guinea Pig Food, 10 lb. - 2186048 | Tractor Supply Company (http://www.tractorsupply.com/small-animal-food/lm-animal-farms-trade-classic-trade-guinea-pig-food-10-lb--2186048)

madelineelaine
12-11-12, 03:30 pm
I think you need to give more veggies. If you aren't giving a cup a day that's not necessarily healthy either.

If your pig is having a hard time passing sludge, maybe he needs more water? Is he drinking?

I would look at cutting pellets out completely, they often have a lot of calcium. Also, almost all herbs, including cilantro, can cause calcium deposits.

You need to be feeding both pigs some peppers for sure, for vitamin c. Staples should include leaf lettuce, pepper, carrot and tomato (IMO)

madelineelaine
12-11-12, 03:32 pm
EEK! Those are not very good pellets. And the alfalfa in them is certainly not good for bladder problems.

Has your vet looked at the kidneys? Perhaps the pig still has some sort of infection?

I'm not super experienced with that, but I do know how those systems work, and If the vet hasn't looked into the kidneys perhaps that's it?

Onetwo
12-11-12, 03:35 pm
MoesMom Shipping is generally 1/2 the cost of my purchase but by buying 50lbs of pellets they last me an entire year and I only pay $60 so that actually saves me almost $200 a year because the closest pet store is 60 miles away one way. Plus the 10lb bags of oxbow are around $16-18 so that is more than the cost what I spent not including the cost of gas and the time to go, buy and get back. Plus then I don't have to worry about getting it or running out for an entire year! I buy my hay in bales from a local farmer for really cheap. I spend about $12 a year for hay and I get 4 bales and the bales are 65lbs each If I were to buy KMs hay (which is not as good as KMs but prefered over oxbow hay) that same amount of hay would cost me about $300 a year. My biggest monthly expense for my guinea pigs is their veggies. Which I spend about $40 a month on 3-4 piggies, then laundry which is about $30 a month...

cavy_jdas
12-11-12, 03:53 pm
Pellet recommendations here are Kleenmama's hayloft first for hay and pellets. They a tie between Oxbow and another one I can't remember the name of...

Those other ones are Sweet Meadow Timothy Pellets.

It should be noted that the calcium source in Oxbow is different than that in KMS. Levels are comparable, but source is not. I believe that Oxbow and Sweet Meadow use same type of calcium.

cavy_jdas
12-11-12, 04:09 pm
In reading the various threads on Guinea Lynx, am I correct in understanding that the best management for interstitial cystitis is piroxicam for pain and inflammation (rather than metacam/meloxicam) and then simply additional water intake to keep the bladder flushed?

MoesMom
12-13-12, 10:18 am
In reading the various threads on Guinea Lynx, am I correct in understanding that the best management for interstitial cystitis is piroxicam for pain and inflammation (rather than metacam/meloxicam) and then simply additional water intake to keep the bladder flushed?

I don't know a whole lot about these 2 medications, however I know that both of them can present serious side effects and should only be used if absolutely necessary - if the guinea pig is in need of pain management. I have also heard that Piroxicam does have some kind of cancer-fighting properties, so I guess it would be the better choice if pain meds were needed.

Since my piggie (Moe) and jDallas2's Oats are not currently showing any signs of discomfort, I am comfortable just trying to decrease calcium levels and increase hydration levels with extra water/veggies as mentioned above to keep the bladder flushed.

I do have a crazy theory... after reading SO many posts in different forums about piggies with this problem, I would say that at least 95% of the piggies mentioned as having chronic bladder problems are Abyssinian. Both of the piggies that I've had with this problem were Abyssinians. I've had Short-haired and Rex piggies who never had any troubles like this. I wonder if there is some kind of genetic pre-disposition to bladder problems with this breed.

jdallas2
01-02-13, 12:48 pm
I had no idea our pellets were a low quality brand - ughhh!!! I'm going to be ordering KMS brand timothy pellets to see how they do with those! I'd like to do a hay/pellet combo although I just bought a bunch of hay... I'm looking at their website right now so if I see a difference I will be sure to report back. Here's hoping that it helps them...

Thank you to everyone who has put their thoughts on here... I really appreciate all of you!