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Thread: Possible UTI or Behavioral Issue?

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    Cavy Slave
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    Possible UTI or Behavioral Issue?

    My 3 year old female piggy, Ginny, has been acting odd yesterday and today and I wanted to get some opinions on what it could be. I've had her since she was very young, so I am very familiar with her sick signs vs her behavioral quirks.

    Starting yesterday she has been crying more than usual. She is very vocal, so anything that happens that she does not like will set her off whimpering and pouting, including her more dominant sister pushing her around.

    The past 24 hours or so her sister has been getting on her nerves, and Ginny has been crying more. Then, today I noticed she will go in her "pee corner" and whimper and she looks like she is straining to pee. However, I've noticed this behavior is typically done right after her sister has pushed her away from a hay rack, or pushed out of a snuggle spot.

    Ginny is eating and drinking normally. She is very active and attentive (comes when called, does her tricks, was popcorning this morning, lets me pet her and pick her up, etc...). Her poops are normal, and she does not seam to have any trouble with the act of pooping. So she is not showing signs of being sick (I know they are good at masking illness, but are quick to roll downhill)... But the fact that she looked like she was straining to pee has me a bit concerned. Our vet refuses to talk to us over the phone to give any advice or possible scenarios. So I always try to figure out possible issues before we go, so I know what to expect.

    I'm going to continue to monitor her today. If she continues to behave this way, I will take her to our vet right away. But I'm wondering if this could be a behavioral thing and not a medical thing?

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Possible UTI or Behavioral Issue?

    Urinary tract stones. I'd bet the farm on that, or a UTI. And it needs a quick vet visit. Some stones can fall down into the urethra and block it, creating a real medical emergency. If you're lucky, and if you've got a good vet, they may be able to manipulate the stone out.

    Nothing that looks like pain in a guinea pig is behavioral. Sounds like pain, maybe, if they're being annoyed, but whimpering and straining are medical issues, not behavioral.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Possible UTI or Behavioral Issue?

    Her pee is normal in color and no odd texture. If I'm holding her or if she has been in a comfortable position and she pees, she doesn't cry or strain. Only after she has been pushed around by her sister. That was why I was questioning the behavior.

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    Re: Possible UTI or Behavioral Issue?

    Went to the vet last night. Spent 2.5 hours there, had an x-ray and urine sample analyzed. They wanted to do blood work on her, but couldn't get enough blood to run the test. She did not have any stones, but there was "sludge" in her bladder. Sludge is a concentration of calcium that sits in the bladder and is uncomfortable to pee out. Its not a stone, but if left untreated it could block her urinary tract. They were also concerned about the color of her urine. It was super clear which the vet said, might indicate kidney or liver disease (or could be part of the sludge issue - hard to tell without a full panel of blood work). There was also a high red blood cell count in her pee, which is essentially blood in the urine, but its not showing up as a red color. So they want us to come back and have blood work done, especially if she does not improve on the antibiotics.

    In the meantime, Ginny can not eat anything with high values of calcium like kale (which she will be very sad about). She was given fluids at the vet and was sent home with Bactryl. We are to give her barley water and keep her super hydrated to help her pass the sludge.

    If the Bactryl does not help her in 10 days, the next step is to look at her kidneys and liver.

    In regards to my original question about Ginny's behavior (crying when she peed only after her sister pushed her around - not when she was in a comfortable situation): the vet said her sister aggravating her probably brought down her defense wall a bit. Therefor, the irritation when Ginny peed was magnified. So we were lucky and got an even earlier warning sign that something was up. If Ginny was not upset by her sister, she would have masked her discomfort longer, and we would have been in a much more dire situation.

    Ginny was a champ at the vet! I was so proud of her :) When we got home, all three of us were exhausted! Ginny's sister, Cheri, was very happy to have her home, and kept trying to groom Ginny. Poor Ginny, just wanted to sleep, and did not want to be touched. It was very upsetting for Cheri that Ginny did not want her attention - ah the drama of piggy life.

    This morning Ginny is pretty much back to her usual self. I am keeping a close eye on her, and will be seeing how she takes to the barley water later today.

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    Moderator foggycreekcavy's Avatar
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    Re: Possible UTI or Behavioral Issue?

    Bactryl? Do you mean Bactrim, or Baytril?

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    Cavy Slave Rywen's Avatar
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    Re: Possible UTI or Behavioral Issue?

    Barley water? I've never heard of it? I hope Ginny feels better and her sludge goes away!

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