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Thread: Red Urine?

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    Red Urine?

    Greetings everyone. One of my Guinea pigs seems to have an issue with urination. About two weeks ago I noticed that she has been urinating red/pinkish colors. The first time it happened, I fed her carrots and soon after she urinated red. I then stopped feeding her carrots and the red stopped. Then about a week about, I decided to treat them to carrots again and the same thing happened. Today, I ended up feeding them carrots and she urinated bright red. Their dinner today was: romaine lettuce, parsley, a little bit of a carrot, a small amount eggplant skin, and about an inch of a piece of peach as a treat. When she finished her meal, she urinatard red, once again. I am afraid that this may be a UTI or worse. This issue only happens after eating her meal(especially the carrots). I figured that perhaps it is the porphyrins from the vegetables. I cannot be sure. I want to make sure this is blood before taking her in due to transportation issues and well as I don't want to waste a vet visit. I fed her vegetables about 6 hours ago and every urination since then has been red. The red color gets lighter each time and at this point, there is only a subtle color of pink(barely noticeable). She is not lethargic or in any pain. She still eats away like a lawn mower and has not had any symptoms of any kind since I first noticed the red urine two weeks ago. I've checked for sludge and grittiness, there is none. I also checked her bottom and it is clean with no signs of blood. I have them on white fleece to easily spot abnormalities. She is seven months old.
    Note: In the first two photos,there was a red spot in her pink urine which I inspected with a stick. It was gooey. When placed on a napkin, it would leave a red trail whenever I moved it.
    -In some pictures(which may be difficult to see), there are darker spots of red in the pinkish urine.

    What do you all think of this? Could this be haematuria? Could this just be porphyrins from vegetables? All help is appreciated. I am quite worried about this. Thank you very much in advance.
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    Re: Red Urine?

    The bright red spots indicate bleeding. That smear of blood is from a clot. Urine that is colored from anything she eats will have the same color throughout.

    She could have a UTI, she could have stones. She needs to see an exotic vet soon. Take the pictures with you.

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    Re: Red Urine?

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	80497 This picture is from after I posted. At this point, her urine is a normal color. Would it still be stones or a UTI even though the urine color has returned to normal? What would be the best course of action as of right now? Again, there are no symptoms of any kind. Thanks.

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    Re: Red Urine?

    Yes, the color could be normal now and there still be a problem.

    I can't tell from your post whether it's been two weeks since this happened, or six hours. If recent, she needs a vet visit. Guinea pigs don't have blood clots in their urine for no reason at all.

    If it's been two weeks without symptoms, then I'd watch her very carefully for any indication of stones (squeaking while peeing or pooping, particularly pooping) or infection (odor, incontinence). If you see those, get her to a good exotic vet. Don't bother with a small animal (dog and cat) vet -- they're not trained in the care of exotic pets, and some of them are downright dangerous.

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    Re: Red Urine?

    I first noticed red urine two weeks ago. Then it stopped and the red urine didn't return until last night. The pictures were taken last night/early this morning. I've been monitoring her quite closely and there has been no squealing when urinating or pooping. If it were to be stones, how common it is for Guinea pigs to pass them without any assistance? Also, when you say,"If you see those, get her to a good exotic vet," are you saying I should wait to see those symptoms before taking the veterinary course of action?

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    Re: Red Urine?

    No, I'm saying that if you just saw that blood, get her to a vet. Guinea pigs can go downhill very quickly, and it never pays to wait if you've got symptoms like that.

    It is sometimes possible for a pig to pass a stone, but it depends on how large it is. It's also sometimes possible for a vet to retrieve the stone without surgery, but not often.

    The danger comes if it's too large to pass, but small enough to fall into the top of the urethra. That totally blocks the urine flow, and is a full-on, painful, expensive medical emergency that will result in death if not very promptly treated.

    In my experience, clots are more likely to be due to sludge/stones than to an infection, but that's not always true.

    How old is she? And what exactly do you feed her? What kind of hay? What brand of pellets and how many? Which veggies and how many of each?

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    Re: Red Urine?

    She is seven months. I give her an unlimited amount of Timothy hay. She gets 1/8 of a cup of DuMOR brand pellets. She also gets a cup of vegetables a day, usually cilantro, romaine lettuce, parsley, and occasionally carrots, kale, or eggplant skin. Woukd it be unnecessary to have a urinalysis done since it's more than likely blood?

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    Re: Red Urine?

    It would depend on the vet for the urinalysis.

    Since she's over six months, you need to reduce the amount of calcium in her diet. I'd give parsley only as an occasional treat. Some pigs urinary calcium problems when eating cilantro and/or romaine. Others don't. So if you see white spots in the cage where the urine has dried, omit the cilantro and feed red or green leaf lettuce instead of romaine.

    Dumor pellets are poor quality, and definitely not suited for pigs over six months of age. They're very high in calcium, and the main ingredient is wheat middlings which aren't recommended for pigs. Pellets should be mostly a grass hay for pigs her age. The only pellets we really recommend are KMS Hayloft (only available online) and the new formulation of Oxbow Cavy Cuisine (no calcium carbonate or limestone in the ingredients).

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