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Thread: Antibiotics hadnt worked, Vet says should euthanise

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    Cavy Slave guinnythepig's Avatar
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    Unhappy Antibiotics hadnt worked, Vet says should euthanise

    Hey guys.. Really need ur advice on this, I dont know what to do anymore. Long story short: My 5 year old boar got sick with a really bad UTI in November 2015. The vet put her on doxycycline for 4 weeks, and it wasn't doing anything, in fact she got worse. Turned out it was pyometra, so we decided to do the surgery. It went well, she recovered, but the vet said that she noticed how my pigs urethra is attached to the muscle wall, and that could permanently prevent her from being able to empty her bladder fully by herself. And all because of this 4 week long infection which she wasn't being treated for.

    Fast forward few months. The UTI wouldnt go away. I was desperate. She lost so much weight at a point I thought she would die, but she pulled through. We gave her a course of Bactrim, then Baytril, then chloramphenicol. NOTHING worked! The vet then referred to me to a specialist, which took an xray of her and said we should immediately operate her because she suspected a stone, even though the xray showed only sludge but no stone. Obviously, I didnt go for it. I did another xray at another place. Still NO STONE.

    Because of all the antibiotics my pig developed bloat. But miraculously lived through it too, and fully recovered. She even eats her vegies with no issues! Shes one tough piggy.

    The vet made the bacteria culture twice. It turned out to be a strain of Corynebacterium Renale, and Enterococcus gallinarum. In both cases the results showed that there should be susceptibility to both Bactrim & Doxycycline, but they cant be sure. For some reason its not working and they dont know why. No one can tell me if the bacteria is resistant.

    Pig got better after a few weeks of extra fluids and manual daily emptying of her bladder. The last 9 months she has been living painfree. She gained tons of weight again, became very energetic, started oinking and chasing me for food and was overall happy, so there wasnt even a thought about euthanasia, but then I had to leave for a few days, and she started feeling worse again. Like showing the typical UTI signs. And I cant stand seing her suffer.

    The vets opinion was to put her down all along. She makes it sound as if I'm torturing the poor animal by keeping it alive and that its kind of weird that I even do so much for a roddent. She keeps pressuring me to put her to sleep, that its not fair for her and that there's nothing we can do. I feel like a bad person for taking care of my pig. The 2 vets I saw dont seem to care about my pig or me at all. I dont even know who to go to anymore who could take me seriously. I guess Im just mentally exhausted, worrying / caring for my pig every day and yet not able to get any help or support from anyone. God knows I did so much for her, I used all my saving on her, and now Im being blamed for it.

    Worst of all is, no one can tell me if this bacteria is resistant. But its obvious that my pigs UTI is now chronic. And it seems so stupid to put a guinea pig down because of a UTI, when she lived through things that were so much more. Had she been suffering I would've gladly put her down myself, but she has been fine the last many months UNTILL now, even though she has chronic infection.

    Its been 9 months since I tried the antibiotics. I dont know if I should try again? Or should I give it up?

    Thank you everyone for listening.

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    Cavy Slave DroidGuineaPig's Avatar
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    Re: Antibiotics hadnt worked, Vet says should euthanise

    I'm so sorry!!! Poor thing. Honestly I have no idea what you should do. Its just horrible to have to chose between more antibiotics and/or surgery or euthanizing.

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    Cavy Slave guinnythepig's Avatar
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    Re: Antibiotics hadnt worked, Vet says should euthanise

    It really is!! I almost wish she was the weaker kind of piggy, you know the sort that just goes down quickly and quietly, but shes a fighter, she really hangs on to life, and it so hard to take it away from her when she seems to want to live so badly.. Im still amazed at her will to live, despite being through so many life threatening situations she managed to survive untill now. Of course with my help but still. There's only so much I can do. And its been a whole year. Its crazy.

    At this point I think all I can do is either put her down or continue with the treatment, which is of course difficult for both of us. Its a godawful choice, really. Oh well :( thank you so much for your reply

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Antibiotics hadnt worked, Vet says should euthanise

    I'm very sorry you're going through this, and even sorrier that you can't find a good vet.

    It's actually very easy to tell whether or not an organism is resistant to antibiotics. They grow the bacteria on a plate or in a test tube, expose it to different strengths of different antibiotics, and see if it dies. It's one of the easiest bacteriological tests to run. Maybe your vet can't do it in the office, maybe they didn't request it from the lab they sent it to for identification, but to tell you they can't tell is ridiculous.

    Here's an article on it: http://amrls.cvm.msu.edu/microbiolog...tesing-methods The second method can be used if the organism grows in the presence of oxygen, the first if it doesn't. I don't know anything about the other tests -- those two were the only ones avaiable when I was working in a lab.

    I would definitely try again with the antibiotics, and if possible, with a new exotic vet.

    Try to keep your pig well hydrated. Many pigs like Pedialyts, an electrolyte solution for children. I'm not sure what it's called there, but it's bound to be available by some name. Most pigs will willingly take 10 cc or more by syringe. If you find it, do keep it refrigerated and watch it carefully -- it's determined to mold and will have to be thrown out. Many people who use it for their pigs freeze it in ice cube trays and just thaw one cube when they need it.

    Good luck, and let us know what happens.
    Last edited by bpatters; 09-14-16 at 09:23 am.

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    Cavy Slave koalamissy's Avatar
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    Re: Antibiotics hadnt worked, Vet says should euthanise

    I am truly sorry you are going through this. You and your piggy obviously love each other very much. I hope and pray that your piggy gets better real soon!!!

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    Re: Antibiotics hadnt worked, Vet says should euthanise

    Definitely get a new vet, ugh. Good luck to both you and your piggy. Also, did you mean a sow? You said she was a boar, but boars are male and couldn't possibly get pyometra.

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    Cavy Slave guinnythepig's Avatar
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    Angry Re: Antibiotics hadnt worked, Vet says should euthanise

    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post
    It's one of the easiest bacteriological tests to run. Maybe your vet can't do it in the office, maybe they didn't request it from the lab they sent it to for identification, but to tell you they can't tell is ridiculous..
    Exactly! Its outrageous and so frustrating, but it is not surprising nevertheless. The medical services here are not nearly as progressive as abroad. Tbh with you, I had to go abroad many times to get treatment for the simplest things. Everybody thinks that Denmark is so progressive, but its horribly backward when it comes to medicine and veterinary care. If I was living abroad, this whole thing wouldn't have dragged out for a year. There had been times when the vet made me wait for a week or two to have an appointment without giving my pig any painmeds. It was like this the entire time. I had to wait for the pyometra surgery. Then I had to wait for the lab to make the culture test, which took 2 weeks! I was the one who insisted that they try to give her Bactrim, which by the way they dont even have available in Denmark! I practically forced the clinic order it from abroad.. And then there was the so called specialist, who had PHD in roddents from Copenhagen University, and who insisted to perform a surgery on my pig, after she "could feel the stone with her fingers." WTF! The xray showed perfectly normal bladder. Even I could see it.. Its just.. Im lost for words.

    All of this has been a huge hassle. There is this feeling of hopelessness, and anger, knowing that in other countries this wouldnt have gone so far. And then to blame me for their own incompetence! Just.. Arghhd.. Im mentally tired of this whole thing. If I had an option to take my pig somewhere else I would, but I dont know if she would handle such a lenghty trip. And its almost sad to put her through it.

    Thank you for your lengthy reply bpatters! And for your suggestion, I will try to figure out where I can find this solution. If it is at all possible, we cant get much medicine here without a prescription. For example, last time I asked the vet about Potassium citrate for piggys oxalate sludge, noone knew what it is and where to get it.

    Im going to try another round of antibiotics. I guess there isnt much to lose at this point! Do you I should ask for a combination of Bactrim/Doxy? And how long would I need to give it to her. I guess after it turned chronic, it would need a long time, probably longer than 14 days.
    Last edited by guinnythepig; 09-15-16 at 06:13 am.

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    Cavy Slave guinnythepig's Avatar
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    Re: Antibiotics hadnt worked, Vet says should euthanise

    Quote Originally Posted by koalamissy View Post
    I am truly sorry you are going through this. You and your piggy obviously love each other very much. I hope and pray that your piggy gets better real soon!!!
    Thank you so much! It means so very much to me to hear these supportive words. Bless u<3

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    Cavy Slave guinnythepig's Avatar
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    Re: Antibiotics hadnt worked, Vet says should euthanise

    Quote Originally Posted by jaycriae View Post
    Also, did you mean a sow?
    Of course you are right! My bad! Shes a sow.. I dont know why I wrote boar, I think my brain is just overloaded at this point. I apologize.

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    Re: Antibiotics hadnt worked, Vet says should euthanise

    Quote Originally Posted by guinnythepig View Post
    I was the one who insisted that they try to give her Bactrim, which by the way they dont even have available in Denmark! I practically forced the clinic order it from abroad..
    Now I know this might sound a little strange, but given they didn't even have Bactrim I don't doubt they have little experience with it, are you sure she has been given the correct dosage? It wouldn't hurt to double check if you haven't already. Also yes if the infection is still persisting a combination of two different antibiotics might be necessary.

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    Cavy Slave guinnythepig's Avatar
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    Re: Antibiotics hadnt worked, Vet says should euthanise

    Quote Originally Posted by Soecara View Post
    Now I know this might sound a little strange, but given they didn't even have Bactrim I don't doubt they have little experience with it, are you sure she has been given the correct dosage? It wouldn't hurt to double check if you haven't already. Also yes if the infection is still persisting a combination of two different antibiotics might be necessary.

    I think I have discussed the dose with them, but since they had to order a bulk of it from somewhere, the AB's came in a form of small powder balls, not pills. They apportioned them into little sachets and I had to administer one sachet to my pig daily. It didn't work, at all. Her UTI showed signs of improvement when she was given Doxycycline, but then it got worse again and we figured out that it was pyometra and that we have to operate her. (All this took place last xmas.)

    Since then I haven't tried giving her Doxy. She's basically lived on herb teas and bladder emptying, but of course its not enough. I've made an appointment at a different vet for next week, she handles a lot more guinea pigs and rabbits, so fingers crossed! I will ask for a combo, hopefully that will work...

    A weird question perhaps, but is UTI contagious to other guinea pigs? I've been planning to get my pig a friend for a really long time, but her illness put an end to these plans. But sometimes I think, if she had a friend, maybe it would help her recover.. She always gets so excited when she sees my rabbit. But of course I wouldnt want to infect another pig! And I dont think the vet knows enough about this to tell me for sure.
    Last edited by guinnythepig; 09-15-16 at 08:32 am.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Antibiotics hadnt worked, Vet says should euthanise

    I don't think a UTI is contagious, so I wouldn't worry about another pig getting one.

    A combination of Bactrim and doxy might help. I'd prefer that over Baytril, which almost always makes pigs lose their appetites, and then you've got to handfeed, and worry about bloat, etc.

    I sure hope the new vet is better.

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    Re: Antibiotics hadnt worked, Vet says should euthanise

    UTIs aren't contagious, as long as you have the room and funds I'd definitely get her a friend (maybe adopt an older piggy so they're closer in age?) And I'd definitely try the doxy, that stuff can work miracles. I'm surprised to hear that Denmark is so behind in pet care, I once had a friend from there and he always made it sound like heaven on Earth, lol. Still, your fuzzy baby is lucky to have someone as dedicated as you.

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    Cavy Slave guinnythepig's Avatar
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    Re: Antibiotics hadnt worked, Vet says should euthanise

    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post
    and then you've got to handfeed, and worry about bloat, etc.
    That's what I'm worried about too. She's been slightly bloated since the episode of bloat she had few months ago, and given that all these courses of antibiotics really messed her stomach flora up I'm a little concerned she would bloat up badly again. Especially with a really harsh AB regimen. Is there any way to prevent that? I give her probiotics twice daily. Would that be enough or is there something else I can do to prevent the bloating from happening?

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    Cavy Slave guinnythepig's Avatar
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    Re: Antibiotics hadnt worked, Vet says should euthanise

    Quote Originally Posted by jaycriae View Post
    UTIs aren't contagious, as long as you have the room and funds I'd definitely get her a friend (maybe adopt an older piggy so they're closer in age?) And I'd definitely try the doxy, that stuff can work miracles. I'm surprised to hear that Denmark is so behind in pet care, I once had a friend from there and he always made it sound like heaven on Earth, lol. Still, your fuzzy baby is lucky to have someone as dedicated as you.
    Thank you jaycriae! I honestly feel the same about her. She has always been so special to me. When I first got her I didn't know much about guinea pigs, I was a student living in a dorm. My hamster passed away and someone told me that a guinea pig is like a big hamster LOL. How wrong was that.. But I would've never thought we would bond so much. And now that I have graduated and got an apartment, I'd love to get her a friend. I just really hope she gets to live a little longer. sigh.

    Quote Originally Posted by jaycriae View Post
    I'm surprised to hear that Denmark is so behind in pet care, I once had a friend from there and he always made it sound like heaven on Earth, lol.
    Yeah, you know, Denmark always positions itself that way in the world. But to be honest with you, its far from true. We have major issue with housing, we have poor medical care, we have tax police/government surveillancing their citizens, taxes are 45 % and up, there is 8 months of dark, cold and humid winter and very less choice in food/entertainment/shopping etc, as it is a very small conservative country. And what has been hardest for me, is the way Scandinavian people are. They are very reserved, or what others would call "cold". I dont know if you've heard about the Copenhagen zoo case, where a baby giraffe was shot and fed to the lions in front of the visitors, because he was "excessive". Lots of zoos around the world offered to take him, but the Copenhagen zoo denied it, saying that he had poor genetics. I think to me, that is the definition of Danish thinking. Too much reason, too less compassion. Other than that, it is a beautiful country, with social security and low crime rates. Still, I hope to move abroad one day.

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    Re: Antibiotics hadnt worked, Vet says should euthanise

    Since you are desperate and before you euthanize her, I would feed her Manuka Honey, a few times a day. It fights infections naturally even MRSA and boosts the immune systems. If you go the course of antis agains good luck! I wish her a speedy recovery! If you do the hone, it has to be manuka! https://draxe.com/manuka-honey-benefits-uses/

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3609166/

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Antibiotics hadnt worked, Vet says should euthanise

    I don't know about the Manuka honey. Guinea pigs aren't wired to process sugar, which can cause a major digestive upset by screwing with the bacterial balance in the gut. I think I'd be even less likely to feed it to a pig that's had a bloating episode..

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    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: Antibiotics hadnt worked, Vet says should euthanise

    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post
    I don't know about the Manuka honey. Guinea pigs aren't wired to process sugar, which can cause a major digestive upset by screwing with the bacterial balance in the gut. I think I'd be even less likely to feed it to a pig that's had a bloating episode..
    I wholeheartedly agree! Pedialyte can be a lifesaver if you have a cavy with urinary issues such as bladder sludge. I managed to successfully move the sludge out of Maya's bladder by infusing unflavored pedialyte over a weekend. She had an ultrasound on the following Tuesday that revealed that it apparently had been flushed out.

    Because a sow has a shorter and wider urethra than a boar, it's more likely that one can be effective with this. My sow had a bladder stone that got stuck in the wall of her urethra and it never moved. Aside from an occasional UTI, it never seemed to cause her problems.

    Pedialyte is an electrolyte solution that is used for babies who have had diarrhea, adults with a hangover, and by refugees who may have to transit through a hot desert climate to prevent dehydration. The word "pedialyte" would only translate to pedialyte in Danish. Below are a couple of links with information:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedialyte

    http://abbottnutrition.com/brands/pr...dialyte-liters

    Ingredients: Water, Dextrose. Less than 2% of: Potassium Citrate, Salt, Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid, and Zinc Gluconate.

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    Re: Antibiotics hadnt worked, Vet says should euthanise

    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post
    I don't know about the Manuka honey. Guinea pigs aren't wired to process sugar, which can cause a major digestive upset by screwing with the bacterial balance in the gut. I think I'd be even less likely to feed it to a pig that's had a bloating episode..
    Honey has a less GI index over sugar but you may be right. But considering it heal GI tracts, I highly doubt it would cause boat. And as I said this before euthanasia
    .

    https://draxe.com/manuka-honey-benefits-uses/

    http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/m...al-uses?page=2

    http://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/nutrit...b9718fd4716a6e


    http://www.naturallivingideas.com/ma...oney-benefits/

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Antibiotics hadnt worked, Vet says should euthanise

    I know there are all sorts of uses for manuka honey. But herbivores don't have sugar in their natural habitats, and were not evolved to process it well at all. Altering the sugar content in the digestive tract can cause both an overgrowth of bad bacteria and an undergrowth of beneficial bacteria.

    While it wouldn't hurt you, or a dog or a cat, that much sugar is not recommended for herbivores.

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