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Thread: Urinary stone: Ruusu's story - no surgery, Chanca Piedra alternative treatment

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    Sep 27, 2017
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    Urinary stone: Ruusu's story - no surgery, Chanca Piedra alternative treatment

    Hello everyone,
    I would like to share a story of Ruusu’s struggle with a urinary stone, which we cured without a surgery.

    1) Ever since I got her, she drinks very little (although water is ofc always available to her and she knows how to use the bottle) and often leaves white deposits on bedding after her pee dries up. My pigs are given a lot of vegetables, so I assumed she’s probably getting enough moisture without drinking too much.

    2) The issue had been getting progressively worse, and one day, when Ruusu was about to turn 2 years, I spotted blood on the bedding and saw her struggling more and more while urinating. I took her to the vet with a suspicion for a urinary stone. Turned out this vet clinic didn’t have x-rays, so they did an ultrasound where they didn’t see anything. So they recommended treating it as UTI for the time being and see if it helps. I was skeptical, but agreed. On top of it, they only had Baytril, which I wasn’t happy about either. She also got pain meds (Loxicom).

    3) Ruusu absolutelyhated the Baytril (even though I diluted it with water), fought mewhen I was giving it to her as if she knew it’s bad for her orsomething. I had to restrain her and force it into her mouth althoughshe’s usually quite easy to handle. Sure enough on day 3 her bellywas very upset and she was eating much less than usually. Next dayshe stopped eating completely, stopped pooping in the evening and wasquickly getting dehydrated. I started syringe feeding and took her toa different clinic the next day.

    4) We found a big stone on x-rays (calcium oxalate, the vet said). Ruusu got fluids injections, Metacam, B-vitamin supplement and Primperan to help boost her GIT. The vet suggested a surgery asap, maybe even an emergency surgery the next day if Ruusu wouldn’t get better at all.

    5) The fluids made her feel a bit better and she took a bite of lettuce, the Primperan was also a big help, it made her regain her appetite slowly but surely. In the meantime I was browsing piggie forums for advice and experiences concerning the surgery, which I wanted to avoid at least for a couple of weeks because Ruusu lost a lot of weight and was still very weak and tired all the time.

    6) During several following days Ruusu started eating again (how nice it was to see those poopies again!) and although still squeaking while urinating,the blood was no longer there. Soon she was back to her bright self and I decided to give a shot to Chanca Piedra after I read about people and animals who had success with it. I informed our vet about my decision and express ordered the Raintree Chanca Piedra 500mg capsules.

    7) I was giving herroughly 65mg of the powder diluted in 1ml of water twice daily. Itdidn’t make her bloated or anything, she even likes the taste (ittastes like a weak tea). I was giving her extra fluids, installedanother drinking bottle into the cage, switched to Versele-LagaComplete Cavia pelletes, which imho were the best suited for her ofwhat we have available in Finland. (These aren’t the lowest incalcium, but have good Ca:P ratio.) The package suggests 50 grams ofpellets per pig per day, but I give about 30g per pig and ratherserve more vegetables. Oxbow pellets were making her worse. Icompletely restricted vegetables that seemed to exacerbate herproblems – celery and broccoli. I no longer put vit. C in theirwater, it just isn’t needed since they get so much veggies and itis also in their dry food. Excessive vit. C can influence the Cametabolism, I read.

    8) Three months later we had a control x-ray which showed that the stone just vanished. It either got small enough for Ruusu to pass it (but I didn’t find it) or it dissolved completely.

    9) Ruusu’s current condition: Sometimes she has pain while urinating, I think it’s just the way she is, with the sludge and concentrated urine. When I feel she’s in too much pain I give her Metacam for 3-4 days (acute pain dosage), but she only needed it once so far. I continue the new diet. I give a preventive Chanca Piedra treatment every few months. For example 3 months without Ch.P., then one month of Ch.P. twice daily as before. Luckily she learned to drink a bit more, not too much, but better than nothing.

    10) Recommendations:
    - Promote hay!Eating hay from a hay rack all the time is boring. My pigs like toplay in a pile of hay during their floor time or stick their headsout of the cage and eat straight from an open hay bag. It’s messy,but hay is really good for them.
    - Promote water! Buyan extra water bottle. If your tap water is hard, get bottled wateror filter it for them. I also bought my pigs the salt lick hoping itwould make them more thirsty. I put it in their cage only when I’mat home and can keep an eye on them so they wouldn’t “overuse”it. My other piggy Pampeli can lick it for half an hour straight –not good. Also when I have time I give Ruusu extra fluids by hand. Afew ml here and there can make a difference too.
    - Less pellets, morevegetables!!
    - Get urinalysisstrip tests. They’re really handy if you want to know if yourpiggie has blood in their urine or has an inflammation. Can put yourmind at ease or let you know you really need to visit the vet.
    - Don’t get overthe top with vit. C supplements. I know piggies need vit. Csubstituted, but most of the pellet brands contain far too much ofit. It’s not 100% sure, but too much vit. C can affect mineralmetabolism in guinea pigs. Shame there are so few studies aboutguinea pigs.
    - Don’t feed themtoo many treats. Instead of awfully sweet artificially colored stuffyou can get them Urinary Support by Oxbow.

    11) Word of caution…I know how hard decisions we have to make on behalf of our furryfriends. How desperate and helpless one can feel when the usuallyhappy piggy loses interest in life. We can only guess what’sbothering them and what they themselves think is best for them. In mycase I took a risk and went down the “alternative” path. Butother piggies’ circumstances might be different and you have tothink hard about what you’re gonna do. I believe that surgery isan option too, but you’ll have to be ready for the after care andalso will have to review your pet’s lifestyle and diet. Just trysomething and give it your best, especially with natural medicinebecause it takes more time to produce results, so no slacking off.:)

    I attached the x-ray pictures so you can have a look how big the stone actually was, about as big in diameter as her femur.

    Thank you, I hopethis is going to help someone and feel free to ask if you have morequestions.
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