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Thread: UTI and possible bladder stones. just need positivity right now.

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    UTI and possible bladder stones. just need positivity right now.

    i just... am so tired and stressed. i haven't eaten much in days. i took off work and missed class to care for obcy, my 7 year old sow. i just want to know if i'm doing a good job? am i doing the right thing? i want to know if this has happened to anyone else and everything turned out okay?

    as a preface, i don't believe in prolonging an animal's life if their quality of life is null. i went to her vet appointment anticipating the worst, there was a lot of bad potential diagnoses going through my head. she was diagnosed with a UTI, which seems super doable in my mind, so i chose treatment. however, it could be bladder stones if she doesn't get better. if that's the case... i may put her to sleep. i don't have the money for x-rays and surgeries, and i don't think it would be fair to put her through surgery/recovery at her age. i don't know if she could survive surgery at 7. i hope these choices are right, i don't know.

    obcy went downhill fast, and sunday i discovered she was lethargic, not too interested in eating, not drinking, hunched over, etc. her eyes were dull, she looked rough. her hind legs weren't wanting to move. her hind end was covered in pee and she had weird chain-linked looking poop coming out of her. she has an odor to her. i cleaned her up and kept an eye on her until i could get her to the vet monday morning. any food i gave her, she chewed sooo slowly, barely eating.

    vet looked her over and discovered her bladder is very tender and full of urine. she squeezed as much out as she could and collected a sample; it was bloody and obcy wheeked in pain. UA confirmed a UTI. she examined the rest of her, including her teeth (which are fine). she also confirmed GI stasis. i was at the vet for 4 hours and she hadn't pooped or peed once. i got home as quickly as possible and began treatment immediately.

    treatment plan:

    - 2 doses of UTI medication per day
    - 3 doses of motility drops per day
    - 3 doses of gas relief per day (unless poop is normal or becomes soft)
    - 1.5 tablespoons of critical care per day.

    if the UTI clears and her poop returns to normal, she should be good to go! however, if she doesn't improve, the vet recommended an x-ray because it could be bladder stones. i declined the x-ray unless she doesn't improve (i'm a college student, $227 already went into this visit alone).

    her checkup is next wednesday morning. i'm praying so hard she's way better by then and receives a clean bill of health.

    monday's progress:

    she began pooping within hours of taking motility drops! the poop was super tiny and there was a lot of them, but it was a huge victory in my eyes, as well as a relief. she became a bit more active after treatment began. she was perkier, more interested in hay and veggies; chewing quicker than on sunday. but she hates critical care with a passion. she also is super super super against syringes being anywhere near her mouth. it got to the point each time i picked her up, she would shove her face into my chest to hide because she anticipated the syringe. it became increasingly harder to admin meds and critical care.

    i went to bed feeling a bit more optimistic.

    tuesday's progress:

    she's SO much more interested in food!!! her poop is soft, but the pellets appear slightly larger than yesterday. munches on almost anything i put in front of her. her eyes are bright and shining again. she's more active. i saw her eat pellets on her own for the first time in days. she munches on the hay i put beside her tunnel. she's super interested in veggies and fruit. i've given her blueberries here and there for some antioxidants and a little bit of oranges to boost vitamin C.

    i had to improvise because the syringe feeding was stressing her out way too much. so, i've been putting her meds and critical care on slices of bell pepper. with the meds, i do a drop or two and wait for her to eat that portion. then i do another drop or two. rinse and repeat until she gets the full dose. for the critical care, i gotta keep the amount small or she won't touch the veggie. but she is eating a whole lot more compared to yesterday.

    usually i'm cautious about overfeeding veggies because it's caused my pigs to have softer poop, but she isn't drinking from the water bottle or dish. so i'm thinking it's okay, because she needs the water somehow, right? and i figure if i can't get her to eat enough critical care, then it's good to get veggies and fruit in her as often as i can?

    her back end is still covered in urine. i try to clean with a warm, damp towel and then dry it a little. she arches and squeaks quietly when trying to pee/poop still.

    //////

    i'll update more as the days go on.

    while her appetite and behavior is improving, i'm feeling defeated by the hunching/painful peeing and her hind end being dirty. i know i have to give it time, but i just want her to be better. i'm just scared it won't get better and it'll be stones. i worry me trying to treat this UTI could be in vain and i'm putting her through unnecessary stress.

    anyone who has healed a UTI, how do you know it's getting better? what should i be looking for?

    both of my pigs have had pretty immaculate health for 7 years. this is the first time it's ever been life or death.

    //////

    here's her poop compared to my healthy sow's (monday after taking motility drops):


    i somehow attached a photo of her from sunday instead of putting it in here. that's how bad she looked. i'll get another photo to show the improvement in a few when i feed her and give her UTI drops.
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  2. #2
    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: UTI and possible bladder stones. just need positivity right now.

    I'm sorry she's so sick. Getting an x-ray could have given you a definite diagnosis on bladders stones, which would have given you more information on which to base a decision.

    The hunching/squeaking while peeing, and the wet bottom, are classic symptoms of bladder stones. A UTI can go along with that, and may possibly have the same symptoms, but it's more likely to be stones.

    Like you, I'm not sure I'd put a seven-year-old sow through surgery. As surgeries go, it's not too bad, but she's not in great health, and that would argue against doing it.

    But you shouldn't give her a choice about eating the critical care. It's called force feeding for a reason -- she won't like it, and you'll have to force her to eat. She needs that much more than she needs veggies. If you're going to fight to keep her alive, you've got to get the Critical Care in her.

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    Cavy Slave Kieri's Avatar
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    Re: UTI and possible bladder stones. just need positivity right now.

    @bpatters

    you're very right. my head was all over the place monday. i was scared of making my bill too high to pay, or that i could only afford the x-ray/UA and not the medications. this place doesn't offer payment plans.

    i read this comment after i had given her some veggies and blueberries. i don't know how much volume their stomachs are capable of holding, but i got about 1 tsp of critical care in her for now. you're right. force feeding is force feeding and it's for her own good.

    i wrapped her in a towel, held her against me, and used my fingers to hold her face still. im going to let her digest it and do another feeding in an hour or so, do you think that's a good time frame? do you have any tips on keeping her face and rear clean?

    the vet wasn't specific on how much critical care i could or should give per feeding. she just said i just gotta get 1.5 tablespoons into her daily. i want to give her enough but i don't want to cause discomfort or damage to her stomach by giving TOO much.

    here she is eating some veggies before i went ahead and fed her critical care:


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    Re: UTI and possible bladder stones. just need positivity right now.

    One teaspoon isn't nearly enough. A guinea pig that's eating nothing else needs 100+ cc of CC per day for every kilogram it weighs, divided into 6-8 feedings throughout the day and night. Adjust up or down according to the pig's weight, and down if it's eating a significant amount of something else.

    You MUST feed her. There's a true saying that a guinea pig that's not eating is a guinea pig that's dying. They can develop painful, even fatal, stomach ulcers, and/or GI stasis and bloat. The most important thing you can do for her is feed her. See https://www.guineapigcages.com/forum...g-a-guinea-pig for instructions. It may help to cover her eyes with the hand that's holding her head so she can't see the syringe coming.

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    Re: UTI and possible bladder stones. just need positivity right now.

    i'm reading guides on syringe feeding and i see that it's safer to use smaller syringes if you're inexperienced? the vet gave me a large one for CC and two small ones for the motility/gas drops.

    is feeding easier with the smaller ones?

    vet also didn't go over water. if she isn't drinking, should i syringe water as well?

    sorry. owned them for so long and never ever had an emergency. ): all these guides and videos say so many different things.

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    Re: UTI and possible bladder stones. just need positivity right now.

    @bpatters

    as of late last night and today, she has been enthusiastically eating hay and veggies on her own. i did see her at the bowl eating pellets earlier. i sat by the cage and watched her eat that and some hay, and then she went to lie down and nap. i've been sitting with her feeding her bell pepper, blueberries, and hay in my lap. she eats and eats until she's full.

    sunday and monday morning was when she wasn't eating at all. as soon as i gave motility drops and began treatment with some cc, her appetite began to grow slowly but surely, and as the hours went on it got better and she began pooping again. her poop was small at first, but its starting to get a little bigger. it's somewhat formed with some soft diarrhea accompanying it.

    her appetite isn't fully normal, but it's much better than before treatment! that's why i'm struggling to dose the CC. the vet told me if she isn't eating to force feed but if she's eating i just gotta make sure she's getting some in small amounts?

    her paper says she's 1.66 pounds and the vet told me 1 and a half tablespoons of CC/day.

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    Re: UTI and possible bladder stones. just need positivity right now.

    If she's eating a good bit, you don't have to get so much CC in her. But the 1.5 tablespoons of it is the dry stuff, which will make a lot more than that once you add water.

    I use the large syringes to feed my pigs, but some people prefer the small ones. I got a bunch of free 20 cc syringes from a local pharmacy, and I prefer those. But a pet-feeding syringe from a pet store will also work well.

    With the larger syringes, you just have to be very careful not to get too much stuff in their mouths at one time. If you mix the slurry very carefully so there are no clots in it, that's not hard to do. But if the syringe gets blocked, you need to take it out of the pig's mouth and put more pressure on it to get the blockage out. If you push too hard while it's in the pig's mouth, and it suddenly gives way, you can choke the pig.

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    Re: UTI and possible bladder stones. just need positivity right now.

    okay!! i just fed her again and it went beyond perfect!! is it normal for them to hate it and then grow to love it?

    i mixed enough to fill the large syringe and had some left in the bowl still (i think the syringe is 10 ml but the markings rubbed off). i did one forced squirt into her mouth and let her chew. i went to do the second squirt and she WENT for the syringe and wanted it!! after that, it's like i couldn't syringe it into her fast enough. she was so eager to eat and ate the entire syringe. i tried to do a little more, but i think she was full.

    i recorded her ACTUALLY enjoying it, i was so happy lol. i'm hoping she continues to love it, because i was beyond stressed wondering how in the world i was going to get her to eat CC for however many days or weeks.

    i may try another feeding if i can stay awake, but it's nearly 3 am. i'll update tomorrow!!!

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    Re: UTI and possible bladder stones. just need positivity right now.

    Some cavies just tolerate syringe feeding of CC, others love it! I had to syringe my dearly departed Chester for much of the last six months of his life and it was never a problem. His cagemate also loved the taste of CC and insisted on sharing his feedings. They favored the Apple Banana over the original CC.

    Get a 30cc small animal feeding syringe at a pet store. It is large enough that you can pour the CC into it before the mixture thickens.....much easier than trying to draw it up. Chester would sometimes eat three 30cc syringes at a feeding which meant that I didn't need to feed him so often. He ate enough hay, pellets, and veggies that it would sustain him at other times. Especially when you are new at this, it helps to put the syringe in her mouth at an angle in front of her back teeth to avoid squirting it down her throat and choking her. Allow her to "chomp down" on the syringe if that makes it easier for her.

    Happy that this seems to be working for you. When we have a sick cavy, these small victories mean a lot!

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    Re: UTI and possible bladder stones. just need positivity right now.

    thanks for your response and advice!! i'm sorry to hear about chester :(

    she started enjoying CC last night, and today she loved it too! i managed to feed her 2 large syringe worth of CC over the span of about 40 minutes. we developed a little routine where she chomps three times then i give a tiny squirt and let her chew.

    today she's doing even better. i saw her drinking from the water spout finally!! her poop is better looking, but i'm still doing motility drops until they're perfectly normal and her rear end looks better. she has been able to pass urine on her own today several times, but i can tell there's still discomfort.

    she's much much more active and alert, roaming around the cage with my other pig to munch on hay and veggies/fruit. when she hears me walk by she peeks out of the tunnel expecting me to drop some food!!

    i can't edit my original post, so here's an update photo of her poop (the dark large ones are my other guinea pig's, obcy's are the lighter ones):

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    Re: UTI and possible bladder stones. just need positivity right now.

    update:

    things took a turn. her feet haven't caused me any concern all week and today i notice they're super inflamed, and i think it's bumblefoot. the only vet in my area is closed until monday.

    i'm looking into home remedies. i had no idea inactivity could cause bumblefoot. i wish the vet had warned me. they live on fleece. it's clean and dry and soft. i trimmed her nails last week and i didn't notice anything. i also wonder if her urine leaking from the UTI scalded her feet and then it got infected this week? but her back feet look okay, it's the front...?

    i feel beyond defeated at this point. i've been working so hard and neglecting my studies and myself trying to care for her, she's been fighting so hard, and this happens.

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    Re: UTI and possible bladder stones. just need positivity right now.

    See http://www.guinealynx.info/pododermatitis.html. If you've caught it early, it's pretty treatable.

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    Re: UTI and possible bladder stones. just need positivity right now.

    yup, i visited that right away earlier. thank you though!! the same thing happened to my friend when her guinea pig was healing from bladder stones. he was sedentary and the urine scald caused inflammation and pain of his paws. i was trying to keep her paws clean to prevent scald in the first place, but i wasn't being cautious enough. i had no idea inactivity could lead to this.

    i began soaking today along with applying a thin layer of ointment to each paw after rinsing/drying. her back feet seem okay, but i'm not taking any chances, because her front feet were okay the other day. i put ointment on all four paws.

    i also bought extra fleece/towels to do full cage changes every other day to ensure their environment is extra dry and clean. i bought softer towels to hold her in when i do feedings (they're also white so i can see the color and consistency of her urine better).

    elliot's paws look normal and healthy.

    as for some good news: she's growing more and more like herself with each passing day; more alert, curious when i come near the cage, drinking from the water spout more frequently, eating with my other pig, elliot. her poop is pretty much identical to elliot's now. her appetite is good. her fur is still puffed, but she's showing signs of a healthier bladder! i did a full cage change today and i saw obcy pee effortlessly, without any signs of pain and no wheeking! the pee looked much better from sunday with no visible signs of blood. she is no longer sleeping hunched up in a ball, i saw her sleeping flat earlier with one leg sticking out! her hind end is no longer drenched in leaked urine. when i fed her earlier, she peed in the towel and i didn't even realize she peed until after, because she didn't show discomfort.

    to promote activity, i've been moving their tunnels around every hour or so. i want to do floor time, but i worry my carpet will be too rough feeling on her paws?

    so we move a few steps forward, take a couple back... hoping to heal her feet as quickly as possible so it doesn't undo all of her progress.

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    Re: UTI and possible bladder stones. just need positivity right now.

    3/31 update!!!

    obcy has been independently eating food around the cage ALL DAY. despite her paws, she's being fairly mobile. her poop still looks great, she's urinating without any signs of discomfort!! i was passing by the cage and she wheeked at me for the first time since being sick!!

    she's losing fur around her eyes, and i read that can be caused by stress? i know hand feeding her and cleaning her paws has been really stressing her out. it reminds me of a fungal infection, but their cage is super dry and clean so i'm not sure where she would have gotten that (maybe from the vet office...?). my other pig has no abnormalities to note.

    her check up is this wednesday. fingers crossed she gets a clean bill of health and better ointment for her paws.

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    Re: UTI and possible bladder stones. just need positivity right now.

    Glad she's feeling better, but stress won't cause hair loss around the eyes. It's probably a fungus, but the cleanliness of your cage has little to nothing to do with that. Fungi are everywhere, and if she has a weakened immune system, she's more likely to develop one.

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    Re: UTI and possible bladder stones. just need positivity right now.

    update 2/4

    the vet did an x-ray and she has NO bladder stones!!!!!!!!!!! i'm beyond grateful for that. she does have arthritis in her hind legs, so we have begun pain management.

    she's doing and feeling way better!! she even gained a little bit of weight, which i'm so happy for. i was worried i wasn't getting enough food into her. she's fully eating/drinking on her own, but i'm still feeding CC each day to boost energy and help her fight the UTI. feedings are a lot easier at this point.

    she's been able to pass urine regularly for days now. there is a small trace of visible blood, but it's way less compared to last week and the vet said it's expected since it'll take a little bit for her bladder to fully heal.

    as of right now, we are continuing the UTI treatment, beginning pain management, working on healing her feet, and promoting physical activity! her check up is in 2 weeks :)

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    Re: UTI and possible bladder stones. just need positivity right now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kieri View Post
    update 2/4

    the vet did an x-ray and she has NO bladder stones!!!!!!!!!!! i'm beyond grateful for that. she does have arthritis in her hind legs, so we have begun pain management.

    she's doing and feeling way better!! she even gained a little bit of weight, which i'm so happy for. i was worried i wasn't getting enough food into her. she's fully eating/drinking on her own, but i'm still feeding a little bit of CC each day to boost energy and help her fight the UTI. feedings are a lot easier at this point.

    she's been able to pass urine regularly for days now. there is a small trace of visible blood, but it's way less compared to last week and the vet said it's expected since it'll take a little bit for her bladder to fully heal.

    as of right now, we are continuing the UTI treatment, beginning pain management, working on healing her feet, and promoting physical activity! her check up is in 2 weeks :)
    Very, very glad to hear Obcy is feeling better. And I'm sure her feeling better makes YOU feel better.

    I'm assuming she's on metacam for pain management? Once my boar Sly went on it permanently for arthritis in his jaw, he's been so much more happy and active. He's 6 1/2 now.

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    Cavy Slave Kieri's Avatar
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    Re: UTI and possible bladder stones. just need positivity right now.

    thank you! i do feel better. i had no appetite the past week, but it's kind of coming back.

    yep! i'm eager to see her happier and more active again. i'm super glad it worked out for sly!! it's hard being old.

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    Re: UTI and possible bladder stones. just need positivity right now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kieri View Post
    thank you! i do feel better. i had no appetite the past week, but it's kind of coming back.

    yep! i'm eager to see her happier and more active again. i'm super glad it worked out for sly!! it's hard being old.
    I believe the effect of meloxicam is cumulative. It may take a week or two for her to get the full benefit from it, so the improvement will likely be gradual.

    I hear you about the appetite. Whenever something is wrong with one of my boys, I can't even think straight :)

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    Re: UTI and possible bladder stones. just need positivity right now.

    good to know, thank you!!!

    i had an exam monday, clinicals last week and this week, and i'm dog sitting. juggling all of this has been a lot, but it's worth it.

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