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Thread: Red Urine versus Dark Urine [Bladder Stone, Kidney Issues or both?]

  1. #1
    Cavy Caged
    Aug 11, 2011
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    Question Red Urine versus Dark Urine [Bladder Stone, Kidney Issues or both?]

    NOTE: I was unable to post in Funky's thread because the last post was too long ago. The URL is posted below.

    Below is an update on Funky ...
    Well,at least, it has been a year since my last post ...

    I?m sorry this update is so long.

    I took Funky to see the vet this past Friday because he was drinking very little for a couple of weeks (a huge change for him) & had very dark urine (almost black one day). I also observed a little bit of eye crust and some sneezing (although that is part of his pattern and is ?normal? for him). I was mostly concerned because he was sleeping facing the corner (with his nose/cheek pressed against his cage), and seemed very lethargic. I just felt like he was trying to tell me that something was very wrong. He was and is still eating his pellets and veggies (cucumber, red & green leaf lettuce only, occasional baby carrot). X-rays were taken and another urinalysis was completed. There were no stones visible on the x-rays. There was sand in his urine, but there has been for years. There was bacteria but no signs of infection and no blood. Basically, everything looked OK, at least according to his urinalysis results. However, my vet did say that a stone could be hiding and just not visible on an x-ray.

    Immediately after the vet told me the results of his medical tests, she informed me that she saw blood in his carrier after the x-rays and urinalysis were taken. It?s a good thing I told Funky to show the vet that he was sick and I put him on white paper or the vet probably would have sent me home with nothing to help him. Funky is a very cooperative guinea pig. Tip: Always put your guinea pig on white paper if they are sick, that way your vet can see urine color, bladder sludge, etc. I assumed that maybe his urine was just a little bit darker or something. Nope. I came home and I was shocked. I have never seen Funky?s urine red like that. It looked the same as when you cut a nail too short ... SO RED!! Funky was prescribed Trimesulfa (antibiotic) and Meloxicam (anti- inflammatory) to reduce inflammation and prevent infection. She also put in his file that if he needed Tramadol I could go and pick that up. Friday night, I continued to see very red urine and he wheeked every time he peed and pooed. I have never heard him wheek like that. He was in so much pain. For the record, the dark urine I observed looked very different from this red urine and in the weeks preceding this vet visit he absolutely had not been wheeking when peeing or pooping. Before this vet visit, I was not thinking "bladder stone" because he did not seem to be in pain while peeing or pooping. Saturday, his urine was dark but not red. Since then, his urine has gone back and forth between a dark brown and ?normal? yellow looking color. Most recently, his urine looked perfect. I'm hoping that is a sign that the medication is helping. I'm wondering if his kidneys are OK because of the dark urine ... Did the drive in the car cause a bladder stone to move? Is that why suddenly there is blood?

    This evening, I heard him whimpering (he wasn?t peeing or pooing, I don?t think) and his poop is coming out in half pieces again. His poop looks like someone has cut it in half with a knife, again. It?s been almost an entire year since his last episode of similar looking poop. I thought he was hanging in there and was stable until his symptoms returned a couple of weeks ago, with some new ones to scare me. If that whimpering continues, I will ask for Tramadol so that he will be more comfortable. No pain is my priority.

    The vet did give me all the options in terms of different types of blood tests (check his kidneys and more) and mentioned other tests too. I?m not sure where to go from here or what to do now. I read that dark urine could indicate a problem with his kidneys, or his urine is just dark because there is blood there, which could be indicative of a stone. To be honest, I?m frustrated that a stone hasn?t shown up on x-rays. It has cost me a lot of money just to have x -rays taken and nothing shows up. I'm pretty sure he has had x-rays done three times! I?m at a loss and I suspect my vet was very surprised to see blood in his carrier too. I wish an ultrasound had been suggested a long time ago.

    Does this sound like a bladder stone to you or is something else going on?
    If you were to pay for one more test would you do an ultrasound or blood test?

  2. #2
    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
    Sep 23, 2009
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    Re: Red Urine versus Dark Urine [Bladder Stone, Kidney Issues or both?]

    It definitely sounds like a stone to me. Another possibility is severe irritation of the bladder from the sludge, but that's somewhat less likely, IMO.

    The urine is most likely dark because of bleeding, maybe from the kidney, maybe from the bladder wall. If the bleeding is fresh, the urine will be redder. If not so fresh, it will be more brown.

    Blood tests are hard to do on guinea pigs, and don't always yield usable results. If I had to choose between the two, I'd pick the ultrasound. But make sure it's done by someone with experience at doing the ultrasound and read by someone with experience at reading it.

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