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Thread: What was your experience with bladder stones and your guinea pigs?

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    What was your experience with bladder stones and your guinea pigs?

    Hello everyone. This is my first post, and I hate the circumstances making this my first thread. I am looking for any insight that I can about your experiences with piggies and bladder stones. My baby girl, Clover, was diagnosed with bladder stones on Sunday after we took her to the emergency vet once we found blood in her urine. The vet was very unclear with Clover’s prognosis and with her recommendations on next steps. If Clover hadn’t passed the stones by morning, the vet said there were steps we could take like doing a procedure to push the stones back in her bladder or have the stones surgically removed, but the vet was not confident with either option and didn’t recommend we take either step. The next morning I took Clover to her regular vet, Dr. Beth, to get another X-ray and to get an opinion from someone that I trust and who knows Clover. In the X-ray, the stones hadn’t budged from the night before. Dr. Beth said that I needed to decide within a couple days whether or not I wanted to remove the stones with surgery because once the symptoms are emergent, like being unable to urinate, she wouldn’t recommend the surgery. Dr Beth also said that deciding soon was important because she doesn’t know how long Clover has before it gets to the point where it’s too late for surgery. But at the end of the appointment name that I was also told that Clover has a chance of passing the stone on her own! At this point, Clover is still able to urinate without showing signs of distress. The only reason we knew she was sick was the blood in her urine, which hasn’t happened since Monday morning. There are so many conflicting recommendations and outcomes between the two vets. If anyone has any experience with bladder stones and their piggies please help. I’d like to know what real world piggy parents have gone through so I can make the best decision for my baby girl.
    Last edited by Cloversmom; 09-24-19 at 08:16 pm. Reason: Grammar

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner ThePigAlchemist's Avatar
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    Re: What was your experience with bladder stones and your guinea pigs?

    I've had two experiences with bladder stones in my pigs. One went well and one did not.

    My first was with my pig Fuery. I noticed him peeing blood one day, and the vet immediately recommended surgery. The surgery was done a week later and he got through just fine.

    My other was with my pig Alex. Alex had lost significant weight before I discovered him peeing blood, and X-rays found stones not only in his bladder but also in the ureters. The vet did not feel comfortable doing the surgery before Alex gained some weight, and unfortunately I was fighting an uphill battle. It reached the point where his peeing was obstructed by a giant stone, and the vet did the surgery, there not being any other option at that point. Alex made it through the surgery but died that night.

    Another situation I had which was not stones, but similar, was my female pig Ymir who had bladder sludge that led to blood in the urine. The vet recommended I syringe her large quantities of liquid every day, and I was able to flush the sludge out of her bladder. She never had another issue with sludge after that period of a couple months when I worked to flush it out.

    Of course, every situation is different, but in the interest of giving you the full picture those are my experiences with stones and sludge.

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    Re: What was your experience with bladder stones and your guinea pigs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cloversmom View Post
    If anyone has any experience with bladder stones and their piggies please help. I’d like to know what real world piggy parents have gone through so I can make the best decision for my baby girl.
    I suspect that most of us have had conflicting Vet opinions and that can be very frustrating as you know. Let's start with a bit of anatomy: males have a long and narrow uretha while a female urethra is short and wider. This becomes of great importance when one has a stone issue because females can sometimes pass a stone while males more often need to have them removed.

    I had a sow who developed a UTI and was put on meds to clear it up. In the course of her treatment, it was discovered that she had sludge in her bladder AND a stone that appeared to be passing through her urethra on its way out. The meds seemed to clear up the UTI and x-rays and an ultrasound were performed to evaluate the other issues. She had the x-rays on a Thursday with the US scheduled for the next Tuesday. Over that weekend, I syringed copious amounts of fluids (generally unflavored pedialyte mixed with a little water).

    The US revealed that she was now clear of the sludge, but the stone had apparently lodged itself in the wall of her urethra.......where it remained until her death of an unrelated cause. She occasionally had a UTI, but it otherwise seemed to cause no distress.

    There is a concept in healthcare that we call "watchful waiting" which is as the name implies. Keep an eye on her for any increase in symptoms or severity and be prepared to act quickly should she show signs of a blockage or inability to urinate as normal. I would give it a few days while you attempt to flush her kidneys/bladder with copious amounts of fluid to remove the sludge and see where you stand at that time.

    Obviously, none of us can tell you what to do when even your two Vets don't agree. I know that you are looking for an answer, but each cavy is different and each situation is different. I wish you the best in whatever decision you make for Clover.

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