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Thread: Bumblefeet + Possible bladder stone : not drinking, Eating less but no visible pain

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    Bumblefeet + Possible bladder stone : not drinking, Eating less but no visible pain

    Hi everyone! I would very like your opinions about my piggie, Lily ;

    Lily is about a year and a half years old. She is living alone in her cage, which I know now isn't a great thing for cavies, but didn't knew back then. She has an ''Ok'' size cage with fleece. Usually she goes out for play time one to three time a week. She is usually rather active and very easy to approach. She eats plenty of different veggies twice a day, oxbrow pellets and lots of hay.

    Last week, we noticed changes in her behavior. She got very less active and seems to have problem moving. She was also was eating less, and didn't seem to be drinking. She wasn't making noise anymore, which is odd for her since she usually squeaks loudly when we open the fridge door. At some point, she seem to have difficulties using her rear legs. We noticed redness on her feet and thought it could be bumblefeet. We made all her food easier to access and got an appointment to the vet. She seemed to get better before the appointment and began to get a little more active.

    The vet confirmed that she had pododermatitis and advised to rub her paws with vaseline each day to help heal the feet. Lily is also a little overweight, so we were suggest to cut off a pellets a bit.

    Back home, I noticed that the urine spots on the towels (under the fleece) were different than usual. The color was between orange and red. I went back to the vet who advice that we check for bladderstones and urine testing.

    To be honest, despite the love I have for my piggie, I cannot afford the veterinary cost and I'm still convinced it is worth it. I already spent 80$ for the appointment, and now I would have to pay 130$ for xrays + 50$ for urine testing. If something shows up, I'll have to pay for a surgery. Given the fact that bladder stones can happen again, and that other problem could show up as well, I'm just not sure about this...

    Back home, Lily seems to be doing a little better. She is easier to approach. She eats, but only lettuce. She started squeaking for food again. She do not want to drink. She moves a little bit more but is not active as she used to. She enjoy being pet and I gave her a bath yesterday to try to re-hydrate her a bit.

    I checked for pee using a white towel ; it still red-ish, but she do not seem to have any pain. I'm wondering if it could be the dehydration. She is poo-ing less, but since she do not eat much, that make sense.

    As you imagine, I have a lot of questions. Exepted going back to the vet, what would you guys do? What are the odds that bumblefeet and bladderstones happens at the same time? Is it possible that there is other explanation? How long can a piggie lives eating so little? How will the piggie let me know that she is in pain and that is too much to endure?

    Thanks for your precious time and help!
    Alex

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    Cavy Slave Smileandnod's Avatar
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    Re: Bumblefeet + Possible bladder stone : not drinking, Eating less but no visible pa

    Welcome to the forum. I am sorry your first post is about a challenge. It seems you are doing great by providing Lily with unlimited hay, daily fresh veggies and oxbow pellets. Excellent!

    The only suggestion I can make is regarding the bumblefoot. I adopted one 2 year old guinea pig who had bumblefoot. It took a bit of care to help her get over it, it was very sore, raw and swollen. I used products from the vet to heal it (foot soaks and ointment) as well as Vetrycin spray you can get over the counter. Gave her extra vitamin C using a syringe dosage (don't put it in her water). Then ordered products from Gorgeous Guineas until her feet were completely normal. It took several weeks of consistent care and meticulous cage cleaning. That was 2 years ago and she's never had a problem since. But it is preventable.

    I know you said her cage size is Ok and you use fleece. With that in mind, make sure you are changing out wet fleece/towels regularly. And make sure your fleece is wicking properly so moisture goes to the absorbent layer underneath which means the fleece stays dry.

    I put smaller pads in beds and favorite spots and change them out 2 times a day. I also use larger pads over the main fleece, so I can change out sections daily without a full cage cleaning which I do weekly. You want to make sure they always have dry fleece. As you vacuum or sweep poop, run your hand along the fleece pads, if it's even moist change it out immediately. Don't wait. I do this once in the morning and once at night.

    Also, you want them to have a large cage so they can move off areas where they urinate and also get circulation moving. If they don't have room to run around on their terms (that means all the time, not just when they get floor time), that's not healthy. It is easy to make a large cage, and cheap too, if Lily does need some extra room to lose the weight.

    Good luck to you. I hope she doesn't have bladder stones so that all you have to worry about are her feet. Just make sure she is eating regularly. Use critical care if she is refusing to eat enough on her own and see a vet asap.

    Please keep us posted on Lily!

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    Re: Bumblefeet + Possible bladder stone : not drinking, Eating less but no visible pa

    Hydration helps flush the urinary tract. I would try to get her more hydrated by feeding wet vegetables. Take pieces of lettuce leaves and rinse them leaving as much water on them as possible. Place them around the cage so she has to move around to eat. I have even placed lettuce in a heavy, shallow bowl with a little water so mine had to take the lettuce out of the water to eat. Just make sure she can't tip the bowl and end up with a big puddle.

    Guinea pig urine turns a kind of light orange color when dry. If you have her on medium-colored fleece you would notice any sludge or white residue from urine that could indicate stones.

    If she isn't eating hay, I would also be concerned with tooth issues.

    Good luck to you both, I hope Lily is feeling better soon!

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    Re: Bumblefeet + Possible bladder stone : not drinking, Eating less but no visible pa

    Thank you Smileandnod and ItsaZoo for the advices and the wishes!

    To our surprise, Lily seems to get better since yesterday. We forced her to drink a little using a seringe and were able to make her eat lettuce, carrots, and few pellets. A few hours later, she seemed more active and went drinking by herself!

    Since yesterday, she ate two cups of vegetables (mostly lettuce) + a few pellets and hay. She refuse to eat peppers and some other vegetable she used to like. We used a seringe to make her drink vitamins mixed with water to make sure she has all her nutriments.

    She didn't pooed much yesterday. Today, she pooped a lot of light colored and softer looking poop, some of which are oddly shaped. She peed at least once (can't tell if she did in her litter box). The color is still red-ish, but much lighter, looking more orange, but still not the same color as before. I did notice some white calcium looking marks on the fleece where she peed. Could she have passed the stones?

    Regarding the bumblefoot, we keep applying vaseline. It seems to get a little better but one of the paws is a bit worse, with a black kind of mark on it. She is moving along nicely though, and she is doing her play-time at the moment. She is not running a lot, but still is curious and exploring. From what I can tell, the fleece is always dry and all the urine gets on the towels (there is three layers of them). In the past, we used to change them every week since we didn't experience any odor problem, even though her cage is in the middle of the living room. We broom the cage twice a day to get rid of the poop. She as a litter litter pan with wood pellets and hay were that she use a lot and can be change more often when needed. For now, we plan to change the fleece every two day to make sure she heels better, and to check the urine spots at the same time.

    I saw somewhere that Epsom salt can be helpful, have you ever tried it?

    Regarding the size of the cage, I said it was ''OK size'' but I know that it is actually too small. It is one of those living world cage that the sell at pet shop. I thought it was huge when we bought it and she was a baby, but I realized afterward, reading this forum that I shouldn't have listen to the petshop clerks. I organised the cage the best possible so no space is lost, and she still have enough room to do lap running. I could build a bigger one quite easily, and would be glad to, however that would mean that I have to move her in the basement, and I fear that this is gonna be worse in the end since we will not interact as much with her... What do you think?

    Anyway for now our main concern is for her to heal. To be honest when I wrote yesterday, I was fearing that the next thing I would build for her was a coffin if things kept on the same way. I hope that I'm not too optimist about her sudden improvement!

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    Re: Bumblefeet + Possible bladder stone : not drinking, Eating less but no visible pa

    Vaseline is not a treatment for bumblefoot. It's caused by a bacterial infection, and while vaseline will soften the skin, it won't treat the problem. See http://www.guinealynx.info/pododermatitis.html.

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    Re: Bumblefeet + Possible bladder stone : not drinking, Eating less but no visible pa

    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post
    Vaseline is not a treatment for bumblefoot. It's caused by a bacterial infection, and while vaseline will soften the skin, it won't treat the problem. See http://www.guinealynx.info/pododermatitis.html.
    I do understand and it makes much sense to me, however it's the vet who adviced vaseline, so I'm a little bit confused about this. From my understanding, it would be necessary to use medecines or antibiotics, but I cannot obtain those unless prescribed by the vet, right? I would find frustrating having to pay another appointment (80$) to get the prescription I should I have last week...

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    Cavy Slave Smileandnod's Avatar
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    Re: Bumblefeet + Possible bladder stone : not drinking, Eating less but no visible pa

    Quote Originally Posted by NinjaPig View Post
    I do understand and it makes much sense to me, however it's the vet who adviced vaseline, so I'm a little bit confused about this. From my understanding, it would be necessary to use medecines or antibiotics, but I cannot obtain those unless prescribed by the vet, right? I would find frustrating having to pay another appointment (80$) to get the prescription I should I have last week...
    If things are not improving, perhaps just call the vet to inquire about further treatment options for Lily. I have a feeling the Vaseline suggestion was to help prevent further damage to her feet and add somewhat of a protective layer, not as a cure.

    Have you tried Vetrycin spray? I have used it successfully for minor wound healing.

    My vet is happy to prescribe additional treatments for a condition that was just seen without an additional appointment charge or to take another look as a follow-up appointment without a charge if a condition is not improving. It's worth the call, after all the worst that can happen is you are back to where you are now.

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    Re: Bumblefeet + Possible bladder stone : not drinking, Eating less but no visible pa

    Cold pressed virgin coconut oil has both antibacterial and antifungal properties, lubricates the feet, and also forms a protective barrier.

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