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Thread: Blood in cage, excessive drinking, possible stones

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    Cavy Slave
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    Blood in cage, excessive drinking, possible stones

    Iím planning to get my girl to the vet; I left them a voicemail and will call again when the office opens. Iím making thisnpost because after a few searches Iím worried that behavior before the blood that I was thought was normal is not.

    I found three 1/4 inch wide spots of blood in my guinea pigís cage. They looked Ďshallowí, as if they were only on the too layer of fleece. I held her for 30 min on a white towel and didnít notice her straining to urinate or red when she did urinate, but the fur around her vulva and some on her thigh were wet, but not bloody.

    I also found what may have been a stone in one of the blood spots, but I didnít get a picture and it crumbled between my fingers when I tried picking it up.

    Here come my general concerns: my girl can go through a 26 oz water bottle in a day or two. I thought this was normal, because her brother and two sons (in another cage) can go through about 2x the amount in the same time frame and it has been a hot summer, but after a few searches Iím concerned that it is not at all normal.

    She also used to have calcium deposits in her urine, but I havenít noticed any grainy deposits that I can pinch off the fleeces in months. I also thought this (fewer calcium deposits) was because of her increased water consumption.

    Finally, I have observed urine in the fur immediately around her vulva a few times before, but didnít think so much of it. She has a tendency to sit on one fleece pad and urinate on that the entire day. I change out the wet pads every single night, which is how i noticed the blood today.

    Iím worried that her excessive drinking may be due to some underlying condition. Could she have been trying to flush out a stone or UTI? Could I have taken any precautions to prevent this? And is there anything I should ask about or keep in mind when I get her to the vet?

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Blood in cage, excessive drinking, possible stones

    For that much water, I'd bet that the bottle either leaks or she's playing with it. She's almost certainly not drinking a 26 ounce bottle of water in two days.

    If the spots were blood, and not pink-tinged urine, they're much more likely to be coming from her reproductive tract. Most guinea pig sows do not bleed during their heat times, but a few do. And what you see is the kind of spotting you're describing. It's also possible that it could indicate an infection such as pyometra, so it's good that you're taking her to the vet.

    What you found in the cage was probably a mucus plug. The entrance to the reproductive tract has that plug all the time except when she comes into heat, and then she loses it. It forms again as soon as heat is over.

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    Cavy Slave ItsaZoo's Avatar
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    Re: Blood in cage, excessive drinking, possible stones

    I agree, the water bottle is most likely leaking. And if she's sitting near the bottle, she may be wet from water and not necessarily urine.

    It's good that you have a vet appointment. Depending on how that goes, keep track of when you see blood spots. Guinea pigs have heat cycles about every 16 days, so if you see spots again in 16 days, it may be hormonal.

    Mine did this for a while and scared the heck out of me. Good luck with the vet visit and keep us posted.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Blood in cage, excessive drinking, possible stones

    Thank you for your responses!

    I had her taken to the vet to be safe. They did an x-ray and didn't see even any bladder sludge, and when they pressed her belly to check her bladder they couldn't express blood. We had her put on a course of antibiotics just to be safe. That was Friday night, and I haven't see any blood since Saturday morning.

    The possibility of this being related to her heat makes sense, but I find it odd for it to occur so abruptly. She gave birth a year ago, so she has had a year full of heats and not once have I noticed blood before...

    I have a question about her antibiotics dosage, though. I'm having a hard time understanding some of the dosage charts I'm reading online...
    My girl is on 0.9 mL of Enrofloxacin at 10mg/mL twice daily. She weights a little over 900 grams. Is that a normal dosage for a pig like her? At a glance, it seems high...

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Blood in cage, excessive drinking, possible stones

    First off, be sure to give her probiotics 60-90 minutes after every dose of antibiotics. ABs really do a number on a pig's appetite, and you really don't want her to develop bloat or GI stasis. If she stops eating, be prepared to hand feed her -- it will be the most important thing you can do for her.

    The average dose for a pig her size with that strength Baytril would be 0.5 ml twice a day. The dose she's on is at the very top of the range. I'd be a little uncomfortable giving my pig that high a dose when there's no guarantee she's even got an infection.

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    Re: Blood in cage, excessive drinking, possible stones

    Thank you for the quick response bpatters. Unfortunately it didn't really hit me how high the dosage is until I was about to give her another dose just now. I'm going to be cautious and lower her dosage for now, then call the vet in the morning. I'll also buy probiotics asap. I already have critical care. Is there anything besides water I can add to it if feeding her that is necessary? Sometimes they fight really hard against the syringe, so I've always felt awful force feeding my pigs when they can't eat enough on their own.

    She's still alert and eating, and I really hope the high dosage won't hurt her...

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Blood in cage, excessive drinking, possible stones

    You can try unflavored Pedialyte, and the generic is just as good as the brand name. Most pigs love it.

    Don't feel bad about force feeding her. She'll think you're killing her, but you're not, you're saving her life.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Blood in cage, excessive drinking, possible stones

    Some bad news: The vet wasn't able to get back to me on her antibiotics dosage. I skipped her dosage yesterday morning while I waited because her stomach seemed upset. She wasn't eating as much (still ate her hay, barely touched her pellets, wasn't finishing the snacks she usually enjoys) and was eating almost all of her stool. I put on critical care just in case she stopped eating entirely. I wanted her gut to get closer to normal before putting her back on any adjusted dosages of antibiotics.

    That night, I found more blood in her cage, heavier than the initial spotting I caught a few days ago. I watched her bear down and pass a bead of dark blood that sat on top of her hay. She also started passing more stool without eating it, but they were dark and soft and she was squeaking when bearing down. I took her to a 24/7 emergency vet. We decided to have her admitted overnight. Right now she's being monitored around the clock, the vet has put her on different antibiotics they think will be easier on her stomach, and her stool is still soft. They're keeping her on the painkillers as well. Luckily she's still alert and eating. I'm really hoping the new antibiotics will work better for her.

    The current thinking is that this likely is a bladder infection, but if the bleeding doesn't clear up by tomorrow, they'll likely need to take an ultrasound to look at her uterus. If something's wrong with her reproductive organs, I'm worried they might need to spay her. It's hard walking past her empty cage while she's not home. ..

    For now, all I can do is wait... I really hope this is just a bladder infection and her gut isn't hugely impacted by the meds again.

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    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: Blood in cage, excessive drinking, possible stones

    Most of us here know the anxiety of having an ill furbaby. The heartbreak of walking past an empty cage just makes it that much worse.

    Fingers crossed that your girl improves quickly and completely!

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    Cavy Slave ItsaZoo's Avatar
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    Re: Blood in cage, excessive drinking, possible stones

    So sorry you are going through this. It’s so stressful. I hope she starts improving and you can get her back home so she can recover.

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    Re: Blood in cage, excessive drinking, possible stones

    Thank you for your well wishes, everyone! Update: My piggie is home! She is on two different antibiotics: bactrim, which she has had a course of nearly a year ago and had no significant side effects from, and flagyl. We're keeping her on the critical care, and she's had a better appetite and more solid stools. No blood, and I even saw her popcorn a few times.


    I give her CC so she doesn't take her medicine on an empty stomach, space out the antibiotics (instead of giving both at once, I give one, wait two hours, then give the other), and mix Bene-Bac Plus probiotics to her CC about an hour or so after her last dosage for the morning or night. I also give some water by syringe when she's willing, but she will drink from her bottle too. It's odd, because I'm used to her water bottle being over half empty in a day, but the water level hasn't even decreased by half in over a day.


    I wish she was eating and pooping 100% back to normal...but this is a lot better than when she was on the baytril. I've never had a pig react that way to a medication, so it was really scary to see her defecation decrease to almost nothing, even if she was eating most of them. She'll be on the antibiotics for a little over a week. Hopefully the infection will be fully cleared up at that point and she can go back to her normal silly self.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Blood in cage, excessive drinking, possible stones

    Also, some side notes:

    1. Her weight has been steady. In fact, she actually gained some weight in the past week. When I brought her in to her regular vet, she was about 920g, and now she's hovering at about 1000g.

    2. Guinea pigs are NOT a starter pet. I never thought they were, but years back, the first time I got a vet bill I was shocked! I'm fortunate enough now that I have access to exotic pet insurance and enough savings to cover her full treatment, but I wish that new owners got estimates of potential vet bills when they adopt piggies ^^;

  13. "Thank you, guineapigtoes, for this useful post," says:


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    Cavy Slave LittleSqueakers's Avatar
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    Re: Blood in cage, excessive drinking, possible stones

    Glad to hear that your piggy is feeling better! Enrofloxacin (baytril) is considered a more heavy-duty type of antibiotic, and it's the one that most pigs are going to have difficulty with if they have problems taking any antibiotic. Hopefully she'll do better with the bactrim and flagyl; I never had a pig that had any major problems with bactrim. Keep up with the probiotics. It sounds like you're doing all the right things; keep us posted!

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Blood in cage, excessive drinking, possible stones

    Hi everyone,

    My girl is not 100% yet -- even though it has only been a week since we switched antibiotics, I'm still very anxious about her, even if she does seem to be in decent shape. She has been eating and pooping, though not as much as I would like. She is drinking more and still running up when she hears a plastic bag or the mini fridge open. Her poos are mostly normal-shaped but still a bit soft -- I stopped the probiotics for a few days when I noticed her pee was darker than normal, but I started it back up when her poo started becoming soft and odd-shaped. I'm unsure how much hay she's eating, as I've scattered it about the cage so she can rest and eat comfortably outside her kitchen area, but I have caught her munching on it each day. She seems to be napping for most of the day, but I catch her coming out of her hiding spot to drink water or nibble pellets.

    I continue giving her some critical care when I syringe feed her antibiotics so she's not taking it on an empty stomach, but she's been fighting me harder lately -- taking less in her mouth before she turns her head or pushes the syringe away. I'm unsure if it's because she's just getting stronger as she recovers, but I have another concern:

    Yesterday and today I noticed her stretching her jaw and sticking out her tongue as if she has something in her teeth. I noticed it usually happens when she's eating pellets or nibbling on her Oxbow vitamin C tablet, but she has done this once or twice after being syringe fed. I only give her .2 - .3mL of CC at once or until she stops chewing. I've tapered her down to maybe 5mL, spread out over 2-3hr for a break between each antibiotic and the probiotic, twice a day?

    Those pellets and treat have been out for more than a day, so I've changed them out, but I still worry. Does she just have something stuck in her teeth? Is something wrong with her molars? (And is that also causing her to fight the CC more?) Could I have accidentally hurt her with a syringe? I took a video of her eating the tablet before I removed it -- I will try to attach it. After a few bites, she walked up to her water bottle and drank for a little while, and I didn't notice her doing this again until I gave her CC before her antibiotics.

    https://imgur.com/a/7zPAj9P

    If I may vent, I haven't been this nervous about nursing a pig back to health in a long while... Her daughter passed almost a year ago after a very sudden decline, and a part of me still blames myself for it. You would think having to WFH would ease my worries since I can check in on her at any time, but I'm constantly nervous that I will check in on her only to see her limp or hurting... I might be getting paranoid, but I'm terribly worried about her. She must be awfully lonely too -- she's a single pig right now because she didn't respond well to my attempt to match her before the pandemic, so I gave her a few months to continue grieving, but nowadays in my city single female pigs are being adopted before I can schedule an appointment!

    Sorry for the long post...I'm hoping there will no more major issues during her treatment and that I'm just being overly worried.

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    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: Blood in cage, excessive drinking, possible stones

    Glad to hear shes doing better. I completely understand the overly worried part!

    Continue to observe her eating. She could just have had something caught. If it continues, get her teeth checked. I have had a few pigs now with dental problems and thats one of the signs.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Blood in cage, excessive drinking, possible stones

    My girl finished her 10-day course of antibiotics! She's mostly back to herself now that she's off of it. She's also not drinking as heavily as she was before I noticed the bladder infection, I've seen no more blood spots since her emergency visit, and her poops have firmed up. I did notice her flexing her jaw a couple of times a day up until the day before yesterday, but I sent a video and talked it over with the vet, and they said that if it is some kind of tooth problem, it is very early on. Tomorrow she's having her followup and they'll be taking a look at her teeth just in case. Right now I'm crossing my fingers and hoping she's in the clear!

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