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Not Eating GI Stasis or Stones in Bladder?!

Gigabyte

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Nov 29, 2011
Messages
248
My guinea pig Gigabyte is very sick. He's been to the vet a million times in the last few weeks. He's about 2 years old and was pretty healthy until I moved. After a few weeks of him loving it here, he got real sick and I took him to the vet. She said it was scurvy and gave me Critical Care and some chewable vitamin C tablets. I fed him that and kept it going every 3 hours. Then he took a turn to not eating a single bit, so me and my boyfriend took a 3 hour trip up to the only vet hospital open at 3am that specializes in guinea pigs. We ran up our Care Credit card, spent 3 hours in the waiting room, and were pretty scared. We left with the diagnosis of GI Stasis and were given Cisapride (0.5mL/ 3 x day) and Reglan (0.5mL, 3 x day) and went home. Even with the critical care and all that, he did not do so well for a few days.
He just started eating a little a few days ago but we went in for a follow up and he is okay, but not cured. The vet mentioned the possibility of stones in his bladder and gave us painkillers ( Metacam 1 x day/ 0.07 mL - she did our visit for free because I have no money after my little guy got sick). She said we COULD do an xray but it would cost us 75 bucks each xray (OUCH!). We can't afford it and she said even if he did, surgery would be an arm and a leg and probably not successful.

Is this the end? Should I stop being selfish and let him go? It's barely been a year since I saved him from a hoarder and brought him home. I got kicked out recently and live at my boyfriend's mom's house, and to make things worse, I just got fired. The pig's condition is not too bad, but he seems to be in moderate pain, but it's been two whole weeks and feedings every 4 hours are killing me. I know I sound selfish, but it feels like he's all I got left! I don't want to lose my baby boy. :(

I am rubbing his tummy and all that and it's not huge anymore, but I feel like he wants to give up. Is there anything more I can do?
 
I am so sorry you have to go thru this. It is very painful and heartbreaking to have to make such a decsion.
I had to make this decsion with a cat. He has stones and could not go to the bathroom. He was in great pain and needed surgery. I could not afford the surgery as it was way over my budget. I could not leave him in the pain he was in and put him down.

Sometimes animals do know when they cannot fight anymore. You must decide if he has come to that decsion and how much pain he is in. As much as you love him you must do what is best for him. You could give him the meds and see if that helps. Continue hand feeding him and giving him water. How he responds to all of that will help to guide you what is for the best.
Give him extra love. Let us know how it goes.

My heart is with you, along with prayers and the very best of love to make the right decsion.
 
The only way to know for certain if it's stones is with an xray or ultrasound. My vet charges $139 for an xray so $75 is not that steep. A single xray should be able to diagnose stones and larger ones can sometimes be felt by a vet who feels around the bladder area xternally. The symptoms of stones are the same as for a urinary tract infection but the only way to know for sure is with an xray. A UTI is very treatable with an antibiotic. Many guinea pigs produce more stones after stone surgery. Stones are not an immediate death sentence, though. You can control pain with Metacam to allow him more time.
 
The only way to know for certain if it's stones is with an xray or ultrasound. My vet charges $139 for an xray so $75 is not that steep. A single xray should be able to diagnose stones and larger ones can sometimes be felt by a vet who feels around the bladder area xternally. The symptoms of stones are the same as for a urinary tract infection but the only way to know for sure is with an xray. A UTI is very treatable with an antibiotic. Many guinea pigs produce more stones after stone surgery. Stones are not an immediate death sentence, though. You can control pain with Metacam to allow him more time but at least see if the meds work in case it is a UTI.
 
Why does the vet think it's stones in the bladder? Is he squeaking when he pees or poops? Do you see any urine with blood in it (although that doesn't always happen)?

How much is he peeing and pooping? What is he eating, and how much is he eating? What makes the vet think he is better but not cured?

Sorry for all the questions, but it's not at all clear to me what his problem is. It's hard to know whether to give up or not if the problem isn't defined. Maybe something reasonable can be done, or maybe not, but we need some more information, please.
 
bpatters - The vet said it could be anything. He's eating again and seems healthy. As long as he is healthy and pain free, I will have to save up for an xray. I'm out a job right now and I have no money whatsoever.
He doesn't squeaking when he pees or poops, and is eating almost normal. He eats Kaytee Timothy Complete pellets (1/8 cup), unlimited hay (he eats about a half cup), and a piece of lettuce, kale, or apple throughout the day. He drinks very well now too.

The vet thinks if he has stones, it may be the end for him since I can't afford the surgery. I've paid out with my care credit card to the max and begged family for money and as it is, we are skipping meals and trying real hard to stay up with him all night and check on him.

He SEEMS okay now, no more bloating or anything. So time will tell.
 
I'm glad he's better. But let me suggest that you take him off kale if he's having any problems. You can give him more lettuce. And he needs way more than half a cup of hay a day -- my two probably go through 3 or 4 cups easily, or more.

As soon as you can save up to buy some, I'd suggest you switch him from Kaytee pellets to Kleenmama. The price will be roughly the same if you calculate it per pound, and KM is far superior to Kaytee.

Apple should be a treat, not a staple of his diet. He needs lettuce, bell peppers, and cilantro on a regular (daily) basis. You can then add in a small amount of tomato, a baby carrot, some summer squash, endive, dill, a couple of green beans, etc. There's a list of good foods to feed and how often to give them on the Diet and Nutrition forum -- it's the "read me" sticky. If he gets a good variety of vegetables, there's no danger of his having scurvy.
 
Hi Everyone,

While I'm far from an expert by any means, I have two pigs since around June with various health problems so I have seen my exoctics vet quite ofen with many trips to emergency already (they only seem to get sick when it's on the weekend or when I'm trying to go away).

Anyway, Charlotte has a chronic interstitial cystitis issue and it seems to be fine when we treat with Metacam, keeping the dose as low as possible. My vet doesn't seem to have a problem with this. Sometimes, either the cystitis flares or she just has gut issues, she stop eating. I'm probably in my third episode of this now. In addition to now having Critical Care on hand, I also have a amazing powerful medicine; Metoclopramide, on hand. Most often, when it's just a gut issue, I can get her eating again with one dose. It's really amazing stuff.

(background: yes, she has been xrayed for stones and we found none and neither of them have any syptoms of stones otherwise)

BJ has only had one episode of stopping eating and the combination of Metacam, temporarily, and a dose or two of the Metoclopramide got her back to normal again.

I'm getting used to seeing the signs that they are in pain. They get puffy, stay in their huts, the dynamic of who is dominant often changes when one is getting sick and they know that before I do, so a good barometer. Of course, they stop eating and can look lethargic. But, the biggest sign is that they shudder. I'm pretty sure that means they are in pain especially when coupled with the other signs.

So, I'm just saying that having the big three on hand has been a tremendous help to me in managing my girls: Metacam, Metoclopramide and Critical Care.

For Gigabyte: I don't know if this is any help at all but, hopefully, maybe, some good info to have. I'm so sad for your situation and wish you the best in getting it resolved.
 
bpatters - I DO offer unlimited hay, he doesn't take it all. And I only offer treats of apples sometimes. He is going to be switched to Oxbow pellets instead.

karwask - We use Critical Care and Metacam. I am a bit nervous about him being on metacam because of things I read online, but he seems to take it well.
 
If you think it may be stones, I wouldn't switch to Oxbow -- quite a number of people have pigs who have had problems with sludgy urine with Oxbow.
 
bpatters - I already bought it and don't have money to buy more, since I just lost my job. I am mixing it with his old pellets, and his urine is clean and not slushy. I have limited kale and his appetite is getting better.
 
Just watch his urine with the Oxbow. If it gets cloudy, you can cut back on the number of pellets you feed. But if you can, it would be a good idea to switch to KM the next time you have to buy pellets. They won't be any more expensive than the Oxbow.
 
Okay, bpatters.

GOOD NEWS!
Gigabyte is eating and drinking normally, is pretty happy, and is back to wheeking at me. Last night I let him have floor time and gave him some lettuce and he ran around with it in his mouth. I am so overjoyed that he will be okay, we thought he'd never make it. Now he is off the tummy meds and eating normally, he's gotten his weight back, too. I have never in my life been through such an insane journey with a sick animal (I do animal rescue so that says a lot)...phew!
He's still on metacam but I highly doubt there's a bladder stone. I will watch and manage him and use my first pay check to get him an xray to be sure! But otherwise, things are great with him!
 
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