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Stones Old Guinea Pig with a Bladder Stone

chesterandme

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Feb 10, 2012
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Joined
Feb 10, 2012
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I know that there are have been other threads about bladder stones, but I wanted some advice unique to my situation.

I have a guinea pig who is almost 7 (and may be older, he was at least 2 1/2 when I adopted him). Since January, he has had three incidents of bloody urine. Each incident occurred shortly after I left for the weekend and left him with a vet tech. He is currently not bleeding (noticeably). An x-ray has just confirmed that he has a small bladder stone and sludge in his bladder and one ureter leading to his kidney. He has been eating the same if not more than usual, but has been slowly losing weight. He used to be a big fellow and is now under 2 pounds.

My vet has told me that he knows a vet in Boston who performs the surgeries and could analyze the stone, and that this would be an option for us. However, he said that he said that given Chester's age and the likelihood of kidney damage, he wasn't sure it would be the best choice for him.

I am worried if Chester could make it through a surgery, since he is a low weight now and because he had a very bad reaction the last time he was on an antibiotic (baytril). Even though I fed him probiotics and vitamin c, he stopped eating anything independently, and I needed to nurse him with a syringe for about a week. He was very ill and frail, and though he got better, he never quite regained his old weight and spunk.

I am sad and am not sure what to do. The stone is small, but clearly something is wrong and if he continues as he is I know he will die. Then again, if the surgery isn't successful, I don't want him to have to die in surgery or shortly afterwards from trauma or illness.

Another problem is with the cost and location of the surgery. My vet only knows of a surgeon in Boston -- I am a few hours away and have a phobia of traffic. I've never driven in a city with a population over 100,000. I would need to find someone to drive me, and I'm not sure if I can. The price of this vet is close to 1,000. I just don't have the money -- I live slightly about poverty level and will be out of a job in a month.

So I guess I have three questions:

1. What would you do?
2. If you think I should try surgery, can anyone recommend a vet in western/central MA who performs surgeries on pocket pets?
3. How can I help make his time left better? Or can I? Is he just going to be in constant pain and should I think about it being time for him to go?
I see that in other posts, a low calcium diet is recommended. He currently eats oxbow pellets, and I am assuming i need to switch or eliminate pellets? He also eats timothy hay, green lettuces, carrots, and red peppers, and the occasional bit of fruit.

If I use a pain medication (metacam) should that be a daily dose? Would cranberry juice help prevent a UTI, even if it can't get rid of stones?

Sorry for all these questions! I appreciate your input so much.
 

chesterandme

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Feb 10, 2012
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Oh, I just realized that I mixed up the name of the antibiotic. It was chloramphenicol, I think.
 

Nicolene

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Hi, I'm sorry your piggy has bladder stones. I had my beloved Snickerdoodle put down in Feb. He had stone surgery last July after living with them, on antibiotics for 18 months. He was so happy after he recovered. But they came back fast and furious only 6 months later. We put him on antibiotics and pain meds, but decided to let him go in Feb, as the pain got progressively worse and we wanted to let him go before it became too bad. He had a very peaceful passing, and I don't regret that for a second.

If I were you (since you asked what other would do) I would skip the surgery, keep him on the ABs and metacam and give him as much of his favorite foods as he wants. Snickerdoodle stayed at his weight until he passed, he ate so much.

He will be fine for a while, he could live for months and then one day you will know. My Snickerdoodle became lethargic, slept under the hay bin all day one day and got mean when his cage mate approached. He looked sad and angry. I made his last appointment for the next day. This may sound silly, but when I gave him the sedative and held him at the vet's office he looked up at me and I KNEW he knew what was happening and that he was ok with it.

My husband and I do not regret the surgery, but we won't ever put a pig through it. I wish you the very best. Please keep us updated.
 
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