Grace's medical thread

Bookfan
For the Love of Pigs

Post   » Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:45 pm


Grace has her second stone (that we know of) in about 4 mos. In Aug. she had one stuck in her urethra. The vet managed to pull it out with some tool & considerable effort & help from other staff. He saved her life.

So now another stone (and infection). He's not sure if she can pass it or not. We hesitate to do surgery since she's formed another stone so soon. Grace is also getting valium & metacam to relax the urethra & control pain in hopes of her passing stones more easily.

Opinions on possible surgery given there's a good chance that another stone will form, maybe soon? She's two years old and was spayed last summer because of ovarian cysts.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Fri Dec 08, 2017 5:53 pm


I am so sorry about the stone. I have actually heard of stones reforming much more quickly (within two or three weeks) though I understand why it seems soon after four months.

I take it you have tried dietary changes? Have you tried shillintong? A couple of people have used other products to help ease stones out (recent threads, sorry I don't recall the medication names). You have the advantage of Grace being a sow instead of a boar but stones are tough on all guinea pigs. Two years is so young!

Bookfan
For the Love of Pigs

Post   » Fri Dec 08, 2017 6:57 pm


Two or three weeks! Wow!

We're trying to be careful as to diet - we always are, but maybe not as much as some. Her veggies are vet-approved & we're making sure now to limit Oxbow kibble to 1/8 c. per pig per day.

I need to read some of those stone threads & get some ideas. 'Course it's not really known how much diet has to do with it. A lot seems to depend on the pig. But diet is one thing that can be controlled.

Bookfan
For the Love of Pigs

Post   » Sun Dec 17, 2017 12:05 pm


We had Grace at the vet again on Fri. It looked like she was trying to urinate but couldn't. The vet very gently massaged the bladder - said it was very full - and she immediately peed and again & again. Several times.

She had been without the valium for a couple of days because of miscommunication & the fact that we need to get it from a compounding pharmacy that's a bit of a drive and takes a day or two to get it ready. Vet thinks it's possible the two days off could have contributed to her problem on Fri. Needless to say, we're going to be careful to keep a continuous supply.

We talked about handling Grace's situation with the current strategy of valium, metacam & antibiotic. He said they treated another stone pig this way & it lived to 5 years old. Fingers crossed.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sun Dec 17, 2017 3:50 pm


I'll cross my fingers too!

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Catie Cavy
Supporter 2011-2020

Post   » Sun Dec 17, 2017 8:11 pm


Could you use Lorazepam (Ativan) instead of Valium? My vet prescribed it as a muscle relaxant for one of guinea pigs with a stone. It came in a liquid form (probably for kids) which I was able to get easily from the neighborhood pharmacy. No compounding or special pharmacy needed. My guinea pig did successfully pass the stone. I can't say for sure what helped. She was also on shillintong and was fed fruits and veggies with high water content.

Bookfan
For the Love of Pigs

Post   » Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:36 am


That's funny. For some reason my aging brain makes me say ativan when I mean valium. I'll ask the next time we talk to him.

Bookfan
For the Love of Pigs

Post   » Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:35 pm


The Saturday before last Grace was acting very sick. We took her to the emergency vet and had a very long wait due to a couple of dog emergencies. While we were waiting Grace peed blood clots, blood & a small stone. She immediately felt some better. Then a vet came in and didn't charge us because she "didn't do anything". It looked like she added some stuff to Grace's record. By the next day Grace seemed back to normal. Relief, but we didn't know we'd lose Brownie to a stone & bloat the next week.

Stones :(

Bookfan
For the Love of Pigs

Post   » Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:45 pm


One thing to add. That Saturday morning our regular vet wanted to try an injection of adequan to help with Grace's chronic bladder inflammation. It's approved for dogs & horses, but our vet (and presumably others) has used it for gp's. Gracie started looking sick about 6-7 hours later. We don't know if the injection had anything to do with it.

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Sef
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:58 pm


I vaguely remember hearing about Adequan for arthritis. Google search didn't produce much information on its use in guinea pigs, but I did find several references to it being used with rabbits (similar to glucosamine and chondroitin). One such source:
http://www.medirabbit.com/EN/Bone_diseases/Osteo/arthritis.htm

As with the other supplements, this is a bovine-derived product. VIN states:
"The active ingredient in Adequan® is polysulfated GAG, which is mostly chondroitin sulfate, extracted from cow tissue (the trachea, to be exact)."
As such, there is the potential for it to cause bloating or other GI issues in herbivores, although I'm not sure if an injection (vs. oral route) would lessen the likelihood. Given her symptoms so soon after the injection, though, I'd be inclined to think it might have been the culprit.

Bookfan
For the Love of Pigs

Post   » Sun Dec 01, 2019 4:00 pm


That's what we think. Daughter has decided not to continue with the injections & I agree.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sun Dec 01, 2019 4:37 pm


General dog information using "adequan" and "veterinary" duckduckgo search, yields some sites mentioning:

" Adequan helps relieve the pain of arthritis by soothing and lubricating the inflamed joint in addition to stimulating joint cartilage repair."
" Ask your veterinarian if Adequan Canine is the right choice for controlling the clinical signs of your dog's arthritis."
"The Journal of Equine Veterinary Science 1993; 696-703. INDICATIONS Adequan ® i.m. (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan) is recommended for the intramuscular treatment of non-infectious degenerative and/or traumatic joint dysfunction and associated lameness of the carpal and hock joints in horses."

It does seem to be more joint oriented than bladder oriented.

Bookfan
For the Love of Pigs

Post   » Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:19 pm


Thanks for the research guys. "potential for it to cause bloating or other GI issues " Red flag.

Lynx, yeah, definitely. I mean it's for inflammation and I bet using it for bladder inflammation is off label. A med intended for dog and horse joints used for gp bladder. Maybe it works for some, but it's not clear it's safe for our fragile gp's.

Bookfan
For the Love of Pigs

Post   » Sun Dec 15, 2019 10:57 am


Grace has interstitial cystitis as mentioned above. Daughter searched the internet for anything to help this aside from adequan & found a British forum poster suggesting Feliway Cystease Advanced Urinary support for cats. She had a long talk with our vet yesterday evening & vet says it shouldn't be a risk & worth trying to see if it helps. Forum poster(s?) claimed improvement. It's supposed to help restore the bladder lining. It contains:
" n-acetyl glucosamine and hyaluronic acid which are key components of the gag lining (the lining of the bladder wall)". It comes in tablets so easy to adjust the dose. We'll start small.

Grace has been occasionally passing blood clots since that one injection of adequan. We don't know if there is a connection. At that point in time she had no stones.

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Sef
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Sun Dec 15, 2019 4:25 pm


I guess it's worth a try. I'd be careful with some of the glucosamines, though, which generally have either a shark or bovine derivative. These have the potential to cause stomach upset in herbivores, as you might imagine. I do know that Oxbow's joint supplement has a plant-based form of glucosamine, as does the joint supplement by Sherwood Animal Health:
https://www.amazon.com/Natural-Science-JOINT-Supplement-anim ... 44836&sr=8-4

You may know that I'm generally not a fan of Sherwood Animal Health, but they also have a joint formula that supplement that I find a little intriguing:
https://www.amazon.com/Support-Sherwood-Pet-Health-tablets/d ... 44462&sr=8-7

That product uses a vegan form glucosamine that has been developed and patented by a company called Glucosa Green:
https://glucosagreen.com/

I was just reading about it the other day. Wonder if it would be worth discussing these with your vet and trying either of these other products first? If you do and decide to give one or the other a try, I'd contact Oxbow or Sherwood and see what the calcium content is of their respective joint product. I don't recall seeing that listed on either site (but assume it's minimal). I do seem to recall that the Sherwood product as some sort of "sugars" listed, which I assume is for flavoring.
Last edited by Sef on Sun Dec 15, 2019 4:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Bookfan
For the Love of Pigs

Post   » Sun Dec 15, 2019 4:27 pm


Thanks for the info. I'll pass it along to daughter. I know she's going to try Oxbow joint support 1st since the stuff from England is going to take a while to get here.

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Sef
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Sun Dec 15, 2019 4:30 pm


Oops, my bad. I should have said "your daughter" instead of "you." Just got up from a nap and brain is still a little fuzzy.

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Sef
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Sun Dec 15, 2019 4:31 pm


As an additional PS...might also be worth contacting GlucosaGreen to see if they sell directly to consumers.

Bookfan
For the Love of Pigs

Post   » Sun Jan 05, 2020 12:04 pm


We started Gracie on Oxbow Support shortly after my last post. The stuff from England had already been ordered. It has arrived & she's had some for the last few days. She seems happier, coming out of her hut to eat with the other pigs, minimal blood in her pee, & less in the way of pain sounds when pooping. Daughter has been giving her critical care for a few weeks to help her gain/maintain her weight. I'm not attributing all this improvement to the new product - it's anecdotal and I just don't think that way. But she seems better so we'll continue with it. My internist said the informal way to see if a med is helping (in humans) is to start, stop and then start again. But I'm sure we won't stop unless it seems to be causing problems.

Today daughter tells me Grace has sneezed a couple of times a day for the last several days & sprays out a droplet or two of clear mucus. She's acting fine, eating fine, no crustiness on eyes or nose. Should we take her to vet or wait another day or two? We're at the dusty end of a box of hay and just opened a new one yesterday, fwiw.

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Sef
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Sun Jan 05, 2020 1:30 pm


I'd wait and monitor for now. One URI symptom, such as intermittent sneezing, puts me on alert. Two more more symptoms, I haul the guinea pig to the vet.

Interesting about that urinary product from the UK. Is she also using the Oxbow supplement? If so, maybe a synergistic effect?

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