Guinea pig losing fur and messy bottom

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:49 pm

Meloxicam is widely used for guinea pigs. Some vets prescribe it to be given once a day, but many of us have found that pigs in pain do better if you divide the dose in half, increase it by just a bit, and give it twice a day. I know the literature says it will keep pain at bay for 24 hours, but it just won't do that.

I'm glad you got in at Cornell. Can you use them as your regular vet, or will you have to use another? If so, I'd find a different one than the one who refused to treat for mites.

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Post   » Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:17 pm

There is a sticky in the medical forum on arthritis. It might be in the master sticky.

I am glad they finally chose to treat for mites! It is unconscionable that they waited so long! Revolution will treat a number of parasites.


Post   » Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:13 pm

I agree that mites should have been considered a LONG time ago. I missed the signs at first but once I heard about the under the skin mites I asked and asked with no se cuss. I kept being told they did not see mites and if they had mites the pigs would jump when touched. So glad we finally got into Cornell.

Yes, I can make Cornell my main vet. Butterscotchesccage mate ( her son) is a patient there since he was neutered in 2015 and now that she has been seen by them we can return. They make me a little nervous because they have the students do a lot of the exams and procedures so I do like my other vet for nail clippings and things like that.

Also, my usual vet did fins,my agree to rest for mites. It just should have been done from the get go maybe or at least when our measures to fix their "dry skin dandruff" failed when humidifiers, vitamin c and skin and fur vitamins did not work.

How do you know when a piggie needs metacam? Cornell thought at her age (4) and due to extreme obesity she may have arthritis but this was not,confirmed by X-ray as thy suggested. Instead, they offered a 2 week trial to see how she responds. I am not sure she needs it but they thought due to the pee around her bottom that she may be in pain and therefore not moving away from her pee. I support this idea but want to make sure it's a good idea first. I read up on metacam but still was hoping some seasoned metacam users would chime in.

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:33 pm

I wouldn't hesitate to try it.


Post   » Sat May 26, 2018 4:22 am

As long as the cysts are present, the hair loss will be. They could easily be the root of all her problems, they can even interfere with thyroid function, metabolism, blood pressure and heart rate. I had one elderly sow who had big ones most of her life, when she was around 5-6 years old, she was spayed. All her *hair grew back and she seemed much happier, but she died of old age about 9 months later. Spaying is a major surgery and she had some digestive issues for a few weeks after it because everything had to be 'moved around' and then had much more space to spread out. Meloxicam is an NSAID frequently used for pain relief and as an anti inflammatory, some guinea pigs do well on it, others seem not to do so well, how did she do on it?
Last edited by squeaky3 on Sat May 26, 2018 4:24 am, edited 1 time in total.


Post   » Sat May 26, 2018 4:23 am

I said fur... I meant hair!!


Post   » Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:17 am

Butterscotch has regrown all of her hair. The vets at Cornell still see cysts on her ovaries on ultrasound but suspect they are not hormone dependent since her hair grew back. She continues to have .25 of metacam a day. That seems to be the secret number in terms of a dosage that keeps her bottom from getting so messy. We did a trial of her off the meds for two weeks and as suspected, she acted exactly the same, same food intake etc. BUT her bottom became covered in urine again. The suspicion is that she has posturing problems related to arthritis so we put her back on the meds even though she has no signs of arthritis. Basically, without metacam she gets covered in urine but with metacam she is able to be cleaner. Will keep people updated with changes.


Post   » Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:10 pm

UPDATE July 2019-

My 5yp female guinea pig has been dealing with incontinence and a uti since January. She has been seen during this time weekly or bi-weekly continuously at Cornell Vet Hospital and has been on 4 different antibiotics. Nothing is helping. The UTIs are causing stones and I have tried everything to help her dissolve them (see med list below)

At this time, we are out of options. The vets have prescribed proin syrup to help the incontinence with the hope that it will help with the uti as well but they have no experience with using proin in guinea pigs and I am worried about giving it to her after reading countless horror stories by dog owners and the fact that it was used in humans but recalled and is now banned for use in the US.

Does anyone have experience with treating drug resistant UTIs or using proin syrup to treat incontenence? Any suggestions? I have tried d-mannose and numerous other otc supplements as well as the prescribed meds she is on.

Current med list-
TMS antibiotic
Doxy antibiotic
Sodium citrate
Tramodol as needed
Pet uti free supplement

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Post   » Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:39 pm

Unfortunately, nothing has been proven to help dissolve bladder stones in guinea pigs. Antibiotics, and in particular SMZ, is generally effective in treating UTI, but this sounds more challenging due to incontinence. Have stones in the urethra been ruled out? Probably a long shot, but a stone or stones stuck in the urethra could cause dribbling of urine.

You may find something useful in this thread (Propalin is mentioned further down, which I think is the same thing as Proin):

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Post   » Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:59 pm

Also meant to ask...what kind of bedding are you using?

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:22 pm

I wouldn't give d'mannose. It's a sugary carbohydrate, and guinea pigs just aren't engineered to process sugar. You can wind up with major digestive upsets with sugars.

I agree with sef that nothing is likely to dissolve the stones. I wouldn't even try. If they're small enough she might pass them, and the shilintong might help with that. But if you don't get rid of the stones, the incontinence is probably not going to stop, and you could wind up with a full-on emergency.

I'm also not sure why she's being given sodium citrate. It's used to make the urine alkaline, but guinea pig urine is alkaline to begin with. It may have no effect at all. Renavive is another unproven product that's not likely to work in herbivores.

Is there some reason you haven't had the stones surgically removed?

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Catie Cavy
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Post   » Mon Jul 15, 2019 6:52 am

The only other things I can think of are to give extra fluids (by syringe, giving high water content fruits and vegetables, and wetting vegetables) and try a sedative. Sedatives like Ativan or Valium can act as a muscle relaxant to help pass stones. They have worked for a few of us here.


Post   » Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:04 pm

Trying to answer all these questions and add details....

She is on fleece with uhual padding underneath. Changed fully 2x a week and her bedding lads are changed daily. Baths daily to keep urine off. Using desitin cream for bare spots (no active urine scald sores at this time). Going to increase baths to 2x a day to keep bacteria down 8n that area but worried about how dry that will make her skin. I also use pure coconut oil to try to keep her skin hydrated.

Her urine is collected by cysto and cultured every two weeks. The results come back positive for an infection every time and they test it to see what antibiotics will be effective against it. At first it was TMS but then it became resistant. Same with Baytril. We went to azithro next but then the bacteria changed and azithro was not effective against it. She is back on TMS but the bacteria outgrows the TMS meaning that it’s our only option but not really working. We added doxy short term as a blast to try to assist the TMS in overpowering the uti bacteria.

This all started in January and was accompanied by excessive bladder sludge. The sodium citrate was addded because it is supposed to maybe help reduce bladder sludge or at least not allow the sludge to form stones.

It did not work. Stones formed multiple times in her urethra and even ureter. She was close to death multiple times. I tried the shilitong and Renavive as a last ditch chance to save her life. They worked. Or, rather, somehow she passed those stones.

I have been to Cornell animal hospital Throughout this episode. I have told them about flushing the bladder (to reduce sludge) and removing the stones as I have read about on multiple occasions here but they will not, they say they could cause more harm than good and she most likely would not survive surgery.

So, at this time, they do not expect to cure her uti (I am hopeful and continue to try everything I can) but are just trying to keep her comfortable and happy.

The incontinence has been suggested as either coming first and starting the uti (sitting in urine can harbor bacteria) or the continuous uti has led to incontinence. She could also have stones again that cause the dribbling although her sludge was minimal at her last ultrasound.

Anyway, antibiotics don’t seem to work but I am open to hear about other options. I am most interested to hear if anyone has experience with the propalin / proin syrup. I have read it can cause death in dogs (it did in humans too and was pulled from the market) but if it could help her dribbling it might be able to stop her from getting uti’s but on the other hand, might make it harder for her to pass stones because it can cause you to stop being able to pee which sounds painful.

Anyway, any suggestions for chronic utis? Experience with propalin/ proin?

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Post   » Mon Jul 15, 2019 6:34 pm

Do you see the link I posted to a thread on GL regarding Propalin?


Post   » Tue Jul 16, 2019 3:27 am

I didnt want to give Propalin to Ringo years ago, cause its bad for the heart. And its usually not even effective from what I heard(he had enlarged prostate and was heavily incontinent. Death cause of PRopalin- its hard to say cause most of this dogs had other issues as well..

However we did not cultures for infections cause Enroxill always helped but with pigs that is much much more complicated. But yeah he has history with bladder and kidney infections cause of baccteria in prostate or something like that. But Ringo is a dog so I hope you can find the sef1268 link:)

In our cause surgery-castration-would have been better-I regret we didnt do it..we did chemichal few times-but it helped atfirst and than not at all-he is Quite incontinent still today and Will always be. Alternative medicine didnt work also. At all.

Irie was reciving TMS injections under skin for bordetella without success..but that justsome information i dont know if it can help your case-I know its more agressive and effective than oral ab.

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Post   » Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:15 am

I'm not sure why the vet would be reluctant to perform surgery to remove the bladder stones. Any surgery is risky, of course, but this type of surgery is (generally speaking) relatively straight forward in the hands of an experienced exotics vet. If she's passing them on her own, that's good. It concerns me, though, that you mention stones in one of her ureters. Those tend to be much harder if not impossible to remove and, in my limited experience with them, aggressive and potentially very damaging to the kidneys.

Do read the Propalin link that I posted above. I'm not sure it would be effective in this case, where incontinence is most likely caused by repeated UTI's and/or stones. I'm also not sure what else to suggest as far as antibiotic treatment.

Without reading back is she otherwise? Eating well, pooping normally, engaged with her surroundings, etc.?


Post   » Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:35 pm

For whatever reason, the multiple vets I have consulted at Cornell all seem to go against most of the advice on this site. In fact, they often don’t seem to be aware of the meds or dosing or procedures that I see mentioned time and time again on here. That is not to take anything away from them. It just makes it hard. I just tend to believe that they don’t actually see that many guinea pigs. For example, when they put her on doxy they said they don’t usually use it on exotics and said she might not handle it well. On this site it is listed as one of 4 drugs for guinea pigs. I would go to a more experienced exotics vet but these are supposed to be the experts so I really don’t know what to do.

The ureter stones were gone in her last ultrasound so she was able to pass them. The other stones they felt were small enough to also pass on their own and they have. She may have stones again but after 4 ultrasounds we (vets) stopped checking because it did not alter the outcome of her treatment. I asked about surgery or flushing her out or expressing the sludge and all of those were met with a huge NO either because it could flush the stones back in the bladder, or would be painful to her. I read about it being done all the time on here so I really don’t get the disconnect in treatment options.

Anyway, her appetite is good (not on baytril, she drops weight like crazy in that but we try to avoid baytril for her as much as we can) she is happy and content. Her (neutered) son is her cage mate and I am working to keep both of them healthy and chugging along for each other. I worry about his well being if she were to pass and vice versa.

I saw the link of the proin. That’s the first time I saw that drug mentioned and I actually took that info to Cornell to ask about getting it for Butterscotch. They have never used it in a gp and so I wanted to follow up and see if anyone had ever tried it or if there were other things I should be trying.

Not sure if I answered all the questions....

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:22 am

You're not the first person who's taken a guinea pig to Cornell and gotten advice contrary to that of most other exotic vets. I can't remember the other people involved, but if you search the medical forum for "Cornell" you'll turn up some threads. I've wondered before if their exotic staff actually has much experience with guinea pigs.


Post   » Thu Jul 18, 2019 4:13 pm

Interesting. They are supposed to be the best in the country.

I have no one else to use. Every vet in town is Cornell trained and educated. I have seen other vets to consult with them on this issue and they refuse the stone surgery and sludge removal as well.

I have no idea what else to do for her.

I just got the test results for her urine back. She has two new strains of bacteria causing her infection. So, her infection is chronic but the actual bacteria chasing the infection has now changes 5 times. How you can get an infection while you are on continuous antibiotics is a mystery to me.

The thought is if we can use proin (formerly propalin syrup) to stop her dribbling and keep her dry she will not get any further infections. I am worried that if she has a stone she won’t be able to peel it out though on the proin or that it will cause serious illness or worse.

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Post   » Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:35 pm

Does she have urine scald also? Your situation does sound frustrating. Have you tried increasing fluids by syringing water?

What are the bacteria strains? Do you know what antibiotics they are sensitive to? What kind of bedding do you use? Is she a long haired guinea pig?

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