Nibbles has a bladder stone. So far she's in good health. No wheaking or obvious pain just the red urine and tender abdomen. Her vet wants us to try Shilintong. The vet said she's used it in guineas and rabbits and found female guineas respond well to it. She's also put Nibbles on a strict diet of specific veggies. Poor thing as she, like her name suggests, likes just about any fruit or veggie given to her. So I have no questions about the stone or treatment at this time.
However I was also given Meloxicam for pain as needed. My question is how do I tell she is in pain? Is it just wheaking when trying to urinate or straining? I want to get on top of the pain when it's there but not dose her with this if she doen't need it yet.
As a general rule, bladder stones do not go away (rare). Sometimes, if small, especially for a female (larger urethra), they can pass a stone. But surgery is usually required as they are painful and in may block the passage of urine (an emergency).
On the first day of pain meds, the bloody urine went away. I don't believe there is a correlation there, but interesting that the stone is not causing blood anymore. Its still there, she still has problems urinating and we bathe her back legs and behind every other day or as needed as the urine runs down her left leg. I can't imagine that feels good. It's always amusing to put her back in the cage after her mini bath and watch Callie, the other guinea, follow her around sniffing her backside trying to figure out what happened.
This morning she balked at the crushed supplement in banana. So I'm pondering different ways to get it in her. I don't know what the deal was this morning, but I'll try that method again while pondering something else to shake things up.
So just a lot of watching and waiting at this point.
- Catie Cavy
- Supporter 2011-2020
I'm writing down Ativan and Valium to ask when we go back in a couple weeks. My vet is an exotic with rodents in a small town, but always willing to research things.
Per the vet, she is limited to, veggie wise, cucumber, tomato, bell pepper, melon, apple, blueberries, and banana. And maybe one or two more I can't remember. She likes cucumber and pepper, is so-so on the tomato but that is new to her so it make take a little time. I'm careful on how much fruit I give and only offer a little bit a couple times a week. All those seem pretty liquidy to me, I'm not sure how to make them more so.
As for adding water to her diet via syringe, that might work. She's really open to syringe feeding. How often would be appropriate to do that and how much? I'd like to try it but not give her so much she gets sick.
As for the supplement, I dissolved it in water but I used too much water and it was a mess. Plus I tried it when Nibbles was already upset at me for something else. I should have waited and given her time to cool down. Last night I added just a tiny bit of water and turned it into a paste that I loaded in the syringe. She took it but I could tell it wasn't her favorite thing. This morning she ate it in banana. So the carrot idea is making me think. I can explore that to shake things up a bit. Would applesauce work too, do you think?
She still has a wet back side every once and while but isn't dribbling urine down her leg like she was. The blood in the urine is gone, or so fine I can't see it. Only one time did I see blood and that was over two weeks ago after vigorous floor time chasing her cage mate around. That lasted about 12 hours and was gone.
Our next vet appointment is Monday where I'll ask her to get re-xrayed and we'll see where we are. This new veggie diet has translated into fewer treats for her overall. This has made her more food aggressive with the treats we give so I've had to take her cage mate out and feed her separately as Callie will not fight very hard for treats. That's not so bad, I like playing with Callie, but a dynamic I hadn't expected.
So I guess these supplements really do work. This has been such a weird experience. I know these things can go south quick so I'm happy in this case it resolved successfully.
The vet wants to keep her on her abbreviated diet though in the next breath said there really isn't any good evidence that change in diet keeps stones from forming. Guineas are stone formers or they are not. So I guess I'll stay on it for the most part for now and we'll see.
- I dissent.
As far as diet, a number of us here who have had guinea pigs with bladder stones over the years have come to suspect a possible correlation between the calcium carbonate in most (but not all) commercial guinea pig pellets and stone formation. What brand do you use?
Otherwise, cutting excess calcium in the diet in general could help reduce sludge, and keeping her well hydrated and active may also help prevent sludge and stones in the future. As you said, though, some guinea pigs are just more prone to this problem than others.
Good luck and thanks for the update!
As for pellets, I feed Oxbow adult, Essentials I think (the red package) and that started about 6 weeks ago. The guinea are both about 8-10 months old now. Have you seen any problems with this pellet?
Outside of corn husks, the recommendations are all technically fruits: cucumber, pepper, apple, banana, etc. So thoughts on introducing a small piece of something different once a week or every other week, like a small piece of lettuce or something?
- I dissent.
For what it's worth, this is a 'diet' I used back when so many of our guinea pigs were ending up with bladder stones, and I was trying to strike a balance between a relatively good variety of vegetables and foods too high in calcium:
I can't say that anything dietary has made much of a difference, honestly, although I still avoid pellets containing calcium carbonate. Oxbow pellets originally contained that as the calcium source, but they later changed the formula. I also do not feed iceberg or romaine lettuces, both of which were on my original list. Iceberg is too watery with no nutritional value, and romaine has caused calcium deposits in many of our guys.
Her weight is unchanged; I weigh them weekly. Only one time have I found visible blood in her urine. I'm not ready to take her into the vet yet as we have her yearly appointment in August. When she's feeling fine she's completely normal. I'd say her painful time is a week max, usually more like 4 or 5 days. She's on a low calcium diet. I've been giving Oxbow pellets but have some from KMS that I'm introducing. She only gets cucumber, tomato, pepper, banana (to mash the supplement in), a little melon rind.
Is this simply our new normal? She a little less than a year old so we have a lot of this ahead if that is the case.
- I dissent.
Unfortunately, some guinea pigs just seem prone to manufacturing stones and there doesn't seem to be a diet or supplement that does much to prevent it. It's good that she's passing the stone(s), though. I would think/hope that the Shilintong would help with some of the pain and inflammation, but it seems to be hit-and-miss from what I've seen.
I don't know if this would be worth trying or not, but Fuzzies Kingdom does make a so-called "bladder stone" formula (it's not on the website; you have to email Tanya and specifically ask for it) that *seems* to be helping our Amos somewhat so far. I ordered a bag of it last month and give him a small daily amount. I'm normally not that big on herbals, but it seems like it **might** help him pass the stone(s), which is something none of our past male guinea pigs were able to do.