I do agree that the restricted diet isn't doing a thing to prevent stones. Maybe it keeps them smaller, who knows, but I don't believe the hype on the low calcium diet anymore. Her cage mate who is mostly on the same restrictions for ease, though she does get lettuce and carrots when she's out by herself, has not had problems. So I'm not going to feel bad giving Nibbles a bit of lettuce here or there.
Sef, thanks for sharing your experience with stones. It helps keep things in perspective. We'll keep going on our current path but if there is no change I'll look into that bladder stone formula. I'd like to have more data on the current regimen first.
I told her we had to keep Nibbles at two tablets per day, not just one, otherwise she acted off. The vet speculates that the muscles of her bladder don't work correctly and that's why she is uncomfortable when she's only on one tablet or no tablets. The urine doesn't empty properly and that build up contributes to the stone formation. The tablets let those muscles relax so she can empty the bladder.
So good that we have a treatment that works and that's she's not forming hundreds of stones. And I'm even less concerned about giving her things occasionally that are not on her prescribed diet.
So crossing fingers that this is the worst we'll have to see in her.
Most of what I've read here says the nipples indicate ovarian cysts though I thought she'd be a bit young for that. This isn't an emergency situation since she's fine otherwise so should I take a wait and watch approach for now?
I would also consider giving her a couple Nizoral shampoos to see if it helps with the dandruff - which can be fungal (dandruff can be caused by a yeast infection - aka fungal infection).
And if you start seeing more scratching, I would still consider mites a possibility, as they are so common. If you have never treated for mites, it can be a good move.
Hmm, I never considered that the dandruff could be fungal. I'm still just going to watch for a while. She does get bathed periodically as she urinates on herself from time to time so I may think about the shampoo the next time we do that if she doesn't start scratching more.
My questions is how often, or more accurately, how long do we do this. Human directions say use everyday for only 4 weeks. Then move to once every 1-2 weeks. So if we go once a week for 4 weeks, then stop, should be start back up preemptively? Or wait until she scratches again? I know this stuff is strong and I don't want to overdue it or cause harm. But the dandruff is bad and has to be addressed.
If you were having success treating once a week for four weeks, that is a lot less than the human recommendation of daily for four weeks. I am guessing the daily use in humans really knocks out the dandruff/yeast infection and then it is maintained at a lesser rate. It may be treating only once a week only knocks things down and does not knock it out. But the once a week still seems much more reasonable than daily. The human scalp produces many oils. I don't think guinea pig skin is that oily.
What are your own ideas?
Yes. It seemed to go down each week then she looked normal after treatment 4 so I stopped.
It's my husband that is more worried as I can't show him any studies, that's just how his mind rolls, but I was thinking somewhat like you in that we didn't do enough to knock it out. However, we may never be able to knock it out. It's something I'll bring up with the vet at her annual in August. But till then I was thinking of being a little more aggressive with it, maybe twice a week for two or three weeks, then once a week for another 4 weeks. The dandruff is worse this time so I think it might warrant a little more treatment. Does that sound out of line?
Also during that August appointment, her bladder wall was thickened. So the vet put her on Meloxicam once a day for three months. Today her bladder was back to normal. So glad to see one issue we could get a solution around. I do wonder though if this will come back though.
She continues to be my high maintenance guinea. In fact last night I came home and she was bleeding from the nose. I didn't know guinea could produce that much blood! We got it stopped and she'd been perfectly normal. Vet couldn't find anything. Found what I think was the culprit, if not each other, and took care of it. But boy that was a shock to see.