Recurrent UTI's, no stones

amberkenn2016

Post   » Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:17 pm


Alrighty, so I have a nearly 3 year old piggy that has had at least 4 UTI's in the past year. We have done urinalysis testing each time I brought him in, but in this previous visit there were no signs of an infection. My vet performs an ultrasound guided cystocentesis and each time George has come back negative for stones and masses.

Each time he has had a UTI, we were given Baytril and it seemed to work, however right after the treatment stopped he would go back to hunching up and straining to wee. I have not noticed any sludge, however I could get him on fabric for a bit to double check. The vet would usually tell me if there were crystals in his urine, but he said everything didn't look concerning to him. There is a trusted vet that works with exotics but they live roughly 1.5 hours from me and can't see me until Friday of next week.

Right now he is giving us the thousand yard stare. He has always done that, even as a young pig, but I can't seem to shake off the idea that he's in pain somehow. Is there a possibility he might have arthritis that is causing this? Or what suggestions do you guys have?

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:25 pm


So the UTIs were diagnosed by testing to see if there was bacteria in the urine? Were stones ruled out?

Bactrim seems to work better than Baytril on UTIs.

If you have not, read over:
www.guinealynx.info/stones.html

amberkenn2016

Post   » Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:56 pm


My vet used an ultrasound quite a few times, and he told me if he saw anything that could indicate a stone, we would continue with an x-ray, but there has been nothing yet. So yes, as far as I know, no stones.

And yes, there were no bacteria found in the urine at his most recent visit, but the doctor continued the Baytril for one more week just to be 100% sure it was gone. It's a long story, but I tried to get him into the vet on a Friday and they told me I had to wait until Monday, but they gave me the all clear to start administering Baytril until he could be seen (I had a recent batch left over). Thus they found no bacteria on that Monday. And his week and a half on it ended this last Tuesday.

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sef1268
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Sat Jul 20, 2019 9:56 am


It sounds like the UTI isn't clearing up fully on Baytril and therefore recurring, despite the clear urinalysis. As Lynx mentioned, Bactrim is *generally* more effective at knocking out urinary tract infections, and if it were me, I'd be inclined to ask for it vs. doing another round of Baytril. I'd also ask for Metacam to help with pain and any inflammation.

Hunching when urinating is very symptomatic of a stone. I would assume this would show up in an ultrasound, but if you don't see improvement after another round of antibiotics and pain meds, my suggestion would be to ask for x-rays to be doubly sure.

amberkenn2016

Post   » Tue Jul 23, 2019 6:25 pm


Unfortunately I have really bad news, and would like some advice as to how I should proceed.

I took George back in for x-rays and a change in medication. My vet took him in the back and performed a cystocentesis on him, so he was laying on his back during this. When they brought him back in the room, he could hardly walk and was flipping on his back. As a result, I pushed for the vet to take x-rays and see if any damage was done. Turns out he has arthritis in both knees, and a couple of vertebrae in his back appear to be fusing.

At this point my brain is fried, at one moment he's walking and the next he can hardly do that. I'm beyond furious at our vet. He's always taken good care of my boys and now this happens to my boy on his watch.

So I was wondering what I can do for George now? He's not eating really, probably due to the pain, and he's not moving around alot. He's still got movement in his legs, but it's rather minimal. He was also given 0.1 meloxicam (1.5 mg/ml) and he's still not doing better.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Tue Jul 23, 2019 9:11 pm


I am sorry about what happened. They can be fragile. I am sure the vet is upset about this too.

I seem to remember vets normally giving steroids for something like this to prevent swelling and further damage (if his spine was injured). Maybe someone else can comment.

Hand feeding if he is not eating and pain medication are important. If he still seems in pain, ask the vet if he should have a higher dose of meloxicam.

Lots about pain management here (read Talishan's links):
www.guinealynx.info/pain.html

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sef1268
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Tue Jul 23, 2019 9:21 pm


It could be transient. I've actually had it happen before, where a vet tech or even the vet herself inadvertently mishandled one of our guys and the guinea pig had difficulty moving around for the next day or so. If there is no improvement by morning, though, I'd call the vet and explain the situation. I need to check back through my notes, but I don't *think* NSAIDs and steroids can be taken concurrently. If the vet thinks something like Prednisone would help, it may be necessary to wait 24 hours to get the Metacam out of his system before starting it. Again, I'm relying on memory here and it has been awhile since I had to use Pred.

What is George's weight? Unless he's severely underweight, if he were my pig, I think I'd go ahead and bump up the Metacam this evening. When was his last dose?

amberkenn2016

Post   » Tue Jul 23, 2019 9:37 pm


Thank you for your responses, they're greatly appreciated. He's currently lying down in his favorite corner, but still refuses to eat. I gave him a little CC earlier, but will give again soon.

He currently weighs 2 lb 11 oz., and yes I upped his dosage for the night. He was prescribed 0.1 of the Meloxicam, but I was told to give him 2 doses of it. So altogether it's 0.2 ml. After talking with a vet tech who was present during the incident, she says he was struggling a little, moving his legs around. He has had to have a cystocentesis so many times before and he's never responded like this. This has got me so scared.

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sef1268
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Tue Jul 23, 2019 9:52 pm


I have to think maybe he just pulled something. Do keep up the handfeeding as he needs to keep his gut moving, and make sure he stays hydrated, too. That's a reasonable dose of Metacam for his weight and given the situation. I hope it helps.

amberkenn2016

Post   » Tue Jul 23, 2019 10:01 pm


No offense, but he may have just pulled something? I really hope that's all it is but no matter how sick he was in the past, he's never stopped eating. He was flipping on his back at the vet, and I'm assuming he did so out of shock. Perhaps he's still in shock? It's been roughly 5 hours since his vet visit.

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ItsaZoo

Post   » Tue Jul 23, 2019 10:59 pm


Sef is right that NSAIDS and steroids should not be given at the same time. I made that mistake with a dog that had degenerative disk disease. She was already getting Medrol for something else and I gave her carprofen which is like an ibuprofen for the back pain. The vet explained that a steroid is the best NSAID there is and anything additional is double dosing. Luckily I mentioned it to him and it was only one dose so there were no issues.

I hope George starts feeling better by morning.

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sef1268
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Wed Jul 24, 2019 12:16 am


I thought you meant that they flipped him on his back -- not that he was having seizure-like symptoms. If that's the case, I apologize. I was trying to make the point that I had one, possibly two guinea pigs suffer minor injury at the vet while being manipulated for xrays or other diagnostics, and the pain from a pulled muscle did affect appetite. That was my thought here. I didn't mean to imply that your pigs symptoms weren't more serious; I just mis-read what you wrote.

Do keep us posted. I'm sorry that you're dealing with this.

amberkenn2016

Post   » Wed Jul 24, 2019 2:42 am


Sef, I apologize, you probably didn't misread but only that I didn't include that bit in the first place.

I wasn't aware that flipping on his back had to do with a seizure though. I thought he was just incredibly scared and wanted to play dead, especially if the way they manipulated him caused him pain. I swear to god they will not hear the end of this.

I'll do my best to keep everyone here posted, but after recently losing a pig of mine a month ago, I don't know if I'll be able to hold up.

amberkenn2016

Post   » Wed Jul 24, 2019 3:59 am


I just gave him another feeding and he looks more alert than he was before. That and he seemed to have the energy to keep fighting off the syringe! He seems quite sore though, because if I touch his hind legs he will give me the business. He was also moving about his cage a little bit rather than balling himself up in the corner. And I also caught him eating a little bit!

I need to clarify however that he was indeed on his back for the test, but when he came back in the room afterwards he was flipping on his back. I'm almost convinced that he was in both shock and in pain enough to have that little episode. He hasn't been flipping at all since he got home, but he just hasn't been moving around much due to the pain.

His eyes were also runny. His brother had episodes like that where if he was stressed out he would cry tears, but in this case I'm thinking it's the pain.

I really don't want to call it quits on him since he's not paralyzed, because it seems to me he just has the bad arthritis.

amberkenn2016

Post   » Wed Jul 24, 2019 6:58 pm


Update: George is not looking so hot. He's still refusing to eat, so I'm guessing the metacam is not working. I've stepped in and started supplementing vitamin C into his diet more, as I now realize he was not voluntarily taking too much prior to going downhill. I also spoke with the vet, and he says the prednisone would be worth a shot. He is also putting him on buprenorphine twice daily to help with the pain. Are those two medications okay to put together?

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:04 pm


Here is some info an analgesics that might help:
www.guinealynx.info/analgesics.html

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sef1268
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Thu Jul 25, 2019 6:07 am


Poor little guy. Are you still handfeeding him?

Buprenorphine is a fairly heavy-duty opioid that can slow down the gut. Tramadol might be a better option, which tends to be less sedating, but I would discuss these concerns with your vet.

See also:
http://www.guinealynx.info/pain.html

amberkenn2016

Post   » Thu Jul 25, 2019 11:45 am


Just had another vet appointment, turns out George has developed bloat along with a possible URI. The vet wants to try Baytril for the possible URI but is adding Metoclopramide for the gas in his tummy. We are still going with the buprenorphine, as my vet is certain that the dosage is at a tolerable level for him. They also performed laser therapy on him, just to start easing his joints and possibly his back. He seemed a little more mobile after the therapy, so I'm praying he'll pull through.

He still isn't eating voluntarily and hasn't moved too much. I want to give him the best shot he has at getting life back into him, as he is the family piggy and would do anything for him. I do have a question on ethics, but if all of this fails to help him, would it be selfish of me to PTS? I don't want this to burden him much longer, as I want to keep his best interest in mind. He has always been a fighter, and I don't want to give up on him now.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Thu Jul 25, 2019 2:58 pm


I don't know if this will help you but you might wish to read it:
http://www.guinealynx.info/euthanasia.html

amberkenn2016

Post   » Thu Jul 25, 2019 5:22 pm


He's doing much worse. He has had a couple of coughing fits and as a result of the buprenorphine, he barely has enough energy to swallow things down. Before it he would at least chew, but now he's hardly doing that. He also started squeaking and tried to run away from us like he was hysterical. I'm not sure what to do.

Even my dad says this one is a hard call. He's probably in pain from his arthritis and he's dealing with bloat and an URI on top of that. I hate myself for ever bringing him in. I should've just kept him home that day and tried other things to help him. I love him so much, and I hate myself for bringing him in to get looked at.

I'm hoping that he won't suffer for too much longer.

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