Nibbles Medical Thread

IssaG

Post   » Mon Feb 04, 2019 4:21 pm


Hopefully this will be the only thing I'll ever have to post in this thread!

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.

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Lynx
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Post   » Mon Feb 04, 2019 5:00 pm


Look over this page:
www.guinealynx.info/pain.html

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).
www.guinealynx.info/stones.html

IssaG

Post   » Tue Feb 05, 2019 11:41 am


Thanks Lynx, that is exactly what I needed and couldn't find the first time.

Yes, my vet had done a lot of stone removal on rodents but has seen success in some of her guineas and rabbits passing stones with this herb. So we decided to try it and just see what happens.

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Lynx
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Post   » Tue Feb 05, 2019 2:28 pm


Keep us informed! I certainly do wish you success. Absolutely watch for signs of pain and make sure she is peeing or things could go south quickly.

IssaG

Post   » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:11 pm


Not much of an update but we received the supplement and she's been on it and pain meds since last Thursday. The pain meds have put back to a normal guinea personality wise which is so nice. She doesn't like being handled much though, I'm guessing because of her tender abdomen, and doesn't run circles around the cage like she used to. She seems to sleep more as well and I don't know if the pain meds cause sleepiness or not.

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.

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Lynx
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Post   » Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:29 pm


I wonder if she'd like the supplements syringed in some carrot juice?

Hoping for success.

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Catie Cavy
Supporter 2011-2019

Post   » Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:42 pm


A couple of us have had good luck using Ativan or Valium. They act as muscle relaxants and can help a guinea pig pass a stone. You might want to ask your vet about it. Extra liquid is good too. Focus on fruits and vegetables with the highest water content and syringe water or unflavored Pedialyte.

IssaG

Post   » Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:06 pm


You know, I never really thought about the liquid part of this thing. Which is silly since she can't push out a stone if there's nothing in there to push with. So a few things.

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?

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Lynx
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Post   » Tue Feb 12, 2019 7:50 pm


Any time you can, go for vegetables over fruits due to their sugars. You can also used plain cooked pumpkin/squash.

IssaG

Post   » Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:40 pm


It's been several weeks and I have no idea if she's passed the stone. I've given her the supplement twice day as well as pain meds. Every once in a while I'd skip the pain med to see how she was doing and she'd huddle in the corner stiff or attack her fleece so I'd give her more. But a week a go she behaved normally and I haven't needed to give her pain medications since.

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.

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Lynx
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Post   » Fri Mar 08, 2019 10:46 pm


Thanks for the update. It would be wonderful if she has passed the stone.

IssaG

Post   » Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:02 pm


Well they couldn't get an xray on Monday so they asked me to bring her back so she could stay all day and they would try and get an xray that would be clear whether the stone was there or not. That was yesterday and the results are that SHE PASSED THE STONE!!! I am so happy. So the vet wants to keep her on the supplement so she'll continue to pass crystals or whatever forms in the bladder before it becomes a big stone. However we are dropping the dosage to 1 tablet a day instead of 2.

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.

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Lynx
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Post   » Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:11 pm


That is fabulous news! Yes, anything you can do to prevent the formation of more stones or ease the passing of hopefully tiny stones is good.

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Sef
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:26 pm


Very good news indeed! We have discussion thread in Cavy Chat on Shilintong, as it looks like the original brand that many of us have purchased in the past has been discontinued. Where did you buy yours?

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!

IssaG

Post   » Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:21 pm


I did see that other thread and posted where I got mine. https://shenclinic.com/search?q=shilintong It was the same packaging as the one my vet showed me so that's why I went with it. I'm very relieved though less excited about having to give a supplement every day for basically ever.

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?

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Sef
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:35 pm


There is a page on diet that may be useful to you here:
http://www.guinealynx.info/diet.html

Also:
http://www.guinealynx.info/fave.html

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:

Image

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.

IssaG

Post   » Sat Mar 16, 2019 3:26 pm


That list is awesome! Thank you. I want to change things up a bit for Nibbles every once and a while so this helps.

IssaG

Post   » Fri May 17, 2019 7:24 pm


How often did those of you who had stone formers actually form stones? Nibbles acts like she's getting a stone every month. She'll be fine then all of a sudden quiet, hiding in a corner. I'll give her pain medication for several days, then she is fine again. Then it starts all over. I give the supplement 1x day but move to 2x when she's feeling bad. I've now decided to keep her on 2x to see if it makes any difference.

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.

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Lynx
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Post   » Sat May 18, 2019 7:26 am


This does not sound normal. I am sorry she seems to be developing so many stones.

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Sef
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Sat May 18, 2019 2:45 pm


Stone formation/recurrence really just varies from pig to pig. Our Zachary (my sweet little avatar pig) developed not only stones in his bladder but also in both ureters. They were aggressive, fast-forming stones and sadly there was not much we could do about it. Andrew was another one who had fast-growing stones. He had back-to-back stones surgeries in the span of a couple of months and when a third stone developed right away, we had to make the decision to end his suffering. On the other hand, we had a male (Sebastian) who lived with a good-size bladder stone and presented no signs of it whatsoever. We never even knew he had it until x-rays for an unrelated issue revealed it. We currently have another male, Amos, who seems to be forming and passing small stones periodically, and has undergone several rounds of Bactrim for secondary UTIs associated with it.

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.

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