Jewel and Jinx's medical thread

Post Reply
User avatar
daisymay
Supporter 2016-2021

Post   » Mon May 04, 2020 1:30 am


Just an update on Jinx. As you know she passed blood April 12th(Easter Sunday). Then it stopped. On April 26th to May 1st put white towel on top of her bedding, and like clockwork on April 28th she passed blood again. Then it stopped.

So I thought it was her menstrual cycle-if guinea pigs have one there is debate over this. BUT today 6 days after when she urinates she is bleeding again. I am wondering now sadly whether it is tumours, stones or a UTI?

The only change made to Jinx is after 3 weeks of introductions have reintroduced her sister Jewel to her cage. Before this had them in an closure for 2 hours a day for 3 weeks. Last night they spent the night together.
Any suggestions much appreciated as going out of my mind here! Have separated them again and Jinx is back to the white towel.

In 2 months she has lost 40grams. Now weighs 1063grams. Still eating and pooping and peeing. And appears happy in herself. Just after I write all is well, well Jinx I Jinxed you!

User avatar
Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Mon May 04, 2020 7:02 am


I hope you can figure out if something is going on with her.

User avatar
daisymay
Supporter 2016-2021

Post   » Thu May 07, 2020 10:41 am


Thanks for the reply Lynx. Jinx goes to the vet today, Friday so am hoping will know more then. Keep you posted.

User avatar
daisymay
Supporter 2016-2021

Post   » Wed May 13, 2020 5:01 am


Still waiting to hear from vet. If don't hear soon I will be ringing them. They close at 7.00pm, the vet up Flaxley Road.
I reported vet on Wellington Road for killing Jan telling me head tilt, heart rate over 300 and temp nearly 42C is normal. But vet board of SA said whilst they'll look into it don't hold my breath as Jan was just a guinea pig. Makes me see red!


Jinx was at the vet for 8 hours and they did nothing!!! It seems seeing that since Jinx is not bleeding a lot-April 12th, April 28th and May 6th it seems this doesn't warrant ultrasound or antibiotics. Was told keep an eye on her, white towel etc, listen for squeaking when peeing and/or pooping watch for lack of appetite and weight lost.


If any of these happens start on antibiotics if not improved look into ultra sound or a urinalysis. For now we are happy though p*ssed of she was at the vet all that time she was scared stiff and ate little! She is happy to be home though not speaking to husband as he was the one to drop her off at vet.
Will keep you posted

User avatar
ItsaZoo
Supporter in 2020

Post   » Thu May 14, 2020 12:40 am


This is a puzzler for sure. It sounds like for now all you can do is keep tracking her health, weight, and how she eats and acts, then let the vet know. At least she's home now and can eat and relax again.

User avatar
daisymay
Supporter 2016-2021

Post   » Sun May 24, 2020 2:07 am


Jinx is passing blood in her urine again so am starting her on Bactrim for 14 days to see if this helps. Jinx is an idiot and actually loves it. Jaffa and Joy hated it and little Jessie had the tablets.
Now if the Bactrim doesn't work there are a few things we can do:
1. Test urine with blood in it. Over $200.00
2. 2 sides X-rays. Over $300.00
3. Ultrasound. Close to $900.00.
What I am scared of if stones blockage. If Pyometra uterus could burst. If cancer, tumours it could spread.
So we will get a specimen jar or two and get a urine sample and see if any nasties are in it.
Let me know if I am doing the right thing here. We have had 2 pigs that have passed blood, one Choloe had a tumour wrapped around bladder PTS, and Zoe tumours on/in uterus and ovaries. Yet with both nothing showed up on X-rays or Ultrasounds. Both had exploratory surgery, Choloe was allowed to sleep for ever-not wake up from that surgery. Zoe got a Hysterectomy.
I am going to pop round to clinic to get towel back and pick up some specimen jars.
Will keep you posted. Any one else gone through this?

First bled April 12th then April 28th, then May 6th, then May 12th and every day after that. Not much just small amounts. She is still eating, drinking peeing and pooping in silence and gaining or maintaining weight. Bright, alert and her normal self! So signs of blood from her fat sister Jewel(touching wood!).

User avatar
Sef
I dissent.

Post   » Sun May 24, 2020 10:13 am


This is just my $0.02 worth on urinalysis and culture, keeping in mind that I have only dealt with males over the years.

My vet has rarely done a full culture on a urine sample, and almost always opts just to do a simple urinalysis when diagnosing a UTI. There are several reasons for this: First, blood in the urine is easily detectable when a centrifuged urine sample is looked at under the microscope. A simple urinalysis can also detect bacteria that, together with red blood cells, would help point to UTI, or an excessive number of crystals that might help point to the possibility of sludge or stones. Xrays would help further confirm the presence of stones (keeping in mind that stones and a secondary UTI are common). A urinalysis can also indicate the specific gravity of the urine, which helps look for possible kidney issues.

Second, unless the vet takes a sample of urine via either cystocentesis or catheterization, the urine is not "sterile" in that it can be contaminated by dirt, bedding or other debris around the genital area or in the environment. Without a sterile sample, it is my vet's view that a culture is not very conclusive.

Finally, because there are so few antibiotics that are safe for guinea pig use, a culture and sensitivity test is not particularly helpful. First line of defense for a UTI is almost always Bactrim, which has been shown to be very effective in treating urinary tract infections---assuming there are no other underlying issues.

A culture is much more more costly than a simple urinalysis, and obviously can give a better picture of the type of bacteria present---provided that the lab is looking at sterile sample. It sounds like the plan is for you to let Jinx pee on some sort of surface and then syringe it into a sterile container, though, correct?

**In my non-veterinary opinion only** and based only on what I cite above and my experience with our males who have had UTIs, I suspect that a culture/sensitivity test would likely be a waste of money. Maybe someone else can weigh-in on it, though. And you can certainly have this discussion with your vet as well. That said, if she already has Jinx on antibiotics, the vet won't be able to do any testing on the urine for a while, anyway, and in the meantime you can gauge whether or not the Bactrim helps the bleeding. It might be a good idea to double-check the dose (we can do that if you provide Jaffa's weight and the concentration of the Bactrim. Standard Bactrim suspension is 48mg/ml).

User avatar
daisymay
Supporter 2016-2021

Post   » Sun May 24, 2020 11:07 am


Jaffa and Joy were on point 0.5mls twice a day and I have started Jinx on same dose as she is about the same weight as the other two. On the bottle it has nothing just 15mls in the jar. Something about T.M.P.S. Antibiotic drops then give point 0.5mls per KG body weight twice a day. Jinx is 1072grams. It is a sweet smelling pink liquid. She loves it.

As to getting a urine sample I was simply going to hold her and when she pees get it into a specimen jar. I was going to gentle wash her private part with warm water and just wait. I have done this before quite well.

I am reluctant to have X-rays or Ultrasound done as previously these have shown nothing. And I have found vets could not read the X-rays or Ultrasound. Though maybe this vet is different?

It is 00:32 here Monday morning, vets open at 9.00am, I have to get blood test and as it is a fasting one(me NOT Jinx) I will be up early so can talk to the vet afterwards. I hate needles and have to be careful of my BP. I had flu shot Friday and my BP went through the roof!

I know it is confusing when all our girls names start with J but Jaffa passed December 2nd 2019. It is Jinx with the problem and she is 1072. So I am guessing point 0.5mls twice a day is correct dose. Will also start Protexin today. Thanks for the reply Sef. Change Jinx's white towel and I am off to bed me thinks.

User avatar
Sef
I dissent.

Post   » Sun May 24, 2020 11:25 am


An xray to rule out bladder stones is fairly straight-forward. Stones will fluoresce in a radiograph image. Ultrasounds require a little more skill to carry out and interpret.

Free-catch sample will work. It's just not a sterile sample.

Again, I'd suggest not having a urine test done while she's on antibiotics. Since you have already started her on Bactrim, it would be best to wait until after the 14-day course before testing.

User avatar
Sef
I dissent.

Post   » Sun May 24, 2020 11:40 am


ETA: Sorry; I meant "Jinx."

User avatar
daisymay
Supporter 2016-2021

Post   » Sun May 24, 2020 12:12 pm


ETA: Sorry; I meant "Jinx."

That's OK. We get confused too. Jinx has had one dose of Bactrim, vet said 5 days. But am going to try for 14 days. Thanks again Sef, keep you posted.

User avatar
ItsaZoo
Supporter in 2020

Post   » Sun May 24, 2020 4:09 pm


I agree with Sef regarding getting a sterile urine sample. I went through this with dogs, following them around with a Dixie cup only to have the vet tell me they can’t be sure about a culture since who knows what bacteria was introduced from the environment. And once they start on antibiotics a urinalysis won’t be reliable.

I’m really shocked about the cost of an ultrasound. When my pig had those symptoms the vet charged $100 for a thorough exam that included an ultrasound of the bladder and uterus.

I hope you see some improvement using the Bactrim.

User avatar
daisymay
Supporter 2016-2021

Post   » Thu May 28, 2020 12:33 am


How long should we try Jinx on the Bactrim before we try something else? She has been on it since the week-end twice a day and so far blood lost has reduced a little bit.

Never had a piggy with stones if this is what it is, so again this is new territory to me. Pigs we have had who passed blood, Choloe and Zoe both had tumours. Thanking any replies in advance. Told vet about urine sample and sterile she said if ultrasound showed nothing if/when we get one she would take urine via needle whilst she is sedated.

User avatar
Sef
I dissent.

Post   » Thu May 28, 2020 9:41 am


Are you sure on that $300 cost for x-rays? That's roughly $200 in the US; my vet charges around $40 per view. I would ask your vet if that includes sedation. None of our pigs have ever had to be sedated for x-rays as part of a diagnostic process for stones. Unless a guinea pig is just totally uncooperative, mild restraint is really all that should be needed in most cases.

User avatar
daisymay
Supporter 2016-2021

Post   » Thu May 28, 2020 10:37 am


Yes, price correct! The problem is not the cost of the X-rays or Ultrasound, it is finding a vet who knows what to look for and be able to read what they are seeing.

How many pigs get X-rayed or ultrasounded at your vet? Never with the ultrasound and around 5 piggies per year if lucky get the X-rays. You take Jessie who had ultrasound to check for cysts in the ovaries. Everyone was sure she had tumour, there was talk of PTS. Until images sent to Dr Vella who pointed out what they took as tumours were actually kidney's.

So the price is high as you have to find a vet who knows what they are doing and knows how to read the images. 95% of people who have guinea pigs very rarely if at all take them to the vet so the vet's don't learn and it's my pigs who suffer!

Picking up some more Bactrim tomorrow for Jinx. She doesn't mind she loves it. To us it is way too sticky!

User avatar
Sef
I dissent.

Post   » Thu May 28, 2020 12:38 pm


So, your vet could do the x-rays and possibly for a lot less than $300, but you're concerned that they won't know how to interpret it. If the x-rays were inconclusive, could they simply email them to a more experienced vet for review? My vet has done that on occasion. Again, stones are fairly obvious on an x-ray, and more easily recognizable when they do at least 2 separate views. Those of us who have dealt with stones would likely be able to look at the images and spot them (no guarantee, though). The issue would be, if stones were confirmed, where they are located and how large they are...likelihood that they can be passed on their own vs. requiring surgical intervention.

My vet is not an exotics vet. We live in a relatively small, semi-rural community where there are no exotics vets. We have been taking our guinea pigs to our current vet for quite a few years, now, and our pigs were some of the first that she ever treated. I'm not sure how many other guinea pigs she sees other than ours, but I wouldn't imagine she sees all that many and probably performs x-rays on even fewer. As far as I know, she doesn't have ultrasound equipment. Overall, she has done a good job with our guys, though, and has been willing to learn. That's the key. For more complicated cases, we have to travel at least an hour to one of only 2 exotics vets that are located anywhere near us. Neither of those offer emergency/after-hours services.

I would keep Jinx on Bactrim for a few more days and see how it goes.

User avatar
ItsaZoo
Supporter in 2020

Post   » Thu May 28, 2020 12:55 pm


How frustrating to struggle for vet care.

I would think that x-rays are x-rays and size would be no different than a puppy or kitten. As you say, Sef, x-rays can be sent to another vet for analysis. We don’t have exotic specialty clinics where I live, but there are some about 90 minutes from here. However, the one clinic I went to said they had no diagnostic equipment for guinea pigs, the other did an exam and ultrasound and acted as though it was routine.

I think if Jinx is tolerating the Bactrim well, I would continue it if it were me.

User avatar
daisymay
Supporter 2016-2021

Post   » Thu May 28, 2020 1:18 pm


I will keep on Bactrim. No she is not willing to do X-rays. She says guinea pigs need smaller plate and small machine, hence the high cost. Would have to travel 2-3 hours to vet with special machine. Hence is why we are trying Bactrim first. Thanks Sef and ItsaZoo. Keep you posted.

So far the Bactrim seems to have made the bleeding disappear and like I said she loves it! Will get some more today(Friday) before the week-end! Night all.

User avatar
Sef
I dissent.

Post   » Thu May 28, 2020 3:55 pm


That's nonsense. My vet has always used a standard veterinary x-ray device with our guys and there has never been a problem getting a clear image---with the exception of one pig who was also suffering from issues with gas/bloat and the bladder was obscured from view.

At any rate, good luck with the Bactrim.

User avatar
daisymay
Supporter 2016-2021

Post   » Fri May 29, 2020 12:30 am


Last pictures that were taken of Joy were that bad that vet wouldn't even charge me for them. She said need vet with proper machine. Thankfully no longer with that vet.

I don't mind paying the $300.00 as long as X-rays are perfect and you can see things and know what they are! To mistake a kidney for tumour caused us so much grief NEVER want to go through that again. That was ultrasound!

Post Reply
125 posts