We discovered the recent stone when we noticed her limping and took her in to have the vet examine for any breaks. The xray was clean for that, but the stone was discovered and flushed under sedation. The vet thought she was moving her back leg oddly too.
We segregated her from her sisters for a week to allow her leg to rest and she was on metacam. I was out of town during this time, but my mom, who was watching her reported her demeanor was good and she was moving around happily in her smaller area. When I got back, she was due to stop the metacam, which I did. I then tried to reintroduce her to her sisters again and there was a little fighting between her and Marmot. They seemed to have worked that out and are all together again, although Marmot does chase her a bit.
Since the reintroduction and the discontinuation of the metacam, Louise isn't moving around a lot. She has a good appetite and wants her foods and hay, but she seems to want to hang out in her hidey in one part of her habitat. She isn't puffed up or seeming pained - she just isn't her usual boisterous self. She is not wanting to be handled much (she was always sort of not keen on being picked up, but she seems a bit more sensitive now). I have noticed her bottom is wet sometimes, but her urine doesn't have an odor, and it isn't consistently wet.
Normally I am off rushing to the vets, but I'm not even sure what to ask about. I am wondering on the healing time of sprains? She isn't limping or moving oddly now, but perhaps the metacam was helping her and there is still some residual pain so she is not wanting to move much? Or perhaps some discomfort related to sludge or the stone removal. She wasn't prescribed any antibiotics following the removal. Her breathing seems good and her eyes, nose are clear.
I took Marmot out of the area, and Louise did seem to explore a little more. So there could be a dynamic issue still going on. But Louise still seemed to want to go back to her hidey even with Marmot away. I could just a sanity check on the situation!
How big is the enclosure they share? Are there private areas? Some people will break up a cage visually by stringing a piece of fringed fleece across it so one guinea pig will not always have eyes on the other.
Are there any piles of sludge? Anything that might account for blockage of urine and her wetness? I think you could be right about lingering pain. Try giving her more metacam for a couple days and see if there is any increase in activity.
I haven’t seen sludge today or yesterday. I will sometimes notice a vet small amount - a spot maybe 1/3 the size of a pinky nail but can’t determine which pig it is from. I do know Louise has had sludge before. I’ve watched her pee and she sent have any difficulty or squeak in pain. It seems like the wetness is from lack of movement since she’s having out in one general area. I think the fleece tube she rests in isn’t fully wicking.
I’ll see how she does the next few days and maybe take her in if she’s still hunkering just to be safe.
She has had two more little stones since I last wrote in (one she has right now we are trying to see if she passes). We have her on potassium citrate to see if that helps at all with preventing recurrence. She continues to be off pellets and is following a good stones diet. It may be this is just something she is pre-disposed to.
We took her to a specialist exotics vet for advanced imaging for the stone that appeared to be "stuck". The vet actually determined this was a bone called the os-clitoris that some females have and it looks like a stone. Apparently it isn't often seen and can be missed/confused by some vets for something else.
We had a fancy ultrasound done to see if there was anything that could be seen in her urinary tract/bladder/reproductive organs that might tell us more about her stones/sludge/intermittent bleeding. The vet initially thought there was a large mass on her ovary, so we scheduled a spay for a couple weeks ago. She uses a less invasive technique through the flanks and the surgery was successful in that the spay was performed and Louise recovered well. However, when the vet was going to remove the mass, she determined it was actually a very enlarged spleen and could not be removed via flank incision.
An aspirate pathology showed no cancerous cells but we can't rule that out because I believe the aspirate isn't really conclusive if negative. We will need another surgery to remove the spleen and that will be harder on her because they go in through the abdomen. A surgeon will assist the exotics vet - the surgeon has a little tool that can "seal" the vessels after the removal. The vet thinks Louise is a good candidate since she did well in her spay. I worry about the risks but I've gotten to know the vet over the past few months and am really impressed at the level and quality of care there.
I think in some earlier searching on here, I saw some other pigs that have had spleen removals and am feeling now up to reading more. I've had to limit too much reading for my own anxiety levels! It is sure easy to worry so much over these loveable little rodents!
Good they found no cancerous cells in the spleen but agree with you it is not really conclusive. Agree it is very encouraging to read about guinea pigs that have successfully had their spleens removed. I have mentioned that years back, one of my guinea pigs went quickly downhill and had a tumor that had moved to various organs and involved the spleen.
Sounds like you have an excellent vet and have gotten a thorough diagnosis and analysis of the situation. I hope for the best for her - and you.