Protozoa in Bladder/Urine and Metronidazole

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Wed Apr 27, 2022 11:00 pm


Thanks for the update. I wish the challenges we face with ill guinea pigs were never so complicated.

I'm having a hard time visualizing what angle you took the last picture from. Are the folds weight loss?

DevoutHaruhiist
Supporter in '22

Post   » Wed Apr 27, 2022 11:05 pm


Haha yeah that was a weird pic. It was from behind her diagonally. So that is the back of her left back leg. I am almost certain those folds are from weight loss. Back in December 2021 she was around 1100g and before that topped out at 1200 so now that she's like 850-900 I guess it shows in her skin :(.

Yeah it would be nice if it weren't so complicated! But I am happy to hear her wheeking each day again considering how she was before. Though of course I wish she would make a fuller recovery.

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Sef
I dissent.

Post   » Thu Apr 28, 2022 6:15 am


Baby steps, sometimes, but at least it's progress. Glad to hear she is doing better.

DevoutHaruhiist
Supporter in '22

Post   » Fri Apr 29, 2022 7:19 pm


Thanks. I certainly hope things at least stabilize.

Weight continued to be unstable today. Just slightly lower than yesterday and not really gaining a lot of ground throughout the day (normally I would see a low weight in the morning that would go up throughout the day as she ate/got fed, then drop at night-- now I am seeing some drops during the day). She does still seem eager for food but also has uncomfortable looking periods. Definitely concerned about her weight, despite it still being only tiny changes. In my discussions on theguineapigforum it was mentioned that not being able to maintain weight could be based on just nutritional absorption being bad and body slowing shutting down. I hope this is not the case with her.

Someone at theguineapigforum was telling me about one or two pigs they've had with thickened lower bowels which led to period stomach cramps that would come and go quickly. Really curious if this is what Margaret might be suffering from since a lot else has been eliminated. They said the treatment they used were motility drugs and metacam mostly. I don't have any motility stuff at the moment but she is already on regular metacam (though I might up it again slightly since I had cut it back). She is still pooping a good amount, though some of them are starting to look again like ones pictured way back in the start of this thread-- slightly oddly colored (lighter) or textured. Not sure if I should up probiotic intake.

As another issue I am going to try and get an updated picture of her tooth. One of her issues many posts ago is her tooth broke. It started growing back but looked a bit discolored and "chunky," which the vet also looked at. He said the discoloration is normally a sign of infection but didn't see anything going on on her gums. Now the tooth is about equal in length to the other top tooth (and might be a little longer?) and still chunky/discolored. It does not seem to impair her eating but just another thing to watch.

User avatar
Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Fri Apr 29, 2022 9:10 pm


I am unfamiliar with thickened lower bowels and do not recall any guinea pigs with that diagnosed medical condition (maybe someone else might recall?).

Here's an interesting article about gastrointestinal problems in guinea pigs (and rabbits):

Gastrointestinal Disease in Guinea Pigs and Rabbits
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7128126/
Parasitic disease GI helminth infections are predominately due to the guinea pig roundworm, Paraspidodera uncinata. The nematode develops and resides in the cecum and colon but does not invade the mucosa. Typical oxyurid eggs are shed in the feces, and ingestion leads to infection within 3 to 5 days. Infections are often mild and subclinical, although heavy infections lead to anorexia, diarrhea, weight loss, and poor coat. Treatment is with ivermectin (0.2 mg/kg SC) and prevention by effective sanitation.22, 34
Has your guinea pig ever been treated with ivermectin? Or antiparasitics, besides the treatment for protozoa? I asked because I ran across hair loss as one sign. Could account for some of the weight loss and signs you are seeing.

DevoutHaruhiist
Supporter in '22

Post   » Fri Apr 29, 2022 9:23 pm


Hmm. Good question. She has never had any other parasite treatment before the Flagyl for the protozoa way back at the beginning of this thread. That is a good question though maybe for me to ask the vet or see if I can at least rule it out.

The vet did say that the "bulge" is likely (having ruled out the other stuff) a distended cecum. Though why or whether that is a problem was kind of a "wait and see" I guess. Her behavior really has me guessing. She is super excited for food and yet is losing weight (very slowly). She can run around and climb, wheek ,etc. but other times she seems a bit weak, kind of plopping down wherever.

DevoutHaruhiist
Supporter in '22

Post   » Sat Apr 30, 2022 1:16 am


One more new thing I noticed tonight. Some thinning of the fur on her left flank (kind of middle of the body, in front of the "bulge"). Looks like one or two scabs there (sorry if the pictures are no good, it's kind of dark there with her black fur. I am thinking this might be from her over grooming this area over the last week or so, either from pain or something else. (?) No equivalent on her other side. Similar to how her left foot I guess has also lost most of its fur but the right has not. Weight was not great tonight during her last feeding -- was up from the morning of course but not as much as prior days, which has me anticipating another net loss tomorrow. I am wondering if I should increase her pellet intake as well as add another syringe feeding per day. She is eager to eat everything, as I have said, and I had cut back the pellets quite a bit due to her urinary issues. But at this point I wonder if she just needs to eat more.


DevoutHaruhiist
Supporter in '22

Post   » Mon May 02, 2022 10:26 am


Vet will be able to squeeze me in tomorrow thankfully. Her weight has still been a bit shaky but at least it's not dropping fast, though still slowly creeping downward. Making a list here (mostly for myself) of things I want to make sure I get checked/ask questions about.

1. Generally check of all vitals (heart/lungs)
2. Check of that thing I found on her skin on her flank
3. Ask about her weight loss
4. Check her distended looking bulge
5. Check her left leg and underbelly (lost fur, I have seen rare stumbles on her left leg)
6. Check urine (she just finished her loooong course of antibiotics last week but I have seen more sludge in her urine lately)
7. Check and probably trim her front tooth. The broken one is now growing back too long (and still looks a bit chunky/discolored)

DevoutHaruhiist
Supporter in '22

Post   » Mon May 02, 2022 11:50 am


And probably the oddest thing about her behavior is despite the fact that she is still pretty mobile and excited for food, etc. (despite some periods of what looks like discomfort), she keeps going back to sit in this one particular spot in the cage to sit.

It's not a spot she has ever frequented before or anything special. It's not in a hidey even. It's just kind of in between her food bowl and the entrance to a hiding area (but she is out in the open when she is there). I've noticed her "range" in the cage, where she chooses to go, has decreased a lot. Not sure what is appealing to her about this one random spot.

User avatar
Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Mon May 02, 2022 10:08 pm


Pinta used to use a glass file to gently trim down an incisor that would grow too long. If the back and forth movement normally done when eating things like hay is absent, it may be that you'll need to keep it in check. You want to make sure it is not preventing her from closing her mouth and it is not contacting any fleshy area of the mouth.

You'll want to review what medications she's on and what she's eating and make sure they know she is getting shilintong to help with her sludge.

Is hair growing back on her belly?

DevoutHaruhiist
Supporter in '22

Post   » Mon May 02, 2022 10:50 pm


Thanks, Lynx. Yeah the odd thing about this tooth in particular is how "chunky" it looks. My fear is that with its weird makeup it might not be getting ground down normally even though she is eating hay, etc. It has only just gotten barely longer than the other one so I should be catching it early.

I will definitely have to organize all of her medicines. She is on nothing but the metacam and shilintong as of today. But not sure if she might need to get back on antibiotics.

I took a quick look at her belly-- I don't think it is really growing back but I do think that keeping it drier has cleared up some of the redness that was there before and some of the sore looking areas. Her left leg though as in that earlier pic has pretty much 0 fur and all those skin folds-- it looks like a skinny pig's leg. And as I mentioned I am not sure if she is having the start of some mobility issues. When it's time for food or she is just generally hungry she walks to her food fine, but it seems like occasionally if she is just getting comfortable somewhere she rarely will kind of stumble.

Regarding her weight, I've read that in old age the nutrient absorption process can start to fail. Thus even though she is eating (and getting syringe food supplemental) her weight is still shaky or slightly declining. I am not sure if anything can be given to help with this.

Will definitely report back tomorrow!

DevoutHaruhiist
Supporter in '22

Post   » Tue May 03, 2022 12:54 pm


Went to the vet today

1. Tooth-- vet saw that the one tooth is very slightly getting longer, but wanted to wait a bit to clip it. I have an appt next week. He also noticed some food/plaque near the top of it by the root that he got off.

2. Weight-- he looked at her poop and does suspect that she is not fully processing all of her food/absorbing the nutrients. She is completely done with antibiotics as of Sunday so he told me to continue the probiotics and see if being off ABs helps with this. But it could be old age also. He also said I could be freer with giving her whatever she will eat.

3. UTI/sludge-- did a new ultrasound and looked at her urine on a microscope. Seems her infection seems mostly better but will be doing a culture next week when she has been off the ABs longer. Bladder wall looks a lot better but there is still a good supply of sludge in there.

4. Fur-- still has fur loss on her belly, which might be combining with some other factors to make her slightly cold (he did take her temperature and said it was a little low-- 98.2F). Will continue keeping her dry down there and soaking her to see if with the urine scald healing if she grows it back.

5. Weird behavior/retreating to one spot-- no real conclusion here. Not sure why she is doing that.

6. Heart/Lungs- Heart and lungs sounded good and healthy

7. Stomach bulge - still a bit unsure on this. Doesn't seem to be a thickened lower bowel. Just a distended cecum for some reason. She still seems to have plenty of poops coming through.

Next recheck is May 10th where her tooth will likely be clipped and we'll do a urine culture. Biggest concern is probably her weight instability but she still has quite an appetite.

User avatar
Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Tue May 03, 2022 9:04 pm


When he did the ultrasound, did he check the stomach bulge?

Sounds like the vet is being thorough - with your help and questions. I think being able to provide good information to a vet makes a big difference.

With the sludge, I don't recall if you have combined more fluids and a vibrator of some sort to help suspend the sludge and move it out?

Glad after clearing her of antibiotics that he will be testing to see if the bacterial infection is gone.

DevoutHaruhiist
Supporter in '22

Post   » Tue May 03, 2022 10:05 pm


He did check the stomach and said he did not see any lower bowel thickening or anything like that on ultrasound. And she was passing lots of poops. He did examine the poops (kind of breaking them up and looking at them) and said it looked like the ruffage was not fully processed, as I mentioned. Which could be more gut flora problems.

As far as the sludge, I have not had her on a vibrating pad recently. I was a few weeks ago doing it when I thought she had bloat. I am giving her extra exercise time and leading her around so she will walk. I do hope things continue to go well for her. A bit worried about waiting on her tooth another week, but to the vet's point it was only just barely noticeably longer at the moment.

DevoutHaruhiist
Supporter in '22

Post   » Wed May 04, 2022 10:40 pm


Despite everything else still persisting, I am happy with the state of her underbelly. I think with the frequent pee pad changes and occasional soaks it is starting to look cleaner! Pics from april and then today.




User avatar
Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Thu May 05, 2022 7:00 am


That is much improved! You are doing a great job!!

I am sure she is much more comfortable.

DevoutHaruhiist
Supporter in '22

Post   » Thu May 05, 2022 10:01 am


Thanks, Lynx.

Unfortunately she gave me a major scare last night. When I went to bed around midnight after feeding her she was seeming pretty lively and her weight had been trending well the last 2 days. But while I was lying in bed around 1 AM, about to fall asleep, for some reason I started from my bed and went to check on her. She was lying down but on closer inspection a little weirdly. She was even more leaned over to her side than usual as if she couldn't keep both of her back feet under her. I roused her with some food and saw she was able to walk, but after going to another spot and eating it, she flopped over again.

I took her out and really thought maybe this was it for her. She looked very tired and was leaned on one side or another. I was able to keep offering her various foods though, which she took and gave me some hope. I felt around her belly (both sides since it did not seem limited to the one side that was distended) and just generally sat with her. At some point she had some poops come out (there were already plenty of poops in the cage so it's not like she hadn't pooped) and started to liven up a little. I put her back and she ate hay on her own and seemed to have a normal night (what her normal has been recently at least). This morning she was back to wheeking for food and seemed normal.

I have no idea what could have happened. My only guess is some kind of acute bloat flare up? I do think I heard her pass some gas throughout the period I was comforting her. No idea but very scary.

User avatar
Sef
I dissent.

Post   » Thu May 05, 2022 1:17 pm


Poor thing! Bloat would have been not passing any poops at all, but maybe a bad gas episode. If it happens again, you might give her some Metacam in addition to massage and warmth. I would monitor her for any signs that her gut is slowing down.

Ditto Lynx, she looks greatly improved!

DevoutHaruhiist
Supporter in '22

Post   » Thu May 05, 2022 7:26 pm


Thanks, Sef. Yeah I did think to give her a tiny bit of extra metacam during the episode alongside the other things. I hope it was at least a somewhat isolated incident. I don't think I will sleep well for the next few days due to worry.

User avatar
Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Thu May 05, 2022 10:27 pm


Please do try to get some quality sleep. Taking care of yourself is actually taking care of her too, in an indirect way.

I don't know what might have caused her episode but am glad she seemed to get back to normal.

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