We are now getting some really hot weather now that we have reached the prime of the Summer Months. It is important to remember if you are feeling really hot at the moment then it goes to prove your Guinea Pigs are also suffering from its affects. Heat Stroke can lead to fatal conditions in Guinea Pigs and is best avoided. Please see our Heat Stroke Page for signs and symptoms and information on how prevent and treat the condition if you suspect it may be suffering from it.
Your Guinea Pig Can Die if left untreated
We are now having some lovely weather and the Grass is growing well. We must however warn Guinea Pig owners that introducing Grass in to there Guinea's diet is to be done slowly over a few day rather then putting them in a run for extended periods of time
As a reminder Guinea Pigs Digestive Tracts need to adapt to the change in there diet to prevent Diarrhoea leading to BLOAT.
For Signs & Symptoms see our Gastric Stasis Page
For Previous News Please see our NEWS Page
Signs Of Stones
There are some signs that you can see physically with your Guinea Pig which could be a combination of any of the following :
Your Guinea Pig may even be hunched or strain while urinating or passing Fecal matter. Or May even show general signs of being unwell (ie. Changes in eating Appetite, Decreased Activity, Depression.). Some Stones can cause so much pain that they interfere with mobility.
Differential Diagnosis (Other Possible Conditions)
The following are other possible conditions that could be causing any of the above symptoms :-
The only way to find out the cause of the complications your Guinea Pig may be experiencing is to seek assistance from your vet!
What will my Vet do?
Your Vet will normally first examine you Guinea Pig by Palpate its lower abdomen. Stones can not always be found by Palpation.
Also an Ultrasound can be used to detect stones.
Your vet may also test for UTI by collecting Urine or Drawing it straight from the bladder Using a needle (Cystocentesis). Urine then will be tested for bacteria and blood. If there are No visible signs of blood in the Urine it may be tested for presence of blood.
Most Guinea Pigs can not pass stones on their own and require surgery to remove them.
Bladder Stones can sometimes be plucked out of the Urethra if close to the opening.
Occasionally a Guinea Pig can pass a stone before surgery so it is always best to complete an x-
If Bladder Stones enter in to the Urethra they are sometimes flush back in to the Bladder for removal. Normally two or more weeks of Antibiotics are prescribed to prevent infection while healing and will also treat most Urinary Tract Infections.
Multiple Stones Because New stones may reform within months or even weeks of surgery, it is important to monitor your pet after Stone Removal Surgery. Some pet owners have reported a recurrence of stones 2-
The cause of bladder stone formation is poorly understood. Because stones seem to run in families, it is likely there is strong genetic component. Frequent urinary tract infections have also been implicated, as well as improper diet, inadequate water intake and obesity.
Calcium Carbonate is the most common type of stone. Recent studies have shown that the Composition of the majority (90%>) of Urinary Stones is 100% Calcium Carbonate. A certain percentage also contain traces of Calcium Phosphate, Oxalate or Struvite.
A good quality diet is thought to help prevent the formation and reformation of Bladder Stones. Poor diets normally consist of Alfalfa pellets which contain High Levels of Calcium, some hays and vegetables may contribute to Stone formation.
A good diet would include :-
Grass Hay should be the foundation of every Guinea Pigs Diet. Offer the best hay you can find to encourage eating as much as possible.
Guinea Pigs are Herbivores. Their digestive system is designed to extract nutrients from A variety of Grasses and Greens. Wet, Leafy Greens are a good choice.
Use a Low-
Is required for absorption of calcium. For a Guinea Pig that is not getting Regular exposure to Sun Light, removing pellets may result in a diet devoid of Vitamin D. Vitamin D is not present in Hays and Greens but is added to Guinea Pig Pellets. If you Plan on going Pellet Free you will need to consult your Vet for a supplement.
Take every opportunity to increase Fluid Intake.
If your Veterinarian has no experience of removing stones then please ask for a referral
to A vet that has the experience.
Below is an x-
Medical Guide -
If a Guinea Pig is unable to Urinate this is a Medical EMERGENCY
And Must be admitted to a Vet Immediately
Click on x-