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Guinea Pigs/Recovery from bladder stones - What is normal?



I have two male guinea pigs, both 2 and 1/2 years old. This week we had a big worry with one of them, he seemed in a lot of pain, after an emergency vet visit an x ray showed a large bladder stone. They have been perfectly healthy until now so we have been very worried. The vet said the stone was too big so he would have to operate. Just before they were about to put him under, he luckily passed the stone himself although even the vet marvelled at how big it was so it must have been very painful. The vet was happy and sent him home yesterday. Although he is eating again, he still doesn't seem to be actively seeking food and seems quieter than normal. I have noticed that his poo is soft and smaller than normal. He doesn't seem in pain but not himself. We have been so worried about him, and I know his behaviour isn't normal, but is this just a reaction from being to the vet and some after pain (we've been given pain medication to give him)? I'm just not sure what is normal at this stage , don't want to take him back to the vet to check as that is distressing in itself and if it is normal it wouldn't be worth it. Any advice you could give us would be appreciated. What to expect now and how we can avoid the problem in the future.
Many thanks.

What he's been through is the equivalent of a woman giving birth to a 40 lb baby. Males are not anatomically built to pass large stones.

What he's going through is a recovery period from the extreme pain and stress. Get some Critical Care to give to him. It's like Ensure is for humans, filled with the nutrients they need to keep tissues healthy while under physical stress.  Continue the pain medication for another few days.

Offer him as much lettuce and melon type fruit as you can to help keep him hydrated. Hopefully he will return to his normal self within a few more days.

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Pat VanAllen


As is sometimes the case, people in urgent need of information have a higher degree of expectation than those of us as experts are able to give. The experts on this site do their best to give the most accurate and responsible answers possible. We ask that you remember that it is not our intention nor place to criticize the professional advice given by your veterinarian, nor is it appropriate for us to comment on the correctness of a diagnosis made by a licensed physician. Our knowledge is experience based. Although many years of breeding and showing cavies gives me a wealth of experience it cannot change the fact that we as experts are not veterinarians and therefore may occasionally have to reject questions that appear to be asking us to criticize advice given by the licensed professional. Having raised and exhibited cavies for many years I have extensive experience in cavy care and husbandry. I currently have an active breeding program for pedigreed show animals but do not encourage backyard breeding for inexperienced owners. Although I don't encourage breeding for fun I'm always happy to answer any questions from an owner who is in sincere need of help. Pet owners wanting to breed should understand that even experienced breeders have litter losses. The mortality rate is high in cavies. The chance for losing both sow and pups is always present, even with experience. Although this is a site for experts to assist owners, there is no expert in any field who has all the answers. The wisest thing a good expert can know is their limitations. Not having an answer does not diminish one's ability or knowledge. It simply shows that we recognize our limitations and operate within them.


Raised and shown cavies for many years, having aquired my first cavies in the early 1970's as pets. My caviary currently handles 65 + animals in two different breeds and several varieties. Having been in the health care industry as a licensed nurse for 35 years I have hands on experience with care and needs in both humans and cavies. Member of American Rabbit Breeders Association and American Cavy Breeders Association.

Awarded Lifetime Membership in of one of the oldest cavy clubs in the United States, on whose Board I served as Sec/Treas for six years and currently serving as President. Also editor/publisher of the club's quarterly newsletter. We are strong supporters of our youth exhibitors, most of whom are 4H members who are working on cavy projects. Through these projects they become good responsible citizens. We deal with all aspects of showing, breeding, caring for and sharing experiences in the fancy. The cavy fancy is not a new one but in some areas is still relatively unknown. Our goal is to inspire interest in high quality, responsible breeding to improve the species, not just the reproduction of guinea pigs. Our job is to educate owners to help them make the right decisions and choices in the care of their cavies.

Graduate in nursing. Certified in emergency medicine.

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