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Guinea Pigs/bladder stone

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Question
My cavy is 7 years old.  From all I've read online, I'm assuming she has a bladder stone.  Her urethral area is swollen and hard. She sometimes squeaks uncomfortably when she pees.  Her bottom is often wet.  She saw the vet about 6 weeks ago and has had two rounds of antibiotics. Spouse won't pay for further diagnostic tests. She seems generally happy and is eating well. I just don't want her to suffer.  How long can she continue like this? Could she just fade away gently, or will there inevitably be trauma and horrible pain for her?  It's hard to consider euthanizing her now when she seems in good spirits.

Answer
As long as she's not showing you she's in pain you can feel comfortable that she's okay. 7 years old is a very old pig, so you can be proud that you've been such a good mom to her for so long.

As far as diagnostic tests I have to agree with spouse. Regardless of what you find, at her age it isn't fair to try to put her through treatment she may not be able to survive.  She will let you know when her time comes, and you will know in your heart that it's the right thing to do.  Until then just continue loving her and being thankful you've had her for so many years.

As far as how long she can continue or will she suffer, I can't answer that. But again, you will know when the time is right to say goodbye.  Or she might simply just gently sleep away some night and then you can rest easy knowing she went peacefully.  

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Pat VanAllen

Expertise

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.

Experience

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.

Organizations
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.

Education/Credentials
Graduate in nursing. Certified in emergency medicine.

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