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Guinea Pigs/blood in urine

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Question
I have a 3 yr old male short hair guinea pig that for the last month has been peeing blood OFF and on. I had a female a few years ago and every time she ate a lot of greens SHE peed blood and had to get antibiotics from the vet and always got better. AFTER many days of eating SPINACH now this little man started with this. The antibiotics were not easy to give my other piggy a few years ago(she would bite), HOPING not the same problem. Can you ADVISE?Thanks!

Answer
It's doubtful that the greens caused blood in the urine. The most common thing that causes hematuria, aka bloody urine, is kidney or bladder stones. That usually takes several weeks to develop as they start out as tiny grains of sand and build up over time.

Spinach has been linked to kidney stones if eaten in large quantities over a period of time. If you suspect that's the problem the quickest way to find out is to stop giving spinach. If you're feeding this to supplement Vit C the best way to give it is parsley. It's higher in Vit C than any other vegetable.

Some vegetables can cause the urine to turn pink. Beets are the best example.

In order to tell if this is really blood and not darkened or discolored urine you'd have to take a sample to the vet. The best way to do that is put your pig in a plastic shoebox type container with no bedding or paper towels. Guinea pigs urinate frequently, so just watch her until she goes. If the vet asks for a specimen he will give you a sterile container or small jar. Use an eyedropper to suck up the urine and transfer it to the container.

The vet can test it to see if it's actually blood and if there is any sign of infection. That way it can be properly treated with the right medication.  

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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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