Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Pinniped's Turn

I was really  hoping to avoid the vet's office.  Is it too much to ask for a hiatus of a year or two?  It's too soon after losing Willow and I really didn't want to face the vet.  I feared feeling like a bad pig mama after the delay in diagnosing Willow's stone and subsequent loss.

However, Pinni has lost her love handles.  That, in itself, is not a bad thing.  I have worried that Pinni's excess pudginess could cause health problems down the road.  I had chalked up Pinniped's latest loss with the fact she's no longer competing with Willow to eat all the hay.  Or maybe she had caught the virus Bertie had.  Then again, perhaps she got tired of being squeezed.  But as Bertie has slowly gained in the last month or two, Pinni has been stubbornly under 1200g.  This is down from her 1280-ish average and well below her hefty (and very squeezable) 1400g maximum.

When I cleaned the cage last weekend, I noted more brown/red pee stains than usual.  I have attributed the random stains to too much red Swiss chard.  Other than that and the weight loss, no indication of illness.  No crying when peeing.  Absolutely no signs of pain.  What's with these pigs with the really subtle symptoms?!?  I know guinea pigs are good at hiding an illness, but this is getting ridiculous.

So we visited the vet today, just for peace of mind.  Rob said Pinni and Bertie were all excited to get in the carrier:  we're going to a pignic!  Let me tell you, they were not so pleased when I met them at the vet. 

I had half expected the vet to find nothing wrong.  But alas, my unease was justified.  Pinniped was diagnosed with bladder sludge.  No stones, thank goodness.  No blood in the sludge - so maybe the red stains were just chard?  Bertie was checked as well, just to confirm it's all Pinniped.  At least she got a clean bill of health.

I have suspected for a long time that Pinni was a sludgy pig.  When Willow was first diagnosed with the stone, I put both her and Pinniped on shilintong.  When I did that, the amount of white deposits decreased in Pinni's cage.  I had stopped giving them shilintong over the summer when I was ill, and hadn't noticed a big increase in the deposits in the Newbie's cage.  But now I wonder if the shilintong had more of a positive effect than i had realized?  I guess I'll start giving it to her again.

So Pinniped is on antibiotics for a week to ensure there's no infection.  I'm re-evaluating their diet of greens, again.  And we go back for a check-up visit in two weeks.  We need to get that Pinni back to her plump, pinch-able self.


  1. I share the same feeling about having to return to the vet's. My little troublemakers have other ideas though and between the five of them I think our vet sees far more of us then he'd like.

    However, its always better to be in the know. Now at least you can decide on a plan for poor Pinniped. Bet she won't be happy about that!

  2. What is shilintong?

    I'm always happy to learn about new things wwhich will help my angels.

  3. Shilintong is a Chinese herb that helps urinary tract health. It supposedly reduces inflammation and relaxes the muscles to help get sludge out of the system. Some cavy owners swear by it. I've tried it and did seem to notice some change in the deposits left in Pinni's cage. More info on it:


I enjoy reading your comments and I strive to reply by email (if you're not set to no-reply).

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...