Thursday, February 17, 2011

Willow's Stone

Last June Willow was diagnosed with a very large bladder stone.  After much angst and research, I opted not to surgically remove it.  Life returned to normal and living with a bladder stone didn't seem to affect Willow's day to day life.

In December she acted odd a few times and I noticed her girly bits looked a little larger than usual, but nothing struck me as worrisome.  No stone, no blood, lots of pee and poo.  Then this weekend, she didn't want to come out of her cozy.  Didn't finish all of her food.  I found bloody pee stains in the bedding.  Sunday morning I inspected her....and I could see the tip of the stone lodged in her urethra.  Yikes!  She was peeing.  She was eating, mostly. I did as much research as I could and contemplated what to do.  In the end, I pumped her up with more shilintong, some pain killer and waited.  The painkiller helped:  two hours later, she was perky and chowing food.  It was the best she had looked all weekend.

On Monday, I took Willow to the vet on the way to work, knowing that my regular vet wasn't in.  Poor Dr. McMillan:  guinea pigs are not her specialty and I left Willow for her to take care of.  I would understand if Willow couldn't be saved.  I could understand if McMillan did triage and had me bring Willow back on Tuesday.

What a Valentines Day present I got!   At lunchtime Dr. McMillan called me to tell me she had removed the stone and that Willow was doing fine.  My jaw dropped when I came to pick her up at the end of the day.  The stone was HUGE.  I am so glad I didn't try expressing it myself.  I'd have killed her.  As it is, I'm amazed they got it out of her without leaving a mark.

Willow and her stone
I couldn't bring home the stone immediately, since they wanted Willow's regular vet to inspect it.  I picked it up today.  Just look at the size of it!  (Closeup of stone here.)  Dr Holmes told me this is much bigger than when described it as "massive" last spring.  She didn't think it could be passed back then and Willow managed to pass this thing now?  We are all amazed.

Willow is doing well, has been eating like a champ and peeing all over.  She limped a bit her first evening home but that has gone away.  I suspect she pulled something when struggling with the vet.  Who could blame her?

The x-ray they took of her on Monday showed no other stones forming in her bladder.  So I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Willow will remain stone-free for a while.


  1. Poor little munchkin. I'm so glad she made it through. My husband has passed kidney stones before- not fun! I can't imagine what it was like for her. What a little trooper!

  2. Ye-ouch, poor pig. Glad all was good :D

  3. My venture didn't take quite that long. My last guinea pig couldn't pee and was obese so instead of emergency surgery she was euthanized. This time my oldest showed up out of the blue with a urethral stone. It was crowning and we caught it during an exam to deal with her cyst. He featured it on their Facebook page and it was like a huge tangerine seed.
    not to whore out but it's under my Joys of Parenting post on

    You're so lucky. 8 months with that? those things can lead to infections or even grow after they are spotted.
    Yay to our piggies!


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