tpvets_logo.jpg (2726 bytes)TOA PAYOH VETS

Date:   23 April, 2009
Focus: Small animals - dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs & rabbits

Guinea Pig Abyssinian Male 1halfyears, 900grams. Blood in urine? Toa Payoh Vets
tpvets_logo.jpg (2726 bytes)1981-82. Did the guinea pig pass real blood in his urine on Chinese New Year's Eve?  Haematuria or haemoglobinuria in this Guinea Pig?
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The Guinea Pig had no appetite for 2 weeks

Case recorded:   23 April, 2009
Dr Sing Kong Yuen, BVMS (Glasgow), MRCVS

Guinea Pig 6 years. Severe weight loss past 2 weeks. Toa Payoh Vets"A post-mortem would be needed to ascertain the cause of death," I replied to the young man who wanted to know why the 6-year-old guinea pig died 2 days after consultation and warding at Toa Payoh Vets. His mum felt that she was responsible for his death.

"I did not remove the sharp and hard sticks present in his feed since 2 weeks ago," Mum said. "Usually I picked them out."

"There is an acute pain in the throat and stomach/liver area behind the rib cage," I had palpated these areas and the guinea pig squealed in a sharp tone and fidgeted.

So, did the sharp and hard sticks perforate the throat, gullet and stomach and caused infection and then general ill health?

The busy young man who accompanied his mum to the vet reiterated, "The guinea pig just could not stop eating after you removed his leg tumour 3 months ago.  As if he was reborn." The case is at:  "A Guinea Pig Walked With His Leg Held High Up."

Guinea Pig 6 years. Severe weight loss past 2 weeks. Toa Payoh VetsI wondered whether he was referring to what Christians proclaim to when they believe in God again - A reborn Christian. I did not ask him what he meant by being reborn.

Mum added: "The guinea pig would only eat carrots from Cold Storage supermarket. He would squeal in delight when he saw the carrots.
However, he would turn his nose away when I gave him carrots from XXX Supermarket."  I did not mention the name as it would not be good for the company. 

This was surprising to me. Did this guinea pig know something that human beings don't? I eat carrots from the Supermarket that this guinea pig rejected. I was glad that a tumour removal would make him a voracious guinea pig. Probably he had no more pain and stress and could walk normally, leading him to eat and live naturally as a normal guinea pig. That was just 3 months ago.

Guinea Pig in pain. Anterior abdominal and throat pain on palpation. Toa Payoh VetsNow he was very thin. I informed the owners that the prognosis was poor and the guinea pig was at death's door. He was a shell of his former self when I operated to remove his leg tumour 3 months ago.

The guinea pig was warded. He was hydrated, given antibiotics and hand fed 3x/day. He did pass some stools on Day 2, but had fits on Day 3 during a visit from the owners in the evening.

So what was his probable cause of death? Old age or stomach impaction or both?
A guinea pig lives up to 6 years of age and therefore he could be dying from internal organ failure due to old age too. He had lived to a ripe old age actually. He loved to eat newspapers and was constipated during his life.

The owners did not want an autopsy and brought the guinea pig home. In any case, it is best not to feed the guinea pig with sharp and hard sticks of grass.  Newspapers are to be avoided.

may need laxatives or a higher fibre or water content in the diet so that the guinea pig could eliminate its stools and the associated toxins inside the waste products of eating. Chronic constipation could lead to inflammation of the intestines, the spread of toxins into the body systems and possible cancerous growth in the large intestine.

The owner helped the guinea pig to poop as he had constipation. The son said to me that my recommendation of a laxative was "ineffective". I had advised a laxative after the surgery to get the leg tumour removed.            


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