Hello, my name is Simon Howells, I am 3 years old and I am a short-haired guinea pig. At home I live indoors with my humans Gaynor and Malcolm. Eight other ‘piggies’ and four rottweilers complete my family. I do have a hutch but I only go in there to sleep.
I have visited Ash Vets very frequently in the last six months due to my health problems. Firstly I developed a head tilt (the vets called it vestibular disease) this makes it difficult for me to feed as I cannot balance, so my owners had to spend a lot of time caring for me and hand-feeding me my favourite foods such as parsley, mixed leaves, cucumber, apples and the odd rich tea biscuit.
Then about two months ago I started to have problems toileting. Every time I tried to pass urine it was very painful and I would squeak loudly. I also had red coloured urine which was apparently blood. The vet gave me antibiotics but they only helped a bit so I had to go to have something called an x-ray, my owner said it was just like having a picture taken. I was asleep for this so I don’t really remember anything.
My x-ray showed I had a bladder stone (this is caused by a build up of minerals in the urine which then form a stone, commonly seen in dogs and cats and sometimes humans) and I would have to have an operation to remove it. I went to the vets the following week for surgery, I was given an injection in my neck which made me fall asleep and I then had my operation. The stone that was removed from my bladder was approximately 5mm in diameter and was very sharp; no wonder I was in so much pain!
As you can see from my pictures I was carefully monitored during my operation and recovery. When I was waking up I was put into an incubator to keep me warm and encouraged to eat as soon as I was awake. My vet, Mr Hatton said it was the first time he had removed a bladder stone from a guinea pig patient! Thanks to the care of the veterinary team at Ash Vets and my very dedicated owners I have made a complete recovery. I still come to visit the surgery as my head tilt is an ongoing illness and needs monitoring. But hopefully I will not have any more problems with my waterworks now I am having a carefully monitored diet!
Here I am, asleep under anaesthetic. The machine you can see gives me oxygen and anaesthetic gas to keep me asleep.
whilst I am asleep.
The pulse oximeter machine by my head measures the level of oxygen
in my blood to make sure I’m getting enough. The clip on my foot is the
sensor for this machine.
The wiggly line across the screen shows my heart rate and rhythm as
the machine measures these as well.
Here is the stone that was removed from my bladder. It’s about the size
was making my bladder bleed.
I feel so much better now it’s been removed.