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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4891
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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We are on holiday in the UK and no vets are available. We telephoned

Customer Question

We are on holiday in the UK and no vets are available. We telephoned and they suggested cranberry juice and red pepper. Can you let me know what might be the reason for the anal bleeding? Dark in colour as previously stated.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.

Hello, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with Billy today.

 

First, I must note that if you are in the UK, then there should be a vet available even if this is a bank holiday. While you may not be in a part of the country where the vets have normal office hours today, the veterinary licensing board requires vets to offer emergency care for all patients outside normal working hours. This means they must have have a contingency plans for days and situations like this. This means that if you ring the practice, they will likely have a message to direct you on how to contact their emergency service. The emergency service could be provided by one of their vets who is on call or it may be that they contract out their emergency care to a local emergency practice. But in any case, Billy should have access to vet care today despite it being a holiday.

 

If you don't have a vet or this vet refuses to see you (which is inappropriate since they have a duty of care to help him in his time of need), then you can check RCVS register (LINK). or you can check here to find your local Vets Now (LINK) who are open all nights/weekends to find an emergency service that will see him.

 

The reason I am highlighting this is because rectal bleeding that is continuously seeping from guinea pig is a serious situation. This is because they don't have the same body reserves that bigger animals have and blood loss becomes significant much quicker for cavies. Therefore, if there is uncontrolled bleeding here, it needs to be addressed promptly to prevent serious consequences that could even be fatal.

 

In regards XXXXX XXXXX would cause rectal bleeding, there are a few considerations. But with this being dark blood continuously seeping from the rectum, tumors and ulcerated rectal polyps would be at the top of our list. If he had had diarrhea, then colitis or GI parasites would be a consideration but unfortunately less likely with the history you have provided. Trauma would be possible, but from your history this would have to occurred within the colon and the potential for isolated colonic trauma is unlikely.

 

Overall, I am not surprised that Billy is subdued since any volume of continuous blood loss is going to weaken him. And if it is continuously seeping, then it is imperative that it is addressed as soon as possible. I have to warn you that if there is a bleeding mass (be it cancer or polyp) present up in his GI, then his prognosis will be poor. That said, we cannot leave him suffering and bleeding out like this over the holiday.

 

Therefore, I would advise checking the RCVS register that I have linked to above to see what your veterinary options are in your location. You want to then phone them and contact their emergency service. They are obligated to see Billy if you ask them to. And in this case, I would strongly advise that you have him checked over to see if this bleeding can be staunched (and perhaps they can give fluids if his circulation is collapsing) or at least keep him from suffering with this.

 

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

Dr. B.

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Remember that if you have any lingering questions or concerns, please reply so that we may continue our conversation. I will be happy to work with your further and do everything I can to provide you with the service you seek. Please remember to rate my answer when you are satisfied (with 4-5 stars or a happy face) so that I may receive credit for my assistance. Thank you & have a great day. : )

Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4891
Experience: General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
Dr. B. and 6 other Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Hello, thanks. the bleeding appears to have slowed right down. We have isolated him from his friend and given him red pepper and water to drink, which he is now eating/drinking. He is still subdued. I think trauma very unlikely. This is a completely new symptom for him, the amount of blood in the cage was not great but enough to alarm my little boy. He is not bleeding out.

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.
You are very welcome.

I am very glad that the bleeding is not as significant as your original history suggested since profuse bleeding would obviously be quick to become life threatening. As well, I agree that trauma is unlikely (especially since this isn't a species that is going to be dashing in front of cars or things with lots of force like a cat or dog would). That all said, I am still concerned that you are seeing this sign without other GI signs. Especially since we do have to consider that there may be an ulcerated bleeding tumor or polyp of the lower GI. It is quite possible that this is something that has been present for a while, but that today the growth was caught by passing feces leading to the bleed (just as it can in any species, including people). But if it is slowing, then you can isolate him (as you have) and monitor him. As well, as monitoring his behavior, keep an eye on his mucous membranes (gums, conjunctiva). These should be rosy pink (like ours) and if you press on the gum with your finger it should go from pale back to pink in <2 seconds. If you see him becoming pale/white or that color takes longer to come back, then those would be red flags that his blood loss is getting severe and that it needs to be addressed promptly.

Overall, rectal bleeding is serious no matter the rate of blood flow. Therefore, it would always be ideal to have it checked out. But if its slowing, he is comfortable, and his mucous membranes aren't showing signs of anemia due to the blood loss, then you can monitor him until the local vet can see him when they are again open.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

Dr. B.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Remember that if you have any lingering questions or concerns, please reply so that we may continue our conversation. I will be happy to work with your further and do everything I can to provide you with the service you seek. Please remember to rate my answer when you are satisfied (with 4-5 stars or a happy face) so that I may receive credit for my assistance. Thank you & have a great day. : )

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Thank you. As he seems ok, I will wait until vet is open and take him in. He is eating some dried food now, and drinking his water. There is no more blood on the clean newspaper I put down for him.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Yesterday we took the decision to have Billy put down as he was obviously suffering, and had lost a lot of weight. A fact concealed by his fluffy fur. Thank you for your support.

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.

Good evening,

I am sorry to hear that Billy is no longer with us. If he had lost such a dramatic amount of weight as well, then it does sound like we were dealing with something sinister. And in that case, it does sound that you have made the right decision (though obviously a difficult one) for him.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

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