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#648489 - 10/01/08 06:40 PM Struvite Crystals?
Monster
Unregistered


Ok, I just have time for a quick post - I'll check back in a couple hours & hopefully someone will be able to answer.

I just got back from Sekwaf's first vet visit. We ran fecals & a UA.

Dr. Kate said he looked really healthy, she didn't find anything abnormal; however, there are struvite crystals in his urine.

She said that with a dog, this is a sign of an early UTI, but with a North American possum, it is something perfectly normal. Her reference book didn't say anything about the occurrence of these crystals in sugar gliders.

She has emailed Dr. Tristan, and has asked that I ask around - when either of us gets some info, we'll get back with eachother & take appropriate action.

Does any of you know about or have experience with struvite crystals in gliders???

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#648509 - 10/01/08 07:01 PM Re: Struvite Crystals? [Re: ]
Dancing Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 22746
Loc: 80 acres of paradise in KS
Generally they are bladder stones caused by calcium formation. These are "the" crystals we tell people to have their vet check for.
_________________________
620-704-9109
Judge not until you have walked in their shoes and lived their lives. What you see online is only part of the story.

I could have missed the pain
But I'd of had to miss the dance


The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears.

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#648510 - 10/01/08 07:02 PM Re: Struvite Crystals? [Re: ]
pappy1264 Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 08/31/06
Posts: 11015
Loc: MA
I am pretty sure both Roo and Petey had them when they had UTI's (I know they had crystals, think that was the name she said, but will check). Oliver did not have crystals, though, when he had a UTI. I will call my vet tomorrow and ask.
_________________________
Timmy, Gidget(RIP), Bandit, Petey(RIP), Phoebe, Jake (RIP) Piper(RIP), Pru(RIP), Paige, Cole, Molly(RIP), Oliver, Wyatt, Roo(RIP), Romeo, Pennie, Mandy(RIP), Madison, Garth, Kikipoo, Stasia, Bella, Petunia(RIP), Helen, Sydney, Kizzy and Sweet Pea's mom,
Mary

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#648573 - 10/01/08 08:45 PM Re: Struvite Crystals? [Re: pappy1264]
Monster
Unregistered


Hmmm, I wonder if these are the same crystals? Well, we'll know by tomorrow one way or the other.

I sure hope he isn't getting a UTI, I don't know how that would have happened, he's had all new or clean stuff since he's been here. I wonder if the stress of the move & intros could be a factor...

Well, no more intros for now...

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#648678 - 10/01/08 11:16 PM Re: Struvite Crystals? [Re: ]
Dancing Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 22746
Loc: 80 acres of paradise in KS
Gina, to my knowledge, the crystals are not contagious.



How Do Struvite Stones Form (in dogs)


Reducing struvite in the urine (in cats)


As more water is consumed, the urine is less concentrated, and crystals are less likely to form. So push the fluids!

Also with dogs, bacterial bladder infections can cause the urine to become more alkaline and cause chemical reactions that cause struvite crystals to form.
_________________________
620-704-9109
Judge not until you have walked in their shoes and lived their lives. What you see online is only part of the story.

I could have missed the pain
But I'd of had to miss the dance


The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears.

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#648681 - 10/01/08 11:20 PM Re: Struvite Crystals? [Re: Dancing]
Dancing Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 22746
Loc: 80 acres of paradise in KS
_________________________
620-704-9109
Judge not until you have walked in their shoes and lived their lives. What you see online is only part of the story.

I could have missed the pain
But I'd of had to miss the dance


The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears.

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#648798 - 10/02/08 05:29 AM Re: Struvite Crystals? [Re: Dancing]
pappy1264 Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 08/31/06
Posts: 11015
Loc: MA
My vet also said some animals are more prone to UTI's because of how their organs are formed. I will call today on the crystals, but almost positive that is what they said they were.
_________________________
Timmy, Gidget(RIP), Bandit, Petey(RIP), Phoebe, Jake (RIP) Piper(RIP), Pru(RIP), Paige, Cole, Molly(RIP), Oliver, Wyatt, Roo(RIP), Romeo, Pennie, Mandy(RIP), Madison, Garth, Kikipoo, Stasia, Bella, Petunia(RIP), Helen, Sydney, Kizzy and Sweet Pea's mom,
Mary

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#648821 - 10/02/08 07:04 AM Re: Struvite Crystals? [Re: pappy1264]
Monster
Unregistered


It's not struvite stones, he's not old enough for stones to have formed. She let me look at the crystals through the microscope & they are little rectangles - kinda pretty if you don't know what you're looking at. She said that in dogs, if they have the crystals for long periods without treatment, they can lead to stones. But she said she didn't know about gliders.

I have been curious about his water consumption, and I was actually thinking about adding a bowl (in addition to his bottle) today because I never hear the ball in his bottle going. I checked it & it works - and I have seen him there...once...but adding a dish is easy.

She said there is definatly NO infection present, so if the crystals are not normal, then we have caught this very early - so we would treat with antibiotics & he should not even get symptoms.


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#648849 - 10/02/08 08:00 AM Re: Struvite Crystals? [Re: ]
pappy1264 Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 08/31/06
Posts: 11015
Loc: MA
In Roo's case, she had a lot of the crystals and my vet said if she gets another UTI, she wants to do an ultrasound to check for stones.
_________________________
Timmy, Gidget(RIP), Bandit, Petey(RIP), Phoebe, Jake (RIP) Piper(RIP), Pru(RIP), Paige, Cole, Molly(RIP), Oliver, Wyatt, Roo(RIP), Romeo, Pennie, Mandy(RIP), Madison, Garth, Kikipoo, Stasia, Bella, Petunia(RIP), Helen, Sydney, Kizzy and Sweet Pea's mom,
Mary

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#648863 - 10/02/08 08:28 AM Re: Struvite Crystals? [Re: pappy1264]
Monster
Unregistered


Mary, did your vet let you look at the slide? I'm curious now because Sekwaf's slide only had 2 crystals, so I'm wondering how many Roo had in comparison...

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#648867 - 10/02/08 08:34 AM Re: Struvite Crystals? [Re: ]
pappy1264 Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 08/31/06
Posts: 11015
Loc: MA
The last time, no, as they were really busy and she looked after we had left (they treated her for giardia, then added the Amoxy after). But she said she was 'loaded' with crystals and white cells in the sample they had, as well as loads of blood (you could see it was very discolored, almost had an orange tint to it). I did see Petey's, and I was told he had a moderate amount (looked like a lot to me, but then I had never seen them before). They got the sample from Petey via needle directly from his bladder, as he was blocked up.

She will be going in in the next week or two for a recheck on everything (she is off her meds now). She is doing great but want to make sure after what happened last time.


Edited by pappy1264 (10/02/08 08:36 AM)
_________________________
Timmy, Gidget(RIP), Bandit, Petey(RIP), Phoebe, Jake (RIP) Piper(RIP), Pru(RIP), Paige, Cole, Molly(RIP), Oliver, Wyatt, Roo(RIP), Romeo, Pennie, Mandy(RIP), Madison, Garth, Kikipoo, Stasia, Bella, Petunia(RIP), Helen, Sydney, Kizzy and Sweet Pea's mom,
Mary

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#648873 - 10/02/08 08:41 AM Re: Struvite Crystals? [Re: pappy1264]
Monster
Unregistered


I'm so glad to hear Roo is feeling better, hopefully this time you got it all!

Well it sounds like maybe Sekwaf has got the beginning of something. It's probably safer for me to just go ahead with the antibiotics.

Dr. Kate said specifically that there was no blood or infection, so that makes me feel a little better, but even though there were only 2 crystals on the slide, I'd rather not have any.

She is going to call me when she hears back from Dr. Tristan, but if I don't hear from her by about 1pm, I'll probably call her back...

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#649062 - 10/02/08 01:06 PM Re: Struvite Crystals? [Re: ]
pappy1264 Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 08/31/06
Posts: 11015
Loc: MA
She was dropping bright red blood for almost 48 hours after she started her meds. Its scary to see. Thanks, she is doing great, eating like a little piggie...lol I wouldn't rush to the antibiotics right now, Gina. I would have them recheck the urine in a few weeks, see if the number goes up. It is possible he got a little dehydrated and hence a few crystals could pop up. Praying for the little guy. Again, a good reason to check UA's on a regular basis, even if no symtoms are present.
_________________________
Timmy, Gidget(RIP), Bandit, Petey(RIP), Phoebe, Jake (RIP) Piper(RIP), Pru(RIP), Paige, Cole, Molly(RIP), Oliver, Wyatt, Roo(RIP), Romeo, Pennie, Mandy(RIP), Madison, Garth, Kikipoo, Stasia, Bella, Petunia(RIP), Helen, Sydney, Kizzy and Sweet Pea's mom,
Mary

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#649067 - 10/02/08 01:10 PM Re: Struvite Crystals? [Re: pappy1264]
Monster
Unregistered


Well, I'm still waiting to hear from Kate - I called after lunch, but she was with a patient...she's supposed to call me back. Hopefully she will have talked to Dr. Tristan.

One thing I was wondering is that he peed on the steel table in her office & it probably sat there for 15 minutes before they sucked it up in a syringe & took it off to run the test. Would a cleaner that they may have used on the table change the pee? dunno

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#649086 - 10/02/08 01:48 PM Re: Struvite Crystals? [Re: ]
Monster
Unregistered


Ok, I just heard from Kate - she has still not heard from Dr. Tristan, but she does not think we should jump to antibiotics just yet since there were no other signs of a UTI, or anything else for that matter.

So, we're going to wait to hear from Dr. Tristan for now...

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#649102 - 10/02/08 02:10 PM Re: Struvite Crystals? [Re: ]
pappy1264 Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 08/31/06
Posts: 11015
Loc: MA
Not in regards to the crystals or even if an infection was present. I agree on not doing the meds, but keep an eye on him. You may want to try to get some little vials to try and get samples at home that you could drop off (mine have no problem going on me at home, but it is always tougher to get a specimen at the vets, for some reason...lol) I have my vet give me the little test tubes with the rubber stoppers, then you can get it and drop it off in the morning. Just an idea, might make things easier (once they start going you can fit it right underneath and get a clean sample that hasn't touched you).
_________________________
Timmy, Gidget(RIP), Bandit, Petey(RIP), Phoebe, Jake (RIP) Piper(RIP), Pru(RIP), Paige, Cole, Molly(RIP), Oliver, Wyatt, Roo(RIP), Romeo, Pennie, Mandy(RIP), Madison, Garth, Kikipoo, Stasia, Bella, Petunia(RIP), Helen, Sydney, Kizzy and Sweet Pea's mom,
Mary

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#649107 - 10/02/08 02:14 PM Re: Struvite Crystals? [Re: pappy1264]
Monster
Unregistered


Hmmm, neat idea - I bet thats a lot easier than trying to suck it up in a syringe!

Sekwaf is actually very polite - I think he's only peed on me once or twice. Monster, on the other hand, will pee on me at least once every time I get her out! roflmao

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#649137 - 10/02/08 02:43 PM Re: Struvite Crystals? [Re: ]
pappy1264 Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 08/31/06
Posts: 11015
Loc: MA
(you could also use the little disposable muffin tins, as you can 'bend' them to pour the contents into another container, if you can't get the glass vials.) Oh, way too much 'urine sample collecting' experience in this family....lol
_________________________
Timmy, Gidget(RIP), Bandit, Petey(RIP), Phoebe, Jake (RIP) Piper(RIP), Pru(RIP), Paige, Cole, Molly(RIP), Oliver, Wyatt, Roo(RIP), Romeo, Pennie, Mandy(RIP), Madison, Garth, Kikipoo, Stasia, Bella, Petunia(RIP), Helen, Sydney, Kizzy and Sweet Pea's mom,
Mary

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#649139 - 10/02/08 02:44 PM Re: Struvite Crystals? [Re: pappy1264]
Monster
Unregistered


roflmao

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#649141 - 10/02/08 02:48 PM Re: Struvite Crystals? [Re: ]
pappy1264 Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 08/31/06
Posts: 11015
Loc: MA
lol.......
_________________________
Timmy, Gidget(RIP), Bandit, Petey(RIP), Phoebe, Jake (RIP) Piper(RIP), Pru(RIP), Paige, Cole, Molly(RIP), Oliver, Wyatt, Roo(RIP), Romeo, Pennie, Mandy(RIP), Madison, Garth, Kikipoo, Stasia, Bella, Petunia(RIP), Helen, Sydney, Kizzy and Sweet Pea's mom,
Mary

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#649406 - 10/02/08 10:52 PM Re: Struvite Crystals? [Re: pappy1264]
schlep
Unregistered


Struvite crystals and stones are made of magnesium ammonium phosphate. They are only formed in an alkaline environment.

Urine typically is slightly on the acidic end of the pH scale, as the body uses urine to rid the excess acids created in metabolism. That is why more stones are oxalate, and contain calcium, as those stones are formed in an acidic environment. Struvite does not contain calcium.

Bacteria such as Proteus contain ureases, which are enzymes that cleave the urea (end product of protein metabolism and a major waste product excreted in pee) in urine. This eventually leads to a significant elevation in urine pH into the alkaline end of the spectrum. At high enough pH (pretty alkaline), struvite can form. It is difficult to get the pH that high without an infection. So struvite should always makes one suspicious of infection. I have not always had urine cultures grow bacteria in the face of struvute stones and crystals despite pretty strong evidence of infection.

Your veterinarian is on top of things and will direct you. Struvite crystals certainly would make many want to cover with antibiotics, try to acidify urine with diet changes, push fluids, and monitor closely. In my opinion, struvite = infection despite negative cultures. Struvite isn't made without high pH, and that pH doesn't occur naturally.

We had a glider with struvite crystals. They cleared with 7 days of Baytril and never recurred. He presented with vomiting as his only symptom. Good luck.

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#649455 - 10/03/08 12:12 AM Re: Struvite Crystals? [Re: ]
Srlb Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 16745
Loc: St. Johns, Florida
off_topic

SCHLEP wave Its SOOO good to see you around!! Seems like you have been gone forever.

Gina, Tristan probably hasnt got back with her because he pulled emergency shift last night and tonight....
_________________________
Peggy
Critter Love
Critter LoveŽ Diet Center

If you want to know what a person is like, watch how he treats others.

You'll never know what the outcome is if you don't step up and try.


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#649540 - 10/03/08 07:05 AM Re: Struvite Crystals? [Re: Srlb]
Monster
Unregistered


Thank you Schlep! I will relay to my vet...I wonder why the wildlife rehab people told her that struvite was normal in North American possums??

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#649543 - 10/03/08 07:15 AM Re: Struvite Crystals? [Re: ]
pappy1264 Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 08/31/06
Posts: 11015
Loc: MA
I'm not sure, but perhaps they have a different ph, therefore making it 'normal' for them???
_________________________
Timmy, Gidget(RIP), Bandit, Petey(RIP), Phoebe, Jake (RIP) Piper(RIP), Pru(RIP), Paige, Cole, Molly(RIP), Oliver, Wyatt, Roo(RIP), Romeo, Pennie, Mandy(RIP), Madison, Garth, Kikipoo, Stasia, Bella, Petunia(RIP), Helen, Sydney, Kizzy and Sweet Pea's mom,
Mary

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#649544 - 10/03/08 07:16 AM Re: Struvite Crystals? [Re: pappy1264]
Monster
Unregistered


Is a glider's pH different than a human's? Oh Denise???????????

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#649605 - 10/03/08 09:03 AM Re: Struvite Crystals? [Re: ]
Monster
Unregistered


Ok, I heard back from Dr. Kate - she heard from Dr. Tristan. Dr. Tristan did not know specifically if sugar gliders normally have struvite crystals in their urine BUT, he had a study on brushtail and ringtail possums done in 2007 that shows it is normal for them to have anywhere from 1-3+ crystals of various types in their urine, one of those types being struvite.

Since Brushtail and Ringtail possums are much more closely related to gliders that dogs, cats, or humans - for now, I am going to base my decisions on this study. Dr. Tristan is going to look for the struvite in the next group of gliders he sees, and maybe we'll see a pattern. If any of you will be running UAs in the near future, have your vet take a peek for struvite & let me know what you see.

If anyone would like to read this study, PM me your email addy & I will forward it on - it actually has some good info in it...

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#649625 - 10/03/08 09:28 AM Re: Struvite Crystals? [Re: ]
pappy1264 Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 08/31/06
Posts: 11015
Loc: MA
I have a call into my vet. Roo will be going back for a recheck, and her UTI should be all cleared, so we will see if there are any crystals then. Sending you a pm, would like to see the study.
_________________________
Timmy, Gidget(RIP), Bandit, Petey(RIP), Phoebe, Jake (RIP) Piper(RIP), Pru(RIP), Paige, Cole, Molly(RIP), Oliver, Wyatt, Roo(RIP), Romeo, Pennie, Mandy(RIP), Madison, Garth, Kikipoo, Stasia, Bella, Petunia(RIP), Helen, Sydney, Kizzy and Sweet Pea's mom,
Mary

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#649669 - 10/03/08 10:46 AM Re: Struvite Crystals? [Re: pappy1264]
minkasmom Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 11/08/04
Posts: 5965
Loc: Northeast Indiana
Gina, I'm sorry not to have caught this before now. The life of an "actress" leaves very little time for blogging. But I'm here now. wink

From my experiences in reference to pH, a glider's "normal" range is 4 to 5. If it gets up to 6 or 7, then antibiotics is needed. My vet has prescribed Clavimox for those occasions because it has an "extra" ingredient to help bring the pH level down. Now the bad news is that my regular vet is on medical leave until after the first of January, so having your vet call him for a consult can't happen. frown To compound matters, we've never taken a specimen & put it under a microscope to look for the presence of crystals...we'd use the litmus strip, check the pH AND protein levels---if they were elevated, then a bottle of Clavimox would come home with me.

Now if your vet needs to know the AMOUNTS to prescribe, then I'm sure my records could be pulled & notes reviewed, etc etc. I'll send you a PM with the info to call my vet's office so you'll at least HAVE it if you need it.
_________________________
Minkasmom (Papillon Kisses)
Slave to:
28 gliders,
5 cats,
and ONE husband (can't handle two, lol!)
gangel Remembering all my lost loves cry

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#649673 - 10/03/08 10:50 AM Re: Struvite Crystals? [Re: minkasmom]
Monster
Unregistered


Thanks Denise - where can I get the litmus strips? I'm getting ready to go to lunch and I'd like to pick some up so I can check him now & possibly monitor him over the weekend...

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#649675 - 10/03/08 11:01 AM Re: Struvite Crystals? [Re: ]
minkasmom Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 11/08/04
Posts: 5965
Loc: Northeast Indiana
I got my supply from my vet's office...and it's a little more complicated than just bringing home 8 or 10 strips & using them "as needed".

There are several tests on 1 strip and the key factor is that they're "color coded". After a strip is run thru the sample, you wait 60 seconds then compare the colors on the strip against the colors on the bottle. As an example, if you're testing glucose levels (because I only remember the color range for THAT particular test): the lower glucose colors are teal, then they go to gold, then brown. If you don't have the bottle with you, then the litmus strip is USELESS.

My suggestion to you is to ask your vet (in person or by phone) if they have a bottle of DiaScreen strips that they'd loan you over the weekend. (it doesn't matter if its 7, 8, or 10...the number indicates how many tests can be done on the 1 strip & they ALL will include pH, protein & presence of blood---which will help determine if these crystals are a "problem in the making" or not)

Wish I wasn't so DOGGONE FAR AWAY...I'd fly by your house & let you borrow mine! hug2
_________________________
Minkasmom (Papillon Kisses)
Slave to:
28 gliders,
5 cats,
and ONE husband (can't handle two, lol!)
gangel Remembering all my lost loves cry

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