WWW.GUINEALYNX.INFO A Medical and Care Guide for Guinea Pigs
Emergency & Medical - Swollen or bloated female
Quinfin - 7/23/2010, 7:23 pm
I have a 3 yr old female who is not pregnant but in about 6 hours swelled to at least another 50% of her size. I cant get her to our vet for about 12 hours. Does anyone know how I can keep her alive till then? She will not eat nor drink, but I am giving her water with vitamin C through a syringe. Someone suggested she may have Bloat. How can I treat that for 12 hours? Any sugestions?
Lynx - 7/23/2010, 8:13 pm
I'm so sorry she's ill.
Yes, she may have bloat. This is a life threatening emergency and I don't think you can wait 12 hours. See more: www.guinealynx.info/emergency.html#bloat
For moderate cases simethicone and perhaps massage can help but for true bloat, you really need a veterinarian. Home remedies will not work.
jedifreac - 7/23/2010, 8:21 pm
Is there an emergency veterinarian in the area? It might be possible to print out the articles on bloat and bring her to see that person for a prescription for a motility drug?
Is your guinea pig eating, drinking, or peeing or pooping?
Quinfin - 7/23/2010, 8:37 pm
She is not eating, nor passing any stole or urine. She will drink when I use the syringe. The emergancy vet in our area says they dont see guinea pigs and referred me to an emergancy vet 2 counties away. I called that ofice and got a voicemail. I am waiting for her to call me back. I can tell by her actions, she wont make it 12 hrs. Our other pig knows something is wrong with her and strangely doesnt want to be away from her. Should I seperate them anyway?
Talishan - 7/23/2010, 8:41 pm
No. She will take comfort from the other's presence.
Very gentle massage (be extremely gentle) or placing her on a massaging vibrator pillow thingy may help, if she will tolerate it, until you hear back from the ER vet.
Call them again if you don't hear from them soon.
Lynx - 7/23/2010, 8:42 pm
If she is in terrible pain, you might consider having her euthanized if you are unable to find a vet who can treat her condition.
Some vets will use a syringe to draw air from a cavity that is filled with gas. An xray can show where it is located and if there is any blockage. If there is no blockage, motility drugs and pain medication can help. Much more in the link I provided.
Quinfin - 7/23/2010, 9:47 pm
Shes on a mild vibrating pad, she's not laboring to breath but is very lethargic. After lightly rubbing her, she'll walk around a minute but soon curls in a corner. I live in St. Lucie Co. Fl. and it's about 11pm. The vet I was told to call is two counties south of me. I have called her again and brieflt explained my pig's condition. Our vet will be in his office in about 9 hours. What is a motility drug? Is there anything I can get over the counter that will act as a motiltiy drug? What could have caused this?
Talishan - 7/23/2010, 9:59 pm
Over the counter, no, not safely.
A motility drug is a medication to make the GI move. A laxative is a motility agent, but what you will want is not that strong. A drug like Reglan (metoclopramide) works on the upper GI to move stalled fecal material through the GI. The gas moves along with it; that is, think of a bunch of grass clippings or paper in the street, and how it moves when fast traffic runs through it.
Cause: this simply happens to some pigs. Certain vegetables, or too much of certain vegetables at one time, can start the process, but it's not consistent from pig to pig.
Once a pig has experienced a bout of bloat, however, they tend to be predisposed to suffering it again. Once your pig is well, review her diet and see if there are any gas producing vegetables you are giving her. If so, eliminate those from her diet or give them in very small quantities, infrequently.
Finding the cause can be essentially a process of elimination exercise.
Quinfin - 7/23/2010, 10:43 pm
I will probably not hear from that vet in Palm Bch. Should I keep my pig up and active all night or let her go to sleep? I can not get her to pass any gas from rubbing her and dont know if the pad is vibtating any out. The pad automaticly turns off after about 10 minutes, but my wife and I dont mind pulling shifts on her to keep it going. She did gourge herself on a pretty good bit of romain lettuce today. Would it have this effect so quickly?
Talishan - 7/23/2010, 10:58 pm
Yes. Their gut transit time is somewhere between 16 and 36 hours IIRC. Romaine in and of itself doesn't usually cause a problem, but gorging on more than a usual amount might.
The pad may be helping more than you realize. I don't know that I'd leave her on it all night in shifts, but if you possibly can, put her on it every, oh, 15-20 minutes to half hour or so if she'll tolerate it.
Is there ANY other ER vet you can call? I know we have several members here in your area and they've had emergency situations with their pigs. The problem is that bloat as severe as this can cause gastric torsion, an extremely painful and nearly always immediately fatal condition.
Take a look at this list and see if any of these vets are close to you:
(I know the Coral Springs one is used by more than one member here, but that might be a little far.) Call them and see if they recommend an ER on their recordings.
Talishan - 7/23/2010, 11:24 pm
Too late to edit: also keep her as well hydrated if you can. Continue to offer her fluids by syringe.
What happens is when the waste material stalls the body continues to leach fluid out of it. It gets dry and hard and ironically, even harder to pass, so then you have a snowball effect.
There's someone on here nearly 24-7. Please let us know how she's doing.
Quinfin - 7/23/2010, 11:41 pm
Thankyou VERYMUCH Talishan. I will keep her hydrated and vibrated until we get to the vet. But that wont be until 7:30 tomorrow morning. I called Dr. Katz office in Stuart and his recording referred me to same Martin County er that does not see cavies. And they again referred me to the vet in Palm Bch. County who I left the messages on her voicemail. The pad must be working some cause when I just picked her up to rub her she made a little chirp and thats the first noise shes made in about 6 hours. THANKS again and I'll keep posting as long as Im awake.
Talishan - 7/24/2010, 12:02 am
Keep posting and then give your wife your password and have her post. ;-)
If the vibrator pad is helping, if you and your wife can possibly do it, keep it going periodically through the night. If nothing else, being picked up and manipulated gently can help in and of itself ... but if the pad is helping, try to keep her on it on a regular interval.
6 1/2 hours and counting. You'll make it. She'll make it. Hang in.
Quinfin - 7/24/2010, 1:27 am
She is progressing. She passed her first pellets in 6 hours. The pad, massaging, and the hydrating seem to be working. 5 more hours to go. Should I see if she'll eat or wait till she sees the vet?
Tracis - 7/24/2010, 1:35 am
That is good news!
You could offer her hay or pellets. The fiber will help keep her GI system moving. It might be best to avoid vegetables or fruit until her GI system returns to normal.
Quinfin - 7/24/2010, 2:40 am
Thanks Tracis. I think shes going to make it to the vet. Shes eating her pellets and hay. Even passed some more pellets, which is soft and extremely moist. THANK EVERYONE WHO RESPONDED. You saved her life. I would not have known what to do without you.
Brainerror - 7/24/2010, 5:06 am
Good luck on the bloat! it's such a difficult thing to battle when vets aren't available, but by the sound of it, you and you're wife are doing a cracking job!
Keeping fingers crossed for you and your piggy
tiggyswift - 7/24/2010, 10:10 am
How is she doing now? Did you get her to the vet? Keeping my fingers crossed she makes a full recovery. You and your wife did a wonderful job!
Quinfin - 7/24/2010, 5:33 pm
Sorry it took so long to post. Wife couldnt help pull shifts on our little one, so I did it by myself, and I just woke up. We took Popcorn, our piggie, to Dr. Katz office in Stuart because of the good reviews in the list sent by Talishan and because they opened up the earliest, at 7:30. But when we got there we found out Dr. Katz wasn't in today and the Dr. in didn't see guinea pigs. We then took her to Dr. Pace in Palm City. We were there before he got there at 8:00. When I took Popcorn out of her carrier at the vet's office I saw the bottom of the carrier covered with droppings. Evidently the blockage had stopped. Dr. Pace gave her a shot of reglan anyway and gave us some metronidazole to give her twice a day for a week. I just the call back from Dr. April Romagnano, the emrgency vet from Palm Bch. apologizing for not calling sooner and asking about Popcorn. She said she's the only small pet emergency vet within 500 miles. I had Popcorn out of her cage and in a clothes basket all night. Her female piggie companion didnt like it and was slinging droppings, food, and bedding out of their cage all night. The chaos has finally ended cause "Popcorn" and "Soda" are together again and doing fine, other than alittle tired like me. I know for a fact that it is a miracle Popcorn is alive. She was limp as a dishrag, not eating, not drinking, not passing any waste, and swollen so much her eyes were begining to close. With no vet to take her to, we had accepted the fact that she would not be with us in the morning. I just didn't want to lay her down and let her die alone, I wanted to be there holding her when she passed, no matter how late it was. The miracle of her survival was not her will to survive, nor was it my ability to stay up all night, I've pulled all-nighters before. The TRUE miracle were you people on this web site. Without you, I would not have known what to do other than comfort her in her last few hours. I can't begin to thank you and feel I owe a debt I can never repay. From the bottom of our hearts, my whole family thanks you all.
Catie Cavy - 7/24/2010, 5:57 pm
Iím so glad Popcorn is doing well. You should give yourself credit too. We see so many people who give up on their guinea pigs, even with problems very easy to treat and yours was not. Popcorn and Soda are lucky to have you as their dad.
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