- Supporter in '13
Peppi has some great days and some so-so days. I was surprised yesterday, when he seemed happy and active, that when I picked up his cuddle cup to dump out his poos, the Carefresh underneath was stained pink from his pee. I found other evidence of bloody pee around the cage. He's already on Bactrim.
We took him in to Dr. Voss today, and he thinks we are going to see things like this more and more as the stone grows and continues to irritate his bladder. Peppi has also lost 50 grams over the last couple days, so we're going to have to kick it into gear on handfeeding the Critical Care again. He usually ate 2 big lumps on his own in the cage daily, but is starting to lose interest in it. I can't tell if he's just sick of the CC or losing his appetite, but he goes crazy for pellets, Critter Berries, veggies, and is still eating his hay what appears to be a normal amount. We ordered the apple/banana flavored CC, but unfortunately he turned his nose up at it.
Despite the weight loss, he seems happy today. I'm worried that with him starting to get even skinnier that this is the beginning of him going downhill, but I hope that's not the case. He is a tough one to figure out. He has always been such an energetic old guy; sort of a tough bruiser type, that even though I know his personality so well, it's difficult for me to tell if he's just very good at hiding his discomfort.
- Supporter in '13
I'm not sure what to do. Yesterday and today, our attempts at handfeeding haven't gone well. He gets really upset and tries to dig at the towel and keeps fussing and hiding his head. We only got maybe 6-10 cc into him yesterday, and so far only 1 today. I would normally be more aggressive, but I'm not sure it's fair to stress him out so much when he has what has become a terminal illness. What would you guys do?
I'm so worried I'll make the wrong decision. If he keeps losing weight, maybe he's saying it's time to go. But he still wants his veggies and Critter Berries. He still enjoys being pet and held. That's why I just don't know. I know I keep asking for the same advice, but we're having a hard time deciding what is best.
We're supposed to go to MI in a couple days to visit family. Originally, we planned to bring Peppi and Chester along and we had even found a couple vets nearby if anything happened while we were there. Now I'm not sure if we will postpone or cancel the trip. I'm not sure if it's fair to bring him along if he continues to feel this way.
Sorry for writing a book. As usual, thanks for all your support and any advice you can give.
Gilbert was the same way. He might look miserable much of the time, but he would still come out and eat and be affectionate towards us.
I don't know if your pigs have had a lot of travel experience. I imagine that, just like people, some travel better than others. I am just speculating, but I would guess that being in a strange, new place surrounded by lots of strange, new people might add to Peppi's stress.
My gut feeling is to watch pain levels and food and water intake. I have no doubt, though, that whatever decision you make, it will be the right one, because you're making it out of the profound love you have for your little pig.
This is Capybara's husband... aptly named Mr. Capybara....
My wife's sick from the holidays so I thought I should come on here and update this thread. (plus I need to help her out with GP postings more often)
We did end up deciding to bring Peppi and his cage-mate Chester with us on our trip to Michigan. They did fine in the car and really seemed to enjoy the extra attention at my parents house. His weight was stable throughout the trip. During the last few days before we left MI he was sitting in one area for extended periods of time, but not in a relaxed way, more puffed up. But overall because he likes people so much he liked the extra attention that the few people that visited our house gave him.
Now that we're back he's still pretty off and on, but his weight has gone down from 950g to 925g. He goes from nibbling hay, drinking, and sitting around being all puffy. He's not as interested in his pellets as he used to be. He used to be a pellet freak! But he's still nuts over any veggies or fruits. It's going to be a tough decision when to make the call to have him put to sleep... Our vets in tomorrow morning, but after that they don't get back till Tuesday.
Well that's the update... hope everyone here had a good Holiday!
There will be good days and bad days for your guy. I wouldn't give up on him until he decides he doesn't want to eat. When his kidneys start to go, so will his appetite completely, including hand feeding. Until then, keep him hydrated and warm.
I know it's a nebulous thing to say, but you will know when it's time. Doesn't sound like he's there yet.
How much metacam/meloxicam is he getting?
It is controversial here, but we had Gilbert on some fairly high dosage Metacam for a significant period of time when he was fighting stones. He never showed signs of any adverse side effects, and no damage attributable to Metacam was identified at necropsy. He did have some slight liver abnormalities, but the necropsy report indicated that they thought that was related to the bladder stone issue itself.
- Supporter in '13
Peppi has seemed pretty happy the past few days. He's been relatively energetic on and off throughout the day, and was crawling around on my lap this evening like nothing was wrong with him. I just wish he could get his weight back up. He's still being a butthead about taking Critical Care.
Any doubt I had about the higher metacam doses evaporated due to two things: the conversations with the K-State vet hospital (where the reference book author works) and Gilbert's necropsy results. He was on up to 1.5 ml/day for quite some time with no side effects.
Eventually it was about the only time he could comfortably stretch out and straighten his back, and he would take advantage of it.
I had to go to the vet tonight and asked her about this. She was not surprised about the higher doses being used in cases that might warrant it, such as Gilberts. She said that she's either heard or used (?) up to 2.0 in guinea pig chemo/cancer patients. She said that they're learning more and more about this particular drug and its effects through time.
I wish there were more of a consensus here and in the veterinary community on some of these dosages.
My vet said that she was just at a dental (?) conference where this was talked about. The vets are using some of these higher amounts for various things. I believe she mentioned tooth extraction. Most of the conferences she goes to are at the University of WI in Madison, so maybe your vet attended this conference?
As a side note, I have a sick pig with respiratory problems who is getting .15cc of Metcam twice a day with no issues.