- Supporter in '13
Peppi is a strange little guy. Almost all of last week he had much more energy than usual, even with his bumblefoot. He actually gained weight (about 50 grams) on his own, and was more interested in his Critical Care. He actually took a bunch in his cage most days, and we didn't need to force feed him as often.
That's the good news, but the bad news is that the bumblefoot isn't getting any better. Some of the sores are getting worse. The vet switched Peppi from Bactrim to Baytril, and we're continuing his triple AB treatment and wrapping his feet. We also switched to all fleece in the cage and have been careful to clean up poos. The vet thinks it's just inactivity and poor circulation causing the bumblefoot. If he can't get better, we'll just continue what we're doing until it gets to be too much for him. I just can't believe this little guy's spirit. He's been climbing the cage bars even with his feet wrapped!
- Supporter in '13
Not going back to look, so if this has been covered, sorry. One thing you can do is use a vibrator on his lower abdomen to keep the stone and sludge moving.
Poor Peppi and poor caybara.
Not the greatest update unfortunately. Peppi's bumblefoot gets better and then worse... his front feet started to heal and scab over but his back feet were still pretty gross. But just yesterday we noticed one of his front feet has a really gross "hole" in it so we wrapped that one up as well as his back feet.
This weekend he also had really stinky pink pee. The stone must be irritating him a lot lately. Also the worst thing is his weight. This morning he had dropped down to 675g. We feel like it might be getting close to when we should put him to sleep. We're of course feeding him critical care but after like 3 syringes he gets sick of it, so we have to force the rest down. He barely nibbles his hay, eats some pellets, and then slowly eats his veggies.
The biggest problem is that he still has his goofy personality. This morning I came down to make my breakfast and he saw me and wobbled out of his cuddly cup and trotted all the way over to the other side of the cage and started chewing the bars. We both feel that he's not going to be one of those pigs that totally becomes listless and hunched in a corner. Because of how low his weight is and the pee irritation plus the bumblefoot, we feel his quality of life might be really bad.
Any more advice? Even if you don't have any I figured you'd all be interested to see how he's doing.
- You can quote me
This is my opinion, and my husband's and my policy only ... but in our way of looking at things, as long as he's still doing stuff like this, as far as he's concerned, his quality of life is just fine, to him, and he's not ready to give up and let go of any of it just yet.
If Peppi were our pig, we would 1) watch carefully for a total obstruction or blockage. As long as he is urinating, even if the pee is somewhat odd, he's not blocked; and 2) be prepared to be with him, talk to him, hold him and hopefully he will pass at home when that time comes. (I'm confident you're already doing number 2.)
Best thoughts, good wishes and love to Peppi and to you.
- Supporter in '13
Yesterday morning, he was near the bars, waiting for his veggies. He wasn't as energetic as he has been on some days this week, but when we walked by, he stood up on the coroplast to beg. Later in the day, he seemed a little tired, but he still came over to chew the bars and see what the commotion was when my parents stopped by for a short visit and dinner on their way up to St. Paul. When we got back from dinner, Peppi ate his evening treat, but when it was time to give him a nighttime Critical Care feeding and wrap his feet, Vinod noticed he was lying on his side in one of the houses. He picked him up and put him on his feet, but poor Peppi just didn't have the strength in his legs to stand.
We got him out and took off his bandages. He didn't even fuss and he just seemed so tired. We gave him some Metacam since he loves it so much, and I held him. I could tell he was going soon. His favorite large cozy needed washing, so I held him for two hours while it washed and dried. I didn't want to leave him, but we thought he might be more comfortable in his favorite place, and it was warm right out of the dryer. He wobbled in and laid down, and we decided to go to bed. When we woke up this morning, Vinod went to check on him, and he was gone. I think he went soon after we put him in his cozy. Chester was in the cozy by his side. I think he was with him through the night. He was such a good little buddy to Peppi.
I hope with all my heart that he just drifted peacefully off to sleep. He seemed like he wasn't in any pain when I was holding him, he just was very sleepy. We were both so happy that he had some freedom from his foot wrappings when he passed. I'm glad he was able to pass with Chester, in his favorite cozy at home.
Peppi was a very special pig. He was our first adopted pig. He made the lives of our other pigs better because it was through the rescue we got him from (Have-a-Heart) that we learned about C&C cages, and Guinea Lynx, both of which have improved the lives of all of our pigs immensely. We adopted Peppi in 2004. We had wanted to volunteer with pigs, by helping at a rescue, or fostering, but when I saw his picture on Petfinder, and that he was an older pig that needed a home, I instantly fell in love.
Peppi made such an impression on us in the short two and a half years he was with us, that he had almost a dozen nicknames. Among others, he was frequently known as Pepster, Biggie, Biggie Small, Big Head, Big Man, Ziggy, Ziggy-Piggy, Zigster, and Zeppi. Peppi was the biggest and loudest pig we had with a wheek that sounded more like a howler monkey. He was a rambunctious tough guy, with a considerable amount of energy for a pig that was so old. He was definitely the boss in the cage, sneaking up to steal veggies from Chester anytime Chester didn't win the veggie-eating race. Peppi would grab pellet dishes with his mouth and pull them out from under Chester's nose when he was eating. He also liked to clank them together, and grab them with his teeth and shove them all the way across the cage like a shopping cart. Somehow Chester put up with it all, and he always seemed happy to be with Peppi. I think Chester looked up to him. Peppi was an incredibly friendly pig, and he was very calm and patient with people, even children, and he captured anyone's heart that met him.
I already miss seeing his teddy bear ears flopping as he trots over for attention or a treat. I will miss hearing his howler monkey wheek greeting me when I come downstairs in the morning.
I want to thank everyone here for all of your kindness and support. It meant the world to us. I have never walked with an animal during a long term illness before, and your words of encouragement and advice were so helpful and I know that they helped us to make Peppi's life better. Thank you so much for reading this very long post and letting me share his story with you.
We miss you so much Big Man.
- It started with Louie...
Your compassion for Peppi is something I hope every guinea pig could be so lucky to have. Please know in your hearts that you gave him a great life and we all share in your grief. Take care.
My heart goes out to you guys. My pigs send kisses, especially Grandpa Henry, who knows just what Chester is going through right now.
My heart aches with the wish that it weren't the way it is. I'm not particularly religious, but God bless you, your family, Chester, and Peppi. I genuinely hope that somehow Gilbert and Sully can now play with Peppi and all wait for us to join them one day.
Tears are shed around the world for Peppi, but perhaps our prayers have been answered. He went at home, in his place, with his family taking care of him, with his friend by his side.
So many of us never met you, Peppi, but we love you.