Fluffy is back to eating more mixed foods, so I guess his teeth have grown back enough. He really wants a baby carrot, but he can't grab it, so now I think he can't open his jaws wide enough to take it. Once he gets a hold of something, he can eat it. He now disdains cooked carrots, and will eat a raw one if it is chopped. He wants greens, and he is interested in hay again, although I don't know how much he ate and how much he mushed around.
Yesterday he was lying down, which he hasn't been able to do. Although I would think the hunching indicates pain, I actually forgot to give him the metacam for two days. Is this guy backwards or what?
Last time I came to the site, I couldn't reply, for some reason. Today my husband took pictures of Fluffy's xrays. We were allowed to borrow them from the vet. Interestingly, the consultant's report was in the envelope, so he has scanned that as well.
I do not see in the xrays what the vets see, but I don't have the training and I don't have normal xrays to compare them to. Are there any normal GP xrays on this site?
Meanwhile, Fluff's teeth have apparetnly grown back, but now I don't know what to do, or if I need to do anything. He eats banana (mushed), apples and cucumbers, chopped in the food processor, Critical Care and soaked pellets. The only green he likes this moment is dandelion, and I only know two places to get it. Cavy slave indeed.
He's been very gradually loosing weight again. Down about 3 1/2 ounces since December. I already had increased his calcium to about 40mg/day, but it wasn't making any difference this time.
The vet checked his teeth--they looked good. His heart and lungs sounded OK, no lumps or inflammation of the bladder or any other problems evident on exam. He's been eating and is as active as any of the other pigs. Also, he hardly ever hops. When I notice hopping, I always give metacam and that seems to help.
We did another x-ray. While his bones aren't normal (and likely, never will be), they hadn't changed at all from the last x-ray we did. This indicates to me that we seem to have arrested the bone loss and are maintaining at least that aspect.
The vet did say, however, that his arthritis in his back knees has progressed. We've had months of practically non-stop rain, so I imagine his joints have been bothering him quite a bit.
My vet really, really doesn't want to increase the calcium. He's afraid it will tax the kidneys too much, particularly given Elvis' age. (He's been around here or Teresa's for nearly four years and was at least a year, probably older, when he was found.)
We're going to try a week of metacam, 0.15cc once a day for a week to see if there is any change.
I also asked about heart. He wants to try pain relief first. If it doesn't make a difference, I'll ask for a trial of heart meds. His x-ray didn't show any fluids of enlargement, but heart meds seem like the next logical step.
Last week, I noticed Elvis cried a few times and found a few spots of blood on the fleece. I took him in a week ago Tuesday and an x-ray showed a stone. It appeared to be lodged in his ureter.
We did an ultrasound a week ago Thursday. The stone was in the ureter, but both the kidneys and bladder were completely clear. No sign of any other stones or sludge. It also appeared that the ureter was not blocked. There was no distention to indicate a blockage.
My vet also drew blood and we discussed treatment options. If the kidney functions were OK, we were considering injecting Elvis with a dye to see where or if there was a blockage. We also discussed removing that kidney.
The bloodwork came back showing no problems with the kidney function, so we were making arrangements to check out the blockage and perhaps schedule surgery.
Tuesday morning I found a few areas of blood on the bedding. I had heard something Monday late, but it didn't happen again. I thought perhaps the stone had moved into the bladder. He was eating and acting perfectly normal when I left for work.
By the time I got home, there was a considerable amount of blood on the bedding and he was pretty unresponsive. There were no guinea pig vets available anywhere. No one would see him, including my 24hr vets since there were no pig vets there.
Later that evening, Elvis passed away. Necropsy showed that the stone had completely blocked the kidney. Everything else looked normal except for the liver. Samples were sent out of his liver, kidneys and also, bone samples were sent to try to learn something about satins and bone loss.
I asked why the other kidney couldn't handle this and he told me sometimes when the ureter suddenly gets blocked, it can send them into acute renal failure.
I've been second-guessing myself about the calcium supplementation and what effect it could have had. However, Elvis has been getting calcium for over a year now and at three times the dosage he was getting the past month. Also, the fact that there was absolutely no sign of crystals in his urine or sludge and/or stones anywhere but the ureter is quite odd. My vet was pretty surprised by this as well.
The stone has been sent to UC Davis as part of the Oxbow stone study.
I will miss my little man very much.