Request for heart pig stories

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pinta

Post   » Thu Nov 17, 2005 2:36 am


Because there is so little information about heart disease in pigs I think it would be useful if people who have pigs with assumed heart disease posted here with symptoms and treatment.

I'm especially interested in the pigs that had no discernable signs of heart problems that vets usually look for(xray or stethoscope indications). These are the pigs whose signs of possible heart issues are: chronic URIs that just won't go away, "walking" pneumonia, lethargy, unexplained weight loss, foot sores that won't heal, pea eye...

If we can get enough first-hand experiences of pigs that have improved when given heart meds despite having no obvious clinical signs of heart disease, we might be able to convince vets to try heart meds for likely candidates.

Since there are very little (if any) case histories of heart disease in pigs for vets to refer to - maybe this thread can be a start, something to show the next vet who says a pig doesn't have a heart problem because the heart sounds fine and looks good on the xray.

So what I want is:
1 - breed, age and sex of pig
2 - brief description of symptoms that made you suspect heart problems
3 - diagnostics done and the results
4 - treatment, med and dosage
5 - results of treatment
6 - other med issues

If I missed any relevant info, please chime in. I would ask that the posts be brief and to the point so vets will be more inclined to read them.

1 - Bliss, skinny sow now 2 years old.
2 - at 18 months began losing weight and started acting much older than her age. In comparison to a pig of similar age she was acting like a 3 or 4 year old. Soles of hindfeet starting to develop the first signs of bumblefoot.
3,4 - heart rate was a little faster than normal but two other skinny pigs brought in for comparison also had faster than normal heart rates so we weren't sure if that was due to heart issues or breed. Discussed treatment options and because of our past experience with heart pigs and knowing it was unlikely we would get a definitive diagnosis thru standard diagnostics, opted to try a week long course of Fortekor 1mg/kg daily
5 - energy level came up, weight loss stopped. When she started losing weight again, we upped the Fortekor to 1mg/kg twice a day and her weight stabilized and she began gaining. She remains on fortekor twice a day.
6 - suspected hyperthyroidism after precipitous weight loss and she is now on Tapazole as well as Fortekor and is nicely stabilized.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Link to Mum's thread entitled, "Heart Pig Primer":

http://www.guinealynx.info/forums/viewtopic.php?t=34346

-- Lynx

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Thu Nov 17, 2005 10:28 am


Starting this thread is a wonderful idea.

Any detailed dates you have as far as cronology of the heart problems or other illnesses, results from medications, would probably also be helpful (some people have asked how quickly you'd see results from the heart meds if it is a heart problem).

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SusieQ
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Post   » Thu Nov 17, 2005 12:23 pm


1 - Bandit, American sow, now 2 1/2 years old.
2 - At approximately ten months, Bandit starting making "hooting" noises on a regular basis. She was less active than the other pigs in the cage. Also showed signs of pea eye.
3 - She was X rayed and we saw an enlarged heart pressing on her trachea.
4 - She was put on Lasix temporarily to clear the lungs, up to 5mg 2x daily depending on her breathing. Lasix was suspended after three weeks. She was also put on Fortekor (now Lotensin) at 0.75mg twice daily, and weaned back to once daily at four weeks.
5 - She seems to have made a complete recovery, as far as heart pigs go. Her heart has actually reduced in size, and my vet is considering taking her off heart meds entirely at her yearly next summer depending on results. She is much more active and loud than she was before.
6 - She also has a minor molar malocclusion that was diagnosed at her first X ray at under one year. Since it was causing no problems we did not begin treatment until one year later when she was drooling. She wore a chin sling on a temporary basis and now has no drooling issues. No weight loss. We will revisit the tooth issue at her next yearly checkup or before if it becomes necessary.

critterluv02

Post   » Thu Nov 17, 2005 12:29 pm


1 - breed, age and sex of pig
Carson is a Texel, age unknown but suspect he is an older adult and he is an intact male.

2 - brief description of symptoms that made you suspect heart problems
Rescued with a front bumble foot, pea eyes (both sides), regular cough without any nasal or eye discharge.

3 - diagnostics done and the results
Chest x-ray revealed a very enlarged heart.

4 - treatment, med and dosage
Furosemide 1mg/ml given .2 ml 1x daily
Enalapril Mal. 1mg/ml given .1 ml 1x daily
Both meds are compounded with Tutti Frutti Flavor and he loves them.

5 - results of treatment
He has much more energy and activity level is normal.
No more coughing

6 - other med issues
None at the moment. He has been on meds since the middle of February.

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SusieQ
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Post   » Thu Nov 17, 2005 12:31 pm


1 - Dixie, 3 year old American neutered boar. Father to Bandit and Rosie.
2 - We heard further hooting in the cage at approximately 18 months of age. Bandit had been diagnosed roughly four months earlier. We decided to take all related pigs in for diagnostics.
3 - X ray taken, with abnormally sized heart.
4 - Fortekor prescribed once daily at 75mg.
5 - No further hooting noises.
6 - No other med issues.
Last edited by SusieQ on Thu Nov 17, 2005 12:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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SusieQ
Scrapbook Addict

Post   » Thu Nov 17, 2005 12:33 pm


1 - Rosie, 2 1/2 year old intact American sow. Sister to Bandit, born to Mittens and Dixie.
2 - We heard further hooting in the cage at approximately 14 months of age. Bandit had been diagnosed roughly four months earlier. We decided to take all related pigs in for diagnostics.
3 - X ray taken, with abnormally sized heart.
4 - Fortekor prescribed once daily at 75mg.
5 - No further hooting noises.
6 - No other med issues.

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SusieQ
Scrapbook Addict

Post   » Thu Nov 17, 2005 12:34 pm


1 - Mittens, 3 year old American intact sow. Mother to Bandit and Rosie.
2 - We heard further hooting in the cage at approximately 18 months of age. Bandit had been diagnosed roughly four months earlier. We decided to take all related pigs in for diagnostics.
3 - X ray taken, with abnormally sized heart.
4 - Fortekor prescribed once daily at 75mg.
5 - No further hooting noises.
6 - No other med issues.

Josephine
Little Jo Wheek

Post   » Thu Nov 17, 2005 3:07 pm


1. Antoine, ~6 year old at death, intact DEW Teddy boar
2. Suspected to be 6 months-1 year old at acquisition. I noticed a failure to thrive, general unthriftiness several months after acquiring from a neglect situation. One ear margin started to necrose.
3. Upon his first physical, an obvious heart murmur was asculted and palpated. X-rays, labwork, ultrasound, etc. were done at the RDVM and at UCD VMTH in Davis, CA. Details of all the diagnostics and findings are here: Antoine's Story. He was diagnosed with pulmonic stenosis through ECHO. He had some secondary liver problems and elevated WBC counts that the etiology was unknown at the time, but resolved with cardiac treatment.
4. Started on enalapril 1/8 mg EOD
5. Maintained on that dosage for approximately 5 years, until he went into CHF and was humanely euthanized after failure to respond to treatment.
6. None really, but at diagnosis, suspected of liver cancer at the VMTH. Later molar problems and a hydronephrotic kidney were ruled out.

Josephine
Little Jo Wheek

Post   » Thu Nov 17, 2005 3:20 pm


1. Cyrano, now about 6-7 years old, intact TSW Peruvian boar. Thought to be 6 months-1 year at acquisition from a rescue.
2. Diagnosed at about 5.5 years old during a routine geriatric physical. He had some mammary masses to be removed, so I took him to see his RDVM to do a pre-anesthetic physical, chest/whole body x-rays (to look for potential metastasis, and bloodwork.
3. Murmur was asculted during the physical. X-rays and bloodwork were WNL (within normal limits). Due to previous experience with Antoine and surgery concerns, we started Cyrano on treatment immediately.
4. Enalapril 1/8 mg SID
5. Started treatment 1 month prior to bilateral mastectomy. Pre-surgical exam revealed the murmur was completely silent. Surgery went well without complications.
6. Bilateral mammary (ductal papillary) adenocarcinomas were removed and excision was complete on one and one had incomplete/unclean margins. He healed without complications and the decision was made to monitor for recurrance rather than repeat the surgery to remove wider margins. Almost 6 months post surgery, no recurrance of the mammary masses has been noted and the heart problem remains static.

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CavyAnnex

Post   » Thu Nov 17, 2005 5:48 pm


1. Ally, 3 year old Abyssinian intact sow (recently diagnosed).

2. Pea eye, heavy set, URI's, slightly swollen feet. Not as active as the other 2 pigs.

3. X-ray showed an enlarged heart that was pushing up on her trachea.

4. Her heart med's: fortekor. She receives 0.62mg per day.

5. She currently has a URI but seems a bit perkier now.

6. None at the moment, but she's had UTI's, bladder stones and she also has a small subaceous cyst on her left hind quarter.

The vet that diagnosed my Ally is the same vet SusieQ takes her pigs to. I was really pleased with her since Ally has been to a few vets already and none were able to diagnose her heart problem.

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Serena
It started with Louie...

Post   » Thu Nov 17, 2005 10:50 pm


Chewie
1. lemon agouti teddy, approx. 6, male
2. pea eye on right eye, lethargic and heavy sleeper, coughing, and slow and steady weight loss. Went from 2 lbs 9 oz to 1 lb 15 oz with no known illness or problem.
3. X-ray showed abnormally large heart.
4. Furosemide 10mg/ml. .3ml 2x daily
5. More active, eating more, alot more well-formed poops, weight gain of 3 oz w/in 3 mo. Less agitated with other cagemates.
6. SMZ-TMP for UTI

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PyscoFalcon

Post   » Fri Nov 18, 2005 3:45 am


1.Sugar - black Himalayan sow, 4 and a half years old
2.Two months after I got her (about 7 months old) I came home to an awful hooting sound and found Sugar flat out on her side trying to breath.
3. Rushed her to the Emergancy Vets where she was treated for a URI. Batryl given. She "crashed" again so x-rays taken which showed a small,weak heart.
4. Corventral-d 100mg was given (For the treatment of bronchitis and congestive heart failure in the dog.)
Given once a day.
5. She improved in leaps and bounds and started runnig around. Found out she could only do 2 laps of the cage before she'd "crash" so confined to smaller cage. After a year meds weaned off and now only needs them at early signs of hooting etc.
6. Keeps getting URIs and crusty eyes (teeth are fine as checked regular)

Josephine
Little Jo Wheek

Post   » Thu Dec 08, 2005 5:45 pm


Just an update: Cyrano went into CHF and died today. Very quick and unexpected. Sometimes that's what happens with heart pigs.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Thu Dec 08, 2005 5:47 pm


I'm so sorry, Josephine. He was in good and gentle hands.

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mkkayla
Supporter in '14

Post   » Thu Dec 08, 2005 5:53 pm


I am so sorry rest well Cyrano

Poor Baby Cuzko
My piggy made me give!

Post   » Thu Dec 08, 2005 6:36 pm


Cyrano was lucky you loved and cared for him. I'm sorry for your loss.

What is exactly meant by "hooting"?

pinta

Post   » Wed Jan 04, 2006 2:45 am


1. Rachel, 5-year-old, 3 pound american sow, unaltered, has had a litter.
2. pea eye developing in one eye, occasional laboured breathing while sleeping and this week during her health check, her mouth colour was mauve instead of a bright happy pink, maybe a little less active than she has been.
3. vet checked her heart rate and it was 220, which is high and agreed her colour was not right especially when compared to accompanying pigs. No other diagnostics done or deemed necessary. Lungs sounded great.
4. vet prescribed 1mg fortekor twice a day.
5. she is just beginning treatment so no results yet.
6. no other health issues, hasn't even had a URI in the time we've had her.

1. Ferdinand - 4 1/2-year-old 1 pound 15 oz. neutered strawberry roan boar
2. Pea eye in both eyes, and recently taking to sleeping very deeply and not waking up easily. Mouth colour good.
3. He was being monitored for heart issues and the last time at the vet clinic nothing beyond Pea Eye was detected. This time the vet detected a split heart beat(?) that apparently can lead to arrhythmia(sp???). No other diagnostics deemed necessary.
4. 1mg Fortekor twice a day.
5. no results yet since he's just started on meds.
6. has an old spine injury that cause him pain when he pees or poops. He sees a physiotherapist for this and gets Rimadyl daily for pain management.

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Sabriel MoonStar

Post   » Wed Jan 04, 2006 11:58 am


1 - Spinel Sun - Age unknown (suspected to be older) intact male abyruvian
2 - Chronic weight loss, gassy, sleepy all the time, ruled out all other possibilities (stress, ab intolerance, etc)
3 - x-ray and blood work, blood work came back ok, enlarged heart showed up on x-ray
4 - .2 ml of benazepril twice daily
5 - steadily gained weight back, increased appitite, gas went away, energy increased. Now is very vocal in demanding food and attention.
6 - Frequently impacted. Sometimes needs simethicone for the occasional bout of gas but not very often anymore. We keep it handy just in case.

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Mum
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Wed Jan 04, 2006 12:55 pm


1 - Spot, suspected to be at least 5 or 6 from x-ray (degree of calcification). Came in from shelter with large tumor which was removed. Neuter performed during same surgery.

2 - Rattly breathing before and after surgery was diagnosed as pneumonia and treated with doxy for a total of 3 weeks. Also had peaeye. Would not eat or drink, thought to be caused by combination of surgery, Baytril intolerance, and/or pneumonia.

3 - X-ray taken one week after surgery showed fluid in lungs and very enlarged heart pressing on trachea.

4 - Initially prescribed 0.25 mg enalapril and 1mg lasix twice daily, which was taken for two weeks. Breathing sounds decreased but then returned and x-ray showed lungs were clear of fluid. Vet could hear heart murmer and arrhythmia. At week 4 was prescribed 2mg lasix and 0.75mg benazepril (generic lotensin) twice daily (switch in heart medications was to protect kidney function longterm).

5 - After 3 doses of benazepril breathing sounds cleared, appetite returned and handfeeding was no longer necessary. Blood was also tested and showed all functions were normal. We think the improvement is due to increased dosage of heart medication rather
than switch in type. Plan is to continue same dosage for 1 week and then reduce lasix back to 1mg twice daily since lungs showed no fluid on previous x-ray.

6 - X-rays always showed gas so simethicone is kept at hand. Also given Metacam 0.15 daily in case of angina or arthritis (latter shown on xray).

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Wed Jan 04, 2006 1:38 pm


By the way, I made this a sticky. I may later move it to the reference forum and on request give people access to post if they don't have access in that forum. The reference forum has posting restrictions because new people were forever posting questions in it. Got pretty annoying (it is not designed for discussion).

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