Request for heart pig stories

User avatar
Bugs Mom

Post   » Sun Apr 10, 2011 8:40 pm

This is not the place for questions. You need to keep all postings on the same thread you've already started.

User avatar
"Live Long and Prosper"

Post   » Tue May 03, 2011 10:16 am

Gracie - at least 6 years old - Teddy
Passed on December 31, 2010

Gracie and her sister Lucy never had any heart symptoms so I didn't put either on heart meds. Since I have so many pigs on heart meds I was glad these two seemed to have avoided the dreaded congestive heart failure. Not so. The only sign there was a problem is her hind feet were pale when I took her in the day she passed.

Gracie died of congestive heart failure, which I could have prevented had I put her on Lotensin. Her sister is now on meds.

User avatar

Post   » Mon Jun 27, 2011 5:20 am

Hi Everyone.
I am not sure if this imformation is exactly what you'r looking for, but i'll share my experiences anyway. Unfortunately my piggy Giraffe passed away only 2 days ago, I believe due to heart failure from an existing heart condition.

So what I want is:
1 - breed, age and sex of pig:
American, 1yr 4mths, Boar.

2 - brief description of symptoms that made you suspect heart problems:
Continuous malclussion in such a young pig, and in the end he passed because he had a very weak heartbeat ad circulation, so much so that he was unable to walk. His temperature was also extremely low on arrival at the vets and no matter what I tried he could not keep his weight at a good level, he passed away at the mere weight of 0.9lbs (427g) even though i hand fed him every night with critical care, as much as he would take (which most of the time was 2tbsp per day).

3 - diagnostics done and the results
There were no diagnostics taken for the heart condition, the only results that poitned to a probable heart failure was the poor circulation and weak heart beat etc.

4 - treatment, med and dosage
Unfortunately Giraffe had to be put to sleep. His condition was too far gone and there was virtually nothing the vets could do. I am confident that in this instance it was the best decision for my pet because he is now at peace.

5 - results of treatment
He passed away peacefully - he is now in no more pain and happy running in piggy heaven in fields of endless grass and fresh vegies. I know he is with me still and he will help me find a friend for my other pig.

6 - other med issues
Reccuring Malclossion, not related to diet, no amount of treatment would cure my little guy's dental problems which first presented about 2-3mths ago, even though he was with the top exotics vet for guineas in the world, Dr. David Vella. Other than that, no health problems. I was preparing to have him try the chinsling treatment in hope that it may help him with his problems, I was so excited because the night before he was sick he wqas bouncing around and very very active and sseemed to be having heaps of fun - I am glad he spent his last night having fun. He fell ill the next morning and we rushed him to the vet who said the prognosis was very poor, we decided to euathanize and he sadly passed away.

User avatar
Supporter in '15

Post   » Mon Jun 27, 2011 10:41 am

1 - American boar, born 09/04, died 05/11 of a rapid and severe case of bloat

2 - Came down with URI Feb 2008, after multiple vet visits, 2 vets, two sets of xrays and $800 was diagnosed with enlarged heart and pneumonia.

3 - Enlarged heart diagnosed from xray by Dr. Grant Jacobsen in Marshalltown, IA (HIGHLY recommend!)

4 - Lasix - 1mg twice daily
Benazepril - .25 mg daily
(there was discussion on the forum that these doses may be too low, but he did well on them and my vet never adjusted them - just a disclaimer)

5 - Julius did VERY well on the Meds, remained my fattest and happiest pig up until his death :( He had no more infections of any kind and was healthy from then until he was his with an intestinal tumor which caused bloat :(

6 - Occasional corneal ulcers/irritations

Link to med thread:

User avatar

Post   » Tue Jul 12, 2011 12:10 pm

Good bye our little one --- piggy left us last night. I have left a note on my thread.

RIP sweetie!!!!

User avatar

Post   » Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:01 pm

Will is currently 3. Purchased from PetSmart in May 2008 at approximately 2 months of age.

In May of 2010 he developed his first URI. He developed further complications when he stopped eating and his GI shut down. Through medication we were able to save him.

Another URI developed in May of 2011. Multiple rounds of antibiotics did not cure the symptoms.

Today: chest xray completed. Xray shows heart is enlarged and there is also bacteria in the lungs. Prescribed Lasix 2x daily at 3.125mg.

Symptoms: consistent weight loss and inability to maintain healthy weight (current weight at 560g); persistent URI; able to pet him when he's asleep (deep sleep); breathing issues; loss of sound on wheeking; lethargy.


Post   » Mon Aug 22, 2011 9:56 pm

More important than the Lasix is getting him on Fortekor. That will take the load off his heart and give him more energy. The Lasix will only get the fluid out of his lungs. If he has a bacterial infection he needs to be on ABs. I like Doxycycline for URIs - 5mg/kg twice a day.

User avatar

Post   » Sat Sep 03, 2011 1:16 pm

Will passed away sometime overnight. He had dropped to 480g. He was on abt's for the persistent infection, but it was too much for his body and heart to recover from.

User avatar

Post   » Sat Sep 03, 2011 8:58 pm

I am so very sorry you lost him, govikes98.

User avatar
Cavy Slave Since '08

Post   » Sun Sep 18, 2011 2:53 pm

1 - breed, age and sex of pig:
Pantufinha is a short-haired female, 2 years and 6 months old.

2 - brief description of symptoms that made you suspect heart problems :
Started with malocclusion, had her teeth filled twice, there was no visible problem that could had caused it. She lost a lot of weight (about 300g). Then, strange foot sores. Also, I remembered that I've listened a "hooting" sound from her months ago, but just when she was curved to clean herself.

3 - diagnostics done and the results:
Take her to the vet, he listened to her heart, we talked about her symptoms and he agreed that she could have a cardiac problem. He said that an echo would be the best to see her heart, but it's not available here.

4 - treatment, med and dosage:
We would try Benazepril 1mg once a day for 10 days to trial and see.

5 - results of treatment
She is doing better since we started the medication. She is gaining weight, is more active and her feet is almost completely healed. I'll continue with Benazepril 1mg.

6 - other med issues
UTI (healed), malocclusion (healed), fungal infection (almost healed), feet sores (almost healed).
Her medical thread is here.

User avatar
Support in '11 & '12

Post   » Sun Oct 09, 2011 2:23 pm

1 - breed, age and sex of pig:
Brandy, female teddy – 8.5 months.

2 - brief description of symptoms that made you suspect heart problems:
The only symptom was hooting which we heard twice in two days then brought her into the Vet. She has a great appetite, is very active and is not overweight.

3 - diagnostics done and the results:
Vet did an x-ray but found no heart issues. Listening to the heart heard a regular heartbeat for a while followed by a bunch of irregular beats. Ultrasound did not find any issues either. ECG indicated issues with the ventricular part of the heart and she was diagnosed with ventricular arrhythmia.

4 - treatment, med and dosage:
Twice a day treatment of Sotalol - .5ml every 12 hours. We have an appt mid next week to discuss the dosage and see if there needs to be any adjustments

5 - results of treatment:
No results of treatment noticed yet (just started 3 days ago), she still hoots in the morning and yesterday afternoon started coughing while hooting, after coughing the hooting stops.

6 - other med issues:
URI when young (5 weeks) and recent suspected UTI treated with Baytril.

Her medical thread is here:

User avatar

Post   » Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:10 am

1 - breed, age and sex of pig
Beppo - 5.5 yr old, male, Abyssinian

2 - brief description of symptoms that made you suspect heart problems
Unexplained weight loss, despite healthy eating habits, pea eye (though at the time I didn't know that was a symptom)

3 - diagnostics done and the results
X-Ray, Ultrasound found that he had kidney stones as well as a slightly enlarged heart

4 - treatment, med and dosage
Lasix - 0.05cc twice a day
Enacard - 0.18cc once a day

5 - results of treatment
Heart stopped enlarging, breating less labored, and condition seems to be under control

6 - other med issues
Kidney stones - had his kidney removed last week as a stone was lodged in his ureter causing his kidney to become distended and stop functioning

His medical thread is here:


Post   » Thu Aug 16, 2012 3:02 pm

Excellent thread - thanks everyone :)

1 - breed, age and sex of pig
Woolly, Heinz 57 black shorthair, rescue aged c.18 months, now c.5 and a half years old

2 - brief description of symptoms that made you suspect heart problems
Laboured breathing, no weight or appetite loss, always been a little bit porky but definitely squishy belly

3 - diagnostics done and the results
First vet seen diagnosed pneumonia and gave ABs. Saw usual vet three days later for check up and she confirmed heart issues. No X rays but a quick scan revealed fluid on the abdomen at least. Specialist cardiologist vet also looked at her and confirmed dodgy valves

4 - treatment, med and dosage
Only Frusemide so far, usually a quarter of a 20mg tablet crushed into 1ml water/juice four times a day (sometimes only three, if weight stays low indicating not too much fluid retention). Vet is reluctant to prescribe heart meds such as Fortekor - I'm in the UK, licensingmight be duifferent here. I'll point her in the direction of information in this thread and elsewhere on this site

5 - results of treatment

Beeathing less laboured but I'm finding i difficult to keep her weight/fluid down. She's OK but I think she could be more comfortable. Back to vets on Tuesday when I will discuss heart meds with her.

6 - other med issues
Woolly has an abscess on her right cheek - was opearted on around a year ago to leave a permanently open wound (to keep the air getting in and the manky stuff coming out) - I wash it twice daily and apply Flamazine cream. Seems to keep it under control. Occasional blasts with ABs are necessary.

Going to start a thread for her now :)


Post   » Sat Aug 25, 2012 7:04 am

Update on Woolly

After Woolly didn't improve after a couple of weeks on Frusemide only and her breathing got worse, the vet agreed to prescribe Fortekor - half a 2.5mg tablet twice daily. I gave them all the information on this website which I think helped persuade them, so thanks everyone :)

After a couple of days on both drugs there were noticeable small differences - breathing better, better interest in food. After five days now - she's a different pig. Breathing still isn't as good as the other healthy pigs but it's not far off. She has more interest in life :)

User avatar

Post   » Sat Aug 25, 2012 10:01 am

This is so encouraging! I hope you have found the solution for Woolly. Thanks for the update.

User avatar
"Live Long and Prosper"

Post   » Wed Oct 31, 2012 2:41 pm

Born - 2003
Died – 2012

Polly was my second pig and cage mate to Isaac, Freddie, Snowy and Sir Winston. She out lived all but Winston.

Polly was a brown American short hair from Cavy Luv rescue, and is the brown pig on my avatar.

She had no heart symptoms so was never on heart meds. She had pea eye in one eye but no other symptoms or indications of heart disease.

Necropsy results showed she had two types of cancer in her abdomen. We don’t usually send out the heart but it was sent out to be analyzed, along with the tumors, .

The heart was found to have severe Myocarditis, which is an inflammation of the heart muscle. The vet said this was caused by scurvy. Polly had no signs of scurvy or heart problems her entire life and was fed the best diet possible with particular attention to high vitamin C vegetables. I was relying on the veggies to provide the vitamin C as suggested on GL. She was only fed Oxbow Cavy Cuisine pellets which also have vitamin c..

I have had three other pigs on the same diet, with no apparent heart problems on x-ray, who died from heart failure..

From my past experience over the past 10 years with heart pigs, I have found that all pigs need a minimum of 50mg/1cc liquid, supplemented vitamin C daily, no matter what greens they eat. Double this for ill or compromised pigs.

There is no way to really determine how much vitamin C is in a given piece of vegetable, especially with all of the pollution and chemicals used on this planet. The list on GL can be used as a guideline, but many of the high C vegetables are also high in calcium, which may lead to stones in some animals. As far as pellets with vitamin C in them are concerned, you don’t know how many pellets it takes for the minimum amount or how many pellets the pigs have eaten, or if the vitamin c has been degraded for exposure to the elements. It is so simple to not take a chance by giving these guys supplemental C.

It only takes 60 to 90 days for humans to develop scurvy. The same is apparently true for others animals that do not produce their own C.

It is a disservice to the pigs and their owners to not insist they receive supplemented C daily to prevent the effects of scurvy. Pigs can not over dose on C because they excrete the excess in their urine.

Polly came as quite a shock considering my experience with heart problems in Guinea pigs and changes how we diagnose heart disease. This would explain when the heart looks normal on many pigs, yet they present with heart symptoms and heart meds give them relief. Unfortunately, just because a pig does not have an enlarged heart it can still have heart disease, and should be treated by symptoms.

Here is a list of symptoms for scurvy.

Loss of appetite
Inability to gain weight
Muscle weakness
Joint and muscle aches and stiffness
Bulging eye balls
Swollen legs, particularly swelling over the long bones
Slow wound healing
Unusual paleness
Eventual death due to cardiac failure


Post   » Wed Oct 31, 2012 4:24 pm

How does the vet know the heart issues were caused by Scurvy? Scurvy in pigs is usually pretty identifiable. Rough textured fur and limping are the first obvious indications. Heart problems in pigs are often age related like in humans. Polly was one hell of a senior pig. If she had Scurvy I would think it would have knocked her off years ago.

Many of the signs of scurvy are the same as the signs for heart disease. However, if Scurvy is causing heart disease, then heart pigs wouldn't improve on heart meds. Or they might improve but the Scurvy would evidence in other ways such as limping, teeth issues, rough hair etc.

I could be wrong but I don't think Scurvy is selective, affecting only one part of the pig.

Is there a diagnostic test that can be done for Scurvy?

User avatar

Post   » Wed Oct 31, 2012 5:15 pm

I am so sorry you lost her. What a wonderful long life she had with you!

I am surprised (and I have to admit, a tiny bit skeptical) about the scurvy diagnosis.

I wish there were a diagnostic test for scurvy but I don't know of one.


Post   » Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:07 am

I wanted to thank you for this excellent read!!
Your post is really good providing information.

[Removed - Lynx]


Post   » Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:18 am

[removed - Lynx]

Post Reply
269 posts