"Questran/Food Mix & Carafate"


Post   » Fri Feb 08, 2002 12:05 am

These are two drugs(?) that were given to a friend of mine when she took her pigs to the vets tonight. A little background...She had 4, (or 5..) babies born a few months ago. Without any warning, two of them crossed the bridge between last night and today. She took the remaining babies to the vet. Well, after taking one piece of poop from *one* pig and checking it for blood (it was negative), the vet said that "Since they have black poop (even though its still completely formed!) they have intestinal problems. Their intestines arent formed correctly." She then gave my friend sulfatrim, carafate, questran (says its a food mix), and critical care (in her ´opinion´ the babies arent eating enough although they weigh almost 9 oz.´s each) which is why they have to get the critical care. She told my friend to get Infants Gas X as well beause she says they are bloated, but, didnt give a dose and I cant find a dosage online. Does any of this sound right or did she spend $270 for nothing? I cant find Questran or Carafate listed anywhere, can someone tell me what they actually are?


Also, the vet said that she shouldnt be giving the pigs human vitamin C, that they need a C thats specifically made for pigs. The vet had some stuff from Oxbow she wanted her to buy, but, my friend declined..I was under the assumption that all C is the same as long as it´s pure. The vet also said that pigs need a multivitamin..which, from what I´ve read, is a crock. The vet also recommended that she buy a multi from her, which she also declined. And, she said that Kaytee pellets are "sh** pellets" and she should give them Oxbow pellets which the vet was also willing to sell to her.. I do know that Oxbow pellets are better than most, but, again assuming, I think they´re ok as long as the pig is getting C from their veggies right? Oh, one more thing..the vet said that she´s giving them to many veggies. She gives them about a cup, to a cup and a half a day. So.....was the vet taking her for a ride or was she actually right??

Last edited by Nicole on Fri Feb 08, 2002 12:17 am, edited 1 time in total.


Post   » Fri Feb 08, 2002 1:13 am

An autopsy would have been helpful. Pigs´ poops are dark. Shiny, dark, well-formed poops are desirable. The colour reflects the diet.

Reglan(metoclopramide) is excellent for Bloat and moving food thru the digestive system.

Seansfamily has experience using simethicone(sp?), an anti-gas remedy.

C is C. Asorbic Acid.

Multivitamins are not recommended. (Our vets will give C and B at the clinic)

Don´t know Questran or Carafate. Carafate might be related to charcoal and Questran might be a horse product.

I would suspect something they ate since genetic problems don´t do in pigs at the exact same time and deaths from bacterial infections or viruses are usually staggered. Toxin on vegetables not washed off? Mold in hay? Bloat indicates a food problem, enteritis, intestinal blockage.....An antibiotic is a good preventative measure in case a bacteria is involved. The vet prescribing an antibiotic for incorrectly formed intestines tells me the vet doesn´t know what the problem is and is covering her bases.

Veggies are fine if they are used to them.

9 oz. seems very small.


Post   » Fri Feb 08, 2002 1:27 am

"Reglan(metoclopramide) is excellent for Bloat and moving food thru the digestive system."

But, would there still be bloat if they´re pooping?

"Don´t know Questran or Carafate. Carafate might be related to charcoal and Questran might be a horse product."

So, in your opinion..should she give it to them?

"The vet prescribing an antibiotic for incorrectly formed intestines tells me the vet doesn´t know what the problem is and is covering her bases."

I was thinking the exact same thing..


Post   » Fri Feb 08, 2002 1:43 am

All I know about Questran is it´s used for lowering cholesterol. I´ll see if I can find anything.


Post   » Fri Feb 08, 2002 1:49 am



Now, with the questran, its categorized as an anti diarrheal..if they have bloat, dont you think this would make them worse?? And, the carafate, as per the site --"is used to treat and prevent duodenal ulcers. This medicine may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor. Sucralfate works by forming a ``barrier´´ or ``coating´´ over the ulcer. This protects the ulcer from the acid of the stomach, allowing it to heal. Sucralfate contains an aluminum salt."

I still dont get it.. why would she prescribe it?? And, does anyone know if they´re even safe??


Post   » Fri Feb 08, 2002 1:50 am

I have two pigs on Reglan right now. One to deal with the air she´s swallowing from her breathing problems and one with motility problems. Tiramissou pooped yet still had a bloated tummy. The food wasn´t moving fast enough thru her system resulting in a gas build-up and a weight gain that wasn´t normal.

Tried the Google search engine


Sucralfate may be used in any condition
associated with stomach ulceration. Common
examples include: toxin ingestion, kidney
failure, liver failure, certain forms of
cancer, and megaesophagus. It is also
often given with medications that are
associated with stomach ulceration such as
pyroxicam (feldene).

One dose of Sucralfate lasts approximately
6 hours after it is taken orally.

Sounds like the vet is covering her bases. I really know nothing about this drug so can´t comment

Questran - lots of choices.

This one has a pile of stuff it can´t be used with but I can´t really comment since i don´t know it.


Post   » Fri Feb 08, 2002 1:51 am

Questran is used to treat GIstasis in rabbits.


B. Cholestryramine (Questran) is a granular resin with a high affinity for negatively charged, hydrophobic compounds, of which Clostridium spiroformes toxins are one type. This product is used primarily to reduce serum cholesterol in humans, and is available at most pharmacies. If the rabbit has mucousy stool, there is a good possibility that Clostridium bacteria are proliferating and producing potentially lethal enterotoxins. Questran will absorb these and be passed out harmlessly in the feces. Questran should be suspended in a generous amount of liquid and administered orally: because of its hydrophilic properties, it can dehydrate intestinal contents if given with insufficient water. Questran does not affect the action of the intestine; it is not absorbed by the body. Rather, it works directly upon the contents of the gut. We believe this substance has helped save the lives of many rabbits suffering from a severely inflamed intestine simply by sequestering toxins and buying time while gut motility medications and other treatments get the intestine moving again. It is very safe, used as directed.

Hope that helps.
Last edited by pigpal on Fri Feb 08, 2002 1:53 am, edited 1 time in total.


Post   » Fri Feb 08, 2002 1:53 am

She doesn´t know what´s wrong and is covering her bases.


Post   » Fri Feb 08, 2002 2:12 am

PigPal and Pinta, thank you both very much for your help. She doesnt know exactly whats wrong, thats a given, and shes covering her bases, that I can understand, but, questran is an anti diarrheal, it has ´binding´ qualities, yet, they have no diarrhea. Wont that make them worse? And, Carafate "not only “bandages” the ulcer but accumulates healing tissue factors in its bandage; it not only protects the ulcer but actively assists in the healing process." Wouldnt yogurt do the same thing? Basically, what she´s asking, since the vet doesnt know what she´s doing, and she is the only vet in her area, do you all think she should give either the questran or the carafate?


Post   » Fri Feb 08, 2002 3:20 am

Read pigpal´s post on the Questran again. It has more than one use.

I really don´t have the drug knowledge to advise. Josephine might. Maybe you should email her if she doesn´t check in.

User avatar

Post   » Fri Feb 08, 2002 8:30 am

I would take her off the Questran. I recently lost a pig to bloat after the vet misdiagnosed an internal blockage and gave her Flagyl which is also an antidiarrheal. That essentially removed any hope of anything coming out and she didn´t poop again before she died.

User avatar

Post   » Sat Feb 09, 2002 8:22 pm

If I may add some quick thoughts as these pigs have been with me now the past 12 hours or so.

The babies are very, very, very small for their age. I´ll get weights in a bit.

One most certainly has bloat. She also has yellow staining on her belly (like urine) the other three do to a lesser extent. The one with bloat is in with an adult sow with a naked belly.

The poops were the tiniest little mouse turds I´ve ever seen. We loaded them up with hay and pellets last night and they are already improving today. There were no poops at all in the travel cages (traveled 6 hours).

Any thoughts based on this information? The one with bloat is staying with a vet tech foster/friend of mine who is better able to monitor what is going on, has more vet access (I work during the week) and can administer meds with confidence. I´d like to give her some ideas though to work with if anyone has any.


Post   » Sun Feb 10, 2002 12:34 am

My thoughts? Neglect.


Post   » Sun Feb 10, 2002 5:18 am

Tiny, dark, misshapened turds indicate dehydration.

Reglan is a good treatment for bloat or motility problems. Sometimes subcue fluids can help if the cavy isn´t too far gone.

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Post   » Sun Feb 10, 2002 9:28 am

Thank you, I have passed this info on to the lady who is taking care of the bloated baby sow. The turds from the three baby boars have become more the shape and size I´d expect. I just weighed the three boars, and they are 10 oz, 9 oz, and 9 oz. They will be 7 weeks old in two days.

I have to find out from Lori the weight on the bloated baby sow. Her physique was very strange. She had such narrow little shoulders but her belly pooched out quite far on both sides, like an extreme pear shape, or if a really skinny sow was pregnant. Her belly felt hard but the skin was not taut, there was still a little give so it wasn´t like she was blown up as a balloon.


Post   » Sun Feb 10, 2002 10:06 am

Sounds like neglect to me too. You just never know what you´ll end up with when taking in dumps. 6 hours with no poops? Yikes!

It´s unbelievable how poorly some people treat their animals. I´m sure with a bath, good diet and time they will be fine, especially if they are showing "poop improvement" already.

Good luck!


Post   » Sun Feb 10, 2002 10:43 am

Jesus! Some people!

These pigs are really tiny for their age. And it does sound like malnutrition and dehydration.

How are their coats? Their general appearance?
Last edited by Evangeline on Sun Feb 10, 2002 11:53 am, edited 1 time in total.


Post   » Sun Feb 10, 2002 12:55 pm

"The one with bloat is in with an adult sow with a naked belly. " "Tiny, dark, misshapened turds indicate dehydration." "6 hours with no poops" "These pigs are really tiny for their age. And it does sound like malnutrition and dehydration."

First, Ladyveg, thank you for taking them. Second, these statements completely baffle me. Actually, they really, really, confuse the hell out of me. I know this woman..She traveled the 16 hours here and spent a few nights at my house, with her pigs, a few months ago. They were well fed, well maintained and well watered. She didnt have the rescue pigs we are reffering to then, but, she did have a few others rescues as well as her own. Corresponding back and forth with her in email, talking with her on the phone, and seeing the way she took care of them, I was under the assumption that she took really good care of all of them. I cannot tell you how many times I would be on the phone with her and she would be ´feeding the pigs´ with them wheeping their heads off in the background..It seemed like almost *every* time talked to her she was feeding/watering/changing them or had just finished.. I dont get it. The babies are suffering because of neglect?? Malnutriton? Dehydration? That goes against everything she´s told me...I dont want to think that she´s lied to me.. Maybe I´m grasping at straws here but, is there no other explanation for their condition at all?

Little Jo Wheek

Post   » Sun Feb 10, 2002 2:11 pm

Without a general history, it does sound from the information here that one of the legitimate causes is malnutrition or some sort of GI malfunction. The babies are at least 30% less than what they should weigh, so this has definitely been going on for some time.

Necropsies would have been nice and might have given some more clues. At the very least it could have possibly ruled out some sort of weird congenital problem, although congenital problems usually only affect one or two pups in a litter. I have seen a whole litter of lethals born to one mother at one time, but that is often the exception, rather than the rule.

Since there was no blood in the stool, was it also checked for parasites? The stool does sound as if there is some sort of problem with the GI motility, function, or load (amount of food, fluids, and fiber going through). I would certainly agree with the sulfa drug and anti-gas medications. I know that Carafate (sucralfate) is safe in cavies, but I have not used it. It is better and does a bit of a different function than active cultures, so I think it would be a good idea. It is often used in other animals with concurrent use of NSAIDS or other medications that can cause GIT ulceration.

I don´t have any experience of using Questran in cavies. It sounds as if the vet wants to cover all possible problems. I have also used Banamine (flunixin meglumine) at 2.5 mg/kg/24 hours for a maximum of three days. It is a powerful steroid and GI anti-inflammatory useful in horses for colic. I don´t know of any contradindications, though with the Carafate and Questran usage and Banamine is by Rx only.

I would certainly go with the Critical Care. Those pigs need nutrition. My opinion of Kaytee foods is about as good or worse than the vet´s opinion. A waste of money. I do not agree that the pigs were/are getting too many fresh feeds. I think that the more, the better unless there is diarrhea. Good quality greens, such as kale, spinach, wheatgrass, dandelion greens, etc. should be a main part of the diet daily. Oxbow foods have their stellar reputation for a reason. I have not seen any other cavy diet come close. I would put them on the Performance diet due to their age and condition.

I do not think multivitamins are safe or necessary in cavies as long as the basics are present.
Sometimes B and C vitamins are given, but that is all that should be given unless there is a specific medical reason to use another vitamin (with the supervision of a cavy knowledgeable vet). Toxicites are too easily induced in cavies.

Vitamin C products are not all equal. In cavies, it is probably a moot point, though since their requirements are so small in comparison to humans. Deficient or ill cavies should get about 50 mgs/day supplemented. I choose to get a currant flavored 100 mg chewable and cut it in half. My cavies clamor for more and I can usually get the ill ones to take it as a treat or in Critical Care (which also has good vitamin C stores). Some people have had good luck with suspensions from health supplement suppliers. Just like any vitamins, processing and storage as well as quality of the source are to be considered, but anything is better than none. Just use your good judgement. Opened bottles are probably not good for more than 6 months due to air depletion and light. Heat, chlorine, and moisture also affect vitamin C. These are some reasons why it is not a good idea to put vitamin C in the drinking water. There are also some health professionals that think various molecular structures of vitamin C or sources are more easily used by the body. I have not seen much research on cavies, but again, most products out there are more than reasonably good. I do not see how Oxbow´s X-tra C product would be warranted. I feel it is overpriced and made for human fancies. If it works for a person and their cavies like it, good. I think that one could go to a health food/vitamin store and make a similar purchase on a good product that costed a bit less for the quantity received.
Last edited by Josephine on Sun Feb 10, 2002 2:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Wheeks R Us

Post   » Sun Feb 10, 2002 8:01 pm

Hello Everyone,

I am the lady who took the pigs to Rachel´s. I wanted to clarify a few things. I rescued those pigs from a breeder who put all her sows and boars together and let them have at it. Very bad situation. When I got them they were almost bald, I couldnt even tell on some what color they were. Most of them had terrible scabs from digging at themselves because of the mites. Thus, the reason for no hair on her belly, it is all finally coming back in. All the others´ fur has come back in. I am not making excuses, just explaining the situation.

As for the stain on Dee Dee´s belly, it is formula and Vitamin C. She wasnt nursing well, so I force fed her and some of the others that werent eating right. Why didnt I bathe her to get it off? I was afraid to bathe them, they were so tiny and ill, I didnt want to add to it by getting them in a bath. I totally forgot to mention it to Rachel, until I was on the road home.

I could go on forever, but I know I took care of them, I did everything I could for them. Now, if I were neglecting them, why would I carry them to the vet and spend nearly $300 as a precaution since one died of no apparent reason? I had no idea they had a GI issue, they eat so well now. I know they are very small, but they were born to malnourished, parasite ridden Moms. I got them on the 17th of December and they were born on the 22nd of Dec and the 25th, respectively, so that is not a lot of time to bulk them up, believe me I tried my best with them. And, if I were not caring for them, as a rescuer, why would I take them to a reputable rescuer such as Rachel? I wouldnt ask for help, and surely wouldnt ask another rescuer for help.

I hope you all can understand where I am coming from, and I will say, if I had read this and not known the situation I would probably think neglect too, but that is not the case, you are all more than welcome to come to my home anytime and see how well cared for they are. If you have any questions, please ask me.


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