As of tonight, Timmy's weight is 1277 grams after hand feeding... down from 1366 grams. Too much of a drop for my liking. (89 grams since Saturday). The Metacam is indeed the 1.5mg/ml as you mentioned , so I will up the dose for him. I gave him the 0.1cc this morning, so is it safe to give him another 0.1cc tonight, then start him on the 0.2cc?
I will go out right now and get him some Pedialyte to see if he'll drink that on his own.
- You can quote me
I am not a vet, but I would do so if it were my pig. Run it by your vet if you want to be 100% comfortable. In our experience you can bump Metacam up even more than that, but only for fairly short (a couple of days) periods of time.
The NSAID's don't work 'linearly' in our experience. That is, a little won't necessarily make him feel a little better, and a lot makes him feel much better. You have to get past a certain threshold before they have any effect at all. I'm thinking that threshold is pretty high right now due to the trauma to his mouth.
His lack of pooping is really concerning me though. The few poops he does have are near normal size, but the most he's done at one time is 13 poops.. for him, that's not normal and about half the amount as usual. He will be going back to the vets either tomorrow night or Saturday morning if he doesn't make a big improvement
Also, just so you know, that wood chip came from a log cave we had in his cage, not from wood chip bedding. The cave is a bunch of branches attached together with wire, in which you shape into a cave. They're meant to be chewed on and for hiding. The cave was a gift I bought him when we adopted him, so I'm feeling quite guilty right now. We've since removed them from all the cages. All our pigs, including fosters are all housed on fleece.
The beginning of January I noticed Timmy wasn’t eating as much or at the same speed or way he usually does. He couldn’t grab a hold of food nor bite into anything. The night before, he was eating perfectly fine. We got him into the first available appointment January 6th. The vet used the scope and found out his molars were slightly over grown, which is very unusual considering how he eats. She filed his molars down and we thought that would be the end of the problem.
We had him on Metacam for a week, did hand feeding until he could eat fully on his own. This never happened. We noticed he could eat just fine if he could get the food behind his front teeth, but still couldn’t close his jaw or bite into anything with his front teeth. We brought him back to the vets on January 14th to have him looked at again. His mouth and teeth looked fine and couldn’t find any reason why he couldn’t bite into anything, so we were told to keep him on the Metacam, keep up with the hand feeding as needed since it was only 1 week since he had the filing done and being an older pampered pig, he might be just taking longer to bounce back. My instincts kept nagging me that something else was wrong.
He went back to the vet’s yesterday (January 27th) for full dental xrays and it was discovered that he has a first pre-molar root abscess which needed immediate surgery for, which was done. The surgery took 2 hours to complete, but Dr. Munn was able to get everything out. She had to also drill holes in his jaw bone to get everything out and removed the molar. She also mentioned this was one of the hardest Guinea Pig surgeries she’s ever had to do. He had a bit of a hard time coming out of the anesthetic, but he did sit up about 60 minutes later, much to our relief. He stayed over night and hopefully will be able to come home tonight.
Dr. Munn has him on Tramadol(?) for pain and Baytril. She said she’d be up all night hand feeding him small amounts to help keep his belly moving. She also mentioned that he’ll be on pain killers and AB’s for at least a month with extensive hand feeding. I have no problem with doing this. We were warned that the first 24 hours is critical and if he makes it through this time, he has a good chance for a full recovery. I’m terrified for him and have been up most of the night with worry.
My questions are, he’s 6-7 years old and on Enalapril for an enlarged heart. What things do I need to watch out for him? Signs of infection etc. He’s a tough little guy who rarely shows signs of being sick, I only notice something is wrong when his eating habits change. I’m told I need to keep flushing the holes out, so what do I need to buy for this before I bring him home? How can I flush him without him choking? Other then pain meds, hand feeding, AB’s and flushing, is there anything else I’ll need to do for him to make him comfortable and to make sure he recovers? Obviously he’ll be weighed daily too. Oh and through all of this ordeal, we’ve managed to maintain his weight!
Thanks so much for any and all advice.
I'm thinking you would need a curved tip syringe. Flush only a small amount at a time, a weak, warm sterile saline solution.
He’ll go back to the vet’s Saturday morning for scraping and a deeper flushing then what we can do at home. He came home with 3 days worth of Tramadol to be given twice daily, Baytril twice daily for at least a month and Metacam.
We managed to flush the hole out last night which he didn’t seem to mind too much. We’re hand feeding every 2-3 hours, but he is eating small amounts of leafy greens and shredded carrot on his own as well as the leafy parts of his hay. Timmy is certainly doing better in the eating department then I expected. Right now he basically sleeps, picks at food and wants to be snuggled a lot, which we’re more then happy to do.
All flushing will be done from the outside, but the flushing fluid does drain into his mouth a bit, so we need to do it with his head leaning forward and down a bit so he doesn’t choke.
These are a few photos of his hole. They aren’t the greatest, but being his first night home we didn’t want to annoy him too much.
I will try to get better ones tonight. Timmy has a very long recovery ahead of him and we’ll have a lot of sleepless nights. We’ll certainly be doing everything possible for him. Nor will be eating much after paying the second hefty vet bill in only a couple weeks. Oh and not that it matters much at this point, but the vet corrected herself, the surgery was 2 ½ hours long, not 2 hours.
The first scan is of Timmy's left side which had the abcessed pre-molar root. Just under the bottom jaw bone, you can see a small clear lump. That is where the abcess starts. If you look at the large pale shaded area just behind that, that's where the abcess capsule was, where all the puss was draining in to.
If you're having troubles seeing it, I can draw on the scan and post it again.
The 2nd scan is of his right side where it shows no abcessed teeth, though the xray isnt overly clear. You can also see the abcess capsule in it.
Today he's really giving us a hard time with the hand feeding, so I imagine his mouth is very sore today. I'm going to try leaving some Critical Care on a plate for him to see if he'll eat it better that way. The hole also smells quite bad, so I will flush it out in a bit. I was warned it would be smelly over the next week or so as the healing begins.
I will also try to get some close-up photos of the hole.