Another hooting pig - Llewelyn

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Mum
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Tue Oct 10, 2006 10:00 am


Someone is playing a joke on me, I think.

Yesterday, Llewelyn (Heddwyn's cagemate) was briefly making a snorfly sound. It went away, but when I listened to his heart there was the familiar washing machine sound of a heart murmer.

This morning he's hooting.

There must be something in the air at my house!

I really don't want to get yet another xray - my vet bills are just ridiculous. But I'm going to put him on lasix and lotensin and see how he does.

It occurs to me that after their neuter BOTH boys were gurgly and took a very long time to recover from their surgeries. I think this was quite possibly due to their then undiagnosed heart issues.

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rshevin

Post   » Tue Oct 10, 2006 10:13 am


It's because karma knew you could take care of them and they could live long, healthy lives in your care. Karma always pays you back when it borrows from you like this.

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Fossil Barb

Post   » Tue Oct 10, 2006 10:45 am


Mum you are the guardian angel of hearts. You could open 'Mums Heart Hospital for Piggies". Sorry about L. and hope he get better under your loving care.

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Wheekers3

Post   » Tue Oct 10, 2006 12:16 pm


I guess you need a "Hooters" sign above your door.


I am sorry you have had so many hooting pigs to deal with, but am relieved you have the knowledge and meds. to help them.

Hopefully the meds take care of it easily, without the massive Vet bill.

Fweeprluvr

Post   » Tue Oct 10, 2006 12:19 pm


I don't know what to say. :-(

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Mum
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Tue Oct 10, 2006 12:24 pm


guess you need a "Hooters" sign above your door.
Yeah, either that or 'Heart Pigs Anonymous.'

I have a friend who's a scientist. He wonders whether these heart problems are so common at low elevations, since Peru - where they originated - is at such a high altitude. If we had enough people in Denver here we might get an idea. Although so many vets are unknowledgeable about heart issues that it might be pretty hard to get accurate data.

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rshevin

Post   » Tue Oct 10, 2006 1:38 pm


That's not an unreasonable idea about the altitude. If that were the case, I wonder if treating the pigs in a hypobaric chamber would do anything? I don't even know if those exist but it seems like you could use the same hyperbaric chambers that divers and mountain climbers use but instead pump the pressure in lower than 1atm (760mmHg). No clue if you could do something like that as a treatment or if it would have to be a permanent living condition. I'll have to think through the physiology on that one. It just strikes me as very reasonable. Plus, I'm procrastionating today, as usual.

The other thought I had that was much less probable is some kind of virus. In rare instances they can affect the heart in humans which could explain the increased incidence in certain localities.

I like the Hooters sign idea. It has nice ring to it. Very ironic. :-)

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Mum
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Tue Oct 10, 2006 2:18 pm


I considered the possibility of a virus too. But it's so rare in humans, I think it's unlikely - however, not to be completely thrown out.

I actually think it probably comes from years of backyard breeding, and breeding in general. Most people don't know to look for heart problems - and many don't show up until the pigs are older - so they wouldn't necessarily not breed a pig because of that. And think of all the pigs that get 'accidentally pregnant.' So, heart pigs are being bred, and their babies are being bred etc. Many guinea pigs that are related seem to have heart issues, which makes me think it's genetic in some pigs.

Plus the crappy diets that are out there.

I have no way of knowing whether Heddwyn and Llewelyn are related, since they came in together and are around the same age - although they look completely different. But it's a possibility. At the very least they had a totally inappropriate diet for the first 3 years of their lives (given their very neglected condition when they came in here).

Out of my current 9 pigs in rescue (not including my own two pigs), I now have 6 on heart meds. Knowing this you can understand my frustration when people and/or their vets won't even try heart meds and dismiss it as either unsafe or unnecessary. Heart attacks are so very common in guinea pigs that it seems people would be more interested in trying to prevent them.

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rshevin

Post   » Tue Oct 10, 2006 2:51 pm


It's so difficult to tease out the differences in environmental, contagious, and genetic effects isn't it. Everything is all wound up and twisted together, intersecting and affecting each other.

Personally, I'd go with your gut feeling because you definately have more experience. Not to mention if it were some kind of virus, then all your pigs would be sick, and mine too as I had a likely heart pig live with me for nearly 2 months so I agree it's a very slim probability.

Most domestic fancy pigs are probably descendants of a very small group of animals that survived trips across the ocean back to Europe so even from the beginning, inbreeding was rampant.

cutemomomi
Obey My Authority

Post   » Tue Oct 10, 2006 4:41 pm


Mum, what is with you and hooters...?
You should really take down the sign on your door already. : )

We wish you the best of luck.

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LAWomans
"Live Long and Prosper"

Post   » Tue Oct 10, 2006 6:07 pm


I think the sign should read "Mum's Cavy Cardiac Care Facility - Hooters welcome". My house sounds like a bird farm with all of the hooting and chirping.

Sparkles N Daisy

Post   » Tue Oct 10, 2006 6:16 pm


Good golly. Now Llewie? Mum, you need to marry a vet so that you can get free X-rays for your herd. I can only imagine how much all this is costing you.

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cavyslave8
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Tue Oct 10, 2006 7:16 pm


Oh my, now Llewelyn. I don't know how you do it Mum, I'm pulling my hair with just one with issues. I really hope he feels better soon with the meds.

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domill

Post   » Tue Oct 10, 2006 7:54 pm


Mum,

Do you have a recording of what hooting sounds like. I'm still trying to figure out what the noise is Snickers makes.

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Mum
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Tue Oct 10, 2006 8:08 pm


No, I don't.

I can tell you it's often extremelyl faint. It sounds like a cross between a dove and an owl.

Sometimes you have to stand there for 15 minutes, because when you go near the pig the hooting stops. I've had to crawl around by the cages on my hands and knees before now to see which pig is hooting.

It's more common in the morning, as the fluid seems to settle into the lungs overnight. Then frequently they give a small cough and the hooting stops.

Incidentally, ever pig I've had that hooted sounded fine on the vet exam. But they all showed fluid in the lungs on xray. If in doubt, get an xray.

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domill

Post   » Tue Oct 10, 2006 8:28 pm


I've had 3 x rays and no fluid. I think he's trying to drive me nuts.

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Mum
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Tue Oct 10, 2006 8:37 pm


Oh - how very annoying!

You could always do a trial of heart meds.

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My5CrazyCavies

Post   » Tue Oct 10, 2006 8:37 pm


My Eddie hooted on two occasions right after I adopted him in December. Once was when he was in quarentine and once in his new cage. He hasn't done it at all since and shows no other signs of anything wrong. Have you ever had this happen Mum? Maybe it was the stress of coming into a new home?

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Mum
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Tue Oct 10, 2006 11:29 pm


I have one pig here who hooted just once. Xray showed nothing. Since she's a young pig (only just over a year old) I'm just going to watch her.

She had no other signs of heart issues.

Llewelyn, however, has been getting quieter recently and has lost some weight. Given that, and the fact that he 'gurgled' after his neuter surgery and took so long to recover, I feel justified in starting him on heart meds now.

I'd listen extremely carefully to your pig in the mornings - and you really have to be very quiet to hear it. Some pigs do it on and off for years, but never consistently enough for people to actually realize what it is. If you hear it a third time then I'd definitely be concerned.

You also have to look at any other possible signs:

age
how quiet
does he sleep very soundly
belly pig? easy to cuddle
weight loss
ever had a URI?

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domill

Post   » Wed Oct 11, 2006 7:46 am


Part of me has a gut feeling that just maybe Snickers is a heart pig. His hooting or whistleing is usually in the morning. He doesn't cough or sneeze though, it just stops. I'll hear it on and off for a day or two, then not hear anything for a few weeks. Doesn't make sense. I've had him to two different vets along with 3 xrays and all they find is an overstuffed belly. (He loves to eat)

He is my noisey pig, always talking or muttering or loudly yelling for something. He's hard to catch and has no other symptoms you listed. He just turned 3 and I started noticing the weird noise about 6-7 months ago.

If he is a heart pig, will the noise get worse or more often?

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