Another hooting pig - Llewelyn

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Post   » Mon Feb 11, 2008 10:20 am

Junior, Elmo, and I are sending our good luck wishes to you. I hope the vet visit goes well and you are able to treat whatever he may have.

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I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Mon Feb 11, 2008 11:12 am

I emailed Patricia Simon:

to ask her about dosages. She responded, and with her permission I'm posting her reply:
I believe the dose is standard per body weight, and your vet will know what it is (or can easily look it up -- xxx per kilogram).

FYI, a reading of 197 mg/dL is not outrageously high for a guinea pig. As a point of reference, our girls readings were in the 360-430 mg/dL range (20-24 mmol/L) when they were first diagnosed and we started treatment. Stress can cause piggies BG levels to become elevated. Your vet will most likely look for an illness or infection that is causing this slightly elevated BG level, rather than treating immediately with potentially dangerous hypoglycemic drugs.


Post   » Mon Feb 11, 2008 11:31 am

Oh, I'm so glad to see you got that last paragraph of caution from Patricia Simon.

That's what I was (ineffectively) trying to get at yesterday.

Just didn't seem a high enough glucose level, and only one level tested, to go ahead and start treatment.

If there was a pattern of always-above-normal each morning, or similar, then I'd say he's in insulin resistance and maybe heading to DM, but based on one result, I'd really hesitate before glipizide.

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I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Mon Feb 11, 2008 12:07 pm

Thanks Klynne.

I guess I was hoping for something I could manage fairly easily. But it's the 'illness or infection' part that worries me. And I've suspected the former for quite some time.


Post   » Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:13 pm

Well, maybe it is something else very manageable. And once it's managed, the IR symptoms will resolve too.

Hey--we can hope, right?

You deserve a break, y'know.

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I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Mon Feb 11, 2008 11:21 pm

I was lucky to get an appointment today - my vet now only works on the occasional Monday.

But, in his opinion diabetes isn't where we should be looking (as some of you so correctly suggested).

On light palpation, Llewelyn is very sore in the area of his liver/pancreas.

We started with a blood panel, so I may have some better ideas tomorrow.

Heddwyn is fairly old now - at least 5, probably 6 or more. In a young pig one would indeed think it might be early signs of diabetes, but at this age my vet is thinking we may be dealing with something else.


Post   » Tue Feb 12, 2008 2:19 am

Wait, are we still talking about Llewelyn? Or Heddwyn?

You mean you are not going to make use of your Xray machine for an abdominal view? :/

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I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Tue Feb 12, 2008 9:21 am

Ack, I meant Llewelyn of course - not Heddwyn (although he came along to keep his buddy company)!

I had an xray taken of Llewelyn last year when these symptoms were starting and nothing was shown. Of course the next step is to get another xray, but after yesterday's bill I was reluctant to spring for another $125 when the blood panel might tell the story. If the bloodwork comes back with no clues, then I guess I'll have to make use of my own, personal xray machine - again :-p

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"Live Long and Prosper"

Post   » Tue Feb 12, 2008 12:54 pm


I'm sending both you and Llewellyn tons of healing energy! Hopefully it is something "fixable". I know how attached you are to the boys. Llewellyn is such a sweetie. Millie, Frosting and Polly have all offered to share their greens with him to help him get better.

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I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Wed Feb 13, 2008 1:53 pm

I have Llewelyn's blood work back, and while I'm waiting for a call from the non cavy-savvy vet, I'm trying to work out what I'm seeing here.

Going from the info in the norms page, it looks as if he has a high BUN count of 53 mg/dl (indicating heart failure or kidney damage) and a low hematocrit of 26.4 % (indicating kidney damage or anemia). I Googled to find out what these things meant, so I may be way off.

I'm so far from expert in interpreting these results, but it looks to me as if he either has kidney failure, heart failure, or both. Or something else - I have no idea.

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Bugs Mom

Post   » Wed Feb 13, 2008 2:02 pm

How stressfull this is for you. I have only good thoughts to send your way.

Obey My Authority

Post   » Wed Feb 13, 2008 3:44 pm

You need a break from all this...

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I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Sun Mar 16, 2008 12:57 am

Llewelyn is failing daily, but - apparently - not ready to give up yet.

A few days ago he started being unable to eat at all, but willingly took critical care by syringe (a lot). Yesterday he was harder to feed, so this morning I gave him a biggish dose of Metacam - 0.3 cc (he only weighs 1lb 11 ounces). He's also back on bactrim, because he started being soaked again (I don't know if the bactrim really cures it, or if it comes and goes by itself, but I don't think we have much to lose in trying this).

He was like a new pig today. Ate all his syringed CC fairly easily, and has been nibbling at pellets on and off all day (albeit slowly and not terribly effectively. Not enough to maintain weight, sadly).

He has a new symptom: I can only assume his molars have recently overgrown, because he makes a clicking/squeaking noise with his molars (not one I've heard before). However, in his condition anesthesia is out of the question - and in any event, this is secondary to whatever is causing the weightloss.

This morning I thought the day had come, but I think we have a few more days if the Metacam keeps doing its job.

I realized today that he could be at least 6 1/2, given an approximate age gleaned from an xray a few years ago, so I hope the Metacam can make him comfortable for a little while longer.

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Supporter in '09

Post   » Sun Mar 16, 2008 1:03 am


I am sorry to hear Llewelyn is declining. It is so hard to take such special care of these special needs piggies then watch the inevitable. Sounds like he has had a long life, and with you, certainly the best care a piggy could ask for.


Post   » Sun Mar 16, 2008 2:56 am

So sad. I hope you can take comfort in knowing he had a long life which no doubt was fabulous under your care.

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E's Moriarity

Post   » Sun Mar 16, 2008 12:06 pm

I'm so sorry about Llew.

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Bugs Mom

Post   » Sun Mar 16, 2008 1:09 pm

I'm sorry to read this. I hope you have many more days together. Given all his problems you've certainly done a great job to get him this far this long. Lucky little guy.

Let Sleeping Pigs Lie

Post   » Sun Mar 16, 2008 1:10 pm

Our thoughts are with you and Llewelyn.

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Got Pigs?

Post   » Sun Mar 16, 2008 1:29 pm

Llewelyn is such a special little guy. He sure does not want to leave you that is for sure. When I think of him and being sick I always go back to thinking of dear Spot. I still miss that little angel. Your babies are all so lucky to have you as their person.

Come on Llewelyn feel better please.

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I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Thu Mar 27, 2008 4:41 pm

Llewelyn's saga continues:

I've been handfeeding him 80-100cc critical care for several weeks now, and in that time it became obvious that his molars had severely overgrown.

I made the decision to try and have this problem fixed, since he's still lively, wheeks for his critical care every 4 hours or so, and is clearly not ready to go.

I took him in this morning: in the past few weeks, he has developed a heart murmur, and his lungs are sounding 'rough.' Diagnosis: congestive heart failure. This is likely to be his primary diagnosis. His molars were extremely long, so I risked anesthesia to have them trimmed, since the discomfort was clearly going to get worse.

He barely survived the anesthesia, but the vet was able to trim the molars and incisors very quickly - at least enough to get the length down and give him perhaps a chance to be able to eat by himself.

He's remaining at the vet's on oxygen for another 4 or 5 hours, and then he'll come home with oxygen for the rest of the night.

I'm going to increase his lotensin dosage and add in lasix.

This little guy is such a fighter - I hope this gives him a little more high-quality time with his bff, Heddwyn :-)

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