New rescue: Underweight Boar

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Tracis
Let Sleeping Pigs Lie

Post   » Wed Aug 22, 2007 6:40 pm


"I'm just worried about the vet here being unwilling to do anything after his dismissal of my last weight concerns. I hate being dismissed like that. It makes me question my judgment."

You're a good "cavy mom", and you know your Smudgie better than anyone. I hope your new vet won't be so dismissive.

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Wed Aug 22, 2007 8:07 pm


Pft. Wait until you have to deal with human doctors on your own health issues. (Which I hope isn't anytime soon.)

You have to do your own research, basically tell them what to do (nicely), and prepare to be dismissed over and over and over again, without losing faith in your own research and judgment.

Dismissal indicates a closed mind, not poor judgment or being incorrect on your part. A good vet (or doctor, or specialist, or mechanic, or ...) will listen to you and if you are wrong, tell you why in terms you can understand.

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mmercedesmom
Supporter in '09

Post   » Wed Aug 22, 2007 9:21 pm


I too have found that older piggie, male or female, are bony in the hips. Hard to keep weight on the older ones sometimes, even with OK teeth.

I have a pair of boars who are over 4 yrs., best guess, and they are plenty heavy, but the distribution of it is another matter. Belly and dewlap galore, but bony butts. :-)

I have had similar experiences with elderly bunnies too.

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rshevin

Post   » Wed Aug 22, 2007 11:28 pm


Well thank you, everyone, for your support. I'm going to get back on the wagon weighing him more regularly and try a tiny bit of rolled oats with the mush tonight.

It's interesting that this body distribution seems common. I guess it's gravity taking it's toil.

Any further weight loss and we'll go to the vet and fight for that xray.

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Kermie831

Post   » Thu Aug 23, 2007 1:41 am


MM - I have often wondered that too, as humans get older, fat pockets redistribute. Bellies are bigger, and there is significant loss of muscle/fat in the arms and legs. It seems to be that way with my older pigs too - those that have no teeth/heart issues.

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mmercedesmom
Supporter in '09

Post   » Thu Aug 23, 2007 11:49 am


When I first brought home a "hospice" piggie from the shelter where I volunteer, I kept thinking she was losing weight. She would feel so bony when I picked her up. Yet, when I weighed her she was remaining constant, even gained a few ounces. Gravity takes a toll on us all, four legged and two legged.

She was 7 when she was going to be euthanized (weight loss, loss of appetite, "regurgitate" even though that isn't really possible, crusty eye that didn't respond to treatment) and I asked to go say goodbye to her. I was escorted to Medical and she didn't seem at death's door to me. I went home thinking I could bring her home and at least give her love and care. She was in a kennel in the Medical area surrounded by CATS. I got permission to bring her home.

She ended up living for 10 months with us before passing on her own. Surrounded by other guinea pigs here she was eating on her own, always happy to be petted, etc. She just needed a more relaxed environment. I did have to syringe CC into her the last couple of months to help her get enough food in, but she did have teeth problems at that point too.

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rshevin

Post   » Thu Aug 23, 2007 2:07 pm


Smudgie ate his pinch of oats quite well last night and seems none the worse for wear, but no weight gain yet (duh). My poor little old man pig.

cutemomomi
Obey My Authority

Post   » Thu Aug 23, 2007 3:32 pm


I noticed that with our McMac too, and after a consult with Dr. Naka, he said it is common for elder piggies to lose or shift their muscle tone and mass as they do get older.

It is most obvious around theory rump and upper shoulder areas in our McMac.

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rshevin

Post   » Fri Aug 24, 2007 12:08 am


Can I just add that this guinea pig must be crazy? I don't usually have hay right beside veggies during floor time, but this pig is choosing hay over WATERMELON. Um, ok. Strange pig.

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Fri Aug 24, 2007 9:31 pm


Strange, but good strange.

MM, bless you for helping the senior lady.

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rshevin

Post   » Fri Aug 24, 2007 10:03 pm


Boar! Senior boar! I can hear him put putting now. "That Piggy, he's so well endowed people think I'm a girl. Huff puff snuff."

:-)

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Mon Aug 27, 2007 7:20 pm


No, no, no, Smudgie, don't be insulted! Your build is just fine. ;-)

I meant Mmercedesmom's hospice piggy.

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rshevin

Post   » Mon Aug 27, 2007 7:24 pm


You know, after 2 or 3 days I FINALLY figured out who you were referring to and then it was too late to edit of course. I'm dense as a rock.

Just as an update, Smudgie is status quo, no improvements or declines. My fat boy Piggy has actually lost a few grams as well so there could be something to the summer heat theory. I do have AC and I keep frozen bottles in the cage (they LOVE them) but that doesn't fully counteract 95F summer days.

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mmercedesmom
Supporter in '09

Post   » Tue Aug 28, 2007 12:51 am


My hospice piggy is one of the best things I have done. We all benefited so much from having her, she was always such a happy girl!!! Everyone who knew her was so pleasantly surprised to see her do so well for so long. The cavy savvy vet who saw her last (and had to sign off for me to be allowed to take her) was especially gratified to hear how she perked up.

Once management cleared the way for me, the vet had the final say, in case she felt the piggy was in pain and we were just prolonging her suffering.

Her name was Mama, and she was 6 yrs. when she was turned in to the shelter by her previous owners. Because she was so wonderful with people, she was drafted into the Pet Assisted Therapy program, where she happily served for nearly a year before her weight loss and other health problems worsened.

At 7 yrs. she came home with me and my family!!! She was always soft and squishy, and the SWEETEST, kissiest pig ever. She was my first "licker" and very gentle. She certainly inspired me to take in other rescues with issues and I have learned a LOT since then.

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rshevin

Post   » Mon May 12, 2008 10:56 pm


Here's a brief summary of Smudgie so you don't need to re-read the whole thread.
Senior abandoned with no history, not even a name
Approximate age now: 5 years
Fungal skin condition caused abdominal hair loss but cleared up easily and has not recurred.

He was super skinny and gained 200g but never has been totally where I'd like him weight wise. He is, however, very active, appears happy, and LOVES some good hay. He will abandon veggies in favor of hay. He has a booda belly but is thin along the spine and hips, which may be typical of age. Critical care supplementation never really helped his weight.

He has some kind of growth/tumor in his ear that's been there since I rescued him. He doesn't like having his ear touched, but the vet and I both feel that given his age, this should be monitored for change. It hasn't changed in a year.

He also has the wavy white border on the iris of one of his eyes. Do we know what causes this and if it requires any treatment? The best I can find on google, it's age related and that's about all I can find. I'm going to link the pictures to keep them large.

Affected eye:
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k267/flydiscovery/102_3186.jpg

Unaffected eye:
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k267/flydiscovery/102_3190.jpg

I don't quite know what color his eyes are. They are lighter than Piggy's, but they don't seem to be blue. Maybe they're gray? Probably doesn't matter.

Anyway, if you have any suggestions or information, let me know.

Tracis
Let Sleeping Pigs Lie

Post   » Mon May 12, 2008 11:05 pm


"He also has the wavy white border on the iris of one of his eyes. Do we know what causes this and if it requires any treatment?"

Link to Calypso's photos of Osseous metaplasia

Josephine's comments on Frosting's thread

I meant to add that I don't seem to be finding much on GL about treatment options; it seems that people just monitor it.

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rshevin

Post   » Mon May 12, 2008 11:16 pm


Thank you for the links. Smudgie's eye certainly doesn't seem as severe as Meg's, thankfully but Frosting's seems to have disappeared. That information seems to confirm what I found. No one really knows what it is, what causes it, or how to treat other than symptomatically. Smudgie doesn't appear to be in any pain, but I have metacam leftover and keep saline in my emergency kit. Can always get gel tears from the pharmacy if needed.

I realized I neglected to note that this eye may have more excess grooming fluid than the other. This has been common to Smudgie since he came home. I'm positive it's grooming fluid and not discharge as it's white and crumbly.

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Mum
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Mon May 12, 2008 11:19 pm


I had a pig here with this. She was pretty much blind, but it didn't seem to bother her at all. It seems to occur in some pigs as they age.

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rshevin

Post   » Mon May 12, 2008 11:25 pm


Thanks Mum. My mom was actually the first to notice, and what ya'll are saying is exactly what I remembered reading. I'm so glad I finally remembered to post and get a confirmation. You can never know too much.

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Tue May 13, 2008 7:00 pm


"He has a booda belly but is thin along the spine and hips, which may be typical of age."

Yup. Big time. We have one that reminds me of nothing so much as an elderly horse.

Try not to stress too much about his weight unless he begins to lose. IME he had too little for too long to gain much. He will be a happy, content, very well fed and very well cared for lightweight for the rest of his life. Nothing wrong with that. ;-)

We have one developing the osseous metaplasia and he looks *exactly* like Smudgie's case. He seems not to even notice it as of yet.

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