Should I worry? Lazy "rag doll" pig

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Get on your bike.

Post   » Mon Dec 17, 2007 11:17 pm

You can already upgrade on your G3.


Post   » Tue Dec 18, 2007 2:15 am

Not on the first version. Subsequent G3s could be upgraded but not the earliest ones.

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Post   » Tue Apr 08, 2008 4:48 pm

I apologize for not having updated sooner, but here it comes:

Before scheduling the surgery my vet had discussed Poppy's issue with several colleagues, and found out that cysts can vary in size with time, and sometimes go away by themselves, so she had decided to wait and see for now. She is also doubtful if the cysts are the culprits for Poppy’s “floppiness”, and she is quite sure that her kidneys are healthy. I am relived, of course, but also a bit confused, as the vet we saw earlier was so sure about renal failure.

I wonder if analyzing a urine sample that was actually a “pee sample”, and not extracted directly from the bladder by a needle, can lead to very wrong conclusions?

Anyway – we still don’t have a diagnosis, and will wait about 6 months to check the cysts again, but I will of course keep a very close eye on her.

Since the vet couldn’t conclude anything, I asked about the possibility of having a ultrasound of Poppy's heart, but the vet told me she’s unable to interpret the pictures, and the nearest specialist is in Oslo, four hours away. When I then asked if a trial of Fortekor would be of any value, she agreed, so Poppy was on Fortekor (125 mg twice daily) for about 6 - 7 weeks. Since there was no marked difference in her energy level she then was taken off the medicine again – to see if there would be a change then. And I rally can’t say for sure, but she is perhaps a bit happier and more inquisitive now than in January. If that has anything to do with the medicine, or being off the medicine, I don't have a clue.

So in a way we are where we started, and I still don’t know the reason for Poppy’s lack of muscular strength in the hind part. I just see and feel that she is very different from her daughter Molly, who is so strong and “athletic” – almost like a little spring. She even tries to kick me when I lift her up!

Poppy's eye has been fine - the little greyish spot in the middle is hardly visible anymore.

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I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Tue Apr 08, 2008 7:25 pm

so Poppy was on Fortekor (125 mg twice daily) for about 6 - 7 weeks.
I'm assuming you meant 1.25mg twice daily - not 125mgs?

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Post   » Wed Apr 09, 2008 5:43 am

Yes, sorry for the typo! It was the half of a 2,5 mg pill morning and evening.

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Post   » Fri Apr 10, 2009 7:06 pm

A year since last update! Poppy has been doing fine, but I have continued to have this feeling that something isn’t right with her, even thought I haven not been able to put my finger on something particular. She lost some weight after I cut back on the pellets, but then seemed to stabilize. She has also been sleeping more and heavier than before, and I suspect her hearing isn’t too good. She has also been really bossy around the other pigs at times, rumblestrutting, trying to mount them, and having episodes with teeth chattering and chasing, but not enough to be alarming. I was suspecting ovarian cysts, so I had planned for a check up, but kept postponing it. Then Molly’s accident happened four weeks ago, and much of my attention was drawn towards her recovery, and didn’t pay very close attention to Poppy, I must admit.

The day before yesterday I noticed that Poppy was breathing a bit heavy, and that her lips looked a bit odd – more grayish than before; not the sweet pink they use to be. But as she was eager to eat, and still kept her weight I decided to bring her with me when I take Molly to her check up next Wednesday. But yesterday Poppy seemed a bit off in the morning, not eager to eat her breakfast, and just resting in her favorite corner. In the evening she still lay in the corner, and her breathing looked heavier. For every breath she took her whole body was heaving, and her nose and lips were grey. I took her out to check her over, and she dropped flat when I put her on the table, her mouth half open, and her chest heaving very heavily. There was no wheezing, but I could easily see that she had trouble breathing.

A bit hesitant, as this is a holyday here, and it was almost 10 pm, I called the vet and described what I saw. After a short discussion we agreed it was necessary to meet at the clinic for a check up for Poppy. My husband and I drove off with a pitiful little pig, and arrived a few minutes before Kirsti, the vet. What a relief when she came, and we could put Poppy on the examination table! There was no doubt about the diagnosis - Kirsti needed about 20 seconds to conclude, as she could clearly hear a distinct gurgling when listening to Poppy’s chest with the stethoscope. So the pig was put on oxygen, and after just 10 – 15 minutes her lips had turned nice and pink again, and the breathing was much easier. She got an injection with furosemide, and peed within 20 minutes.

The clinic has no facilities to keep animals over night, so after an hour Poppy was taken off the oxygen, as she looked much better, and after giving us a lot of instructions, the vet sent us home with the pig, some injectable Furosemide (Furix), syringes and needles, Viaflo for subcues in case she would need it, Critical Care, and prescriptions for Furosemide and Fortekor (Benazepril) tablets.

During the night I looked after Poppy a few times. The Furosemide did it’s job, as Poppy had peed and pooped, and looked fine. In the morning I gave her a shot of Furosemide (first time ever I have poked anybody with a needle, but it was easier than I thought!) and the half Fortekor tablet I had left from last year. During the day she has been fine, and eating some. I gave her Critical Care, and water by a syringe, as she has not used her water bottle. I have divided off a 2 x1 from the main cage to give her some peace, and she has rested most of the time. Her breathing is still a bit heavy, but much better than yesterday, so I think we have the situation under control. I also was able to find an open pharmacy, so I have the Furosemide (Diural, 20 mg, this time) and Benazepril (Fortekor, 2,5 mg) as tablets. No more poking for now! And I can call the vet any time if I need to (does anybody wonder why I love her?), but hopefully that will not be necessary. Next visit will be Wednesday, as I had originally planned.

I have a question, though: I have syringed water into Poppy’s mouth, and she has been more or less interested, so I have used some mild force to get the it into her. But how can I know if that is enough or of she dehydrated and in need of a subcue?

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Post   » Fri Apr 10, 2009 7:12 pm

Gosh, I am sorry to hear this is still such a mystery. Clearly, though, you are doing all you can and Poppy is lucky to have you.

I am not sure about the Subque, I'd ask the vet. Here is some info about it: , .


Post   » Fri Apr 10, 2009 8:30 pm

How much Lasix has she had?

A hydration subcue could only help.

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Post   » Fri Apr 10, 2009 9:33 pm

I was going to say it sounded like heart. Glad to see your guinea pig is being properly treated. I imagine you have read gl/heart.html ?

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Post   » Sat Apr 11, 2009 3:40 am

Thank you for the link, cavykatie! Very helpful, as I hadn't seen that before. I read it carefully and picked up a few tips, but unfortunately I didn’t get any “butterfly” from the vet, just syringes. I hope they will do, though.
How much Lasix has she had?
Pinta - She got 10 mg by injection at the vet, then yesterday she had a 10 mg injection in the morning and 5 mg orally in the evening. Today I will give her 5 mg orally morning and evening.

The Fortekor she gets orally every morning; 1,25 mg.

Does these doses seem right?

Poppy lost about 50 - 60 g over night after the first Lasix injection, but has kept her weight since (about 1080 g), so I believe much of the weight loss is caused by the medicine doing it’s job?
I imagine you have read ?
Thank you, Lynx! Yes, I have read almost everything on here about heart conditions, and feel I know a lot about it – theoretically. Diagnosing a pig in front of you is not so easy, though! ;-) I am glad I have found this vet!


Post   » Sat Apr 11, 2009 3:59 am

10mg/kg is the max dose of Lasix in a 24 hour period. She definitely needs 20cc subcues per 10mg dose to protect her kidneys(I think that's the deal anyway - re kidneys). In fact she has gotten more than the max dose thus far.

Not sure about the fortekor dose. The info has rubbed off my label but I've posted about it in the past so you should be able to search it out.

Since you are giving her the max dose of lasix daily., I suggest giving her 20 cc hydration subcues to compensate. Your vet obviously thinks this is important or you wouldn't have been supplied with the stuff to do subcues.

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Post   » Sat Apr 11, 2009 4:39 am

Thank you, pinta! I will give her a subcue at once!
Your vet obviously thinks this is important or you wouldn't have been supplied with the stuff to do subcues.
The vet said to give Poppy subcues if she needed it, and that I could see if she was dehydrated by pinching her skin and watch how long it would take before it slipped back. But so far it has gone back instantly. I think I have read here somewhere that this method doesn't work on pigs?


Post   » Sat Apr 11, 2009 5:45 pm

I've never really grasped how to tell by the skin test. My vet does it all the time though I don't know how indicative it is if you have a fleshy or muscular pig. Not to mention it's damned hard to tell what's going on if you have a hairy pig.

I do know that the max dose of lasix(diuretic) is going to be dehydrating.

In my experience, dehydrated pigs are lethargic and have no appetite. You don't want them to get to this point. Your vet was probably trying to be kind to you as subcues for the novice are a bit of a bitch. But vets seldom give the owner the supplies to do one just for the heck of it. I would take being given the supplies as a hint to do a subcue.

Make sure the fluids are blood temp wam.

A 20 cc subcue can't hurt and can only help.

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Post   » Sat Apr 11, 2009 6:35 pm

Thank you for your input, pinta! I tried the best I could to give Poppy a subcue today, but even when my husband held her really tight she wiggled a lot, and I only managed to get a few ml (2 - 3) into her before the needle came out again. She protested all that she could. I lost the nerve, and didn't try again - I hope that won't do any damage to her. I also rered my notes from the vet visit, and it says only to give subcues if Poppy seems dehydrated. Perhaps my vet is differnt from the rest? Besides Poppy was in really bad shape when we brought her in, so when we left the vet said she more or less expected to see us the next day because Poppy would most likely need more oxygen. But she perked up much faster then expected, so I think she responds well to the treatment.

I have syringed a lot of water to Poppy orally throughout the day, and have managed to get much into her (more than 50 ml) and also a lot of Critical Care, so the total amount of water has been more than 100 ml, I am sure. Poppy has not been lethargic, but she has not eaten very much. She has munched some hay now and then, all the fresh grass I hav given her, and I suspect she could have eaten a whole romaine lettuce all by herself if I would let her. She is bright eyed and seems content.

I will try another subcue tomorrow. And will make sure it is the right temperature.

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Post   » Sat Apr 11, 2009 7:57 pm

Sounds like you need some of the butterfly needles described on the subcue page cavykatie linked to. I hope she improves.


Post   » Sun Apr 12, 2009 7:34 am

If you got more than 50mls of fluid into her via syringe you've done the equivalent of a subcue.

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Post   » Sun Apr 12, 2009 6:45 pm

From what I read I think it would have been a little bit easier to do the subcue if I had the butterfly needles, Lynx. I hope she improves, too! It looks rather promising, as she is eating some hay, and all the romaine, fresh gras and dandelion leaves she gets (I have to hold back on it, otherwise I am afraid she will bloat), and she is cooperative when I give her critical care and water.

I am glad to hear that syringing water is as uesful, too, pinta! Today I have gotten much more than 50 ml into her; I think close to 100 ml in addition to the CC, so I am sure her kidneys are well flushed, then.

Poppy's nose and lips have been a nice pink most of the day, but I noticed that her ears have a shade of purple tonight. Hopefully that is normal. I if gets worse I will call the vet tomorrow.


Post   » Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:31 pm

Purple edges on the ears indicates circulatory problems. She may need more oxygen and a readjustment of heart meds. Ask your vet if they have a loan out oxygen cannister.

Worse case scenario with the ears is the purple will turn black and the edges will die off resulting in smaller ears. This happened to one of my first heart pigs.

Do take it as a clue the circulation needs help.

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Post   » Mon Apr 13, 2009 11:56 am

Thank you, pinta! Yes, I don't think her meds are adjusted right, so I have tried to call my vet about this today, but she is apparently busy, and hasn't called back yet.

Would you suggest that I ask the vet if I can increase the Fortekor? Poppy gets 1.25 mg daily.

Of Lasix she gets 5 mg twice a day, so if I understand you right it is not adviceable to increase that any further.

When we first took Poppy in on Thursday, the vet and I discussed how to be able to give Poppy oxygen during the weekend if necessary, as the clinic doesn't have a loan out unit at the moment. The reason is that it is difficult to get oxygen in canisters that are small enough to handle (I live in a small town, far from any larger cities; even divers complain about the difficulties to get hold of oxygen), but my vet promised to look into it. Thursday we just concluded that we would bring Poppy back to the clinic if she needed it, but until yesterday she has been fine. Today she is about the same as yesterday, so I have decided that I will bring her back to the vet tomorrow morning, if not berfore.

Let Sleeping Pigs Lie

Post   » Mon Apr 13, 2009 3:53 pm

Sending good thoughts for Poppy, and I hope you hear from your vet soon.

Not sure if this is helpful, but if you are able to get oxygen in a canister there are some ideas for building an oxygen environment at home on this link:
LINKS - Nebulizer Unit and Oxygen Environment

Some links to subcue tips and tricks threads:
LINKS - Fluid Therapy / "Subcues"

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