Should I worry? Lazy "rag doll" pig

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rshevin

Post   » Thu Nov 16, 2006 12:39 pm


Your explaination of the abdominal muscle problem makes perfect sense to me and also with my understanding of her physical issues. I don't know what the Lain name for oblique muscle is but oblique is commonly refered to in English, particurally when doing situps.

Be VERY careful holding her from now on. The muscles in the belly provide a lot of support and protection for the intestines. I would suggest letting her walk into a box, towel, pillow, etc from now on when picking her up. I can't believe she gave birth to a healthy pup without obliques!

I'm no expert but I've never heard of this condition before. I wouldn't be surprised if she has other muscular defects, including heart problems though. The closest thing I can visualize that's common is a hernia, which is when the abdominal muscle wall either doesn't close completely before birth or weakens due to age and exertion. The only one I've ever seen and felt in real life was limited to a single spot on the belly, not the entire abdomen so this doesn't seem as likely to me as what the vet described.

Best of luck. I don't know what else to recommend other than care with carrying her. I'm sure an x-ray wouldn't hurt.

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poppypiggy

Post   » Thu Nov 16, 2006 3:13 pm


It sounds like I have managed to explain the issue to you, rshevin - Poppy can't do the situps! Lol!

Jokes aside - I will of course handle my beautiful Poppy even gentler and more carefully from now on, that's for sure! But the more I think about it, the stranger it seems that she is lacking these muscles. The possibility that she might have other muscular defects sounds logical. I really have to watch her carefully.

And just think about that she gave birth to baby Molly! Doesn't that sound like a little wonder?

I agree on the x-ray, Mum, but I think I will wait untill the ultra sound vet is back from Utrecht, and discuss it with her. I just looked at the clinikcs homepage, and it says that she has spesialized in internal medicine and cardiology in small animals, so she might be the best vet in town on the topic.

Next week I might be able to show a picture of this extraordinary piggy that doesn't do the situps!

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rshevin

Post   » Thu Nov 16, 2006 3:47 pm


I'm curious, can she stand on her hind legs to beg for treats? If I'm visualizing the anatomy correctly, standing would mostly use the back and butt muscles but going back down would use the abdominals but probably the rectus abdominus that the vet mentioned (that's the one that goes straight down your middle to create a "six pack"). I agree this is a very strange condition indeed.

Fweeprluvr

Post   » Thu Nov 16, 2006 5:32 pm


I've seen piggies with bellies that hang out past their ribcages, and pigs that seem to have a straight line from shoulder to hips. I personally am not convinced that you have a pig that is different from other pigs.

My heart pig has had the same symptoms (without the floppiness) of being calm since a baby. She is 12 months old now, and was diagnosed (with an X-ray) at 10 months as having an enlarged heart that is pushing up on her trachea and causing her to cough. She is on Lotensin now an ddoing better. So it does happen in the younger ones too.

Mum has a heart pig that has had multiple litters in the past (before she owned her) so I don't think that just because she was able to give birth, she is not a heart pig.

The other vet sounds promising, I hope that one can help more.

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poppypiggy

Post   » Fri Nov 17, 2006 2:59 am


rshevin - I don't think she ever has begged for treats by standing on her hind legs. But she can jump, like up to the upper level in a smaller cage we sometimes use in the kitchen (the C & C is in the livingroom) - I think the hight is about 30 cm (10 inches?). She seems to be much more reluctant to come down, but she does. Must be a challenge without the obliques, even if the rectus abdominus is strong as steel.

In the C&C there is an upper level, and she never goes up there, not even for favourite food. She tried a few times when the cage was new, but not anymore. And if we put her up there she will just stay unntill we lift her back down to the main level again, unlike the others who are running up an down a lot; especially when we put treats up there, of course. Molly is a bit reluctant too, but that is because she usually stay close to her momma. If she wants to, she can easily move up an down as she likes.

Fweeprluvr - it is interesting to hear that you have a heart pig about the same age as Poppy. I have the impression that heart issues are unusual in young pigs, but apparently not unheard of. And when thinking it over I tend to agree with you that the fact that she gave birth to a healty pup does not prove that nothing is wrong with her heart. And besides I don't know how excausted she might have been shortly after the delivery. I just found Molly with her in the morning.

I will consult the other vet when she's back, thats for sure!

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Mum
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Fri Nov 17, 2006 9:31 am


I have a pig here who came into the rescue with heart problems at about 6 months old.

Some heart issues are congenital I think.

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poppypiggy

Post   » Fri Nov 24, 2006 4:16 am


I just wanted to post a picture of Poppy - I have not done this before, so I hope I do it right, and that the picturre is not too large!

Here she is!

Image

Mum - it might be the case with Poppy. She is too young to have developed a heart issue because of an unhealty life, I would think.

Fweeprluvr

Post   » Fri Nov 24, 2006 4:29 am


Perfect sized picture.

Perfectly beautiful piggy.

:)

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poppypiggy

Post   » Fri Nov 24, 2006 6:01 am


Thank you! I am very proud of her! :-)

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rshevin

Post   » Sat Nov 25, 2006 1:25 am


Mum, heart problems in a young pig does bring back my idea of congenital heart valve or the "hole in the heart" issue. I can only imagine how hard and expensive it would be to diagnose that in a tiny pig heart. The point is moot really because as long as you find a treatment that works, it doesn't matter exactly what causes the syndrome does it.

Poppy is a very cute piggie! I love the crazy hair.

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Mum
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Sat Nov 25, 2006 12:18 pm


She's beautiful!

Some pigs just seem to be born with congenital heart issues.

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poppypiggy

Post   » Tue Nov 28, 2006 10:28 am


Thank you, rshevin and Mum!

I have just talked with the "ultrasound vet" I have mentioned before, and she is perfectly willing to examine Poppy. She said that she doesn't have any experience with heart problems in guinea pigs, just cats and dogs, but then she added that a cats heart and a pig's isn't that different when it comes to structure, so if there are any enlargements she hoped to be able to tell.

I think I will bring in Mango as well. She is about the same age as Poppy, an just slightly smaller.

I will print out the heart pigs tread and bring with me, but are there other things I should think of?

I will keep you updated when we are back!

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rshevin

Post   » Tue Nov 28, 2006 10:57 am


I hope everything goes well.

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poppypiggy

Post   » Wed Nov 29, 2006 10:46 am


Thank you rshevin! We are back, and still no conclusions.

The new vet checked all the ordinary things, and even managed to extract a urine sample by pressuring Poppys bladder. The urine was diluted, so my impression that Poppy drinks more than the others is then confirmed. Strip-test (is it called that?) showed pH 8 (=slightly alkaline), no glucose (= no diabetes), proteins slightly positive (= could mean ???), very small traces of blood, perhaps because of the bladder "squeezing"(?). Cytological test of urine indicated no inflammations, no blood really, normal carbonate crystals.

The ultra sound examination showed no liquids in chest or abdomen, bladder too empty to see (guess why!), kidneys seem normal, liver somewhat inhomogeneous, but no indication of anything wrong so far. Difficult to see heart really clearly because of size (too small), but M-mode contractibility (? - I am not sure what that means) looks fine.

Generally the vet was a bit frustrated because the probe they have does not allow the detailed picture needed to conclude, but she was quite sure that Poppys heart is not the reason for her behavior. By the way - Poppy was behaving wonderfully in the way that she hardly moved when her little tummy was shaved and smeared with sticky gel. And during the whole examination she was lying still on her back, not protesting at all. In it self an indication that something is not right, I suspect.

The vet said she had just heard somewhere (she was not quite sure where, I think) that Cushing's disease is not uncommon in guinea pigs, and that it can be diagnosed by urinary samples, but she has to find the references and what the normal levels of whatever is measured, are.

X-ray was not taken this time due to lack of time, but if necessary will be taken later.

I just made a search and found a reference page for Cushing's disease, so I sent the link to my vet. Hopefully that is helpful for her.

But I am still not convinced that we can rule out the heart issue, even if it is not pronounced as for now, but I have to do some more research, and so has my vet. I will be back when I know more - or need to ask more questions.

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Mum
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Wed Nov 29, 2006 10:51 am


And during the whole examination she was lying still on her back, not protesting at all. In it self an indication that something is not right, I suspect.
Classic heart pig.

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poppypiggy

Post   » Thu Nov 30, 2006 5:05 am


That's what I was thinking, too, Mum.

But the vet is not convinced at the moment, since the symptoms are so diffuse, at least to her. And at least some of the things one would expect to find in a heart pig, like liquid in the lungs, rhythmical disturbances of the heartbeat and/or enlargement in the heart, are not present. Could that be because Poppy is still young? Is it likely that she will develop some of these symptoms with time if we don't treat her now? (I will treat her if possible because I don't think her quality of life is what it hopefully can be.)

I guess the most reasonable thing to do would be to put Poppy on Lotensin for a trial period, but I have to convince the vet first. Or convince a vet I know on the other side of the country, who has never seen Poppy, to prescribe it to her.

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Mum
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Thu Nov 30, 2006 9:31 am


like liquid in the lungs, rhythmical disturbances of the heartbeat and/or enlargement in the heart, are not present.
But this is why you had an ultrasound. These symptoms are the ones I see in my pigs, and they're visible on xray, but not all heart pigs have these issues.

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poppypiggy

Post   » Thu Nov 30, 2006 10:15 am


I am beginning to be aware that the symptoms present in a heart pig could be very subtle, but the vet expects to find at least some of the ones mentioned, and as long as Poppy don't show any of them, I don't think she will be convinced. At least not for now!

It's so frustrating not to have a vet that is experienced with guinea pigs! I have tried to call the only really cavy savvy vet I know of - she is 5 hours drive from here - but she is abroad until the beginning of January next year. Arrrg!

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slfalzone

Post   » Thu Nov 30, 2006 7:13 pm


poppypiggy - I am having the same issues as you - my vet will not be convinced of heart issues and won't let me try any meds. I'm at the point where I think I would try them even if I had to obtain them elsewhere (not sure that's even possible). Good luck - I feel your frustration!

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poppypiggy

Post   » Tue Dec 05, 2006 10:46 am


So it isn't only me! I hope you find a solution for your pig, slfazone!

I am close to tearing my hair at the moment! Went to the vet again today, and took x-rays. It was not so easy to get a good one, even though Poppy sat still most of the time. The trouble for the vet was to find the right x-ray "dose" - the pictures became very thin because the rays don't penetrate as well through a guinea pig as through a cat or dog. Because they are fatter, perhaps? Little eating machines!

The result was that we had to do it three times before we got a reasonably good thorax picture.

But than the side picture went fine - I managed to hold Poppy quite still on her side as the picture was taken. (I was covered up in lead all over, even the hands.) This way we didn't need to anaesthetize her at all; the vet wanted to be cautious if there was a heart issue.

It turns out that nothing conclusive can be seen on the x-rays, and the vet rules out heart issues. I am not sure she is right, but we agreed that I will monitor water intake very carefully for three days. If it is not higher than within normal limits I don't think I can convince the vet that something is wrong with Poppy.

But on the positive side is that she was very impressed with Guinea Lynx - I sent her the link to the physical norms-page. When we were waiting for the x-rays to develop, she also called the university bookstore and ordered some of the books that are used as references on the norms-page, so at least she is planning to learn more.

This is all I have for now- not much, but I will re-read all references and the heart pig-tread tonight, and than think this over again. As I said - I am about to tear my hair!

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