Like any thing you do not feed him anymore, he gets restricted amounts of, or food that you've increased?
And any doses of Actigall and other prescriptions? I know he's still on pain killers and probably on antibiotics because of the recent surgery.
He is doing so well with you! I just want to learn more.
Thank you so much for your time and many well wishes for Henry and Frost.
We're not fooling ourselves; we know that Henry could grow another stone. But there are some differences in what we're doing with Henry's care than before, and certainly different from our other post-op pigs.
Henry just took his last dose of TMS yesterday. Because the culture came back negative and because Henry is so sensitive to antibiotics, our vet didn't want to keep him on longer than necessary.
He's still on a low dose of Actigall. The vet didn't put the current concentration on the bottle, so I'll have to do some digging to find out what he's getting. He's also on vetprofen; again, I don't have the current concentration on the bottle.
The big diet difference we're making is to go a little heavier on the wet veggies (watching that they fall in the 1.5-2:1 Ca:P ratio), and we've cut the pellet intake in half for all of our pigs, especially until the KM pellets arrive. We've also really cut back on the Critter Berries, because we saw that they also contained limestone. We've also decided to skip the Critical Care as long as he was eating his veggies, hay and pellets (yup, the CC contains limestone, too). Since I can visibly see that he is gaining weight again, I feel this was the right decision.
Henry has passed some sludge here an there, which I would expect from a post-op stone pig. He has been very active, and is voraciously eating and drinking.
I won't feel better, though, until we're a couple of months out and there are no signs of stones. I just remember Gilbert having developed a new stone the size of a garbanzo bean within three weeks of his surgery. So until we're a few months out, I am going to worry.
The weird thing is that all of the strange tummy issues Henry was having with veggies seem to have gone away. It's like his metabolism just got out of whack, and now that the stone is gone, he's in good shape. In fact, I think that the vet called this stone a metabolically created stone (as opposed to a stone caused by an infection).
Right now he's drinking close to 5 oz of water a day, which is...150 cc. Having watched his behavior after getting subcues before, I was afraid it would actually decrease his fluid intake.
Slightly off-topic but relevent to this...is there any way one could find out more about the use of Limestone in Oxbow pellets and Critical Care? Like, how much is being used (and how much is considered excessive), how Limestone might affect calcium carbonate concentrations in a guinea pig's body, if higher sodium content could play any role in the development or recurrence of stones, etc.? These are all things I keep wishing I could research further, but no idea how or where to start.
It might not.
Of the dozen or so pellet brands I've been looking at so far, only Oxbow, Sweet Meadow Farms (which has almost identical ingredients and nutritional values as Oxbow pellets), Hartz/LM and Monster Guinea Pig Diet by Zeigler have Limestone as an ingredient. Some of the brands NOT containing Limestone are Kleenmama, Mazuri, Kaytee and American Pet Diner.
We decided to try something different - we gave them the pellets during non-pellet time so there wouldn't be any expectation of what they should taste like, and hallelujah, all four piggies dived into their pellet bowls!
He has been visibly and by feel (when petting) gaining weight, and looks much better. We weighed him today and he is at a little over 1 lb 15 oz --which is down from his "normal" pre-stone 2 lb 5oz to 2 lb 8oz weight.
Now that his incision site is healing up nicely, we are more comfortable handling him and we'll keep watch on his weight. He still eats like he's starving--but then he has a lot of body mass to build back up. I'm hoping he'll level out at about 2 lb 4oz, which seems like a reasonably healthy weight for him.
The incision site looks good, though the glue is peeling off. We put a little Vaseline on the site to keep it supple.
We've noticed that over the past several months - before the stone - Henry's face has developed some darker spots. The dark patch on his left nostril is a little more prominent, and there is a dark patch tracing his upper lip on the left side. It isn't raised or impeding his facial movements; it's just a pigment change the same color as his other "freckles." Is this normal?