Henry's Thread

Post Reply
User avatar

Post   » Thu Oct 23, 2008 2:16 pm

When you have time, could you jot down some notes on what you are currently doing for Henry to keep him healthy?

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.

User avatar

Post   » Thu Oct 23, 2008 2:19 pm

I wish I could have seen that quadruple popcorn, wow. Henry continues to amaze me, as well, he is such a trooper.

Obey My Authority

Post   » Thu Oct 23, 2008 2:27 pm

I am just catching up on this thread, and oh boy I am so proud of Henry!
He is just one brave little piggy who keeps on fighting, and in good spirits too!!


Post   » Thu Oct 23, 2008 2:34 pm

Henry is doing really well, though there is something a little eerie about his behavior in that it's reminding me very much of Gilbert, one of the pigs we lost in 2006. Like Gilbert, he's being SUPER cheerful and SUPER vocal. Henry has always been perky and talkative, but he was never one to yell, "Pay attention to me!" loudly enough that I could hear him from my office on the second floor. That was what Gilbert did after his stone surgery. And now that's what Henry is doing.

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).

User avatar

Post   » Thu Oct 23, 2008 11:11 pm

The only other thing I think has been suggested (most strongly by Becky) is increasing fluids by giving subcues (a couple a week). Increasing fluids is typically what humans are supposed to do to dilute the urine and flush compounds out. Have you considered this too?


Post   » Fri Oct 24, 2008 12:04 am

We noticed that Henry doesn't really drink when he gets a subcue. We made sure that he got a subcue of 25 cc (a little less than an ounce) before leaving the vet's office after his surgery because we figured he wouldn't move around much. We were wrong about moving around, but he didn't really start drinking again until that evening.

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.

User avatar
I dissent.

Post   » Fri Oct 24, 2008 8:33 am

Yay Henry! I'm SO glad he's doing well. Like others here, I'm very interested to read more about his treatment protocol -- particularly the use of Actigall, and whether or not the switch from Oxbow to Kleenmama will have a noticeable effect.

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.

User avatar

Post   » Fri Oct 24, 2008 8:59 am

There's some old information from Oxbow here:



Post   » Fri Oct 24, 2008 1:11 pm

Twofinepigs, thanks for that link. The limestone, as that link points out, may not even be a problem, but it's the only consistent factor between all of the pigs is that they have been eating Oxbow - and that our first two pigs didn't develop any signs of stones until after we switched from crappy food TO Oxbow. So we're going to give it a try and see if it makes a difference.

It might not.

User avatar
I dissent.

Post   » Fri Oct 24, 2008 1:19 pm

I think it's at least worth looking at. The more things we can rule out, the closer we might come to finding some answers.

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.


Post   » Fri Oct 24, 2008 1:39 pm

It could also be an issue depending on other things, like water. Maybe it isn't a problem to give pellets with limestone if you have water with an appropriate level of phosphorous?

I don't know. I'm just guessing.


Post   » Fri Oct 24, 2008 2:55 pm

I checked the DHL web site to see when the pellets were supposed to arrive, and it said they were sitting on my porch. So I shuffled downstairs and out the front door and there they were.

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!

User avatar
I dissent.

Post   » Fri Oct 24, 2008 3:09 pm


Yeah, it could be some funky combo of factors. Who knows if it's even the Limestone. Or if it's the Limestone and something else -- higher sodium content in the pellet, for example. Or genetics + Limestone + water.

That's what makes all of this so incredibly frustrating. :(

User avatar

Post   » Sun Oct 26, 2008 2:28 pm

Henry is gaining back weight from his post-surgical low, but we haven't been weighing him formally for a while due to the stress of handling him.

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.


Post   » Sun Oct 26, 2008 5:11 pm

Henry wants everyone to know he's feeling better, even if he is still a little skinny:

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?

User avatar
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Sun Oct 26, 2008 6:14 pm

Looking good, Henry! You're such an inspiration, I tell my pigs about you all the time.

No ideas on the pigment change, sorry.

User avatar
Bugs Mom

Post   » Sun Oct 26, 2008 7:20 pm

Henry looks fantastic. What great news.

GP Lover
My home, ruled by pigs!

Post   » Sun Oct 26, 2008 7:35 pm

Henry looks great. Do you think maybe his hair has thinned out with age and so the dark spots are more noticeable?


Post   » Sun Oct 26, 2008 7:48 pm

I'm glad to hear Henry is feeling better, he looks like it! Hoping he gains back some of that weight he lost during his surgery also, we don't want him getting too skinny.

User avatar
Got Pigs?

Post   » Sun Oct 26, 2008 8:44 pm

I am so happy Henry is better.

Post Reply
658 posts