Ginny's Medical Thread

Tracis
Let Sleeping Pigs Lie

Post   » Tue Feb 06, 2007 4:16 pm


The good news is that Ginny does indeed have cataracts - in both eyes. Dr. Funk did a blood test for diabetes, and her blood sugar was only slightly elevated. He said she still has some vision left, and actually suggested a surgical procedure to remove the cataracts (he gave me a referral to an animal eye care specialist).

I insisted on an x-ray and I'm very glad I did.

Ginny's heart sounded normal, and the radiologist said it looked good. Her lungs have an increased opacity, but overall, look good.

Her liver is "hugely enlarged", however.

Dr. Funk has scheduled Ginny for a needle aspiration this Thursday. He's almost positive that she has Fatty Liver Disease. He also wants to do more bloodwork.

Brandilynn
Who's your Branni?

Post   » Tue Feb 06, 2007 4:28 pm


What would they do for her if she does indeed have fatty liver? (no more fois grais for Ginny!!)

Tracis
Let Sleeping Pigs Lie

Post   » Tue Feb 06, 2007 4:33 pm


I'm not sure. I received this news from the assistant doctor by telephone after we returned home. I was quite shocked to hear this. The probability of cancer was also mentioned, which is why they want to do more tests.

From what I've been reading on GL, the prognosis isn't good. Poor Ginny.

Brandilynn
Who's your Branni?

Post   » Tue Feb 06, 2007 4:34 pm


*sigh*..

I am sorry for the crappy prognosis.

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lisam

Post   » Tue Feb 06, 2007 4:52 pm


So the fatty liver disease would be the response from not eating, right? Does he have an idea of why she stopped eating? Does he think it's cancer?

Tracis
Let Sleeping Pigs Lie

Post   » Tue Feb 06, 2007 5:24 pm


"So the fatty liver disease would be the response from not eating, right? Does he have an idea of why she stopped eating?"

I don't know. I've got it on my list to ask him, on Thursday.

This time, we don't really know why she stopped eating. There haven't been any symptoms. She started eating pretty well last night, and today she's eaten many of her favorite foods again. She's even pulled a few right out of my hand.

Ginny is usually my best eater. She will try anything. It's her cagemate, Sakura, who is the picky eater.

"Does he think it's cancer?"

Cancer was 3rd on his list of possibilities (Fatty Liver Disease, Infection, Cancer, Dental Disease).

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Tue Feb 06, 2007 5:39 pm


It's my understanding a fatty liver condition is the result of not eating which is the result of something else. You might want to email Josephine about it for clarification and accuracy, but I don't think it just happens on its own. It's a result of something else, which causes inappetance, which causes liver damage. The something else could also cause liver damage directly.

Tracis
Let Sleeping Pigs Lie

Post   » Tue Feb 06, 2007 6:05 pm


Thank you, Talishan. I just sent Josephine an email.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Tue Feb 06, 2007 7:31 pm


I don't remember fatty liver disease being mentioned in the medical forum before. Do I have a bad memory?

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Tue Feb 06, 2007 7:46 pm


No. I think it's been called something else, which ... I can't remember. A longer, more medically precise term amounting to the same thing.

Tracis
Let Sleeping Pigs Lie

Post   » Tue Feb 06, 2007 7:50 pm


Hepatic lipidosis (I think this is how it is spelled).

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Tue Feb 06, 2007 7:54 pm


That's it! Thanks, Tracis.

Josephine
Little Jo Wheek

Post   » Tue Feb 06, 2007 8:59 pm


Yes, hepatic lipidosis is indeed one of those accessory problems that doesn't occur on its own. Talishan is quite right. It's caused by anorexia that is caused by something else. Treatment includes finding the underlying cause, treating it, and aggressive supportive care (handfeeding, fluids, etc.). Prognosis is dependent primarily on the aggressive supportive care and resolution of the instigating cause.

I'm not sure how a liver biopsy would be the next step in this case, but I don't have all the info and didn't talk with the vet. Often cavy livers do look large (as well as adrenals and kidneys).

Livers do tend to get inflamed and angry whenever a cavy is not feeling well (and thus, not eating its daily minimum caloric intake). Was a complete blood panel run? I would recommend that first since doing a biopsy of a liver is not as benign as a cyst or something. They can bleed to death or have other consequences. In dogs and cats, we always recommend a clotting panel prior to such a procedure. Not sure if the indices are there for a cavy, but it's not something I'd do right off the bat without doing more less invasive tests first.

Well, these are my thoughts thus far. Jaw rads and a U/A are also good places to start. An ultrasound would be another step and the liver biopsy (if indicated) would best be done with ultrasound. I'm assuming the vet will be doing a punch biopsy?

(Edit: I reread the post which states the bloodwork is to be done the day of the biopsy? Do they run the labwork on site and have it immediately? I would recommend having the results prior to doing a liver bx).

Tracis
Let Sleeping Pigs Lie

Post   » Tue Feb 06, 2007 10:12 pm


Thanks for the information! So very helpful!

A complete blood panel was not done - just a glucose test.

I'm not sure if the clinic does their own lab work. I will call Wednesday and find out.

This is how upcoming Thursday's procedure was described to me:

They will give Ginny a light anesthetic first. (I should check what type of anesthesia is to be used?)

Next, they will use a fine needle to aspirate cells from the liver.

They also want to perform an ultrasound.

I'm adding all this new info to my "list."

User avatar
sef1268

Post   » Tue Feb 06, 2007 10:17 pm


Just saw this thread. I'm awfully sorry to hear about Ginny! Poor girl. Hopefully you can get some answers soon and figure out what's going on. Sending good wishes your way...

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Wed Feb 07, 2007 5:46 pm


A fine needle aspirate, while considerably less invasive, isn't the same thing as a biopsy. It gets some cells to look at under the microscope. Looking at them can give the vet some information.

A biopsy gets actual tissue, not just cells, from which more can be determined. I am now gonna shut up and let Josephine tell us right.

http://www.guinealynx.info/forums/viewtopic.php?p=1008494#1008494

Different condition, but the explanation about the procedures is what I am getting at.

"Often cavy livers do look large (as well as adrenals and kidneys)."

One of ours was diagnosed with an 'enlarged liver' on x-ray. I had taken him in for undetermined, if gradual, weight loss. We were given AB's, which he hated and didn't appear to help anything. His weight has since stabilized. Not to say that your pig's problem is the same, or not any more serious -- but often cavy livers look large.

Tracis
Let Sleeping Pigs Lie

Post   » Thu Feb 08, 2007 8:03 pm


"Often cavy livers do look large (as well as adrenals and kidneys)."

You have no idea of how comforting this information is. Thank you!

Ginny had her appointment today. She has been doing well at home, started eating all her favorite foods again, drinking, playing. She ate KM's hay in the carrier all the way to the vet's office (I could hear her munching). Dr. Funk even noticed how cheery she was.

I decided to get the blood panel done this time, and after we get the results back, I'll decide the rest. Dr. Funk sends out guinea pig blood work to a lab. He said their in-house equipment wasn't calibrated for guinea pigs, and the lab can get much more information from a small amount of blood than his office can.

They used Isoflurane to sedate her.

Dr. Funk will call me when the results come in. He also mentioned that he does not have the complete, written radiology report yet. I asked him to call me with that information too.

I left a copy of Ginny's weight chart with the doctor. The office staff admired Ginny's unique coloring and sent me home with a bag of Critical Care.

Tracis
Let Sleeping Pigs Lie

Post   » Sat Feb 10, 2007 2:47 pm


Ginny is doing well, happy and playful.

Dr. Funk called today with the blood test results. He's not sure what's going on.

Her liver enzymes are elevated. He said Ginny's AST level was 384.

Her white blood count was lower than normal, and sometimes that happens with cancer.

Ginny's glucose level was the most surprising thing, according to him. Her reading was 519.

He's not sure if the liver problem is causing the raised blood sugar, or the other way around. He's going to do some more research. He also mentioned that he hasn't worked with diabetes in a guinea pig before.

He was not able to do a urine test on Thursday (she urinated right all over the towel right before they sedated her, I guess).

He gave us a prescription for Baytril, in case there is some infection going on.

User avatar
Mum
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Sat Feb 10, 2007 3:02 pm


He also mentioned that he hasn't worked with diabetes in a guinea pig before.
But it's not uncommon as you'll see if you do a search on this board. Pinta, for one, has dealt with it. There are meds to treat it - sounds as if you need to get them started asap?

That glucose level is sky high!

I may be wrong, but I thought the AST level could be raised by anorexia?

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cavykatie

Post   » Sat Feb 10, 2007 5:30 pm


Oh poor Ginny, I hope she feels better soon.

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