Chronic Bloating


Post   » Sun May 06, 2007 8:23 pm

I wasn't aware you put the entrodex in the water. Do you also keep a bottle of plain water available for them? If not please do. Any time we put anything at all in the water bottle itself we run the risk of them not drinking at all or decreasing their consumption because it tastes funny to them.

I have been doing some research on the different probitoics. From what I have found so far Enrodex is the best we can get! I also see it is from the UK so I am unsure if I can get it for my baby but I will try.

As for pepermint treats, that would be a bad idea. All the "treats" made for small animals are like feeding our children cupcakes and ice cream with a strawberry on top and calling it healthy. Sad but the way it is. Greed on the part of manufacturers of these things is what makes them do it.

Pepermint leaves themselves MAY be an option in restricted moderation but I will not feed them to my babies until I have done a lot of checking first.

What I have read so far was quite shocking to me. I will cut and paste what scared the daylights out of me.

Toxicology and Adverse effects: Peppermint is Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) by the Food and Drug Administration. Allergic reaction is possible, as is irritation if oil placed on mucous membranes. Inhalation of the oil can cause apnea and laryngoconstriction, and young children/animals are thought particularly susceptible. In mice and rats, the oral LD50 is 4g/kg. In these species, 4 weeks of daily oral dosing at 40 and 100mg/kg resulted in histologic changes in the brain; after 3 months in rats, cyst-like lesions were noted in the cerebellum, and nephropathy was observed in males at the 100mg/kg dose. Hepatocellular changes have also been noted. In another study (not referenced by the European Committee for Veterinary Medicinal Products), dogs given 25-125mg/kg for 5 weeks experienced no ill effects.

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Post   » Tue May 08, 2007 4:53 pm

I have tried Holland & Barrett with no luck.

I hadn't thought of the peppermint treats, but I had looked at peppermint. Maremma, thanks for the info you found on it. I wasn't entirely happy with trying her on peppermint, as something I read about it got me worried as well. I do know where the peppermint treats are sold, so I will have a look at the ingredients before considering them.

The vet did mention that the liver has quite a lot to do with the digestion and glucose production, so I'm wondering about trying milk thistle, which I believe is safe for pigs.

I did start off with a bottle of plain water for the pigs when I first tried the Entrodex, but they all love it, and are drinking more than normal, so both bottles now have the Entrodex in them.

Milly is slightly more bloated today, but she is looking much brighter than she has been, which is a bit of a surprise, as she suffered a fit yesterday. It lasted about half an hour all told. I nursed her for about an hour until she seemed to have recovered, and apart from being a bit wobbly on her feet, she seemed fine. Unfortunately it was a Bank Holiday in the UK yesterday, and my vets was closed, which was a bit of a disaster for me, as my skinny little rescue pig became really ill as well. I could have taken them to an emergency vet, but they wouldn't have had an exotic specialist there, so waited until today, rather than risk them receiving the wrong treatment.

I couldn't get an appointment at the vets for Milly today, but I talked to him when I took my rescue pig, as I already had an appointment for him. He will be seeing Milly in a couple of days, so I'm just monitoring Milly for now. It maybe more likely that she broke a tooth during a previous unseen fit, rather than a previous colapse, but we just don't know what is happening to her at the moment.


Post   » Wed May 09, 2007 5:15 am

The poor little baby. Is she having seizures? Is that what a fit is?

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Post   » Thu May 10, 2007 5:20 pm

Yes, a fit is a seizure. She rolled onto her side, with her head arched right back, and her paws frantically scrabbling the air. My rescue pig, Dusty, seemed to know what was going to happen, as he wouldn't leave her side for about an hour beforehand, and he'd never been like that before. He left her alone after it was all over.

I had a long chat with the vet today about Milly. He said that seizures could be caused by several problems, and he suggested things like liver or kidney disease, brain tumour, or just unexplained epilepsy. He is happy to do a full blood test if I want him to, but he's not sure if it would be worth the cost. He reckoned that there would only be about a 25% chance of the test indicating where the problem may be, and the only thing he would have much chance of treating would be a liver problem.

With the bloating and the possible fluctuation in glucose levels, a liver problem is a possibility, so we are trying Milly on a new medication to improve liver function. It's called Samylin, and it's more of a complementary product than a medication so I'll see if it has any effect on her.

I'm still keeping her on the metoclopramide. The amount of gas in her is varying at the moment. It seems to depend a lot on what I feed her. I'm still limiting the amount and selection of veggies that she has, while I work out what affects her bloat.

I was going to ask the vet to do another fecal float, as a double-check for parasites, but with her seizure I forgot. I'll have to sort that out when get some more metoclopramide.

She's been on the Entrodex probiotic for about 10 days now, and she does seem a bit brighter, so maybe it is helping.

Maremma, if you can't find Entrodex in the US, and you would like to try some on Sweetpea, email me direct. I should be able to send you enough for a week or so for you to try her on.


Post   » Fri May 11, 2007 9:59 am

The ingredients of those Excel treats are just dried herbs, that's all. I don't agree that dried herbs are the equivalent of peppermint oil.

Also, I find that the probiotic in the water actually increases drinking, not decreases it.

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Post   » Fri May 11, 2007 10:46 am

LAwomans and I use a very good probiotic:

Melody R

Post   » Fri May 11, 2007 2:30 pm

6.5 lbs is the smallest size (probiotics) they carry? How do you use it all before it goes bad?

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Post   » Fri May 11, 2007 3:15 pm

Phone and ask them for a sample!

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Post   » Fri May 11, 2007 4:11 pm

Okay, I don't know anything about these seizures, but when my pig had coccidia, she was bloated like mad and nothing got rid of the gas -- because we were treating with the wrong drugs. The coccidia also did not show up on the first few fecals, so you might want to take in a few days worth of poo to be tested.

But ditto everyone else on a blood test or any other wonderful advice they give.

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Post   » Fri May 11, 2007 4:27 pm

My piggy had a pancreas problem (turned out to be tumor) that resulted in low blood sugar and seizures, but it's the OPPOSITE of diabetes. I wouldn't cling to your old diagnosis of diabetes without more testing. It's actually a condition common in ferrets called insulinoma; a search here may pull up a few threads where I mentioned it (or else do Internet search for "ferret insulinoma").

I did not re-read this thread re: other particulars of your piggy (problems/symptoms other than bloat), but seizures are serious and low-glucose ones can be managed with honey or syrup rubbed on the lips (with a follow-up to ER). And, of course, diet changes to manage the bloat may be causing/worsening underlying glucose problems.

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Post   » Fri May 11, 2007 4:53 pm

Thanks for your ideas.

I'm planning on talking to the vet about some more fecal floats next week, as coccidia does seem to one of the main causes of bloat.

I have been concerned that the changes to her diet is causing other problems to show, but everytime I try and feed her anything near what she is used to having, her bloat gets worse.

The vet doesn't seem to set much store to the diabetes diagnosis. He reckons that being a prey animal, adrenalin can cause the glucose level to fluctuate considerably in pigs.

I just wish that I could control the bloating more. She's worse again today, but she's moving around the cage a lot, is constantly nibbling hay, and still seems quite bright.

Melody R

Post   » Fri May 11, 2007 6:04 pm

What are these "massage pillows" everyone keeps referring to? Where can I get one for my office -- er, guinea pig?

Although he seems better having finally come off chlor, Gilligan seems to get a little bloaty now and then.

Supporter in '13

Post   » Fri May 11, 2007 6:07 pm

I'm so sorry about Milly's seizure. I really hope you can get to the bottom of all this. Got your e-mail about the shilintong, and glad to hear it arrived safely.

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Post   » Fri May 11, 2007 6:10 pm

"Where can I get one for my office -- er, guinea pig?"

I got a combination vibration and heating pad from K-mart. It was called "Homedics" brand and was in with the health care supplies (foot soakers, heating pads etc. etc. etc.), but you can sometimes find them in the automotive section. The one I have came with an adapter for a car's cigarette lighter.

It has three settings each for vibration and heat. We used it on low vibration, no heat, for our megacolon pig. The results were not dramatic but it did seem to help him a little from time to time.

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Post   » Sat May 12, 2007 4:49 am

When Milly first bloated, I had a frantic search around the shops to find a massage cushion quickly, as I had read that this helps. I couldn't find a combined heat and massage cushion, so mine is just what is called a massage pillow. It's just a small cushion full of tiny beads with a small vibrating thingy in the middle, run off batteries.

It does help Milly. I put the cushion on my lap, covered with a plastic cloth and a towel, with Milly on top. I can feel her gut contracting along her sides, and she produces a lot of poops! (I bought my Mum one for her stiff neck, and she thinks it's great!).


Post   » Sat May 12, 2007 5:23 pm

"The vet did mention that the liver has quite a lot to do with the digestion and glucose production, so I'm wondering about trying milk thistle, which I believe is safe for pigs."

I've used milk thistle with several pigs and bunnies. They generally love it and eat it right up. The SamE (samilyn stuff has the active ingredient of milk thistle in it, and is a good product to try.)


Post   » Sat May 12, 2007 5:53 pm

Wow Milly's masssager sounds really neat. I am going to go and try to find one like that for Sweetpea! The one I have for her is very affective but is a pain in the butt to hold under her.

Sweetpea most often does the exact same thing when she is on the massager. I can feel her sides moving too and then she makes me a nice pile of poops as her bloating drops dramamtically.

This last time though we had a lot of trouble and I am not sure why. When she finally did get poop out I was shocked. They were WAY larger than she usually makes. They looked like one of my bigger boys made them.

Has the size and shape of Milly's poops changed since she has developed boating issues?

I have read in the past that as a guinea ges they are a lot more likely to develope problems if we change their diet. That surely complicates things for Milly too.

I'm sorry if you told me this before but did you have Milly's heart checked? I am going to be taking Sweetpea back in to have her heart rechecked. I took Sweetpea and Darty in after we discovered Lovebugs heart condition because they are all sisters form the same litter. At the time Sweetpea has a slightly irregular shaped heart but the vet didn't want to begin treatment becasue she wasn't displaying any symptoms and it was slight.

I have recently read now that heart conditions can cause bloating too.


Post   » Mon May 14, 2007 10:08 am

Here's a weird thing... You know I said that my Sukie had a chronic bloating problem? Well, I've been a bit worried about Holly, one of my others, for a few days, and took her to the vets today. I thought it might be a UTI, but the vet ruled that out and said it feels like gas in her intestine. So I now have 2 pigs with the same condition, out of 3!

I have metoclopramide and prepulsid to give her, and am going to cut out veggies and give grass instead. Will give her probiotic every day too.

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Post   » Mon May 14, 2007 5:53 pm

Get them checked for coccidiosis with a fecal float. Or just treat with Albon.

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Post   » Tue May 15, 2007 4:07 am

We've lost Milly.

She suffered two more lots of colapsing/seizures/convulsions, each one longer than the last, and she never came around after the last one.

Thank you for all your advice and support. I don't think that we prolonged her life, but I think we made the last few months more comfortable for her.

We'd had her since she was 6 weeks old, and she would have been 6 this summer. She was one of the family, and we miss her dreadfully.

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