Henry - crusty eyes, lethargic

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Post   » Tue May 08, 2007 7:12 pm

"I guess that or blood work / fecal would be our next steps."

That'd be my bet.

My very best to her and to you.

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Post   » Tue May 08, 2007 8:58 pm

Tomorrow I'm going to Red Bank (where the prices are ASTRONOMICAL and even more expensive than Dr. Expensive that I dumped last year) for an ultrasound and blood work.

Today there was some (vaginal?) discharge that looked like human discharge (looked like some of the photos I saw on other threads) and with that I don't want to risk waiting a week for my vet's ultrasound tech. From the other threads I've read, it could be normal, but since she's ill, I'm not taking that chance.

I'm not dumping my vet, but I'm going to tell her I'm going to this other place and the results will be faxed to her. I think she will understand. I called her today to talk to her about all of it, but she didn't call back, which is kind of normal, which I don't like. Guess I'll try again tomorrow.

Oh and Red Bank vet said that they shouldn't do any surgery if Henry's GI system isn't right - not eating/pooping normally etc.

But my question is, if she's not eating because she doesn't feel good, and she needs surgery to feel good, so she can eat, aren't I in a bit of a catch-22 here?

Edit: what is your experience with Chloramphenicol? I don't want any more drugs in the Baytril class, I'm done with those. What about clor?

You can quote me

Post   » Tue May 08, 2007 10:58 pm

Chlor is harsher than Baytril. Many pigs can't tolerate it, and crash on it worse than on Baytril.

However, it's not the same kind/in the same class of drug. An animal that's had trouble with Baytril may or may not have trouble with chlor. You just really have to watch carefully.

Chlor penetrates pus, bone, just about everything. The only pig we've had yet to have to use it with did just fine on it. It seemed to help him, though he passed shortly thereafter from other causes. If Henry can tolerate it it will likely help her ... if she has an infection responsive to it. If she doesn't, it is of course pointless.

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Post   » Wed May 09, 2007 7:59 am

Thanks for the tip. I won't administer anything the Red Bank vet gives me without talking to my regular vet first. I'm only going to this other place because they can do the ultrasound sooner than regular vet.

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Post   » Wed May 09, 2007 8:16 am

Oh no! I somehow missed this thread until now. I'm so sorry you're having trouble with Henry, somechick. It's always something, isn't it? You know the ongoing issues we've had with Zachary; Sidney passed away earlier this year from a stone in his urethra; last year Otis was having teeth trouble; two years ago Winston had renal failure and cancer. It's NOT you!

Anyway, I hope the vet can figure out what the heck's going on with Henry! I would definitely opt for bloodwork and an ultrasound at this point. Eye crust can be dehydration, too. Is she getting enough fluids? Bloodwork can also determine if the kidneys are functioning properly.

Yikes. Sending good thoughts your way this morning.

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Post   » Wed May 09, 2007 1:11 pm

Red Bank Vet appointment update:

1) She also can't feel the mammary mass anymore, but doesn't know why. She said something there might have been inflamed due to reproductive issues and it has since gone down.

2) She noticed an "increased angulation" on her right back molar. She said this might have something to do with her not eating, or it might not. When Greg looked at it, he said it looked SO slight, he can't imagine it's causing her not to eat. Also it's not like she tries to eat and can't, she just doesn't eat. Doesn't go to her hay, bypasses peppers and carrots. It's not like she's trying and spitting it out or anything like that. For now, I'm going to assume this is not a teeth problem, especially since there's clearly something else going on.

3) She said that the drops of blood in her pee make her think it's reproductive, and that if it were a UTI, it would be more of a clot that was passed or more blood/less pee, instead of what I saw which was more pee/less blood.

4) She doesn't think the eye goop (now gone) has anything to do with anything, might have been a nasty coincidence.

5) They're doing an ultrasound soon. They will check the reproductive and kidney area. They hope to find something.

6) They wanted to do blood work, but I told them no, I'll have my vet do it tonight. It's just too expensive there and I don't want to pay for it IF the ultrasound does show something. I'm hoping that if it does, we don't need bloodwork. Is this a good assumption or no?

She also mentioned again putting her on Chlor, and a med to get her belly moving. Greg expressed reservations about the Chlor.

My concern is that they're going to say she needs a spay. But they say they won't do surgery if the gut is messed up. I don't know how to fix the gut if she wants her on meds that are going to mess her up. I wont administer any meds until I speak with my vet tonight.

This vet seems set on the fact that its either reproductive or teeth. I think that those two things are so far from each other, they shouldn't be confused. I don't think it's teeth. If it's reproductive - I want some pretty good proof.

This vet said the surgeons there have a 99.5% success rate with spay recovery. The charge is also $1200-$1500. Even Dr. Expensive was only $480. This is a huge decision - where to go if I need to get it done.

Ultrasound results later on...

edit: one thing she said that bothered me, she said if it was a uterine infection, the Bactrim would clear it up. I was under the impression that that is NOT the case. That pyometra = spay or death. Unless there are other milder uterine infections that are just like any other infection?

Wheekness for Pigs

Post   » Wed May 09, 2007 2:17 pm

Hi. I am late to the fray here...I've been off on some personal projects.

Since your piggie is having some digestion problems, have you tried giving her a little simethicone? (Baby Mylicon or something similar). It would probably be fairly benign and it might help with any gas build-up. I know when my piggie's diet is "off" she tends to get gassy which can contribute to a piggy feeling even more crummy... A little simethicone might help. Also, are you giving her any acidophilous or pro-biotic in conjunction with the antibiotics?

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Post   » Wed May 09, 2007 2:34 pm

I haven't given Simethicone. She doesn't seem gassy and it didn't help my other pig in the past (that's not to say it won't help her). If this is something that is done, I'd try.

I have been mixing in Sanford poops with the critical care OR an acidophilous capsule. I don't know if one works better than the other or if either of them are working at all since things aren't changing. But yes, I am.

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I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Wed May 09, 2007 3:05 pm

The charge is also $1200-$1500.
Holy *.* - that's absolutely unbelieveable!

I hope you get some answers from the u/s. I also thought that pyometra had to be dealt with by spaying.

It's quite possible to have molar issues AND something else - the something else can contribute to the molar issues if the pig isn't eating properly, or hasn't been eating properly for some time.

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Post   » Wed May 09, 2007 3:25 pm

Okay results are in. The ultrasound showed an enlarged uterus that's filled with a mucous like fluid. Red Bank vet says it's pyometra and they want to spay her tomorrow and that we should not wait on this.

Unfortunately I agree so I'm going to leave her there and just deal with the stupidly priced bill. I put in a call to my regular vet to talk to her about this because I want her to know what's going on and I don't want to step on her toes. I would probably have her/ her colleague do the spay, but she isn't free until the end of May and he only does surgery on Tuesday.

I feel up against a wall here. I guess this is the only course of action to take. I hope I'm making the right choice with these people. They seem to know their stuff and they do many spays. The small animal folks deal with small animals only. They don't spay, see, treat, etc. dogs or cats.

I'm very scared. I hope I'm doing the right thing and I hope my little H-nug does well. :(

Let Sleeping Pigs Lie

Post   » Wed May 09, 2007 6:05 pm

Sending good thoughts your way for sweet Henry. She is lucky to have such a great person to care for her.

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Post   » Wed May 09, 2007 8:31 pm

I swear to God, Somechick. You have had enough problems to last through several herds of pigs. You have my empathy and understanding.

Best to Henry. If they really have a 99.5% success rate with spay recovery, then I'd say the $1500 is worth it. (Don't tell my husband I said that, though he'd probably agree.) For what it's worth, part of the price is that with surgery like this, they don't completely know what they will find and what they will have to do until they get in there. It's a procedure that can't be packaged, so to speak, and priced as a package procedure.

Wonder if the mammary mass has/had something to do with this.

Keep us posted.

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Post   » Wed May 09, 2007 8:37 pm

I know. I seriously wonder -- if PC and Henry were in fact sisters -- if the litter could just have weak genes or something? This is just too much - two major problems with two pigs. I don't have a good track record here.

Still unsure about the mammary mass. Vet said it could have been a lymph node that was inflamed. But she agrees that she no longer feels it.

I'm not interested in this huge bill and I honestly think it's an outrage to charge that much, but if this really is pyometra, it's not like I have time to wait. I'm kind of screwed in that area.

I just read the "my capu is bleeding" thread and she was spayed at Red Bank and seemed to turn out well. I'm hoping for the best, but also aware that something could go wrong, even at no fault of the surgeon.

We'll hear late afternoon tomorrow.

You can quote me

Post   » Wed May 09, 2007 8:40 pm

"... if the litter could just have weak genes or something?"

Entirely possible, especially if they were backbred, bred repeatedly, inbred etc., which you have no way to know. I don't think it's your track record.

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I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Wed May 09, 2007 8:43 pm

I'm really so very sorry you're having to go through all this - again.

Let us know how the surgery goes.

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Post   » Wed May 09, 2007 8:55 pm

SC -- I don't know if it helps, but you're making the exact same decision I would make if I were in your situation. I'd probably have to work out some payment plan for a $1,200 bill, but otherwise I'd opt to have the surgery now rather than wait. Especially if this place seems to do a good job with guinea pigs. That's a huge plus.

Please keep us posted. I'm just so sorry that this is happening.

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Post   » Thu May 10, 2007 9:59 am

The doc just called. The surgeon is in and is going to start the surgery soon. She is confident in him and says the key to this is to have them under anesthesia for as little time as possible. I'll get a call later this afternoon.

However here's some more great news. Teeth roots are growing in the the jaw and her back right molar is at a 60degree angle instead of a 45degree angle like her other one. Henry never had a problem eating before so I never bothered to check the teeth. Why would I? She said this could have been an on going problem or it could have been exacerbated by the recent non-eating of hay and proper wear. Looks like we're up for a life of trimmings.

Big sigh to all of this. I hope she makes it out of surgery well.

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Post   » Thu May 10, 2007 1:17 pm

Doc called. Henry is out of surgery, grumpy and quiet, but awake and responsive.

However the whole thing didn't go over as I had hoped. When the doc called I expected to hear, "wow thank GOD we got that thing OUT!" but instead I heard, "when we went in there it wasn't as bad as we had expected, it wasn't ready to burst or badly inflamed". Okaaaaay.

So it turns out that not spaying probably wouldn't have killed her, and the doc gave me the standard "don't think of it as 'this wasn't necessary' think of it as we have prevented future problems". Right. She also said that since we saw blood, she's sure it was reproductive since her kidneys and bladder were fine. She's sending the uterus out for (I'm going to get this wrong) histopathy(?) to see what's exactly going on.

She also said there was some other parts she sent out for culture - something to do with some blood in the abdominal cavity? I was outside and didn't get all the facts since I didn't have paper. But she or a tech will call back later tonight with an update so I can ask again.

She still thinks teeth are playing a bigger part than we're giving them credit for. So did we spay for no good reason when we should have just filed a molar!?!! But that wouldn't cause blood in the urine so. God, I don't know. I'm actually pretty bummed out / annoyed / not feeling great about the whole thing now.

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Post   » Thu May 10, 2007 3:37 pm

I'm still waiting for a call back so I can get my facts straight but I'm starting to think on my own here.

Maybe the eye goop was related to the teeth problem. I read on here that if it's the top teeth with the issue (which I believe it is) it could cause eye issues. Interesting. So maybe we do have a legitimate tooth problem on our hands. And maybe it was that tooth problem that lead to the lethargy and not wanting to eat, because she was in pain. Okay, I can buy that.

But that doesn't solve the blood in the urine issue OR the ultrasound showing an enlarged uterus with mucous. Which (unless there's something I don't know) isn't going to be related to teeth. So while I can sit here and be annoyed that maybe it's teeth after all, I might still have reason to suspect that it's clearly something else going on in uterine world.

My concern is that if it's turns out to NOT be uterine after all -- then what else can it be internally? Scary stuff.

Little Jo Wheek

Post   » Thu May 10, 2007 3:53 pm

She definitely could have two or more problems going on. I understand what the vet told you may have been disappointing, but if she did have a reproductive issue, the spay most likely DID help her and save her life. You can't wait if it is a true pyometra.

I hope the recovery from surgery goes well. I also hope that whatever teeth issues you find are easily managed. So sorry you have to go through this. It sounds like you have a fairly good handle on things as far as being a dedicated advocate for Henry's care and well-being.

Yet time and time again, I have to combat the "wisdom" from vets and other pet people that cavies are NOT low maintenance. Unfortunately, I know you already know this, but it still frustrates me when dealing with those people that think they are low maintenance pets!

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