Henry - crusty eyes, lethargic

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Post   » Thu May 10, 2007 4:14 pm

Yes, I know I won't have a real answer until the tissues come back from histology. Was it that there were still issues but not as bad as they thought, or did they get in there and think "oh why am I even doing this". If there were at least signs of problems, I'll feel better.

And I'm even resigned to the fact that it's bad timing on needing a spay and having teeth problems. But I want these procedures to fix it. My main concern is - if recovery from the spay and teeth are fine -- that this will still not fix the problem since the surgery showed "not that bad". Could there be something else internally?

I love my pigs and even though I read this board before adopting, knowing what I was getting into, I still, never in my life, thought I'd encounter such serious problems. Two pigs - one with coccidia that took her life and now Henry, who isn't out of the woods. These are two Big Time problems with my two pigs. It's draining when you want to love these pets but they cause so much emotional wear.

Everyone give good thoughts to H-nugget this evening!

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Post   » Thu May 10, 2007 6:06 pm

Best wishes and healing vibes to H-nugget. ~~~ninja vibes~~~

The surgery was most definitely IMHO not a waste at all. There was a problem. Maybe not as 'bad as they thought', but a problem. Ditto Josephine that better to take care of it now than later.

45 deg. vs. 60 -- don't freak until you get a dental x-ray. You may or may not be in for a lifetime of trimmings. They do have a range of properly functioning dentistry, so to speak; what works best for each individual pig works best for that pig. A spur or two could be a big problem for one pig and not even noticed by another. One trim may do it. She may not even need a trim.

Our dental pig had elongated roots, with sinus problems to go with. He never had goopy eyes.

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My home, ruled by pigs!

Post   » Thu May 10, 2007 6:50 pm

I hope that recovery goes well. I was told years ago that Elsie had suspected pyometra and needed to be spayed. Her only symptom at the time was crying when peeing. It was so long ago I don't remember all the details.

I remember having doubts that she had that but I think it's one of those things where they don't know for sure until they go in. I am glad that she was spayed and recovery was shaky at first.

I understand why you feel like you do, especially since you went to Red Bank and are paying top dollar. But, the condition is the condition no matter where you go and like I said, until they went in for surgery I don't think any vet could have known for sure if she had it or not. Better to err on the side of caution, no?

Yes, it is discouraging when you have to deal with such serious medical issues. I feel blessed if I can get through a year or two with no vet visits but it never happens. If it wasn't for you and others like us, these poor animals would be with owners who wouldn't pay attention to them like we do and know when they need help and medical attention. You are giving them a chance. You are giving them the best life they could have. Just keep on loving them.


Post   » Fri May 11, 2007 12:59 am

From the sounds of it you were extremely lucky the suspected pyometra was not that bad. This doesn't mean you could have gotten away without spaying - it means she had a better chance of recovery and survival of the surgery.

I've had a pig with pyometra spayed and lost her because the pyometra "was that bad".

It's a shame they didn't do the molars while she was out. I don't know how many times, I've heard -"the molars aren't bad enough to stop them from eating" and found that they were bad enough. If there is a pain issue in the mouth, the gums will swell disguising the extent of the problem. This is especially true in elongated roots.

Elongated roots require severe planing - to the gumline pretty much. Sometimes, due to the swollen gums, the planing has to be done in two stages. The vet has to go back in amd finish the job once the gums have receded. Elongated roots can be arrested with the wearing of a Chin-Sling. Caught early enough the Chin-sling won't be painful. Late stage elongated roots could be too painful for the Chin-Sling to be worn since it works by forcing the molars together so the pig can self grind.

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Post   » Fri May 11, 2007 8:03 am

It is odd they didn't do the teeth and spay at the same time. The vet seemed to think that we do the spay first, have her recover and then do the teeth. I don't know if spay pain and planing pain would be too much for Henry to handle at the same time.

I guess if it really is the teeth that's stopping her from eating, this spay isn't going to make her feel better enough to start eating on her own, which is what I need for her to do.

I'll ask the doc about the teeth today - how do they know what they know, did they take an xray? Etc. My doc isn't in, but another one will call me. If she can't answer, I'll just wait until mines back. Will a vet SEE that the gums are swollen? I guess the vet will know everything that you mentioned Pinta, no?

But the thing is, Henry was eating on her own just fine up until we put her on the Cipro. I was convinced the Cipro made her stop, unless we just have another coincidence.

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Post   » Fri May 11, 2007 11:28 am

Dr. Strunk is out today, but Dr. Brown gave me a call. Henry is doing fine and will be coming home with us tonight. I do realize that what *I* consider fine might not be in line with what they consider fine. I will probably freak out because she's not acting normal, but I trust that the vet thinks she's at least doing normally considering the situation.

They mentioned that they found "free fluid in the abdomen" which they sent out for testing too. She can't seem to tell me what that means exactly, but the tests will tell us if it's something or nothing at all. She said not to panic (yeah right) because it could come back as nothing.

Our old friend mammary mass: she said there was a lot of fatty tissue near the ligaments that held the uterus in place so that could have been what they were feeling when they thought they were feeling lymph nodes, masses, whatever else.

I asked her why ultrasound showed emergency while the procedure did not. She said that while the uterus didn't look gross to the naked eye, but the ultrasound shows things on the microscopic level that we wouldn't be able to see, and based on that, the surgery was necessary.

They didn't do the teeth at the same time because she didn't want to cause additional mouth pain since we don't officially know she has a teeth problem. She wanted to do the spay, see if that made her feel better, then tackle the teeth. Since - before all of this - I never mentioned teeth and said she only stopped eating when she started the Cipro, teeth might not be the reason she stopped eating. I also need to ask how she knows the roots are growing into the jaw, because I don't think she can know that without an xray right?

I don't have a petstore cage to put her in so I'll be making her a mini CC cage. How big should it be? 1x2? 1x3? And how can I make sure I'm not hurting her when I pick her up to weigh her and hand feed her? I don't want to rip anything or make it worse.

I've read over the post-op pages and whatnot, but I'm still quite nervous.

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Post   » Fri May 11, 2007 11:52 am

I had Millie in a petstore cage after her spay - I suppose it's about 30" by 15. A 2x2 works pretty well to keep them confined, and to make it so you can easily line with towels - which you have to flip out a couple of times a day (at least).

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Post   » Fri May 11, 2007 12:14 pm

Well the cage is going to be on a table with no coro sides, just grids on table. So that would make it easy to lift up the grids and slide a new fleece under.

Why the need to change so often? Due to restricted movement and pee?

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I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Fri May 11, 2007 3:16 pm

Why the need to change so often? Due to restricted movement and pee?
Yes, the towels will get soaked in such a small area.


Post   » Fri May 11, 2007 3:35 pm

She needs dental xrays to diagnose elongated roots. A full mouth exam under sedation should also be done.

I would question why they didn't do a mouth exam while she was under sedation. That does seem like an opportunity lost. Maybe she couldn't afford to be under any longe? My vet has not done dental while working on another problem due to the pig showing problems under sedation.

If she hasn't been eating for some time, the teeth may have overgrown.

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Post   » Fri May 11, 2007 3:56 pm

They didn't do the teeth at the same time because she didn't want to cause additional mouth pain. I don't officially know she has a teeth problem because she only stopped eating when she started the Cipro. I attributed the non-eating to antibiotic intolerance. She does have increased angulation on the back molar, it's 60 degrees while the other is 45 degrees. It might be enough to do her in, but it might not.

Tonight I will ask how they know it's elongated roots and if they have a dental x-ray.

I think she stopped eating on her own on...probably for a week now. Sanford wasn't eating on her own for much longer and never had a teeth problem, although I know each pig is different.

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Post   » Fri May 11, 2007 5:53 pm

1. For a surgery as invasive as a spay, I'd make her a 1x2. I'm sure Henry would much prefer you listen to Mum, but there's an awful lot of adhesion opportunity with the amount of digging around they had to do. We've used 2x2's for short-term quarantine and 'holding cells' until I could rearrange cages, and there is still a moderate (not sufficient, but moderate) amount of room for them to move around in.

2. In my experience they didn't do both procedures at the same time primarily to minimize the amount of time she was under sedation. Surgery as invasive as a spay is pushing the envelope as it is. I agree with Pinta, though ... it would have been nice if they would have at least examined her mouth and possibly snapped a dental x-ray.

3. "Will a vet SEE that the gums are swollen? I guess the vet will know everything that you mentioned Pinta, no?"

Sigh. No. Not necessarily. Gums swollen enough to hide malocclusion is not something they see every day.

Will they listen to good-quality lay experience? If so, print this thread and take it with you when Henry does have a dental exam.

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Post   » Fri May 11, 2007 10:42 pm

She's home. We have cisapride, reglan, metacam, and chlor. As usual the vet argued with me how she "doesn't see antibiotic intolerance". Fine.

She Lost 2 ounces. How come whenever I leave the pigs for "hospitalization" they come back with weight loss? She looks freaked out. She's in a 2x2, but since she's not moving, I'm not sure it even matters.

I'm really frustrated. Feeding her is impossible. I've very stressed out. I don't know what to do. She won't cooperate and I don't want to hurt her. I'm scared I can't do this. Also is it normal for her to make a huge mess of herself?? She ate veggies but it's all over her dewlap. Like ALL over, down her front. She's soaked in veggiemess. How do I clean that?

The doc said she's doing fine, but her poop is not fine. It's not normal. It's thin and has those broken off ends. I'm really frustrated. Why would they tell me she has normal stool when she clearly does not?

They did do a mouth exam under sedation and there is an xray, it seems the roots are growing. I might be more convinced now that it's teeth, her eye looks a bit bulgy and she said her ears were gross, which might be caused by a reaction of infection caused by the teeth.

What can I do about the poops, feeding, cleaning, etc. I feel very helpless now. Also her ears are red and feel very warm.

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Post   » Fri May 11, 2007 10:47 pm

I hear your frustration. This is hard for you both. Put her on a counter and gently corral her in the crook of your arm. See if you can persuade her to eat that way. Also possible to pin jaw to be more persuasive. All I can say is you do your best.

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Post   » Fri May 11, 2007 11:05 pm

I've had to pin-jaw pigs to get them to handfeed. As Lynx said, corral her in the crook of your arm and then get a stronghold by placing your index finger and forefinger (middle finger) on either side of her head right at the jaw line (except, be mindful of those teeth). This worked well for Winston, who always fought me with handfeeding big-time. I think there's a picture of how to do this on the handfeeding section here...I can find the link if you need it. It's tough love and feels cruel, but it's the only way to get a stubborn patient to eat.

I don't know about the messy part. I do know that when Zachary was sedated for his cystocentisis (that was botched) and teeth exam + bloodwork, he was very funky after he came out of it and slobbered somewhat. He also seemed dazed and wheezy for a day.

The poops sound like lack of food to me, but I'm no expert. Zach has also had that. I increased fiber intake by handfeeding CC and canned pumpkin. And lots of hydration. Just try to do the best you can, SC. It can be hard, I know. I wish I were in your area and could help out (not that I'm any help, but I'd be happy to try).

I don't understand this part about the ears and the eye bulge. What the-? I know root elongation can cause lots of strange secondary problems, but you say Henry was eating okay until the Cipro. I also know that Zachary's gut was totally messed up after his last round of Bactrim, and that was with both acidophilus and Bene-bac supplements. AB's can really wreck havoc on their systems.

Does the Metacam seem to be helping at all?

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Post   » Fri May 11, 2007 11:19 pm

Yeah, we seem to be the only ones who think AB's cause problems. No one else wants to hear it.

I will manage the handfeeding, it's just dreadful since I don't want to hurt her. But this messy eating is -- I can't leave her filthy, but I can't bathe her, ugh. I just tried a wet cloth that I squirted on her, but now she's wet and messy.

She did stop eating as soon as we put her on Cipro, so maybe that's what officially did her in, but the dental xray was there showing elongated roots (I didn't know what I was looking at so I'm just going on what they tell me), she had the eye goop, and they said her ears had a lot of stuff in them that they normally don't see in GPs. (But then again, they normally don't see AB intolerance in GPs either.)

So maybe the teeth are a problem, today her right eye looks bulgy. She's always had a bit of a bug-eye, but it's very pronounced today.

I suppose the metacam is helping. She's just laying there though, completely still. Not moving for nothin'. I'm going to leave her be until tomorrow morning. She's probably angry and tired.

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Post   » Fri May 11, 2007 11:32 pm

Sending supportive thoughts your way. God, I remember what an uphill battle it was getting Winston to eat. He just would NOT let me handfeed him, and I felt like such a mean piggie mommy by literally force feeding CC. I would say out loud to him, "You are NOT going to win the battle of the syringe." Poor old fellow.

Tell Henry that she needs to perk up now and eat, eat, eat!

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Post   » Fri May 11, 2007 11:38 pm

I hate handfeeding when I'm not afraid to hurt them, but I can get rough and bully them. I can't do that with Henry right now so I'm just living in fear.

I'm also very annoyed with my regular vet. I called four days in a row and she has not called me back. What the hell? I'm just disappointed in this whole experience so far.

Thanks for listening everyone.

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Post   » Fri May 11, 2007 11:49 pm

What the heck is going on with GL tonight?? I can't seem to stay logged in, for some reason, and then I have double and triple posts. Argh.
Anyway. Last time I tried to reach one of our vets, I finally had to say, "Can you tell me when she'll be available and I'll call back then?" Playing vet-tag gets old after a while, especially when you really need to hear back. Nothing worse than sitting aorund waiting for that call.

Is your regular vet in town? I was thinking you said something about her being out until Tuesday, but I could have that all wrong. ?


Post   » Sat May 12, 2007 2:47 am

You can't really see swollen gums. They are like cuticles that have grown up. Xrays are necessary to "see" that the gums are swollen.

2 oz. weight loss is normal for a pig that's been to the vet for major surgery when you consider that a pig grazes all day and yours was deprived of food for probably 1/2 a day. Also remember your pig no longer has the weight of a uterus.

I would be concerned for AB intolerance with the Chlor. If she doesn't show interest in food and acts as though she is ill, it may be the chlor. Hard to tell if the pain from surgery is causing problems or the spay.

Chlor is pretty heavy duty for a post surgery AB. Normally Baytril is what is used as a preventative against infection. Since she was spayed and the problem removed - why the Chlor? Since she had a problem with Cipro, I'd wonder if she had a problem tolerating all ABs. I had a pig who required injections when she needed ABs because she couldn't tolerate anything orally.

My vet only uses Chlor as a last resort because of the amount of pigs that have crashed (couldn't tolerate )on it. I have one pig on it now but he seems to be doing okay. I figured I'd see problems within 12 hours of his first dose if he couldn't tolerate it. It's been 2 days and so far so good.

AB intolerance is a very real thing. Happens with humans as well. I can't tolerate sulfa drugs - they make me sicker than what I am actually sick from.

I would ask to switch to a different AB and doublecheck that she really needs one.

Normally soon after surgery they seem to be doing great but the next day, not so great. This is usually due to the effects of the sedation. It takes a while to totally wear off and for the pain to kick in.

Don't hesitate to take her back for a hydration subcue if she isn't drinking well. Dehydration causes lethargy and couild be confused with AB intolerance.

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