Allergies

moodysmom

Post   » Mon May 07, 2007 1:12 pm


According to his vet, my cavy has allergies with the symptom primarily being nasal wheezing - his lungs are clear. It is very loud.

We have changed his bedding to newspaper from white chips, and have removed timothy hay that will be replaced with a new bail. I have disinfected his water bottle and feed dish. We have wet dusted the area. But he is still wheezing badly. (We haven't changed cleaners and we don't use air fresheners).

Any suggestions? Is there any medications (I am thinking of benedryl types) that vets prescribe for this kind of allergy?

feliciapetey

Post   » Mon May 07, 2007 1:26 pm


Someone with more knowledge will probably come along. You said you re replacing the timothy hay. Are you replacing it with more timothy or a differant kind?

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sus4rabbitsnpigs

Post   » Mon May 07, 2007 2:34 pm


Is there any discharge? Did the vet check his lungs?

URI is more common than allergies. You may want to look into fleece. KM's hay tends not to be as dusty.

moodysmom

Post   » Mon May 07, 2007 2:57 pm


The vet did check his lungs, which were clear. He has no nasal or eye discharge, and he is only sneezing occasionally.

We are planning on replacing a big, but older bail of timothy hay, but will probably go for smaller quantities this time. I have used KM's in the past. Good suggestion.

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Mum
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Mon May 07, 2007 9:37 pm


The vet did check his lungs, which were clear.
Did you get an xray of the lungs? You should do that so you can see his lungs and heart.

Allergies are rare.

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Mon May 07, 2007 9:41 pm


Please read:

http://www.guinealynx.info/heart.html

Our Bonita has similar signs. She still hoots on occasion and may have an asthma- or COPD-like condition as well, but the improvement in her health on heart medication has been dramatic:

http://www.guinealynx.info/forums/viewtopic.php?t=37131

"Allergies" per se in guinea pigs are not at all common.

moodysmom

Post   » Tue May 08, 2007 4:56 pm


Moody just did a recheck. He had lost 20 grams! The doc seems to think it is allergies, but an x-ray did indicate a possible enlarged heart. He is on medication at this point for that - the enlarged heart with benedryl as a back up if that doesn't work. His lungs are beautiful!

Thanks for the help, especially Talishan. I will keep you posted.

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Tue May 08, 2007 6:46 pm


What heart med did you get, and at what dosage?

In my experience, Chlor-Trimeton (chlorpheniramine maleate only, no other added ingredients) works better than Benadryl. It lasts longer and doesn't cause the occasional weird side effect (excessive sleepiness, hyperactivity, nervousness) that Benadryl can.

1/2 to 1 mg every 12 hours (an off-label prescription given to me by one of our vets). I have given 0.55 mg once every day or two successfully (that is, nowhere near the max dose given by our vet). It's very drying and I wouldn't give much more than that, but it's effective. Check it with your vet.

You can dissolve a 4 mg tablet in 4 cc's of unflavored Pedialyte if you want to use it; that will give you a 1 mg/mL solution. The tablets dissolve well and the pigs seem to like the taste.

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Mum
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Wed May 09, 2007 12:43 am


but an x-ray did indicate a possible enlarged heart. He is on medication at this point for that - the enlarged heart
I'm glad you got this diagnosed and have medication. What meds are you using, and how much?

moodysmom

Post   » Fri May 11, 2007 2:38 am


Moody was doing better on the .08cc of Lasix twice daily. The first three days went really well. Unfortunately, he seems to be relapsing, and the dosage on the Benadryl seems really high ( 12.5 mg twice daily). I am going to double check it with the vet tomorrow before giving it to him. I am still really concerned. He has another follow up on Monday morning.

He is such a cute little pig and less than two years old. We are all very concerned about him.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Fri May 11, 2007 8:07 am


Sounds like you need more than just lasix to treat the heart problems. Did you read the heart page?

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Mum
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Fri May 11, 2007 9:20 am


Lasix will only remove any fluid from his lungs, it won't help anything else. If there's no fluid in the lungs or anywhere else then this pig has no need of lasix - and it won't help.

You do need to read the heart page and put the pig on lotensin twice daily:

http://www.guinealynx.info/heart.html

moodysmom

Post   » Fri May 11, 2007 10:46 am


Thanks. The vet wanted to do a trial run with lasix first (5 days). If after 3 days symptoms were not better, to add Benadryl. If it looked like it the lasix improved his condition, he will add the benazepril to prevent potassium loss among other things.

I am wondering though as the symptoms were intially better whether to put Moody on Bendadryl at all. And would you double check the dosage? I know that pigs metabolize things differently, but that seems huge (3/4 of a human tablet).

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Fri May 11, 2007 5:39 pm


Lasix and benazepril address different things. Benazepril can fix things Lasix can't. Ditto Mum; Lasix serves a definite, specific purpose -- removal of excess fluid. Benazepril, an ACE-inhibitor (it's a human med), beta blockers and calcium channel blockers work to support the heart's function in ways other than 'simply' (it's still important) reducing the workload from excess fluid.

You don't want to see if Lasix works, then add benazepril to support it, so to speak. They work together, differently, on different things. If there's no excess fluid present, Lasix won't help. But benazepril very well might.

Benadryl is generally well-tolerated in cavies, but the dose you were given is far higher than any I have seen here or had recommended by my vets.

http://www.guinealynx.info/forums/viewtopic.php?t=37522

"Excerpted from an email from my veterinarian to me:

'0.25 to 1 mg/lb body weight every 8 to 12 hours, so for a 2 lb cavy, you would give up to 2 mg dose. Children's benadryl liquid is 12.5 mg/5 ml (tsp), so without a calculator the top dose would be roughly 1 ml (or less of course).' "

moodysmom

Post   » Sat May 12, 2007 12:55 am


Thank you again. Yes, I do understand that lasix and benazephril are different. Just telling you what my vet indicated. He may have other reasons for the trial of lasix that I just didn't completely process in the explanation.

Thanks for the Benadryl check. That sounds more like what I might have expected.

I appreciate the help. It makes a little more sense to me.

Moody is doing well this evening.

HollyT
Get on your bike.

Post   » Sat May 12, 2007 1:00 am


Josephine, if you see this I am curious why many vets want to give lasix first and then an ace inhibitor when symptoms become more severe for the common animals (dogs). That seems to be protocal but I don't know why. Is that an older point of view maybe?

moodysmom

Post   » Sat May 12, 2007 5:36 pm


Actually, the vet's explanation seemed to make a lot of sense at the time. He is treating excess fluid on the heart - while Moody's heart appears slightly enlarged, it is sometimes difficult to be precise on this - hence the trial run with Lasix. Because the Lasix triggers water loss in the heart, the pig's physiological response may be to try to increase fluid intake, even though Lasix doesn't decrease overall water levels. This increased flluid intake could cause the pig to decrease his potassium levels to a dangerous level. The ACE inhibitors block this (or inhibit) this physiological response and help to keep the pig's potassium levels to a normal range. My understanding is that this is a long-term risk with Lasix, and so benazephril is commonly paired with Lasix.

As the vet wanted to see if the Lasix had a positive effect on Moody's symptoms, he was performing a trial with it. As it appears to be effective, he will add the benazephril to countermand any long-term negative side effects as described above.

That all seemed to make a lot of sense.

HollyT
Get on your bike.

Post   » Tue May 15, 2007 9:19 pm


The trial run should be with the ace inhibitor. I'm curious why lasix is used to treat heart problems first in many animals. Lasix only removes fluid backup.

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Tue May 15, 2007 10:14 pm


I am not a vet, nor vet tech, nor cardiologist, but I don't *think* any accumulated fluid is located in or near the heart itself. Fluid can and will build up in the lungs and extremities, but heart enlargement is from the heart muscle working too hard. Enlargement on x-ray is the enlarged heart itself, not a fluid-suffused heart.

" ... it is sometimes difficult to be precise on this ... "

Yeah, we've heard that before. Trial run of benazepril. Watch the difference it makes. You will be amazed.

The ACE inhibitor needs to be the trial -- the first med used in offering heart support, unless the pig's lungs in particular are suffused with fluid.

Pinta? Josephine? Am I right or off-base here?

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Tue May 15, 2007 11:40 pm


There is a term for fluid around the heart:

Pericardial effusion -- excess fluid within the pericardium (the fibrous sac that surrounds the heart)

So it is not only the lungs and extremities that can have a fluid buildup.

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