He was initially on metacam for the first two weeks (during which he stopped eating), with no improvement.
He was given a painkiller (mentioned in an earlier post), with no real improvement. Steroids I believe were given just before he was handed over, but not since.
How much metacam was Joey put on and his weight?
Did Joey exhibit similar symptoms as far as eating only with attention?
He was 2pounds 4 ounces and had dropped to 2 pounds before I could get it under control.
He was given metacam .05mls every 12 hours.
To be honest I think at that time he was emotionally depressed and that is what caused the problem. Joey is my most interactive and emotional baby. There were some changes in the guinea room right before he stopped eating.
It seems like your boy may also be depressed. The poor little guy probably can't understand why when he tries to run and walk his legs don't do what they are suppose to.
It may take him several months to completely readjust to his disability. Do you have a really gentle baby that you could try putting in with him at least some of the time? Having LilBilly with Joey did a world of good for both of them.
At least I don't have to needle stick the poor guy now, and he has done great at getting his mobility back.
He is still doing towel/cardboard/hair chewing behaviour, I am going to put him back on reglan for a couple days and see if it makes any difference.
I have come to realize that when my babies chew on things that are none food items it is because they are in pain or severely aggitated about something.
Poor Sweetpea even "power chews" on whatever is closest to her when her belly hurts her (pain) or at nail clippy time (aggitation). She bites directly up and down really fast. She will bite her own nails and yank on them if she can't bite on a towel or something)
I have also had several other babies that were ill also do the same thing just not as rapid fire as Sweetpea does it.
Timmay is not on any kind of pain med right now is he? Perhaps he really does need to be on something for awhile yet. I know I had severe burning pain for a period of time while my nerves were healing from a severe stretch injury. (also caused paralysis in one muscle and only partial return in two others) It took several weeks for the severe burning to stop and several months for the less intense burning to subside.
That is certainly the first thing I think of when I see inappropriate chewing, but after the injection of pain medication, he continued to chew inappropriately and not eat. There's not much more I can do for gut upset other than what I'm already doing.I have come to realize that when my babies chew on things that are none food items it is because they are in pain or severely aggitated about something.
Did I understand you correctly that he has begun to have some use of his back legs? If so that means his nerves have begun to reinvervate the muscles. This process can cause pain or tingling.
It also makes sense that he at first kept eating and then began to not eat if its from nerve pain. The injured nerves didn't start burning right away for me either. Only after they began to reinervate did I begin to feel the pain and tingling in the nerve itself.
I actually had more relief from a heating pad and a massager than the heavy pain killers they had me on! Perhaps it would be the same for Timmay. Try gently rubbing his sides (not directly on the spine) and the bigger part of his back legs with a vibrating massager set on low and a slightly warm heating pad. Be very careful that it isn't to warm obviously. It seemed to confuse the pain signal in the nerve and stop the burning for a while. He would need you to do this for him sever al times a day. It came back for me withing about an hour or two. Perhaps it will last longer for him or at least long enough he will feel up to eating by himself.
This will also help his muscles not to cause pain from becoming stiff. Are you doing PT with him to try prevent muscle atrophy? That would also be wise for when the nerve do finish reinervating. The more flexibility and muscle tone he has left when the nerve is able to completly feed the muscle the easier it will be for him to make a come back. If the nerve doesn't reinervate before the muscle completely atrophies sadly he will still be unable to use it. It will be to weak.
His doctor thinks it is gut upset, caused by a lack of sensation in the nerves of that area, which is why I mentioned that.Did I understand you correctly that he has begun to have some use of his back legs? If so that means his nerves have begun to reinvervate the muscles. This process can cause pain or tingling.
Interesting theory. I think that is a pretty plausible one. Last time I took him to the vet, he was starting to voluntarily move his feet when walking (more like crawling on his knees). Now he is bearing weight and being effective on them. He still has an odd gait, but is able to get around like any pig.
Interesting that painkillers are not effective for this. If I have time, I will try that therapy. Unfortunately, there's an excellent chance I will not have time, given that we'll be looking for an apartment 1 week before the boy's job starts.
Please note that he eats while sitting on or next to me, but sometimes needs encouragement to eat.
Today Timmay is eating in his cage a bit, so I will skip his afternoon feeding and weigh him tonight to see how he is doing. If there is *any way* possible for me to not take the pigs, it would be in their best interest. I am extremely concerned about the stress it would put on them to be shuffled to Seattle and back. I am worried that disturbing timmay at this critical time would be bad, but it is not possible for me to not go to Seattle. I feel similarly about breaking Timmay and Benjamin up, even temporarily.
I was doing range of motion therapy for Timmay up until my surgery, which is when he started walking again.
Nerve pain tends to respond better to things like neurontin than say even morphine in humans. I wouldn't dare ever try to give a guinea that class of meds! That is why I suggest the heating pad and vibrating massager for the nerve pain. Fortunately since Timmay isn't crying and crying I hope that means his his milder or is the tingling kind of pain.
I would think the PT would also help to stimulate him to eat. After all if we were imobile and not expending much energy just how hungry would we be?
I wish it were easier to tell in guinea pigs EXACTLY where all the nerve damage is. That would surely help to know for sure if the nerve signal for hunger was damaged or if it is from inactivity or pain.
At the last moment, I was able to have a neighbor take care of the pigs. I felt it was important not to disrupt their routine at such a crucial moment for Timmay. I got reports every day about his weight and he seems to be having normal fluctuations now and I think generally on the upswing.
Additionally, he is walking even better than when I left. He now holds himsef more normally.
Unfortunately, the adopter I had lined up for him wants only one pig and he is doing so well with Benjamin that I don't want to break them up at the moment. I expect all pigs to be migrated to our temp housing in Seattle, then our new apartment, once the movers get the stuff there.
Thanks for the support, folks. :)
I think Timmay would make a good companion for another lucky piggie. He did not totally work with George, who is one of those super dominants, but he gets along great with Benjamin (also dominant). If you like a vocal pig, this guy is for you!