- For Pigs' Sake
I have 4 girls; Lily, Buttercup, Toffee and Rosie. Lily is a pet store pig, Buttercup and Toffee from separate breeders. Then when I recently found GPC and worked out the evils of breeders and pet stores I vowed never to support one again. As a result Rosie was a little girl I adopted from a young couple who had developed severe allergies as a result of the little bub. Lily is a tortoise shell and white, Buttercup a red eyed cream self, Toffee a Dutch rex, and Rosie a brindle Abby.
All girls have been progressively putting on weight and have all been treated with Oral Ivermectin. Toffee has had a mild fungal infection which has been treated and is all cleared up, she currently has an on-off mild clear discharge (started yesterday and another reason why I am seeing the vet today). Buttercup has had a fair few problems. The first was probably 5 months (give or take) ago. She was in pain when I touched her abdomen area and had what I thought was Ovarian Cysts. The vet ruled this out and gave her some Metacam for the pain and some Critical Care as a supplement for a week. Everything seemed to settle down (I can’t remember what the vet ended up saying it was though...) and we have had no troubles with her abdomen ever again. A while ago now, I noticed that she had a clear discharge. I took her to the vet, with the suspicion of an URI. The vet put her on Bactrim Oral Suspension (banana flavoured!) for a week or so. I noticed that within 4 days things seemed to be clearing up. However by the end of the week it was just as bad, the vet placed her on another course of Bactrim but it didn’t help. The vet did suggest a nose swab if things didn’t settle down after the second course of Bactrim however when I asked about it later on she said it was unnecessary (AARGH).
The nasal discharge is clear and smooth, and due to it her breathing sounds congested as she tries to breath through the discharge. I clean her nose several times a day. The only other suggestion is allergies.
The Breeders Pigs:
I remember now, there was one little piggy who had a horrible runny nose. He was housed with one other little boy, who had no medical problems. Buttercup is not related to him, so I don’t think it is relevant but may be of same use to you guys.
The vet I see is the only exotics vet in Western Australia as far as I am aware of. I have to travel a good 45 minutes to get there. She is very good and thorough.
What I need help with:
I am at my wits ends working this out. I feel so terrible for Buttercup and can only imagine how horrible this continuos discharge is. I am seeing the vet in 2 hours, and will be taking all 4 girls. Especially considering Toffee has an on-off discharge which only started recently.
I need suggestions as to what this may be and as to if there is anything in specific I should be asking the vet?
What are they bedded on? There is an outside chance the pig is sensitive to dusty bedding. Make sure hay (I hope they have hay) is free from mold.
She could try towels for a while and get a new source of hay.
Also possible there could be a yeast/fungal infection in the respiratory tract but I think I'd try an antibiotic first. For a possible yeast/fungal infection, I'd use some kind of oral medication (perhaps Program or Nystatin).
I took the girls to the vet again yesterday. She checked Buttercups mouth and looked at her nose. She noticed that Buttercups nostrils are quite a bit smaller than any of the other girls and believes that this is why she is finding it harder to breathe through the discharge than Toffee and perhaps why it looks worse. She was puzzled as to why Toffee and Buttercup have the discharge and Rosie and Lily dont, as a result of this she said it almost rules out allergies. She said it is highly likely that it is a mild infection however wouldnt put her back on antibiotics due to the fact that she didnt respond very well to them before. She recommended putting both girls (Toffee and Buttercup) on metacam to help settle down any inflamation.
I dont believe the vet is doing everything she can however I dont want to put her out of her place by suggesting or telling her something.
I am ringing the vet I take the dogs to today and will see if they have someone who specialises in exotics to get an opinion on the matter.
The only good thing that came out of seeing the vet yesterday was that I got the girls there first batch of Oxbow, and at $22 it is quite expensive. I plan on placing an order through the vet for a larger amount of pellets and perhaps hay.
- I GAVE, dammit!
I'd get a culture.. She was puzzled as to why Toffee and Buttercup have the discharge and Rosie and Lily dont, as a result of this she said it almost rules out allergies.
It's very hard to work with a vet who isn't open to suggestions. However, I do think that as the client you can gently, but firmly, suggest a reasonable course of action.
- For Pigs' Sake
Buttercup has taken a turn for the worse and now has a crust around one of her eyes. I booked an appointment with another vet who apparently treats guinea pigs yesterday for a second opinion. That appointment still stands. Should I bring it forward? Should I go back to the normal vet? Here are some piccies:
I took all 4 pigs to the vet, and both Toffee and Buttercup were placed on a 10 day course of Baytril, and prodexin (probiotic). After 2 days on the course the crust around Buttercups eye had cleared up, and each day the discharge improved.
All girls are now healthy (except I am treating them for mites, they seem to be itching quite alot so we will see what happens) and are living in their brand new 2x5 C&C cage eating Oxbow Cavy Cusine and Oxbow Timothy Hay.
I am going to ring the vet and book an appointment during my lunch break today. I am so worried, I do not want to loose them.
I am thinking that a trial of heart meds may be the way to go, but I dont know. I guess I am really looking for ideas, suggestions and support. I am so upset and distressed at the moment.
T'was a bit frustrating, Buttercup seemed alot better for the appointment but sneezed on the way home. Both girls are back on baytril.
I explained to the vet that re-occuring URIs are a sign of heart problems and that I was worried that this was the case. So he used the stethoscope and said that both girls had no heart murmurs and no fluid in their lungs. Now, correct me if I am wrong, but dont you have to be a exotic specialist with many years experience in guinea pigs to be able to detect a murmur/fluid in lungs using a stethoscope?
Now this guy is from the "normal" vet, he isnt the lady I saw last time and was the least bit helpful. I am very reluctant to go back to the exotic specialist as she refused to do anything unless the discharge changed, and as a result Buttercup got worse and worse. If I hadnt of taken her to the normal vet she would have died, I am sure. So I am really at a loss of what to do.
Actually, you need an xray to tell for sure. If the lungs have lots of fluid in them, you may hear nothing.
I have 2 choices that I can think of:
1) Wait to see how they are at the end of this course of antibiotics
2) Ring up the exotic vet and order her to do a x-ray, at the same time continuing with the baytril..
Which one do you think I should do? Or is there something else?
If you think there is any possibility there are heart problems, I would ask for an xray (maybe print that article and bring it along to the vet).
If you feel there is improvement on the antibiotics, I guess I would continue for the time being.
All girls had their 3rd round of ivomec last night, and Buttercup and Toffee had their first dose of Baytril. They have been on baytril before, with no ill effects, so I dont think they have an intolerance. Nevertheless I have been popping an acidophilous pill and sprinkling the contents on a couple of leafs of cos lettuce once a day.
I did make up a pellet mash with some baby food (pumpkin - they wouldnt eat it plain) but they werent really hungry.
I havent been able to get through to the exotic vet yet. But am going to try again now.
Toffees hair is really funny at the moment. In places the hair is really quite thin (on her neck) and is quite patchy. I dont know whether I should do another round of Ivermectin (it could be mites, as the heat could have stressed her bringing them on), or whether I should treat her for a fungal infection.
It looks nothing like the page on fungus on GL, just patchy loss of hair. Would treating her hurt? I am trying to find maleseb but dont know where to get it, any ideas (keep in mind I am from Australia)? I read somewhere that another way is to get her wet, then rub betadine in, what do you think?
Katt sent it to me awhile ago probably 5 months ago, and I have been keeping it in the "medicine box" with their food.
If it is possible for it to go off, I wont be able to get Ivermectin until I can get ahold of her, plus postage time. I can get Revolution easily though.
- I GAVE, dammit!
Revolution is fine and sometimes works better in severe cases of mites. Also it doesn't have to be used weekly.
Be sure, though, that you check the dosing information on this site - don't go by the instructions on the tube.
Edit to add:
Just looked at the packet I have for the dogs. Theirs is specifically for dogs between the weight of 5kg-10kgs, and comes in 120mg tubes. So I need to go and get another packet, probably the one for kittens.