Sorry for all of the questions, and thankyou for your help.
I have also noticed what looks like 2 poops joined together in a line sort of thing. Is this anything to worry about?
Is a vet visit in order?
Katt suggested something (cant remember it now) but it is the equavalent of ventolin. Do you know the name? I will ask the vet about that and also I will strongly urge her to take a x-ray.
If this does turn out to be an URI, it will be the third one she has had since I got her in May. This leads me to believe that she does have a heart problem, or something more serious.
I will weigh them tonight and see if she has lost weight, but otherwise all 4 girls have appeared normal.
I have called the vet and said that I need to get an appointment asap and that I thought a trial of heart meds were necessary after explaining her condition. I couldnt actually talk to the vet, although the receptionist realised that it was serious and is going to call me back.
I want you to know that I am trying my best and will always do my best. I hold my girls close to my heart and it would be awful if I were to loose them. The fact that Buttercup may be a heart pig is so scary, and I feel so awful as I know that we do not have the best of vets here (and it seems that the exotic vet is all about money). Anyway, enough of me rambling. I will keep you all updated. Your thoughts and opinions are needed and welcomed.
- Let Sleeping Pigs Lie
"Katt suggested something (cant remember it now) but it is the equavalent of ventolin"
Could she have been referring to Pimobendan (Vetmedin)?
Webs posted a great cross-reference of US/UK heart medicines, with trade names:
I still havent heard from the vet, I am about to try again. The more I think about the more I become convinced it is heart problems. Her symptoms so far
- 2 URIs
- Quite happly will lie on her back (not sure if this is a symptom or not)
The vet managed to squish us in last – when she should be packing up – so that was nice of her. We actually saw a different vet this time round and she was far better. We both got along better and I didn’t get the impression that it was all about money like I did with the other vet. She also was much more thorough and didn’t hurry as through.
Now during the consultation Buttercup didn’t show any symptoms, so the vet at this point in time really did not want to do anything. We did discuss a couple of different things though.
Firstly we discussed Buttercups tiny nasal passages (far smaller than your average pig), and that possibly things could get up but not out resulting in infections.
She went on to say that one guinea pig – much like Buttercup – had re-occuring respiratory infections and in the end they took a biopsy of the pigs lungs. They traced it back to the owners not washing the pigs veggies. The pig breathed up the small bugs/micro organisms on the unwashed veggies and this resulted in the re-occuring infections. But as I wash their veggies this was ruled out.
As Buttercups nasal passages are so small we agreed that we needed to keep her environment as clean and dust free as possible. So swapping to towels was a great decision even though a bit of a hassle. I only use vinegar with their towels so the possibility of washing powder/detergent causing problems was ruled out.
We also talked about how pigs have small pockets next to their nasal area and that a possibility as to why she was wheezing yesterday was that a piece of cartilage was covering half of this pocket. I didn’t think this was so as it would mean that she would be wheezing all the time and she currently isn’t.
She also said some pigs are prone to infections and that if Buttercup was to get something wrong she may immediately get a respiratory infection. That doesn’t make sense does it? I will use me as an example. I am prone to sinusitis. So if I get a simple cold it will lead into sinusitis. Last week I had the flu, this week I have sinusitis.
I then brought up that one of my fears was heart problems, and that a possibility is that after lying down the fluid builds up in her lungs resulting in the wheezing. She said that this was a possibility but didn’t really want to put her on anything as she wasn’t presenting any classic symptoms and seemed fine in every other aspect at the moment. She said that this was something to monitor and come back to later on if anything came back.
We then talked about what to do next if either the discharge or the wheezing came back. She said in both instances to bring her straight back. If the discharge came back they would do a swab and find out which exact antibiotic to treat it with. If the wheezing came back then we talked about a couple of different treatments. One being a Ventolin of some sort, she explained the different medicines and stuff they can mix together for each certain pig. The other was a vaporiser – again you put something in it (cant remember what she called it). If neither of these worked then she thought the next step would be to look into heart problems.
She gave Buttercup a thorough look over, and felt everywhere, particularly her ovaries (which Buttercup hated). I chatted to her and found out that she would be working more often now and that I could come back to see her instead of the other Dr if I preferred. I said yes.
Afterwards, as I was waiting for the payment to go through Buttercup decided to show her great disgust at the whole vet appointment and being separated from her sisters (at the vets wish) by peeing on me even though she had a mountain of oxbows hay and wet cos lettuce in her carrier (which I left in the car opting to hold her instead). Yes that’s right. She peed on me and my hands still stink of pig urine even after washing them several times.
My Mum was down, and came with me to the vet. She came down as she needed to get some shoes and this was what we had planned to do. So with pig in hand we went into the shoe shop near the vet. She caused quite a stir and everyone wanted to come up and pet her. Lapping up the attention, she ran around in circles in her cuddle cup! It was hilarious!
The only disappointing thing about the appointment was that she dismissed the heart problems so quickly. Although I do feel as if we have some sort of a plan.
More good news - at the weigh in yesterday Buttercup topped the kilo mark. So in pounds she is now about 2.22 pounds.
Is what I have done so far ok? Is there anything else I can do to help with comfort etc?
She is on towels (like the rest of the girls) and is chowing down on some veggies.
It turns out Buttercup has bumble foot. I have no idea how she got it, as she is not overweight and lives with her 3 pals in a 2.5x4.5 C&C cage on towels. The dr suggested that she jumped of one of the bricks, sort of pushing off and this resulted in a scratch and that she then went and stood in some poop. So until I am told further I have taken out the bricks.
I didnt realise how serious bumble foot was until today. She pressed on the toe hard and Buttercup pulled her foot away but didnt squeak - so this means that so far it hasnt gone to the bone.
Therefore the priority is to prevent the bumble foot to going to any other parts of her foot or worse - the bone. She gave me padding, sticky bandage and compression bandage and they go on in that order. Only her middle toe can be wrapped (as it would make her walking lame), so we have to find out a way to wrap her foot (any ideas and especially pictures are welcome). The wrapping will bring the swelling down or help it.
She is also on 0.2 mls of metacam 3 times a day, although I am wondering if it would be ok to put her on 0.3 mls twice a day? This is to help with the pain and to bring the inflammation down. She is on 0.62 mls of bactrim twice a day - which seems like an awful lot to me.
If by next week it is worse or the same she is going to have to have a x-ray (which costs $60 on top of the $200 I have spent since Tuesday). If it has spread to the bone her toe will need to be amputated. If it goes past her leg then is pretty much busted.
I will mention this to the vet when I talk to her next week.
I would also like to mention that it isnt like their environment isnt kept clean - I completley change their towels and litter box twice a day.
Also, it seems that alot of people soak bumble foot pigs feet. Buttercup doesnt actually have any open sores, just some crusting and swelling (the vet said her foot could get twice the size poor bub) in that toe. Do you think soaking would be helpful? If so, how often and could I just use betadine?