Julius's Medical Thread

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iastate09
Supporter in '15

Post   » Sun Feb 24, 2008 6:30 pm


Hi all -

You may have heard me mention Julius's recent URI on "Lew's Eye" thread, but today he deserves his own thread.

Julius is a 3 1/2 year old (BD 9/04) American boar. (intact)

He was put on Baytril for a URI last Saturday (2/16). After a week of treatment, he was not improving, and was not getting worse. His weight was holding at 2 1/2 pounds.

Late Thursday night, I noticed a decrease in his appetite. He would still eat veggies but hid is his pigloo most of the rest of the time. I decided to watch him Friday morning and called the vet that afternoon. Of course, my vet left early that day, so they recommended I watch him over the weekend and call them Monday if he didn't improve.

Yesterday, I decided after much deliberation to skip his morning dose of Baytril to see if he would start eating if it was discontinued. Later yesterday, he seemed better - his sneezing had not gotten worse, and he was eating better than he had the last couple days.

This morning when I woke up, no Julius greeted me at the shake of the haybag, and when i pulled him out of the pigloo, he has discharge from one eye, and didn't look like he felt so good. He ate his morning veggies, and laid back down. His weight had dropped a little over two ounces since Thursday, so I called our weekend emergency clinic and took him in.

He is still there - they decided to keep him overnight in case he went downhill anymore. They put him back on a baytril/doxy combination to try and knock out the URI. These are both listed as safe ab's. He is currently in the oxygen chamber so he can breathe easier, and is on subcue fluids.

I just got a phone call from them, and they said he's doing fine, but they still are going to watch him overnight and have him checked out by his normal vet in the morning.

My only question is to double check on the safety of bayrtil and doxy used together, and asking for lots of paw-crossing and good thoughts for my boy. His brothers are missing him very much :(

*edited to add* He had lung x-rays last Tuesday and they came back normal - no pneumonia.

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SimplyRachael
Sweet boys!

Post   » Sun Feb 24, 2008 6:33 pm


It sounds like you're on top of things. I can't answer your question about baytril and doxy, but I can certainly keep you in my thoughts.

Feel better Julius!

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iastate09
Supporter in '15

Post   » Sun Feb 24, 2008 6:36 pm


Thanks - as you all know, being "on top of things" comes at a price. The boys and I may be living in a box soon. :)

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SimplyRachael
Sweet boys!

Post   » Sun Feb 24, 2008 7:23 pm


What vet did you end up working with near Ames?

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iastate09
Supporter in '15

Post   » Sun Feb 24, 2008 7:40 pm


I take them to Dr O'Brien at the college of Veterinary Medicine here at ISU. They are very reasonably priced, and more importantly they are very good and thorough with the piggie boys.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sun Feb 24, 2008 8:42 pm


I can say that sometimes antibiotics are used in combination. I think I've seen these two used in combination, also.

I wish him the best!

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iastate09
Supporter in '15

Post   » Sun Feb 24, 2008 8:49 pm


They just called me back - they said Julius is looking a little better, and they decreased the oxygen in his chamber.

They have him back on the Baytril, but aren't adding doxy until morning to see if he improves without it. They want his regular vet to make the call on ab combinations but are keeping a close eye on him overnight. He is in good hands, but I haven't been without him for a night in the last 3 years. *sigh*

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Mum
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Sun Feb 24, 2008 11:30 pm


The fact that oxygen helps him makes me very suspicious that he's a heart pig.

See if you can get the vets to give him a trial of lotensin.

Presumably you've had an xray of his heart and lungs?

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iastate09
Supporter in '15

Post   » Sun Feb 24, 2008 11:33 pm


Would him being a heart pig cause the wheezing and sneezing?

We don't know if it was actually the oxygen that helped him, or if it was the eye medication that made him feel better. He had chest xrays, and they said everything looked normal.

ETA: He has always been easy to keep weight on, and has always been quite active up to this point. Could this condition show up this suddenly?
Last edited by iastate09 on Sun Feb 24, 2008 11:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Mum
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Sun Feb 24, 2008 11:35 pm


Heart pigs are very susceptible to URIs and have a great deal of trouble shaking them off.

I've had a number of pigs come through the rescue with URIs, and every one of them turned out to have heart problems - although some were diagnosed later.

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iastate09
Supporter in '15

Post   » Sun Feb 24, 2008 11:41 pm


Hmmm.... is this something that can wait until morning when my normal vet calls me? How likely is she to give me lotensin?
Mum, what is the best ab to get them to shake the URI, in your opinion?

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iastate09
Supporter in '15

Post   » Mon Feb 25, 2008 12:10 am


Oh, one more thing (for now). Should his lung x-ray that we took show the heart condition (if he has one) or do i need to get some new pictures taken?

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Mum
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Mon Feb 25, 2008 12:11 am


Baytril/doxy combo (if the pig can tolerate baytril) is a really good combo. Be sure the doxy is dosed adequately at 5mg/kg (it's often underdosed and is not effective at less than this generally).

Can't say on the lotensin. Some vets will, some won't. Try and convince her of the importance of a trial and that heart pigs are very, very common. Print out the heart pages perhaps and show them to her:

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

Be sure you print out the case studies and information from the two vets.

Not all heart problems show up on xray. And most vets - in my experience - don't recognise enlarged hearts on xray. However, my pages all show pictures of diagnosed enlarged hearts.

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iastate09
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Post   » Mon Feb 25, 2008 12:17 am


Haha, i was just printing those pages!

Those symptoms do kind of sound like my Julius - he's always been a sneezer/wheezer, but has recently gotten worse. Sounds from those cases like prognosis is fairly good with meds.

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iastate09
Supporter in '15

Post   » Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:16 am


Ok, I got a call from my regular vet this morning. She told me Julius looks really pretty good, and is both eating and drinking. I'm hoping he's eating his normal amount, but they obvioiusly have nothing to compare to.

I did ask her about heart disease, and she said she had checked for it on his x-rays, but the heart was not enlarged, and there was no fluid retention in his lungs.
She said as of now, he seemed to be fine on Baytril and wants to continue that another week before adding anything, because she doesn't want to use more ab's than necessary.

I don't know what could have caused that little episode yesterday, but all I can come up with is the ab's could have originally made him not eat, and by taking him off the ab's I made his condition worse, causing yesterday to happen.

So my plan of action as of right now is to keep him on the Baytril for that extra week, and if his weight starts to decrease, hand feed him. After that week is up, I'll see how his weight/appetite does without the meds, and if he still isn't right, I'll take him in for another opinion.

(Yesterday they gave me a number for their referral in case I needed it - always good to have)

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iastate09
Supporter in '15

Post   » Thu Feb 28, 2008 10:01 am


Hello Again -

Julius got home from the vet on Monday night, and seemed alot better. He was eating and drinking normally, and from Sunday (2/24) when I took him in to Tuesday night (2/26) he had gone from 2# 5 oz, to 2# 6.5 oz. He is still on Baytril for the URI, but is still sneezing.

He has held his weight between 2# 6 oz and 2# 6.5 oz and is making perfect little poops. However, this morning he seems a little dumpy again - he came out of the pigloo when i shook the hay bag, and ate his parsley but left some lettuce. He ate some hay and has been drinking. It seems like every time he is on the ab's for 3-4 days he quits eating. I'm going to call my vet today or tomorrow, but was wondering if you guys had any insight first.

I'm still wondering about his "heart pig" status, wondering if that could be the cause of his problems - but I can't get my vet to prescribe me anything. :(

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iastate09
Supporter in '15

Post   » Thu Feb 28, 2008 1:09 pm


I called my vet, and she agreed to switch antibiotics. The problem is, I'm fairly sure she said she was going to switch him to trimethoprim sulfa.....which would be Bactrim correct?

My only concern with this is if he was already on Baytril, and that wasn't strong enough to get rid of the infection, will Bactrim really help? Isn't Baytril stronger that Bactrim, or is it just different?

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Thu Feb 28, 2008 3:34 pm


It depends on the bacteria. Bactrim is well tolerated and works quite effectively on urinary tract infections. Ideally you culture the bacteria so you know what works best.

Tracis
Let Sleeping Pigs Lie

Post   » Thu Feb 28, 2008 4:03 pm


Sending good thoughts for Julius!

"My only concern with this is if he was already on Baytril, and that wasn't strong enough to get rid of the infection, will Bactrim really help? Isn't Baytril stronger that Bactrim, or is it just different?"

For what it's worth: my Ginny developed a UTI while already on Baytril for a URI. Bactrim took care of the UTI. They do work differently.

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iastate09
Supporter in '15

Post   » Thu Feb 28, 2008 7:20 pm


Update: I took Julius in to a DIFFERENT vet (these guys must think I'm made of money!) because I wasn't satisfied with the conclusions of my last regular vet visit.

New x-rays were taken, showing fluid on Julius's Lungs and some around the heart area, it was hard to tell.
Diagnosis : Julius is indeed a heart pig! :(

The new vet, whom I was very impressed with, prescribed Lasix and Benazepril ( a heart med )

Hopefully this will do the trick....

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