Baxter's med thread

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zazzified

Post   » Sun Aug 16, 2009 9:07 pm


Ok, thank you, I will do that. I've read references to 10 day trials - is that appropriate to shoot for if I need to use some persuasion? Am I right in thinking that's the standard "trial" length?

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zazzified

Post   » Sun Aug 16, 2009 9:27 pm


Just did Baxter's second nightly weighing and he is exactly the same, to the gram, as he was last night. Phew!

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Sun Aug 16, 2009 10:22 pm


Phew.

"Or is lotinsen what treats the cause more and lasix treats a symptom?"

Exactly.

Ditto Bugs Mom -- but, especially if you are going to be seeing someone you haven't seen before, if it were me I wouldn't push too hard this first time. If you take Bugs Mom's approach and you see the hair going up on the back of the guy's head, drop back to starting with Lasix initially ... and then plan how you'll work on getting what you really need.

It's "okay" if Lasix is the "only" med ... for a little while. Lasix treats fluid in the lungs and around the heart, and does so very, very well. But why is the fluid there in the first place? Because the heart is not working quite as well as it should. So Lasix will not be the only med the animal should use permanently ... unless the vet just wants to use a permanent "bandaid". Unfortunately, that's exactly what a lot of vets will do. (And ironically, Lasix is somewhat harsher on their systems than benazepril is.)

Benazepril will treat the underlying cause. There is really no standard trial length. Some pigs can take up to a month to show improvement, so I'd use it for 30 days before deciding the pig will receive no benefit from it. However, our heart pigs have responded within days, one within *hours* of her first dose.

You may want to print out the "Request for heart pig stories" thread as well. If the Lasix helps him, the vet may very well say, "see, it helped him, he's okay now." Then you can say "but why does he need it in the first place?" and push for a trial of a relatively benign med.

With any luck at all, Bugs Mom's approach will work from the start.

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zazzified

Post   » Sun Aug 16, 2009 10:32 pm


Ok, thank you again. This is very helpful. I know SEAVS is respected around here and Stahl and Crum are both on the recommended vets list, so there's that! Hopefully it won't be too hard to get what Baxter needs. Since they understand guinea pigs, my hope is that they know better than to just shoot for a permanent bandaid... but if they do, at least now I'm armed with the information I need!

I will print that thread too, thank you for reminding me!

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zazzified

Post   » Mon Aug 17, 2009 9:26 am


Well, he's going in tomorrow at noon. He seemed ok this morning. I couldn't get him in with Dr. Stahl or Dr. Crum unless I was willing to leave him there all day, so I have an appointment with their new intern. He's already a veterinarian, but he's pursuing his internship in exotic animal medicine at SEAVS. He worked with exotic animals at a veterinary assistant before vet school. So we'll see. I figure as long as the other vets I trust are available for consult we'll be ok! Since he isn't performing surgery or anything. Makes me nervous but I need to cool it with the anxiety.

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Mon Aug 17, 2009 7:41 pm


If he's young, hopefully he will be open-minded to further learning on cardiac issues.

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zazzified

Post   » Mon Aug 17, 2009 9:21 pm


Yep, hopefully!

Baxter is down in weight by almost an ounce today, but he is still very much interested in food so right now I'm not going to worry too much since he already has an appointment for tomorrow. I'm going to weigh him twice tomorrow to get an idea of how much he is fluctuating.

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Brenda B

Post   » Tue Aug 18, 2009 12:13 am


Sierra fluctuates quite a bit. At first it scared me a lot but now I know her "routine" for lack of a better word. So try not to worry.

Sending good wishes for the appointment.

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zazzified

Post   » Tue Aug 18, 2009 12:29 pm


Baxter was back at his normal weight today, yay.

We are at the vet now. Teeth look good, yay Bax! Heart sounds normal but he is being xrayed right now so we will find out soon. Fingers crossed for a smooth return from anesthesia, it's his first time.

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Brenda B

Post   » Tue Aug 18, 2009 5:40 pm


Fingers crossed here!

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zazzified

Post   » Tue Aug 18, 2009 6:18 pm


Well, his heart looks normal! We also did bloodwork and I'll have the first half of the results today (though the vet hasn't called yet), and the other half in 3-4 days.

They said his lungs look a bit more opaque (I think) than normal but that he thinks it's the xray, not Baxter. His heart and lungs both sound fine.

Since Baxter hasn't hooted in a couple of days, is still interested in food, is maintaining his weight, and isn't going downhill in any way that I can see, we're basically in an alert mode to see how things go over the next couple of days. I am going to continue weighing him daily.

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Brenda B

Post   » Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:06 am


Is it possible for a pig to make a noise like that and not have heart issues?

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zazzified

Post   » Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:32 am


I don't know, mehhh. I need to call today because they never called me with the bloodwork results, and I'm going to ask the vet to have one of the other vets on staff give a second opinion on the xray. I have seen the xrays here with enlarged hearts, and Baxter's heart definitely didn't look like those, but I am particularly interested in the lungs.
Last edited by zazzified on Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Bugs Mom

Post   » Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:33 am


In my experience - Lady Bug's many x-rays and ultrasounds came back clear as did her blood work. It wasn't until she had been on the meds for a couple of months before her heart showed the enlargement on x-ray.

As bad as her breathing was LB didn't always hoot. Keep a very close watch on Baxter.

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zazzified

Post   » Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:34 am


Ok, thank you. Would you recommend that I insist on medication? Lotensin? I'm glad you weighed in on this. I assume I can't do lasix unless they decide they CAN see fluid in the lungs.

I think I may just call and ask to speak to one of the other vets directly and ask them to take a look at the xray, as opposed to asking the vet I already saw to consult with them. Might piss him off but that's not my problem.

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Bugs Mom

Post   » Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:38 am


I insisted and thankfully got meds. Go with your feelings and remember, no matter how good the vet is, you're the one who knows your piggy best.

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zazzified

Post   » Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:40 am


Thank you again for your help. Was Lady Bug put on both lasix and lotensin before her xrays showed enlargement?

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Bugs Mom

Post   » Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:43 am


Yes she was. Eventually she was on Pimobendan (Vetmedin) as well. If you want some frustrating reading you can read her med thread. It's "Very puzzled" under my name.

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zazzified

Post   » Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:51 am


Ok, I will find track it down. Ugh, I don't know what I would do without GL, I really don't.

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zazzified

Post   » Wed Aug 19, 2009 11:52 am


Ugh, I am so embarrassed! I'm on hold with the vet and I cried when the receptionist asked if I was unhappy with my visit yesterday. :( :( :(

Edit: Alright, I expressed my concerns and they are assembling the vets tomorrow morning to discuss Baxter's case and they will call me at 2 pm. I am still so embarrassed for crying when he's currently stable but at least it got me a sympathy vote and they agreed to reevaluate.

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