URI - Sneezing/Wheezing - Dandelion & Burr (first pigs)

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Post   » Sat Jul 25, 2015 2:20 pm

I hope things go well, including anesthesia! Glad you found a vet you are more comfortable with.


Post   » Sat Jul 25, 2015 3:20 pm

Dr. Follet is the vet we see at Brook-falls, but she is often busy.

Can I ask you what exotic vet practice you are going to? Brook-falls is too much of a drive, especially in an emergency situation, so that is why I asked.

You can quote me

Post   » Sat Jul 25, 2015 4:26 pm

Sounds like a plan. Keep us posted.

Do mention the severe URI he had as a baby (if you haven't already). It sounds like they know what they're doing.

Your planning and scheduling are excellent. You're doing everything right.

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Post   » Tue Aug 04, 2015 10:40 pm

I was worried sick - but Burr had his surgery today and he made it through just fine. The vet tech texted me a picture of him in his recovery cage, and he had a little stuffed bunny next to him. Dr. Follett did a great job. (Crazy4Me, she is often busy! I haven't found another practice that I felt was comparable to Brook Falls)

I picked him up at 3:00PM CST (it is now 9:00PM CST). He's in a small pet store cage set-up near by bed. He's not moving much at all.

My biggest concern is that he has not pooped since I brought him home.

I gave him the prescribed dosage of 0.2 CC of the 1.5MG of Meloxicam for pain at 6:00PM when I noticed he handn't moved much.

What should I do? Why isn't he pooping?

I decided to mix up 1 tsp of Critical Care, and fill a mug of water. I was able to syringe feed him about two 2.5 CCs of water, and he ate about half the critical care off the spoon himself.

When I picked him up his booty was wet with urine and he sort of peed on me. It smelled like poop, but was otherwise totally clean.

He had two masses removed today - one from his back and one from the right hind leg fairly close to his testicles.

EDIT: My plan is to try to offer water every 15 minutes or so. and keep an eye on him.

He looks so uncomfortable :(


Post   » Tue Aug 04, 2015 11:07 pm

Jade, he might not be pooping because he had anesthesia. In humans it takes some time to get the intestines awake and working, so it might be somewhat the same for pigs.

I think you are doing everything right by supplementing with Critical Care and water. I would think having something in his belly would get things moving along soon.

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LS in AK
Upside-down & Backwards

Post   » Wed Aug 05, 2015 3:57 am

Yes, hand-feed as aggressively as is reasonable given he is a post-op pig and probably shouldn't be handled more than necessary for the next few days. Offer unflavored Pedialtye rather than water if it is available. And call and request some metoclopramide in the morning (unless you already have some on hand?) if there still isn't any output and/or it looks like his gut isn't moving yet. Surgery can lead to stasis pretty easily IME (although a delay in output after surgery seems pretty normal).

And here is the link to the important post-op page, in case you have not read and reread it a bazillion times yet:

Also, was wondering whether you knew if Burr was intubated (successfully or not) for the surgery?

Hope he is back up on all 4 paws ASAP!

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Post   » Wed Aug 05, 2015 4:26 am

JadeMagpie says when she picks him up there is some liquidy discharge that gets on her hand a little bit and smells like diarrhea.

He is all puffy and shuddering with pain, have been giving critical care and water, not sure if we should feed more?

We are going to the vet first thing in the morning as soon as it opens.

Should we put him on a vibrating pillow?

It looks like bloat.

He no longer wants to eat.

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LS in AK
Upside-down & Backwards

Post   » Wed Aug 05, 2015 5:04 am

Shoot. That does not sound good.

I would still try and feed him as much as he will take - maybe try offering the syringe every hour or two through the night. If you suspect bloat, then focus on the fluids and thin out the CC as much as you can without making it too much of a choking hazard.

Yes, vet ASAP. Ask for metoclopramide (Reglan) and Tramadol. He may need something to kick start his gut, get the bloating down, and a stronger pain killer than the Metacam.

If you have some infant gas drops (simethicone) on hand, then you can administer some of that. But I would hold off on the vibrating pillow, considering one of the surgical incisions is in his groin area.

Here is the link for simethicone dosages:

Several of my pigs have come home from surgery all puffed up and shuddering rhythmically. Frankly, I think it may be a sign of shock as their bodies react and try to adjust to the surgery. It should subside and be gone by morning. In the meantime, keep him warm. Maybe even gently burrito wrap and hold him for awhile and see if that does not help.

ETA: I just had a thought. Considering vet visits are so traumatic for these little animals, and Burr's condition may actually be exacerbated by a return trip so soon after surgery, I would try calling and talking to the vet who did the surgery and requesting needed meds by phone first.

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Post   » Wed Aug 05, 2015 7:24 am

He has now pooped twice. Which is better than nothing. Left a message at the vet, he seems to be in pain, belly is really firm and puffed out/distended. Hopefully the vet can offer us a drop-off service until he gets better.

We have been waking up every 15-30 minutes to check on him, he is drinking some on his own but doesn't seem to like the pedialyte. Should we dilute it with water?

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Post   » Wed Aug 05, 2015 11:20 am


He started pooping a little bit before we headed to our vet appointment at 9:30, where he then started pooping a lot more. The poops are still a little misshapen but the vet checked/palpitated his stomach and said she didn't feel any bloat and could feel stool forming (? is this possible? idk).

She gave us a motility drug - cisapride. Our instructions are to just keep watching him and making sure he keeps eating and pooping.

Looks like we might be in the clear. :)

She didn't even charge us for the office visit! Just the medication.

JadeMagpie said she may take pictures later of the incision sites and add them to the post.

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Post   » Wed Aug 05, 2015 11:25 am

This does sound like an emergency. I hope something that helps the bloat can be done soon. I am sorry he is having this reaction.


Edit - I posted before you updated. Sounds encouraging! So glad you are on top of this and will do all you can to help him recover well. What pain medication is he on again?

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Post   » Wed Aug 05, 2015 1:27 pm

Hi all. Thanks to Chompzie for updating while I was focused on Burr through the night.

We visited the vet at 9:30AM - by this time he had begun to produce droppings. At the vet, he pooped a lot (probably 3X what was in his cage prior to leaving for the vet)

EATING & Force Feeding/Critical Care
  • - 15 CC between midnight and 3:00AM last night
    - 6 CC today at 10:40 (he would not eat more than that)
    - I plan to try for 10-15 today at 3:00PM
    - He started munching on hay right away when I put in him the cage, then buried himself in the pile and is either sleeping, hiding, or being uncomfortable and grumpy (or all three).
  • - Was drinking from the water bottle on and off all night, until 4AM when he stopped
    - Is not currently drinking on his own
    - Vet gave subcue (sp?) fluids at visit 9:30AM
    - Gave maybe 2-3CC Pedialyte at home at 11AM - he won't drink it right now.
    - Am going to offer more fluids before I leave for an appointment and again at 3:00pm. Hoping he'll start using his water bottle now that he's being left alone in his cage.
  • Pain: 0.2 CC of Meloxicam 1.5MG for pain once ever 12 hours max. Dosed yesterday 6:00PM CST & this morning 6:00 AM CST.
    GI stasis: 0.25 CC of Cisapride 2MG/ML (I think - says 10MG Compound on the bottom, but also 8ML Rasp flavor and 2ML water next to the 2MG/ML measurement)
    Old meds I'm also giving by vet's permission - a topical AB cream on incision site, and one does of Benebac daily.
Current Condition
  • - He's pooping now. Seems a bit strained, he squeaked once when he did. Might be due to incision near his rear end causing pain?
    - Poops are malformed, sometimes pea sized, sometimes fairly long.
    - His tummy is not nearly as stiff or distended
    - He is still puffy and lethargic. Looks more like he's scared and uncomfortable than tired. He enjoys little face massages and nose scratches, he'll sometimes eat a bit or relax his body when I do this for him.
    - He is a bit more mobile now; he cleaned himself off when I placed him back in the cage at 11:20.
Here's Burr half-heartedly munching on an Oxbow veggie treat from the vet.

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Post   » Wed Aug 05, 2015 2:21 pm

Sounds very encouraging. I would also review info on managing pain post op that Talishan has provided.


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Post   » Wed Aug 05, 2015 5:14 pm

Lynx and others - do you think I should ask my vet for a narcotic painkiller? To me, Burr definitely looks like he is in constant pain, especially for the few hours before he's going to get his next dose of Meloxicam (which the internet tells me is an NSAID)?

How chipper/mobile should I expect him to be? Right now he's almost completely immobile, just a furry ball sitting uncomfortably in one place for hours at a time.

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Post   » Wed Aug 05, 2015 8:12 pm

He's regained a lot of energy - and that means he is fighting the heck out of me when it comes to eating.

I feel like I am holding him firmly, but he is so squirmy and strong and bites hard, and head-butts and just resists. If I loosen my grip for a second he tries to run away. He wiggles out of burritos. He clamps his mouth shut. He decides to stop chewing and just let it drip out of his mouth.

He will eat a little food his own - he ate about 2/3ds of a large leaf of green leaf lettuce, and it sounds like he is munching on his hay. He ate maybe 3-4 pellets earlier with his buddy Dandelion.

All together, I got maybe 6CC of critical care into him today. Yesterday he ate it off the spoon. Today he wants nothing to do with it.

Tried spinach, apple, pear, and carrot baby food. No dice. Tried making the CC thick. Tried it thin. No dice. I'm so frustrated. I am not sure since he's eating sort-of if I should get someone to help me and really just super-force feed him, or if I should let him be and hope his appetite keeps increasing?

I haven't slept more than three hours straight since Monday night.

I just gave pain meds, I'll try again in a couple hours. I feel defeated.

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Supporter in '13

Post   » Wed Aug 05, 2015 11:07 pm

Hang in there. Force feeding can be very tiring especially when your pig is not cooperating. However, remember that your force feeding is helping your pig stay alive.

It's encouraging that that he is eating a little on his own.
For the CC, if he does not want to eat off a spoon, could you spread a little over something that he likes. I am feeding CC mash to my girl twice a day and she'll eat only 1/2 of the mash on her own. The remainder, I thinly spread over bits of cherry tomato (all seeds have been removed) or on very small thin slices of cucumber. Both are her faves and she'll eat the CC mash this way.

It does take some time as only very tiny amounts of CC mash can be spread on the vegetable (like jam). Any thicker (which would speed things up) and she'll manage to eat the vegetable slice and drop the CC on the floor.

Hope this helps. Fighting you does seem to indicate that he's feeling better as well though.

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Post   » Thu Aug 06, 2015 1:25 pm

I know that I am supposed to keep Burr isolated from his cagemate after surgery - the vet said 1 week minimum - but I chose to take a risk and add Dandelion to Burr's hospital cage.

Last night Burr was in bad shape. He wouldn't move, aggressively refused to eat, was puffy and lethargic and overall just miserable.

I put Dandelion in the cage, and Burr got up greeted him with his customary rumble. Since then - Burr made significant improvement.

The "hospital cage" is literally on my bed (the side I don't sleep on butts against a big dresser, so the cage is secure from falling. I was able to monitor them all night long, move the water bottle to whatever side of the cage Burr was on, and hand-feed pellets (which Burr seems to like).

Burr is MUCH more mobile now that his friend is with him. Dandelion basically sleeps and eats and sometimes sniffs Burr. Dandelion's eating seems to make Burr think about eating more often, and Dandelion's excitement for food seems to stimulate Burr a bit. Dandelion is a super laid back, sweet, snuggly pig.

I did some office work this morning and when I checked on them just a few minutes ago, Burr was sitting alert in the middle of his cage (instead of in the corner), munching on hay.

With Dandelion in the cage, I've noticed:
- Burr has returned to "talking" (he's a talkative pig) and makes both his annoyed squeals and his contented/curious clucks now
- Burr's posture is better - he's way more alert
- Burr moves around the cage
- Increase in drinking water on his own
- Interest in all kinds of veggies
- Eating some hay on his own

We aren't out of the woods yet - who knows what could happen. I'm keeping a close eye on them - but this is by far the most "normal" Burr has seemed since returning from the vet.

Just an ASIDE - Burr has always "called out" with a special high-pitched wheek whenever I would remove Dandelion from the cage for solo-cuddles. The same kind of call baby pigs make when you separate them from their mother (I know because I fostered a pregnant piggy for the humane society once a few years ago). Burr and Dandelion cuddle sometimes, and always sleep near one another. Burr is also a very social piggy - he's super attached to me. He's not cuddly or very friendly, but when we are at the Vet or he's scared, he does a bee-line for my arms and is only content if he's cradled in my arms against my chest. I think he just really needs constant company.

EDIT: I am giving up on critical care for now - even when thinly spread on veggies, he will refuse to eat that veggie entirely. I have no idea why he is being so picky. He also hates all the baby food AND the pie filling.

I am weighing regularly and if it doesn't hold steady I'll get aggressive or take him back to the vet. I AM being super active about offering food and water and hand-feeding. I'm home all week so I'm able to watch him closely for small changes.
Last edited by JadeMagpie on Thu Aug 06, 2015 1:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post   » Thu Aug 06, 2015 1:28 pm

Sounds like putting them together was the right thing to do. Primarily you want to avoid TOO much activity as it can increase the chance of adhesions in more invasive surgeries.

Sounds like they are really pals.

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Post   » Thu Aug 06, 2015 4:26 pm

Friendship really is the best medicine. It's 3:00PM and burr is currently chowing down on a bowl of pellets and drinking water between each bite. Lots of breaks for hay munching.

He's alert, his eyes are bright and sassy, and he's up and active. When he naps, he lies down all comfy-like and rests his head too, no more hunched-up ball!

It's pretty dark in there or else I'd snap a picture. Anyway, I'll only post again if we start losing progress. I think from here on out we'll be OK. Fingers crossed!


Post   » Thu Aug 06, 2015 10:00 pm

So glad to hear that things are improving; it has got to be on-ward and up-ward from here!!

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