Noddy's sick. Aerococcus. Please help

Hilary Holmes

Post   » Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:23 am

Talishan, thank you for that. Noddy has never had a blood test to confirm his renal failure, as there is no-one even vaguely local who is able to take blood. However, every recent urinalysis has shown an increasing amount of protein. There has never been any blood, frank, or occult, suggestive of infection, although there has occasionally been a few leucocytes. The protein, along with a low specific gravity, and increasing amount of urine, has led us to conclude his kidneys are failing. So, I guess I'm as certain as I can be, that is the case. He also has shown a signifcant amount of urobilinogen in his urine, so we suspect a degree of liver failure, too. Would you agree?

I don't think he's in agony, just uncomfortable. He's very quiet, doesn't run around much at all, and is quite "fluffed up" at times. But I just can't be certain, knowing how they hide things.

That said, I agree absolutely with you, that I would much rather he had a little extra pain relief, and was comfortable, than to spend his last few days or weeks in pain. I've ben giving 0.6ml Metacam (0.5mg/ml). Would you give more? I've also got a very limited supply of Rimadyl, and some prednisolone.

Hilary Holmes

Post   » Mon Jan 02, 2012 1:34 pm

Further to my recent post, Noddy has just done a BIG wee, so I havebeen able to test it fresh. It showed
pH 8.5
SG 1.005
Gluc -ve
Ket -ve
Leu trace
Nit trace
Prot ++++
Urob 8mg/dL

I think that kind of confirms my concerns about his liver and kidneys, doesn't it?

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Post   » Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:42 pm

I understand the PH, protein and Urob but what does the rest mean Hilary? Presumably no diabetes issues (glucose/ketone -ve)...

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Post   » Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:30 am

"I've ben giving 0.6ml Metacam (0.5mg/ml). Would you give more? I've also got a very limited supply of Rimadyl, and some prednisolone."

Yes. 0.6 mL of a 0.5 mg/mL suspension = 0.3 mg of active ingredient. That is very, very little.

I have gone up to 0.3 mL of a 1.5 mg/mL suspension *twice* a day (not for very long) on occasion; that is, 0.45 mg of active ingredient twice a day = 0.9 mg daily. This was for a pig of a little over a kilo. I didn't do this for more than 2 to 2 1/2 days at a time. Kansas State University has gone up to over 1 mL of the 1.5 mg/mL suspension long-term with no apparent ill effect. Others will vehemently say that is way too much.

The above is simply my experience. It helped the pig greatly to no *apparent* ill effect. I say apparent because while the pig showed no sign of a negative effect, we never took blood on him either.

You can SUBSTITUTE Rimadyl for Metacam; do NOT give them concurrently. If it were me I'd hang on to the pred for later use if necessary. Do NOT give pred concurrently with EITHER NSAID.

Hilary Holmes

Post   » Tue Jan 03, 2012 4:07 am

BamBam, yes, you're right, no diabetes, Bil is bilirubin, whichis usually present if there are liver problems, as is Uro - urobilinogen. Leu is leucocytes, which are a type of white cell, increased if there is infection present, and nit - nitrates, which are also usually increased if there is infection present.

Talishan, thanks as ever, for your helpful advice. (I hadn't noticed the spelling mistake previously, despite reading through twice before submitting!) He is due another dose of metacam tonight, but I think I'll give him another 0.6ml now, to try and ensure he's comfortable. I'm seeing the vet tonight, so hopefully she may have some other weapons inher armoury. Will also check the doses in the medicines pages here.
Thanks again. It's nice to know people out there are keeping an eye on what's happening with the old boy!

Hilary Holmes

Post   » Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:22 am

So we went to see the vet last night, who agreed Noddy's liver and kidneys are in pretty bad shape, based on the urinalysis results.

We agreed there is not much more that can be done, other than lots of TLC, extra fluids and CC. She actually said it's a case of quality versus quantity.

We discussed pain relief, and she agreed we should swap from meloxicam (Metacam) to carprofen (Rimadyl). Apparently, research has shown that after a period on one NSAID the body's response may not be as good as it was initially, so it can be helpful to use an alternative. I gave him his first dose last night, and I have to say that he does seem a bit brighter this morning, and is currently munching on some hay. Here's hoping it keeps him comfortable for a bit longer.

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Post   » Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:22 am

I have had far better success with Rimadyl in long-term use and Metacam in short-term (i.e., postop) use. Others have had the reverse experience. Whatever works for Noddy and you.

Hilary Holmes

Post   » Wed Jan 11, 2012 2:15 pm

Talishan, Thanks for that. We've got him on 5mg, which the vet said is the maximum for his weight. It seems to be suiting him and controlling his pain, although I think not completely. Still, in my experience, analgesia doesn't always take the pain away completely, but it does make it more tolerable. He isn't sitting in the corner all fluffed up, which reassures me. And when they are having floor time, he can move like a bomb, especially when MaggieMae is chasing him.

Which brings me to my next question. MaggieMae is almost constantly jumping on his back. What's going on? Is it a dominance thing? Or is she doing it for reassurance? Other times she will be very sweet and submissive, lying by his side, or licking his eyes. He's getting fed up with it and rumbles and snaps at her. Do I need to be concerned?

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Post   » Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:38 pm

I would try to assess his stress levels. If he is having a very very difficult time, maybe give him some space of his own?

Hilary Holmes

Post   » Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:11 am

Thanks Lynx. I don't know why I didn't think of that! I will certainly give it a try.

Hilary Holmes

Post   » Sun Jan 15, 2012 4:26 pm

Noddy isn't doing very well. He has been increasingly difficult to syringe feed, refusing it and having to literally be force fed. I fed him before I went to work and he seemed quite bright and alert.

I came home from work, having been out only about 8 hours, to find him flat on the floor of the cage. I tried to make him move and he just stayed where he was. I picked him up, and he was completely floppy, and just hung from my hands. His breathing was very shallow.

I've had him on my knee and managed to get about 4mls CC and the same of water down him. He seems to have great difficulty lifting his head, and moving around. His legs seem very unco-ordinated. I wondered if he was dehydrated. He has perked up a wee bit since then, and has eaten some hay, but he has barely moved from where I put him down.

He doesn't appear to be in pain and isn't all fluffed up, as he has been recently. I haven't given him his carprofen tonight. I just don't know what's going on. It's almost like he's had a stroke. Am I missing anything? Is there any more I could/should be doing?

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Post   » Mon Jan 16, 2012 1:33 am

When this has happened to us -- take good care of him. Do what you can but pay attention to him, hold him, let him know he is loved. Clean his cage and put lots of good hay all around him.

If it is time, it is time. If it's not, he will respond to meds, food and water. Can he chew/is he chewing when you force the issue?

We are with him and with you.

Hilary Holmes

Post   » Fri Jan 20, 2012 3:38 pm

Talishan, Thanks as ever for your helpful advice and support.

Noddy is still holding his own, he is eating, not drinking much, but then he never did drink a lot - I think he gets a lot of his fluid from the veg that I give them. He will take a limited amount from a syringe, though. I am giving him CC, but again, he lets me know in no uncertain terms when he's had enough, and at this stage, I don't think it's worth distressing him and forcing down a couple more mls, just for the sake of it. It won't alter the inevitable outcome. I'm weighing twice wekly, and his weight is dwindling down, but not terribly quickly.
When I put him and Magggie on the floor this evening, he seemed to have great difficulty moving, and his right front foot seemed to have a mind of its' own. I noticed last night whilst he was on my knee that he appeared to be holding that foot in a strange position and have less control over it. I wondered on Sunday night if he'd had a stroke, and I'm now becoming increasingly concerned that he may have done.
What do you folks think?

You can quote me

Post   » Tue Jan 24, 2012 1:18 am

Entirely possible. We've had at least one and maybe more that have had what I'll call mini-strokes, similar to a TIA in a human.

I don't think it's as debilitating to them as it is to us (at least I hope not). One of the pigs would slowly recover over a day or two and be fine until the next one.

Keep him in a quiet place, no bright lights and frenetic activity if possible. He may recover slowly over the course of the next few days.

Does he seem in pain?

Hilary Holmes

Post   » Tue Jan 24, 2012 8:39 am

Thanks again for your support Talishan. I've seen no improvement in his leg for several days now, and although he seems to be coping with it, moving around is clearly more difficult for him. I'm keeping him warm and making sure his vegs and hay, as well as water are within in his reach, so he doesn't have to move too far to get stuff. Am also trying to make sure he moves a bit, as I don't want him getting pressure sores. I had that happen to another pig who had been hospitalised and came home with hideous sores (which I managed to get healed).

You ask if he is in pain. The answer is, I simply don't know. He's now on 5mg rimadyl daily, but I can't convince myself one way or the other. Some of the time he's all fluffed up and looks miserable, other times, he doesn't look too bad. He does have pain at times, because on occasions, when I've picked him up, he's cried. Which breaks my heart.

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Post   » Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:28 am

You're doing all the right things. Carry on. My best to him and to you.

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Supporter in 2014

Post   » Wed Jan 25, 2012 3:32 am

Ditto to Talishan! You're a great guinea mommy. Noddy is lucky to have someone who cares as much as you do.

Hilary Holmes

Post   » Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:54 am

Thank you guys for your support. It means a lot. I'm sure you know just how much, because I'm sure you've been in similar situations.
I'm still really concerned about Noddy's right leg which doesn't seem to be improving. I took him to my usual vet, but unfortunately, neither of the senior vets, who we usually see, was available. These vets have digital X-ray machines, whereas the more cavy savvy vets locally don't, so it was a bit of toss up where to go.
In the end the vet decided the problem appears to be coming from his elbow, and he certainly cried, a lot, when she examined him. He moved around a little, but he's not holding his head up properly, so moving is difficult. She didn't know what was the cause of the problem, didn't feel an X-ray was warranted, because it wouldn't change his management, and didn't want to give him any other pain relief.
She also said she feels it's getting near the time to have him pts. It's the hardest decision, and I just don't know what to do. Part of me thinks it nearly time, another part feels he hasn't quite got to that stage, and another just wants Mother Nature to do her stuff.
I've been nursing him on my knee and he settles down for a little while, and then starts sort of twitching. Some of it is a bit like when he rumbles, but others make me wonder if he's geting some kind of spasm. At the moment he's back in his cage with MaggieMae, and he appears quite settled and comfortable. He's made himself a nest in the bedding, and looks quite cosy.
So, it feels like that vet visit was a real waste of time and money, and I really feel I've failed Noddy. It's just so sad to see him in such a state. With all the others I've known when the time was right, whereas with Noddy, I just don't know what is the right thing to do.

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Supporter in 2014

Post   » Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:14 am

Is he still eating okay?

I hate it when we have to make the decision, and I count myself very fortunate to have only done it once. You'll know when it's time, and I'm sure Noddy will let you know too.

Enjoy your time with him, and give him lots of lovings.

I'm sorry you're having such a tough time.

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Post   » Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:46 am

I really feel I've failed Noddy

I know that you don't need me to say this - but you have far (very far) from failed him.

Horrid, horrid time for all three of you.


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