Noddy is eating the newspaper which lines his cage, is there a reason for this, and is it harmful?
- Supporter in '10, '11, & '12
Noddy isn't old, is an indoor pig with absolutely everything a pig could need - most importantly a fantastic mum.
Is the bacterial infection a symptom rather than a cause? Would it cause such a dramatic loss of appetite?
Is his immune system compromised, making him susceptible to infection?
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I'd want a blood draw but NOT via vena cava. Is there anyone you can get to who will attempt a blood draw from a leg/hip vein?
Has Flagyl (metronidazole) been considered and/or given? It is not a true antibiotic but an antimicrobial and is generally well tolerated. It can get rid of certain bacteria but also protozoans, amoebae (sp?) and the like.
Eating the newspaper is fine, if it is printed with soy-based ink (most common everyday newspapers are nowdays). We had one with chronic GI problems who ate cardboard and paper regularly. It actually helps, pushing insoluble fiber through the system.
Agree with everything Talishan said :) And I'd like to throw in a recent experience with a kidney infection. I'm not sure if this causes weight loss (I caught it early), but any test that can be done if blood is taken is a good idea :)
Urinalysis showed nothing abnormal, swab of the penis discharge grew aerococcus viridans, treated with Baytril. He got bloat after 5 days, so that was stopped. He's had Septrin for a ?UTI (1 episode of haematuria), but nothing else systemic.
I'm cleaning his penis with dilute Chlorhexidine solution.
Again, I'm not going to subject him to vena cava stab, and I fear if I go back to the vet and ask for a blood test from a toenail they wouldn't do it, as they seemed to feel he was heading for the bridge. I'm not about to give up on him without a fight!
Thinking about it, I've not actually seen any caecal pellets from him for a while, and previously he's needed help to clear them. Is that what's causing the problem? MaggieMae gets to hers so quickly that she wouldn't part with any. I can only get a few of her "normal" poops.
BamBam has recommended a rodentologist who is not too far away, and she can at least look at his teeth without sedation, so I'm waiting for a call from her to go and see what she can offer.
Since an xray hasn't been taken and he had a little bit of blood in the urine at one point (does he still?), I wouldn't rule out stones. I've had 3 pigs with stones and they usually don't want to eat and lose weight cause it hurts to poop/pee. Or he could be trying to pass a stone that is lodged in his urethra. If it has scratched his urethra, there could be an infection there (Streptococcus or Staphylococcus) that could have been confused with A. viridans.
This is only my train of thought. Really trying to wrack my brain on this one!
I've spoken to the rodentologist this evening and she is going to see Noddy tomorrow. She's going to keep him in over the weekend, along with Maggie, to get a feel for how he is behaving.
His weight is still dropping at 10 - 15g a day, despite me hand feeding him, so all help is appreciated, and your information is really helpful, so thanks again for that.
I'll post a pic here of my Ginger's stone that was completely blocking her urethra (if it wasn't for the slight curve in it). It's extremely small and I can't imagine it could be felt but it was so big it was creating a 99% blockage! (sorry for the slight blurriness)
Edit: My vet had a very sick piggie in last year and called me and asked if one of my pigs could give a caecal sample. She described it as the pig needing a "fecal transplant" which is poop soup basically. That pig hasn't been back at the vet for serious problems so far. It seems as though Noddy's problem may be more urgent, but getting their gut flora back to normal is very important as well :)
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We have a female now whose previous owner took her to the vet, I believe essentially for a well check. The vet palpated what he thought was some kind of harmless mass in her vaginal/perianal area -- sorta like an impaction. No hematuria; behavior, appetite, drinking, urination, defecation all fine.
I took her for a baseline x-ray when we got her. She had a bladder stone about as big as the above picture in her urethra. Not blocked or close to it -- but still! Vet worked it out with a tweezers under light sedation. She's fine.
Very best wishes to Noddy and to you.
gv: I've had some odd requests from my vets, but a cecotrope has never been one of them! Glad to hear your pig's donation did the cure.
Hope Noddy's goin strong and well wishes to you both :D And ditto on what the rodentologist says, crossing fingers for some good news :)