Noddy's sick. Aerococcus. Please help

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Post   » Fri Aug 12, 2011 3:13 am

gvstate01 - I am SO glad you brought up the strep/staph question. My research had thrown up the same stuff but I figured that a professional lab simply wouldn't make such an error.

Hilary Holmes

Post   » Fri Aug 12, 2011 8:28 am

Hi Folks, thank you ALL, so much for all your helpful advice and support, it really is truly appreciated.
I get you point about the palpation, and will make sure it never happens again. You trust the person as the expert, which I know she is, but I'll be better prepared in future.
I'm seeing the rodentologist later today, so will go with a list of questions and see what she says.
I'm still trying to get Maggige to part with some poop, but she just won't do it to order, and Boy, has she got a strong will. I'll discuss that this afternoon and maybe the rodentologist will have a pig who can help, otherwise, I'll be asking for donations!
Noddy is still hanging in there, and his weight is the same as yesterday, which is good. However, his poops have become a bit softer again, though still formed, and quite smelly. Do you think there could be an underlying malignancy? Or is his weight loss to slow for that?

Hilary Holmes

Post   » Fri Aug 12, 2011 3:25 pm

Just a quick update, having returned from the rodentologist. She checked Noddy's teeth, which were fine, as expected, but best to rule out the simple things first.
She's going to try some topical anti-fungals, which stupidly, I hadn't tried, although he has had systemic anti-fungals.
In view of the aerococcus, she's going to put him on Septrin, to see if that helps. She knows of a vet locally who can do X-rays without anaesthetic, so if there's no improvement, or even if there is, I can pursue that route.
The only other thing she's wondering, is whether Noddy's kidneys are failing, given his age. I had wondered that myself, as he's drinking more. She's going to test his urine, although a recent test showed no abnormality and I would have expected there to be protein in his urine if his kidneys were failing. However, it would account for the sudden, unexplained weight loss.
She's kept both Noddy and MaggieMae in, to observe them, so I'm pig-less and don't know what to do with myself. If anyone has any pigs they need a holiday home for, for a few days, you know where to come!
I feel better now someone is at least trying to get to the bottom of the problem, rather than just writing him off as an "old "pig, as the vets have. As soon as I have any more news, I'll update you.

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Post   » Fri Aug 12, 2011 3:54 pm

BamBam, I thought I'd just throw it out there since the aerococcus seemed, through research, to most likely be a contaminant. I'm glad you're going to put him on Septrin again. If it's strep/staph, it should work. Even if it seems to get better, make sure to give the full 10-14 days (whichever your vet gives). I thought you said you tried the topical anti-fungals already?

That made me laugh about the poop soup and donations hahah :) My male that donated was at the vet and when he bent down to get a caecal, they took it from his mouth HAHA.
And only in my opinion, I wouldn't rule out a tumor. I've had way too much experience with those :( And unfortunately it seems as though every pig is different and it depends on where the tumor is and if they're in pain or not. Have you noticed Noddy in pain? A good sign is grinding their teeth. I hope it's not a tumor, but just throwing it out there since you were thinking about it.

And Noddy isn't *that* old :) And I just thought of something else too since you mentioned kidneys. My Custard was tested for a UTI but my vet found glucose in her urine. The test for diabetes was negative so that led my vet to her having a kidney infection. Hoping for an infection rather than them failing (both not good, but hoping for the best of the worst!). Custard is on Septrin for 6 weeks and seems to be doing very well.

Sending good vibes! I know it sucks to be pigless! I wouldn't know what to do with myself! Sending good vibes :) You're a great parent and luckily have a very caring vet :)

Hilary Holmes

Post   » Sat Aug 13, 2011 3:59 am

Hi gvstate01, Thanks for all that. You're right. I did say he'd had topical anti-fungals, I guess I shouuld have said chlorhexidine, which isn't an anti-fungal at all! I'm getting so confused with all that's gone on, even though I've kept a diary of what's happened when.
I've still got a nasty feeling about tumour, and although an X-ray won't be definitive, it might help to rule certain things out. The only time Noddy has been teeth grinding has been when he had bloat. There hasn't been any recently, which at least reassures me that he's probably not in pain.
You and I know that Noddy isn't "that " old, but unfortunately, most of the vets round here seem to feel that once a pig hits 5, that's it, but I'm not giving up on him yet. And he's got a new "wifepig" in MaggieMae to look after.
Thanks again for all your really useful advice and info.

Hilary Holmes

Post   » Mon Aug 15, 2011 3:09 pm

Hi Folks, Just a quick update on Noddy. The rodentologist has tested his urine and there was loads of protein in it, and also a lot of ketones. This is obviously a sign his kidneys are failing and would account for the weight loss. She also felt he was very dehydrated (which has made me feel a really bad Mum and very neglectful, although there's always water available), this was indicated by the ketones in his urine. The only other reason I can think of for there being ketones would be diabetes, but there was no glucose, which would have supported that argument.
She doesn't feel he's ready to give up just yet, and is keeping him a bit longer to re-hydrate him and to give the Septrin. (I could give that, but the law means she isn't allowed to give it to me to take home!) She's hoping once we get on top of his hydration, he will fel a bit better and maybe start eating more
It's not the news I was hoping for, but at least I now know he's not in pain, and I can at least support him with syringe feeding for as long as it's necessary.

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Post   » Mon Aug 15, 2011 5:04 pm

Oh H, I'm sorry. I know that this is just the news that you were dreading.

Are there really no other possible reasons for the proteins/ketones aside from failure of the kidneys? Tumour?


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Post   » Mon Aug 15, 2011 8:48 pm

If an animal is not eating, do you find ketones also?

Hoping you can turn him around.

Hilary Holmes

Post   » Wed Aug 17, 2011 5:13 am

Thank you BamBam and Lynx, for your continued interest in poor old(??) Noddy.
Ketones can be present for lots of reasons, but the commonest are diabetes and starvation / dieting.
My understanding, for what it's worth, is that they appear when the body is using up fat instead of carbohydrate for energy, so Lynx, you are absolutely right in what you say. Also, if you aren't getting sufficient fluid, either from not drinking enough, or losing it from "leaky " kidneys, you burn fat in order to get fluid, with the same result as dieting - ketones and weight loss. If I've got that round my neck, please correct me!
Noddy had been eating much less than usual,which would also account for the ketones. So I think either way he would have ketones in his urine.
I'm hoping that if the rodentologist can get him re-hydrated, he might start to feel a bit better and start eating again, but I fear that he will never get back to the nearly 1600g bruiser that he was. Just to get him home agin would be good, because the house is still very empty without him and MaggieMae.

You can quote me

Post   » Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:13 pm

Will the rodentologist be able to administer subcutaneous fluids? (That is, these are POM in the US, do they have a way to get the fluids and needle sets, perhaps from Vedra?)

My understanding of ketones is essentially the same as HH's -- with the exception of substituting "protein" (i.e., muscle tissue) where HH has written "fat". There are (ditto) different kinds as I understand it that can appear for different reasons, but the body's consuming its own muscle tissue (for lack of anything else to consume) is the main one. As I understand it. I am no MD (or nurse or tech or anything else).

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Post   » Thu Aug 18, 2011 3:01 am

Tal, its not POM here: the rodentologist will be able to administer and I am sure Hilary will be able to transfer her skills from people to Noddy too.

Hilary Holmes

Post   » Thu Aug 18, 2011 4:30 am

BamBam, Thanks for that, it's really useful information. When I finally (!) make contact with her again, I'll ask her about it. Anything to get him home, as the house is feeling more and more empty!

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Post   » Thu Aug 18, 2011 1:01 pm

HH, I don't know if Lou will have the Hartmans. When Victor needed sub-q's I got mine direct from Vedra.

Hilary Holmes

Post   » Fri Aug 19, 2011 7:17 am

Thanks BamBam. I finally caught up with her last night, but hadn't seen your post until just now.
The update is basically that she has found Noddy not only has "leaky" kidneys, but his liver is failing also, which Vedra had queried when I initially saw her, and she felt he was very anaemic. He's got loads of urobilinogen in his urine, My recollection of the physiology of the liver has never been good, but as far as I remember, this is a strong indicator of liver failure, although there are other causes, such as increased breakdown of red blood cells.
If anyone can put me right, I would be very grateful.
Lou's (the rodentologist) husband is a doctor, and he apparently said if Noddy was one of his patients, he'd be in ITU waiting for a transplant. This clearly isn't an option for Noddy.
However, Lou thinks he isn't in pain, he's taking syringe feeding OK, is better hydrated, and she feels he will eventually just drift off. I really hope this is the case.
In the meantime, he'll get as much supportive care and love as I can possibly give him.
If anyone has any suggestions as to how I can continue giving him the best life possible, I would be very grateful.

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Post   » Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:13 am

No suggestions (outside of providing pain medication if he does end up looking like he is in pain). I know you are doing all you can for him.

You can quote me

Post   » Sat Aug 20, 2011 1:21 am

Ditto Lynx. As long as he's comfortable, care for him and love him for as long as he's here. That may turn out to be longer than the docs think. Lou's husband sounds like very trustworthy information to me.

You might want to ask Lou (or Vedra) about herbal support for the liver. I know some GL members have tried milk thistle, with varying degrees (some good) of success.

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Post   » Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:41 pm

I'm so sorry to hear :( But glad you can make him comfortable. I just lost one to end stage liver disease that was caused by a gullbladder infection after she was born. He's grateful to have you :)

Hilary Holmes

Post   » Mon Aug 22, 2011 5:24 am

Hi Folks. Thanks for your continued interest. I'm picking them both up this afternoon - can't wait!! I'll let you know how he is, to my eyes, when I see him.
gvstate01, I'm so sorry to hear about you loss, I'm sure she had the best possible life with you.

Hilary Holmes

Post   » Thu Aug 25, 2011 11:40 am

Well, to much rejoicing, he's home. I'm so happy I can't begin to tell you. He's still lost weight, and definitely looks thinner around his rear end, which used to be so beautiful and stroke-able, just like a big brown bowling ball. Still, I'm relieved to have him home, and will continue syringe feeding and supporting him for however long he needs it.
MaggieMae has clearly taken advantage of Noddy being ill and is now incredibly cheeky, won't sit still and is sneaking food off my lap before I'm ready to give it to her. More fool me for leaving it with in reach! She just sneaks round while I'm distracted and pinches it! She certainly is a little minx! Hopefully Noddy will soon be feeling sufficiently better to get her under control again!

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Post   » Thu Aug 25, 2011 12:57 pm

So glad he's back home!! What a relief :) Here's to hoping he can get back on the top of the ladder again!

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