I don't quite know how to feel after reading through all of Brenda's trials and tribulations. The conclusion I have come to is that my vet was right, there is no magic bullet.
It seems like there are so many pigs out there with this unexplainable mushy poo thing. It's difficult to read so many different suggestions to pigs having the SAME EXACT symptoms and then have some pigs respond to certain meds/regimens, and others not. Very frustrating!
I'm curious as to how it all worked out for Brenda.
- For the Love of Pigs
Our Elle was having a similar problem at the same time and I wish our vet had been more aggressive in trying things sooner & moving on to something else. Elle up and died while she was on the Bactrim. I felt so guilty that I hadn't pushed the vet to move along sooner with various meds. Maybe the flagyl would have saved her. Or maybe that's just the guilt talking.
Brenda B hasn't been posting for a while, but so far as I know, Sierra's still alive. You could PM her - or I could. We sort of bonded over soft poos.
Keeping my fingers crossed for Zoey.
Yes, we have the gurgling stomach here too.
"I just reread that thread too - all of it! And I'm not completely sure what finally worked for Sierra. The flagyl? It is very confusing."
Well, as far as I could gather, people had the best luck with Flagyl. Of all the pigs on there having soft poop, it seems as if more cases resolved from the flagyl. And of course extra vitamin c, probiotics, and dietary adjustments.
That being said, even then not all resolved and it sounds like most recurred. I read through it all as well and it made me feel quite discouraged. It seems as if more cases than not never resolve, regardless of the treatment plan.
And Bookfan, don't second guess. Flagyl did nothing for Zoey. And on Brenda's thread, it also did nothing for some of the other pigs. It may not have prevented the course of things with your pig either. You did what you could and what you thought best, that's what counts. There is no cookie cutter treatment or as I've said, magic bullet. It's different for every pig. This diarrhea stuff is very confusing and frustrating, to owners and vets alike.
- Poop Obsessed
This all makes me wonder if guinea pigs can also suffer from megacolon, or 'cow pile syndrome', like rabbits can. With rabbits, it is limited usually to a specific breed of bun that gets it, but the symptoms are similar.
Just a thought.
I have stopped the bactrim. I think with Zoey just being on the flagyl and now trying diet changes, I need to see what's what before starting a long course of anything. She only had a couple days worth so if I feel I want to start up with it again, I will do so for the full course. I know it's not good to stop and start but my gut was telling me it was too much for her system right now.
Her previous owner just emailed me(I had filled her in last week) and said she didn't necessarily notice any loose poops but they could have been there. She used yesterday's news in the kitchen area of the cage and commented that the poos could have gotten scraped off of Zoey's feet so that she didn't notice any poop shoes. I don't know about that but something tells me that Zoey has had this problem for much longer than she's been with us.
Also, she told me that about a week before I got Zoey, she noticed the watery eye and assumed Zoey poked it or something. She wiped it and didn't think much of it. So again, Zoey had a couple of issues looming, contrary to what I was told. I'm not really mad about it but I did ask her to tell me of any health issues/concerns beforehand so I could be prepared. I would think these things would have been worth mentioning. Oh well, doesn't change anything now though, does it.
I'm going to research megacolon syndrome a bit more. Thanks again.
- For the Love of Pigs
When we adopted Elle, I noticed her poops looked unusually wet, but they weren't particularly squishy. So that developed at some point after we got her. We did what you're doing: probiotic, vit c, no fruits or vegies, propulsid early on and bactrim towards the end. I just checked the vet records (what a pack rat I am) and she did get flagyl started 5 days before she died. And like Sierra, it would get better & worse.
She suddenly lost a lot of weight while on the flagyl in spite of eating *lots* of kibble. And I was shocked when she died. We didn't do a necropsy, which would certainly have been informative, because we'd already spent ~$700 on the problem.
I was chatting with another vet in the practice later about Elle and he said eating a lot and losing weight could point to cancer. I think he also said something about soft poops being a not clear cut problem. I bet there can be a variety of things that cause it.
And now I'm also feeling a bit panicky. O.k, not a bit, a lot panicky.
I can't remember who, but a poster in Brenda's thread said that even after negative cultures, her other pigs contracted whatever was going on with the mushy poo pig.
When Zoey had been on the meds for a couple of weeks and her poos were looking better, not perfect but better, she was introduced to my girls and in the cage with them for a couple of days. The vet and I were confident that whatever she was dealing with was not contagious and that Latte and Goldie would not be at risk. Shortly after being in with the girls, her poos turned mushy again so I took her out.
However, she was in there with them for a couple of days. They had her poos on their feet, on the rim of their food bowls, and in their hay.
If I have exposed Latte and Goldie to something like this, I will be devastated. What a stupid stupid thing to do.
I hope I'm just being paranoid but while cleaning their cage this morning, Goldie's poos looked a bit softer and clumped. Not mushy, just different than her normal firm beans.
I'm not going to be able to live with myself if I've subjected them to something like this.
Not to be dramatic but this is feeling a bit nightmarish.
- Supporter in 2014
I would have thought that if something was going to happen to them, then it would have shown itself already.
Maybe Goldie ate a little piece of veg that was slightly off? Or maybe she's wondering where Zoey is. We know that they notice when another pig isn't around anymore. I'm sure she'll be fine, Latte is there to keep her company.
Hugs to you, I know how stressful things like this are, especially when you have no idea what's causing it. Although I still don't know what happened to Arnold (other than the Metcam doing something to him) I feel very lucky knowing that 9/10 days he's completely fine on him limited selection of veg.
I really hope someday soon you get to at least a similar situation with Zoey!
- Supporter in 2014
I'm not very knowledgeble when it comes to guineas digestive systems, I tend to equate theirs to being similar as ours, although I know they're not. My brain is wondering whether the Vitamin C is contributing to the mushy poops? I'm just associating it with if we eat too much Vit C. Just trying to think of any reason why her poops aren't right.
I really hope her tummy settles soon,
I don't think I've ever heard of vitamin c causing loose poops. The reason I'm giving it is because she is not getting any vegetables. Plus, she's had these mushy poos for quite some time and I hadn't been giving the extra c until recently.
As far as pellets go, could very well be, Lynx. I just don't know. I do know that the vet said some pigs have to be on a hay and vitamin c only diet, so I suppose for some pigs they could be an issue.
I'm doing one thing at a time right now so I know what helps or what doesn't. I don't want to take everything away at once and not know which is/was the culprit.
As the morning progresses, her poops are looking a little firmer and more formed.
I'll stick with the no veggies, pick up the new probiotic Judi recommended either today or tomorrow, continue with this for a couple/few days, and go from there.
If what I am doing doesn't help, I guess it's on to doing away with the pellets as well for a while. Hay only. I don't like the sound of that so I hope I don't need to.
If and when things get more under control and the way they should be, I'll plan on introducing some greens, one at a time and very slowly. Probably grass first.
Hopefully things are heading in the right direction but don't want to get too happy yet. I know how that goes. Cautiously optimistic here.
- Let Sleeping Pigs Lie
Not sure if this is helpful or not, but we've had this problem here too. As Miss Sakura gets older, she doesn't seem to be able to tolerate the quantity of veggies that she used to get in her younger days.
Cutting back has helped (so far).
Thanks you, Tracis. It seems as if I keep hearing of more pigs than I thought having this issue, whether temporary or an ongoing thing.
Poos look good again this morning. This is telling me that at this point, veggies are most likely the problem. I am going to give it some more time without, see if things continue to look good, then slowly introduce, one at a time. Feeling a little more hopeful.
If all goes well, maybe this girl will get to live with her friends again. Then I'll do like someone brilliantly mentioned in a previous post and separate the cage during greens time so I can give Zoey only what she does o.k. with.
I decided to start giving her veggies again seeing as it made no difference. She's now been happily having her afternoon greens and nothing is getting any better or worse. Same with, same without.
Now, a thought occurred to me a couple of days ago. No matter what I've tried, the soft stool continues. What is the one constant that I have not yet omitted? Pellets.
Yesterday I decided not to give her any pellets. Just lots and lots of hay and greens and "treats" throughout the day.
This morning, I was not greeted with poo mushed all over the cuddle cup, blankets, and throughout the cage like I have been every morning. They were much more solid and formed than any I've seen in quite some time.
Could be a coincidence but I'm going pellet free for a bit. I'd be so happy to finally have a reason for her ongoing issue as well as a solution. I could eventually house her with the girls if this improvement continues and keep them all on a pellet free diet like I know some of you do.
I've started a thread over in cavy chat looking for any input and/or links on going pellet free.
I know this improvement phase could change(it has before) and we could be back to square one tomorrow but I'm feeling quite hopeful.