Stones...Kidney removal in an older pig with heart condition

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LS in AK
Upside-down & Backwards

Post   » Thu May 31, 2012 2:44 am


Sorry to chime in so late. I've been following this thread, but I've never had to deal with anything like this in my pigs. Losing a kidney sounds pretty traumatic.

But I have been hand-feeding various pigs since last December, including post-surgery, and what I've learned is that they need a lot more than you may think to keep their weight up. I think the guidelines on the CC package is 3/4 cup of mash a day (12 Tbsp) for a 1 kg pig. That is a lot of mash.

Are you feeding the 10-15 cc every 4 hours through the night, also? If not, and Beppo isn't eating much on his own due to pain then, yes, a stronger pain-killer is definitely in order, and I would increase the frequency of hand-feedings to every few hours during the day, at least. That is how long it takes a pig's stomach to empty. I used to be afraid of forcing too much down a pig's throat at once, until I had to hand-feed a depressed piggy who was otherwise healthy, to keep her from going into stasis from grief. She loved her mash, so 20 cc in one feeding was not unusual.

You can beef up the critical care with raw pumpkin and various fruit/veggie baby foods and even Pedialyte. I have found it helpful to thin the mash down so piggy stays hydrated. Dehydration only makes anorexia worse.

Sending good appetite vibes.

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ElvisTCB

Post   » Thu May 31, 2012 6:36 am


(Limited typing ability on my temporary busted laptop)

I wonder if a tech appointment for fluids would help? I also agree with watering down the CC a bit.

This vet isn't big on prescribing more than Metacam, to my knowledge.

Is he still on Citra-K? I know that can upset the stomach as well.

Wishing Beppo all the best.

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moxiepox

Post   » Thu May 31, 2012 10:53 am


Thank you for the replies - I have been feeding around the clock, even in the middle of the night. I've been having to push it during the day though the past couple of days, as I can only come home for lunch, so he's been going 5-6 hrs then.

The vet isn't surprised that he's losing weight b/c it was such a major surgery, but said that as long as he'll take it, give him all the CC I can. He's still eating a little on his own and pooping, so no worries there. I've been syringing water with the CC...0.5cc for each 1cc of CC mash I give him. Do you think he should get more water?

He is still on Citra-K (and 10 other things!) so I'm not surprised if the meds hurt his belly, even taking it with CC. When I left for work this morning, I had him back up to 841g...so we'll see how today goes...

I've been rotating mixing his CC with baby food, pedialyte, and odwalla juice to try to make the taste different to see what he likes best. The pedialyte and warming it a teeny bit this morning seemed to go over well. I will try canned pumpkin, too.

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ElvisTCB

Post   » Thu May 31, 2012 11:24 am


While he sounds on the thinner side, the weight loss you describe doesn't sound drastic. I would focus more on continuing to get down as much CC as you can (I definitely think they prefer it warm, in my experience). You can also try leaving some for him in a dish.

Are his poops normal looking/a good amount of them?

How is his demeanor? Are his eyes bright/alert? Is he grinding his teeth at all?

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moxiepox

Post   » Thu May 31, 2012 2:57 pm


Yeah - he definitely prefers it warm. He's never liked it enough to eat it on his own though, but I do leave it out. He's eating more greens on his own today, though he will only eat romaine lettuce still.

His poops are small and a few are a little moister than normal. They look like hamster poop. But he is pooping quite a bit and every once in a while will have a normal looking/shaped one that is about 2/3 the size of normal.

He's moving around the same and eyes as alert as they have been the past couple days. He was grinding his teeth last night, but hasn't been today.

He's really enjoying trying to munch on any paper he can find while I have him on the counter for his syringe feedings. Too bad I can't infuse that with some vitamins ;)

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moxiepox

Post   » Thu May 31, 2012 10:33 pm


Well, Beppo is back at the hospital now. When I got home from work he was wheezing, so we rushed him up. They think he either got some critical care or some mucous in his lungs.

I'm so upset...I'm always so careful to only syringe in food when he's chewing and to do it really slowly...I feel like it's all my fault. The good news is that they weren't too worried and before we left him there, he was chowing down on some greens on his own...

<sigh> I just feel like the worst piggy mom right now.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Thu May 31, 2012 10:38 pm


No, you care, you try your best! There are MANY MANY worse piggy moms!

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moxiepox

Post   » Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:04 am


I just want my little guy to be better. I hope we can bring him home tomorrow. His brother misses him dearly (he's sleeping next to me on the couch right now:))

Charybdis

Post   » Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:28 am


Hopefully they are giving him some lasix?

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moxiepox

Post   » Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:31 am


Yes, he's on Lasix & Enacard for his heart condition

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ElvisTCB

Post   » Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:32 am


You are an awesome piggy mom, & don't let your head tell you otherwise!

In my experience, paper chewing is usually a sign of pain, so probably a good thing for Dr. Horton to re-access how he's doing. Hopefully she can make him more comfortable so he can be back home in no time.

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LS in AK
Upside-down & Backwards

Post   » Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:50 am


Yes, do not be too hard on yourself. Your baby has lost one half of a major organ. That is no small recovery/adjustment for anybody to make, let alone a little piggy body.

It sounds like you are doing a great job with hand-feeding/watering/monitoring Beppo's recovery. Keep up the good work, I say, and don't lose heart.

Hope your little guy is feeling better soon.

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moxiepox

Post   » Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:12 pm


Beppo will be coming home tonight! :) Not sure of all the details yet, but last night he got Sub-Q fluids, injectable pain meds, nebulized, and some anti-mucous medicine...so hopefully he's feeling lots better.

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ElvisTCB

Post   » Sat Jun 02, 2012 2:14 am


Awesome news! Keep us posted.

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Tracy

Post   » Tue Jun 05, 2012 12:22 pm


moxiepox, how's Beppo doing??

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ElvisTCB

Post   » Tue Jun 05, 2012 12:37 pm


Been hoping for an update, too.

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moxiepox

Post   » Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:41 pm


Sorry I haven't updated...I've been ridiculously busy this week and have still been feeding Beppo every 4 hours. He's starting to eat some more on his own, though not enough to keep his weight up, and has also been a bit more active and brighter. It seems like he's really starting to feel a lot better, which is a huge relief, but he continues to lose a little weight each day, even with the frequent feedings through the day and night.

His 2 week check up is tomorrow evening, so I'll post another update then. He sure does miss his brother, even thought they are only separated in their C&C cage and can still see/smell/touch noses, so they've been having mini-supervised "dates" as his brother tends to try and be a little rough with him. After their dates, he seems to perk up a lot more, so I'm hoping they'll get to be together again soon. Beppo is urinating normally, but his poops are still super small. Is that because his diet is all out of whack?

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:58 pm


If he's not eating as much and losing a small amount of weight, his poops would be smaller.

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Webs
Cavies 'n Cobwebs

Post   » Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:15 pm


Tiggy sending her healing vibes to Beppo!

Tiggy is fine now and it's been 2 years since her kidney removal. I am probably overly cautious with any noticeable sludge in the urine and making sure she drinks enough but so far so good. :·)

What I will add is with Tiggy it was a long slow recovery, about a year before I would say she was nearly back to normal for any length of time. She also has never regained her original weight and no matter how much she seems to eat, she does not seem to put it on. She did have issues with her antibiotics at the time and I think with the size her kidney mass was, it caused digestive disruption and I'm sure adhesions to cause her discomfort. She also had blood in the urine a few times during her recovery months. Her poops were smaller for many months afterwards but then I think her bowel was affected, not just in the amount of food going through.

Beppo has his own health issues to deal with but slow and sure is the way to go. Tiggy did improve quicker with visits from her cage mate Chilli, so keep up with those, I used to put Chilli in with Tiggy otherwise they got too active. Also frequent food offering, smaller strips of food if it helps and different things to tempt them to eat more. Feed them together if you can, the other pig eating seems to encourage the sick one to eat more - or at least it did with Tiggy.

And definitely pain meds. Tiggy only really chews paper when she's in discomfort. Not necessarily bad pain, but enough of a niggle or tweaking of internal sutures to give discomfort. Pain meds a must for as long as Beppo needs them.

I'm sure my vets thought at times I was just fussing but I knew my piggy wasn't right and I did make a late night visit to the Emergency Vets purely to get more Metacam for Tiggy at one stage.

Tiggy also developed bloat and other gastric problems during her recovery but that may have been due to her bowel settling down again after the mass pushing on her internal organs. Just be prepared to deal with anything like that promptly. I find Extra Virgin Olive Oil a great emergency standby if no other meds or vet available.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:17 pm


Thanks for the update! Glad to hear she is doing well.

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