Charlie's Medical Thread

emilyam19

Post   » Thu Jul 04, 2013 11:47 pm


Since I've been getting some good suggestions, I want to make an appointment for Charlie to see the vet. He really hates to be handled and gets stressed over trips to the vet, so I want to try to cover everything in one visit. I want to get another fecal test done and an x-ray. Can anyone think of anything else (are there other tests for parasites?) I should cover? Is there something a gram stain or a culture might show that could be missed by the test I got in the past?

wenton5

Post   » Fri Jul 05, 2013 2:09 am


Food for thought, full fecal smear, full body xray. If you really wanted to get extensive add urine and ultrasound, but I would shoot for the first 2, you probably could just collect urine yourself nd bring a urine collection in. Tarp and. Small box and wait for your lovely charlie to pee then scoop it up via syringe. Xxoo L and the gang

emilyam19

Post   » Fri Jul 05, 2013 5:41 am


Thanks for the suggestions Wenton. I also want to get these things done soon since it looks like I will be moving to Oklahoma (I was supposed to move to NC a month ago but nothing is certain when it comes to the Army). I've been looking around for good vets in that area but it doesn't look promising. Since nobody needs frequent trips to the vet (knock on wood), I'll probably use a vet 1.5 hours away unless I need emergency care.

Just so I understand the terminology, what is the name of the test I got? I have it written down as "Intestinal parasites with giardiasis ELIS" but when I look it up I can't find much. I did find something called ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) -this means I copied it down wrong didn't I? Is that a fecal float?

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Delaine
Supporter in '14

Post   » Sun Jul 07, 2013 3:08 pm


I had three Fecal examinations done on Zoe, a Wet Mount, Smear and a Flotation.

wenton5

Post   » Sun Jul 07, 2013 7:17 pm


Emilyam19, I don't know if you copied it down wrong but I know my vet is like a human doctor or a teacher, I can't read his writing to save my life. Is is possible you could call them and clarify what is on his chart?
:)
L

emilyam19

Post   » Sun Jul 07, 2013 10:49 pm


I agree about the hand writing (especially when you don't have any background in the subject so it's just a random guess). I think I copied this particular thing down from a receipt I got. I found it a few weeks ago and thought I put it back in his file but must've misplaced it. I did a little searching and think I copied it wrong. ELISA shows up in another pig's medical thread and I can't find any mention at all on the Internet about ELIS.

wenton5

Post   » Mon Jul 08, 2013 10:53 am


Delaine, what does a wet mount detect in comparison to a flotation? Thx, Lara

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Delaine
Supporter in '14

Post   » Mon Jul 08, 2013 12:44 pm


According to the information I wrote on Zoe's invoice at the time, it said the Wet Mount can detect ova and/or oocysts and the flotation was for parasites. I am guessing by what I wrote that maybe the flotation won't detect the eggs, but the Wet Mount will. I am not 100 % sure though.

wenton5

Post   » Tue Jul 09, 2013 2:15 am


Thanks so muchl I know I read a thread here that broke all the fecal smears down exactly, but can't find it. Anyone know? Thx, best, L

emilyam19

Post   » Tue Jul 09, 2013 4:55 am


Wenton, could this be the thread you mentioned?

http://www.guinealynx.info/forums/viewtopic.php?t=36304

emilyam19

Post   » Tue Jul 09, 2013 11:11 am


Fingers crossed, have an appointment in an hour to check out all of the suggestions you guys gave. Hopefully I can get some answers for Charlie.

wenton5

Post   » Tue Jul 09, 2013 11:50 am


Thanks Emilyam, that isn't the thread but I like that one too! Good luck today and let us know how is all goes! :)

emilyam19

Post   » Tue Jul 09, 2013 4:25 pm


First off, that was the most embarrassing appointment I’ve ever had. After the vet tech weighed Charlie and walked out of the room, I put Charlie on the floor for a second to clean his poop smeared carrier (I didn’t want to leave him on the counter to tumble off). He crawled by my purse to hide and peed/pooped everywhere (I still have to wash my purse). I frantically cleaned everything up before the vet came but wasn’t completely successful. Then while they were trying to examine him, the three of us kept trying to wipe off soft poop from our hands –it was a nightmare. We put him on the ground to check how he was walking and the vet noticed he was going again (after he peed for the second time). She said a really fresh sample would be perfect and tried to collect it but somehow half of it ended up on her pants. I know this kind of thing must come with the job description but I was mortified. I can’t believe how quickly something that small can cover an exam room and three people with poop and pee.

Anyway I learned a lot and hope I can repeat everything correctly. I asked about the different kind of tests and this is what I managed to scribble down. I know it isn’t a great break down; I probably left out a few things with us all trying to clean stuff up at the same time.
  • Wet mount: mix a sample with some kind of liquid; use it to find some kind of mobile organism (ex: giardia)
  • Floatation: mix sample with liquid for different densities; use it to detect eggs (these will float up)
  • Smear: similar to a wet mount (I think it’s a slightly different technique)
  • ELISA: looking for signs of the body reacting to something; not as good a test with guinea pigs
  • Gram stain: looking for bacteria or yeast; dry the sample and use a staining technique
  • Culture: submit a sample to grow; looking for typical bacteria/yeast (ex: e coli)
The vet decided to do a wet mount and gram stain. The wet mount showed that he had tritrichomonas. It’s possible the girls have this as well but are able to keep it in check. The gram stain showed he had some yeast. The vet said a little is normal. We are also having a culture (aerobic C&S, looking for fungus or bacteria) done but the results could take a week or so. The vet suspects that the culture might show something else in addition to the tritrichomonas that’s compounding the issue (something that’s keeping him from fighting off the tritrichomonas like the girls can). For now she told me to restrict his diet to unlimited hay, vitamin C supplement, and 1 teaspoon of pellets. She said it’s possible his intestines are inflamed. He’s also going to get metronidazole for two weeks. After those two weeks we’ll regroup and look at his progress/culture results.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Tue Jul 09, 2013 4:58 pm


I hope you see some progress! I think I'll take your list and punctuate it so the individual items stand out (thanks for taking notes). I am somewhat familiar with several of the procedures but have never had them done.

emilyam19

Post   » Wed Jul 10, 2013 4:18 am


I'm debating whether or not to separate Charlie for two weeks so I have better control of his diet and can observe him more closely. I already have a 2x4 cage I keep on hand in case anyone gets sick. I'm not sure how I can restrict pellets if he's living with the girls. The pigs tend to snack on them throughout the day so I don't think setting him aside for a while will help. I also don’t want to stress him out.

I’ll see if I can ask the vet to fill in the test descriptions a little more. She explained them very well. I wish I had taken notes on her explanations for why certain tests would be chosen depending on the situation.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:48 am


That would be cool. Esp her thinking in why certain tests would be selected over others. I have an old vet tech book that covers some of this but not necessarily the thinking behind it.

emilyam19

Post   » Tue Jul 16, 2013 3:46 pm


A lot has happened the past few days and it’s been very hectic so I’m afraid the info will be all over the place.

Wednesday:
I cleaned up the pig area, picked up Charlie’s meds, started him on a strict diet, and set up a “bachelor pad” for him. As soon as I was finished cleaning, my fiancé (we were supposed to get married two months ago but things got jumbled around with the Army) calls and says he got leave at the last minute and will be flying in tonight for 5 days. I left the pigs in my parent’s care.

Thursday:
We decided now was our chance to get married (so I’m afraid I’ll be a little iffy on the pig details). I had gone by Charlie’s cage to spot clean throughout the day and started to notice there wasn’t anything in the cage before going to bed. I checked him over (mostly for any signs of bloat) and couldn’t find anything wrong. He was hopping in and out of his hay bin and snacking so I figured I just lost track of how many time I was spot cleaning.

Friday:
I got married and came home to find the cage poop-free. I started to get very nervous and called the vet. When we got in touch, it was actually my mom who spoke with her (some details might’ve been lost when repeated to me). The vet said Charlie sounds like he’s holding out for greens. His digestive system might be slowing down because he’s eating less. The vet said she was reluctant but advised us to give him a cup of lettuce. She said to expect a poop 24-48 hours –depending on how slow things were going. We also started hand feeding him throughout the day.

Saturday:
I had to leave town to get some marriage related paperwork done. She continued to hand feed him as much as he would take (I’m very grateful she handled this for me by the way). We didn’t find any poops from him.

Sunday:
My mom put one of the girls in the cage with him because the hand feedings seemed to be stressing him out. She began taking regular photos of the cage so I could point out any poops that were from Charlie. Around 5 PM we finally got a distinct Charlie poop:
Image
Tuesday:
Vet called with culture results. I’ll get the details when I speak with her personally but the gist is there is something in his poop and she wants to put him on a round of antibiotics. My mom had swept out the poops but mentioned when asked about diarrhea: there aren’t any cow patties (what we’ve been calling the really messy ones from Charlie) but there are a few that look stretched and thin, like they’ve been pulled out of him.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Tue Jul 16, 2013 4:54 pm


Life has been busy happening! (congrats on getting married!)

Perhaps the organism is mentioned on the diarrhea page?

gl/diarrhea.html

emilyam19

Post   » Tue Jul 16, 2013 5:30 pm


It probably is, I'll speak with her once I make it back. My mom heard the results but couldn't recall the name. I'll ask her all my questions about cultures and tests as well.

It has been busy. I feel bad leaving Charlie like this but my mom was practically shoving me out the door (and at least I know she'd be good about getting food in him). The next step is figuring out how to deal with allergies -guess who just learned he has allergic reactions to guinea pigs... I've been reading through all the pages about filters, etc. Hopefully something works.

emilyam19

Post   » Thu Jul 18, 2013 12:07 pm


Just got off the phone with the vet. Some of the culture results are in (we may get some more info as things continue to grow) and she said they found an overgrowth of klebsiella and enterobacter. She said these are normally found in mammal digestive tracts but can cause a problem if there is an overgrowth. We decided to finish up his metronidazole so he gets the full two weeks. If after two weeks he isn’t quite where we want him to be, she will consider putting him on something like Baytril.

His poop is looking better but it is still misshapen. It’s no longer those blobs of goo that would smear everywhere. Now it looks like thinly stretched droppings. He has CC all over his face so I’m going to have to find a way to get that off him. It’s caked on there pretty hard and I’m not sure how happy he’d be if I tried soaking his chin in warm water to break it up.

I’m going to email her a photo of his droppings and some of the questions about different tests.

Image
(the dropping on the very top is a normal one from one of the girls)

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