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?
- Supporter in '14
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
(the dropping on the very top is a normal one from one of the girls)