Zoe's Medical Thread

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Delaine
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Post   » Tue Apr 21, 2015 8:29 pm


Thanks Talishan. I gave her a full dose before I read this so will start tomorrow. Does it make sense to give Metacam in the morning or would suggest a better time?

Talishan
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Post   » Wed Apr 22, 2015 2:46 pm


Give it, IMO, prior to when she will be unattended for the longest period of time, which I'll assume would be in the morning.

In my experience (only!!), Metacam stays in the system for a little less than 24 hours -- say, maybe about 19 or 20. That's why I have a problem with 24 hour dosing. What we've done if we can work it is even to give a 2/3, 1/3 dose, depending on how they're feeling and what our schedule is.

You can "overlap" a little, but you don't want to overlap the drug's active time in the system by too much (if that makes any sense).

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Delaine
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Post   » Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:20 pm


I phoned Zoe's vet office and they suggested giving her a normal dose today at the usual time (4:30 pm) and then tomorrow at noon and 8:00am the next day. It will be a four hour overlap twice but then we will be on the morning schedule for the rest of the two weeks.

I like mornings because as the medication wears off she will probably still be in her bed sleeping and not as active anyways. Once I get up they started begging for food.

Talishan
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Post   » Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:31 pm


Sounds like a good plan. Your vet's advice dovetails perfectly with my experience with Metacam.

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Delaine
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Post   » Fri May 15, 2015 4:35 pm


I have been testing Zoe's urine with my strips and a couple of times she tested positive for blood. Some days clear, some not. She has no symptoms of pain or discomfort when urinating or defecating but to be on the safe side we went to the vets today.

We had an urinalysis done which showed blood, calcium carbonate and calcium oxalate crystals and sludge. There was no bacteria or infection present so we had an X-ray done. This is the third X-ray in two months, two looking for bladder stones and one on her toe.

Zoe has a very, very small stone forming. The vet said it is so tiny and a slight step up from sludge. She could hardly see it and had to magnify the X-ray before she noticed it. We are hoping she will pass it. She passed two larger ones just over a year ago.

She was given a sub-Q and instructions to increase water, leafy greens and exercise. My life already revolves around increasing both of these but I guess I will have to try harder. I have been working more than usual lately so haven't been home to encourage movement and water consumption.

So now we are just waiting to see which way this all goes. I've had a bad feeling lately after reading bpatters thread.

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Fri May 15, 2015 4:42 pm


Sorry to hear about the incipient stone. Maybe it will be some comfort to know that when Flourish had hers 2.5 years ago, the first x-ray showed two stones. I did sub-Qs for several days, and when I took her in again, she had passed one of them.

The other thing is, with a very small stone and a very skilled vet, they can sometimes retrieve them without surgery. The best exotic place in Houston will try that before surgery if the stone is small enough to pass, but they're beyond expensive, so I haven't been able to do it.

My pigs ADORE pedialyte, and that's a good way to get extra liquids in them.

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Delaine
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Post   » Fri May 15, 2015 4:55 pm


Thanks bpatters.

I had her X-rayed March 6th for stones before we decided to go ahead with the spay. She was totally clear at that time so this has happened in just over two months.

I blame myself because in an attempt to get weight on her after the spay I introduced a few oat flakes, shelled organic sunflower seeds, extra pellets, more greens and grass. I was aware at the time I was playing with fire but was desperate for her to gain back the three ounces she lost. When I first noticed the blood I cut out the seeds, oats and extra pellets.

She still gets extra greens (red and green leaf lettuce and escarole). She also gets peppers and grass.

What about grass in relationship to stones? Good or bad. Zoe thinks grass is VERY good and it is the closest food to hay so how can it be bad.

I am glad you mentioned Pedialyte because that came to mind today but I forgot to mention it to my vet. Have you noticed any change in their stools resulting in loose or misshapen stool? Zoe has been prone to digestive upsets in the past. Could you please give me the exact formula you are using. Should I dilute it with water? How much are you giving?

bpatters
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Post   » Fri May 15, 2015 5:16 pm


I give all they'll take of straight Pedialyte when I'm giving it. Depending on how long I'm willing to stand by the cage with the syringe in my hand, they'll take 5 cc or so at a time. You can put it in the water bottle, but you can't leave it long, and you have to wash the bottle immediately. As my stepfather used to say about raising turkeys, "They're born determined to die." Pedialye is born determined to grow mold, so you have to be really careful with it. I usually pour it up in an ice cube tray, then just thaw one cube when I need it.

You have to be careful about grass. It can be really high in calcium, and the amount varies widely with when it's harvested.

I know three ounces is a lot, but guinea pigs will eventually gain weight after an illness (assuming it's cured, of course), and I'm not sure it's worth the effort or the risk to make them gain quickly.

My Ruffles had lost about five ounces a year or so ago, mostly a slow decline but then a fairly rapid one. The vet checked her over and found nothing wrong, but suggested a vitamin C supplement. I gave that to her, and made no other changes in her diet, and she's gained about about 3.5 ounces of it. I think that's pretty good for a senior pig.

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Lynx
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Post   » Fri May 15, 2015 11:27 pm


I was not aware grass could be high in calcium. Alfalfa and clover can be high though. Can you point me to some info? What I have for grass hays indicates the calcium is fairly moderate.

http://www.guinealynx.info/hay_chart.html

bpatters
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Post   » Fri May 15, 2015 11:40 pm


I had several references, Lynx, but they're bookmarked on my old disk drive, which I can't find at the moment. One was a University of Kentucky study, but I can't find it online, either.

One thing I do remember reading is that calcium content in grass is heavily dependent on the calcium content in the soil. So grass grown in soil with a lot of limestone will have more calcium than grass grown on a different soil. Here's one reference that supports that: http://www.sulcata-station.org/diet.html

Here's one old reference: http://digital.library.okstate.edu/oas/oas_pdf/v14/p36_44.pdf

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Lynx
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Post   » Sat May 16, 2015 11:18 am


The first link does not support any useful information. They claim " If you live in a semi-arid or arid area with little rainfall, the calcium levels in your local soil will be relatively high. Any grasses grown in such a calcium-rich soil will also be high in calcium, so if you allow your tortoise to graze at will on grasses grown in this soil, you might not have to give your tortoise as much in the way of calcium supplements." High is a relative term. No solid data given on what this might mean. This is unlikely to be hay harvested for cattle and horses. Arid regions will not support the hays we provide our guinea pigs. They also claim, "However, if you live in a rainy, humid area, then the calcium levels in your soil will be very low because it is dissolved and removed from the soil by the frequent rainfall. Any grasses grown in your local soil will be calcium-poor. " I think of grasses growing optimally with adequate nutrients supplied to them. If adequate nutrients are not supplied, the hay will be of lesser quality and have less vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.

The second pdf is focused on the nutrient content of a variety of weeds. The article is dated 1933.

The summary said, "A study of the nitrogen, phosphorus, and calcium content of common weeds and native grasses growing in Oklahoma was made. Two hundred and twenty-nine composite samples were collected and analyzed. This collection included fifty-nine different species of plants. Weeds were higher in nitrogen, phosphorus, and calcium than grasses, and plants growing on good soil were higher in nitrogen than similar plants growing on poor soil, [text missing?] Young plants are higher in mineral nutrients and nitrogen than older plants. The stems are lower in nitrogen, phosphorus, and calcium than the leaves. [text on two weeds] The effect of weeds on the preservation of plant foods and the possible stimulation of nitrogen fixation has meen[sic] emphasized." As a grass matures, the nutrients move into the seed heads. I think the calcium mostly stays in the leaves and stem.

Maybe I could break off this conversation for the Cavy Chat forum?

I have no doubt that grass grown in poor soil would have lower levels of calcium. I do not think grass grown in calcium rich soil will necessarily shoot up.

One interesting thing would be to consult some testing labs and see what the range of calcium is in grass hays. If there are no super high ranges, this would support my theory.

bpatters
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Post   » Sat May 16, 2015 11:26 am


I don't think we're talking about grass hay, I think we're talking about lawn grass, and there's very little information out there about its nutrient value.

I know those aren't the good references, but they were all I could find in a hurry last night.

But I do think there's a lot of info out there supporting the fact that calcium-rich soil produces calcium-rich grass.

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Lynx
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Post   » Sat May 16, 2015 11:31 am


Then perhaps part of the issue is what "calcium rich" grass would be like. If it is still relatively low in calcium compared with greens, grass hay, etc. there is no reason to warn anyone away (except for the problem with feeding too much early in the season and not introducing grass slowly).

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sat May 16, 2015 11:48 am


I do think that people should know that the calcium content of grass can vary depending on where it's grown. It also depends on rainfall and other growing conditions.

I don't think giving a pig an occasional handful of grass or putting them out to graze (supervised, of course) is a problem, but establishing a diet of fresh grass without knowing the nutritional value could be exposing them to possible urinary problems.

I don't know how you'd get grass tested. Here in the US, every county has an extension agent, and those offices would probably know how to do it.

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Lynx
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Post   » Sat May 16, 2015 12:06 pm


A list of laboratories that will do analyses of hays and grass:

http://www.foragetesting.org/files/2015_Certified_Labs.pdf

From this site, http://www.safergrass.org/pdf/Haytesting.pdf

You can test fresh grass. Get about a pound. If you want to check for sugar and carbs, it will need to be shipped frozen, using dry ice.

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Sat May 16, 2015 3:16 pm


I may be totally misremembering this but I could swear that new shoots of living plants (i.e., lawn grass) are high in a number of things, calcium included. That is, much higher than harvested and dried fully-grown grasses (i.e., hay).

The minerals, vitamins and nutrients in growing plants vary greatly by what point they're in in their growth cycle, what cutting it is, whether it has been harvested and properly dried/cured or not, etc. This is all from vague memory, so don't take it to the bank, but I bet Pinta and maybe E would know.

If you have hydrangeas, they're a perfect example of how you can actually see how a plant utilizes lime in the soil. I grant, of course, that changing the color of the plant's flowers is not the same thing as calcium content in grass, but it's still obvious how it affects the plant.

Honestly, I don't think the small amount of extra foods you gave Zoe postop for a short time are going to have made a huge difference. Her remaining fairly still as she recovered from surgery might have, but of course she needed to do that at that time in order to recover.

Pedialyte: ditto bpatters. We've had no problem with it whatsoever with the single exception of a senior male (and he may be over 9, we don't know for sure) who gets soft stool from it. He also gets soft stool from Critical Care and too many vegetables at one time, too, so I strongly suspect that has more to do with his senior status than anything else.

Pedialyte does have simple sugars in it, so if you are concerned about GI upset for a piggie who is prone to those, dilute it with water, say about half-and-half, and see how readily she takes it before offering it full-strength.

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sat May 16, 2015 6:40 pm


I think you're right about the new grass, Talishan. But it's one of those references on my old hard drive, and I can't find it online again. I haven't really had time to look for it, though.

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Delaine
Supporter in '14

Post   » Sat May 16, 2015 7:34 pm


The grass I cut for the girls is not lawn grass. It is whatever grows in our area naturally. We have a half acre lot and most of it is left natural. I water the bank I get the grass from so it will continue to grow. Any grass that hasn't been cut is getting tough stems and seed heads so I just cut and discard it. That way it can produce more leaf. Same idea as second cut hay.

My next question for debate. Should I be limiting the amount of Timothy seed heads they eat? I remember someone suggesting cutting off the seed heads if there are concerns about stones.

I am willing to do an all out effort to nip this stone in the bud. My husband just shakes his head as he steps around the "new" and "improved" piggy maze taking over my kitchen. It is new so the girls think it is fun for now. What a lot of work setting everything out and packing it all back up.

I looked up Pedialyte and my only concern was the amount of dextrose in it. Seemed 2500 mg was high but I haven't actually figured out was that really means.

I remember my Mom saying how confused she was when my brother was born. She was a first time Mom and tried so hard to do everything exactly how the "books" recommended except every book said something different. She finally threw away all the books and studied her child. I think I am going to follow the same approach with the grass. I will study the calcium deposits and feed accordingly. Because every grass is different and every pig is different I am not sure there is going to be a hard and fast rule.

I do appreciate all the input. I learn so much from the members of this forum and besides its fun to communicate with other piggy lovers.

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sat May 16, 2015 7:49 pm


It's also my understanding that the seed heads are higher in calcium, and I take them out of the hay I feed my pigs. My citation for that is on my old disk drive. Maybe I'll get a chance next week to look for the thing.

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Delaine
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Post   » Sat May 16, 2015 8:09 pm


Thanks bpatter. It sure can't hurt and if it helps it will be worth the effort. I really want to try and avoid surgery.

I am getting too old for all this. I turn 63 very soon and would love to totally retire. As long as my two cuties keep racking up the vet bills I will have to keep bringing home the bacon as my husband puts it.

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