Zoe's Medical Thread

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Delaine
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Post   » Thu Mar 26, 2015 11:37 am


Here is a picture I just took of Zoe munching hay.

Image

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GP_mum
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Post   » Thu Mar 26, 2015 11:49 am


She's looking well and quite alert. When my sow had her spay, I kept her separate for about 1-1.5 weeks so I could monitor her food and hay in take and make sure my other girls weren't stealing her vegetables etc.

I also had her in a 2 by 2.5 CC hospital cage but she wasn't that active initially post her surgery.

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Delaine
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Post   » Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:15 pm


GP_mum It is easy to keep an eye on her bodily functions and food consumption when she is separate but I am concerned she is not moving enough.

How long was it before your sow started to move around more? Right now Zoe seems quite content to go from her house to the hay pile. I am hoping I will see the signs that she needs more space.

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:31 pm


A week of relative inactivity won't hurt her as long as she's moving around the cage.

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Delaine
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Post   » Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:43 pm


bpatters She is moving around the cage. Do you think I should make a small run and sit with her for maybe 5 minutes a couple of times a day? I have a closet full of extra grids. Maybe the exercise would encourage her to drink some water??

If I don't see her out every hour or so I remove the house for a little while to get her moving.

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Thu Mar 26, 2015 1:10 pm


I'd just let her be, if it were me. Mine had a stone removed, and I left her in a cage the size of yours for about three or four days, then starting moving the grids out a bit.

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Delaine
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Post   » Thu Mar 26, 2015 2:22 pm


Thanks bpatters: I want to do the very best for Zoe and I can learn from others experiences. What you said makes sense and sounds like a good plan.

The small cage is convenient for so many reasons. One of the reasons I haven't mentioned is cleanliness. I have many, many fleece pads with a flannel center so I can change her bedding every hour to make sure she is always kept spotless. I wouldn't have the same control if she was in her regular cage with Abbey.

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Delaine
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Post   » Thu Mar 26, 2015 2:28 pm


I am so relieved. I heard the water bottle and expected to see Abbey drinking, but it was Zoe. She came out of her house and was drinking from her water bottle!!!

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Thu Mar 26, 2015 2:39 pm


We had recommended 2 or three weeks alone (perhaps nearby but smaller cage) and restricted movement after major surgery to help prevent adhesions (tears at the incision site - scarring). I would leave her in the small cage.
Last edited by Lynx on Thu Mar 26, 2015 2:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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GP_mum
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Post   » Thu Mar 26, 2015 2:39 pm


My sow was pretty inactive after her spay. For the 1st day back she was very dopey as the vet had prescribed a stronger pain med. I discontinued after 1.5 days and moved to the other pain meds. This was after she had ended up sleeping in her pellet dish while eating her pellets and generally alseep more often than awake.

After the surgery, she just moved a short distance from her hidey to the hay pile and her water bottle.

I agree with bpatters that the limited activity for a week or so should be ok.

She sounds like she is recovering well as she's eating, drinking and moving about.

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Delaine
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Post   » Thu Mar 26, 2015 3:01 pm


I am relieved to hear that everyone that has replied is on the same page. That gives me the confidence to continue on with what I am doing. Thank you.

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Delaine
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Post   » Thu Mar 26, 2015 7:29 pm


When I asked Zoe if she was hungry and wanted her supper she started wheeking. A definite "yes".

Here is a picture of Abbey visiting her sister during floor time.

Image

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Thu Mar 26, 2015 11:02 pm


Ditto to the advice you have received. For surgery as major as a spay, I'd keep her in the small cage for at least a week, maybe 9 or 10 days if not more, unless she really starts to get too agitated or hyper. For a spay, the longer the better.

They get humans up and moving around quickly because our bodies heal differently. Guinea pigs are prone to developing adhesions (as Lynx mentions, tough, gnarly scar tissue) and they can be EXTREMELY painful, continually, AFTER healing. (One of my vets had severe adhesions in her abdominal area and they were very, very uncomfortable. She would periodically have surgery to loosen and break them up, but then they'd just reform. Not fun, and guinea pigs form them more readily postop than we do.)

That wasn't anywhere near enough pain medication (how would you feel if you'd had a complete ovariohysterectomy and they sent you home with a couple of Motrin?), but if she's doing okay now, it's moot. "Okay now" is the most important thing. :-)

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Delaine
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Post   » Fri Mar 27, 2015 12:44 am


Good information Talishan. Thank you.

What would you recommend for pain medication, how much and how often? I trusted the amount her vet sent home would be adequate so I never questioned her. I wish I had asked you about pain control before Zoe's surgery. She has one more dose of Metacam tomorrow at noon and then she is done. Should she be on pain medication longer than that?

The only time I thought she looked uncomfortable was first thing this morning but once she started eating and moving around she improved quickly and after her noon meds. she really dug into the hay, pellets and water.

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Fri Mar 27, 2015 8:59 pm


At this point she'll probably be fine. Ask for more Metacam if she starts to seem to need it, but I doubt she will at this point. Your vet is an extremely good surgeon, which helps enormously.

That said, many vets (not all -- the two main vets I use know the importance of pain medication -- but many) think that pain medication dopes them up too much to eat. Well, severe pain makes them not eat, too, duh.

For major surgery (defined arbitrarily by me as a bladderstone on up in terms of invasiveness), I ask for BOTH buprenorphine (or Tramadol at the least) AND Metacam. These can be used together.

I give BOTH to start; Metacam to reduce swelling and the narcotic for pain control. Then I ramp up the narcotic if needed. As the pig improves I ramp the narcotic down and the NSAID UP, then ramp the NSAID down as the pig continues to improve.

NSAIDs don't have the painkilling power of narcotics, but they'll do the job once the pig is over the initial hump.

Again,this is my protocol only. YMMV. A skilled surgeon who is able to do the surgery with minimal disturbance to the surrounding tissues makes a huge difference in the amount of analgesia needed postop.

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Catie Cavy
Supporter 2011-2017

Post   » Sat Mar 28, 2015 4:01 pm


I’m so glad Zoe’s recovery is going well. You’re lucky to have access to such an experienced surgeon. Strange about the lack of cysts. It will be interesting to see if she still rumbles like she used to. Still, it’s good that you had her spayed when she is relatively young. It would be much more risky on a 5 or 6 year old.

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Delaine
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Post   » Sat Mar 28, 2015 9:09 pm


Thanks Catie Cavy. My vet is pretty amazing. Between my friend's two sows and my two she has done 6 surgeries on the four sows over two years. Out of these 6 surgeries 3 were spays.

Zoe is still doing well. I was a bit concerned how she would be today because it is her first day without pain medication but she seems fine. Her weight is down which is to be expected but she is eating well. She gets 1 tbsp. of pellets daily and has been eating all of them so I have started offering her more. I will worry about stones once she has gained back some of her weight.

I pulled out my second 2 x 4 cage and divided it in half with grids and she is enjoying having the space of a 2 x 2. I have to go to work on Monday and I couldn't stand leaving her in the small cage. By the time I got home she would be knee deep in poop and pee with no way to get away from it. Now she has a house, a cuddle cup and a hay pile to spread out her waste.

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Sun Mar 29, 2015 12:21 am


Excellent plan/adjustment. A 2x2 will give her what she needs, but it's still not big enough for her to do enough running to cause damage.

Keep us posted.

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Delaine
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Post   » Mon Mar 30, 2015 7:24 pm


Leaving Zoe for 7 hours and going to work was so stressful for me today. I started to get myself worked up yesterday and was constantly hovering over her, counting poops, watching how much hay she was eating, etc. etc. which in turn stressed her out. I had convinced myself she wasn't doing as well but it was really me that wasn't doing well. I didn't sleep and was up at 3:00 am hovering once more. How could I possibly get her to the vet and go to work!

I even phoned the vet from work and suggested getting more pain medication and maybe a sub-Q because I saw more sludge in her cage. Zoe has had small stones so seeing sludge even stressed me out more. Her vet said as long as she is eating she doesn't need anymore pain medication.

Anyways I rushed home from work and Zoe was quite fine, lots of poops in the hay pile and she started wheeking for me to get it together, quit worrying and get those greens coming.

I bought some Valerian root tincture, took some Rescue Remedy and some Calms Forte so now I am feeling much better.

I really should have put this post in Delaine's Medical Thread and not Zoe's.

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Tue Mar 31, 2015 12:48 am


Bear in mind that once she is out of restricted recovery space, she'll move around more and that will help her clear sludge.

Syringe her extra water in the meantime if you like. It won't hurt and may help.

It is not at all unusual for guinea pig caretakers to need more meds than the recovering guinea pigs. ;-)

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