Pepper's Medical Thread

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Post   » Tue Jan 19, 2016 8:00 am

Ditto. Best to her and please keep us posted.

You probably know most of this, but read over:

That's everything I know about postop care.

For the Love of Pigs

Post   » Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:18 pm

Thanks for the link. I went back to reread it.

Pepper has come through the surgery well. I know we're not out of the woods yet, but what a relief. She's being kept overnight with tech care.

They did another xray & ultrasound & couldn't fine the stone (passed?!) but saw something else. Turns out there was a polyp the size of a pee (husband's pun, not mine). She took that out & found little bits of stone stuff - sludge & grit & cleaned that out. At some point she flushed the bladder through the urethra to clear everything out.

Next the uterus. She removed it & also took the ovaries. She expected the ovaries to have a cyst, since that's what usually fuels a uterine tumor, but found lots of little cysts - maybe follicles. I'm not sure what the implication is.

She'd had a hard time getting to the ovaries - they were high up & to the back - and didn't want to leave her under any longer, so she didn't look for the kidney problem.

She said she didn't restrain Pepper's hind limbs at all, just let them fall naturally back. She loosely taped the fore limbs.

I ran up there with some Kleenmama's hay when I found out the would be there overnight.

And that's all for now.

Thanks again for all the support.

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Post   » Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:42 pm

Hope all goes well! Sounds like she did as good a job as she could. I'm sure you've read gl/postop.html and all the links to Talishan's advice. Go Pepper!

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Post   » Wed Jan 20, 2016 12:05 pm

Ditto Lynx. My very best to her, and please keep us posted.

For the Love of Pigs

Post   » Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:31 pm

Just read your postop link, Lynx. We've been through this several times with other pigs, but it still seems scary.

As of this morning, she was doing fine & standing, but still not eating on her own. Daughter 1 is visiting her right now and Pepper is eating a piece of apple. Progress! And gurgled when petted. I suspected having one of us with her would help. She is a very timid pig - took her about 5 years to relax with us, especially the girls. She licks them, but not me & my husband.

One of the vets said eating on her own within a couple of days after the surgery was a good sign of recovery prognosis.

She still has problems. There's the big mass on her kidney and the mass in her uterus could have metastasized, but I hope we've bought her some decent quality time.

For the Love of Pigs

Post   » Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:58 am

We brought Pepper home last night. Poor thing was trembling at the vet's. She got a nice snuggle with her mom & our daughters. No trembles and she even made some happy sounds.

Lots of pee & poo in the cage this morning. I'm not surprised because they were syringe feeding & gave her subcues at the vet. She eats treats (lettuce, carrots, cranberries) but I haven't seen her eat hay or pellets. Might have to start the dreaded syringe feeding.

She's not moving around much - not supposed too & she's in a small cage - but she seems to move just fine when she feels like it.

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Post   » Thu Jan 21, 2016 9:12 pm

Fingers crossed for her to make a good recovery from the surgery!

For the Love of Pigs

Post   » Fri Jan 22, 2016 11:12 am

Thanks Lynx. Support is greatly appreciated!

Talishan - I read on your link that you prefer using 1cc syringes for critical care. How does that work better for you? Do you just draw the CC up into the syringe? I'm concerned that to do that we would have to make it too runny. And since I think Lucy aspirated CC & choked to death, I'm totally freaked about it.

I gave her a couple of 1cc syringes of water and it is easier to get the syringe back in the corner of her mouth and it seems there is less risk of giving too much at once.

I was at work when she got her syringe feed last night and was told she vigorously protested (after accepting a bit at first without without problem) with head shaking and CC splattering and attempts at kitchen table exploration.

We have discovered that putting Nutmeg in with Pepper encourages Pepper to eat hay. Sort of convivial feeding - "sure, I'll have a drink with you" sort of thing. I put Nutmeg in this morning for a bit & Pepper ate some hay & nuzzled her mom. Then she seemed tuckered out, so I took Nutmeg out. It's nap time now.

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Fri Jan 22, 2016 11:40 am

Since Talishan probably won't be on until evening, I'll answer that for her.

No, you don't draw the CC up into the small syringe. You get a large syringe that you can load with a spoon and use it to fill the small syringes. You'll still have to make it pretty runny and stir it very well, or it'll clog up in the small syringe.

You also have to cut the narrow tips off the small syringes, just where they narrow down from the barrel of the syringe. Take the plunger out and use a match to quickly melt any sharp places where you've cut it.

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Post   » Fri Jan 22, 2016 11:57 am

Still keeping my fingers crossed for you and lil one, Bookfan.

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Supporter in '16

Post   » Fri Jan 22, 2016 12:23 pm

And seriously: make 10 of the sawed-off syringes as bpatters describes. Fill 10 at a time. If possible, have a partner refill as you feed, so you can sit down with 10 filled syringes but maybe get 20 or 30 mL in without having to stop.

Very good conversation and links and hand-holding starts here, when Snickers was hunger-striking after his neuter.

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Post   » Fri Jan 22, 2016 12:38 pm

For what it's worth, I used a pill container to mix the Critical care and fed my pig with her feet on the counter, corraled in the crook of my left arm. I was able to draw the dose with a 1cc tip-cut-off syringe one handed and it worked pretty well (might have stabilized the larger container with the left hand but two fingers held the syringe, two fingers lifted the plunger.

Did I mention I was a contortionist in a previous life?

For the Love of Pigs

Post   » Fri Jan 22, 2016 12:56 pm

Thanks, everyone! So many tips. I'll show this to my daughter who is the maid feeder.

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Post   » Sat Jan 23, 2016 5:17 am

Ditto to all advice.

You can draw the CC up into a 1cc if the tip's been cut off. It'll be a little runnier than the suggested mixing instructions give, but it will also give the piggy more liquid, which she also needs.

For your daughter: work the filled syringe into the side of her mouth, behind her incisors; then straighten it back toward the molars.

Depress the plunger SLOWLY. Give her about 1/3 of the syringe, then stop. Let her chew and swallow. Then give another third and repeat.

Guinea pigs can hold about a third of a 1cc syringe's-worth of CC in their mouths at one time. Pressing the plunger SLOWLY and giving small amounts, then stopping and letting her chew, both greatly reduce the risk of aspiration.

Handfeeding's a lot easier if you have some help. At our house I hold the pig and my husband holds the piggy's head (careful of the eyes) with one hand and feeds with the other hand.

Don't rush and don't try to do this in a hurry. It'll get easier as both you and piggy figure out how it works. Like anything else, it improves with practice.

For the Love of Pigs

Post   » Sun Jan 24, 2016 11:39 am

Great tips Talishan. Nice to know how much she can hold in her mouth and the positioning advice is the clearest I've seen. I'm not always sure when they're done chewing, because they chew & stop (swallow?) and start chewing again, without having any new cc syringed in.

Pepper has started eating hay on her own, even without Nutmeg & there were lots of poops this morning. Daughter's been syringe feeding just once a day, so throughput is looking pretty good. She's been weighing her daily, but I'm not on top of that. I don't think there's been alarming weight loss. She's still not drinking, so we're supplementing water as well.

I've been speculating that her decrease in water intake a month ago might have been related to discomfort due to the big polyp. Maybe, in her piggy way, she figured out that water drinking put pressure on her already full bladder. Who knows.

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Post   » Thu Jan 28, 2016 1:48 pm

Sounds good. Keep us posted.

Try offering her unflavored Pedialyte via syringe. Don't force it; just offer it and see what she does. Many pigs love it and will readily drink several cc's at one time. Sometimes this seems to help them 'remember' what it feels like to be properly hydrated, and jump-starts them drinking regular water.

For the Love of Pigs

Post   » Fri Jan 29, 2016 11:04 am

I was thinking about the Pedialyte - remember reading about it in other posts but couldn't remember what kind & in bottle or syringe.

"this seems to help them 'remember' what it feels like to be properly hydrated, and jump-starts them drinking regular water" - excellent idea.

She has started drinking on her own since about 3 days ago! Also eating pellets & hay, even when she's alone. She's losing a little weight from day to day, so daughter is still supplementing with some cc & extra water to be sure she has enough.

Her pee is pink on & off. The vet got the results of a culture from a bladder swab. The bacteria present don't respond to Bactrim & she said that would explain continuing blood in the urine. She said she'd be worried if we were seeing clots.

So, we're going to stop the Bactrim & start Chlor... - can't remember the name. Happily no Baytril.

Nutmeg decided to join the game with blood in her urine. They couldn't get a good look for a stone with ultrasound because she was so filled with poop & gas, but we're giving her Bactrim which she thinks is the most wonderful treat.

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Post   » Sat Jan 30, 2016 1:47 pm

Use probiotics with chloramphenicol. It's a powerful AB and can cause many of the same intolerance issues Baytril can.

That said, it penetrates better than Baytril (and I don't care what Bayer says. :-p).

Chlor poses a very, very minor health risk (very minor, but not zero) to humans. If your daughter is in charge of meds as well as feeding, have her wash her hands before and after handling the med, and after dosing Pepper.

For the Love of Pigs

Post   » Mon Feb 01, 2016 12:21 pm

Thanks for the heads up on the chlor. It has affected her appetite somewhat, but we've moved her back into the big cage with her mother. She's happier & I think eating more. Daughter is weighing & added an extra CC feeding. I'll throw some Critter Be Better in with her regular pellets. It has pre & pro-biotics.

The vet alerted us to the Chlor risk to humans. I got some disposable gloves for my daughter to use and we're being otherwise careful.

Checkup tomorrow. Urine is sometimes clear & sometimes pink.

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Post   » Mon Feb 01, 2016 6:24 pm

Best to her. Your daughter is doing a great job, btw. Let us know how it goes tomorrow.

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