Jan's Toothy Smile medical thread

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daisymay
Supporter 2016-2019

Post   » Tue May 14, 2019 1:35 pm


Okay, I have had it with vets! Not for the first time I have asked Carol and four other vets to try Joy and passed piggies onto heart medication but every time I have been shot down.

I have explained there is no test, I have given links to this site, I have printed up page and every time I get the I WENT TO UNIVERSITY! I STUDIED TO BE A VET! I KNOW MORE THAN YOU!

Out comes the stethoscope, watch and i get strong heart beat no mur murs, rate good. Rule out heart.

Joy is nearly 6 and a half which is what around 80 in people years, I swear if one of my pigs was writing out it's will it still wouldn't get the medication.

Joy's other front paw is swollen, hind paws sores not healing. She doesn't move around and looks depressed. Also she is losing more fur on left side but Carol refuses HRT.

It mentions on the feet page to bathe the feet. What does one use? It is nearly Winter here so only wish to get Joy's paws wet. No wonder I have grey hair, why aren't the vets here open to suggestions?

Dr Vella is supposed to be expert on piggies. I have asked vets to contact him. But nope they can't even do this.

Off to feed Joy she now has stopped eating, massage then bed. Joy has an appointment with Carol today, a waste of time and money. Tried other vets all the same. So any advice much appreciated!

Crazy4me

Post   » Tue May 14, 2019 3:56 pm


I don't post on the medical thread because I have limited experience with anything medical. However I am wondering if a different approach might get the vet to give you some heart medication. Perhaps threatening to sue if your pig is found to have heart failure or any heart related ailment that would have benefited from heart medication. I would mention to said vet that it would be much more easier (especially on the vets reputation) to give heart medication a try, then to face a possible lawsuit. Of course this might be far fetched but it just might get the vets to listen to you.

I am really sorry you are struggling with this; this doesn't need to be.

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Sef
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Tue May 14, 2019 7:05 pm


I'm sure you're already familiar with the GL page on heart issues, but just in case:
http://www.guinealynx.info/heart.html
Has Joy shown other indicators of possible heart disease besides lethargy and slow healing?

Chest xrays can help diagnose (or rule out) heart enlargement and/or fluid around the chest cavity, which may not be apparent just by listening to the heart.

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daisymay
Supporter 2016-2019

Post   » Wed May 15, 2019 2:43 am


Threaten to sue

This is a pretty small town(8000) if i did threaten to sue vets in a 30kms radius would refuse to see any of my girls. mind you I do feel like it some times-especially when Jemma passed and I wanted an autopsy done. They refused to do one saying why waste money it would only tell you what caused her to pass. Thanks for the suggestion!
Has Joy shown other indicators of possible heart disease besides lethargy and slow healing?
1. Not Eating.
2. Not moving around.
3. Sores on paws and swollen feet(maybe bumblefoot?).
4. Last 6 months has had teeth done twice.
5. Straight after she had teeth done last time-still out of it, Carol bought her out to me to hold until she woke up(5 minutes) and she felt so stiff. Is this normal?

Went to vet today, only weight and feet looked at, seems feet maybe spurs and not bumblefoot even though it looks similar to pictures on the feet page.

Plan of action to do nothing. NO bathing of feet. NO pain or heart medication. Just do what we are doing with the usual medications of a tenth of a metomide tablet once a day, 0.2mls of Zantac Syrup twice a day and whats the other one, thinking Protexin once a day and see what happens. I hate those words.

Joy was eating when on 0.3 mls of Meloxicam twice a day then when we went to once a day she started to tamper off.

What I am going to propose is to have Joy ultrasounded(she is losing fur on tummy but left side of back only and cyst not always there) and then have pictures sent to someone who knows about guinea pigs(no-one around here does) and go from there. I may even put back on the Meloxicam for a day or two.

Thanks for the replies and advice sef1268 and Crazy4me. Will keep you posted.

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daisymay
Supporter 2016-2019

Post   » Sun May 19, 2019 8:38 am


Okay, Joy is now eating, looking brighter and alert. BUT she is now breathing fast and you can feel her heart beating/thumping in her chest trying to get out.

is this her heart? I hope not as vets won't give heart medication. Carol and 4 other vets have said the same! BOTH Jemma +Jupiter had the same and Jasmine was starting the same.

It was try this, do that or just watch if worse bring back. In Joy's case it was try AB'S if it helps good, if it has no affect it hasn't hurt any. Thanking any replies in advance.

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Sef
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Sun May 19, 2019 10:04 am


Just tossing this out there...do you know what the sodium content is in their pellets? Too much salt can elevate BP. It's probably a long shot, but maybe something to rule out?

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daisymay
Supporter 2016-2019

Post   » Sun May 19, 2019 2:03 pm


Just tossing this out there...do you know what the sodium content is in their pellets?

Not sure! They are on Oxbow Cavy Cuisine or Adult guinea pig pellets as they are now called. Will just have a peek, doesn't say.

Diet, fresh veggies IE: Spinach, baby spinach, silverbeet, oak lettuce green or red, cos lettuce,
continental cucumber, rockmelon, carrot, Timothy hay(Oxbow) Oxbow pellets, Meadow hay. Joy also gets Oxbow Critical Care.

Medications: Meloxicam 0.5 cat strength 0.3mls twice a day, a tenth of a Metomide tablet once a day, 0.2mls of Zantac Syrup twice a day, Protexin once a day.

When we have it they also get catgrass depending on how it is growing. They also have fresh water in bottles when ever they want it.

How does one check a piggies BP? I have high BP but that never occurred to me. Thanks for the idea sef1268!

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daisymay
Supporter 2016-2019

Post   » Mon May 20, 2019 1:43 am


Is there a test for eye sight? As some times when food bowls are put down Joy goes around as if she can't find them yet are always in same spot.

I was thinking the heavy breathing with Joy and past pigs Jemma, Jupiter and Jasmine was either heart or hyperventilation leading to panic attack then fainting with heart stopping. This is what scares us handling Joy!

Any suggestions much appreciated. Joy sees the vet again Friday.

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Sef
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Mon May 20, 2019 6:51 am


I can understand your frustration, daisymay. The thing is, without xrays to give some reasonable indication that there is in fact an enlarged heart or fluid around the heart/CHF, few vets will want to prescribe heart meds. Putting an animal or even a human on heart meds without knowing for sure if they're needed can be just as disastrous as not prescribing them if there are heart issues. So I can somewhat understand your vet's reluctance. On the other hand, though, you're the customer and you're the one paying the bill. It seems to me that if you *insist* (politely or otherwise) on xrays, they should be willing to do it.

As mentioned on the Heart page, typical signs of heart issues can include recurring URIs, wheezing/hooting, indications of poor circulation (dark/necrotic ear margins, for example), lethargy or difficulty breathing. If you're seeing some or all of these signs, it would be worth having a serious conversation with your vet to say that, for your own peace of mind, you want a set of radiographs. That is a very reasonable request.

All of this said...if I were to see suspected heart failure in more than one guinea pig, I'd want to take a look at possible environmental factors as well: how and where they are housed; anything in the environment that could be an allergen or toxin; etc. Are/were the four pigs in question related to one another? While heart issues absolutely can and do happen with these guys, I've only had one known case in the 10+ years that we've had guinea pigs. I know there was a member here (Mum?) who reported having multiple "heart" pigs over a number of years, but I still don't see it as all that common, and the chances of having more than one heart pig within the same relative timeframe would be even less likely (unless they are siblings and there is a strong genetic component)---but I suppose it's not beyond the realm of possibility.

I'm sorry you're dealing with all of these issues, and wish I could be of more help.

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daisymay
Supporter 2016-2019

Post   » Wed May 22, 2019 6:16 am


Thanks for the reply Sef! Now for update! Carol is now refusing to see Joy as she says it is a waste of our money coming to see her when she doesn't know what is wrong with her. She suggests we see someone else. BUT after years of research have not found a vet who REALLY knows about guinea pigs! They say they do but they don't!

So I thought I would give here a history of Joy and her problems so maybe someone had suggestions so we could look into things.

It all started around same time Jan got sick 2 and a bit years ago. When Joy would eat her tummy would swell up a bit and go rock hard. BUT she would like Jan lose weight. Since she was 2 years old(now 6 and a half) she has had cyst problems, sometimes there, sometimes not, sometimes both sides sometimes only one side. How do cyst disappear?

Anyways off and on her fur on her tummy has grown gone bald and grown etc BUT since around 12 months ago her fur went AWOL and has not returned. She has now developed a bald patch on her left side. BUT NO cyst felt.

Joy has NOT had any X-rays as Carol said it wouldn't show anything. When Jan Joy's biological sister had X-rays it showed her tummy was full of wind. Joy was put on Jan's medication a tenth of a Metomide tablet once a day, Meloxicam 0.3mls twice a day, Zantac Syrup 0.2mls twice a day(Dr Vella suggested this). Since this time Joy has been stable.

In December(shortly after Jan passed away) Joy went of her food only eating rockmelon and carrot. Took to vet and discovered teeth were growing angle wise. January had teeth filed and she improved. April had teeth filed again top were good bottom a ml or two too long. BUT this time NO improvement.

When on Meloxicam she is better but when of it she stops eating. BUT neither Carol or me know what is causing her the pain. We thought the pain was new cage mate Jay so put see through barrier between them as Jay is raging hormones but this has made no difference!

Jay wishes to rule everyone and anything, she tries to be boss of rabbit-rattles bum swaying-rabbit is NEVER with the guinea pigs! We just put her up against his cage wire and away she goes. Even tries to boss us!

Back to Joy, now her breathing is rapid and you can feel her heart pounding as if trying to get out of her chest. Was on Bactrim for a week but made no difference. Carol has NO idea and neither do we! But on a thought would her swollen tummy be putting pressure on her lungs and heart causing the rapid breathing and thumping? Would this also be causing the pain?
Back in January Joy started to develop sores on her paws and her front paws became swollen and deformed. Bedding is very clean and soft! Put on AB's but made no difference.
BUT what is stopping Joy from gaining weight? Is she having trouble absorbing the food? Is it genetic as Jan had same problem?

I know any advice given is just that, but I am looking for ideas to run by Carol. I know this site advises vet attention is the best medicine but what do you do when there are no vets that know about guinea pigs? We have had guinea pigs for 30 years and have done4 many vet searches to come up empty.

Any advice or suggestions much appreciated and many thanks in advance!!!!!. Joy sends wheeks in thanks! All piggies are indoors with warmth and cool in Summer.

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daisymay
Supporter 2016-2019

Post   » Wed May 22, 2019 6:34 am


Forgot to mention July 2018 their world was turned upside down when we were forced to move. We think this is why we lost Jan 4 months later, but only a guess. Joy was sick before we left but not as bad. Maybe the move or maybe just coincidence?

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Sef
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Wed May 22, 2019 6:52 am


The only thing I'm able to strongly suggest, again, is x-rays. Fluid around the heart, lungs and abdomen will show up if it's there, as well as enlargement of the heart. I'd want a full set of dental x-rays as well. If the teeth (were they the back teeth?) were growing at an angle, it's entirely possible that the roots are elongated or likewise growing in an odd direction and causing pain along or under the gumline. I guess bloodwork has never been done?

I don't understand a vet who says "don't bother" or won't even see the client. There are no other vets around at all? Even if it requires a little more travel? At this stage, I'd honestly take her advice and see someone else because it's obvious that this vet doesn't know and, worse, isn't interested in trying to find out. If nothing else, x-rays will help rule out a few things and give another vet more to go on.

What is her weight? If her weight is at least stable, and if she otherwise manages well on Metacam (bright, engaged, eating, drinking, pooping and peeing normally, etc.), the alternative would be just to give her supportive care. At 6 years old, there may be things that can be attributable to 'old age' and the metabolic changes that can go along with it. I know that feels a little like giving up, but if veterinary resources are that limited, that may be your only/best option at this point.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Wed May 22, 2019 8:44 am


Do also look into hormone treatments like HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin).
http://www.guinealynx.info/ovarian_cysts.html

Sounds like part of this may be reproductive.

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daisymay
Supporter 2016-2019

Post   » Wed May 22, 2019 10:06 am


Do also look into hormone treatments like HCG

I have asked Carol to do HRT but she said as she can't always feel them and as fur lost is only on the one side she refuses to try it. No-one knows how to ultrasound guinea pigs in a 60kms radius. Carol said HRT with no proof it is needed can be fatal.


Her weight hovers between 780-820grams. Less than 12 months(August 2018) she was just over 1100grams. She is peeing and pooping but just sits around under the hay and has done this for close to 2 years.

When Jan was ill(November 2018) 3 vets when I asked them did they know about guinea pigs they said whats to know? You PTS, get another and move on. Other vets said if Jan had been a dog or cat test would be done, but as she was only a guinea pig not worth their time or our money. When I told them what we did for Jessie and how much we spent we were told we were crazy.

When Petal had bloat vets asked if she had thrown up. When Rosie wasn't eating we were told to leave her in her bedroom, not to touch her till morning. Naturally she was gone. Rosie, Zoe and Choloe and Petal were all given Terramycin on numerous occasions. I'm just glad we didn't lose them!

Then there is Jessie who got abscesses. The abscesses were treated but not the cause. When discovered this so called guinea pig expert vet saved her life BUT broke her jaw in 3 places, then blamed us. Because of this she never ate again by herself due to misaligned mouth. Then there was Jasmine who loved to be held laying on her back, so was holding her this way, I told vet she got loads of cuddles and fed Critical Care by syringe. I was then accused of knowing nothing about guinea pigs and told I didn't deserve to have any.

Have sent email to RSPCA asking if they could recommend a vet, will wait till I hear from them. BUT if not by Friday will start researching into vets yet again. Thanks Self and Lynx for your replies. With stethoscope Carol heard no crackling or fluid.

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daisymay
Supporter 2016-2019

Post   » Fri May 24, 2019 12:14 am


Took Joy to vet with Jewel any Jay(they were getting weight checked). Joy's breathing was very rapid and when Carol listened to her heart she said it would skip a beat.She used Jewel + Jay for comparison.

She called it an arrhythmia . She is going to research it something about lungs before heart or other way round. She has a tentative appointment for Tuesday for X-rays. She is also urinating more.

On a good note her fur is growing back! She's eating(touching wood she continues), weight hovering the same, and she's pooping normal poops. Keep you posted!

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Sef
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Wed May 29, 2019 12:39 pm


From DaisyMay:

A Joy update, after $700.00 later for x-rays we are no closer to a solution. Carol as usual had trouble reading the damn thing! But was 70% sure there was no masses, stones, fluid or enlarged heart.

What we do know is Carol sent the x-rays to Dr. Vella and we get the usual response-must go back onto baytril and see how she goes. Never mind after 3 days Joy goes off her food, we can no longer get Bactrim here so in Carol's eyes that only leaves Baytril.

Now, have any of you seen a boxer's paws? The way they bulge at bottom? Where this is how Joy's front paws are, where the toes are they are swollen and hard and the toes themselves are becoming deformed facing every which way. The rear paws fear no better both having round scabs on them.
I have told Carol that I believe Joy has bumblefoot and may need to be on ab's for 4 weeks or more, but no, she is the vet she knows best!

Now we believe due to the drought we have had to get any hay we can get our hands on-meadow hay. Now the hay we have been getting is full of seeds and I believe these seeds which have gotten stuck into the blankets and vet/dry bed. Now I believe one or more have poked her in the feet causing this ailment, but no-one seems to have the same views as I have.

Now on GL it says to bathe the feet, how long and how often? I have the epsom salt just need the details on how to do it. The funny thing is (should I be worried?) Joy has put on 100grams this week, something we have been struggling her to do. So where does this weight come from?

If I ever get a copy of the x-rays will post them on gl. Has carol found something and is covering her butt? Or am I getting the same old story, find nothing use ab's won't hurt may help?

Any advice much appreciated, sorry for being a pain. The thing that concerns me, paws started being a problem since January this year, Joy has had problems for 2-3 years now. If you hear a loud noise it will be me screaming.

ETA: Joy's temp is normal. If infection wouldn't it be high? Is it something we are doing as Jupiter, Jasmine also had the rapid breathing thing.

Image

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daisymay
Supporter 2016-2019

Post   » Wed May 29, 2019 12:59 pm


Thanks self! Much appreciated! It seems yesterday Carol forgot to tell me heart skipping a beat wasn't as pronounced.

If anyone could tell me what they bathed their piggies feet in I would appreciate it! It is Winter here so the less Joy gets wet the better!

Thanks Lynx and sef!

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Wed May 29, 2019 1:18 pm


The posters on this and related links say twice a day, and gives the solutions they used: http://www.guinealynx.info/pododermatitis.html

An upside-down bottle cap makes a good piggy foot bath.

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daisymay
Supporter 2016-2019

Post   » Wed May 29, 2019 1:46 pm


An upside-down bottle cap makes a good piggy foot bath.
Thanks bpatters!!! NEVER thought of that! Will give first foot bath when sun is up. Too cold, wet and windy at the moment.

I am guessing I can use a cotton tip to bathe back feet which have the scabs. Front feet are swollen and hard where toes are and have bulge on the under pad.

Thanks again. Twice a day, very little Epsom Salt and more water, so 1 part Epsom and 99 parts water. Thanks again!

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Wed May 29, 2019 2:18 pm


You can soak the back feet as well.

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