Disclaimer: sorry this post is so long
I know that GI stasis has been covered a lot on this page and in this forum, but I can't help but still need some reassurance about my pig Chester, so any wise words would be helpful! I don't have much experience with sick piggies.
Chester is about 3 years old (male) and has been in great health up until this point. On Saturday (about 5 days ago) we took him to the emergency vet because we noticed he was not eating and was more lethargic than usual. We made sure to see a vet that is well-trained in exotic/small animals. They treated him very kindly. After chatting with them, giving him an x-ray and examination, they determined he had GI stasis. He was also slightly weezey and had a lot of eye discharge, so they thought he had a small URI even though his lungs were showing clear on the x-ray. The x-ray also showed that his stomach was distended, but there was no blockage. They gave him fluids and sent us home with 2 GI motility meds (Cisapride & Reglan), and an antibiotic (Baytril) to combat the URI. He is also on a pain med (Meloxicam?). They also gave us Oxbow Critical Care for force feeding. I have recently started giving him probiotics after reading that Baytril can sometimes upset the belly.
I'm generally an over paranoid person, but I'd like to know if things are headed in the right direction. Over the course of the 5 days there has seen to be improvement- Chester is pooping more (maybe still not as much as usual) and has been gorging on hay and water (getting back to normal I think). He still isn't getting as excited about his veggies- and he'll eat maybe 1/3 to 1/2 of what is given to him. Because of this, I've been giving him the Critical Care. I do CC about twice a day now because he still is eating, but not as much as usual. The more he's been eating, the less CC I've been giving him. I think his mood has drastically improved- he seems less lethargic and is enjoying floor time more than he was a few days ago (running more, happy squeaks, even saw a lil' popcorn). His eye discharge has also reduced quite a bit and he's back to looking like the handsome little devil that he is.
My main concern stems from the fact that his GI motility meds are due to run out today (Cisapride definitely, I may have some Reglan left over). He is still due to have the pain med and Baytril for a few more days. Should I be concerned about his feeding not being back to normal? I'm wondering if his hunger schedule is just out of sorts because of the meds and CC. Should I try to get him more GI meds because of this? My main question is- How long does it take a piggy to fully (if ever) recover from GI stasis? I truly think he is doing much better than before- but I'm not sure what to expect from this point forward. I'm trying to be patient and hopeful, but I'm still a little nervous.
Thanks in advance everyone.
I have read that and it was helpful. I'm just not sure where to go from here or what time frame I should expect a full improvement.
- You can quote me
Some pigs recover from stasis/bloat episodes abruptly and quickly; others can take weeks to fully normalize (and everything in between). You're doing all the right things; just keep going.
Pigs that have had one stasis/bloat episode often, unfortunately, seem predisposed or sensitive to another. See if your vet will let you keep motility drugs on hand. That way, if this happens again down the road (at 2 a.m. on a Saturday morning, of course) you can begin treatment immediately. The quicker a gut slowdown is addressed, the milder it can be.
Thanks for all of your advice! Chester seems to be doing much better. It's almost been 2 weeks now and I am very optimistic. He has been producing a lot more poops recently and has been consistently eating hay like he was before he got sick. HIs weight also has not changed much. He is off of his antibiotics now (yay). I'm wondering if I should continue giving him some probiotics? Also, we have a 24 hour emergency exotics vet (even on weekends) so that makes me feel good if this ever happens again.
His veggie appetite is also a lot better- but still not where I would like it to be. He seems to enjoy and eat all of his special veggies (parsley & carrots) but isn't as interested in Romaine or other leafy greens. Is it possible that he's just a picky eater? He gets excited about eating but sometimes doesn't eat. I'll try to be patient because from what everyone's mentioned it seems like a process, but overall I think he's doing well.
- You can quote me
How is his weight doing? Sometimes after not eating properly, their teeth will overgrow. If he's losing weight, and/or continues to act interested in food but doesn't eat it, his teeth may have overgrown a bit while he was off his food. If that has happened, a light dental trim should put him right.
Very glad to hear he's doing better! You're doing a very good job caring for him, we know it's not easy.