Charlotte's end of life care

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AyaMcCabre

Post   » Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:16 pm


Charlotte saw the vet today. He's on the same page as us - that it's not time yet, but she probably only has about a week.
She's not in pain as far as we can tell, but her tumour is putting pressure on her diaphragm and it's starting to affect her breathing. We're able to check on her breathing at home because you can hear it so easily when she's on a shoulder. Her tumour is so big now that we can see it growing day by day, and the vet could feel the individual lobes of her liver. She's starting to look a bit puffed up, and her body is visibly lopsided when seen from the top. She has mild bumblefoot from the extra weight and pressure towards her back end. She's gained 160g(!) since last time she went to the vet, but it's all tumour. She's lost body condition. Her cagemate is picking on her because she knows Charlotte's sick, but she's also still hanging out and grooming her.
She's still excited about food and cuddles and she still tries to run around during floor time (her tumour bump gets in the way). She still escapes, tries to jump off the couch, and objects to her health checks. We have her on twice daily metacam and a meal replacement supplement which she loves. We have some baby food for her, and at this stage she can have as much as she wants since she won't live long enough for mid-long term problems to develop.
Her human has had some difficult talks with the vet and while we're hoping she'll pass in her sleep at home we will take her in if it gets to that point. The vet said that what we're looking for is significant difficulty breathing, pain, or if she stops being interested in food. Her human would like to know if anyone has any other suggestions of things we should be watching out for.

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AyaMcCabre

Post   » Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:49 pm


Photos:

Tumour bump:
Image
Image

Sore feet:
Image

Still enjoying cuddles:
Image

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:04 pm


She looks like such a sweet guinea pig. I am so sorry her days are numbered.

Bookfan
For the Love of Pigs

Post   » Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:23 am


She is a beautiful girl. I'm glad she's still happy, but it's so hard on her humans knowing what's coming.

Darling

Post   » Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:47 am


She's a beautiful girl. I don't have any suggestions (I'm in a similar situation), but I wanted to say I'm sorry and am keeping you both in my thoughts.

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:31 pm


Vet is right.

If/when she suffers severe, uncontrollable, unremitting pain; when or if she becomes listless, lethargic, uninterested in food, or her surroundings or you; disengaged -- you will know. Listen to your gut, and walk with her.

From your photos and description, it's not time yet and may not be for a while. From my limited experience with this, the time comes abruptly. I'm hoping she will leave at home, in familiar, comfortable surroundings.

You are caring for her just beautifully. My very best wishes, thoughts, blessings and comfort to her and to you.

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Zaphy

Post   » Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:34 am


I'm so sorry that she is coming to the end of her life. She looks like she's had an amazing life with you.

I hope as well that she'll leave peacefully in her sleep, but if it does get to the point of needing to take her in, I have a suggestion- maybe it's obvious, but I didn't think of it till just the last minute (well, hour actually) when I had to take one of my ladies in for her last appointment a month ago. For her last day/meal, get new fresh veggies from the store if she's still able to eat on her own at all. My Lilo wasn't interested in the lettuce I had on hand which was only a few days old but while we were saying goodbye at the vet's, I had my husband run out to get her a fresh head of lettuce from the store (and some other treats) and she gorged herself- ended up eating probably half the head of lettuce and smearing it all over her chin. It was also green leaf, as opposed to the romaine I'd been giving her previously- she'd never shown a preference for either before, and I think maybe it was the slight change of pace that perked her interest in treats again.

I know it's completely anecdotal and it may not be useful for every pig at the end of their lives, but I thought that I'd share in case it becomes relevant to your situation. You and Charlotte are in my thoughts, and I hope that her passing is as comfortable as possible.

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daisymay
Supporter 2016-2017

Post   » Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:55 am


I am so sorry you and Charlotte are going through this. Treasure every minute and may her passing be a peaceful one. Big hugs to you both and to her cage mate. Take care and bless you and Charlotte! She looks a darling too! Such a sweet face.

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:37 pm


Big ditto to Zaphy's suggestion. If that time comes, give her a giant fresh banquet of anything and everything, and let her chow down.

Can you get silver sulfadiazene cream (SSD, Silvadene, Thermazene)? A light layer on her feet may really help the redness. It's worked fantastic for some of ours.

GPIG

Post   » Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:36 pm


I am sorry Charlotte is ill, she is indeed a very pretty girl and looks great especially with serious health problem.

I would follow the vet's suggestions on what to look for if it comes to that.

I would give her all the foods she likes but careful to not overdo it

GrannyJu1
Armcavy

Post   » Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:31 am


I'm so sorry to hear about Charlotte. I hope she does leave from home and that its peaceful. I'm sending hugs to you both.

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AyaMcCabre

Post   » Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:34 am


To everyone's surprise, Charlotte is still with us. We expect her to go downhill fast, and she hasn't started that yet. We bought a whole bunch of dried fruit today she was very much enjoying her mango, plus the new cuddle tunnel I made them yesterday. Floor time tomorrow so we'll have to see how she's walking, but she's still doing fine over shorter distances and lower speeds. Her squeaks are definitely getting more high pitched, so breathing issues are progressing but not yet slowing her down.

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daisymay
Supporter 2016-2017

Post   » Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:58 am


Am so glad to hear Charlotte is still with you and plodding along. So glad also she's enjoying her yummy treats and near sleeping accommodation. Yay Charlotte!

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:57 am


That is encouraging. I wish for the best for you both.

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:11 pm


They never do what you expect. ;-)

Keep going. When it's time, you'll know. You're doing a wonderful job for her, and it makes a huge difference to her.

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AyaMcCabre

Post   » Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:56 pm


Charlotte is.... not right. She's not really objecting to anything, including stopping petting her, picking her up, and taking her food away. Her breathing is visibly obvious. She did accept a banana chip but it took her several minutes with multiple breaks to be able to eat it. We're keeping her home for now, but if she gets visibly worse by 5ish we will consider taking her in to the vet. I know she's different from a rabbit, but she's acting very similarly to how the rabbit did when we first found out he was sick. He lived 48 hours. Her cancer is much more advanced than his, so we're not sure if we should expect a similar timeframe or less.

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mmeadow
Supporter 2004-2017

Post   » Thu Jul 27, 2017 1:33 am


I'm so sorry she isn't doing well.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:51 am


It is so hard when things get better and then worsen. I too am sorry she is not doing well.

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daisymay
Supporter 2016-2017

Post   » Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:12 pm


I am hoping she improves. I am so saddened to hear she's not doing well. Have everything crossed here for a good outcome.

GrannyJu1
Armcavy

Post   » Sat Jul 29, 2017 9:58 am


Sending hugs and prayers.

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