Gibby's Medical Thread

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CavyDad
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Post   » Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:38 pm


Gibby is a male Abyssinian, a little over a year old, who was recently re-homed with us. Monday, he was prescribed oral doxycycline to clear up slight wheezing in his lungs and an eye infection. He was also prescribed tobramycin drops for the eyes.

This morning, there were only 4 poops in the cage, and it was obvious he hadn't eaten much hay overnight. He ate veggies and pellets with his normal appetite, but didn't eat much hay. I gave critical care, and put him on a vibrating massage pad, after which he made a few more poops, and went to work since he seemed to be both eating and behaving normally.

Fast forward to tonight, and he hadn't eaten much hay or made many poops. He did eat veggies and pellets that were offered. After more critical care and time on the massage pad, he has made about 15 poops in the last hour. (Talk about being excited to see piggy poop!) I did call our vet to see about a motility drug, but it was pretty much closing time and no one could really answer my question. I'm going to call again first thing in the morning to follow up on that.

We lost a piggy to GI stasis and bloat a few months back, so I might be overly paranoid, but I want to make sure we're on the right track. Here are my questions: Since we're getting food into him, and something is coming out (even if it's not the normal volume), we're not in emergency territory yet, right? He doesn't really feel bloated, but I do have the simethicone drops just in case.

Any suggestions for getting him to eat more hay? Normally he gets 3rd cut timothy from KMS and loves it, but he's ignoring that. We picked up a bag of pet store hay to try, which he is eating as I type, but I don't know how long that will hold his interest.

Is it OK to give benebac twice a day? Right now I've been instructed to do it once a day, an hour after the doxycycline. Would it hurt anything to do it an hour after each dose?

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:49 pm


I always give probiotics after every antibiotic dose.

As for the hay, I'd feed him whatever kind he'll eat.

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CavyDad
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Post   » Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:55 pm


Thanks, bpatters. I'll add an extra dose of Benebac daily. He has both kinds of hay in the cage right now, so hopefully between the two, he'll keep eating. I'm just relieved to see him eating some.

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Lynx
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Post   » Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:52 am


Are you weighing daily? This is such an important tool when a guinea pig is on antibiotics. It will help you know if he is indeed eating enough.
www.guinealynx.info/weigh.html
www.guinealynx.info/handfeeding.html
www.guinealynx.info/antibiotic_advice.html

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CavyDad
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Post   » Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:25 pm


Thanks, Lynx. I started weighing today and he's about an ounce less than he was at the vet's on Monday, but he's been eating much better today. He is definitely eating more hay, and his poops are more normal, both in amount and appearance. He's also been slowly losing weight since he came to live with us because we've cut back on his pellet intake

I do have a new concern. He peed on a light colored fleece, and his urine is much darker than normal today. It doesn't look look like what bloody urine looks like when it dries, so I'm wondering if the medication could be causing the darker color. I had another pig that was on bactrim and metronidazole at the same time and I seem to remember his urine being darker than normal until he finished the antibiotics. I thought I'd try to up his fluid intake just to be safe. Anyone else have something like this happen with antibiotics?

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Lynx
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Post   » Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:03 am


I don't recall darker urine with Bactrim. Upping fluids can't hurt. There are guidelines on the "weigh" page link above for determining if your guinea pig is a good weight. Small variations are normal. A pattern of loss can show a problem. Glad to hear he's doing better today.

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CavyDad
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Post   » Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:14 pm


Gibby was doing much better for some time, but we seem to be battling bloat again. He is pooping, just not his normal volume. And his belly doesn't feel as hard as it did this morning, so I think we are moving in the right direction. My question is, he seems to be eating some of his poops--the regular poops, not the cecal pellets. Can this be a sign of other problems? Or is he maybe just agitated from the vet visit and not feeling like himself? He did it once in the carrier at the vet this morning, and several more times at home today. He seems to be eating as normal, and our vet recommended critical care to help keep things moving, which he is eating willingly. We're also using a massage pad, simethicon, metoclopramide (Reglan) and metacam.

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Lynx
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Post   » Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:15 pm


We've noticed some ill guinea pigs eat their regular poops. Hoping things stabilize. It sounds like you are doing everything right (I think you've read all the info we have on bloat).

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:39 pm


How old is he? Older pigs sometimes have trouble bending over to get their cecal poops, and will eat more fecal ones.

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CavyDad
Supporter in 2018

Post   » Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:58 pm


He's a little over a year old. He seems to be OK with getting his cecal poops for now--we've seen him bend over for them today.

Thank, Lynx. I've definitely read the bloat info and several of the threads. It seems like we are moving in the right direction. He's passing more poop, and they look more like his poop when he is healthy.

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CavyDad
Supporter in 2018

Post   » Sun Sep 17, 2017 12:15 am


Thanks again Lynx and bpatters for your advice. I stopped medicating today since he seemed to be improving and I was home all day to keep an eye on him. His belly no longer feels hard or sounds hollow, and when I touch it, he no longer cries or whimpers. He's also been running around and acting more like himself, so we're pretty relieved. The only food he's had that I've read can cause bloat is cucumber so we're avoiding that for him. And I've been mixing up his hay by adding Oxbow timothy hay and oat hay to keep him interested. He seems to get bored of the 3rd cut timothy when that's all he has in his cage. Hopefully that will help for now.

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Lynx
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Post   » Sun Sep 17, 2017 7:49 am


Thanks for the update. Bloat can be deadly so keep an eye on him! (can recur)
www.guinealynx.info/emergency.html#bloat

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CavyDad
Supporter in 2018

Post   » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:01 pm


Gibby has not had any bloat since I last posted here on his medical thread, thank goodness but I have a question about keeping bloat at bay. Before the antibiotics, Gibby could eat a slice of cucumber without any problems. After his bouts with bloat, it seemed like he'd get a flare-up of bloating if he ate it. Now that his gut seems to be back to normal, should I continue avoiding cucumber for him?

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Lynx
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Post   » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:52 pm


Glad to hear you have not had any recurrences of bloat!

For what it's worth, cucumber was never a part of my guinea pigs' diet. I believe other people have occasionally had issues with cucumber (though it can help a dehydrated guinea pig). In your case, I think I'd avoid it.

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