Hooting- Causes and Rule Outs

Post Reply
cattherabbit

Post   » Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:23 pm


(Preface: I'm a veterinarian, fresh out of school. This is my personal pet.)

I have a 4 year old, male neutered pig who has recently begun making low hooting noises on inspiration that last 5-15 minutes and end in a wet cough. He's had two episodes in the past week. Prior to this, I've never heard him make this sound. Got 2 view chest radiographs, which *I* can't convince myself of any pathology; radiographs were sent to an exotics specialist and interpretation is pending. No obvious heart murmur. No obvious lung sounds. Couldn't get an echocardiogram performed due to patient behavior (he was *very* unhappy). He is nice and pink.

Typically a lower energy pig, but still popcorning and active, eating and drinking normally, pooping and peeing. Gets 2nd cut timothy hay and 1/8 cup Small Pet Select pellets once a day. Oxbow Vit. C hay tab once a day. Fresh veggies. Weight is stable (2.5 lbs!).

The plan currently is to wait until the specialist interprets the radiographs, but this second episode has me more worried. I'm trying to put off taking him into the exotic vet in town due to my work schedule & *other* special needs pet amassing a large vet bill.

Do I work him up as a heart pig and start benazapril? Or do a trial of antibiotics (recent outbreak of the canine flu at work and I'm worried about secondary bordetella infections)? What else could I be missing?

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:07 pm


Both the hooting and the low energy point to heart problems. If it were my pig, I'd want a trial of heart meds to see if they helped either or both signs. And I'm not wild about giving an antibiotic to a pig unless there's definitely some infection that it could help.

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:54 pm


Has the hooting been associated with eating? I used to have a guinea pig that on a handful of occasions breathed funny for longer than I liked until she coughed. I figured something was in her throat. Have you been able to auscultate your guinea pig during the hooting to locate it in the chest or throat area? Have you read over www.guinealynx.info/heart.html ? From what I understand, a trial like bpatters suggests should let you know if there are heart issues.

I hope you can get it identified!

And congrats on finishing vet school! I wish I had a veterinary or medical background.

cattherabbit

Post   » Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:48 am


Definitely declined over the last 24 hours. More hooting overnight and this morning. Not wanting to leave his Pigloo, so he drags it with him around the cage. Calling in benazepril today. May go ahead and call in Lasix, but hold on it. Lasix makes me nervous sometimes.

Hooting is focused right around the carina, so probably tracheal compression. Ugh this just blows.

Clint The Cuy

Post   » Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:43 am


Is he febrile? I had an intermittent hooting pig that did nothing on an ace inhibitor, except lose her appetite. She was also a pig that was treated with antibiotics for years because whenever she came off of them her symptoms returned. My vet had also discussed the possibility of bordatella because of this.

I am not saying that he is not a possible heart pig, but the acute onset and more recent rapid decline makes me wonder if it isn’t respiratory. If you feel comfortable (in light of his recent decline) performing the trial of benazapril first, I would do that to rule out cardiac disease.

cattherabbit

Post   » Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:05 am


He wasn't febrile. I am worried about bordetella with canine influenza on the rise at my clinic.

Radiographs were looked at by a criticalist who works with exotics and she said they looked like pneumonia with the pattern of pulmonary infiltrates. He's currently on Baytril, 15 mg/kg every 24 hours for 3-6 weeks. So far, no more hooting, and a little more energetic, maybe? I did notice some clear nasal discharge on Friday. He did get a few doses of benazepril and one dose of Lasix before starting the Baytril.

I'm happy he's sounding better, but his cage mate is annoyed he's perkier! Ha! I'm keeping the heart meds on hand if I don't see improvement with the Baytril in 3 weeks. He's just such a historically mellow guinea pig that it's hard to tell "healthy" from "sick" when he's not obvious fluffed up, half closed eyes, coughing/hooting sick.

cattherabbit

Post   » Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:54 pm


Update on Wilbur:

I decided to keep him on the benazepril because my gut just said heart. He's on week 2 of a 6 week course of Baytril. He's eating mostly hay, and is completely off pellets. Took Wilbur to an exotics vet who thought his heart looked enlarged on radiographs, and recommended adding Reglan since his gut sounds were quiet. She thought his teeth looked fine on oral exam.

I'm supplementing him with 12 cc of Critical Care once a day, and increasing it to 24 cc or splitting it into 2 feedings. He's not interested in treats. He is still eating veggies. The only good news is that his energy is UP- he is wheeking and popcorning and chasing his cagemate around. I just wish his appetite would come back.

His cagemate went off the pellets as well (Small Pet Select), so I bought them a bag of Oxbow Organic pellets. They're uninterested in that as well so I'm about to buy KMS pellets to entice them.

I've put a couple piles of hay throughout the cage so Wilbur can eat where he pleases. He seems to like chewing the fleece/carpet/paper more than eating real food. His weight has been stable these last two weeks, but I think he's lost more muscle. The exotics vet and I are both concerned something else may be going on as well due to the muscle wasting. I've decided not to pursue an abdominal ultrasound because it won't change my plan of management. Current plan: Baytril, 15 mg/kg q24h, benazepril, 1 mg/kg q12h, reglan (don't know the concentration) 0.4 mL q12h for now.

I'm just so sad because I truly think he only has weeks left, unless he starts putting muscle back on.

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:35 pm


I hope the KMS pellets do the trick! They are usually very fresh and smell great. With luck, he will put on more weight.

I am sorry to hear he is losing muscle. You are doing all you can.

cattherabbit

Post   » Thu Nov 02, 2017 11:25 pm


Now my major concern is some mental changes. He is becoming a touch more aggressive towards his cage mate when previously, they got along very well. He won't eat hay from the hay rack, pellets, or treats from my hand. He only eats the treat if it is placed on the ground, and then only eats a few bites. And this was a boy who would come RUNNING for pellets or treats. He's still drinking normally. Decreased poops.

He actually seems to prefer to eat carpet (if he's out), the fleece bedding, or his towels. He's almost hyperactive and hypertalkative.

He is up 8 grams since Tuesday.

Clint The Cuy

Post   » Fri Nov 03, 2017 6:07 pm


One thing that I have noticed with some of my sick pigs is that they preferred the coarsest and stemmiest grass hay that I could find. I don’t know if that’s an innate moment of “nutritional wisdom” during a time of GI slowing or not. I don’t know the cut or quality of the hay you are offering, but him gnawing on fabric and carpet just made me think of that. A lot of people feed the softer, leafier hay with guinea pigs.

cattherabbit

Post   » Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:49 pm


I feed 2nd cut timothy- and he is preferring the coarser stems (odd for him).

We discontinued the benazepril because it was making him hyperactive. Side effects are appetite loss and tachycardia, so I was wondering if these were aggravating the issue. Continuing Reglan and supplementing his GI tract with his cagemate's poop as a soup. He seem to be eating a little more (always munching on hay when I see him, pellet bowl is emptying at a more normal speed).

However, the concerning thing is that he has been maintaining weight around 1020 (low for him) and dropped to 990 tonight. I've been weighing him daily and that drop is terrifying to me.

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:51 pm


That is about an ounce and could be a fluctuation (I hope).
www.guinealynx.info/weigh.html

cattherabbit

Post   » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:43 pm


On week 4 of antibiotics. Weight has been bouncing between 1010-980 g- weighing him daily. He fights the Critical Care tooth and nail to the point that it's almost not worth it. He's eating about 10 CCs once a day of the apple banana mixed with Odwalla orange juice. I've been using every trick in my restraint book, but I don't want to stress him too much.

He is eating great otherwise- loving his veggies, hay, and pellets. Appetite is still not 100%; I would say it's about 90% of what it was prior to him getting sick. Lots of poops. He's even doing the occasional zooms and wheeking. If his weight would start trending upwards, I could rest easy- he's so bony. :(

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:39 pm


You could try sprinkling a few rolled oats over his veggies. We've had several people use that for their pigs who need to gain weight.

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:39 pm


It sounds like he's doing lots better. You have been working so hard! I wish it was as easy to get these guys to put on weight (when needed) as it is for us to gain weight!

cattherabbit

Post   » Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:43 pm


Good news! He is up to 1040 g! He's 50 g away from where we were when this first started, and 400 g away from his peak weight. Appetite is back with a vengeance, and he's eating to make up for lost time. Last week of antibiotics coming up. :)

He's still bony and in poor muscle, but these little gains are very promising. And he's running zooms, squealing, and gobbling up everything in front of him again.

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:29 am


Super! I hope he continues to improve!

Post Reply
17 posts • Page 1 of 1