Tuesday night I come home from working. Hear a strange noise from Dixie Pigs cage. A painful grunting noise. I lookchecknher plus and she’s hunch’s and them looks like she was trying to poop but nothing happened just that awful noise. Call to our vet who says call emergency service vet about 20’minutes away. Call up there, they don’t have poker pet vet on at night. Call the animals hospital an hour away (more livestock & rabbits in that area & we have used them before). I call that hospital and their small animal vet is away. Suggest a new emergency vet hospital near state capital, or Tufts or Ocean State Emerg Vet. I opt for the one closest to us near the state capital (driving 2 hrs to tufts and Home on a Work/school night was just not possible).
Emergency vet had small animal on staff that night - super nice and xrayed her - looked
Like classic bloat. Just couldn’t see if there was a blockage or not. Gave her 2 rounds of sub q fluids, pain meds and vitamin C plus 5 days of critical care packs and instructions to see our vet the next day for more sub q fluid support and new X-rays to see if distenstionhas gone down. We got home got her into her pen and tucked in with extra fleece blankies to make her cozyier. Wednesday I had to work 1/2 day but youngest kid stayed him with her and tried feeding critical care - no luck. Got her to drink a water and eat some really wet lettuce. I came home and took her to our vet who was pretty dismissive - “probably won’t survive this, mostlkely a blockage, didn’t see the need for more fluid support or more X-rays since she was still distended). We should be breasted to make a decision.” Made me mad/sad. Came home with metecam, pain meds and vitamin C. Also said we could try infant Antigas drops. Came home expecting her to not survive the night.
Yesterday she tolerated the critical care more than normally, ate some wet lettuce, had 3 doses of Antigas and all the other meds through the day. Middle of the night I heard her st the water bottle and getting a piggy treat out of the bowl! Today she’s a bit more energetic and ate some hay, still getting critical care about every 90 Minutes and syringes full of water plus all the meds.
But here’s the thing. She pooped and doesn’t look as swollen. So, maybe she is on the mend? We may have staved off this bout of bloat? Who knows but she is tolerating the critical care feedings more willingly. And seems to actually trying to chew it (I assume that’s good)
Anyone have experience beating bloat before???
HOWEVER!! It doesn't sound like your little one is out of the woods yet. Keep hand feeding her as much as you can!! Also, make sure you ask about any underlying causes for bloat--did your piggy eat something out of the ordinary or did you change their diet? Did your vet do a fecal test to see if it's caused by an overgrowth of bacteria? You have to treat the underlying cause to cure bloat too.
If a blockage has been ruled out, you may want to consider asking about a few other things: first off, there are gut-motility drugs that can 'kick start" their digestive system and get things moving faster. You may also want to get bene-bac, which is a probiotic supplement for animals. I typically buy the gel-syringe form b/c it's banana flavored and all of my guinea pigs LOVE it. You can give it to them 1-2x per day and it will help keep their guts healthy by repopulating their gut flora with good bacteria.
My final words of advice are to look through the archives here--I have only had to deal with bloat once, but there are TONS of threads detailing cases of bloat that were far worse than mine, and I'm sure there are many other tips to try and things to consider that I haven't mentioned. Good luck! It sounds like you are doing a great job of feeding her aggressively, and it's clear you care very much about your piggy.
- And got the T-shirt
And look for another vet. While it is true that pigs may not survive a severe bloat episode, some do, and unless there's something else going on, I'd at least want to try to treat treating it. The one time I opted not to try to treat, but instead to have the pig euthanized, she'd developed a very severe bloat very quickly, in spite of early treatment with gas drops and motility drugs. An x-ray showed the intestines trapped above the stomach, which would have required immediate surgery, and neither the vet nor I thought she was strong enough to survive that. But had it not been for that complication, I'd have chosen treatment.
She seems to be tolerating the critical care a bit better this evening. She isn’t interested in her loose hay though. She has nibbled at the compressed hay cubes this afternoon though. Makes me wonder what’s up with that. We’ve always used the same kind of hay and pellets since we got her (and the cagemate RIP) 5.5 years ago. A few times we tried pet store hay and they would eat it under protest.
This evening my big concern with the critical care are her poops. They are more normal size, qty and shape but not as firm as usual. (But she is also taking metacam, pain meds, vitamin C and antigas). Could it be a combo of all those and the fact that critical care is kinda mushy itself?
Today to get more water into her she’s had I did give her about 1/3cup wet lettuce and about a tablespoon of wetted diced red pepper (no where near her normal total of veg)
- And got the T-shirt
Try syringing her some pedialyte to get some more liquid into her. Most pigs love it and will readily take it -- I can usually get 10-15 cc down mine in one sitting. The generic stuff is just as good as the brand name.
This morning I see she flipped her pellet dish - which to me is s sign she went to it. She usually flips in with Lin 30 minutes of a cage change - and again after I sweep them up - like a toddler in a high chair.