My 3 1/2 year old female guinea - Agatha - has been struggling this past year and a half with numerous things. She had a hard start in life - delivered to a certain UK pet supply store, had been wrongly sexed on the trip over so she ended up with males - got pregnant, had her babies on the shop floor where they unfortunately didn't survive due to the other females, got horrendously sick afterwards due to stress (severe ringworm, URI etc)
I adopted her when she was around 16 weeks old and she had a few flare ups of croaky breathing now and again which were under control with anti b's and also steroids which then stopped working. We changed our bedding and hygiene routine about a bit and so far she's okay, much better than what she was, but we still don't know what causes it.
One of her friends passed away in June 2017 and they were the original twosome that myself and my husband adopted. Since, May '17 she's very gradually lost weight. She was a good 900g in April '17 and as of tonight she's now 712g.
She has had her teeth checked numerous times (never had a trim or her molars filed), recent xrays done, abdominal scan (which confirmed a very small ovarian cyst - about 1p size - this was diagnosed last year and is regularly checked for size) - she's been on oral Metacam for about 10 days along with 2x20ml critical care feeds (with added probiotics and an energy form of critical care, like a white powder).
She was started on Metacam as I thought she was sore, quite wobbly, hunched over and not her usual vocal cheeky self. She perked up the first few days immediately, really vocal and inquisitive, loves her daily feeds and eating well.
Her ribs, spine, hips and tail bone are very prominent - if she wasn't an Abyssinian I think she'd look awful. Her coat is shiny, eyes bright, vocal, still eating and drinking but I'm at a complete loss as to what this could be. Even with the extra 2 feeds a day, she doesn't seem to gain weight, for the past 3 weeks she's gone between 760g - 712g and everything in between.
I'm just wanting someone to point me in a different direction to try something new or tell me something I need to get checked! I'm a student Vet Nurse and have access to an Exotics vet. Aggie also has a companion - Pumpkin - who cuddles with her :) thanks and sorry for the essay!
I take it they ruled out stones with the general xray? Did they check heart issues?
Can you increase the hand feedings? You mentioned twice a day. Adding another one could really help.
She has indeed lost quite a bit of weight and had a really rough start at life.
The only thing is that her lungs are peppered with white which the Vet said is either extensive damage from previous URI's or are growths/tumors. She only has a very small lung capacity which would explain the breathing difficulties.
She's been put on steroids - Prednicare/Prednisolone 1mg tablet once daily to try and reduce inflammation, taken off heart meds and diuretic injections. Since this, I really don't see much of an improvement in her if I'm being honest. She's eating and drinking but still not active or in anyway back to 'normal'. Still thin although, is 724g which is 24g more than her last weight so that's a positive.
When she got x-rayed the first time, I really noticed her having a dewlap. I don't know if I'm just imagining it but, it's suddenly become really obvious to me whereas before I never noticed it?!
She's also taken to licking it frequently especially when having her critical care feeds or stroking her. I had a feel of it tonight and to me it feels fluid-y? Definitely fatty/thicker than a normal one. I'm also not sure if I can feel a slight lump in it? Any chance it could be a lipoma (not lymphoma)? If anyone had any information on dewlaps it would be really helpful!
Also, I've noticed her eyes are 'buldg-y' too, especially her right one. Like you can all of a sudden see the white of her eye as if she's terrified all the time? That kind of a look! Bless her :(
Thanks for reading
I was chatting to the first Vet yesterday who said that if it was her, she would have kept Aggie on heart meds, diruectic injections and steroids but she doesn't want to get involved because the 2nd Vet has an exotics masters degree?
I don't know if it's more her nose being put out of joint rather than her actually meaning that? I don't want my guinea pig to suffer on account of 2 vets having different opinions but I don't know how to put that! It sounds like the two of them need to chat about it but I don't think they will. I personally didn't see an outside difference in Aggie with the heart meds apart from her peeing and drinking more, but other than that no improvement!