Tribble's Medical Thread - Please Help!

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LittleSqueakers

Post   » Wed Mar 07, 2018 8:19 pm


I have an almost 6-yr old male named Tribble. He's had a case of mild GI stasis for almost the past week, but when I took him to the university vet school on Sunday, they felt like he was recovering from it. They gave him subQ fluids and sent me home with metronidazole and meloxicam. I've also been giving simethicone 3x/daily and benebac 3x/daily since all this started.

Since I started supplemental feedings with CC on Saturday evening, his stools have been looking more normal, but they kind of come in periods where he's passing good amounts and then go through long hours where he doesn't pass any.

Last night, he started passing fewer, smaller stools, and today he's passed only very small amounts of TINY, shriveled stools. He still seems bright and alert, and throughout all of this he's still been eating hay. But his belly seems distended, though still soft. I'm very afraid that's headed towards a bloat, but my vet doesn't open for another 11 hours.

Should I keep feeding him hay and CC? I feel like I'd just be "packing it in", but I know he needs to have something moving through his system. Should I keep syringing water/pedialyte to him? I've been giving him quite a bit of pedialyte today. Can too much fluid cause stasis/bloat?

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:33 pm


I don't know if it would be helpful, but I think some of the links on this page are worth reading:
www.guinealynx.info/emergency.html#bloat

One poster would massage gas during bloat episodes. Explained here:
http://www.guinealynx.info/records/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=117

It is very important to keep food moving through his system, so long as you are sure there is no blockage. Syringing water should help with dry poops. Generally fluid that is syringed should not cause problems but instead hydrate. You would have to syringe quite a bit before there were issues.
www.guinealynx.info/handfeeding.html

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PinkRufus
Contributor in 2018

Post   » Thu Mar 08, 2018 3:05 am


The medications he has been given may be contributing to the problem.  You may want to ask your vet about taking him off those and prescribing a motility drug instead.  I would keep up the hand feeding, unless he stops pooping or becomes severely bloated.  

In cases like this I would make the CC very watered down to keep the hydration level up and decrease the load on the gut.  I would also encourage exercise/floor time.  My chronic bloat pig responded well to lying him on his back and giving him a belly massage.  I got the idea for this from when he was getting an ultrasound, which caused him to do a huge pile of poops on the ultrasound table.  From then on, I would just mimic that and always got him to poop, so that's something you may want to try as well. 

LittleSqueakers

Post   » Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:21 pm


Thank you for the replies. Sorry it took me a while to get back with an update, but I have good news: Tribble's doing better with passing stools... sort of. And his belly is a lot softer and less bloaty now.

I stayed up until about 4:30 with him Wed night/Thurs AM, syringing water to him, massaging, encouraging him to eat hay. I had him on a heating pad, and after looking around my house, I found this nifty plug-in electric hand-held massager-thingy that we had lying around. I put it underneath the pillow (away from the heating pad) and just by running the motor, it gave excellent vibration to the pillow (though it was rather loud, but Tribby didn't seem to care). Later, I set him down in his playpen on the floor for a minute so I could change out his towel. When I came back to get him - to my surprise - he perked up and started waddling around, exploring the playpen. After a few minutes of moving around, he started passing some small poops. I kept playing with him, encouraging him to move for the next two hours, and he passed more stool. I was so relieved; I had seriously thought that he was on his way to a full blockage, but if he was feeling well enough to get up and explore on his initiative, I figured he couldn't be in serious trouble yet.

We got in to see a new vet yesterday at 11 AM. She listened for gut sounds, and I described what I had been doing for treatment. It seems that the problem in this case was that I had actually been giving him too much fluid. I had been making up the CC a little too thin, and all the extra fluids I was giving along with it was actually preventing the fiber in the CC and hay from doing its job to keep the gut moving. There wasn't enough bulk to balance out the liquids. The vet suggested that I make the CC up to be about the consistency of toothpaste, and that I start reducing the amount of oral fluids that I supplement, since he isn't dehydrated and he is still passing stools. She didn't feel like he needed reglan, but said I could keep using the simethicone as needed and that it would help keep things moving. She looked up the dosage for simethicone in guinea pigs, and said I could go up to 70 mg/day if needed, though she admitted that it sounded like an awful lot! But I can give him a larger dose every now and then if I feel like he needs it.

After two feedings yesterday afternoon and evening, I got up in the night to feed to find a lot more stools in his cage. This morning, there was also a lot of stools, and although still soft and putty-like, they were starting to look more fully-formed and less shriveled. His weight's come back down closer to where it has been; I think that the extra weight he put on the past few days really was just because he was full of poop! His belly also seems softer and less distended; he doesn't feel as "heavy" to pick up now. I've decreased the supplemental fluids, and instead am trying to give him small amounts of fluids throughout the day in the form of slurried vit C, small amounts of safe veggies, and only occasional syringing of water.

However, he's still having this issue that he's had all week where his stools seem to come in periods of passing good amounts (usually during the night) interspersed with long hours (like 8 hrs!) of passing no stool (usually throughout the day). He seems to be feeling fine, he doesn't seem distressed during the long periods in-between stool passage, he moves around normally, and his belly remains soft. Although it's unsettling for me, it doesn't seem to bother him, and it's more-or-less been the pattern all week. Could this just be part of the gut being messed up and it's just going to take some time to get things settled? Could it be related to physical activity?

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:27 pm


Physical activity should help him pass stool.

LittleSqueakers

Post   » Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:42 pm


Then I'll try giving him some floor time tomorrow morning as well. However, this does raise a long-term problem..

I'm currently going through an intense medical professional program at school, and I really don't have time to exercise him twice daily. The only reason I've been able to give him all this extra care and attention this past week is because I'm on spring break

Until recently he had a cagemate; we lost her in mid-January (she had an abdominal mass). I'm really not in any position to be getting a new pig right now, and anyway, I think it would just stress him out more. He does great on his own, but he really seems to need a lot of attention from me in the absence of another pig. Flower was "supposed" to be his last cagemate; I really didn't count on her dying before him. But best-laid plans, I suppose.

I live alone; there's no one else who could come over and spend time with him during the day. I'm not sure what I'll do when I go back to school on Monday, especially if he's not ready to go 10-11 hours alone...

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:20 pm


Get a couple safe soft plush animals. Some pigs will carry them around and/or sleep next to them.

If you have a rescue nearby, maybe you could foster a companion?

LittleSqueakers

Post   » Sun Mar 11, 2018 2:27 pm


I've tried the plush animals before with him; he doesn't really seem to care about them. Oh! Maybe if I chose an old one that has my scent on it? Hmm...

I looked into fostering a little, and unfortunately, it really doesn't sound like I would be the best candidate to do it right now. Money is limited, but time is even more limited. I just couldn't give the extra care and attention a foster pet would need.

On the good side, Tribble's doing quite well. He's eating hay (though not as much as I'd like without me having to coax him), and since I've been encouraging more hay-eating the last day and a half, he's starting to produce stools at more regular intervals. I've eased him off supplemental fluids and he's now drinking on his own. He's not quite to the point of eating pellets yet, but I've seen him pick at them from time to time, so I think he'll start eating them again eventually. (He's always been kinda finicky about pellets.) I've arranged a feeding and meds schedule for this week around my school schedule. I think he'll do okay if he just eats enough hay during the day while I'm gone...

calico88

Post   » Fri Mar 16, 2018 6:59 am


@Little Squeakers, how much and how often did you give the simethicone, especially after the vet permitted a higher dose?

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:20 am


The guide has this to say about simethicone:
Simethicone
"Try 1/2 pediatric dose 2 or 3 times a day." "I use .15cc, give or take a bit (its 1/2 the low end infant dose), and I use it 2x per day."

Simethicone can relieve mild gas pressure. You must see a vet for severe gas or bloat but it can relieve moderate discomfort.

calico88

Post   » Sat Mar 17, 2018 8:57 am


@Lynx - thanks, I did see that. I was wondering if a higher dose is ok, but I'll stick with the guide for now.

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