Snuggles' medical thread

JX4

Post   » Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:43 pm


Snuggles is a female, about 3.5 years old at the time of this initial post. She has had one litter of pups 3 years ago and did so with no complications.

During the last year or so, though, her shedding has gotten worse and her weight has dropped even though she eats fine and has what seems to be a normal amount of energy. All our pigs shed, but she sheds a LOT.

I am wondering if she might have a thyroid problem. With every stroke of your hand you get tons of hair off in your hand. Yet she doesn't have any bald patches. To look at her she seems like she has a healthy coat of hair.

She also is too skinny, at least compared to our other pigs of about the same age and/or her "babies." She eats normally, though.

I'm taking her to the vet tomorrow for a blood test to check for a thyroid issue, but I was wondering what the normal treatment would be and how much it usually costs. Just so I can be prepared to hear it, I guess.

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:20 pm


I can't answer your question about costs - but does she show any signs of ovarian cysts in her behavior? Could also be Cushings disease.

I hope you get a sound diagnosis and can treat her. Some types of mites (demodex) can cause problems/shedding in a guinea pig with a weakened immune system.

JX4

Post   » Tue Apr 10, 2018 5:03 pm


What are the signs of ovarian cysts in behavior? She seems happy, and she continues to like to snuggle (hence her name). She loves to be held and sunggled up in the crook of your neck.

We have housed our guinea pigs together for several years. We treated all of them for mites 3 years ago, and they haven't been around any other pigs since. They haven't been outside either.

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Tue Apr 10, 2018 5:06 pm


They are listed on this page:
http://www.guinealynx.info/ovarian_cysts.html

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Tue Apr 10, 2018 5:17 pm


I had an older pig with severely thinning hair. The vet insisted I put her on a vitamin C supplement in spite of the fact that I fed plenty of high C vegetables. Cleared the problem right up. That may not be your issue, but it would be worth a try.

JX4

Post   » Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:38 am


What's funny, bpatters, is that in spite of losing hair like there's no tomorrow, her hair is not thin. She has lots of it. She also tends toward being a little longer haired as well. But she is way too thin. I can feel too many bones in spite of the fact that she eats a lot.

JX4

Post   » Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:42 am


Thanks for the ovarian cyst link, Lynx. I looked at it, but I don't think that's it. Her abdomen is thin, not rounded or thicker than her upper torso. She also is not a picky eater at all, and she is not acting aggressive toward cagemates. That might be because she doesn't weigh nearly as much as any of her cage mates and she knows it?

In any case, I'm taking her to the vet tomorrow. Maybe I should take a cage mate of the same sex and almost same age (one of her "babies" who is 3 years old while she's 3.5 years old).

JX4

Post   » Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:57 pm


OK, just got back from the vet. She had a fever of 105.9 which the vet was very concerned about. He suggested I leave her there so he can take her temp again in a couple of hours to make sure she wasn't just super stressed out from being examed (she did fight the examination a lot), so I did leave her there with the idea I will pick her up later this afternoon.

He did not think she has a thyroid issue, but said he would be glad to test her for that if I really want to and/or we have ruled out other things. Since we just spent $300 on Panda only to have her die AND we just spent another $300 on our dogs' yearly exams yesterday, I'm OK with waiting to do blood tests at this point.

He is more worried about the fever than anything else right now, and wants to give her an antibiotic. Since he had prescribed an antibiotic for Panda that never even got opened (but it's still in our fridge), he said we could use that. So if she still has a fever when I pick her up this evening, I will do that.

He thinks she is getting bullied into not being able to eat (which is weird since I see her eating) as much as she should be, since she lives with 4 other pigs who are not skinny at all. He wants us to house her separately for two weeks so we can make sure she is eating what she should be eating. He was concerned because when he took her temp there were no poops lined up inside. If she is not eating even separated we are to bring her back right away, but he thinks she's just not getting as much food as she needs. We have a little store-bought cage we use as a "recovery cage" so that's where we'll put her. I plan to have her out quite a bit, though, since that cage is too small for even a sick piggy that is still active.

If it turns out she is eating fine and still not gaining weight and shedding like crazy we'll do the blood tests. But he looked at her coat and said it doesn't seem to be thinning to him. He thinks she is shedding more than normal due to stress from being bullied and not eating like she should. Which is weird because I don't see her being bullied, but oh well.

So I guess we are in "wait and see" mode.

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:13 pm


Is the cage large enough that you could make a separate space for her so she'd still be around her companions and not isolated? What is the antibiotic? Are you hand feeding? Weighing daily?

JX4

Post   » Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:29 pm


I fed her some Critical Care tonight, but I'm not sure she needs it. I had her on a lap pad next to me for the last couple of hours and she pooped out 22 poop pellets, lol.

I am also giving her the antibiotic we got for Panda but never used because of her fever. It is Sulfa/trimethoprim Suspension, 0.6 ml twice a day. She got her first dose tonight.

We have her in the recovery cage, but I'll put her in with the other pigs during part of the day tomorrow when there are no pellets to fight over so she can socialize. I do have both pellets and hay in the recovery cage.

These piggies are so tight that it has not been a re-introduction issue even after one of them has had to be separated for a month or so.

JX4

Post   » Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:30 pm


Snuggles is the one who was closest to Panda and I think she is also grieving a bit for her.

JX4

Post   » Tue May 08, 2018 6:19 pm


UPDATE: Snuggles has a thyroid problem.

I took her back to the vet a couple of weeks after the first visit. I had re-introduced her to the rest of the herd after just a week apart because she was all depressed and had quit eating as much. She is definitely not being bullied, as she was the one who chased the rest of them around the cage and re-established dominance within about 3 or 4 minutes, lol.

So the vet examined her again, and this time he took extra care feeling around her neck. He was shocked at how large her thyroid gland appeared to be. So we did a blood test for thyroid and nothing else (lot cheaper).

Just got the call that her thyroid is 4.4 or something like that. Dogs and cats are supposed to be 3 or less, so that's pretty high. Guess she'll be starting thyroid meds soon.

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Tue May 08, 2018 10:21 pm


I thought we had a thread on thyroid issues but at the moment I can't find it. In the RECORDS forum is one on hyperthyroidism.

JX4

Post   » Wed May 09, 2018 8:25 pm


Lynx, thanks for the heads up about the Reports forum. Is it possible to send a link to that report to my vet? And if possible, is it OK to do so?

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Wed May 09, 2018 11:32 pm


The case study of a guinea pig with hyperthyroidism is here:
http://www.guinealynx.info/records/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=151

Read it over. If you think it applies and would be helpful to your vet, you are welcome to share the link.

JX4

Post   » Thu May 10, 2018 1:04 am


Would my vet need to be a member here to be able to see the link?

JX4

Post   » Thu May 10, 2018 1:08 am


I think Snuggles has only had obvious problems for about a year to a year and a half at most. Her thyroid is large enough to feel in the neck. I read through the link, and I'm thankful Snuggles does not seem to be as sick as Figlet was, at least not yet. We will be starting an oral medication as soon as I can get it. She is still energetic, though she does have a laid-back personality. That is, she is content to be laid-back unless other pigs don't give her deference as the top pig, then she'll chase them and put them in their place. She doesn't just sit in one place and not move, at least in the cage. When I hold her, she is very content to snuggle up into the crook of my neck and stay there for a while. She will watch TV with me from my lap, too.

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Thu May 10, 2018 9:33 am


No, all the medical information and posts are public.

There are different types of thyroid diseases. This is only one.

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Thu May 10, 2018 10:07 pm


Hey, you may want to read over this (which pigjes posted):
http://www.academia.edu/9818240/Hyperthyroidism_and_Hyperparathyroidism_in_Guinea_Pigs

JX4

Post   » Thu May 10, 2018 10:56 pm


Thanks!

Post Reply
31 posts