Worst Guinea Pig carer in the world or the unluckiest?

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rjespicer

Post   » Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:29 pm


Youtube links for the breathing videos as I cant edit the original post




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ItsaZoo

Post   » Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:00 pm


It’s so difficult when pets are ill trying to figure them out. You know best what is normal and what isn’t. When Nala breathes fast, how long does it last? Is it possible to observe her without her knowing you’re there? The reason I ask is she seems alert with bright clear eyes and a healthy coat. If I didn’t know her history I would say she’s stressed. Like she is watching to see what might happen to her. She’s getting picked up, getting syringes of stuff she doesn’t really want, wrapped up in a blanket and struggling to get away. She looks like my piggy when I have to catch her, she kind of holds her breath and watches, then breathes fast getting ready to run. Could the fluid in her lungs be from aspirating when she doesn’t want the syringe? The vet should be able to figure that out. I sure hope you get some answers and things improve for both of you.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:54 pm


Wow, she looks great racing around! I see what you mean about the breathing. Refresh my memory and tell describe what the vet thinks is causing this and what he has done. He's done an xray, no? Sometimes a treatment summary on a long thread really does help people like me.

rjespicer

Post   » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:20 pm


I asked the Vet about Aspiration of Critical Care and she said that it wouldn't be that as you would hear her making a noise if it was, the same way we would cough and splutter if we got water down the wrong way when swimming (as she described it).

Nala had breathing problems in June/July indicated by coughing and abnormal breathing sounds. Successfully treated with Vibramycin and Sulfatrim twice a day for three weeks along with Meloxicam and some Vitamin C once a day for about 10 days. The video of her running around like crazy was after she had recovered from that at the end of July.

At the end of August (Around the 23rd/24th) she then had lump on her face that the vet aspirated and said contained liquid rather than pus and put her on Sulfatrim again and Meloxicam (twice a day but at a dose quite a bit higher than before two lots at 0.2cc rather than one lot at 0.23cc that she was on before, I didnt pick up on this until a while later) She started getting better and putting weight on (up to 834g with minimal Critical care at that point) but on 8/29 we switched the Sulfatrim to one that was a higher concentration but lower dose to give the same mg/kg to try and make it easier for her to take, however on the same day her weight started dropping again and her energy and activity appeared to drop slightly (we had only just started using the new Sulfatrim so I dont think there is a correlation there but cant be sure)

I took her back in on 8/31, as her weight had dropped to 779g and at that point the vet suggested taking her off of all meds for the weekend to see if she improved. The Vet checked the abscess and said it had gone down but she could still feel it so aspirated it again and got most of it out. She then suggested keeping Nala off of all meds for the weekend and seeing if she improved and then start the Chloramphenicol palmitate instead of Sulfatrim and restart the Meloxicam.

She didnt seem to improve over the weekend and on Sunday her weight had dropped again 752. I also noticed her heavy breathing at that point and a further drop in energy and activity. Her poop had also gotten really small and we were giving her between 15 and 20ml of Critical Care per day, about half a Tablespoon or less.

On Sunday 9/2 as I was preparing to stat the meds on Monday I noticed the higher Meloxicam dosage and queried it but was later told by the vet that she usually did twice a day for meloxicam and had "upped the dose". I started the new medication but only did one dose of Meloxicam per day not two.

I had been emailing the Vet pretty regularly with updates on Nala and questions and on Tuesday Morning they called to confirm the dose and also suggest that I take her in for them to look at the breathing issue but the regular vet wasnt due in until the afternoon so I would be seeing a different vet who didn't know the full history. I arranged to take her in during the afternoon when I could see the regular vet, she called me and suggested that they keep Nala overnight "for Observation"and do some X-rays the following day.

When I took her in I also took her meds and some veggies that I knew she woudl eat as she wasnt eating the same stuff she used to.

The next day the vet called to say she seemed ok and had been eating hay and veggies but when i asked her about the breathing she said she hadnt noticed that and would check on it.

When I picked her up on Wednesday Afternoon (5th) the vet showed me the X-Ray and pointed out the grey area around her lungs/chest which she said was liquid only a small area of clear lung was visible, the heart was not visible due to the liquid. She said that they couldn't tell from the X-Ray if it was Lung Consolidation or a heart issue or possibly even cancer and suggested an expensive Ultrasound or an Aspiration of the liquid or both but said their Ultrasound specialist wasn't available until the 13th. She told me to keep giving her the Chloramphenicol palmitate plus some Lasix but to stop the Meloxicam (this was when she explained about the higher dosage and didn't think it was an issue). The vet did mention tha there was no sign of the abscess on her face on the X-Ray.

I had been emailing updates to them with weights (between 757 and 788g) and how much critical care she was having (1.5 Table Spoons per day) and her activity level.

On Tuesday the vet called and said that the small improvements were good but that they were not enough to indicate a recovery and said that without an ultrasound then we should consider euthanasia due to her "quality of life", but she is still relatively active, out eating hay quite a bit and eating pellets and some veggies, she is not just sat in corner all day. She also said that they were going to have a specialist look at the Xrays and see if they had any suggestions. I am still waiting to hear from them on that but to be frank i am dreading any more calls from the vet if she is still suggesting Euthanasia

Last night Nala's activity seemed to increase and her weight was 781g

She is probably stressed, I know I am, but i think the liquid is probably the main cause although stress is probably adding to it. . The chest movements and head Bobs dont appear to be as pronounced and her breathing seems better to me but it is tough to tell. She seems to have enough energy to go for a little trot and a run without seeming to have any issues.

I think that covers most of it. Sorry for another long post

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:22 pm


Oh, no, no apology! It was very helpful to summarize the treatment and signs of illness. Thank you for taking the time to pull this together. I am with you on not considering euthanasia at all at this time.

If she is responding to the current meds, that is great. I think I've posted a link to the heart page. Make sure you keep it in mind in case anything changes.
www.guinealynx.info/heart.html

rjespicer

Post   » Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:05 pm


She still seems to be doing better. She appears to be a little more active again and seemed to be eating more veggies and was out exploring again yesterday. Her breathing seems a little easier again as well and less visible and her weight is still holding in the 770 to 787g (last nights weighing) range so still stable.

After doing a lot of thinking about our set up and what changes have been made over time that might lead to the various breathing issues they have all had at different times one feature that kept cropping up was the fleece pockets on the liners we have.

Since they have been spending more time in those the breathing issues increased. They hide out in them and sleep in them and pee and poop in them and even though we are spot cleaning multiple times a day and switching them out every couple of days they seem to trap the smell which doesn't seem healthy to me.

They had been sleeping in cuddle cups before in a separate covered area (Using the top of an old cage to give it some cover) but I had taken those out when I needed the cage top they were in to put Siouxsie in when she had balance issues and hadn't put it back so rather than sleeping out in those they have been sleeping pretty exclusively in the fleece pockets as we had taken out most of the other hideys as they were pretty big and there wasnt much space with the pockets now being at the end of each of the liners so we couldn't put stuff on top of them.

I had also noticed that Chunkita and Nala had recently taken to sleeping on top of the pockets as well and since they had Nala seemed to be doing better. The vet also commented that when Nala was with them overnight she seemed to improve and I had been trying to think what aspects of our set up were different and came back to the fleece pockets again.

So we have changed things around yesterday so that they don't have the pockets to sleep or hide in and put two fleece forests up (moved from the loft) one end in place of the pocket and two hideys down the other.

Will see how that works out. They dont seem to have taken to the hideys much and were sleeping outside them but under the loft last night but hopefully they will get used to it and not being under a closed in blanket with only one side open with the smell of their own pee and poop will reduce the breathing issues. Siouxsie seems particularly miffed at the loss of the pockets so I may need to think of some other items to put in there to keep her happy.

I had looked at the heart page, thank you, and will bear it in mind but I am hoping that isn't the issue.

I had expected a call from the Vet abut the specialists take on the X-Rays but didn't get one yet.


Hoping that Nala will continue to improve with the new setup

A couple of pictures of the new arrangement, I had just put one of the cuddle cups in there in place of a hidey and Nala jumped right in to it.

Image
Image

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:15 pm


If you think it's the hideys, then take them ALL out. You can use fleece forests, or fleece draped across the corners of the cage, or step stools from the dollar store, or whatever gives the most ventilation. Cute ain't worth the life of a guinea pig!

rjespicer

Post   » Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:57 pm


Not the hideys but the pockets that are sewn across the end of the fleece liners we use. (Google Guineadad to see what I mean)

They are stitched to the liner along 3 sides with only one side open but if they are spending lot of time in there and peeing and pooping the smell is kind of trapped in there with them. Thinking it through the issues started around the time they started sleeping in those pockets on a regular basis.

Have switched to the set up above without the pockets (they are folded back under the liner so not accessible) and using more conventional hideys and fleece forests. I may end up putting the cuddle cup beds where the hidey are and getting some fleece to screen that end off a little so t is more like what they used to have.

They seem to be getting used to the fleece forest already and Nala seems to be continuing to improve.

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GrannyJu1
Supporter in 2018

Post   » Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:02 pm


I'm so glad to hear that! I have a GuineaDad fleece also. Fuzzbutt is still making a mess now and then so they don't stay in the cage very long. I've also noticed that she spends most nights outside the hideys I give them. She too has breathing problems, but I've not been able to sort that problem out, yet. It comes and goes.

rjespicer

Post   » Sun Sep 16, 2018 3:06 pm


Well I think that is the cause. The start of all their breathing issues seemed to coincide with them spending most of their time in the pockets on the Guinea Dads which seem to trap the smell of their pee and poop. So if they are sleeping in there most of the time they just keep breathing it in even if you are changing and cleaning them every couple of days. Once they are under the pocket there is no fresh air or ventilation.

We will see how things progress with the new arrangement

Nala still seems to be making a slight improvement each day. Her chest and head movement is less visible when she breathes. Still there but it seems to be lessening. Her weight is stable around the 780 mark too. She also seemed more interested in veggies yesterday and came out for another explore and trot around at floor time.

I missed the call from the vet yesterday the specialist apparently mentioned something about 'sinus structures' what ever they are but couldn't give any more info than that on what he saw, so they still cant say what the issue is.

rjespicer

Post   » Sun Sep 16, 2018 3:43 pm


Quick question

Would I be right in thinking that because the Lasix is a diuretic Nala is going to be passing a lot more urine than usual? Also that due to that she will be putting weight on slower than normal as she is losing a lot of water weight?

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sun Sep 16, 2018 3:50 pm


Yep, on both counts.

rjespicer

Post   » Sun Sep 16, 2018 4:50 pm


OK Thanks. At the moment she is holding relatively stable at around 781 at the moment it had been down in the 750s last week.
I am also assuming that despite the Benebac the antibiotics are probably messing with her appetite a bit. I have seen her eating hay on a a regular basis and she has also been eating pellets and has shown a bit more interest in veggies of late. She is bright and alert and seems quite a bit more active in general.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:21 pm


By the way, I ran across an article that talked about how many synthetic fibers we inhale. It made me make sure I was using cotton sheets instead of microfiber sheets. I will still use warm fleecy blankets sometimes though and I cannot give up my warm winter fleece clothes (one of the things that keeps me from freezing in my sometimes chilly house in the winter). I know bpatters uses pine pellets and swears by them. I do not know if there is a downside to using fleece linked to respiratory issues. Cotton as bedding for guinea pigs would smell quickly.

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ItsaZoo

Post   » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:42 pm


I hope Nala continues to improve. The Lasix should really help with the fluid on her lungs so she can breath better. It’s good to hear that she’s eating hay and pellets. You’ve both been through so much and it’s so stressful, hopefully things calm down.

rjespicer

Post   » Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:39 pm


Nala was up to 804g this evening and seems to be getting back to her old self like this

https://imgur.com/J6w5GlU

https://imgur.com/gZ3xs6u

Thanks for all of the advice and support it has been a real help but I think we may have found the culprit with the fleece pockets on the liners trapping in the urine and poop smells. Since we stopped them being able to use them on Friday Nalas rate of improvement seems to have increased.

rjespicer

Post   » Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:57 pm


Just in case it wasn't clear those two videos were from this evening.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:52 pm


Your guinea pig looks so energetic! I am thrilled she is improving!

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ItsaZoo

Post   » Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:15 pm


Thank you so much for sharing that video! She is marked like my Lacey except Nala wears her hair in an updo! Now I want to find a secure space for floor time - she looks like she is so happy!

rjespicer

Post   » Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:45 pm


Me too! I am hoping that she keeps getting better and that now we have stopped them using those pockets we will not have any more breathing issues.

They seemed like a cute idea at the time and the marketing pitch calls them healthier but if they use the pockets as a litter tray and then sleep in there, with no fresh air circulating, it can't be healthy for them.

I am hoping the vet agrees with our findings and can tell us if Nala should make a full recovery now, and maybe also stop pushing the ultrasound or euthanasia route.

Will just keep our fingers crossed that she continues to improve and put on weight.

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