Worst Guinea Pig carer in the world or the unluckiest?

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Post   » Tue Sep 04, 2018 1:15 am

I was able to get her to eat a bit of Chard, Cherry tomato and a little bit of green pepper this evening but only managed to get about 13ml of Critical Care in to her (about 1/3rd of a tablespoon of powder) She is still eating lots of hay and some wheatgrass and her poops look bigger but still light brown instead of dark.

She didnt want to take antibiotics this evening but I managed to wear her down and finally managed to get the syringe in after 20-25mins of trying. She didnt want to take the bene-bac either which she usually gobbles down but she eventually took it. I think she may just be sick of syringes. I know I am.

She is still breathing heavily but has settled down to sleep now.

Hoping the vet calls me tomorrow AM.

Thanks for your help and support.

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Post   » Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:13 am

I think I've posted the heart page, no? Unsure if it applies but the breathing heavily can be a sign.


Post   » Tue Sep 04, 2018 3:59 pm

Still waiting for the vet to call about the dosage as she doesn't get in till the afternoon.

They did offer to have me bring her in so they could look at her breathing but dont have transport today but that was without them being able to talk to the vet who has been treating her so far. The wife was also saying that every time we take her in at the moment she seems to get worse.

I am still concerned that the dose seems higher than even the 0.5mg/Kg figure and am wondering what the effects of too high a dose might be.

She has been taking Peppers and chard when I hand feed her them, along with a few pellets, and still eating lots of hay but she is still quiet and sleeping a lot.

However when I got up at 4 am this morning and decided to check on her she was out by herself in the pen but I don't know if she had been eating anything and her poop appears to be larger and darker than it was but she is not taking much critical care so far today.


Post   » Tue Sep 04, 2018 5:18 pm

Vet wants me to take her in so they can keep her overnight and keep her under observation and get plenty of critical care in to her.

They were also talking about about taking X-rays

She said the dose was fine, she always does twice daily and she bumped the dose up a bit to try and help with any pain.

Working out whether to take her in today or tomorrow

The wife isn't happy and said Nala will be sad without us and better to keep her at home and just see how she does.


Post   » Tue Sep 04, 2018 7:39 pm

I just took Nala in to the vet and they will keep her overnight and keep her under observation. They will also feed her critical care.

I also took in her meds as she is due her second dose around 6pm and I also took in some Chard, Dandelion, Wheatgrass, Peppers and tomato as I know she will eat those if they are put in front of her.

The vet said it is good that she is eating hay as that is more important than the rest of the other foods.

I weighed her before putting her in the carrier and her weight was up slightly on yesterday, 763g, and has actually gained about 9g since Sunday which I am hoping is a good sign. OK not much of a gain but it is better than her losing weight, which would be a real worry.

They will do some X-Rays tomorrow and hopefully that will let us know if there are any other problems.

We miss her already. Fingers crossed tomorrow brings good news.

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Post   » Tue Sep 04, 2018 10:46 pm

It is hard when they aren't home. I hope the vet techs are able to get a good amount of food into her.


Post   » Wed Sep 05, 2018 1:26 am

Have been racking my brains for anything else that changed and the only thing I can think of that coincides with when she took a turn for the worst was I started a new tube of Bene-Bac. It is with in date (2020) but it felt oily when I took it out of the blister pack. I rinsed it off but is it possible that it was contaminated in some way or had been kept too hot and gone bad?

Clutching at straws I know but I started it at roughly the same time she started having problems.

Been a very subdued evening here. The pen looks empty without her and the other two seem to be looking for her and go and sit under the blanket in the corner where she had been siting these last few days. They are very quiet as well but seem otherwise fit and healthy. Siouxsie has put on 45g since Sunday.

Fingers crossed for good news tomorrow. Looking forward to getting her back safe and sound but going to be nerve wracking until we get news. Have asked the vet receptionist to let me know in the morning that she is ok. Feel bad for leaving her there overnight but hoping it was the right thing to do.

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Post   » Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:49 am

You could contact the manufacturers of the Bene-Bac and ask them about the oiliness and separation. I think this would not be likely to cause her issues but it could be the beneficial bacteria are lacking.


Post   » Wed Sep 05, 2018 2:32 pm

I already have some more on order which should turn up this week, hopefully in the next day or two.

The Vet called this morning to say that she is doing well an eating well and actually coming out of the hidey they have to eat. The vet says so far she hasnt seen anything of concern in her behaviour. When I asked about the heavy breathing she said they hadnt seen that but will keep an eye out for it.

They got a bunch of Critical Care in to her but she lost a little bit of weight when they weighed her at 8am this morning but I usually weigh her in the evening.

They will be dong the X-Rays later today. The Vet also decided to take her off of the Meloxicam/Metacam.

Hopefully she should be home later today, which is a relief. It was a rough night last night without her.


Post   » Wed Sep 05, 2018 3:50 pm

In fact it turned up today. I opened the blister pack first to check it and it seems fine. I threw the other one out.


Post   » Wed Sep 05, 2018 5:32 pm

Vet called. The X-rays show that she very definitely has chest issues but she says it is difficult to tell what is causing it without further tests.

She said it could be heart disease, Lung consolidation (although she said she could hear no signs of this in a physical examination), or could even be cancer. In fact she said Nala didn't seem to be exhibiting any physical symptoms that she would expect to see from the X-Rays.

She suggested a bunch of test such as an aspiration to remove some of the liquid, which has risks, an utrasound which could be done at the same time as the aspiration she also suggested we give her Lasix to see if that shifts the fluid.

On the plus side she did say there were no visible tooth issues on the head xray. However she said there is still a tiny bit of the abscess there but that she wouldn't consider trying to remove it until the other issues are resolved.

She said that they could keep her another night just boarding rather than hospitalization to make sure she gets more Critical care but not sure what to do.

The Wife is off for 4 days so I will be looking after by myself with some help from the daughter if she is available.


Post   » Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:01 pm

By off I mean off on a business trip


Post   » Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:21 pm

Picked Nala up from the vet. She is still quiet and breathing heavily and her weight is up to 772g but she had just been fed before i picked her up.

The vet showed me the X-Rays and Nala has a lot of fluid on her lungs, so much so you couldn't get a good view of the heart however the vet said she had consulted with other vets on bulletin boards and at least two had said they had seen piggies in a similar condition recover fully both with the antibiotics Nala is on or with other Antibiotics so that is hopeful.

Going to see how she does over the next few days and hope for signs of improvement.

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Post   » Wed Sep 05, 2018 10:02 pm

The heart page link is the one I would reread. Lasix should help with the fluid.

I'm glad she's home.

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Supporter in 2018

Post   » Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:34 am

I'd vote for Lasix also, since it could only do good, not harm her. But all of my knowledge comes from reading Guinea Lynx pages and posts, so .... I'm glad she's home, also. She may not feel extra good, but being home has to feel better!


Post   » Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:12 pm

She seems slightly perkier but only slightly.

She has been out around the pen a few times since she got back, rummaging around in the hay piles and chomping that down and even had a nip at Siouxsie when she started to try and grab some of her food. She will occasionally have a bit of veggies mainly pepper or a bit of chard. When I hold food in front of her she stick her nose forward as if she is interested but after a sniff or a test bite will either eat it or turn away and go back to looking for hay to eat. I am hoping that the fact that she still actively eats hay and occasional veggies is a good sign.

She took her meds OK this morning, only a little bit of resistance but she took the new Bene-bac without issue chomping on to the syringe and not letting go even when she had already had the full dose. So she does like some syringes.

I was able to get just over 10ml of Critical care in to her using the burrito method before I left for work this morning. It took some coaxing but once she was comfortable she was chewing on the syringe to get more. there was a little bit of spillage but not too much. I am hoping this is also a good sign.

We usually mix 1 Tablespoon with about 40ml of water/Pediatlyte. The vet suggested that it should be 45ml. Looking at the Oxbow site it suggests 30ml per tablespoon of mix so one is a slightly runnier mix and the other a lot thicker. What mix proportions do others use?

I was also thinking it may be better just to use water and leave out the pedialyte for now. Although it is unflavored it may have a taste that puts her off. We also make up a batch of mix that we use through the day and refrigerate between feedings and I was wondering if warming it up a bit first may also help. She used to be ok with it slightly cold right out of the fridge but maybe having it a little warmer might also help? I did try the other day with warmer mix but she didn't seem any more interested.

I think if I can get her to take that 10ml or more 4 times daily, or 13ml or more 3 times a day we should be good as that gets . I had the Tech Assistants at the vet show me how they do it and she was way more well behaved with them when feeding than she usually is with me. They had managed to get two lots of 2 teaspoons in to her yesterday (so two lots of 30ml, or two lots of six of the 5 ml syringes we use or two lots of 10 of the 3ml syringes they use) that seems like a lot of mix and a lot of time spent feeding to me but they make it look easy.

I took it slow and steady this morning and, although she struggled a bit, once she was comfortable she was chomping it down ok.

She is still taking time to wash and groom herself which I am taking as another good sign.


Post   » Thu Sep 06, 2018 6:10 pm

I am still a little concerned about the Meloxicam dosage.

The vet said "I always do twice a day rather than once a day for Metacam and I upped the dosage" but it still looks high to me based on what I have seen on this site and might explain why Nala seemed to be recovering at first and then took a turn for the worst after 6-7 days at that dose. I am just concerned in case the vet may not be being 100% upfront if there was an error and that may have been a contributing factor. I tried various calculations with different Dosages and Concentrations but cant find a combination that gives a figure of either 0.2ml or 0.4ml.

Nala obviously has other issues but again I am still wondering whether a 50-60% (If using the 0.5mg/Kg Dosage) overdose might be contributing to her condition as she is exhibiting several symptoms listed online related to a Meloxicam/Metacam overdose such as Loss of Appetite, Heavy Breathing and Lethargy. It also lists heart problems as well on some sites .

That said I found info on a UK site where various people said that their vets had prescribed from 0.25ml to 0.4ml/Kg twice daily of the 1.5mg/ml (dog) Metacam (so 0.75mg to 1.2 mg/Kg) which at the lower end is what Nala was on (0.79mg/Kg).

I also found a comment that explained why it is better to split the daily dose in to two as well rather than doing once a day.

Wasn't sure if it was OK to link to the other sites or not?

In fact the 0.75mg/Kg dosage would give a dose size of 0.38ml which split in to two would be .19ml per dose so maybe that was what she was working to?

Perhaps it isn't such an issue, it is difficult to tell.

There is so much conflicting info out there. Perhaps I am overthinking things. It just surprises me that there isn't more solid info out there for Guinea Pigs. Its not like they haven't been around for a good long while.

Anyway Nala hasn't had any Meloxicam since Monday evening so hopefully it will be working its way out of her system (if it hasn't done so already) and if it is contributing to any of her symptoms or problems then the effects should be lessening and the other drugs will hopefully be taking care of the other issues.

Have made a mental note to check ALL Medicine dosages thoroughly and checking any I am uncertain about in future.

I am hoping to see some improvement when I get home this evening and preparing to settle in for an evening of Guinea pigs and syringes and temper tantrums


Post   » Thu Sep 06, 2018 6:57 pm

Just had a text update from the daughter who is feeding them while I am at work and she said Nala is out and about and even wheeking which sounds promising. Will find out more when I get home.


Post   » Thu Sep 06, 2018 7:25 pm

Further quick update from the daughter, couldn't edit the previous post so please excuse the extra one.

Nala took between 3 and 3.5 of the 5ml syringes of critical care on top of the 2 and a bit she had this morning so that is around 25-27ml of the 40ml we need to try and get in to her today. That is the most she has taken at home for some time.

The daughter made up the mix with no pedialyte this time and Nala seemed to prefer that and apparently gulped it down. Once she had 3 to 3.5 though she was full and wouldn't take any more. She is currently out and eating wheatgrass.

Fingers crossed this is a good sign.

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Post   » Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:33 pm

I think if you quietly adjust the metacam dose to 0.5 mg/kg if a higher dose is prescribed again, that would not be an issue.

If you choose to mix all the CC at one time, warming the amount you plan to feed her will indeed make it more palatable. Be sure to remove the amount you want to feed from the mixture so there is no contamination from refiling syringes.

Hope she continues to improve!

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