Another weird thing...tonight she kept dropping cecal poops and not eating them, I'd estimate about 10 of them. At first, I thought she was having really runny poos until I realized they were greener and extra stinky...then I knew for sure because she made a circle around the cage and came back and ate them off the fleece before I could get them cleaned up (sorry for the gross visual). After that, she went back to eating them as she normally does. It was like she just forgot that she was supposed to eat them for a minute.
I just felt her tummy a minute ago, and it felt very hard at first, but after she relaxed it felt fine, soft and squishy. It was as if she had tensed it up when I first touched it. I don't even know what's up with her tonight lol.
Monday night, I noticed Maggie's poos were very small, less than half their normal size. They were also very odd shaped, almost like a cone shape. Her stomach was distended, but not hard. She was clearly in pain when her stomach was palpated. I went ahead and gave her a dose of simethicone around 8 pm. By midnight this morning, her poos were about 1/8 of an inch long, slimy, and connected to each other by a string of mucus-like substance. She refused to drink but would eat hay and veggies. Even veggies did not excite her as they normally do. By 6 am she was still peeing but had not had another bowel movement since her weird-mucus poos at midnight. I called the vet when they opened, and they got me in for a late-morning appointment (around 10). On the way to the vet, she finally had a bowel movement for the first time since midnight, and, no exaggeration, she had at least 30 poos in her carrier. They were about half their normal size and tinged with a yellowish/green hue, but they had a good consistency.
The vet was not able to run x-rays, and he was the only vet within 200 miles that saw guinea pigs and could get me in. Since her stomach seemed to have started moving again and she was eating, he only gave her a bag of lactated ringers SQ, told me to continue simethicone, and referred us to a veterinarian that would be able to do more diagnostic testing and better treatment. However, the vet cannot get me in until Saturday, which worries me. I gave her another dose of the simethicone at 4 pm and will give another in an hour (midnight) and I'll do everything I can to try to help her until then.
Maggie seems to be doing a lot better tonight; she's eating hay, drinking (finally!!!!), and eating a LOT of poo...she has eaten many, many poos, but has not left ANY on her fleece. She's eaten every poo she's produced within the past 13 hours. Should this concern me as well as her other issues? Is this indicative of something else to look out for?
The vet's office that looked at Maggie yesterday just called to see if I got her an exotic vet appointment for today. I told them that I wasn't able to get scheduled until Saturday. He asked if Maggie was drinking, and I explained that she started occasionally drinking about 15 hours ago, after over 24 hours of not drinking at all and having an entire bag of Lactated Ringer's injected SQ yesterday. In the last 15 hours, she has drunk around 2 oz, from my estimate of the water bottle's change in level. He wants her to come in tomorrow for another round of LR.
My immediate concern is overhydration. I've read about electrolyte imbalances, alkalosis, respiratory effects, and other common problems associated with administering too much fluid. He did administer the entire 250 mL bag of LR SQ in one go yesterday, which seemed excessive to me for one infusion. However, a lot of the liquid did leak out once the needle had been removed, so she did not retain the entire 250 mL.
Here is the info I have: Maggie is 0.95 kg, and she had any change in weight. She refused to drink for around 24 hours (the LR was administered about 10 hours after refusal began, and she began drinking about 14 hours after the infusion), and she has still only consumed about 2 oz in the past 15 hours. She has never decreased urination, even when she was refusing water. In fact, she was peeing a bit more than normal, which is odd for how dehydrated she should have been. She is very lethargic; she has spent most of the past couple of days lying stretched out, seemingly comfortable, and unmoving for hours at a time. This has led to her peeing on the fleece in the same spot and lying on it; eventually, it starts getting soaked and she's just laying there on the damp fleece, which I worry will cause its own problems. When I do notice the spot she's lying on is damp, I rotate the fleece around so she has a clean spot to lay on.
If I could be more assured that she is truly still dehydrated, I would be sure of a decision. However, I can't tell if her poos are dry because she's eating them before I can see them, her crazy amount of thick, long hair makes the scruff test very difficult, and I'm not sure of many other ways to test her level of hydration. Without being sure about the extent to which she is dehydrated, I worry that she will get overhydrated if she receives another infusion. However, I also know that fluid can greatly help her GI issues and increase her appetite.
Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Is there a way for me to determine how dehydrated she so I can better determine if she needs another round of LR injected? Also, does anyone know the safety of injecting an entire bag of LR subQ in one go, rather than breaking it into smaller rounds? Has anyone even heard of it being done? I've been trying to research it, but I can't find any cases where this is common. I know that this is also how he rehydrates kittens and cats (all the fluid at once) and apparently he has not had any problems, but we know how different guinea pigs react to meds and such compared to other species.
Sorry for the long and probably repetitive post; I appreciate all of your help and advice. With decisions like this, it always feels like I'm taking a gamble with her health and safety, and it completely wrecks my nerves. Any more information that would help make a decision would be greatly appreciated.
Signs of dehydration can be tenting of the skin at the neck (if you can lightly pinch and pull up the skin at the neck, it partly stays up). Poops will be smaller and sometimes have a "tail". I see you can't do the skin test very well and she's eating her poops. Those are the only two tips I know!
I have repeatedly tried the tent test, and it does seem as if it's staying tented slightly longer than it should, but not excessively. However, it's really hard to tell on her, so I'm not 100% sure. Her eyes don't look dull or sunken like they can when they get severely dehydrated. Either way, I went ahead an made the appointment...she doesn't seem terribly dehydrated, but she is going long periods of time without drinking, sometimes hours, and then drinking a ton at one time. Before she started getting sick, she was at the water bottle at pretty regular intervals. The plan is, I'll take her in and get his opinion on her dehydration level and go from there...either way, I'd rather be safe than sorry!
Thank you all for all your advice and help. It has definitely lowered some of my anxiety knowing I don't just have to take the vet's word for things!
Sorry about the size, I still haven't figured out pics on here yet.
I wouldn't have even thought to soak hay in water! We tried it this morning, she actually seemed to enjoy it, and by this afternoon she was already having bigger and mushy poos. The vet said he didn't think any fluids would be necessary, and he thinks she'll make it just fine until we can see the more specialized vet on Saturday!
I had completely forgotten to mention this earlier, but since she stopped drinking, I have attempted to syringe water at different times, and so did the vet. She fought it so hard that the vet was worried she would accidentally aspirate it, even if we only syringed tiny amounts. That's the main reason he did SQ fluids, so it would hopefully hydrate her until she would drink again. I've been able to syringe a few cc's at a time, but not nearly enough to hydrate her. After just a couple ccs, she starts aggressively trying to fight it. What makes that even more odd is I can syringe an entire cc of simethicone without her fighting it at all (it's more than recommended on the GuineaLynx med page, but the vet said it was ok as long as it didn't have sugar alcohols, so I got a brand that didn't). I don't know what her issue is with syringed water, but I've never had any of the other girls react that way when I've had to give them water. Either way, soaked hay is working wonderfully, and she's also using her water bottle a little more!
Another super weird thing she's doing, she will not leave any droppings on in her cage. If I put her on my lap or on the bed with a towel, she will leave them and not touch them at all, but there hasn't been a single poo in her cage. The vet offered a theory to try: put one of the droppings she left on my lap in her cage and see what she does. Sure enough, I put it in her cage and she ate it immediately. I have no clue what that is about, but as long as her stomach is moving, the vet didn't seem concerned.
Again, thank you for the advice! She's showing a great deal of improvement already.