Miyu - Won't receive syringe feeding, is he in too much pain?

Post Reply
Rudy R

Post   » Fri Aug 03, 2018 4:34 pm

Hello everyone.

Miyu is a black peruvian male pig who's 5 and a half years old.

However, the poor little guy has been going through several issues since Monday, starting with my family and I finding blood in his cage. That morning we took him to a different vet, due to him needing x-rays to find out the cause of his problems. The vet found a stone heading for my pig's bladder. She ended up prescribing Meloxicam, Dimethicone, and Enrofloxacine. She ruled out any surgeries for the time being, arguing that the stone would be able to travel outside of Miyu's body in no time. However, after all these meds, Miyu completely lost his appetite, although he still nibbled at his hay pile from time to time.

On Tuesday, I texted the vet about it. She prescribed him Cisapride to increase his digestive motility. We also began to feed Miyu mashed pellets and water with a syringe. Wednesday, I began to notice that Miyu's mood had gone absolutely downhill but he was still taking the syringes but he wouldn't touch his hay nor the water bottle anymore. Unfortunately, he wouldn't take more than 2 or 3 cc of food at once. He's 900-ish grams.

Yesterday, the vet took another x-ray. We found that the stone kinda shrunk down, but it still isn't nowehere near the exit of Miyu's body. However, the vet was optimistic about Miyu's case, saying that he would end up pushing the stone out in time. She also reduced the enrofloxacine to only 0.12 ml and prescribed him metoclopromide, butylhyoscine, and more cisapride. She also told us that he could take more meloxicam if we saw him in too much pain. Lastly, she mentioned a really "remote" scenario in which Miyu would get depressed due to his inability to cope with the pain, which would require surgery to remove the stone.

However, I kinda felt another decline between yesterday and today. Miyu becomes exasperated too quickly during his feeding sessions and moves his head around, trying to push the syringe away with his front feet, etc. He also will rarely nibble away at fresh veggies when we offer them. Lastly, he spends a lot of time slumped down on my lap, on the couch, in his cage...

I really want to see him improve. Is there any advice you could give me to at least raise his spirits a bit? Anything to get him to eat more per session or in his own cage?

I'd also like to ask for your opinion regarding the implications of the whole situation. If Miyu had to go to surgery at his age, would it be worth the risks? Also, I don't want to be pessimistic, but is it worth it to make my pig go through all this pain? I really don't want to see him suffer, but I also don't know how to tell when a pig is in too much pain. I really wouldn't want to euthanize him but sometimes he looks as if he only wants to rest.

Thank you for taking your time to read about my precious piggy and his current predicament. I'm really hopeful that he'll recover but I'd like to hear about what other GP owners think.


Post   » Fri Aug 03, 2018 4:44 pm

Others with more experience will probably be able to provide more advice on stones and surgery but the best advice I received from other here when ours were on meds and losing appetite was to give them Bene-bac 60-90 minutes after any antibiotics.

Also get some critical care and mix with water or unflavored pedealyte. Miyu may find that more appetizing than mashed up pellets and water. Ours love the apple/banana flavor.

*edit* I know it may seem like i keep banging on about this on other threads but we also found that when they showed no interest in any other food they woudl all perk up if we put a tray of wheat grass in there. However that is just based on our experience, your mileage may vary as they say.
Thankfully after the Bene-bac tip they all started eating heartily.
Last edited by rjespicer on Fri Aug 03, 2018 4:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Fri Aug 03, 2018 4:48 pm

Can you find a vet that knows something about guinea pigs?

It's rare for a male guinea pig to be able to pass a stone because of the length of the urethra. And if the stone falls into the urethra and blocks it, you've got a full blown medical emergency.

His loss of appetite is almost certainly due to the enrofloxacin -- it's a known side effect, and one that is often difficult to manage. Your pig MUST eat -- guinea pigs have to have food moving through their guts at all times to prevent painful/fatal stomach ulcers and bloat. See http://www.guinealynx.info/handfeeding.html for hints on how to do that. But do it, even if he doesn't like it.

Nothing that I know of will reduce the size of an existing stone. It may be that it's a slightly different position in the bladder and looks smaller, but it's almost certainly the same size or larger.

He needs to see an exotic vet who can remove the stone. It's not a terribly difficult surgery for a pig, although any kind of surgery has some risks.

Rudy R

Post   » Fri Aug 03, 2018 5:30 pm

That's the thing though. With his current age, would it be safe to consider surgery for him, and especially with such a precarious ailment? Asking because of all the testimonies I've read from other people.

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Fri Aug 03, 2018 6:01 pm

If he's in otherwise good health, he's not too old for the surgery.

But if you're not forcing him to eat, he'll go downhill very quickly. The very best thing you can do is get food into him.

User avatar
Catie Cavy
Supporter 2011-2019

Post   » Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:26 pm

I’m wondering if you could stop the enrofloxacine to see if his appetite perks up? If the blood is from the stone and not an infection, he doesn’t need an antibiotic. If he does need an antibiotic, bactrim has less effect on appetite.

Lots of fluids and muscle relaxing drugs can sometimes help a pig pass a stone, but I’m more familiar with stones in females than in males.

User avatar

Post   » Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:59 pm

For a surgery of this type, you would want an exotics veterinarian who has done this type of surgery multiple times with good outcome.

Read over www.guinealynx.info/antibiotic_advice.html

Rudy R

Post   » Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:39 pm

Catie, that's true. Unfortunately for my piggy, the vet prescribed the AB to stop any possible UTIs but my sister and I also found mucus in Miyu's stool so I guess the vet made a good call. Thankfully, he's going to be able to catch a break on Monday. That's where the AB treatment ends, but he's going to have to continue with his motility meds.

Lynx, the vet has kept several pigs before so I'm assuming that's how she's picked up her experience with small animals, but I'll certainly be looking for alternatives just to be safe.

Unfortunately, I'm also starting school on Monday so I'm going to try to get my mom involved in terms of taking care of Miyu while I'm at school. Hopefully once he's off the AB, he'll regain his appetite until the surgery (if it does take place).

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:53 pm

Unfortunately, the mucus could be caused by the antibiotics, and is just a sign of digestive upset, not a UTI.

Rudy R

Post   » Fri Aug 03, 2018 11:26 pm

Bpatters, that's really unfortunate. :( That's legitimately the explanation the vet gave us when she prescribed the AB, but the mucus was found after we started the AB treatment, so you're probably right. Hopefully the mucus and the lack of appetite stop once Miyu's finished taking it. The vet warned us that there could still be a risk of infection in regards of the stone, but I kinda don't want to take said risk by taking him off the AB two days before the AB treatment is over.

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sat Aug 04, 2018 12:51 am

Well, I've already expressed my opinion of your vet. I'd want another one.

Just keep forcing him to eat. And if he stops peeing altogether, get him immediately to a good veterinary surgeon.

User avatar

Post   » Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:23 am

See also www.guinealynx.info/postop.html for valuable information after surgery.

Rudy R

Post   » Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:37 am

Hello, I'm back. The vet has given us the green light to go ahead with the surgery. It may not happen until next week but I'm trying to prepare Miyu for it. While he's still eating and drinking water on his own, he ended up weighing approximately 850 grams today (against the 900 from his last visit two weeks ago). Maybe I'll have to go back to syringe feeding just in case.

As expressed previously, I'm concerned about any potential complications that may arise due to Miyu's age and weight, but I'm hopeful that the surgery will be able to help him survive for another year. Thank you for all the advice. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

User avatar
Supporter in 2018

Post   » Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:11 am

There is a good chance you will have to continue the syringe feeding AFTER the surgery, too. Maybe not for long, but just until he gets his appetite back and is eating enough to maintain his weight. I'm not sure if you can expect him to gain back what he's lost, but you need to try to maintain his current weight. It's very difficult for pigs to GAIN weight, unless we're talking about young pigs. Older ones don't seem to gain back the lost weight.

Good luck to you both. Keep us informed, we do care.


Post   » Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:04 am

If it were my pig and bpatters made that observation I would be searching for a more qualified vet. It' s not a knock against your vet or that they haven't treated any pigs before. I don't think it's terribly complicated surgery for a vet who has done many of the same surgeries but for one learning about GPs, it might be a risk a risk you probably needn't take.

Good luck any news on the little guy?

Post Reply
15 posts • Page 1 of 1