Gylfi's medical thread

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CavyDad
Supporter in 2018

Post   » Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:36 am


Gylfi is a 4 year old boar we adopted from a rescue at the beginning of March. Two days after bringing him home, we were at the vet for a suspected URI: sneezing, wheezy breathing, nasal discharge, low appetite and lethargy. He was on baytril for two weeks, and didn't tolerate it well despite being given benebac an hour after the meds. He didn't want to eat much of anything, and we aggressively hand fed critical care. Despite the critical care, he dropped from around 1150 g to just over 1000 g. His appetite did pick up a few days before his follow-up appointment, despite still being on the baytril.

At his recheck, he still had nasal discharge, and his lungs didn't sound 100% clear, so he stayed on the baytril for 2 more weeks. This time, his appetite came back and he gained back about 100 g over those two weeks, but he still had the nasal discharge and our vet decided to try azithromycin. He didn't tolerate that one at all. He went off his food again and so we were told to stop the meds a couple of days after starting them. Even with hand feeding, he dropped back to around 1000 g.

His lungs sounded clear, but he still had the nasal discharge. Ultimately our vet would like to do x-rays to look for elongated roots or other tooth issues, but none of us felt good about putting him under yet. Since the nasal discharge is clear, we opted to take him home and monitor him, and bring him back if anything takes a turn for the worse. He still has the discharge--his right nostril seems wet most of the time--but otherwise he seems healthy. He's bright and alert, active, eats well, and has normal droppings. We just can't seem to get him to gain his weight back.

He eats all his veggies, he seems to eat a lot of hay, and he eats most of his pellets. We're also giving critical care a couple of times a day for a boost. But he'll gain a few grams, and then drop them again and he feels skinny. Do I try to get him to eat more pellets? Is it just harder to get him to gain because he's a little older? We have some particularly stemmy hay right now, so I don't know if that's part of the problem too. My other 5 boars are eating the same hay and no one is dropping weight though. I should clarify that he's currently housed by himself, so I know how much he's actually eating.

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PinkRufus
Contributor in 2018

Post   » Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:27 am


It is difficult to get guinea pigs to gain weight after they have been ill.  I have had some luck using Oxbow's oat hay (as a supplement, not exclusively) to help them gain some weight.  Are you still giving any probiotics?

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sef1268
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:35 am


What kind of pellets are you feeding him? Sometimes with recovering guinea pigs who are having trouble gaining or maintaining weight, I'll mix some alfalfa pellets in with the timothy, as alfalfa seems to act as an appetite stimulant. I agree with PinkRufus, though, that it's sometimes hard for guinea pigs - particularly the older ones - to rebound weight-wise after an illness.

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CavyDad
Supporter in 2018

Post   » Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:49 am


Thank you Sef and PinkRufus. I was wondering if it had to do with his age more than anything else. I do give oat hay as a treat, so I'll try adding more in for him. I was giving a probiotic until his droppings looked normal, but I'll finish the tube of Benebac that I have and see if that changes anything.

For pellets, he's getting Oxbow garden select with a small amount of Sherwood I got as a free sample. He's been a little picky with the Oxbow, so I was using the Sherwood pellets to test if he didn't like pellets at all, or he didn't like the garden select. He picks the Sherwood out first, and then eventually eats the Oxbow so I'd been thinking about switching him to the classic Oxbow to see if he'd eat those. Thanks for the tip about the alfalfa pellets!

Is it OK to continue with the critical care? Or should we be trying to back off on that?

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sef1268
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:07 am


None of my guys have ever really liked the Oxbow Garden Select, and have been even pickier about the Sherwood brand. I'd try the regular Oxbow formula or KMS instead, but it might take a while for him to warm up to pellets again. It has been my experience that a recovering guinea pig tends to go off his pellets first (nibbling his veggies and hay to some extent, but ignoring the pellets), and back on them last. If it were me, I think I'd continue the CC for now in an effort to get his weight back up a little bit.

A pellet brand that has been generally well-liked by all of my guinea pigs over the years is Zupreem. I don't usually recommend it for adults, as it's an alfalfa-timothy blend, but it's a relatively decent pellet and does not contain calcium carbonate -- an ingredient I always try to avoid in guinea pig pellets, due to the potential for it to cause sludge and possibly even bladder stones in prone pigs. It does tend to help boost weight, though, and seems pretty palatable. Might make a good 'transition' diet for your little guy-? Just a thought.

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CavyDad
Supporter in 2018

Post   » Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:17 pm


Thanks, Sef. I got a bag of the regular Oxbow pellets for him last night and he really liked those. He cleaned his bowl! Hopefully he'll stick with them for now. I'll keep on with the critical care too. Crossing my fingers I see some gain at his daily weigh-in tonight!

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sef1268
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:43 pm


Sounds good!

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CavyDad
Supporter in 2018

Post   » Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:34 pm


Just thought I'd give a quick update since it's been a week. Gylfi just weighed in at 1039 grams! (When I first posted he was 1000.) It's been slow and steady, but no drops in weight like before. I'm really pleased the critical care and new pellets have been helping. Crossing my fingers we keep moving in the right direction. Thanks again for all the advice =)

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sef1268
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:54 pm


Good news indeed! Thank you for the update. We'll keep fingers crossed for continued progress.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:58 pm


Good news indeed! I hope he continues to do well.

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Renonvsparky

Post   » Fri Jun 14, 2019 12:48 am


Scruffy lost about a pound with his bowel infection. He still hasn't gained it back and he eats very well. He's gained about half of it and seems to be stuck there. He was a year and a half old when he got sick. He just turned 2.

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