Should I worry? Lazy "rag doll" pig

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poppypiggy

Post   » Mon Nov 19, 2007 7:18 pm


Poppy is more awake now, but still very drowsy. I have managed to get a few ml of water and critical care into her, as well as her medicines (Baytril, Prednisolon and then a drop of Atropine directly into the eye). She has also eaten a cherry tomato divided in tiny pieces, a few tiny bits of lettuce and perhaps five pellets.

She is falling asleep all the time, but when she wakes up she slowly continues to eat.

Her breathing is audible, but I don't think its laboured. An hour ago about three drops of pink liquid came our of her nose, but I assume that is originating from her eye. At least that is what I hope!

I will give her some "poopsoup" mixed with acidophilus (from my Cavy Kit!) and some more CC before I try to get me some sleep.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Mon Nov 19, 2007 9:48 pm


It sounds like you are on the road to recovery. I hope she is quite perky tomorrow.

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poppypiggy

Post   » Tue Nov 20, 2007 1:18 am


Thank you, Lynx!
I am up just to check on her, and she seems to be much better! When I left her she had produced two perfect poops, now four hours later there are a lot of them all over her cage! She slept when I came into the kitchen, but is eating some lettuc now. I am so relived!

Tracis
Let Sleeping Pigs Lie

Post   » Tue Nov 20, 2007 1:56 am


I hope Poppy continues to do well. She is so lucky to have you caring for her.

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poppypiggy

Post   » Tue Nov 20, 2007 6:38 am


Thank you, tracis! And I feel so lucky to have GuineaLynx to consult whenever I need advice or support. I can't express fully how thankful I am to all the wonderful people on here. You are all teaching me so much and making the lives of my piggies and myself so much better!

Poppy's eye looks quite nice at the moment - the infection seems to have subsided, and there is no swelling.

Her apetite is perhaps not too good, and she tried to refuse her critical care (got 7 ml into her for now), but when I came in from the garden with a handful of late fall grass she wheeked and dived muching into the little heap. I guess I just have to make sure she gets enough food into her and hope she continues to recover.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Tue Nov 20, 2007 8:53 am


Glad to hear she likes grass. Sounds like something I would make freely available to her (if her system's used to it).

pinta

Post   » Tue Nov 20, 2007 6:33 pm


I'm not familiar with the sedation method but have had a pig take waaayyy toooo long to come out of regular sedation(4 hours too long). He turned out to have major heart issues and that was our first clue. Before he died at the age of 5 1/2 he went thru 2 separate heart failure episodes requiring aggressive triage to bring him back.

We also recently had an eye removal done on a pig who had a lacerated eyeball. The vet used Isoflurane(sp?) and he came out of it fine. No surgery to save the eye was attempted since it was clear there was no hope.

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poppypiggy

Post   » Wed Nov 21, 2007 6:40 am


Lynx - I try to let her have grass all day, but as we have had some episodes of hard frost it isn't too much to be found. I take what I can find, though.

Pinta - was the pig that took so long to come out of it sedated with Isoflurane as well, or some other type?

The Ketalar and Ceptor mix was given as an injection, and vet showed me the dosing chart in his reference book. (On the same page there where charts for beavers, squirrels, hedgehogs and hamsters, too. I thought that was a bit cool!)

Vet said isoflurane would be impractical because of the mask, but I am sure I have seen a picture somewhere of a pig getting gas sedation via a tiny tube in his nose. Does anybody know where I can find a description on how that is done? I dread the next time Poppy has to be sedated to remove some of the tissue that now covers the injured part of her cornea in order to protect and nuture it. (If anybody are interested I could try to translate the description of the operation from my journal printout. Vet is willing to send me some of the pictures he and assistant took, too.)

Heart issues has been suspected with this pig, but vet (other than this one, but in same office) has ruled that out. I am not so sure, and now I am even more worried. In fact I was almost sure I had lost Poppy on our way home after the operation, as I could not feel any heart/breathing when I reached for her in the carrier. I pulled over, tried to give her some heart/ lung massage, drove the last 2 minutes home, rushed inside, put her on the kitchen table and tried the heart/lung massage again. After a few strokes I could see her flank heaving and it was clear that her heart was beating. If the heart really had stopped I don't know, and I felt a little silly afterwards, but if so, could what I tried to do have had any positive impact? What was done to the heartpig you mention, Pinta?

Hope the little pirate pig is recovering nicely!

pinta

Post   » Wed Nov 21, 2007 7:10 am


Yes, Isoflurane was used on the heart pig. He went on heart meds: Fortekor and possibly Lasix(can't remember)and did very well except for the two episodes of heart failure. His Fortekor dose was 0.75cc's twice a day. Our other heart pigs usually have either 0.5cc's once or twice a day.

How were heart issues ruled out? What diagnostics were done?

Dr. Legendre devised a method of threading a tube up the nostril to deliver gas for sedation. Search this forum for his contact info and have your vet email him for the info.

The mask our vets use is small and just covers the snout. I believe it is for kittens.

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poppypiggy

Post   » Wed Nov 21, 2007 8:33 am


Thank you Pinta. I will ask the vet who do the surgery to email Dr. Legendre, but I am not sure he will do it.

I guess I was not accurate to say heart issues are ruled out, but the vet says it's "not likely". I must admit that I don't trust this vet 100%, but she has been willing to learn, even though they have very few guinea pig patients. So far we have done ultrasound, but the probe was not good enough to give detailed pictures of such a small heart (I paid full price, though), then we did x-ray. I am not sure if the vet really can interpret a guinea pig picture, but she said the heart looked fine to her. Then bloodwork was done, but it was difficult to obtain a good sample (ended up with sedation and 5 overclipped claws), and the results were inconclusicve.

Then we have done urine samples at two occations. The first showed a somewhat low proteinuri, therefor Poppy was put on Fortekor for 6 months (I think the dose was first 0,75 mg a day for about three months, then 0,75 mg twice a day for the last thee months). The proteinuri had almost doubled. That's where we are now, basically.

For some reason the vet has all the time suspected Cushing's desease, and would like to test for that as well, but I have been reluctant, as I don't think Poppy's symtomes fit very well.

Vet has also mentioned kidney biopy, but she has no cure if the results should show severe tissue damage, so I don't really see the point in letting Poppy suffer to get an ansver.

Then this eye injury came up. She still seems to be doing fine. No weight loss so far, but I don't think she drinks anything. I have forced some water into her, and some critcal care and mashed greens. She is not enthusiastic, but cooperates most of the time. Eye looks fine to me, but I look forward to hear what the vet thinks tomorrow. Will update after the visit there.

ETA: The masks they use in this office are rather large - even the smallest ones.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Wed Nov 21, 2007 8:43 am


poppypiggy, if you hand pick grass, it doesn't really matter if it has been frozen. It seems different than tender greens that turn to mush. I used to pick grass for my guinea pigs all year round, even brushing off the snow to get some in the winter.

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poppypiggy

Post   » Wed Nov 21, 2007 9:13 am


Yes, I have noticed that during frost much of the grass will look translucent and like it is about to turn into mush, but then, if we have higher temperature for some days, it looks almost normal. If we have a normal winter it will all eventually become mushy, unfortunately, and when the snow melts in spring the remaining grass is just a brownish mess. I believe our winters are usually a bit colder than yours, but these days winters are not what they used to be, so maybe this winter Poppy can have fresh green grass all the time!

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Wed Nov 21, 2007 1:36 pm


It may actually be that you have different grass than we have. I usually would pick fescue and it holds up quite well in the winter.

pinta

Post   » Wed Nov 21, 2007 4:40 pm


Did she improve while on the Fortekor? If she didn't that probably is as good an indicator as anything else that she is unlikely to have heart problems.

I had a pig with Cushings. Confirmed diagnosis at necropsy. She was diagnosed via ultrasound and did very well once on L-Deprenyl. I think there might be a thread on her in reference. Her symptoms were identical to ovarian cysts(bilateral hair loss on the stomach/flanks) but no cysts showed up in the ultrasound. Just adrenals that were two different sizes.

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poppypiggy

Post   » Wed Nov 21, 2007 5:19 pm


You are probably right about the grass, Lynx! Good idea, though. I will look out for grasses that stay green during the winter.

I am not sure if she improved at all on the Fortekor. Might have been a little change to the better first, but that might also have been because of summer, much grass and greens etc. In the early fall she was about the same, I think.

Poppy has shown now signs of hairloss, so I don't think Cushings is likely. I guess that leave ut with some kind of kidney problems, or possibly some tumor. Or are there other things that could give proteinuri?

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Mum
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Wed Nov 21, 2007 5:34 pm


How long was she on the Fortekor for, and at what dose?

Sometimes if the dose isn't adequate, or if the pig has severe heart issues, it can take months for the heart meds to fully kick in.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Wed Nov 21, 2007 11:20 pm


Mid afternoon would give the grass to sun warm if it would make a difference.

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poppypiggy

Post   » Thu Nov 22, 2007 4:28 am


She was on Fortekor as a possible cure against kidney dysfunction for a total of 6 months - first 0,625 mg once a day for about 2 - 3 months, and then 0,625 mg twice a day for the last 3 - 4 months (I wrote previously 0,75 mg, but 0,625 mg is correct, as the tablets are 2,5 mg, and I had to divide them in four- it was so difficult and incredibly expensive to get the medicine compounded).

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poppypiggy

Post   » Thu Nov 22, 2007 9:54 am


Back from the vets - my little trooper is doing fine! Her eye seems to be healing as it should and I can cut back on the Atropin-application to only once a day.

When I asked about the anestethics he used, Ketalar, he explained that it is widely used here because it is secure and tolerated by everybody – humans and animals alike. In pediatry it is used mixed with an other sedative because used alone it gives the childeren very vivid nightmares (“And we don’t want that for the babies, do we?”). The only other negative sideeffect he knows of is that it takes a long time to wake up from it, and the breathing might be a bit unstable (so yes, Lynx, it does depress the breating system a bit), but not seriously, he claims. Yeah – why didn’t he tell me! I was so scared when I tought Poppy were gone on our way home.

But all in all I am getting to like this vet more – he said he were willing to e-mail Dr. Legendre and ask about the prosedure for isoflurane sedation of pigs! And the consultation was free this time! Yay!

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poppypiggy

Post   » Thu Nov 22, 2007 11:04 am


Pinta - I have been searching for Dr. Legendre's contact info, but only found the "snail" adress and phone number. Do you have an e-mail adress I could send my vet?

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