Butters has developed a heart condition and with the help of everyone's posts on Lasix and Enacard, and symptoms, etc. He is now getting the proper meds and my vet's full attention. There was no "whoo-hooing" but only a recent battle with a recurring URI and labored breathing. I read posts from "Pinta...heart problem question" from the medical forum. I printed the whole thing off and took notes and brought it all with me to the vets. I knew exactly what was going on and all the vocabulary he was using. Made me sound like I was smart. LOL!!! Luckily, even before the visit I still had some lasix left over from Butter's last URI and started him on it right away. I knew enough to know that even a couple days could have made the difference if it was his heart. Vet couldn't hear a murmur, and no gurgles of fluid in the lungs but the x-ray showed that Butters had fluid around the lungs and his windpipe was being pushed up towards his spine and very narrow. He could only assume it was an enlarged heart coupled with the extra fluid. Butters is now on Lasix and Enacard in pill form (it's the easiest thing) and is hopping all over his cage checking on all his 5 girlfriends.
So THANK YOU, KarasKavies, melcvt00, Lynx, pinta, Josephine, and Cara. I'll let everyone know how he's doing over the next 2 weeks and then after he goes back for his checkup then.
I notice the heart information is all spread out. If you feel like it, you would be welcome to put together what you found out from reading here and your personal experiences with your pig (including dosages, etc.) for the reference forum. If you want to, let me know and I'll set it up so you can post there.
- For the love of my girls!
Lynx, that thread is actually pretty darn comprehensive as far as heart issues go. Is there a way to put the thread in the reference forum? Or maybe a link to it? I can't think of much that is not covered there as far as heart goes.
I don't want to put a dauntingly long thread in the reference forum -- people have a hard time wading through it. A condensed version with a link would be great though.
Recent/Frequent diagonosis of URI
Lungs sound OK, but breathing hard
Noisy breathing (fluid in lungs)
Droopy lids (pea eye)
Pododermatitis (swollen limbs)
Enlarged heart on x-ray
Difficulty moving around
Lips turn blue if turned on backside
Rule out Tumors, use EKG???, Bloodwork, BP measure?
Treatments Treat aggressively Pigs with weak hearts are prone to more infections due to a stressed immune system.
Lasix (Furosemide) 2-5 mg/kg orally every 12 hours
Can slowly up dose by going 2x day, takes a week to see how it is working, and work back to a min. maint. Dose
Solution 10 mg/ml, 0.06cc every 12 hrs Large doses of Lasix may need a hydration subcue treatment
Is this hard on kidneys?
Use of Enacard at same time of Lasix requires an immediate reduction of 25-50% of dosage, blood pressure may become too low
Enacard (enalapril) affects a few other hormones and enzymes of blood vessels
ACE inhibitors Enacard/Fortekor Angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors (stop an enzyme from converting to a potent blood vessel constrictor). Relaxes blood vessels, lowers blood pressure, generally relieves signs of heart failure.
Fortekor Canadian version Latest generation of ACE inhibitors, earlier ones were associated with kidney failure, but Fortekor does not seem to do this, however, this drug has not been studied in guinea pigs.
Enacard 1/8 - 1/4 mg SID-EOD (Every 24-48 hrs)
Using Enacard you can keep the dosage of Lasix lower
Yearly blood panels? Cardiac enzymes, cancer markers
One person's medication perscription
Enalapril 20mg+Oraplus 7.5 mls+Orasweet 0.5mls ( 2.5 mg/ml)
Give 0.1 ml orally once to twice daily for heart 1200gram GP
Butters (1250 gram pig) is on a 1/4 pill of enalpril every other day + 1/2 pill (12.5mg tablet) of Lasix everyday for 2 weeks, then he is getting a check up.
Also Zipper didn't have trouble moving around but she was inactive, she was choosing to either move or breath.
I wouldn't say droopy lids, I would just put pea eye. But something to the effect that because the pig has pea eye doesn't mean it's heart disease. Sherman has serious pea eye and his ticker is fine.
We started at a high dose of Lasix to be aggressive and then worked down to a maintaince dose. I would take out the slowly up the dose by 2x a day. That doesn't make sense to me. Start with a high dose, especially if it's serious and then back down. Lasix is hard on the kidneys, do a bloodpanel every 6 months to check kidney function.
"Use of Enacard at same time of Lasix requires an immediate reduction of 25-50% of dosage, blood pressure may become too low." Please explain this statement. I know that Enalapril can lower blood pressure but myvet never said anything about 25-50% reduction of the dosage while on Lasix.
It must be stated that each guinea pig is different and the severity of their heart disease is different. Zipper's current medication dosages are 0.1 cc's enalapril twice daily and 0.15 of lasix twice daily. I've recently started giving the enalapril twice daily and this week I've even been giving her an extra 0.05 of enalapril b/c she's have a harder time breathing right now. This happens every so often. I don't up the lasix though as that removes fluid from her lungs. Upping the enalapril helps greatly. Zipper wouldn't make it if her enelapril was every other day.
It looks good, sqeauker13.
Butters was the worst hit. He had gurgley breathing and looked like he had just finished running a marathon. My husband and I didn't quite know if this was because all of his sows were in heat right after one another and he gets winded after all that lovin'. But it just kept getting worse.
Took him to vet, got him to start Butters on Lasix (to get rid of the extra fluid in his lungs) and a pill form of Baytril. With all that over with, he stopped making gurgle sounds but he still was breathing heavily. To make a long story short, he had a URI that he just couldn't shake. When he finished the last round of AB's, his breathing was pretty good. He was tired a lot, and got winded really easy. I watched his breathing and it seemed like it could be okay sometimes but worse other times. I listened to his heart with a stethoscope, and it sounded like his heart was beating REALLY hard when compared to the other pigs. He did something weird though. We had him on his back (I can't remember what for now) and he jerked his body like a hiccup, I listened to his heart again and it was a very irregular beat. It just didn't sound right, and it scared me.
After reading all the info in Guinea Lynx, and being pretty sure what was going on, I knew enough to use some of the leftover Lasix I had here from his last prescription. A low dose for a couple days wouldn't have hurt him. And when I got back to the Vet (his 4th trip) we had him take x-rays. Vet couldn't hear anything like a murmer (or swish-swish noise) and no fluid IN the lungs. But after comparing his textbook x-ray of a healthy pig, his windpipe looked like it was pushed up towards his spine and very narrow. His chest cavity was filled with fluid so he couldn't see if the heart was enlarged. But with the windpipe narrowed he assumed the heart was enlarged to some degree.
He prescribed Lasix (12.5mg tablet form, 1/2 pill once a day) and Enalapril (2.5 mg tablet form, 1/4 pill every other day) Butters is a 1250 gram boar.
He is doing awesome now. Within 24 hours, we saw amazing results. I don't want to be a pervert, but he's been makin' sweet love for the last 2 days. He couldn't even wait for us to finish cleaning his cage last night. I have Ron Jeremy for a Guinea Pig.
Lynx - feel free to edit this for space and content to keep things concise for the reference forum.