Valentine, convulsing during subcue

You are my sunshine

Post   » Tue Dec 18, 2007 1:08 pm

Thanks Josephine and Zoe. I'll keep you posted of any developments.

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Post   » Tue Dec 18, 2007 9:15 pm

Oh hello Pigginess, Henry and I are just saying "hi" and wishing you and Valentine well. No medical advice, but hoping it passes.


Post   » Thu Dec 20, 2007 2:29 am

A couple things to add, although all advice given so far has been excellent. I have 2 pigs that I subcue regularly, and if I get the needle in the wrong spot, they will start twitching. Also, a vet told me that the fluids may make them feel like shivering afterwards. Both Itchy and Madison will do this on occasion, and I do warm the fluid and use a 25 butterfly needle because it allows more flexibility and less need for restraint of the pig. I'm with Josephine--wrapping in a warm towel might help.

With all my pigs, I set red bell pepper in front of them before starting the subcue. Most of them start munching the pepper after the second subcue. Mad and Itchy seem to wait for the stick, and once it's in, they start eating. I guess it's a distraction.

If Dr. R says no surgery, then it's probably not a good idea. In my experience, he is a very optimistic vet and willing to do surgery even if it is a little risky.

With stones occurring, there is always a possibility that there is kidney malfunction. If so, more stones will likely occur. Since Valentine came into the rescue very malnourished, with scurvy and bad mites, it wouldn't surprise me if there was damage to the kidneys. One of the pigs I subcue, Itchy, came in this condition with his brother and ultrasound showed that they both had damaged kidneys.

We think that the others in Valentine's group may be 6 or 7 years old. One died this year of possible heart failure. So perhaps this might be an issue of making her comfortable. You did a very kind thing by adopting a senior pig and gave her a chance of having a wonderful home, so whatever happens remember that she has had a great second life.

You are my sunshine

Post   » Fri Dec 21, 2007 5:29 am

Thanks Chary.

You are my sunshine

Post   » Thu Oct 09, 2008 11:57 am

Here’s an update on Valentine.

Subsequent x-rays showed that the stones had not passed so we were keeping her comfortable with heart and pain medicines.

In January 2008, Mum (who has been incredibly helpful in so many ways), sent me a link posted by pinta about the drug Actigall for bladder stones.

I took that to Dr. R and here is his information:

I have been conservatively treating a 9+ year old female intact guinea pig for a 2 – 3 mm bladder stone. I did not believe she was a good candidate for anaesthesia and cystotomy based upon the size of her heart and her age.

At the urging of the owner and great information from, I started her on a regimen of Ursodiol (Actigall®).

In a little over 6 weeks the bladder stone resolved radiographically and the guinea pig’s clinical symptoms resolved (blood in the urine and discomfort urinating).

The dosage we used was:
Mix one 300 mg capsule of Ursodiol (Actigall®) with 2 mls of mixing liquid, give 0.5 cc orally one time a day for 8 days, then mix one 300 mg capsule of Ursodiol (Actigall®) with 4 mls of mixing liquid, give 0.5 cc orally daily for 1 – 2 months.

William V. Ridgeway, Jr., D.V.M.
Long Beach Animal Hospital, Inc.
3816 E. Anaheim Street
Long Beach, CA 90804-4005

In addition to her medicine I supplemented her diet with Critical Care every day.

Valentine continued to have a great quality of life. She was happy, perky and very opinionated until a few days ago when she passed away at 4:00 a.m. in my arms.

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I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Thu Oct 09, 2008 12:11 pm

And here are Valentine's xrays:





Thanks so much for posting this update. With any luck many other pigs will be helped now!

I'm so sorry your Valentine is gone - she truly had a wonderful and long life with you.

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Post   » Thu Oct 09, 2008 12:27 pm

I'm sorry. She was a beautiful pig.

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Post   » Thu Oct 09, 2008 12:33 pm

Dawn I am so sorry. Thank you for posting this. She was so pampered while living with her foster family and you were probably the only one who could have continued to serve this beautiful high maintenance pig the way you did. She was such a little princess.

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For Rocky

Post   » Thu Oct 09, 2008 1:12 pm

I'm very sorry you lost your sweet Valentine. I'm glad she was able to have a good quality of life and passed on in the comfort of your arms. I think that's the best we can give them.

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Post   » Thu Oct 09, 2008 4:47 pm

I'm sorry, Pigginess.


Post   » Thu Oct 09, 2008 10:31 pm

What a wonderful age she lived to.

I'm so happy the Actigall worked and will send this link to Vicki of Jack Pine Guinea Pig Rescue who gave me the info.


Post   » Fri Oct 10, 2008 12:48 am

I'm sorry Valentine is gone, but I'm really glad she was perky and happy through the end.

Let Sleeping Pigs Lie

Post   » Fri Oct 10, 2008 1:32 am

I'm very sorry that pretty Valentine is gone. She had so much happiness and love in your home.

Her medical story will bring hope to many guinea pigs and their owners.

You are my sunshine

Post   » Sat Oct 11, 2008 1:38 am

Thanks for your kind wishes everyone. We felt so privileged to have this special girl share our lives. We will always love and miss her.

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