Should I worry? Lazy "rag doll" pig

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poppypiggy

Post   » Mon Apr 13, 2009 4:08 pm


Thank you, tracis! And thanks for the links! In fact I showed the link about building your own oxygen unit to my vet, and she thought it looked very cool, but the problem is to get the oxygen. Hopefully she will find out more, and we can treat Poppy at home later on. But the best is of course if we can get the medicines to work so well that she can do without any oxygen at all.

I will read over the subcue thread, and hopefully get some good tips there - so far I have not tried giving any more to Poppy, but I want to learn it for when it becomes necessary

I have now talked with the vet by phone, and Poppy and I have an appointment at the clinic in the morning. Poppy will probably get some oxygen treatment then, and stay there most of the day.

The vet also agreed on giving Poppy another dose of Fortekor tonight, so for the time being she will be on 1.25 mg twice daily, and 5 mg Lasix twice daily. Hopefully that will make her feel better, and turn her cute little ears light pink again!

pinta

Post   » Mon Apr 13, 2009 5:04 pm


Doesn't hurt to ask. The top dose one of our pigs is on is 0.75ml twice a day but you'd have to do a search to find out what the mg/ml is. The info rubbed off the bottle but I know I've posted it before.

We have a portable oxygen cannister old people use when going out and about. Medical supply places should have them. I don't think you can use the same stuff as divers.

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Bugs Mom

Post   » Mon Apr 13, 2009 5:50 pm


For what it may be worth to you my little one weighs a little over 2lbs 2ozs and gets 2.4ml Benazapril 2mg/ml per day. She is also on 1ml Furosemide (10mg/ml) per day as well as 1/2 a tablet of Pimobendan per day.

She has been on these doses for awhile now so apparently GP's can tolerate high doses of these meds. Needless to say though mine is at the max dose of all this stuff.

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poppypiggy

Post   » Tue Apr 14, 2009 5:06 pm


Thanks, pinta and Bugs Mom! This morning Poppy was better than yesterday, but I took her to the vet anyway. She (new one; Kirsti was busy elsewhere) decided that oxygen was unnecesseary, and I agreed, so I brought Poppy home with me after the check up. She will be on the 1.25 mg Fortekor and 5 mg furosemide twice daily for the rest of the week, and then I will bring her in again Friday or Monday, depending on how well she is doing. I am aware that it might take up to about 2 weeks before heart meds kick in, but hopefully it will be possible to see some improvement by the end of the week.

I think the Bug has about the same weight as Poppy, so I am glad to see that she gets about the same amount of medicine, except that Poppy doesn't get Pimobendan. What is Pimobendan doing for Bug's heart?

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Bugs Mom

Post   » Tue Apr 14, 2009 6:11 pm


It works in conjunction with the Benazapril to keep Lady Bug's heart working efficiently. I started using it because of Pinta's experience. Pinta is the one who can explain it better.

Just a question here-do you mean that Poppy is on .5ml Furosemide not 5. ml per day? 5ml is an awfull lot of diuretic. : )

pinta

Post   » Tue Apr 14, 2009 6:19 pm


Josephine can explain it - all I know is it works. I think it is explained in the medical guide

Tracis
Let Sleeping Pigs Lie

Post   » Tue Apr 14, 2009 7:52 pm



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poppypiggy

Post   » Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:15 pm


Sorry I haven't responded sooner, but I have been away for two days. My daughter and husband took good care of Poppy. She has put on a few grams, and I think she wants to be with the other pigs rather than in her own little enclosure.

Bugs Mom, thank you for your concern! Poppy is on 5 mg, or rather one part of a 20 mg pill split in four, morning and evening. My vet checked and rechecked that the dose was right, but your comment made me a bit nervous, so I just looked it up myself. And I found that Dr. Ridgeway use to dose furosemide at 2 – 5 mg/kg orally every 12 hours http://www.guinealynx.info/heart.html#ridgeway so I think 5 mg is within the safe limit, even if it is much. By the way - I have not been able to find a way to compound these medicines, so I just grind the furosemide and Fortekor pills in a little glass, dilute in some water and give that to Poppy.

I asked my vet if she knew anything about pimobendan, and she had, but not for piggies, so she promised to look it up before the check up next week.

Thanks for the references, pinta and tracis. I will read the information carefully, and also print it out for my vet.

pinta

Post   » Fri Apr 17, 2009 4:33 pm


If you can get the pill to the right size it's easier to pill them than to give liquids. You can just shove the pill in from the side to the molars or use a tweezer/hemostat. Clean and easy.

For pills that can't be divided into doses easily we use a suspension agent for mixing. Vetmedin mixes best with water.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Fri Apr 17, 2009 8:14 pm


One of our members used to compound heart meds in a solution called Orasweet (I think). She would put it in the refrigerator. I think there's a link to the post in this one:

http://www.guinealynx.info/forums/viewtopic.php?t=4444

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Bugs Mom

Post   » Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:04 pm


My little one is on Pimobendan and has been for quite awhile. It has definitely helped her heart.

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poppypiggy

Post   » Fri Jun 12, 2009 11:21 am


Sorry I'm late with an update again, but Poppy has been doing very well. She is now on 1,25 mg Fortekor twice daily, and per pinta’s advice (thank you!) I split a pill in two, and just pop one part in her mouth in the morning, the other part in the evening, telling her they are treats. Poppy munch them every time; so pleased to get something the others don’t!

She also gets Furosemide pills diluted in water, as I can’t find anything similar to Orasweet here. After the last vet visit we are now gradually decreasing the dose, though. At the moment she gets 2 mg every morning, and seems to cope well with that. Next week she will not get any Furosemide, as her heart seems to be working very well on the Fortekor alone. I have to monitor her closely to make sure there is no new build up of fluids, though.

But even if Poppy’s heart is doing it's job, everything still isn't sunshine with her, as she now has started to loose hair on both sides of her belly, and also along her back, and she often sits at the back of the cage and looks uncomfortable. I have treated her for mites, but that didn't help, so at the last vet visit she had an x-ray and an ultra sound examination. Unfortunately it is obvious that she has at least one ovarian cyst that bothers her.

I think we have to do something about this very soon, but I am a bit unsure about what will be the best option. My vet is not very experienced with spaying sows. She has done it before, though, and done other types of surgery on pigs, too. And only lost one; he came fine out of the sedation, but died at home later on, probably because of over heating, she thinks. She tells me she feels confident that she will manage Poppy's spay just fine. She also says she spays cats all the time, and don't thinks the difference between cats and sows are that large when it comes to spaying. I have no way of knowing if this is true or not, but would like to hear others opinions on this. Does it sound like she is realistic, or is she over confident?

I have also discussed the possibility of giving Poppy hormone injections in stead of spaying her. Vet was not familiar with that, but said she would investigate and come back to me when she knew more. I have found this link http://www.guinealynx.info/forums/viewtopic.php?t=10197 , but it is from 2004, so I am sure there is more info about this treatment somewhere. Can anyone point me to it? Or has anybody first hand experience to share?

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Bugs Mom

Post   » Fri Jun 12, 2009 1:04 pm


Just my opinion here but since I also have a heart pig, if it were me I would go with the injections first. Heart pigs often have problems with the sedation process. If the injections didn't work I'd reevaluate at that time.

Tracis
Let Sleeping Pigs Lie

Post   » Fri Jun 12, 2009 3:21 pm


Sending more good thoughts for Poppy, and I hope she continues to do well!

Here are a few threads that might help:

Trick's girls Rosie and Brie have been receiving hCG injections, and recently Gracie also started receiving injections, too.

Elly's girl, Dilly, had Lupron injections.

User avatar
poppypiggy

Post   » Fri Jun 12, 2009 5:53 pm


Thank you so much, Bugs Mum and Tracis!

The more I think of how invasive a spay it to a sow, the less I like the thought that Poppy should go through something like that. She has had enough of pain in her life already. So yes, I will go for the injections first, as you suggest. The links are very helpful, and after reading them I have learned that the hormone treatment is far better than I thought previousely, and I have sent the linkts to my vet. Hopefully she will be convinced after reading them.

Thanks again!

pinta

Post   » Fri Jun 12, 2009 7:14 pm


Your vet is being overconfident. Spaying cats and spaying pigs has nothing in common. Because the pig is on her back during the spay there is weight on her heart due to the physiology. It does help if the pig can be placed in a sitting position to take the pressure off the heart. That makes it riskier for heart pigs but sometimes the sitting position doesn't provide enough room to do the surgery. My vet is very experienced and HATES spaying pigs. Because we only spay if we have to due to health, the survival rate has only been 50%. Spaying young, healthy pigs is much safer though there is still a lot of risk - more than with cats. My vet has never lost a cat during a spay and she's been a vet for more than 20 years. I checked with another pig savvy vet in our area and he had the same survival rate as my vet with spaying sows. He also spayed when medically necessary.

We do hormone injections on compromised pigs and have had very good results. Only spay as a last resort.

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poppypiggy

Post   » Sat Jun 13, 2009 7:02 pm


Thank you, pinta! I suspected that. I will definitely insist on the hormone treatment first, and hopefully that will help Poppy. She is such a sweet pig, and deserves the best treatment I can find for her. Besides I have spent so much money on her that I want to keep her with me for a long time yet ;-)

pinta

Post   » Sat Jun 13, 2009 9:26 pm


It does help if the pig can be placed in a sitting position to take the pressure off the heart. That makes it riskier for heart pigs

Should be less riskier for heart pigs

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poppypiggy

Post   » Mon Jun 22, 2009 7:11 am


Should be less riskier for heart pigs
Thank you for the clarification, Pinta. I was pretty sure that was what you ment, but good to have it written out.

Since my last update Poppy has not been doing quite as well as before. She has been gradually more quiet and inactive, and looking like she feels uncomfortable. Yesterday her breathing was heavy too, so I put her back on furosemide, and she is better today.

My vet, Kirsti, is specializing in exotics, and was away for one of the required courses last week, so Poppy hasn't seen her since last update. But I got a long e-mail from Kirsti last night, where she told me that my little girl was discussed on the course. And the lecturer, a professor from the Royal Dick in Edinburgh, suggested a spay, as this is the only permanent solution to growing cysts, in his opinion. According to him hormones will not stop the cysts from growing, and Poppy's cysts are rather large, I think.

As previousely mentioned my vet wanted to spay Poppy herself, but now she tells me she has second thoughts about that, as she now realizes that spaying pigs is not the same as spaying cats. So you were absolutely right there, Pinta, and now I trust your judgement even more than before!

Kirsti's suggestion is that she calls around to find another vet that is willing to spay my girl, but she also tells me that I have to decide what I think is best for Poppy. I am very nervous about the whole thing, because I feel I have to act rather fast, since Poppy is not well as it is now, even if the furosemide seems to work well.

When looking at the Reference and First Hand Accounts I found this post from Cara: http://www.guinealynx.info/forums/viewtopic.php?t=10197 that tells about a treatment with a "new" hormone, gonadotropin-releasing hormome (GnRH), in stead of the more commonly used human chorionic gonadotropin (hcG). Among other advantages with the first mentioned treatment is that it reduces the size of the ovarian cysts.

Cara is not a member anymore, and her e-mail adress is removed from her profile, so I can't mail her to ask for more references. Has others had any experience with this treatment? Is it a "real" treatment, or just some short lived idea by Cara's vet back in 2004?

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Mon Jun 22, 2009 9:10 am


Sorry I can't answer your questions about Cara's experiences.

If the cysts are fluid filled and very large, it is also possible to use ultrasound to guide a needle to draw out some of the fluid and relieve the pressure temporarily.

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