In August, Fred started attacking towels. I took him to a gp vet where they did some tests. They found bedding very deep in his ears and mineral deposits on his penis. Both the mineral deposits and bedding were removed. (There were no signs of infection in his ears.) Fred was then on an antibiotic for 14 days and an anti-inflammatory for 10 days.
Since then, I have noticed that Fred has these “seizures”. He tilts his head so that it lies along his right side, usually with his left eye facing up. His left eye will twitch and his whole body shakes (it’s a relatively small movement). Sometimes he bends so far back that his nose touches his back end. When he does that, he sometimes hops in a circle (with his nose touching his backend) and if they are really bad, he rolls onto his back. He doesn’t scratch very much and I’ve never seen him scratch himself and then have one of these “seizures”. Often, I pick him up when he is “seizing” and hold him. He is usually stiff when I pick him up (though sometimes he will relax for a moment and then continue his “seizure” in my arms). These only last at most a minute. Afterwards, he just uncurls and wanders over to his food bowl or water bottle or looks at me (if I picked him up). He has these several times a day that I see (though I work at a full time job) and often he will have 2 or 3 in a row.
Fred has been to the gp vet for this and we are treating him again for mites (even though he doesn’t seem to have any). I don’t know if anyone has ever had a guinea pig that has done this before…and if they have any information or ideas on what I can do to help the little guy. (Fred eats lots of Oxbow Timothy hay, and Oxbow’s Cavy Cuisine pellets. He also enjoys green and red peppers, parsley, carrots, squash, cilantro, apples and pears.)
- GL is Just Peachy
The only thing I can think of other than seizures (which would be caused by another condition, like epilepsy or some kind of brain problem) would be an inner ear infection, particularly since he always puts his head to one side. Ear mites might be a possibility too.
- I GAVE, dammit!
We just had a bunny here with severe ear mites that did that - Raised her head, tilted the head to the side, and had seizures. Took her to the vet and they screamed "EAR MITES" at me. She's doing better now after a few Ivermectin shots.
- Almost Inbred
The vets couldn't find a reason for them and had never heard of this type of seizuring in pigs, so they just assumed it was akin to epilepsy in rabbits. My own theory is that it was a pig version of juvenile epilepsy, and he just grew out of it.
But it doesn't sound like that's what's happening with Fred. First, he's too old, and second, the seizures sound different. It seems like ear mites is the best guess.
I hope you find a solution, Rach. I know how heartbreaking it is to watch an animal go through something so traumatic.
I'm sorry, I didnt mean to get all depressed, but if it is ear mites, I hope the Doctor knows something to fix it, because Jasper went downhill fast. From Friday when he was just kind of off, to Sunday, when they put him down.
I wanted to give all of you an update on Fred. Friday afternoon, after my last post, I saw that Fred has a small white spot on his eye and called the gp vet. The vet looked at him and gave me an antibiotic eye drop to put in his eyes every 2 hours or so and an anti-inflammatory to be given once a day. Saturday morning, I woke up to find Fred having seizures every 5 -10 minutes. These were bad ones, where he rolled around on the floor. I called the vet and took him in again Saturday morning. The vet looked at his eye and noticed that Fred can’t close it. So, she suggested giving him human eye drops on the hour that he wasn’t getting antibiotic ones. She also prescribed an antibiotic (Bactrim) twice a day. She gave Fred a shot of steroids (to reduce swelling) and a shot of Valium (to relax him). Fred is currently being kept on towels (with them being changed every 1-2 hours). His cage is setup with bumpers, so he can’t bang his head or injure his other eye. The medicine relaxed him and stopped him from having wild seizures. I am taking him to the vet this morning (Monday) for an eye check up. He has had 2 seizures that I have seen in the last two days and both of them have been very mild.
I’m sorry that I haven’t kept you all updated! I appreciate your support and knowledge. I want to do what is right for my Freddie who has stolen my heart. These past few days have been very hectic (constantly doing laundry, putting in eye drops and buying more towels). Thank you for caring! I will try to keep you updated. I hope that Fred recovers soon. I must go change his cage and give him another eye drop.
Fred and I just got back from the vet. His eye still doesn’t look very good. He can still see light through it, but can not blink. The vet gave me an antibiotic ointment to put on his eyes a couple of times a day. I asked about ear mites and she said no, because the medicine she gave me to treat him for skin mites also kills ear mites. The vet did get to watch him have a minor seizure (he had one while she was trying to weigh him). He hasn’t lost any weight and is still eating tons! The vet said to try the new ointment in addition to everything else I have been doing for him and to come back Wednesday for another check up.
All I can say right now is thank god that I don’t have classes until Thursday. (I am a graduate student who is lucky enough to only have classes twice a week, and with the holiday today and tomorrow, I only have one class this week.) Unfortunately, I have a huge homework assignment due Thursday. I just hope my advisor understands why I haven’t been able to work on my research very much.
Back to go check on Fred.
Fred is still eating lots of food. He does tend to sit in the corner pouting when he doesn’t have any fresh veggies to eat or doesn’t like what I have given him. He also spends a lot of time playing with his water bottle. I know that he is bored, but I can’t put him back in his cubes cage and he can’t have any hideaway homes or pigloos (due to the chance that he might hurt himself more by rolling into something besides a soft towel lined cage with towel bumpers). Fred doesn’t mind being held and petted for short times (these times keep getting shorter everyday).
I just wish that Fred would be able to blink. He still can’t shut his left eye. He has another vet visit tomorrow (Wednesday) morning. I hope that he will be better by then.
This next picture is of Fred's right eye which is healthy. It is all black.