I'm worried about Rosie.

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Paravati
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Fri Oct 24, 2003 10:17 pm


(forewarning - horrible typing coming up, my c.t. is very bad tonight and i have wrist braces on, sorry)

THe vet hasn't actually seen either pig. THey were really busy today and only had time for me to come in to get some subcue supplies.

I got a bag off LR with B added, several 12 cc syringes and 12 regular needles (they coud not spare any butterfly). the needles fit right onto the syringe, no tubing. THey told me basically what KM told me last night about the subcues and sent me home. Cost me $30.

TOnight Rosie seems a lot better, he is purring at us when we get him out to hold him and he is taking 10-12 cc;s of Critcal Care/Pellet mash whenever we feed him. he is reaching for the syringe a little bit now. he can still not eat on his own - he was VERY interested in a carrot but when he tried to snag it with his front teeth and run off i couild plainly feel the absoulte lack of strength in his mouth. He even bit my finger cause i smelled like Carrot and he feels so weak in the jaw. There was no tugging strength at all, no ability to grab and hold., Pinta, do you think a chin-sling would help Rosie?

I did a subcue using the regular needle tonight and freaked out. It made a very tight hard bubble right behind his head and i only got 7 cc;'s into him before i withdrew becasuse it was so tight i was worried about skin damage. I guess I didn't go in very deep. He absorbed the 7 cc bolus in about 30 minutes so I needed to do another. I reloaded the syringe, replaced the needle, found another spot (more between his shoulder blades) and gave him another 12 cc's there. No tightness, no hard bubble this time. No blood, either. I think I'm getting better at this. It's nervewracking.

He is so skinny that i can't really make a tent out of his skin. I more kind of have to pull up on his skin and hair and slide the needle in parallel to his body. It's a guess every time. He has absolutely no fat on him, he is just skin and bones, poor thing. you can clearly see his hind hips and the bumps on his spine when you move away his long hair. I feel like i'm sticking into a latex suit that a skeleton piggie has on.

Thanks to everybody who has helped and many thanks to KM who doesn't mind me callig her freaking out every time i have to stick my pig. You guys rule.

pinta

Post   » Sat Oct 25, 2003 3:24 am


If he has weak jaw muscles the Chin-Sling could help. However, his molars need to be examined and planed(if necc) before it can be used. It is meant to maintain dentalwork that's been done. It can correct but only to a certain degree. If the molars are too overgrown it won't correct them.

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Paravati
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Sat Oct 25, 2003 9:04 am


Well, we have a vet appt. Monday at 4:30 to determine what exactly is wrong. I suspect Malocclusion but would like to have X-Rays done and whatever else to confirm it. If that IS what it is, and the vet thinks he is strong enough to survive a surgery, what is your experience regarding how long after the surgery, and with use of a Chin-Sling, it would take for the pig to be able to eat on his own?

This is a very old pig. It's not a cost issue, but I don't want to put him through an event like a surgery only to still have to maintain him with subcues and handfeeding if it will still be several months before he's better. He might not live that long even as a healthy pig. I guess it's a quality of life issue sort of now.

If you think a Chin-Sling would help after the corrective surgery, I'd like to get one. I need information on how to do so. Even if we can't use it on Rosie, Tigger is starting to have some teeth problems due to the nerve damage in his face. His right facial muscles are stuck in one spot and it pulls his whole jaw to the bottom-right. I am worried that even though he is healthy now, that he will develop teeth problems later. He had them when he had pneumonia, but after he got better they seem to have corrected themselves- He is eating just fine and gains weight slowly every week.

Rosie is doing much better this morning. He apparently LOVES Critical Care mixed with Carrot Baby food, and took 16 cc's all on his own this morning, reaching for the syringe every time he wanted more. It's not "force-feeding" anymore but more like "bottle feeding" or "Rosie-maintenance". He is pooping now, eating some of them, leaving others, and urinating just fine. He is attempting to eat some veggies even though some of them he spits out, while others he chews and chews on forever. But the little tiny slices of carrot I put in there last night are all gone this morning.

This is such a different pig than the one I posted about originally. He no longer sits in the corner with his face to the corner and his fur all fluffed up. He is jumping in and out of his haybox occasionally and acting interested in what's going on around him. I can't thank you guys enough.

I have a question about tooth problems. When a pig gets very sick and doesn't eat, even maybe only for a few days, their molars can overgrow from lack of use. But if you handfeed such a pig, and they make "chewy" motions and grind their teeth down while you're feeding them the softer food, is it possible for a tooth problem to improve slightly on it's own in that way? I am just really surprised at Rosie - Yesterday he had no jaw strength with his teeth and today he was tugging on the syringe a little bit. I am thinking he is not in as much pain anymore, which to me means that either 1) he's getting used to the pain or 2) the problem is improving a bit and not causing as much pain.

Any thoughts?

kleenmama
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Sat Oct 25, 2003 11:47 am


First off , I think he is gaining strength from eating ,which he hadn't been doing for a couple days. I also think the subcue with the b-vitamins are really helping improve his activity level and comfort.

The teeth can over grow in several days of not eating, and I think that if the pig finally starts eating really well, they wear themselves down. The issue is whether or not the teeth are overgrown enough to need intervention. A thorough competent vet should be able to see that. I don't think he is getting used to the pain, I think it is either less, or he was not in alor of pain to begin with. Does he still have the muscle tremors?

Forgive me for being short on the phone last night, my daughter had surgery yesterday to have 4 wisdom teeth removed and I'm playing nurse. I felt awful after we got off the phone, lik I had rushed you!

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snowflakey
E's Moriarity

Post   » Sat Oct 25, 2003 12:16 pm


Good to hear Rosie is feeling perkier.

KM, I hope your daughter is feeling okay. Major Ouch! At least you have Critical Care on hand as a nutritional supplement should you need it!

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Paravati
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Sat Oct 25, 2003 12:38 pm


KM, I never have felt you were short with me. You are a honey and I owe you my firstborn child. :) I hope your daughter feels better soon.

dribble

Post   » Sat Oct 25, 2003 2:10 pm


Um, Para? I think another child is exactly what KM does NOT want. Better think of something else.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sat Oct 25, 2003 4:17 pm


Give her fancy coffee. If ever there was a coffee-haulic, she's one.

kleenmama, I'm sorry to hear about your daugher. It must be quite painful. I hope she realizes how lucky she is to have a quality nursemaid like you.

pinta

Post   » Sat Oct 25, 2003 7:29 pm


Email me for details on the Chin-Sling.

InkysMom

Post   » Sun Oct 26, 2003 1:17 am


Haven't been on in a couple days and this is one of the threads I was kind of afraid to look at... so hurray for Rosie doing better! I would love to have seen the look on Alex's face when he got up and you informed him of what you needed help with... my husband would be too squeamish about handling "that area," I think! :-)

I hope the vet can figure out what's going on. If nothing else, you have absolutely kept the old boy alive until now and it sounds like he's happy again. Go, Rosie!

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Paravati
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Sun Oct 26, 2003 9:50 am


He does seem happy again. We went to a Halloween party last night and I was obsessing the entire time about being away from the house. When we got back around 3 am, Rosie was actually eating some veggies on his own. When we walked in he started running back and forth, demanding to be picked up and fed. When I started handfeeding him he was grabbing at the syringe with his teeth and trying to jerk it out of my hands. He feels better all right! He ate some dill weed and some parsley all by himself.

His teeth "seem" better to me. I am not a tooth problem expert by any means, but I could swear that the "grindy" sound I've been hearing for the last few days when I handfeed him has definitely diminished. He is no longer grinding away when there is nothing in his mouth. Now he grinds when he is chewing, and it doesn't make a creaking sound you can hear a room away. He sounds almost like a normal pig chewing again. I can't believe how fast he's gotten better. We are still going to the vet tomorrow to have him checked out but I feel like we're out of the woods. I hope.

I noticed last night that his eyes look wet and shiny. I didn't notice it when he was sick, but I notice the change in them now that he is better. I guess when he was dehydrated his eyes (he has bad cataracts) looked very dry and scratchy and uncomfortable. They are large, wet, and dewey looking now. I am going to lay off on the 2x daily subcue for a bit and see if he manages ok with just the syringing of Pedialyte. He is now drinking from his water bottle again, and it's filled with Pedialyte. I think the subcues AND the drinking on his own are a little much. When we got home last night his cage reeked of urine - I never really though about it, but I guess the poor dear has been peeing up a storm for the last 2 days. Heh.

kleenmama
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Mon Oct 27, 2003 9:53 am


Glad to hear Rosie is improving. So is my daughter, and her and her husband finally went home yesterday afternoon. She was a good patient. I find if you just keep them good and drugged you can get through anything.
She did seem a little worried that I kept putting her on the kitchen counter on top of a towel to feed her, and the critical care and syringes freaked her out, but I just kept plying her with Vicodan and she soon forgot.
Dribble is right, though, the LAST thing I need is more kids!

Keep us posted on Rosie when you get back from the vet today.

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Paravati
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Mon Oct 27, 2003 10:00 am


Hee hee... KM, you're a riot. :)

kleenmama
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Mon Oct 27, 2003 10:04 am


Yeah, so I've been told. :)

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Paravati
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Mon Oct 27, 2003 6:05 pm


OK. We went to see the vet today.

She confirmed that Rosie is one of the oldest pigs she's seen before. She also said he has probably the worst case of Malocclusion she's ever seen before. His bottom molars have grown almost completely together, forming a tent like thing in the back of his mouth. He has ulcers and severe infection back there. His bottom incisors have overgrown almost 1/2" past where they should be to compensate. A direct quote: "My GOODNESS, look at those long teeth!"

His heart and lungs sound fine, but she is worried about possible organ damage or failure. The molar problem has apparently been going on so long that he has been chronically undernourished, perhaps for years. His corneas are damaged with some sort of growth due to malnutrition, and he has some serious cataracts as well. His right eye doesn't dilate when you shine light into it, so he's probably blind on that side. He is emaciated but still very active. She gives him a very good chance at surviving the dental work so we're going to try. If we don't do it, all we can do is keep maintaining him with subcues and CC and she says that his lifespan is definitely not going to be that much longer if all we do is maintain him. She said he would eventually waste away no matter how much effort we put into it.

We are going back on Thursday at 10:30 for his teeth to be done, and while he's under she will take some blood and have it sent off to see if he has liver or kidney problems. The pervasive smell of feces a few days ago (and now the stench of Critical Care) seeping off of him makes us think that perhaps he isn't eliminating waste the way he should.

We were told to keep him on subcues every other day and keep handfeeding him. She wants him to not eat for 3 hours before the surgery and she is going to let me watch while she does his teeth. I told her about Pinta's Chin-Sling and she is very interested in it. She thinks it would be a great idea to get one and hopefully we can keep this problem from coming back. She also thinks Tigger could definitely benefit from it as he lacks muscle control on the right side of his face and he will eventually develop problems. So I guess I'm gonna order 2 Chin Slings!

Yay! Thanks to everyone who's helped and especially to KM for her endless patience.

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salana
GL is Just Peachy

Post   » Mon Oct 27, 2003 6:13 pm


I hope fixing the tooth problems cascades into fixing all of Rosie's problems.

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lisam

Post   » Mon Oct 27, 2003 6:31 pm


Good that he is getting his teeth done. It won't be over then, though, as I'm sure you've learned. Still lots of handfeeding is needed, and there is the chance his jaw muscles will be weakened, and need a chin sling.

kleenmama
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Mon Oct 27, 2003 6:37 pm


Oh, it's so nice having a diagnosis! We thought that might be it, due to his incisors getting so long. That is why the guy hasn't been gaining weight, poor little bugger.

Well, remember to get Rimadyl or Meloxicam. Very important for teeth pigs, sometimes their mouths really hurt and they stop eating.

Make sure she looks a bit BELOW the gums to make sure there are no spurs. Sounds like there might be, since he has irritation and infection. Poor little toot!

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Mon Oct 27, 2003 9:00 pm


Yes, pain meds. And let her know the gums actually grow along with the teeth. If she happened to take an xray, she might be able to get a good idea of what she's working with.

His bottom molars have grown almost completely together, forming a tent like thing in the back of his mouth. He has ulcers and severe infection back there. Maybe the infection is part of why he smelled bad?

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melcvt00

Post   » Mon Oct 27, 2003 9:11 pm


I would think that one round of dental work isn't going to be enough. He's going to have to learn to chew properly all over again.

You might want to get that Chinsling in order, to help him out after his molars are done.

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