Noddy's sick. Aerococcus. Please help

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Post   » Mon Oct 10, 2011 3:52 am

You know how large doses of vit C can cause diarrhoea in us, could it be doing the same in Noddy?

Hilary Holmes

Post   » Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:23 am

BamBam, there's a thought! I'll stop giving it whilst I'm giving the probiotic and see if that helps. I'm sure he's getting plenty in his fruit and veg anyway, but just wanted to be certain, especially as he was so poorly not that long ago.

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Post   » Mon Oct 10, 2011 2:26 pm

I've been giving my 9 pigs 50mg of extra vitamin c per day and no one has ever shown soft poos. I highly doubt it has to do with excess. They pee out whatever they don't need, I wouldn't stop giving it.

You can quote me

Post   » Tue Oct 11, 2011 1:28 am

Ditto gvstate. I doubt this would happen unless you were giving 500 mg a day or something. A reasonable amount of C supplementation should not give soft stool. (In humans, we can and do take megadoses. 50-150 mg/day of C for a guinea pig isn't, relatively speaking, anywhere near as much as what we will sometimes take.)

We've had more than one pig with multiple weirdnesses, so I know how you feel and it is not impossible that Noddy could be reacting to the C supplementation. I just think it's extraordinarily unlikely and much more likely due to something else.

Hilary Holmes

Post   » Tue Oct 11, 2011 3:33 pm

Thanks folks. I'll carry on giving the Vit C. He's getting about 75mg / day, which from what Talishan says, seems an OK amount.
I'm trying to get about 40ml fluid into him, in addition to whatever he gets from his veg, which is always in plentiful supply.

His poops today have gone the other way, and although of normal size, seem very much more dry than usual, and certainly drier than MaggieMae's. Is 40mls fluid not enough? I'm finding it really hard to get more than that, or even that much into him. He's starting to fight the syringe. Maybe he's sick of having things pushed into his mouth.

Having said all that, the strange smell seems to be very much less, so maybe it was Noddy needing more fluids? He has scoffed some red pepper today, and seems to be eating OK, which is reassuring.

But, in between times, he's been much more sleepy again today. That seemed to be a sign previously that he was a bit dehydrated. I love him so much, as I have all my pigs, and am not ready to lose him. Has anyone ever given sub-cu fluids at home? Maybe it's too soon for that. I just feel I'm losing the battle again.

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Remembering Nemo

Post   » Tue Oct 11, 2011 4:13 pm

Subcues at home are really helpful for a pig that is fighting dehydration.

Fingers crossed for the two of you.

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Post   » Tue Oct 11, 2011 4:40 pm

I think 60ml is the minimum I would give. So I agree with Bytxlaura that subcues would be a good idea. In the US, they're prescription, but not sure about the UK. I don't think it's too soon for subcues, you can give them at any time. My vet gives them to make my pigs pee :)

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Post   » Tue Oct 11, 2011 7:27 pm

gl/subcue.html for more info. Yes, some people have done it at home.

You can quote me

Post   » Wed Oct 12, 2011 1:09 am

"Has anyone ever given sub-cu fluids at home?"

Ohhhhh yeah. We've gotten downright good at it, the hard way. :-\

In the US, the isotonic saline or LRS is POM only. The needles, butterflies, delivery syringes etc. etc. you can get online in most states. You just need to get the fluids from a vet.

60 mL is about the minimum, ditto gvstate. Giving regular subcues depends entirely on the pig -- some get used to being stuck; others don't and become progressively more frightened to the point where the harm outweighs the benefit IMO.

We have, however, had more than one that one or two subcues would "jumpstart" their drinking and we didn't need to do it again. Noddy might very well benefit from one. Lots of times simple hydration can make a huge difference in the pig's behavior, demeanor and aspect.

Hilary Holmes

Post   » Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:13 am

Thanks everyone for that. I'd been aiming to get 40ml into him, so was obviously missing the mark a bit. I'm going to really push him with the oral fluids for another day or two and see if that helps. If it doesn't, then I will go to the cavy savvy vet BamBam uses and talk to them abut sub-cu fluids. I don't know if it ever gets done here in the UK. I'm a nurse, so drawing the fluids up shouldn't be a problem. Sticking a needle in Noddy could be! (But won't be, as it's for his benefit).
BamBam suggested sugar free cranberry juice, so I'm going to try that to see if he's just getting bored with orange and blackcurrant flavoured Vit C.
Thanks again for all the advice, I'd be lost without this site.


Post   » Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:39 am

I haven't any advice, but sending get well wishes to Noddy for you Hilary. He's certainly a fighter :) x

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Post   » Wed Oct 12, 2011 7:30 am

Hi Hilary. You'll be a dab hand at sub-cues and so will Nods.

You can get a bag of Hartmans from Vedra and I think I still have needles otherwise I'm sure Alicia will be happy to supply.

Plant a smacker on the top of his head for me - I know how much he loves kisses (not)

Hilary Holmes

Post   » Wed Oct 12, 2011 3:45 pm

Thanks again for the good wishes and support. He certainly is a fighter, lilbitorange, and I'll carry on fighting for him, while ever it is necessary and appropriate.
I'm just beginning to wonder if he's in pain. I can't convince myself he's crying when he passes urine, but while I had him on my knee he seemed a bit "shaky" on the odd occasion. I wondered if he was going to pu, but he didn't, but I guess a dose of metacam won't do any harm.
Then I'll see how he goes overnight.

You can quote me

Post   » Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:51 am

"but I guess a dose of metacam won't do any harm.
Then I'll see how he goes overnight."

An excellent plan IMO.

Since you are a nurse, here's my experiences FWIW:

1. Use a different needle to draw the fluids out of the bag than to administer to the pig. I draw with an 18g; remove it, then replace it with a 21g or 23g butterfly. Please please PLEASE DON'T attempt this with anything larger than a 21g to start with or we will hear him all the way over here.

2. Butterfly sets allow the pig to move around a bit. I prefer them; others don't. Whatever works for you and what you are most comfortable with. The more comfortable and relaxed you are, the more comfortable and relaxed Noddy will be.

3. The stick differs from a human stick thus: a) the skin is much thicker and tougher (it's like you're sticking a football) and so is a harder initial stick. Then, b) once the stick is over the pig forgets about it ... as opposed to a human, whose skin is thinner and softer but who will continue to hurt for a while after sticking.

4. Don't push the fluids too fast. The bolus forming feels weird to them and they'll fuss while it forms less from pain than from the formation making them feel weird.

5. WARM THE FLUIDS!! Cavy body temp is 102-103 deg F. Squirt a little on your wrist before administration, and to clear the butterfly line. If you have had children, you're shooting for about how formula would feel or a tad warmer.

6. Gently massage the skin at the bottom edges of the bolus as it forms. This helps the skin to stretch and the bolus to form more comfortably. Our skin is stretchier than theirs but more sensitive.

7. Reread #5.


Good luck, you'll do just fine.

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Post   » Thu Oct 13, 2011 10:19 am

Talishan, I added your advice to the bottom of the subcue page. Should there be anything you would like to add or change, let me know.


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Post   » Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:13 pm

Great advice, how-to Talishan! :)

You can quote me

Post   » Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:10 am

I would just like to think everything we and our poor pigs went through learning to do it (including but not limited to reaming an 18g clear through my finger one time) could help someone else. :-p

Hilary Holmes

Post   » Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:45 am

Talishan, that's brilliant advice (as usual!) Thank you for that.
He's lost more weight, so I've decided to start supplementing him with Critical Care again. Fortunately he quite likes that, so I'm hoping it won't be too much of a battle to get it into him.
He's definitely not right this morning. He's spending a lot of time with his face to the corner of the cage, and looks a bit "fluffed up". I think these are signs of pain? I've just had him on my knee whilst he was having some fluids and he was kind of shaking. I can't really describe it, but he seemed "jittery". Again, I wondered if he was going to pee, but he didn't. I'm now beginning to wonder if he's got bladder stones or grit. Maybe I can get an X- ray done? He's such a placid pig I hope they won't need an anaesthetic to do that, as I don't know if he would survive it. So, we're off to the vet again this afternoon. I've given him a dose of Metacam, (1ml of 0.5mg/ml) so no doubt that will have kicked in and he'll perk up when we get to the vet! Still, no-one knows my pigs better than me, and I know he's declined again over the last 24 hours.
Does anyone have any advice on things I should be asking the vet?

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Post   » Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:00 am

It does indeed sound like he is in pain. Let us know what the vet says.

Hilary Holmes

Post   » Fri Oct 14, 2011 4:17 pm

Well, that was a complete and utter waste of time and money!!! The vet couldn't find anything except a bit of tenderness in Noddy's tummy. His penis is still very dirty and looks bruised, the vet thought he's been chewing because it's uncomfortable. Noddy pee'd loads of slightly cloudy urine, but the vet thought that was OK, despite me telling him I'd forced 30mls fluid down his neck at lunchtime. He said he couldn't feel any stones in his bladder (!) He was adamant he didn't want to give antibiotics, because of the problems they can cause, and I almost got laughed out of town when I suggested Metronidazole.
Noddy's weight on the vet's scales was exactly the same as it had been back in August. So when I said that Noddy had gained a lot
and lost it all since then, I was ignored!
And when I mentioned Guinea Lynx, I felt he thought I'd been using a sllightly seedy chat room!!!
So, I've come home and could cry! I feel as if I've been dismissed as an over anxious parent. And I've still got a pig that isn't right, is sleepy and quieter than usual, although he of course perked up and chattered away at the vet's.
He's told me to continue supplementing with fluids and food, (patronisingly told me that the more fluid the better, as it would flush things through, as if I didn't know), carry on with regular pain relief ,and gave Noddy a Vit B injection to "stimulate his appetite". He then patted me on the head and sent me home with a lighter bank balance.
Rant over!
So, here's the thing. I'm now going away with the pigs for a few days, which isn't a problem, as they are used to it. But what to do next. I know you'll say see a more cavy savvy vet, and I will when we get back. I use this particular vet because they have a "good " reputation and are close by and easily accessible, which I need because of a disability. Because it was an emergency, I had no choice as to which vet I saw.
I guess I'll see how he goes over the next day or two. If he really goes downhill whilst we're away,I'll get him down to the Cambridge Cavy Trust to see Vedra. If he remains as he is, I'll fix something with another vet, and at least get a second opinion.
Do you think that's a plan? Or do you think I'm over-reacting, as the vet seemed to do?

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