Jack fell and now drags his back legs

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Post   » Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:42 pm

On Sunday, one of my guinea pigs, Jack, jumped out of my daughter's arms and fell on the floor.

As soon as he landed he started to squeal and wouldn't stop.

He started dragging one foot. I picked him up and gently touched his back legs and he made no noise or any movement.

When he was put back in the cage, he was dragging both his rear legs.
We spoke to a vet and then took him to one, who examined Jack and gave him a injection (think it was an anti-inflammatory). The vet didn't think that Jack had broken anything from what he could feel.
He said to give Jack 48 hours to see if there was an improvement, if not then take him back.

As of today, he is not better and isn't eating much apart from little bits of cucumber and carrot. He won't come out of his hiding hole and will only drink if the water bottle is held to him. He also will eat lots of hay.

We are unfortunately very short of money (this may not come out right) and we don't want to spend money on him if he isn't going to get better or prolong his suffering. We are eligible for PDSA help but don't know if it's worth applying for if he's not going to improve.

So, don't really know what to do. We are going to take him back to the vets tomorrow.

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Post   » Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:23 pm

I think you should exhaust more options before even considering euthanasia. I don't have a lot of money either and vet bills bleed me dry but if there's a way to help a piggie, it should be done.
Your vet may not have -thought- there was anything, but an X-RAY is essential to rule it out. Piggies are delicate and even low falls can cause breaks or even be fatal.
Please get an x-ray done, there might be subtle break in the legs that's causing the pain and discomfort. Breaks can heal in time.

And also your piggie is probably frightened out of its mind. Dropping one may be accidental but they've just been hurt because of it, they're in pain and vulnerable. This is terrifying.

Please, please get an X-ray.

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Post   » Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:59 pm

Undoubtedly you need an x-ray. If you are really unable to afford the fee that the vet will charge for this, (and I fully understand if you can't) then an alternative is for him to go to CCT where an x-ray can be taken at very reasonable cost. If you are not already a member I would be happy to take home for you.

I am in Ware tomorrow evening and Sat morn so could pick him up from you and take him up to Vedra.

Is he a lone pig or does he has a companion?

PM me with your number if you want to talk through the options.

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Post   » Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:30 pm

If he got an injection of steroids, that should help with the swelling. Be sure to restrict movement. Several guinea pigs have regained the use of limbs given time. Some people have adapted their cages (use fleece) and made a cart to help the guinea pig get around. I am unsure how safe handling is but do know that typically one weighs ill pigs daily to ensure they are getting enough food. I would not give up yet. Ditto on the xray. It sounds like he may have broken something. Pain medication can definitely help.


Post   » Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:06 am

I'm actually very surprised the vet didn't do an x-ray as soon as you mentioned fall with instant pain/ loss of mobility.

If you've been at that vet for a long time and are in good standing is it possible to work out a payment plan? I know years ago when our cat required emergency 900.00 surgery we were allowed to go on a payment plan. Normally vets are very good about these kinds of things, as long as you're in good standing with them!

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Post   » Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:31 am

With adea's permission I am updating.

Jack went to Vedra on Saturday afternoon. The x-ray reveals no break or dislocation and Jack has full bowel and bladder control.

He does not appear to be in any pain but the back leg paralysis prevails so we are thinking nerve damage (brusing and/or entrapment).

I shall be colleting him sometime this week whereafter he will be coming to stay with me for some therapy and observation over the next few weeks/months, depending on progress.

I intend to keep that progress updated here and will get some pictures up once he's settled a little.

He's a lovely chap and I am keeping everything crossed that his condition will improve over time.

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Supporter in '13

Post   » Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:59 am

So glad that he is with you, BamBam! I hope the little guy gets better and I can't wait to see pictures of him!

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Post   » Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:08 am

Good to hear that there's nothing broken. Hopefully he'll regain movement over time.

Well done for helping out, BamBam.


Post   » Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:53 am

Thank you to everyone here for your support but most of all to BamBam :) Without whose help, the future would have been very bleak for Jack.

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Remembering Nemo

Post   » Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:10 pm

Fingers crossed for Jack!

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Poop Obsessed

Post   » Thu Nov 15, 2012 7:54 pm

I had a piggy who did break his back when dropped. He lives for another two years running around on his front legs. He developed quite the upper chest! He passed away not from that but from a thymoma - cancer. So pigs can live and run even if their back legs are useless. I hope he recovers well, though!

You can quote me

Post   » Sat Nov 17, 2012 3:54 am

"He's a lovely chap and I am keeping everything crossed that his condition will improve over time."

With conditions as described I am willing to bet he will. Progress may be slow but sure.

Bless you and thank you for caring for him!

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Post   » Wed Nov 21, 2012 5:07 pm

Going mad here waiting to pick Jack up.

We had his X-rays reviewed and the vet is of the same opinion that there is no break.

I am waiting for a massager to arrive - Vedra didn't want to discharge him until I could continue the treatment. All being well that should arrive end of week and I'll pick him up at the weekend.

Vedra reports that he's doing well on his pain killers and massages, eating, drinking and eliminating normally.

Have warned my stinkers he's coming and they're to be on their best behaviour. Got the impression they weren't terribly impressed.

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Post   » Wed Nov 21, 2012 6:00 pm

Awe I'm sure your girls will enjoy having him around. Thanks for going out of your way to help this little guy. I'm sure he'll make a full recovery.

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Post   » Sun Nov 25, 2012 11:53 am

We drove down to pick Jack up today.

He looks to have lost a little weight although that's just from sight as I didn't weigh him before delivering him to Vedra.

He is tucking in to a pile of fresh grass and then we're off again.

I am enormously grateful to Hilary who is going to ministering to Jack's every need during the week whilst I am at work. Thankfully, he will only have to put up with my fumblings at the week-ends.

He has a 20 day course of steroids and will be receiving massage therepy.

I will dig out the camera and get some photos posted as soon as I'm able.

He is able to pull himself along with his front legs and is pretty damn fast.

I cannot though convince myself that he is entirely without some discomfort only because his eyes are not fully round.

I am looking forward to getting to know and understand his needs better.

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Post   » Sun Nov 25, 2012 12:17 pm

He's in great hands with you and Hilary. Looking forward to following his progress.

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Remembering Nemo

Post   » Sun Nov 25, 2012 1:25 pm

Fingers crossed for Jack! He got a new lease on life with you and Hilary helping him :)

Hilary Holmes

Post   » Sun Nov 25, 2012 4:30 pm

First night with Jack, he is a really beautiful pig, but clearly has no movement at all in his back legs. That doesn't stop him though, he is incredibly quick on his front legs, so I can understand to some extent, how he came to fall.

I'm not doing too much to him tonight, such as weighing him, there will be plenty of time for that tomorrow. However, he is clearly not eating enough and is only producing mouse size droppings. He has had a little Critical Care from me tonight, as well as some water with Vit C in it. He has eaten some hay for himself, and odd bits of veg, but nowhere near enough. I'll get up during the night, once he has had some rest, and try him with more, later.

He is in a cage near my pigs, and I will rearrange things tomorrow so he may be able to see them better. My girls have had a peep at him, through the bars, but he isn't bothered with the ladies at the moment.

One thing BamBam and I were discussing; it looks very much as if he is unable to eat his "special poops". Any advice on how best to deal with that? He is still on steroids, but no true pain relief as such. We don't want to hurt him, but obviously, he needs to be eating them, as well as getting some food into himself.

You can quote me

Post   » Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:30 am

Steroids are painkillers in a very powerful way. They are one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory substances in nature, and a lot of pain comes from inflammation. Thus, why "NSAIDs" are called "non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs".

That said, he may need a mild narcotic. Tramadol may help him. In a low dose I think it can be given indefinitely.

Cecotropes: best way to accommodate for them is to take cecal droppings from your healthy girls, mix them with a little water and syringe. Final droppings will help too, although not as much.

If that's just a bit over the top, and/or if your girls will not part with their production, try supplementing with a little vitamin B. I use these:

Not sure if they are available in the UK, but worth a search

Try to avoid using human B complex. Many of them have tens of thousands of times the RDA for a human, because there's no known ill effect from them. In guinea pigs, though, we've had gas problems from using even a tiny fraction of the megadose ones.

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Post   » Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:31 am

Tal, we do have Abidec for babies -

Retinol (As Vitamin A Palmitate) 1333 IU,
Ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2) 400 IU,
Thiamine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1) 0.4mg,
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) 0.8mg,
Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6) 0.8mg,
Nicotinamide 8mg,
Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) 40mg.

I only have a few minutes so I can't compare with the Baby B's but will take a look tonight.

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