It has been a very long time since I've needed to post. We are currently a 4-boar home (housed 2 and 2). We got our pig Sagan in August of 2011 from a local shelter. They believed he was about a year and a half old--we thought maybe a little older. He has always been a very happy guy and our best eater. At his heaviest he has been 3lbs 13oz, and his lightest (currently) is 2lbs 8oz.
We recently had a baby (6 weeks ago) and the pigs have certainly been impacted by this. I think the sound of the crying is distressing to them, but also the decrease in attention. Sagan has clearly been the one "hardest hit" by this.
I started noticing within the past few weeks that Sagan's hair appears to be fluffed up as if he is distressed. We weighed him and did not note a change. He had been eating and active, so we figured it was just our imagination. We weighed him a second time and he was around the same weight (give or take a few ounces) so figured again, it was just our perception. We weighed him this evening and he is down to 2lbs 8 oz (he was 3lbs at last weigh in). I can't say for sure when that weigh in was--since our son was born we haven't been writing the weights down in their folders unfortunately. I would say it has been within 2 weeks. So clearly, this is a major weight loss for this time frame. He continues to have fluffed up hair, but his appetite seems the same. He is also drinking the same amount and begging for treats. The only thing off for him currently is his weight loss, his hair is fluffed up, and for some reason we just feel as though he seems sad. He has had crusty eyes on and off, though nothing major. He has never had health issues before, but was treated for suspected lice as one of our other pigs (not housed with him) had lice. This was a year ago. He has always been a guy with very itchy skin, and this continues. Not sure if it has anything to do with the current situation.
We have realized we also haven't cleaned their cages on the same schedule they are used to. They are housed on fleece and typically get changed twice a week (every 3-4 days) and that is now stretched a few days on occasion.
All other pigs are currently healthy and happy.
Please share your thoughts. We are calling our vet in the morning and hoping to get him in, but really don't have a direction to go in. Thanks for any input.
And congratulations on your new human!
We feel horrible about the weight loss. His "normal" is 3lbs, so we are thinking it was an 8oz loss in approximately a 2 week period. Now that we are watching him more closely tonight, it seems like he is eating "treats" (lettuce, baby carrot) just fine, but definitely not his normal amount of hay and pellets.
We are a daddy-less house this evening and Tadhg has been upset! It is a zoo here. I'm going to see if Rob can pick up a can of pumpkin at Walmart (I think the local one is 24/7?) on his way home. Poor Sagan is even resisting treats although he is still begging for them. I'm going to try to make a pellet/water solution but I haven't been quite successful in the past. Unfortunately we don't have critical care. I'm going to see if we still have vitamin c I can crush and put in the slurry. A few months ago I was saying we should have CC just in case...of course I never followed through. Hoping Dr. Ann is in this week!
There's a thread on here somewhere with ingredients that some of us use in our own "blend." A little canned pumpkin (plain; no other ingredients) helps give it a smoother texture and most pigs like the taste. Plus it's high in fiber.
Do you have any 1cc syringes to use?
& thank you for the tips on making my own slurry. We tried to use the pill grinder we have (I know, not very efficient!!) and slowly added water. It worked okay, but not great...so next time we'll know. We did pick up some CC at the vet as soon as it opened this morning. I had no idea they changed the formula. We no longer have probiotics or vitamin C in our "stash". Back when we had Milo, he was often very sick (heart pig) and had all of those things "just in case"...but haven't had any sick pigs for a year and a half since we lost him. Luckily we do have lots of syringes and we boiled them before we used them for Sagan.
Sagan has an appointment at 2pm with a vet who doesn't know him...our vet must be on vacation. Hoping we can get him feeling better. When we woke up this morning and weighed him he hadn't lost anymore. He also ate half a carrot (by bed time he had been refusing all food) and some lettuce. We gave him critical care as well. He is still begging for treats and my husband said he ate a little bit of hay. His spirits are better today, too. We appreciate everyone's good thoughts for him!
Sagan saw a not so cavy savvy vet today (but she did her best). Our vet was there but busy...but she did check him out when they brought him out back. They couldn't find anything wrong. I had them give him fluids and we are going back tomorrow for a full body xray. I declined blood work for now but we may change our minds if it continues to be a mystery. He is eating lettuce like a champ, but nothing else. We are continuing CC but he is quite the resistant little guy. Thanks for your continued positive thoughts for him. Will update when we know more.
The vet says we have no options if this doesn't help. She suggests euthanizing if he doesn't improve within 48 hours because he believes he won't improve from anything else. Please, someone tell us there are other options for treatment. He just made happy noises when he got back to his cage mate, and seeing him still able to eat and still strong is so hard for me to believe he is at the point of euthanizing.
Zachary started out with a couple of small stones in one ureter, and it quickly progressed to multiple stones in both (as seen above) and acute kidney failure. The problem with ureters is that they are so narrow, and surgery is incredibly tricky.
I think there are a couple of people here whose guinea pigs had ureteral stones and the owners opted for surgery, but I honestly can't remember the outcome being very good. You might do a search, though. One (might have been ElvisTCB?) had a vet who *I think* was able to flush a small stone from the ureter into the bladder via the kidney. Sagan's stones look pretty large to me, though.
A lot would also depend on the skill level of the vet, too.
Darn. I really wish I had something more encouraging to offer you.