Critical Care Probs, and bloating


Post   » Sat Nov 29, 2003 9:12 pm

It could be his heart. Falling asleep while eating indicates exhaustion. If he can't breathe and eat at the same time the effort spent doing either will be exhausting. If it were my pig I would ask for xrays of the chest area and if there is fluid present give a high dose of Lasix. I would also consider Enacard if there is improvement with Lasix.

Oxygen could also help.

Heart pigs swallow a lot of air while trying to breathe.

Heart problem and URI symptoms are very similar.

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Post   » Sun Nov 30, 2003 12:18 am

I mix the critical care 2 parts water to 1 part Critical Care also. Stir it up real well before filling the syringes. I personally like to use a 3cc syringe with the tip cut off flush, however other people think it's too big. I just backfill the syringes using a larger 35cc syringe (with the tip still intact) that I fill up with all the mash I make. It works great. If you hold the large syringe against the 3cc syringe, you won't get any air bubbles in the 3cc syringe either. This method of filling would work using the 1cc syringes also.

I like the mash to be like a toothpast consistency. If it's too watery, they don't get enough chewing action.

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Post   » Sun Nov 30, 2003 1:02 pm

Ok..... update. Doc went to VIN last night and got some info. Here is what he read there:

Reglan does not help with bloat. Some gp's may be helped with Propulsid.

Tap abdomen only if life-threatening.

Simethicone is of no help with bloat.

Most cases are due to dietary indiscretion.

Check for clostridiosis - some need flagyl.

Give hay primarily until bloat resolves.

Some do have underlying disorders that require investigation to resolve.

Some respond to stomach tube placement through the nasal cavity to allow air to dissipate.

So. We did another fecal. There was no clostridia but lots of other strange bacteria. So Alfie is now on Flagyl.

Still no farting, still no poop. (Doc had to stick the Q tip amazingly far into the rectum to get a sample).

Alfie is still munching on grass and hay every now and then. Still not interested in pellets. Will eat some lettuce though. I will continue the SubQ fluids and force feeding Critical Care.

But now I don't know whether to continue the Reglan and Simethecone.

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Post   » Sun Nov 30, 2003 2:52 pm

I wonder if the info he found was in regards to guinea pig treatment specifically, or had to do with other species.

You can quote me

Post   » Sun Nov 30, 2003 6:04 pm

If it were me I would continue the Reglan if I were as absolutely sure as I could possibly be, from x-rays, that there is no blockage. Please be extraordinarily careful considering Propulsid (Cisapride). This is a very strong drug and we did not have good success with it.

Is he comfortable being held and gently manipulated? If so, try holding him in your lap and very gently massaging his belly and sides. He'll let you know when he's had enough.

We have a combination heating pad/vibrator seat cushion device we got at K-mart. The controls specify two settings each of heat or vibration or both. If he'll tolerate it, putting something like that under him, or wedged near his cage, on the lowest vibrate setting may help.

I wonder too about the possibility of a heart condition, and how species-specific the VIN information was.

Please keep us posted and best wishes to him and to you.


Post   » Sun Nov 30, 2003 6:21 pm

Reglan does not help with bloat.

That will come as a surprise to my vet and Willie who would have died without Reglan. It will also come as a surprise to other pigs Reglan has saved.

It works by stimulating the gut to get the food moving thru. It does not dissipate the gas in the tummy.

I agree that simethicone doesn't really help with the initial problem but it can make the gas easier to pass once it is in the intestines and is pretty benign.

Give hay primarily until bloat resolves.

You simply cannot feed a pig with Bloat hay - they are incapable of eating slurry let alone hay. The tummy is so full of gas there is no room for food. A pig with Bloat will lie there whimpering with their eyes receded from the pain. And he thinks something will happen if a pile of hay is put before this animal?

I would continue with the Reglan and make sure he is hydrated giving hydration subcues if necessary. It would seem he has motility problems if he can still eat. Propulsid does work but it is harsher than Reglan and should not be the first choice for that reason.

The VIN is a forum much like this except for vets. There are discussions and threads. He needs to recheck the Reglan info.

I wonder if there is confusion as to what is meant by Bloat. A pig who is still eating I do not consider to have Bloat. Bloat, gas or motility problems are not the same to me. I know that Bloat means something entirely different in dogs and is used more as a descriptive term for pigs.

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Post   » Sun Nov 30, 2003 9:42 pm

Well, Alfie is eating, but very little. He eats slowly. He wimpers in pain whenever I touch his tummy. I swear I can feel hard little stool pellets in his tummy, but Doc says that's not what it is.

Alfie keeps looking for something. I have his hay, veggies, water, pellets, and critical care in front of him, but he keeps digging through all that like he's looking for something else.

When he's not eating or I'm not messing with him, he just sits in one place, low to the ground, with his eyes half closed.

His belly is swelling up bigger again... I gave the Simethecone once this morning and just gave another dose a few minutes ago.

I am afraid to force feed him because his belly is so big and swollen and firm - I don't want to force anything else in there.

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Post   » Sun Nov 30, 2003 9:43 pm

Oh... he did research bloat in guinea pigs only. He said there wasn't a lot on there though.

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I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Sun Nov 30, 2003 10:02 pm

Can you try to ask your vet for another drug for motility? Lactulose is a mild laxative and has been successful with Rosie. When Rosie CAN'T poop (because he's too dry, or in pain, or straining) we give him Lactulose. It seems to ease things for him a bit and about two hours after the Lactulose he will be able to poop. I have never used Lactulose in combination with Reglan, but only one or the other. I would not advise using both together because I don't know what that would do. I think it would be too much.

Are you giving this pig subcues? When a pig is "too dry" all kinds of things can happen - They won't eat, they won't poop, and they lack energy. If you are giving subcues, do your subcues have B Complex in them? How much are you giving at one time? Rosie gets 12 cc's once a day, or possibly twice (every 12 hours) if he is really dry. But we seem to be able to maintain him with a subcue once a day or once every other day. Sometimes we can go a whole three or four days without giving him one, if he's drinking from the water bottle ok.

Some of the signs I look for when I try to decide if Rosie needs a subcue are: dull looking eyes (no dewey ring of moisture on the bottom lids), can't get his penis to extrude even a little bit, not pooping poops that are shiny and moist looking, gums looking "whitish" or faded, lack of urine output, and no obvious saliva when I handfeed him.

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Post   » Sun Nov 30, 2003 10:09 pm

Yep... been giving subQ's. He's getting 20 cc's a day. I can add some Potassium Chloride to the bag tomorrow - right now it's just plain Lactated Ringers.

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I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Sun Nov 30, 2003 10:20 pm

Well, then it sounds like you are doing everything you can. If you are giving subcues, and handfeeding him enough food (for example, 15-20cc's of CC mix two or three times a day, and maybe some shredded veggies as well) and he is eating some on his own, then by all rights he should be pooping - Especially if he's getting Reglan. This is just speaking from MY experience. What goes in usually comes out.

Have you had him X-Rayed? Have you had an ultrasound done? How about bloodwork? Perhaps there are other problems here than simple motility. I was originally thinking he just had a little bloat from not eating well, but this sounds more serious and, quite honestly, out of my realm of experience. Rosie was really bad (near death) but after two or three days on motility drugs, subcues, and handfeeding, he did start pooping again. I wish I knew what to say to help you out, ThatKat.


Post   » Sun Nov 30, 2003 11:27 pm

How long has he been on the Reglan? You should see results within a few hours. Has your vet prescribed Propulsid?

How long has he been on Flagyll? We've used Flagyll primarily for diarrhea. I don't know what it would do in a pig that isn't pooping. Why don't you email Josephine for her input?

You could try cradling him on his back with his butt higher than his tummy and gently massaging his tummy. Sometimes that will help minor gas problems. Another thought is giving him Beano - a couple of drops every few hours.

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Post   » Mon Dec 01, 2003 8:39 pm

He has been on the Reglan for a few days now. Right now Doc wants to wait and see if the Flagyl does anything. He did have X rays done - he just looked gassy. LARGE gas masses. He's only been on Flagyl since yesterday - just got his second dose tonight.

His tummy gets so large and hard with air sometimes that I just HAVE to release some of the air. Last night I pulled 40 cc's of air out of his left side. I got another 20 cc's out today.

I'm still giving the Simethicone - about 5 doses a day.

We are going to give it until Wednesday or Thursday with the Flagyl. Then we are either going to try Propulsid or do the nasal tube thing and release the gas that way. I'm sure Alfie should enjoy that.

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Post   » Tue Dec 02, 2003 9:20 pm

Little Alfie passed away today. I went in to give him his afternoon feeding and he was laying on his side, trying to move his head up. His head just kept moving slowly back and forth. I picked him up and his little body was limp and his head just hung. We immediately put him on oxygen. Doc put a catheter in and gave him fluids and dex and I'm not sure what else. I was just holding his little head, telling him I loved him. After a couple of minutes he seemed to be getting stronger - he was kicking his little feet and trying to move his head. But then he stopped.

We did a necropsy. I'm suprised he made it as long as he did. The cause of death appears to be a stricture of unknown origin in his intestines. There were large masses of gas and stool in different areas. But there was this tiny area of intestines that was dead, and where the stool stopped moving. But there was gas below that area, though.

I wish I knew whether the stricture is what caused him to be sick, or if him being sick and me force feeding him is what caused the stricture. We couldn't see any foreign bodies or anything, just a place where the intestines constricted.

I had suspected that he may have been constipated and wanted to try Lactulose today, but that wouldn't have helped. Not even the tiniest little poop pellet could have fit through that tiny area. The only thing that could have fixed it was surgery, and he was too weak and frail to have gone through it.

I am comforted that Alfie is no longer suffering.

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I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Tue Dec 02, 2003 9:21 pm

Oh, ThatKat.. I am so sorry. You tried everything you could, and he was a lucky piggie to have you for a mom.

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E's Moriarity

Post   » Tue Dec 02, 2003 9:22 pm

I am so sorry to hear about Alfie.

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Scrapbook Addict

Post   » Tue Dec 02, 2003 9:25 pm

I'm so sorry.

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Post   » Tue Dec 02, 2003 9:39 pm

I'm sorry about Alfie. Take care, ThatKat.

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Post   » Tue Dec 02, 2003 9:46 pm

I'm so sorry. I have been peeking in on this thread hoping that Alfie would be feeling better soon. I have had some gassy pigs before, but nothing that severe.

What you mentioned about his feet and head moving-I am wondering if that is part of the death process? I just lost my first piggie last month, and that final morning he could not raise his head nor move his legs or hold himself up. But right before he passed in my arms, his legs were kicking back and head stretching out rhythmically for maybe 6 times or so? The last time I heard a little sound and he opened his mouth and that was the end.

I'm so sorry for your loss.

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Post   » Tue Dec 02, 2003 9:58 pm

I'm so very sorry. I know his illness was hard on both of you. I wish things had turned out differently.

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