Request for ARTHRITIS treatment protocols


Post   » Sun Mar 30, 2014 1:45 pm

Hi, My 5 year old was diagnosed with arthritis in both hind legs, he hopped a bit but I never knew he had arthritis until he got sick and we had tests and x-rays done. After he was taken off all meds for his infection and started to gain weight back that he lost from being on Baytril he started to drag his back right leg. I waited to see if this was just temporary but then he started to drag his left leg. I had to put his food next to him and syringe feed him water. I took him to a holistic vet and they gave him a chiropractic treatment and put him on Chinese herbs twice a day. After the first treatment he was more alert and the next day he hopped instead of dragged his back legs. He has had three chiropractic treatments and has been on the herbs for a month and he is running across the floor. He has two more to go then he goes once every six months. This is not the same chiropractic treatments as humans get, they use an instrument to gently push on the spine and joints. If you have any questions do not hesitate to email me.

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Post   » Sun Mar 30, 2014 3:34 pm

That sounds interesting. What herbs?

There is a sticky in this forum with information for guinea pigs with arthritis.

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Post   » Thu Jun 05, 2014 10:22 pm


1. Skinny pig, male, 4 years old at diagnosis.
2. Sitting hunched, weight loss, teeth chattering, lack of movement.
3. X-rays showed the arthritis, lower back and hips.
4. Metacam given once a day, .15cc and moderate exercise adding in after pain was managed.
5. It only took a day or two to see amazing results. Bright eyed again, eating more and perky.
6. Barnaby has had a bladder stone removed, ear infection and blocked tear ducts when younger.

Barnaby is like a new piggy on is medication. He was so depressed before and it was terrible to see. Now he is lively and so alert! He gets to run around the floor a few times a week for a really good stretch and just loves it, you'd never know he has terrible arthritis.

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Post   » Tue Sep 23, 2014 7:21 am

I've had experience with quite a few arthritic cases, so I'll list one past case and 3 current ones here.

past case:
1 - rex, 5-7 and a sow
2 - sitting on her heels (toes not touching the ground), hopping, sleeping more, less movement, loss in muscle tone, pain when manipulating joints.
3 - x-ray and physical
4 - 0.4ml dog metacam & arthri-aid for dogs
5 - she became more mobile within a week and lived her last years with good mobility and pain free (as far as we could tell of course)
6 - chronic stones, eczema

my current 3 cases:
1 - Sheltie, 7 and a sow
2 - sitting on heels (toes not touching the floor), decreased mobility and activity.
3 - physical
4 - 0.4ml dog metacam & arthri-aid
5 - metacam has already improved her activity levels, we only started a week ago, but her mobility should improve in a few weeks' time.
6 - cystic ovaries

1 - DEW/himi cross, 4 and a sow
2 - chewing off her fur and even skin on all for limbs, stopped moving significantly, weight loss.
3 - CT scan, skin scrape & physical - CT scan showed her to be arthritic in all her joints probably due to bad diet early on and genetics (she was a backyard rescue). Her right shoulder has bits of bone sticking out that catches her tendons so her pain levels are significant
4 - Started off with metacam, then metacam and tramadol and now we are on an 8th of a capsule of tramadol and 0.12ml gabapentin twice daily. we may start arthri aid soon (we wanted pain relief sorted first).
5 - we have been through several drugs and dosages, but this last one seems to be working well. Her fur is growing back, she's active and gaining her old weight back.
6 - cholesterol deposits in her left eye

1 - PEW, 6 and a sow
2 - caught early due to an annual check up, but her hind feet were quite red due to sitting too much.
3 - x-ray/physical
4 - 0.25 dog metacam and a quarter of a capsule of synoquin twice daily
5 - she is more active and her feet have improved
6 - suspected heart condition, mycoplasma carrier.

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Post   » Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:01 am

This is very helpful, Brainerror. So glad you have seen improvements.

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Post   » Wed Nov 26, 2014 3:54 pm

First time experience with arthritis here, recently diagnosed.

1 - Estee, a female crested piggy aged 7,5 years (roughly) adopted a few months ago

2 - She started limping and sort of dragging her back right leg. The next day she was using it but mainly putting her weight on heels.

3 - Seen vet who through palpation and stretching diagnosed arthritis. Vet sound arthritis to be worse in her front leg, funnily enough. She said they wouldn't routinely X-Ray as at her age unless other symptoms were present one can assume arthritis.

4 - Metacam, 0.2 twice daily for a couple of day then reducing to once daily. To stop when she becomes more mobile and re-initiate if symptoms come back

5 - She was moving fine today but might be too really to tell, she does love the metacam (haven't met a piggy that doesn't though)

6 - None that I know, she is very healthy otherwise. Doesn't move as much as I would like but hoping some pain relief will help.


Post   » Wed Sep 23, 2015 7:27 am

1. Mikko, abyssinian/lunkarya, 4 years, neutered male

2. Mikko has been losing weight and muscle this spring and started hopping like a bunny. Also some dripping of pee. Mikko was diagnosed with a urine stone last year (I was able to dissolve it with diet) and first I thought the dripping might be because of stones and/or he being neutered. He is eating very well and running about normally.

3. Nothing special to be seen in the x-rays taken because of the stone. I'm taking him to new x-rays next week.

4. Yesterday started to give him Meloxidolor for cats (meloxicam), Arthroflex (chondroitin, glucosamine), MSM and vitamin E. We also tried hydrotherapy today with a harness I made him. Not so much swimming yet but he let me move his hind legs in the water :D Also gave him some heat therapy and massage which he seemed to enjoy.
Next week he is also going to get acupuncture while we go to take the x-rays.

5. After yesterday I think that he was running with a longer step (might be my imagination also...) More results will be updated after the acupuncture and x-rays.

6. Nothing else except the bladder problems of some kind. The dripping is minimal and at the moment there is no stone.

Pardon my language, we are from Finland :)

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:18 am

You might also give him a week of higher dose vitamin C -- about 100 mg. per day. Don't do it any longer than that, but some gait problems can be due to a C deficiency, and four seems young to me for arthritis.


Post   » Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:46 am

Yep, I'll do that also. Mikko has always been a bit weird from his legs, they are in a bit weird position from the hip down. The gang gets vitamin C everyday but will raise the dose for this one.

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Post   » Fri Sep 25, 2015 2:34 pm

Your English is fine. Welcome.


Post   » Mon Sep 28, 2015 11:15 am

Yep. Did the x-rays on Mikko today and there is some changes. Arthritis in left hock/tarsus, calcification in both knees and hip dysplasia on the right side and some arthritis there too.

I can upload the x-rays here if someone wants to see.

We gave him laser and also a little acupuncture. The needles were not to his liking, but during laser he seemed quite relaxed. I also started him on Cartrophen injections and will continue to give chondroitin, glucocosamine, msm, vitamin E and linseed oil orally.

I gave him Meloxicam for four days, but going to stop that now because he moves and eats just fine and I don't want to risk any kidney problems.

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Post   » Tue Sep 29, 2015 12:31 pm

Peekaboo - American/Crested; Age: No clue, he was an adult when I got him 2.5 yrs ago; Neutered Male

Doesn't run laps or popcorn anymore, but I've only seen him do that when he lived alone (early days). Weight is gradually drifting down, but nothing that really alarms me; it's very slow and slight, possibly 100 grms over the last year. From above, he looks kind of strange - wide in the middle, narrow at the shoulders and hips.

Vet found definite changes in hips yesterday, while x-raying for lungs/heart symptoms. He hasn't shown any symptoms from hips, just an occasional limp and/or lack of use in FRONT right leg (no diagnosis).

Prescribed Metacam: 1.2k - 0.72 cc once daily, "only if eating and drinking normally". Ang Metacam 0.5 mg 15 ml (I forgot to ask her - should this be refrigerated? Opened, unopened, both?)

Should I be giving this to him if he's NOT showing signs of pain? The arthritis is there, but the only time he "might" be showing it is when I pick him up and hold him without a blanket or pillow under him. He's never liked it but for weeks, he's really fussed about it. I chalked it up to the lice causing skin irritation. He does get a 25mg tablet of Oxbow Vit C (plus whatever the girls don't eat or he can steal from them) daily. Will post x-rays to his medical thread as soon as vet emails them to me.


Post   » Tue Sep 29, 2015 1:22 pm

NSAID might reduce inflammation and swelling in the affected joints. I gave my GP Meloxicam (same thing as Metacam) for four days even though he wasn't showing any problems moving. Thought it might still be helpful. But how long should you continue... Difficult to say. Your vet did not give any advice? Have you considered giving him joint supplements, those I mentioned above?

After yesterdays laser treatment I saw Mikko strech again :) Hasn't done that in a while.

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Post   » Sat Oct 10, 2015 10:54 pm

Fuzzbutt - Teddy; Age:1 yr, 10 mo.; Female, unaltered

Absolutely no signs, never suspected arthritis, since she's not even 2 years old yet (Dec). Hindsight being (usually) 20/20, probably should have, since she's so quiet - no zoomies or popcorns in a long time - months. I just thought she was bored, being with Peek (previous post on this thread), who is much older. Weight has been stable, averaging 1300 for most of the year.

Vet took X-rays to find out why Fuzz felt so gassy the 2 times she'd been examined (2 weeks apart; original worry was teeth, so vet also took radiographs.) As soon as I get my copies, I'll be posting them, at the least in her medical thread, for anyone who wants to look and express an opinion. This IS a new vet for us, but she seems to know what she's doing. While checking the X-rays, vet found arthritic changes in quite a few joints over her entire body. If you think I should consult another vet for a second opinion, please say so!

Fuzz is to receive .78cc Metacam 0.5 mg 15ml daily

Too soon to tell results.

Other medical issues: Fuzz is being treated for lice (trmt #5 today, 1 more to go); she had ear mites in August; from yesterday's x-rays, the vet also saw Fuzz's secum was full. She has stopped eating hard or crunchy food, or at least gives up quickly after dropping chunks of carrot and lettuce "stems". No longer eats Parsley, which she used to love. Soft and/or smelly poops several times a month. Vet said her teeth look good, normal wear all over.

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Post   » Tue Oct 20, 2015 10:15 pm

1 - breed, age and sex of pig

Emily is a female teddy (i *think* she is a teddy) pig, now 6 and 1/2 years old.

2 - brief description of signs leading you to suspect arthritis

I adopted Emily 2 and 1/2 years ago when she was 4. Her and her sister Rosie were school pets being fed rabbit food before they were rescued. They were both extremely small for their age (around 1lb 6) and had visible deformities to the front and hind feet. Rosie passed away approx. 1 month after being adopted, shortly before she died she began to lose the use of her back legs. Her death is still something of a mystery to me.

Emily had pain on defecation when we adopted her. Evidence of this was vocalising when defecating. I observed urination - no pain was observed (and hasn't been since) on urination, and no sludge seen in the urine. No blood in the stool. Occasional mucous-y stool but not often.

Both pigs saw the vet the day after adoption.

3 - diagnostics done and the results

Both pigs had a normal wellness exam (palpation,front teeth checked, ears, heart rhythm etc)

4 - treatment, med and dosage

Vic c supplements and extra vit c veggies were recommended and Emily was prescribed mineral oil orally for the pain on defecation.

5 - results of treatment

No change was seen in Emily from the mineral oil.

3. Redux

We have been back to the vet approx. once every 4 months since then. During that time she has 2 x rays and (just last week) one ct scan. The original x ray lead to the diagnosis of arthritis with posturing to defecate causing the pain. Ever since then she has been on Metacam 0.25ml once a day and Tramadol 0.2 ml twice a day. The second x ray was just to check the progression of the arthritis which was not concerning. Recently (last week) i brought her back in because of increased pain. The CT scan was performed and progression of arthritis confirmed. My vets thought the best course of action would be to increase tramadol to make her more comfortable. My current attack is to give tramadol 0.2 morning and evening as usual plus 0.15 in the afternoon if she is feeling sore.

Emily's weight now sits between 1 lb 8 and 1 lb 9 and is fairly steady.

6 - other med issues

The tramadol does make her sleepy, but I guess its a pay off. I'd rather have her without pain and sleepy, than with pain and less sleepy. I am vigilantly monitoring her weight to make sure the sleepyness is not causing her to lose out on food.

One odd symptom is that when defecation is particularly painful, I often observe her poops coming out fully formed but stuck together. I have watched closely and they are definitely stuck together before being passed (as opposed to being trodden together after being passed).

I have vet discharge records and can post if useful, I can also post pictures f the foot deformities if those would be useful.

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Post   » Tue Oct 20, 2015 11:04 pm

I recommend adding a link to your board thread and putting any additional info there.


Post   » Fri Dec 11, 2015 10:21 am

Just to be curious, how much did the CT cost and where in the globe was it made? Here in Finland the CT costs so much that don't think anyone with a guinea pig has had it done.

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Post   » Tue Jan 19, 2016 2:24 pm

I think the CT was around $300, similar to an ultrasound if i remember correctly.

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Post   » Wed Jan 20, 2016 12:01 pm

Not many places have the equipment to do it on an animal as small as a guinea pig. The equipment cost is the big factor. Was this a veterinary teaching hospital (university vet school)?

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Post   » Wed Jan 20, 2016 10:15 pm

You are on the money, Talishan. It's Cornell Animal Hospital I go to, and I am thankful every day to have ended up so close to this wonderful institution with all this resources.

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