Hazel's medical thread

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Zaphy

Post   » Tue Sep 15, 2015 9:22 pm


Soooooooo Hazel is my young guinea pig (~2 months, maybe 3) that I've recently introduced to my other two. She's recently recovered from a URI with a ~3 week long course of Baytril that finished this week, and she's been in the cage with my other two since Saturday. She seems to have developed some diarrhea since then. Saturday night I noticed some of her poops were a bit soft, but chalked it up to antibiotics. Most of her other poops were normal as far as I could tell, but that's when I started paying attention to it. She's been eating pretty well afaik, I've seen her eating hay, pellets, and drinking water, and have never noticed the other girls bullying her away from that (though they have squabbled with her quite a bit, and a few hair tufts have been lost from poor Hazel's rump :( ). She's probably still pretty stressed with the new environment, I imagine.

Sunday some poops were still soft, seemed like, but I noticed she had a mucus plug (you can look at the picture in the other thread I made on Cavy Chat) so I thought maybe the soft stool had to do with her being in heat. Yesterday was also about the same, but today when I came home from class she had a bit of dried poop caked around her bottom and on her feet, so I made a vet appointment.

I noticed a few poops that were long (shaped like two regular-sized poops stuck together, like with a seam in the middle) and somewhere between shiny and slimy- not exactly mucus-covered, but more shiny than usual fresh poop- plus, upon poking it with some stiff hay, I found that they were fairly soft and easy to squish. It does look like she is also still producing normal poops- either that or they've dried/hardened before being stepped on.

I've been weighing her twice daily since Saturday when I introduced her to the other two girls, her weight's remained fairly steady. Sunday morning she was 240 grams but the rest of her weighings have been between 270 and 280 grams.

Vet's closed tomorrow so the earliest they could fit her in was Thursday morning. They said as long as she's still active, eating and drinking it should be fine to wait till then.

Would it be a good idea to feed her some poop soup from one of my healthy pigs in the meantime? At the very least it wouldn't hurt her, right? I have some Critical Care I can mix it with, which also shouldn't hurt even if it doesn't necessarily help, yes? I'm going to also be monitoring her water intake, syringe feeding water, and probably hand-feeding hay. Is alfalfa hay okay to feed her, or should I only feed timothy with her upset gut?

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Tue Sep 15, 2015 9:29 pm


First, here's a good thread to read if you've got poop questions/problems: http://www.guinealynx.info/forums/viewtopic.php?t=68360

Second, poop soup certainly won't hurt, and may help.

Third, I wouldn't change anything that she's being fed. That will only muddy the waters as far as trying to diagnose what's wrong with her.

Good luck with her. Let us know what happens.

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Zaphy

Post   » Tue Sep 15, 2015 9:38 pm


Thanks for the quick response, and that link! I forgot to mention, her poop is a bit more fragrant than guinea pig poop usually is, too. Now to see if I can get one of my other ladies to poop on me...

I was also considering giving Hazel a bath to get the caked on stuff off, I can't imagine that being too comfortable. Do you think the additional stress of bathing and drying her would overpower any relief having a clean bottom (maybe temporarily) might bring?

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Tue Sep 15, 2015 9:45 pm


I'd probably bathe her if she were mine. Put her in some shallow water and let her sit. She might eat veggies for you while she's sitting there.

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Zaphy

Post   » Tue Sep 15, 2015 9:49 pm


Sounds like a plan. Thank you so much for your help!

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Tue Sep 15, 2015 10:20 pm


Have you read gl/diarrhea.html ? The baytril may have contributed to the problem.

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Wed Sep 16, 2015 3:05 pm


Ditto on the probiotics.

Where did you get her? If she didn't get fresh greens wherever she was before you, this could be a combination of new foods plus the antibiotic course.

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Zaphy

Post   » Wed Sep 23, 2015 2:04 pm


I thought I typed this up and replied the other day, but apparently I never did. Anyway, long story short I had gotten her from a pet store so, since she's new, I was able to give her to them for treatment (they use the same vet I do, and I trust him). They decided to hold her for a little bit to see if it was just the dietary change as Talishan speculated, since she was still pretty active and everything. She got better, so they opted not to take her to the vet.

I had previously been using Kaytee Forti-Diet alfalfa pellets (they just changed it, the kind I've been giving them has only the occasional orange treat piece rather than all the blue and green junk they seem to have added in the last month) so I switched to Oxbow alfalfa pellets, since that's what the pet store had been giving her (and I wanted to switch to a plain pellet anyway). I got her back on Saturday the 19th, and she had the occasional teardrop poop, but mostly they were good and normal. She started gaining weight too, last night she was at 310 grams, up from 270 grams last week. Woohoo!

I poop souped her twice more for good measure, once on Saturday and once on Sunday, and her poops were great, her bottom was clean, everyone was happy, until this morning. I picked her up and she'd been sitting on a massive (relative to her size) pile of diarrhea overnight. Mushy rather than liquidy. Thinking that maybe she'd been scared by my other pigs and hadn't moved from her corner (they are separated by a cage divider from her), maybe she just pooped, peed, and then shifted around and mashed it into a sticky mess, I changed her bedding to observe. About an hour later I checked back and she had produced 2 small piles of long, thick, soft poo.

Her weight is 315 grams this morning, and she is still active and otherwise healthy. She's been separated from my other pigs so I know she for sure has had a steady supply of only Oxbow alfalfa pellets, timothy grass hay, and water. Yesterday I decided to try introducing fresh veggies to her diet again, so I gave her a single piece about 1 inch in diameter of green leaf lettuce, the outer leaf part, not the big vein with lots of water. That's the only thing that's changed, so my husband is speculating that was the thing that caused it. But that doesn't make sense to me, since she's had lettuce before and not reacted this severely to it. I am.... fairly baffled.

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Wed Sep 23, 2015 2:11 pm


Reintroducing the lettuce could definitely have caused the problem. If their digestive tract has been upset, it can be sensitive, and the addition of raw fiber can cause loose stools even if the pig has been able to eat that particular vegetable before.

I'd cut out all vegetables and feed only hay and pellets for 48 hours and see if the poop firms up. If it does, add one vegetable back, in small amounts, and wait 48 hours before adding another one. That way, you'll be able to determine whether a particular veggie is causing the problem.

If the stool doesn't firm up after 48 hours with no vegetables, something else is the problem. Possibly a course of flagyl would settle things down.

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Zaphy

Post   » Wed Sep 23, 2015 2:22 pm


All right. I'll count that as the trial for lettuce then, haha. Thanks for the help! Hopefully things go back to normal over the next couple days. Poor piggie, she's had a rough month D:

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Fri Sep 25, 2015 2:54 pm


Ditto bpatters.

We've had a few pigs that as they aged, could not handle "full servings" of greens, and needed smaller servings more frequently. Usually those pigs are a lot older than Hazel, though.

My gut hunch is you may need some Flagyl (metronidazole), but follow bpatters' suggestions first.

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Zaphy

Post   » Sun Sep 27, 2015 9:22 pm


Well, cutting out veggies seemed to do the trick, her poops are clean again. Tonight I fed her a tiny little piece of yellow pepper, so we'll see if that upsets her gut again.

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Zaphy

Post   » Tue Oct 06, 2015 1:08 am


Whatever it was seems to have passed. I've been slowly increasing her fresh veggie intake and her poops have been staying firm, so hooray! I switched to romaine lettuce this time around at the store and fed her little bits of that, and am curious to try green leaf again to see if it's just a sensitivity to green leaf lettuce specifically or if it was just that I didn't ease her into it slowly enough last time. I'm guessing it's the latter, but now I know that she's cool with bell pepper, romaine lettuce, and apple!

I also reintroduced her to my other two pigs and it went okay, though she's had some hair pulled here and there. According to the guide posted in Violet's thread that's normal but I did want to ask if hair pulling will also damage the skin. She's developed a few scratches/scabs on her rump where the hair's been pulled and they don't look like deliberate bites, comparing them to Violet's bite wound and the few bites that I've gotten here and there from the piggies over the months. They look more like either some skin got pulled with the hair chunk or the teeth dragged on the skin on the way to grab some hair, resulting in a shallow single cut in places. But still, there are several little scabs so I'm questioning if they're not deliberate at this point.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:06 am


Thanks for the update. Hope all goes well from here out! Not rereading, but have you treated for mites?

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Tue Oct 06, 2015 7:08 pm


Their hair actually pulls out relatively easily. If I had to guess those are tooth scrapes.

Watch for any developing infection. A shallow scrape should heal okay, though. Anything deeper, more like puncture, though, could abscess very easily.

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Zaphy

Post   » Wed Oct 07, 2015 3:32 pm


Definitely will keep an eye on them. One of the bigger scrapes looks a little inflamed, so I'm watching it like a hawk. It still looks like it could heal, but we'll see. She's also lost some weight again, I'm guessing she's getting bullied away from the food, or possibly just is too afraid to venture out of her hidey hole often enough. I've been experimenting with different configurations of the multiple food locations, hopefully I'll figure one out that works best for all my piggies. She seems quite underweight compared to my other two girls.

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Wed Oct 07, 2015 3:38 pm


If you're worried about her getting enough to eat, start weighing her daily (same time of day, preferably before breakfast). At feeding time, take her out of the cage and put her in a laundry basket and let her eat all she wants in peace. If she starts to gain, then she likely is getting bullied away from the food.

When she's a decent weight, you can start feeding her in the cage again. The multiple locations likely will work unless your others are so greedy that they scarf it all up before she gets a chance to finish.

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Thu Oct 08, 2015 9:43 pm


Ditto bpatters.

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Zaphy

Post   » Sun Oct 11, 2015 8:43 pm


Yeah that was a good idea, looks like she's back up to her weight when I first reintroduced her to the cage already! She's still getting hair pulled and shallow bites here and there, so her rump is looking a little worse for wear but as far as I can tell nothing is infected. Will continue feeding her out of cage for a while too, she's still pretty thin for her length I think. Thank you all for the suggestions!

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Mon Oct 12, 2015 3:58 am


Keep us posted. Good luck!

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