Del Boy's Med Thread - Heart

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BamBam

Post   » Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:34 pm


Talishan

New foster. No formal diagnosis but all classic signs of being a heart pig:
1) pancaky
2) blue ear margins
3) panting even at rest
4) arrhythmia

We have a vet appt to try and get formal diagnosis but we have a heat wave here and he's breathing is quite laboured.

What's the risk of giving vetmedin to a pig who doesn't have heart issues?

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:56 pm


How old is he (best guess)?

If it was benazepril, the risk is minimal. With pimobendan, my honest answer is that I just don't know.

With four solid signs like that, and in the middle of a heat wave, my inclination would be to try 1/4, 1/3 or 1/2 the standard dosing and monitor his response.

Do you have any Lasix or benazepril, or is Vetmedin all you have to hand?

User avatar
BamBam

Post   » Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:01 pm


18 months max

Nothing else to hand.

Don't know whether to leave him be or risk it.

Arrrggghhh.

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BamBam

Post   » Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:02 pm


Oo, hang on, I have lasix. Better?

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:12 pm


At 18 months it'd be congenital most likely imo. Do you know anything about his background at all?

When is the vet appointment?

My gut hunch is to risk a small amount. Fwiw.

EDIT: yes, Lasix first. *Small* amount, again, a portion of normal dosing, but Lasix has a range of dosing. I just don't want to dehydrate him and throw off his electrolyte balance with an arrhythmia already present.

Is he drinking well/at all?

EDIT 2: can you hear fluid in the lungs/chest cavity?

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BamBam

Post   » Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:19 pm


Ha, was just about to say he doesn't drink but am just watching him at the water bottle.

Agree it's going to be congenital. Don't know anything about his background. He local RSPCA foster.

Can't hear any fluid and vet appointment not until the week-end (we have a v limited pool of vets able to diagnose with any accuracy)

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:02 pm


My gut is to try a very small dose of Lasix and a very small amount of pimobendan. I certainly will not be offended if you decide to do either or neither. I wish I could give you solider advice.

Also move him to the coolest part of the house (I figure you've already done this).

Please keep me posted. I wish I could be more useful.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:51 pm


You said you had a heat wave? How hot and humid is the room he's in?

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BamBam

Post   » Tue Jun 20, 2017 1:36 am


Thank you both.

Tal - going to try and speak with vet today and give him a v small dose tonight when I'm home to monitor.

Lynx - the temp has been up to 30c here (unusual for
Us). Not overly humid but no air.
The house however is comparatively cool - around. 22/23c

Temps have dropped over night and are due to stay down today. He continues to pant and lay out.

Will let you know how we get on.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Tue Jun 20, 2017 11:19 am


Google says 30c is 86 degrees F. If not humid, it should not be a burden. And if it is much cooler in the house, not at all.

I agree then that this seems to be medical (I was hoping there was a simpler explanation and you could use a fan and cool a room).

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BamBam

Post   » Tue Jun 20, 2017 1:51 pm


Thanks Lynx

Was hoping for vet call today but nothing yet.

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Tue Jun 20, 2017 7:07 pm


Gah. Keep us posted. How's he doing tonight?

Hilary Holmes

Post   » Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:54 am


Hi Guys, Del Boy is currently residing with me. BamBam and I have been unable to get any appointment with an "exotics" vet until Tuesday, but he had been holding his own now the weather is cooler.
However, this evening he appears to be struggling more, although he remains alert and relatively active, possibly more active than usual. He is eating and drinking normally.
His arrhythmia continues although his lungs sound clear. His ear margins are dark, as are his lips. I have got an appointment with a cat and dog vet tomorrow morning as an emergency, but will see the out of hours vet if he deteriorates further.
He is a foster from the RSPCA. With that in mind, is there anything I can be doing in the way of supportive management?

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Fri Jun 30, 2017 10:25 pm


Were you ever able to try out Lasix? It sounds like he might benefit.

Hilary Holmes

Post   » Sat Jul 01, 2017 5:14 am


Thanks Lynx. We haven't been able to try Lasix yet. As he's a foster from the RSPCA we are limited as to what we can do without vet approval. I do have a vet appointment later today so hope I may be able to persuade the vet to try Lasix and Vetmedin. I'm now more convinced than ever that he has a heart problem as I heard him hooting whilst he was eating his vegs just now.
Will let you know what the vet says.

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Sat Jul 01, 2017 5:46 am


Okay. If he's hooting on top of everything else, I def. concur with trial of Lasix and Vetmedin.

If you're hearing it while he's eating, that's at least in part because it's difficult for a heart pig to breathe and eat at the same time. Is he maintaining his weight? Steady? Variable?

You've probably already thought of this, but if the vet you'll be seeing isn't a cavy expert, print out the heart page and take it with you:

http://www.guinealynx.info/heart.html

From what you're describing, my gut hunch is that he'd benefit from a trial of heart medication(s) (start low and work up) before Tuesday.

Good luck to him and to you. Please let us know how it goes.

Hilary Holmes

Post   » Sat Jul 01, 2017 3:05 pm


Thanks for your expertise Talishan.

Del Boy was seen by the vet this lunchtime. She was very thorough and seemed quite knowledgeable, despite not being an expert in guinea pigs. She couldn't find anything to suggest this was heart related (despite me taking the heart info with me, which she was quite receptive to). However, she was extremely concerned about his lungs and was more convinced this is a lung related problem, especially as there was a lot of inspiratory noise, where she would have expected more expiratory noise. We discussed the pros and cons of an Xray and the necessary GA, as he is an extremely skittish pig, and decided to go ahead.

Fortunately, they were able to Xray him without the need for sedation or GA and surprisingly, the Xray has shown almost complete white out of both lungs, suggestive of pneumonia. His heart outline was normal. They gave him oxygen but that did not improve his colour much, so they think the dark lips and ears are his normal colouring. (I remain to be convinced). He has been started on Baytril and sent home, since there is nothing they can do that I can't do here.

He's not out of the woods by any means and I will be watching both him and his brother like a hawk. I'll keep you all posted.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:51 pm


Is his breathing labored?

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Sun Jul 02, 2017 6:55 am


Please keep us posted on how he's doing.

I'm really glad to hear that the vet was knowledgeable, thorough and open to heart issues despite not being an exotics expert. The difference between inspiratory and expiratory sounds I've run into before, from a vet with asthma herself. This vet sounds good.

Ditto Lynx -- does his breathing seem labored?

My very, very best to him and his brother, and to you.

Hilary Holmes

Post   » Sun Jul 02, 2017 12:31 pm


Thanks Talishan and Lynx. Del Boy is holding his own. At least he's still with us!

Yes, his breathing continues to be laboured. He is using his abdominal muscles and his nostrils are flaring with each breath. He is still eating (despite Baytril) and is still bullying his brother Rodney, which I take to be a good sign. At least it's his normal behaviour.

He's had one dose of intra-muscular Baytril and two oral doses but doesn't seem to have improved at all. I assume I'm being impatient. I assume it will take a couple of days before we see any sign of improvement? Would it be worth giving him some metacam as well? Having recently had pneumonia myself, I know how rough it made me feel.

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