Having shown some improvement on the furosemide and after a course of itrafungol, the vet was keen to reduce the dose of furosemide, if possible, as she felt it was a relatively high dose, so we halved it. He seemed to tolerate the lower dose for a while, but then deteriorated further.
Feeling we were getting nowhere, he was reviewed on 16th August. After much discussion the vet agreed to try Septrin, but did not want to give Vetmedin unless there was clear evidence of heart disease. She suggested that it might be possible for a vet who specialises in ultrasounds, albeit in cats and dogs to carry one out, in consultation with another vet with more experience in guinea pigs. This was arranged for last night. I had a phone call from the vet to say the scan, which had been carried out whilst he was awake, had been done and although the results were not ready, I could pick him up and bring him home. She would ring me later with the results and a treatment plan.
When I arrived to collect him, the vet met me at the door with the sad news that Del Boy had just passed away. CPR had been performed for 3 minutes, but to no avail. She said initial results of the scan showed dilated cardiomyopathy, so the outlook was grim and in that case there was a high risk of sudden death. The vet rang me later that evening to let me know the final results of the scan indicated the pneumonia had caused such damage to his lungs that it had subsequently affected his heart and little could have been done in the long term.
BamBam and I are obviously very distressed by the sudden loss of this piggy, who had not been with us for long, but in whom we had invested a lot of time and effort in trying to get an accurate diagnosis. He was a real character, with a strong personality. We are consoled by the fact that he died whilst eating a piece of apple, which was his favourite.
As an aside, the vet also mentioned that his molars were completely flat, to his tongue, which she said is highly indicative of chronic Vit C deficiency. I know that since he has been fostered, he has had a very good diet, high in Vit C, so this must pre-date his arrival with me. Has anyone else heard of this theory?
Apologies for the length of this post, I felt it necessary not only to update things and to get more information about the link between dental issues and Vit C deficiency, but also to honour his life.
Bless you and Godspeed little pig.