As for the leg/foot/shoulder - it's always the left front. It will only last a day or two (knock on wood!) then goes away for a year or so. I can't remember where the vet said she/they saw the arthritis - all I can recall is something about "leg". If any of you know what arthritis looks like on x-rays, there are 2 sets posted on this thread.
On the every other day dosage, he was actually running and playing again earlier this week. One day I was even in the room! It was a wonderful thing to see since he's not done it in so long.
In June I took Fuzzbutt out of his cage and put her with Scatter because of Flossie's death. I weighed daily for a week or 10 days but saw no real change in anyone's weight. However, looking back over the years, I'm becoming truly concerned for Peek. When I first started weighing him, he weighed almost 1300 grams and was (we think) 3 or 4 years old. Is this normal? Since these are averages (above) should I just wait to see what happens for the July average? From looking at the weekly weights, he'll still be in the mid 1000s for the month, similar to June's weights.
I think he's currently at least 6 years old. He's been getting Metacam on a regular basis for about 2 years due to arthritis. There has been no re-occurrence of the limp since I started giving him the medication daily. What other diseases (he has pea eye) other than heart disease should I be on the look out for? He's currently acting completely normal - sleeps lightly, eats the normal amount, and poops seem normal if a little dry or sometimes mushy, although being housed with another pig, VeBee, it's difficult to tell who is leaving what. I guess what I'm looking for is primer on aging pigs. :o)
- You can quote me
If arthritis is present, the drop helps relieve some pressure on the joints and connective tissue. Watch for heart; impaction (even if he's fixed), and normal defecation. We've had several to seem to benefit from a small daily dose of Reglan once over 6.5 y/o or so.
Extra C may help and won't hurt. Most senior animals (humans included) don't process the nutrients in food as well as they age.
Go by eating, drinking, urinating, defecating, and general moving and behavior. I freaked the first couple times this happened at our house. After a handful of them I stopped freaking **as long as they stabilized** at the lower weights. You can always have his teeth looked at, but if he's shown no change in how he eats **and his weight stabilizes**, they're probably fine.
If he *continues to lose* (or shows any input/output/behavior/personality change), vet trip.
I quoted Talishan:
I hope Peek responds well to the additional fluids."Don't try to push more than 25-35 cc's at one time. More will make her very uncomfortable. ER vets will push 60-70 mls at once in cases of severe dehydration, but that's an extreme case."
- You can quote me
We had one supposedly exotics vet push 70 with one of ours. It certainly didn't help her; it made her horribly uncomfortable and may actually have hurt her.
25 cc daily is not unreasonable; however, caveat: some pigs get used to it, and others progressively become more and more upset. There seems not to be anything in the middle.
My personal judgment with the ones that became progressively more stressed out and unhappy was that it wasn't worth it. If Peek gets used to it, great; if not, supplement with oral fluids. Try different bottled waters; try offering fluids by syringe cold. Try different size water bottles; try filling the bottles to different levels; try hanging them higher or lower.
Try offering unflavored Pedialyte by syringe; many pigs love this and will readily slurp down 10 cc's or more at a time. If you can manage that twice a day, you're fine.
A note about subcues: it's a blue nightmare the first couple times. It DOES get easier with practice. After the first one you'll likely be beside yourself. It DOES repeat DOES get smoother and easier with practice, and pretty quickly too.
Warm the fluids first in a hot-water bath. Fluids at about the same temp you'd give a baby (inner wrist test from olden days ;-) are much more comfortable for the pig.
I think I got about 20cc in him; would have been more but apparently I accidently pulled the needle out and caused fluid to go everywhere. The second time I poked him I drew blood which made me nervous and I again pulled the needle out. The 3rd time I got some more fluid in him but then it started running out everywhere again. That's when I decided enough was enough. I'll do better next time - tomorrow. My cat vet sold me a smaller syringe so maybe I'll have better control.
On a side note, the vet who is purchasing the clinic is putting serious thought into expanding out from cats and dogs. Yay! I know the tech who helped us today has experience with guinea pigs.
My thanks to all of you who gave me advice and links for where to go for more.
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