Dragging back legs from one day to the next

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chippy

Post   » Sat Feb 03, 2018 7:21 pm


Hello everyone,

I have a 3 year old male guinea pig named Chip who lost the use of his back legs from one day to the next. The first time this happened he was being kept by someone who has a lot of experience with guinea pigs in my area as I was out of town. The carer said that my guinea pig had not been dropped or injured and he was taken to the vet immediately. The vet took xrays which showed no apparent signs of injury and said he has slight arthritis in his back legs and could maybe have a herniated disk from a false movement however this is just a hypothesis. He was prescribed metacam (3ml for 3 days) and gabapentin (3.8ml for 14 days). After roughly 4 days Chip started walking again and eventually it was like nothing had ever happened. A month past and again from one day to the next he was dragging his back legs again. The vet renewed the prescription which he has now been on for 4 days and his situation does not look like it is improving. He does not seem to be in pain at all and his appetite is still very good.

I have read about this happening to other pigs and that it could be due to a calcium deficiency. I have also read that many people have had success treating this with the calcium supplement Osteocare Liquid however I am located in Canada and cannot get my hands on this product. Does anyone know an alternative form of this supplement that I can find in Canada?

Can any one provide any advice on treating this problem?

Thank you!!

Kim

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sat Feb 03, 2018 7:29 pm


Have you tried vitamin C supplements? A lack of vitamin C can cause pigs to lose the use of their back legs.

You can give him 100 mg per day for a week, then cut back to about 30 mg. per day. See if that helps.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sat Feb 03, 2018 7:41 pm


Calcium lactate was advised because it is one of the more absorbable forms of calcium. Vitamin C is a good idea.

What is your guinea pig's diet? Fresh, good quality pellets along with fresh vegetables and unlimited high quality grass hay?
www.guinealynx.info/fave.html

chippy

Post   » Sat Feb 03, 2018 7:57 pm


Thanks for the quick replies!!

Chip eats a variety of fresh veggies, herbs daily and sometimes fruits. Endives, carrots, green peppers, parsley, coriander, apples and blueberries are some of his favorites. As for pellets he eats oxbow adult guinea pig food and unlimited amounts of versele-laga timothy hay. I will give the vitamin C supplements a go and see what happens. Thanks again!

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:31 pm


Does your guinea pig have a satin coat? (very shiny)
www.guinealynx.info/coat.html

It sounds like you are providing a fairly good diet.

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sef1268

Post   » Sun Feb 04, 2018 12:28 am


We had this happen with one of our guys a few years ago, but our vet never really understood the cause. The guinea pig was fine one day; dragging his hind legs the next. At the time, I believe she prescribed Prednisone, but I could be wrong. Toby was fine a couple of days later. Vet thought it might have been some sort of stroke.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:02 am


Prednisone would, I believe, help with inflammation/swelling.

chippy

Post   » Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:43 am


Yes he is satin. Are you thinking osteodystrophy? This was my first hunch however after reading more into it it seems to mainly occur from a young age. If this is the case then apparently calcium lactate and sunlight could help? I do not get the feeling he's lacking vitamin C with everything he is eating but I could be wrong. Will still try vitamin C supplements in the meanwhile.

Phantomhorse

Post   » Sun Feb 04, 2018 1:08 pm


You have to be careful with Prednisone. It is a corticosteroid, so if you give an animal prednisone and another anti-inflammatory (like metacam) it will act as a blood thinner. If you use prednisone you need to switch to a different pain med that has no anti-inflammatory properties.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:01 pm


Some info on analgesics here:
www.guinealynx.info/analgesics.html

If he is a satin, the likelihood that calcium lactate might help increases.

Phantomhorse

Post   » Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:31 pm


Hey Lynx, where do Hydromet and Tramadol fit in on there?

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:14 pm


I don't have them listed. I don't have enough information to answer your question.

chippy

Post   » Wed Feb 07, 2018 2:24 pm


His situation has degenerated. I have been looking everywhere for calcium lactate but cannot find it for sale in any of the pharmacies around my house. His spine now seems to be crooked from laying on the side and squeaks loudly when he is picked up. Could I just give him regular calcium supplements? If so any idea of how much? After reading this viewtopic.php?t=44412 I am really starting to believe he may be suffering from osteodystrophy.

Thanks again for any suggestions...

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Kimera

Post   » Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:15 pm


You may be able to find calcium gluconate, also used in human medicine as calcium supplement. You need vitamin D3 and K to absorb calcium properly, so it is best to find a supplement which has all these components.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:20 pm


I am sorry to hear he has gone downhill. I hope you can find the supplements Kimera suggests.

chippy

Post   » Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:48 pm


All this advice is much appreciated. I cannot find calcium gluconate but can find calcium citrate or calcium carbonate. Would any of these 2 be ok? If so any idea of the dosage? Thanks!

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Kimera

Post   » Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:28 am


Calcium carbonate is more or less the same as chalk, so it is not appropriate, but calcium citrate is used as a source of calcium in medicine. I have no idea about the dosage, however. It may be extrapolated from the dose for humans.

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