Gassy/GI issues in young female

Cuy

Post   » Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:16 pm


Hi everyone, I am hoping to get feedback and advice about my pig because we are just starting a course of metronidazole and I want to make sure I have all bases covered. I have experience with stones/sludge/UTIs, URIs, stasis, and abx toxicity in guineas but want all the help I can get from fellow guinea people! I have a female ridgeback/Aby/American/? X named Nala who we estimate is around 1.5 years (she was a shelter pig). I've had her for 13 months now and she has been very robust and healthy the entire time. She has stayed steady around 960-970g and never had any food or digestive issues. Last Thursday evening (2/22) I noticed she was a little puffy and seemed a little lethargic, then I heard her squawk and seemed to be straining when assuming the "poop position". She was still eating and drinking though appetite, water intake, and poop production seemed a little down. Her poops were formed, but definitely softer than the normal "black bean" style pellet poops (however, not cecal poops). Some were coming out linked together rather than neat separate beans (I call them sausage links, and associate them with an unhappy gut). Her usual cavy-savvy vet wasn't available that Friday 2/23 but her associate who is also experienced with exotics examined her and heard gut sounds, didn't feel any masses, and did x-rays. She said the x-rays showed there was food in the stomach and intestines, no stones or sludge in the bladder, and no obstruction (also nothing on visual exam of Nala's nether region). The vet gave her fluids and we went home and after the appointment, there was no more straining and no more vocalization. Her normal vet also called to confirm that she and the radiologist agreed with the x-ray findings but had actually noticed that there was a little gas in the intestine. She said that very rarely, she sees a guinea that is a little gassier.

This past Thursday (3/1), I heard her squawk again and strain when "assuming the poop position" so I brought her in again and she saw he regular vet. Again she had normal gut sounds and the vet said she was a little tender on palpation but she also had a full bladder and refused to pee for us. Her butt seemed a little bit messier this time. I had noticed that again, her poops were softer, had a little smudging, and a little odor. They weren't linked this time but a few were long. I thought to mention that I have caught her carrying a piece of paper litter around in her mouth so couldn't rule out that she was chewing it (her bedroom is fleece but the kitchen/potty is Clean and Cozy) and also, I just started giving her bluegrass from KMS about three weeks ago (I am violently allergic to timothy so she eats meadow and bluegrass- she hates orchard).

So the outcome from the second vet appointment was that they decided to do a fecal, said to stop feeding the bluegrass in case it was causing the gassiness, and prescribed the metro 100mgml 0.2cc twice daily. I got the call that the fecal was normal yesterday, but to start the metro anyay. I ordered Bene Bac which should be here today. The vet said to give the metro for 10 days and we'll see how her tummy is, then decide if we can slowly re-introduce the bluegrass since our hay options are so limited. The vet gave more fluids since it seemed to help move things along last week. On Thursday night, I could tell she was a little grouchy but I heard her belly rumble and then I could tell she was definitely passing some gas and she has been cheerful and had a good appetite and normal energy level since then. I would love anyone's thoughts, feedback, advice. Does this sound dietary, like she is intolerant of the bluegrass? Should I start the Bene Bac when it gets here today? What should I be watching out for with the metro? Advice for a gassy pig, and is this as catastrophic a condition as stones (I still have trauma from how hard that was to watch my girl who had the stones go through)?

Thank you in advance!

Clint The Cuy

Post   » Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:50 pm


I have never used metronidazole in a guinea pig, but have used it in horses primarily for diarrhea caused by parasitism. It’s also what people use when they develop travelers diarrhea.

It has a bad taste and can cause inappetence. We usually recommend rinsing the patients mouth about 30 minutes post oral administration to help alleviate the bitterness. I have heard of it causing GI upset and nausea in people. In hospitalized equine patients we would actually administer it via the rectum.

I think the elimination diet will probably tell you the most as it has been a recent change in diet and GI activity. Did the vet tell you to discontinue any produce or replace the bluegrass with another grass hay?

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:00 pm


I've had pigs on flagyl before. My vet uses a compounding pharmacy that doctors the taste with something pigs like, so it's never been a problem to give it to them.

Cuy

Post   » Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:07 pm


Her vet said just to discontinue the bluegrass since no other aspect of her diet has changed (I started giving her the bluegrass about three weeks ago). She has been continuing to eat meadow hay which she has eaten all along since I’m not allergic to that.

I’m due to give her her second dose now so I will be sure to give her a little piece of strawberry to get the taste out of her mouth. Thanks for letting me know. It doesn’t smell very nice :( Would you advise starting the Bene Bac now?

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:48 pm


Yes. I never give an antibiotic without giving Bene-Bac about 60-90 minutes after each dose.

Cuy

Post   » Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:32 pm


Sounds like a plan. I started with the Bene Bac several hours after the metro and will stick to that schedule (about a pea sized blob). I noticed that her poop production may be a little down overnight and food intake also a little lower but she is in good spirits today. I’ll weigh and watch. One thing I can’t believe I forgot to mention, I did notice when I changed her litter a few hours after getting home from the vet’s on Thursday, there were a couple of areas of dark tan urine (normal sized guinea pee areas). She is not a pig to normally have tan pee, only very rarely. I know she had just had a dose of fluids, a really stressful afternoon, and also a handful of red leaf lettuce, so these were alll things I was thinking about but also with the squawking while urinating I thought to mention it. There has been no tab urine since. Thoughts? Thank you.

Cuy

Post   » Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:46 pm


Other things- no discoloration around her rear end (she is white from her shoulders back), and no odor (I am familiar with the smell of a guinea UTI). And she hasn’t had tan urine since or been vocalizing. If she does start hunching/squawking again, it’s time for a urine test.

Cuy

Post   » Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:49 am


Nala’s appetite has (predictably I suppose) gone way down. I called the vet yesterday morning and she said to d/c the Flagyl. I have been feeding CC and really started force-feeding yesterday afternoon but she is the most slippery and difficult pig I’ve ever had and I can’t get more than 8cc into her at a time before we’re both exhausted and covered in goo (yeah embarrassing). She will eat tomatos and a little banana on her own and nibble hay. This morning she is down 10g since last night. The vet wanted her to be dropped off for Reglan and fluids yesterday but I absolutely could not make it. I am going to call in 15 min and see if I can get in today. Am going to ask for Reglan and fluids, anything else I should ask for? Her attitude is on and off cheerful today, just disturbingly low amount of poops of course.

Clint The Cuy

Post   » Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:08 pm


I would also ask for something for pain management such as metacam if you don’t have any. The fluids in addition to hydrating her, will also increase GI motility along with the reglan. Maybe some repeat radiographs to see if anything has changed.

Cuy

Post   » Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:47 pm


I am still very concerned about Nala. I’m going to make an appointment with her vet tomorrow but wanted to see if anyone had an opinion on whether I should take her to an e-vet today. At her last vet apt Tuesday, they heard guy sounds and gave her fluids, a shot of reglan, a shot of cisapride, and vitamin C. She’s been off the metro since last Monday and now been on Reglan 2X since Tuesday and been force-fed a mix of CC and SaRx (she seems to take it better when they’re mixed) and Bene Bac. She will eat a little meadow grass (maybe a quarter the usual amount if that), will eat butter lettuce and some red leaf, some strawberry, and tomato. Eating little to no pellets. I had to switch her potty set-up entirely when I caught her chewing on the potty pads I used in her kitchen on Friday- she ate a small chunk. I also switched from Clean and cozy to Oxbow Eco-Straw (apparently that is edible if need be) bc she was chewing the paper litter. She’s drinking, her attitude is normal. Her weight is steady between morning and night, going up and down by barely a few grams even though we’re stuffing her throughout the day yet... little to no poops. I’ve seen her eating her own poops throughout the day, but I’m finding very little or none when I check on her or go to change her pan. What I do find is normal though. I’m really concerned. I don’t think she’s blocked, because I’ve seen her eating poops straight from her anus, and she isn’t hunched, or puffy. She is still whistling when she hears the fridge or hears me feeding the dog, and acts like her diva self. Hand feeding does stimulate her to eat hay at least for a minute. Belly seems a little rounder and maybe a touch harder than usual, and she doesn’t want me to massage it. Is it normal to still be eating all poops this far out since d/c’inf metro? Thanks.

Cuy

Post   » Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:52 pm


Ugh typos. Vet heard GUT sounds at apt last Tuesday.
I was unclear on my former kitchen/potty set-up. I had a tray with a potty pad underneath and Clean and Cozy on top. Well she dug the pad out on Friday and ate a few inches, so I stopped using the pads. Then Saturday, I caught her chewing pieces of the Clean and Cozy, so I threw that away too and bought the Eco Straw because that is apparently safe to eat. I have seen her eat a few pellets of that and tried to discourage her by putting f her actual food pellets around the tray instead.

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:56 pm


Chewing on things they don't normally bother is often a sign of pain. I'd want some metacam.

And yes, she could still be eating the poops.

Have you tried putting her on a vibrator of some sort? That will sometimes shake things up internally and produce some poops.

Can you switch her to fleece, at least temporarily? Eco straw may be edible, but it's probably not good for her.

Cuy

Post   » Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:09 pm


Thanks so much for your prompt reply. I am so upset right now. It’s so confusing. I put her on a vibrating pad yesterday which she hated but I’m going to do it multiple times today. I will take her tray out completely. She always has the tendency to grab anything and test it for chewiness, so it’s not completely uncharacteristic of her to chew. If she is eating from her anus, you would assume that force-feeding is safe, right? I want to start stuffing her now but I also don’t want to if she’s got any type of block... but just saw her grab two poops a minute ago.

Cuy

Post   » Thu Mar 15, 2018 3:05 pm


After several days of CC feedings and Reglan, Nala is finally back to fairly regular poops in terms of amount, shape, and texture. Per her vet’s recommendations, we are slowly weaning down her CC feedings and will d/c the Reglan on Saturday if her poops stay as they are now. I went ahead and started feeding her Timothy and will just deal with my allergies and she seems to really like it though she is not back to her normal appetite for pellets.

I do have a question concerning her pee. I have been feeding her a little bit of dandelion greens, some red leaf lettuce, tomatoes, and small amounts of whatever fruits she wants to keep her appetite engaged and I have noticed on and off her pee has been a very brilliant bright orange this week. Not red, not pink, but very orange. I haven’t let it sit around long enough to see if it fades to normal yellow (I removed her litter pan and she’s on full fleece now). I read that dandelion could do it so I stopped the dandelion 2 days ago. Could this be the Reglan or residual dandelion or the lettuce? I have never seen orange pee and she’s had red leaf lettuce and dandelion before. Thanks!

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:35 pm


I wish I remembered what drugs/foods might do this! I would document the drugs she is taking, along with the foods she is eating, along with the color/intensity of the pee to see if you can determine the cause. The bright orange sounds brighter than the rust colored/orangish porphirins that can affect the color of the pee.

Do weigh daily right now (if you aren't already) to make sure she is still getting enough food (i.e. don't stop the CC too soon if she still needs it).

Cuy

Post   » Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:17 pm


Thanks for the response. I was able to watch her actually urinate once today and the pee came out yellow and checking back over the course of about ten minutes, I was able to watch it turn to the orange color. I would describe it as being between a brick orange and a carrot orange. When I dip a paper towel in, it is carrot-colored. It has varied in intensity. I also forgot to mention, sometimes her pee is normal yellow and sometimes it is orange. There is no smell.

I did leave a message for the vet and her tech called back letting me know that she felt that it was probably related to diet (the dandelions and maybe the red leaf lettuce) and to keep an eye on it. I am wondering if she is a little dehydrated so am watering down her lettuce and also making her CC more watery. I just got confused since she has eaten every one of these foods before and I hadn’t noticed orange pee... however she also was using paper litter in a potty pan and I removed that due to her nibbling it last week so it’s hard to tell. I will try to get a picture of the pee and send it if she pees on a light colored fleece.

I’m weighing her twice a day so I’ll adjust her CC if she starts to change weight. She has varied by up to 25g at a time throughout this whole thing. I am picking up a refill of Reglan tomorrow in case we need more over the weekend since I’m almost out.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:29 pm


25 g is not much (falls within normal variation).
www.guinealynx.info/weigh.html

I am guessing dandelion is more likely than red leaf lettuce to be the cause.

Cuy

Post   » Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:57 pm


Ok her pee has started to change from the bright orange to rusty orange/tan. It’s still variable in intensity. I’m still confused as to why it is still colored when she hasn’t had dandelion since Tuesday but when I stopped by the vet to pick up her Reglan refill, they said it might still be working out. The colored pee seems to alternate with normal yellow or clear/colorless pee. Still no odor. Thoughts?

I was also wondering your thoughts on her weight, if I can run a series for the last few days by you:

3/13pm 1009g after 20cc watery CC (forgot to weigh before feeding)
3/14am 971g
3/14pm 1000g (after a bunch of lettuce- forgot to weigh before feeding salad)
3/15am 968g
3/15pm 962g
3/16am 948g 1pm 941g

Haven’t weighed tonight yet. I’m bumping CC back up. She is eating a decent amount of Timothy, eating salad, picking at pellets but not doing the usual feeding frenzy she used to. Her usual weight before all this was about 975-980g. The other thing is that I feel that if I don’t CC her, she maybe won’t eat enough to maintain. It’s hard to tell but I’m afraid to cut back too soon. She’s a very robust girl though. Thanks!

Cuy

Post   » Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:00 am


Well Nala is determined to make me look hysterical, I just weighed her and she is 985 right now. She hasn’t pooped since her afternoon feed so there you go. Typical guinea.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:32 pm


For what it's worth, when you keep a diary, include times of foods/meds/pee quality. I suggest this because in my limited experience, what is eaten, will affect urine fairly soon. My example was noticing more calcium deposits shortly after having had romaine to eat. Others have noticed this. Since subsequent pees can be clearer, it seems fluids are processed fairly soon after ingestion.

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