Worst Guinea Pig carer in the world or the unluckiest?

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rjespicer

Post   » Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:10 pm


OK I hadnt been separating out the amount as we were just trying to get her to take as much as possible each time. Each batch is usually disposed of within 24 hours.

The vet told me to take her of Metacam completely. She is just on Chloro-P and Lasix right now

She was slightly more active when I got home and had another 6ml of critical care (putting her up to about 31-32 ml today which is about what she was taking when she was ill last time but she was eating better then) but it was cold and she had only just had some about 2.5 hours earlier. I will try taking it out before plan on using to warm up a bit it and maybe stand the bowl in some hot water or have a bowl of warm water I can put the syringe in. I have seen her rummaging through the veggies picking at stuff and even fighting big Chunkita for some bits but I couldn't tell if she actually ate anything.

She still seems to be breathing heavily. Hard to tell if there is any change there but it doesn't seem any worse.

She is due some Benebac now so I will try feeding her again in a couple of hours and see what she will take then.

She seems a little more alert and comes over to see what I am doing when I am by teh cage. When I put my hand in the pen or offer food to her in she sticks her head right over but still wont necessarily eat everything she is offered and still hides under the blankets quite a bit.

Her weight was 765g right after I had given her the one and a bit syringes after her meds. So down a bit from when she came back from the vet yesterday but she had just beed fed 2 teaspoons of critical care shortly before I picked her up.

Off to give her some Benebac and then go and buy some Chard. Unfortunately the local supermarket is out of wheatgrass and the daughter put the last tray we had in the pen this afternoon.

Heres hoping she keeps showing improvement

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:46 am


What is Chloro-P?

rjespicer

Post   » Fri Sep 07, 2018 1:06 pm


Chloramphenicol palmitate.

It is listed on the Antibiotics page after Baytril.
http://www.guinealynx.info/antibiotics.html#chloramphenicol
I have to wear gloves as it is poisonous to humans if ingested.

I am just too lazy to type the whole thing out

She took another 2.5 of the 5ml syringes last night so we got a total of about 40-45ml of critical care in to her yesterday so about a tablespoon of powder, maybe a little more.

I started off burrito wrapping her but after a while she would start twisting and wriggling and chew on any part of the towel she could reach so in the end I had her sat on the table on a small fleece, nestled in the crook of my arm with her paws on my hand and just kept giving her a little bit at a time. She still moves her head but she eventually seems to get the message that she has to eat her food if she wants to go back in the pen. Believe it or not the airplane noises seemed to help ;-)

She was also out eating hay and rummaging through the vegetables but I didn't see if she ate any. She did eat some pepper I hand fed her plus about 1/4 to 1/2 of a leaf of green chard. I also saw her out eating pellets out of the bowl on her own at one point as well.

She is still breathing heavily but it seemed a tiny bit better. Difficult to tell.

She also came out a little bit during floor time.

So no dramatic changes but a few promising signs.

rjespicer

Post   » Fri Sep 07, 2018 5:08 pm


Nala took 2 5ml Syringes this morning before I left for work and the daughter managed to get another 4 in to her at lunch time so that is roughly 3/4 of a table spoon already so I am hoping I can get a least 3 or more in to her this evening again which will put her at over a Tablespoon for the day again. The more she takes the better.

Fingers crossed.

rjespicer

Post   » Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:58 pm


Nala is currently on
0.15ml Lasix (10mg/ml) twice a day which works out around 2mg/Kg
0.23ml Chlora-P (100mg/ml) twice a day which works out to around 30mg/Kg

Both doses are lower than that the calculator and info on this site suggest. Lasix would be 0.38ml to 0.76ml and CP would be 0.38ml but perhaps she is giving lower doses to take it easy on her? Unless the calculator is giving the total daily dose not the the 12 hour dose?

Anyway she seems a little more active again today. Was out waiting when I went to the fridge like she used to do but didn't seem interested in much of the veggies I put out. We are currently out of wheatgrass which is a shame but so far today she has had 50ml of critical care (about 1.25 tablespoons) and I still have one more feed to go. She has been a bit better about taking the Critical Care which is a relief. The daughter seems to have the knack and as I said she got 20ml in to Nala at lunch time and I managed to get another 20ml in to her when i got home from work, which is on top of the 10ml she had before I went to work.

She was down 7g today at 757 but she was fed earlier than usual this afternoon by about 4 hours and has been around 752 to 772 since Sunday. Her breathing seems slightly better as well.

Still being cautiously hopeful

rjespicer

Post   » Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:47 pm


Nala had 13.5 of the 5ml syringes (67.5 ml or 1.5 Table Spoons of Powder) in total on Saturday and weighed 778g at 6:30pm

She had 12.5 of the 5ml Syringes (62.5 ml or 1.5 Tablespoons of powder) in total on Sunday and weighed 788g at 6:30pm

The ml amount is slightly different each time as we occasionally have to add more water to thin it out a bit

I weigh her just before she has her medication since I am having to pick her up anyway.

So just to sumarise
Thursday - 1 tablespoon of CC Powder, Weight 765g
Friday - 1.5 tablespoons of CC Powder, Weight 757g
Saturday - 1.5 tablespoons of CC Powder, Weight 778g
Sunday - 1.5 tablespoons of CC Powder, Weight 788g

I can still see her chest moving when she breathes but I think it is slightly better, as I said it is hard to tell. She is still coughing occasionally as well.

She is eating hay and has been out eating Pellets from the bowl on her own and some veggies. She was more interested in Critical care this morning and required a little less coaxing to latch on to the syringe and had about 20ml (Half a table spoon of powder). I am hoping that this is an indication that her appetite is returning. We are aiming to get her to take 1.5 tablespoons again during the day today.

She still sleeps a lot but seems slightly more active out in the pen and has come out for a little bit of a run during floor time but not as she used to. Again it is hard to tell how much of an improvement there is from day to day, but at least she doesn't appear to be getting worse.

She still seems stable at least and the weight increase is reassuring.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Mon Sep 10, 2018 9:52 pm


Sounds like you are making progress putting a little weight on her. Many drugs have ranges of use. Baytril and Lasix are two I can think of. Lasix especially is adjusted to what is seems to work best.

rjespicer

Post   » Tue Sep 11, 2018 12:02 pm


Her weight had dropped a little last night to 781g but the daughter had only managed to get 3.5 syringes in to her yesterday afternoon but had also added a bunch of water to the mix that thinned it out quite a bit.

Rather than leaving me with 5-6 syringes to feed her when I got home from work it took 8.5. Thankfully Nala is more cooperative about taking critical care now, I am hoping that is her appetite returning, and guzzled it down. I did 7 when I first got home and the last 1.5 a couple of hours later as I thought trying to give her 8.5 in one go might be a bit much for her although she seemed happy to keep eating, but that is another 1.5 tablespoons of mix in one day.

When I finished feeding her she curled up in my arms for a nap.

I really hope she gets well and we get to a point where we dont have any more illnesses or infections. I am spending 2 hours in the morning before heading for work at 7.30am medicating, syringe feeding, cleaning and sorting out veggies and fresh hay then when I get home at 6.30pm it is another two hours of the same giving me about an hour to eat and do anything else I need to do before heading for bed so I can get some sleep to get up at 5:30am to do it all again.

The daughter helps during the day which is a huge relief but she is not always as reliable as I would hope as she is trying to fit in helping with her college schedule. If she wasn't helping I would probably be a nervous wreck by now or in hospital with a heart attack.

Just need a period of big, strong, happy, healthy piggies.

rjespicer

Post   » Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:13 pm


Just got a call from the vet who said that the small improvements are good but not necessarily an indication that the meds are working or treating the root cause.
She suggested an ultrasound at $700, we have already paid thousands in vet bills in the last 5 months, and the wife doesn't want the vet prodding and poking Nala anymore. Even with the ultrasound the vet says there is no guarantee that it will tell us what the issue is or even if it does tell us what the problem is it may not be treatable.
They are getting a specialist to look at the X-rays later this week to see if they have any suggestions.
I am hoping and praying that Nala makes some more significant improvement in the meantime.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:10 pm


I hope so too. I know this is taking a toll on you also.

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GrannyJu1
Supporter in 2018

Post   » Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:36 am


I'm thinking of you all. I haven't faced the terrible choice of $$-vs-treatment-vs-no treatment yet. I hope you don't either. Hugs and warm wishes.

rjespicer

Post   » Wed Sep 12, 2018 1:47 pm


She is still relatively active, yes she does sleep a bit but so do the others, she still comes out to eat pellets, hay and veggies and has been wheeking and even jumping but I can still see her chest move and head bob when she breathes, but I honestly dont think it is as bad as before.
She gobbles down the Critical care when I feed her and is still very full of life in that she isn't just sitting under the blanket all day and not eating anything on her own like Mu Mu was shortly before we lost her. From the point that we spotted the breathing issues with Mu Mu to when we lost her was only a couple of days. Nala is still soldiering on after more than a week and is more active and eating on her own which Mu Mu wasn't. Mu Mu also would not take any critical at all without a huge struggle.We are consistently getting 1.5 tablespoons of CC powder in to Nala each day though.

The daughter is helping with feeding in the afternoon which is a huge help but she is not always feeding her at the same time which means the time between weighing and feeding is not always consistent.
She was still syringe feeding her when I got home from work yesterday so had only just been fed when I weighed her at teh usual time , 803g, however I weighed her about an hour and a half later and she was 789g and had another rougly half a tablespoon after that and when I weighed her this morning on an empty stomach, before feeding, she was 781g so still stable or possibly even gaining a little. I may continue to weigh her quickly before each morning feed as a more consistent gauge of progress. She is still pooping up a storm.

If it wasn't for the visible chest movement and head bobbing when breathing (which the vet didn't seem to spot when she was in overnight for observation, until I mentioned it) and occasional coughing (usually shortly after taking meds) and the maybe 30-40% drop in activity she doesn't look like a sick piggy when she is out and about in the pen (the vet even said that her physical appearance didn't seem to tie in with what the X-Rays were showing) so I am still hoping the meds are working and she will make a good recovery.

Many thanks for the support and advice, it is greatly appreciated.

rjespicer

Post   » Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:06 pm


I am really starting to worry about the long term survival of 3 all of them even the apparently healthy ones, Siouxsie and Chunkita.

Having to Keep dealing with health issues has to be taking a toll on them and it is certainly taking a toll on me physically, mentally and financially.
I wish the wife had spoken to me first before getting them as I would have talked her out of it.
However something about our environment is not conducive to their health and while I am trying to make sure we minimize the risks factors I am having a hard time getting the wife to take precautions like diet, hygiene, oil burners/incense etc seriously and is more and more reluctant about taking them to the vet if they do seem ill. She has suggested I take a break but I know that if I do, stuff wont get done or don right and the Guinea pigs will suffer as a result. I just cant see them as disposable, they are little lives that rely on us, but equally it is getting harder to cope with the time and financial burden if we are going to do everything we can for them.

I am going to be away for just over a week in two weeks, the wife is going to be away for a month again later in October and then we will be away over the holiday Season (and I have no idea what the wife is planning in terms of someone taking care of them then, boarding is not an option due to excessive cost) so I really fear for their continued health and well being.

I feel guilty and ashamed for even being in this position or even thinking this way but maybe we are just not cut out to be guinea pig carers? I doubt the wife would ever agree to give them up and I know I would miss their little faces and personalities but unless we catch a break soon that may be the only option for the sake of the 3 girls long term survival. I am very conscious that Adoption options (if it comes to that) are pretty few and far between and run the risk of euthanasia, especially for sick guinea pigs and I really couldn't (and wouldn't make) face making that choice, it is just not in my nature. I would need to know they were all going to be safe and cared for and that seems like an impossible dream based on my research.

Sorry for whining but needed to get that out in the open, I am not looking for sympathy but maybe a bit of advice and reassurance that it wont always be like this.

I just really need a break and good period of time with healthy happy piggies. There are a number of people I know who seem to pay less care and attention to their Guinea pigs who dont seem to have any issues so I cant understand why we do when we are trying to do everything right.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Wed Sep 12, 2018 7:44 pm


I don't know what to advise you but do understand this is difficult. Getting enough rest ourselves is extremely important.

rjespicer

Post   » Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:54 am


I am trying but it is extremely difficult and the wife seems to have lost all interest in them and her coping mechanism seems to be to just to ignore the fact that they are ill.

I am having extreme difficulty getting her to understand what should be basic stuff like you cant feed multiple pigs from the same syringe and the same bowl of critical care, that you cant have incense and candles or oil burners or other stuff that puts smoke or strong smells in the air, dont leave fruit out in the kitchen as it attracts flies, dont leave fruit or food in the kitchen to go moldy (the Kitchen is open plan with the living and dining room and the Guinea Pigs are in the Dining room next to the kitchen with a serving hatch and doorway but no door connecting them), that we have to keep dust down and keep exterior doors shut to prevent drafts and cant leave the fire on in the living room as it makes it too hot for them.

She decided to get them without talking to me first and now just seems content to let me do the majority of the work because she knows I cant just sit back like she does and trust to fate. The daughter is helping during the day but she hasn't been able to get more than a couple of syringes in to Nala the last few afternoons so i am having to do more feeding than usual when I get home. The wife works on the same block as our apartment and seems unwilling to take time out to go home and take care of them, she is her own boss so it shoudl be relatively easy. I just feel like I have been put in an impossible situation and cant see any way out. Sorry to unload but I just feel a little overwhelmed right now with no one else I can talk to who would understand.

The vet should be getting the specialist to take a look at the x-rays today or tomorrow I really really hope they have good news.

We are still getting 1.5 Table spoons of CC in to Nala and her weight is still fluctuating around the 769 to 780 mark. Can still see her chest and head moving as she breathes. So she just seems to be holding in the current state.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:57 pm


Apart from her breathing, describe her general activity level and energy. Describe changes you have seen since before this started.

The vet has confirmed fluid in the lungs? Fluid in the lungs would explain her breathing. I am trying to figure out if the pattern you are seeing is not as bad as it seems.

rjespicer

Post   » Thu Sep 13, 2018 4:17 pm


She used to be the most active of the bunch , especially at floor time running around like crazy for 15 -20 minutes and then chilling under a side table with the others and then maybe coming out half an hour later for another session of running around at full tilt.

After a week of the Sulfatrim and the seemingly high Metacam/Meloxicam dose she lost quite a bit of weight (Although initially had been perking up and putting weight on) and started fluffing up and spending more time in the fleece pockets of the GuineaDad Liners. That's when I also noticed her breathing issues

When she was in at the vet overnights they apparently didn't notice the breathing until I reminded her about it on the phone, I had already emailed them including a video of it and mentioned it when I dropped her off.

On the Xrays the vet showed me she pointed out what she said was quite a bit of liquid in her chest area but said it wasn't possible to determine what the cause was (without the Ultrasound, Aspiration or both) and suggested things like heart disease, Lung consolidation (although she said she could hear no signs of this in a physical examination), or said it could even be cancer. She said there was only a relatively small amount of clear lung showing and the liquid meant that they couldn't get a good view of her heart. As I said the vet said that what she was seeing in the Xrays wasn't in line with Nalas apparent physical condition (i.e. she looked and acted healthier than the X-Rays suggested). I dont hear much in the way of noise when she is breathing other than occasional clicks. She also coughs from time to time usually 10-15 minutes after meds or when she is settling down to sleep but I haven't heard her do that for about a day I think.

She still comes out to eat hay pretty regularly, especially when she hears me put new hay in. She will have a root through the vegetables that are put out but will only occasionally eat a bit of Green Chard or Pepper. I have also seen her eating pellets pretty regularly as well. She doesn't go anywhere near as crazy during floor time as she once did, but when she does come out will have a trot round and an explore before finding a quite spot to sit or lay down. She does run a little bit but not much. When I have been up in the night on a couple of occasions I have seen her out in the pen chomping on Hay.

In the pen when she is not roaming around she is usually sat in a corner fluffed up and hunched over (either under or on top of the fleece pocket) or she will lie down on her side to sleep. I would say that she is probably around 40-50% of her normal activity level.

We have heard her wheeking and I have seen her running (but not often) and she even manage a fairly impressive jump back in to the pen at one point. She has also had a little popcorn once or twice when I have been syringe feeding her on the table. She will still shove my hand out of the way fairly forcefully if she doesn't want to be petted and will even try and climb up my chest on to my shoulder. She used to be pretty skittish and would run off if we tried to pick her up but now most of the time If i pick her up when she is under the blanket she will wriggle and squeak a bit but will be fairly easy to pick up. If I try and pick her up when she is out in the pen she will run off like a shot. She used to struggle a lot when I was putting her back in the pen trying to jump but most of the time she just waits for me to set her down.

So to answer your question more concisely (sort of), based on how she was after she had appeared to recover from the URI in July and before the problem with swelling on her face that appears to have started the latest issues here are the changes I have noticed.

About 50% less active.
When she had breathing issues in June/July she used to take the Meloxicam and Sulfatrim with no issues but when she was taking them for the swelling she really resisted the Sulfatrim even when it was the same concentration and flavor as before. Loved the Meloxicam though.
Although she comes out in the pen, especially when there is activity, it is less than usual and she isn't running around as much or as fast as before.
She used to take Critical care without needing to be picked up or force fed (prior to these issues she woudl sit up on her hind legs when she heard me in the kitchen begging for some CC) but that stopped when the breathing issues appeared to start, when we first had to force her it was a struggle but now she will take it fairly easily but it takes about an hour to get half a tablespoon in to her
She is easier to pick up and put down, not as resistant but does squeak in protest.
She is more picky about vegetables (she used to chomp through everything but now will only occasionally eat Green Chard and Peppers, the vet said this might be the meds affecting the taste). She seems to eat a little slower though when she does.
I seem to be having to change the Guineadad liners more often due to a lot of pee but I assume that is the Lasix doing its thing?
She never used to sit on top of the fleece pocket on the liners but seems to be doing that more since she got ill. Chunkita has also been doing the same.
Poop is a good since and regular as far as i can tell but seems to be lighter brown than the other two's
Still cleans and grooms herself regularly
When she is out in the pen if you dont notice the chest/head movement when she breathes you would hardly notice there was a problem.
She seems to squeak a lot more than she used to when ever the other two get too close to her when she is in the fleece pocket on the liners.
Not sure if it is related but in general the other two seem to be a little less active as well especially when we do floor time, they will come out and have a run around but will generally wander back in to the pen after 20-30 minutes. This may be due to the fact that Nala tended to be the "ringleader" though when they were running around.
Eyes still seem clear and bright with no crustiness
Haven't seen any discharge from her nose either
Although she is breathing heavily I dont hear wheezing or croaking just the occasional click or chirp as she breathes or an occasional cough (will pay more attention tonight)

That's all i can think of for now I will jot down anything else I think of

Thank you!

rjespicer

Post   » Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:54 pm


Sorry that should say poop is a good size.
Couldn't edit the previous post.

With the veggies when she roots through the bowl she will often have a test bite of something but then decide she doesn't want it . We usually have chard (about the only leafy thing she will eat) plus Escarole, radicchio and red lettuce out. It does seem a little like she isn't quite as adept at chomping on the chard leaves and pepper when she does eat and has to try a bit harder to find a starting point to get munching but that may be because is not feeling great.

Also when syringe feeding her I will sometimes see a bit of a chest flex/heave as if she is burping after taking some CC. Dont know if that is relevant or not.

Just in case it is useful info she has been on the Chloramphenicol palmitate since Sept 3rd AM and the Lasix since Sept 5th PM so 21 doses of the Chloramphenicol palmitate and 16 doses of the Lasix.

rjespicer

Post   » Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:17 pm


She will also eat dandelion but we have avoided giving her that. She will no longer apparently eat Escarole or Red lettuce which she used to.

When she is out in the pen she will spend most of her time eating hay, just sat by the hay pile munching away quite happily mainly on buds and the leafy bits but occasionally on stalks.

As I said she has been seen eating pellets from the bowl occasionally but the one thing I have mentioned before is that I cant recall the last time I saw any of them drink either from the bottles or the bowl We keep them topped up and fresh and their is no Vitamin C in it. I have mentioned it to the vet a few times and the first time she suggested switching from filtered water to tap water but that didn't seem to help. When I mentioned it last week she said that maybe they are getting enough water from the veggies. They appear to be peeing plenty though.

That said we have been cutting back on the veggies a bit as it had been suggested to us that we were putting too much out each day.

rjespicer

Post   » Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:11 pm


Feeling a little more positive today as there was some noticeable improvement in Nala's level of activity last night. I also managed to eat and get some sleep. The vet talking about having to Euthanize her if we didn't get the ultrasound earlier on in the week put me in a bit of a funk.

She was sleeping by the hay pile when I got home but once meds and feeding were done I opened up the pen for floor time and she was quite a bit more active she came out straight away and was trotting round exploring and even had a bit of a sprint and popcorn at one point. I got some video of her breathing as well which seemed to be a little easier. I occasionally hear a bit of clicking but what I thought was clicking at one point was her chattering her teeth at me, the clicking isn't there all the time though. Haven't heard her cough for a while either.
Still getting 1.5 Tablespoons of critical care in to her each day and her weight is still holding stable, 781 yesterday and 771 the day before at the usual weighing time

Here are a couple of videos that show her breathing, there is a bit of background noise in one of them but as I said there is very little noticeable breathing noise. *edit# Ok no audio on the video using Imgur. Will see if I can load them elsewhere

https://imgur.com/1Q4wnaJ

https://imgur.com/wi8rfKR

Here are a couple of clips of her out during floor time. Unfortunately I wasn't fast enough with the camera to catch her sprinting and popcorning. But they give you a bit of an idea of her level of activity.

https://imgur.com/nfXByjG

https://imgur.com/iwv3QUI

This is what she was like at the end of July. This is what I was talking about regarding her being the more active of the 3

https://imgur.com/v12ZZJv


Hadn't seen the piggy train for some weeks but it was back last night for a while

Image

Still waiting to hear from the vet about the specialists take on the X-Ray. I hope she isn't going to push the euthanasia route again as Nala just doesn't look or act like a piggy that's ready to check out.

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