Bonnie - ovarian cyst w/ no symptoms

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puffin

Post   » Tue Feb 01, 2022 10:06 pm


Thank you Sef! I hope we learn something that can help.
Yes, Dr Thielen is at that clinic. She isn’t Bonnie’s doctor (we saw Dr Antinoff, who was awesome). When I was reading more about the clinic, I saw that Dr T was a bit of a celebrity. I had no idea!

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Tue Feb 01, 2022 11:46 pm


Sending good thoughts here too! Your vet seems to have been so thorough in pursuing answers. I too hope you find something helpful on the CT scan.

I don't know if this would be an option, but if she does lose the ability to get around but is otherwise healthy, some people have experimented with a rolling aid to help their guinea pig. This is Pinta's guinea pig Roxy from some years back. Much more info on the link below:

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viewtopic.php?f=3&t=15475

User avatar
puffin

Post   » Wed Feb 02, 2022 10:58 am


Hi Lynx - Thank you for sharing that thread! I found it last night on my phone but wasn't sure I could find again. I think Bonnie would do great with something like this. She has determination to move around right now. I especially like that the procedure to assemble called for martinis!

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Wed Feb 02, 2022 8:51 pm


No kidding! Pinta is one creative and smart cookie! She does not post in the med forum these days (unless we beg her) but stops by in general chat on occasion.

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puffin

Post   » Mon Feb 07, 2022 4:46 pm


An update on Bonnie. We got her CT results back today (there was a delay because of snow closures). Unfortunately, no big smoking guns. Of note:
1. They did see the cystic ovaries which are about 1.2 cm in size. The dr is going to compare this measurement to when we had an ultrasound done last year to see if they have grown, but she did not feel that the size was significant enough to be causing the paralysis. She did mention spaying (she wasn't pushing it) and that they use a technique with three smaller incisions versus one large one that is supposed to be less risky.
2. Some bladder sludge and possibly something stuck to the bladder wall (I forget the exact wording). We are going to do a bladder flush on Wednesday. I think because Bonnie cannot move around as much/as well and is drinking less, that might be causing the sludge. We continue to generally follow Becky's stones diet and aren't doing pellets. Bonnie gets an Oxbow joint support biscuit. Dr did not think this was contributing to the leg issues.
3. A mass (I think that is the word she used) on the liver that is benign. This just seemed like an observation rather than something to act on.
4. Finally, a narrowing of the spinal column (I forget which vertebrae). She said this could be just bad genetics or caused by an injury. This seems like the obvious contributor to the paralysis.

Regarding the spinal issue - she is going to consult the surgeon there but felt in her experience spinal surgery would be a last resort if the pig is otherwise happy and functioning. She is also going to find out whether a wheel chair would be okay for Bonnie. I don't want to have her body in a position that would exacerbate pain etc. I ordered all of the ingredients Pinta provided (I already had vodka on hand) to try. I also ended up ordering this: https://www.sporadicat.com/products/wheelchair-guineapig (not sure if links are ok) to see if that could work as well. We may try gabapentin (I have mixed feelings about this, having been on its cousin Lyrica myself which had more side effects than benefits). She also is going to consult on PT and acupuncture to see if that is something we could try.

I guess it's good they didn't see anything horribly wrong, but it is also not very satisfying that it seems there is little we can do. Bonnie remains in good spirits and scoots over to beg for treats and scoots away when she doesn't want to be picked up, so she still has a lot of spunk in her!

User avatar
Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Mon Feb 07, 2022 8:47 pm


[I had to laugh when you said you already had vodka on hand!]

That product looks interesting. Perhaps you can write Pinta to find out if her wheels were left on for a longer period of time. The impression I had was that, with a well designed cage and flat area to roll on (fleece, it would seem), a guinea pig could use it for a longer period of time. I wonder about their concerns, using it only with supervision. My guess is you would not want to have your guinea pig trapped or flipped over and unable to get to food and water.

Hopefully you can find something that she would enjoy using.

The mass on the liver is worrying to me. Depending on what it is pressing on, its size, it may be the primary contributor to her problems. One of my guinea pigs had a spleen tumor that had spread to other organs. She had generalized failure and a necropsy showed what happened.

How is circulation to her feet? I love that she still has lots of spunk in her!!

User avatar
ItsaZoo
Supporter in 2022

Post   » Tue Feb 08, 2022 2:40 am


I hope that little wheelchair helps Bonnie get around better. Did they mention anything about laser therapy? I don’t know if it’s used on Guinea pigs, but our dog has back problems and we tried it a couple of times. It’s supposed to decrease inflammation and increase circulation to help relieve pain and promote healing. Just a thought.

User avatar
Sef
I dissent.

Post   » Tue Feb 08, 2022 6:08 am


Interesting. Any chance that a vitamin C deficiency could be contributing? You mentioned that she isn't on pellets. It's just a thought, but doesn't seem likely if you provide a good selection of veggies higher in C.

That wheelchair does look interesting. We had a little guy who suddenly developed rear leg paralysis and our vet was baffled as to why. We never did get it figured out, but he managed relatively well in a smaller cage. Keeping him clean was the biggest challenge.

Continued good thoughts to you both.

User avatar
Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Tue Feb 08, 2022 8:09 am


By the way, when you reported, " A mass (I think that is the word she used) on the liver that is benign.", how was it determined that it was benign?

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puffin

Post   » Tue Feb 08, 2022 10:01 am


Thank you all for the nice thoughts and good questions to ask when we see the Dr tomorrow. We spoke yesterday about the results via phone but there was so much to take in that I don't think I got all the details right. I will ask more about the liver finding to better understand what they saw (and what "benign" referred to). I will also ask about circulation issues. Her feet feel warm and the vet did some squeeze the toes tests that she responded to.

I had wondered about scurvy and did about a week and a half of increased vitamin C (100 mg for about 5 days and then 75 mg down to 50 mg over the course of a few days, and now she is on 25 mg supplement). Initially it seemed like that was helping a little bit, but when the vet seemed to think it was not related to C, I tapered her back down. Because the vet saw serious arthritis on her knees, I worried about the high dose aggravating it. Maybe I'll do 50 mg for another week just to see.

I'll ask about laser therapy too! I need to compile a list of questions for tomorrow to make sure I cover everything in the time we have.

I was wondering still about calcium deficiency. I feel like I read that lab results for Ca could be normal, but that the body pulls calcium from the bones to make up for a deficiency. Are there other diagnostics to rule this out? I guess I'm still reaching that there is some simple solution - which I know there probably is not.

Lynx - thank you for the beautiful new avatar!

User avatar
Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Tue Feb 08, 2022 2:02 pm


Glad you like the avatar! I do too. My fave pic is the first one, your agouti!

Glad to hear his circulation is good. 25mg/day of vitamin C is what a guinea pig should normally get so I doubt it would do any harm.

With a calcium deficiency (like satins can have), I believe you would see bone loss on an xray.

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puffin

Post   » Wed Mar 09, 2022 10:00 am


I can't believe it has taken me so long to get down to making an update on Bonnie! She is adapting to her new normal and is in good spirits. The thought is that the issue seen on the CT with her spine (T1-2 spinal deviation) is what is likely causing the issue. The finding with her liver was a small cyst (we have repeated blood work and liver function appears normal). We consulted with a spinal surgeon who felt that surgical intervention would be too risky for her given the success rate he had seen in rabbits (had never done this on a GP).

We have her on gabapentin 2x per day and are trying prednisone. I cannot tell that those meds are having any effect though and will discuss at our appointment on Friday.

We also saw a integrative vet last week who is going to be doing cold laser and acupuncture. We had one session and it seemed to go well. I also bought this thing called an Assisi Loop which rests on Bonnie in 15 minute sessions and provides electromagnetic therapy which is supposed to be useful for pain and inflammation. The doctor hasn't worked with GPs before but was very good with Bonnie.

We went through three wheelchair iterations - my first attempt at Pinta's recipe probably didn't have enough vodka! The wheels I got were too heavy and the wheel base too narrow, so Bonnie tipped over. We ordered a 3D printed one that seemed like it would be more promising but also didn't didn't pan. The third one was https://www.etsy.com/listing/1080446734/guinea-pig-wheelchair-the-original and has worked fairly well, although Bonnie seems to do just fine in her area scooting around on her own so we haven't been using the wheelchair much. She moves quick when a treat is in store and equally quick when she wants to get away.

She is eating her cecotropes fine now - I think she just needed to adjust to how to do it. The biggest issue right now is keeping her clean. She pees and then I think will sit in it (we have several layers of fleece). I am rinsing her undercarriage daily and have some Burts Bees baby soap I use to wash her fur. I noticed the other day her urine was a little smelly (not sure how to describe the odor other than when I go downtown and catch a whiff of a corner where there has been stale human pee). I am going to ask for a test on Friday to rule out a UTI.

Other pigs are doing ok thankfully. They seem to have a system where one at a time is sick I guess!

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Wed Mar 09, 2022 10:11 am


Several layers of fleece may be part of your problem. Fleece works when it's in contact with an absorbent layer that pulls the liquid through, and multiple layers hinder that process. You could make several pads that would be more easily managed than changing the whole cage.

User avatar
Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Wed Mar 09, 2022 10:16 am


Thanks for the update! I encourage you to clip off hair in her nether regions as it may encourage bacterial growth and the smell you notice. So the source of odor could be a possible UTI (which you are going to rule out) or the dampness/wetness of her butt. If butt hairs, I expect addressing this to be also important since it could in turn trigger a UTI if she doesn't have one.

So is the cart used only intermittently? It appears it would get her off the ground if she has it on frequently. Look this over too, maybe you could use something like this for her to lie on and have fleece underneath to catch the pee.
http://www.guinealynx.info/bedding_other.html#tiles

I would love to add pictures of this item that you have taken, in use and by itself (I don't want to copy pics from Etsy). If you can take any, you could send them here:

Image

User avatar
puffin

Post   » Wed Mar 09, 2022 1:06 pm


Thank you both for the hints about the fleece and fur care! I have ordered some cage liners that have the uhaul bit in the center to put on the floor but it sounds like i need to layer the fleece with it as well to be more absorbing. I was focused on making the area as soft as possible for her to scoot her body around on (and i have a tiny washer and dryer so also easier to launder) but need to modify.

She moves around in the wheelchair but I can't tell if she enjoys it or not - I'm going to bring it to get the vets opinion on whether it is a good fit (it seems to be) but I don't want her hips or front legs getting messed up due to the configuration of where she sits when she's on it. I will take some pics for you to post :)

Any recommendations on better shampoos for cleaning her off? She seems to do fine with the burts bees baby but if there is a better option. I am thinking the smell is more her the pee itself after a sniff test today. I'll ask the vet for a lesson on fur trimming too around her backside.

User avatar
puffin

Post   » Sat Mar 12, 2022 10:44 am


Had our follow up at the vet yesterday. We’re going to taper the prednisone since no improvement to mobility has happened.

The vet couldn’t get a urine sample and recommended we just go ahead and do a course of SMZ to be safe given the smell, her mobility, and the steroid use. We don’t live close so I think she was trying to save me from having to come back for another visit.

I’m a little worried to start it after what we went through with Marmot losing her appetite from the marbofloxacin. I know the SMZ is a different med that is better tolerated. I relayed the experience to vet and she thought it unlikely to happen with Bonnie. I’m still on the fence this morning. I have her some probiotics though to get her ready for her first dose if I muster up the courage to give it!

Bonnie showed off her wheelchair and the vet loved it. I sent you some pics, Lynx. Bonnie may also be featured on the vets Facebook page!

User avatar
Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Sat Mar 12, 2022 11:14 am


Love the pics! Will add them in a little bit.

I would definitely go with the SMZ. It is rare guinea pigs do not tolerate it.

User avatar
Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Sat Mar 12, 2022 11:23 am


Here you go. She looks so comfortable using this cart!

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User avatar
Sef
I dissent.

Post   » Sat Mar 12, 2022 1:49 pm


Great photos! I don't know if this would help or not, but our Sammy was paralyzed as well, and I ended up having to switch him from fleece to Carefresh because he would stay in certain areas of the cage for too long and I couldn't change out the fleece and towels fast enough to keep it from getting wet. The Carefresh was a little harder for him to pull himself through, though, so it was a bit of a trade-off. It's just a thought.

Bonnie looks very bright-eyed and eager to go exploring! :)

User avatar
puffin

Post   » Mon Mar 14, 2022 11:21 am


Thank you all again for the tips! I have noticed Bonnie hanging out in her hay box (lined with Carefresh) to sleep a little more. The rest of her zone is essentially just the floor of the house that is stacked with fleece/rugs/etc. so it would be hard to do much more with carefresh, but I could add some additional hay boxes (which I've modified so that one side is basically floor level) and cover them so they could be more enticing for resting.

Here feet are getting a little dry from the butt baths - it seems like some high quality coconut oil would be suitable for moisturizing?

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