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:
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!
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!!
- Supporter in 2022
- I dissent.
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.
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!
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.
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!
- And got the T-shirt
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.
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:
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.
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!
- I dissent.
Bonnie looks very bright-eyed and eager to go exploring! :)
Here feet are getting a little dry from the butt baths - it seems like some high quality coconut oil would be suitable for moisturizing?