Limping piggy with diahrea


Post   » Fri Jan 25, 2002 9:49 am

Hi! We have a young pig (young to me-about 5 mos. old maybe) with diahrea. I have been treating her with "DriTail" (Neomycin). She is still moving around, cooing and eating and drinking.

The diahrea is greenish, messy and smells bad. I am going to get her some LactoBaccillus today. I think I have it pretty much under control and she seems hydrated. We had been feeding her a seed-type-hamster feed and have switched to the pellets but she HATES it!

She has developed a limp or rather just not using her back right leg. I don´t feel any fractures and there are no bones sticking out. Should I splint her?

She does not appear sick otherwise, except she is a bit thin. I have not weighed her yet.

She is just such a dolly-baby and I hate to see her like this. She will lay in my arms like a baby and go to sleep when I rock her. She is so loving.



Post   » Fri Jan 25, 2002 9:59 am

Diarrhea in cavies is serious -- they do not get wettail. She needs to be seen by a vet.

What does she eat if she´s not eating the pellets? Does she have hay? Normally Timothy hay is preferred over alfalfa, but since you recently switched her diet to guinea pig pellets, she may need the extra calcium.

The limping/not using leg could also be from poor nutrition. What pellets are you using now?

Do you have tablets or liquid C from the health food store? She most likely will benefit from added vitamin C right now. I´d recommend getting vitamin C for her. Give via syringe with liquid C or cut down a tablet -- 50-100mg per day while she´s ill.

If the limping is scruvy related improvement should be noted in 5-7 days of vitamin C supplementation. Does she eat vegetables? Wet them down well to keep her hydrated if she´s not drinking.

Looking for more info for you on the stools, but honestly , if this is something that´s been going on, more than a few hours --- she needs to be seen by a cavy vet.

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Post   » Fri Jan 25, 2002 10:05 am

Yes, absolutely. You must see a vet. It sounds like it is an intestinal bacteria that will not go away without appropriate treatment. Wasn´t there a post earlier on diarrhea? Try a search on this forum but DO NOT WAIT. This is very serious. (I have to go in to town -- maybe someone else could look up the thread here or on the ezboard forum and add a link here -- don´t remember where)

Here -- I found it, not quite what I was looking for but please, do see av vet right away. ... e9f42a6fd0ba
Last edited by Lynx on Fri Jan 25, 2002 10:07 am, edited 1 time in total.


Post   » Fri Jan 25, 2002 10:07 am

From Pinta on this thread:

If the diarrhea has been going on for that long, I would consider having a sample cultured. Giardia(sp?), a waterborne parasite, causes diarrhea. It is picked up from contaminated water supplies. Unwashed lettuce could carry it. There are other parasites that can cause diarrhea too. Flagyl is the standard treatment for Giardia. (I believe it is an antibiotic.) We will often give Flagyl for extreme diarrhea without doing a culture, mostly because we can´t afford the time delay. And unfortunately, cultures can be hit and miss with Giardia, as I remember it. (I think it could take a few samples to find the parasite, not unlike diagnosis of mites taking several skin scrapings). It was a long time ago that we had our giardia outbreak, so I´m going by memory here.

Diarrhea can cause dehydration. A hydration subcue treatment can be very helpful. Unflavoured pedialyte is recommended for syringing

The info below is from Tex Green, Guinea Pigs Online. It was in regards to a different pig but the
info might be useful. People are free to contact him, if they need clarification or
have more questions

Get your
piggie to an experienced exotics vet as soon as you can! Diarrhea can be
fatal if it is not diagnosed and treated properly.

What form is the diarrhea taking? Is it just soft droppings, a watery mess,
or a black, foul-smelling watery mess? If it is the last, you need to get
her to a vet *immediately*, as it indicates a very serious intestinal
problem (it can be caused by a number of things: antibiotics, eating
spoiled [moldy] hay or vegetables).

If it is a milder case of diarrhea, and you piggie is still eating,
withhold all greens, and give plenty of hay. In addition, an electrolyte
replacer such as Pedialyte given by dropper can help (Gatorade can be used
as well; the sugar is not good for her, but you need to get fluids into
her). There is some kind of imbalance in her intestinal system; the
beneficial bacteria have been disrupted. Acidophillus powder (found in
health food stores) or a cc of yogurt (with "live cultures") should be
given to help the digestive tract. There is also a product called
"Bene-bac" that I have used with some success (it´s available in larger pet
stores, at the vet and at some online pet supply vendors). The best thing
to use is a crushed-up dropping or two from a healthy piggie. Yes, it
sounds gross, but it is natural for guinea pigs. Guinea pigs re-ingest
certain droppings (called "coprophagy") to keep their digestive systems
healthy, as well as gain some nutrients that are produced in the cecum.
Although a "plain" dropping is not what a piggie would normally ingest, it
is certainly better than what the sick piggie has available.

What I normally do for a piggie with diarrhea is make a "mash mix", using a
dollop of yogurt, a crushed dropping, some powdered food pellets and enough
Pedilyte to make it into a mash that can be drawn into an oral syringe.
(The total amount should only be about 5cc or so, as they usually don´t
like the taste of it). If you can get your vet to approve the use of
Oxbow´s Critical Care formula (have him call 1-800-249-0366), mix the
powder with some Pedialyte and either crushed dropping or Acidophillus
powder, and administer by syringe. The Critical Care is quite tasty; every
piggie I´ve had to use it with loves it (a much better time is had by
all!). Do this at least three times a day (along with regular food and
water), and try and get water or Pedialyte into her as often as possible.

The suggestions I´ve made should only be undertaken after you´ve spoken
with a competent vet; they are not "in place of" a vet visit.

Please e-mail me any time if you have questions or concerns, and keep us
updated on your piggie´s progress.


More info -- still see a vet first, but this is something you can do in addition to what the vet says. NO PENICILLIN from the vet; it´s toxic to cavies.

Pinta: Do you have another pig? The best way to replace the healthy flora is by giving him a poop from a healthy pig. Mash up in water and syringe down.

** Nature has a better way! Poop from a healthy guinea pig is the best probiotic ever! I take one "pellet" and mix it with water and feed it by syringe. It sounds nasty but it has saved more pigs than I can count. Any time I have a pig with any sort of intestinal upset I do this. It is known as "re-seeding the gut flora". There are other names for it too. The beauty of it is that the poop has a special chemical in it that keeps it from being digested in the stomach so it makes it down to the colon, where the problem occurs. - Sharlene Scheffer (sp?) RVT

You can´t go wrong with Critical Care and the acidophilus can´t hurt but a poop would be optimum.
Last edited by imanut4u on Fri Jan 25, 2002 10:12 am, edited 1 time in total.


Post   » Fri Jan 25, 2002 10:14 am

She does have a ready supply of Timmothy Hay. She eats small amounts of banana and I have been syringing her fluids. I will try to make an appointment with our local vet ASAP. We do have Vitamin C. I never thought about that. Thank you so much.


Post   » Fri Jan 25, 2002 10:19 am

Timothy is good, since she is getting used to pellets, maybe offering alfalfa while she´s ill & recovering will help.

Good luck to you both.


Post   » Fri Jan 25, 2002 10:21 am

She weighs about 3/4 of a lb. and is taking the vitamin C from me slowly. Poor little pig baby. Paula


Post   » Fri Jan 25, 2002 10:26 am

She´s tiny! Maybe stick with the lower C dose then -- though she will pee out what she doesn´t need.

Hopefully changing her diet will help too. With her being so small I would get the alfalfa -- she can only benefit from the calcium, at least for awhile.

GP Lover
My home, ruled by pigs!

Post   » Fri Jan 25, 2002 11:27 am

I would definitely stop feeding her the seed-type hamster food.

I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Fri Jan 25, 2002 10:30 pm

Well, get her some high quality guinea pig pellets for sure. What kind did you get? Some are not much more nutritious than the hamster seeds. She needs extra calcium and c, like noted above. You can get some Calcium lactate from most larger health food stores. If she is not using her back legs, she most likely has calcium and c deficiencies. But this has to be done ASAP. I get the 100 mg chewable raspberry vitamin c, crush one half in a mortar and pestle if you have one. I love mine. Anyway, then open a 100 mg capsule of the calcium lactate and mix about 1/3-1/2 of that into the crushed 50 mg of C. Mix in about 1 cc of water, and syringe that down her once per day.

She has to have unlimited hay. Romaine, cilantro, parsley, apple and a one inch chunk of carrot daily. These veggies are critical for giving her the proper nutrition. Not sure where you are located, but try and find some fresh clean grass. Pigs love it and it´s great for them.
But the first thing you have to do is stop the diarrhea. It can kill her in a hurry. So follow the advice from Imanut, Lynx and Pinta, and get to a vet .


Post   » Sat Jan 26, 2002 5:54 pm

3/4 of a pound? There is no way she´s 5 months old. I´d say 6 weeks at the most. Have you had her for long?

Hamster seeds? Yikes!!!


Post   » Sat Jan 26, 2002 8:35 pm

Therapeutic dose of C is 50-100mg/kg daily.

Little Jo Wheek

Post   » Sat Jan 26, 2002 10:49 pm

I didn´t see anyone mention the neomycin directly. I would certainly take notice of much of the good advice above, and also discontinue the neomycin. That is a potentially fatal drug for cavies and even hamsters! Often those things marketed in pet stores are not worth your money and a few, like neomycin and cedar shavings, can be toxic.

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Post   » Sun Jan 27, 2002 12:33 am

I´m glad you noticed there was a problem -- all the more reason to have as many eyes on the med forums as possible.

I wonder how her pet is doing and if she went to see a vet.
Last edited by Lynx on Sun Jan 27, 2002 12:35 am, edited 1 time in total.


Post   » Sun Jan 27, 2002 5:58 am

I was suspicious of it but noted both my GP med books had dosages for it(one in a table) and so does Squeak´s page(listed for diarrhea).

I was hoping by now the pig was in the hands of a good vet but if there is a problem with Neomycin(like there is for Griseofulvin) then Squeak´s page should be alerted.

It´s never been used on our pigs. For future reference, what exactly is the problem with it?

Little Jo Wheek

Post   » Sun Jan 27, 2002 10:28 am

Neomycin can cause the same problems with bacterial overgrowth as some of the unsafe antibiotics. I also don´t trust terramycin/tetracyclines in general since I have had many animals have reactions to them (way back when I didn´t know better). Tetracycline should be used with caution and only under the strict supervision of a vet when it is warranted (e.g. a culture where it is the only sensitive cavy quasi-safe drug).

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Post   » Mon Jan 28, 2002 9:06 am

It´s possible the pig is a runt. I have a runt, she´s going to be three in Jan and she weighed .8 lbs last time she was weighed. She´s a tiny, tiny thing, esp. next to her mom and sisters who weigh close to 2 lbs.


Post   » Mon Jan 28, 2002 10:03 pm

I am sorry to report that our "Cinnamon" passed away on Saturday. She took her last breath in my hands. I think I cried a river. We tried everything but there was just no saving her. I really can´t talk about this anymore. I am just very sad. I wanted to let you know and thank you for all of your kind advice. I know she must be running free in the grass in heaven now. Rest in peace little one. Paula

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Post   » Mon Jan 28, 2002 10:10 pm

I´m sorry to hear about Cinnamon - but do be happy that you could be there with her.

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Post   » Mon Jan 28, 2002 10:36 pm

I´m so sorry you lost her. It sounds like she was loved.

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