I think the obesity is part of her pain problem, too. She is 1100 grams in a 900 gram frame. The weight on her rear is probably aggravating the arthritis in her back and hips. I set her down on the counter and elevated her rear end a bit, and she blinked slowly a few times--her subtle sign that she likes something.
The vet thinks that Meg is totally blind (she has no PLR) and that may be why she is so afraid when out of the cage. She must know me by scent, because when I reached out to pet her during the exam she tried to run to me and crawl up my sleeve. This explains why she does that weird thing with her head -- she is always raising it up and tilting it at an angle when she is in a strange place, probably trying to smell and hear familiar things.
The vet was very thorough and knowledgeable. The first thing that she asked me was whether or not I was feeding the appropriate hay. She had never seen this condition in guinea pigs firsthand, only in books (they only see about 6 guinea pigs per year). So she finds this case very interesting and wants to investigate the cause from 3 separate angles.
First, they are doing an ultrasound on her eyes early tomorrow morning. I didn't even know that you could ultrasound the eyes. This is to look for any soft tissue problems that may be pushing the left eye out, such as tumors.
She also wants to evaluate Meg's diet for deficiencies. So I have to get the vitamin and mineral content of her veggies to bring tomorrow. She thought it was possible that the restricted diet was deficient in some way.
Then, I am supposed to take Meg for dental x rays, which may not be possible. We might have to settle for skulls rads. This is to rule out elongated roots, which could push the eye out, or I guess an infected tooth root can cause inflammation in the eye/nasal area.
The exam and eye drops were only $129 and they are doing the ultrasound at no charge. I think this is because I do rescue and also they find Meg's case interesting.
She has a roommate, Madison (Charandmin's pig with the head tilt). I gave Madison a bath today after which Meg was following her around very curiously. I think Meg suspected that there was a new pig in the cage.
Then they did this test (whose name I cannot recall) that measures activity on the retina. They had to put contact lenses on her to do the test, isn't that wild? This is to confirm her blindness. Their preliminary findings are that she does not have any retinal activity. They are going to give me a report tomorrow.
Now here is the thing I am not sure about. The eye doctor called an animal dentist who also works in the same business park (it is all pet specialists and an ER). This vet said that he could take dental x rays, but they want to sedate her by injection. I'm not too keen on this idea. They don't have an ISO chamber so they would have to mask her. The eye doctor says that the equipment they have for ISO is too big for Meg. Also, the vet is pregnant so she doesn't want to expose herself to the gas.
It seems a bit risky to me to have two non-exotics vets sedate a 5+ year old pig by injection. If something happened to her I would never forgive myself. However, my vet is not capable of doing dental x rays.
- Little Jo Wheek
I would see if someone else could do the rads. There has got to be a better way.
Is Meg very wiggly? Do they have digital dental x-rays? If they have the digital equipment (we do, but don't tx exotics), it might be feasible to do them without anesthesia or even with giving her some narcotics (buprenorphine or butorphanol) for sedation. Some pigs will be too wiggly, though. If they do "old school" radiography, she would most likely have to be anesthetized since they have to stick dental film in her mouth--not very comfy.
Whereas the Web Dictionary said that metaplasia is defined by "conversion of one kind of tissue into a form that is not normal for that tissue."
Sounds the same to me. My camera isn't good enough to photograph it, but maybe Pigglies will on Saturday. It's really beyond the usual age effects you see in guinea pig eyes.
Yes, the dental x rays are done by digital imaging. I wish my vet had this capability. But he can do skull x rays and we have seen elongated roots on these. I think I will tell this vet thank you, but no. Meg is very stoic so wriggling wouldn't be too much of a problem; but I'm not even comfortable with them administering narcotics. She is far too precious to me.
The hair is greasy because of ointment. Whatever this is, it is rapidly progressing. And she still looks as if she is not feeling well and listing somewhat to the side, only when she is lying down but upright. She is eating and maintaining her weight (unfortunately) but her eye is looking worse every day.
- Little Jo Wheek
I've searched and searched. I'll try posting on VSPN (the non-DVM companion site to VIN).
It looks like figure 39-7 on page 426 in the new Quesenberry and Carpenter book - Ferrets, Rabbits and Rodents Clinical Medicine and Surgery - 2nd Edition. It is identified as:
"Osseous metaplasia of the mesectodermal trabecular meshwork in a guinea pig. White opaque material is present in the iridocorneal angle. (From Brown C, Donnely T: What's your diagnosis? Heterotropic bone in the eyes of a guinea pig, Lab Anim 2002; 31:23-25.)"