Eye Discharge, Localized Hair Loss, and Antibiotic Treatment

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Mon Apr 11, 2005 5:29 pm


The heavier pigs likely have more heart problems the same way heavier people do. It may also be related in other ways -- if there are heart problems, they move less and gain more weight.

pinta

Post   » Mon Apr 11, 2005 5:49 pm


The heavier pigs likely have more heart problems the same way heavier people do.

Not in my experience. Beachez is my only current heart pig who was large. Dom, Apatche, and Isabel were never heavyweights. I struggle to keep them at 2 pounds+.

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Ketus15
Love is a Guinea Pig

Post   » Mon Apr 11, 2005 5:56 pm


Thank you for your advice. I've been rather encouraged reading here about "heart pigs". It seems with proper treatment, they can live a good life, even if it is shortened. Congestive heart failure seems such a tragic, hurtful end, though. God Bless all of these people who have devoted months to the care of comfort of sick creatures. I hope Deuces' end is far away. At 3 years, we thought they were getting old, now we know that they should have a lot of life ahead.

It is still in my prayers that this is a tough URI and a change in antibiotics will clear him up. And both pigs now have a large cage and good diet, I want their lives to be as healthy as possible. His appetite is still so great that I know he doesn't want to be sick.

Avian and Exotics said they should be able to do x-rays the same day if they are called for. Hopefully we'll know soon how to best care for Deuce.

Ivermectin is on the way. He's still not itching or flaking, but I think if stress can cause a relapse of mites, then he's definately had his share of stress. I ordered from Valley Vet, thank you for the recommendation.

I appreciate everyone's help, and I'm glad you're here for me, Deuce, and everyone here with need. Thank you.

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snowflakey
E's Moriarity

Post   » Mon Apr 11, 2005 6:11 pm


The thing about a heart diagnosis is that it seems so scary, but actually I think that knowing you have a regimen of meds for your pig can be encouraging. So rather than always fighting off URI's with more and more AB's, the heart treatment seems to keep them from happening so much. Naturally I wouldn't want to get that particular news, but if it came along with other worrying symptoms I would be relieved to have something positive to do.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Mon Apr 11, 2005 8:15 pm


Pinta, there are a variety of different heart conditions. I'm still betting inactivity and overweightness may be a risk factor for some kinds of heart problems though it would appear not the kind you have encountered. I wish I understood more about the science behind it so I had more to say.

dribble

Post   » Mon Apr 11, 2005 10:41 pm


I would encourage you to get the xray now rather than wait for an emergency. I got my Rudy xrayed last week when he had a second bout of weird breathing. Because of his pea eye I asked for an xray and sure enough, he has an enlarged heart. He's on enalapril for life now (not a big expense and it's easy to administer). Perhaps his weird breathing is a result of heart issues, or maybe it really is an infection -- we're treating Rudy for both just in case.

Xrays are expensive ($90 for two films) but, hey, it's cheaper than an emergency visit and a whole lot better for Rudy.

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Ketus15
Love is a Guinea Pig

Post   » Mon Apr 11, 2005 11:20 pm


The new vet's office did estimate $91 for two views. That's refreshing to hear I'm not about to get ripped off twice in one month. That will be on Wednesday. I'm nervous I might have to fight to get the x-ray. I'm also nervous this vet will also push for blood work. It just seems so expensive and traumatic to search for a non-specific problem.

I'm glad that the mite treatment is so reasonable ordered online and self-administered. It makes it much easier to afford the x-ray. My Fiance and I have already agreed to go into debt for the guinea pigs, but it hasn't been necessary this far.

Thanks for the good news about heart trouble. If it has to be something serious, I hope its something serious and treatable.

dribble

Post   » Tue Apr 12, 2005 5:12 pm


I had a really bad time with a blood draw last time. My pig's blood kept coagulating before they could draw it. It went on and on and the pig was totally stressed out, as were the vet techs. They only got enough for one set of tests. Fortunately they were only pre-op tests and we went ahead and spayed her anyway.

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Ketus15
Love is a Guinea Pig

Post   » Wed Apr 13, 2005 1:49 am


I was reading on the info pages about drawing from an over clipped nail. Has anyone had any success with this? (I think Josephine was quoted as liking that technique.)

Pinta,
Do your heart pigs have blood drawn for kidney function before going on the medication? Is this a routine check while on the medication?

I'm trying to prepare myself as best as possible for the vet visit tomorrow. I've printed all the information about Enalapril, Lasix, Doxycycline. I also have a well prepared illness history and his recent weights.

So just to clarify: I want a new eye ointment, a new antibiotic, and full body x-rays to check for an enlarged heart, kidney, or liver.

Do I need anything else?

pinta

Post   » Wed Apr 13, 2005 3:18 am


I was reading on the info pages about drawing from an over clipped nail. Has anyone had any
success with this? (I think Josephine was quoted as liking that technique.)


Yes, this is the way we try to get blood first, If we can't get enough from the toenail, we try for as vein.

Pinta, Do your heart pigs have blood drawn for kidney function before going on the medication? Is this a routine check while on the medication?

No. We tried to get blood from Dom for a blood panel but couldn't get enough. An xray showed kidney problems and the vet could palpate them as well. We did get blood from Bliss for a panel but hers was mostly as a diagnostic because of inexplicable weight loss.

If we suspected kidney issues, we would probably try to do a blood panel or just make sure daily subcues were done to compensate for heart meds. Apatche who is almost 6 and has been on heart meds (lasix and fortekor) for well over a year has been taken off Rimadyl due to suspected kidney issues(not from the rimadyl but from age). He can't keep his weight on and it's a fair assumption that he would have age related kidney problems. He has to stay on heart meds because he has had 2 episodes of heart failure. He now gets twice daily subcues to compensate for possibly failing kidneys.

It's a judgement call as to whether we do a blood panel before putting on heart meds. If the symptoms are overwhelmingly heart related and there is no hint of kidney issues, we don't bother doing a blood panel.

Fortekor is a newer, safer version of Enacard and is now available in the States but probably not in common usage yet.

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Ketus15
Love is a Guinea Pig

Post   » Wed Apr 13, 2005 11:41 am


Thanks so much. Here we go!

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Ketus15
Love is a Guinea Pig

Post   » Wed Apr 13, 2005 11:18 pm


This is the news from the vet visit. Dr. C. spent 45 minutes with Deuce and I, and I like him very much. This is written as closely as possible to be what the vet said to me. Not in order.

Deuce's symptoms:

Impaction: Probably caused by the recent increase in fresh veggies. Cut back to 1/2 cup per pig per day.

Hair Loss: No sign of mites or lice, but good to treat with Ivermec. He had no problem with me dosing at home. Double checked my dosing information and dilution calculations.

Eyes and Nose: Feels this is secondary, especially since the other pig has not contracted it. I am to continue Bactrim and eye drops at least until bloodwork is back tomorrow.

Body Type: It seems Deuce's skin is 'thickened' on his ventral side only. If you were to draw a line around the sides of his body from nose, to his butt, then back to his nose, the skin on top would be normal, the skin below would be 'thick'. Deuce also has a very thick pad under his chin that the vet described as feeling like a water balloon. When aspirated with a needle, tissue fluid was withdrawn.

Things Deuce did not have today: Any sensitivity to touch. A heart murmur. An x-ray. The vet felt the fluid filled areas would obscure the x-ray.

Possibities, in his order: Allergies, Thyroid/Thymus problem, Cancer, Auto-Immune disorder, Heart Problem

Allergies: All of Deuce's symptoms are on his belly side which contacts the ground. The vet did not hear anything in my description of their cage or my house that could be doing it. He agreed that allergies in guinea pigs are not at all common, but said Deuce is a very unusual guinea pig at this point. Will show up in bloodwork as elevated esonophils.

Thyroid/Thymus: Could be hypothyroidism. He will try and find a way to test for thyroid function with blood and if there are normals. Otherwise, if the bloodwork doesn't give him any clue, he wants to do a skin biopsy to check this. It will cost $248 and include having 3 samples analized at a Zoo and Exotic lab in Sacramento.

Cancer: There could be some sort of tumor under his neck that he can't palpate because of the fluid build-up. If monocytes are elevated in the bloodwork, this will point towards cancer. It can also point towards a viral infection, which he is pretty sure is not the case here.

Auto-Immune Disorder: Overall white blood cell count could point in this direction. He has to look up if this is a diagnosis that's been found in guinea pigs.

Heart Problem: If all else fails, he wants to do an ecocardiogram. He said x-rays will only show him the size of the heart, but this way he'll be able to test the function. It is still on his list, but he doesn't think the heart is the problem because he is such a strong, healthy pig otherwise.

He sedated Deuce with isoflurane and drew blood (this is also when he aspirated his neck). They test in-house, so I'll know by tomorrow. He said that Deuce bled well from a clipped nail, so his blood pressure is good.

Today he sent me home with Lasix. He said to expect a 5% weight loss in the next 2 to 3 days if it works. One option is that if it is hypothyroidism, then relieving the edema could put the concentrations of hormones back at the right level. It could be curative. Another option is that all of the swelling goes down allowing him to palpate the lymph nodes in the neck and check for a growth. Of, the edema could be relieved everywhere except the neck, therefore pointing towards that area as the problem.

So, tomorrow we see if the bloodwork says anything. I'm going to do a search right now on some of the possibilities he presented me with. Poor Deuce. Nothing can be easy for him.

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Ketus15
Love is a Guinea Pig

Post   » Wed Apr 13, 2005 11:23 pm


Also, the vet said to get as much Vitamin C into Deuce as possible. He suggested 100mg a day.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Wed Apr 13, 2005 11:37 pm


It sound like he's competent and has a plan. I hope you get answers that have solutions. Thanks for your detailed post.

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Ketus15
Love is a Guinea Pig

Post   » Wed Apr 13, 2005 11:53 pm


I'm glad the details are helpful. I was again worring that I've lost all control of how much I talk (type).

Tomorrow seems like such a long time to wait for a clue, but such a short time to look up all of this information!

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Ketus15
Love is a Guinea Pig

Post   » Thu Apr 14, 2005 12:24 am


This is a complete off chance shot, but does this make sense:

Parsley: http://botanical.com/site/column_rita/parsley.html
"It has diuretic qualities, flushing the kidneys, helping to stimulate urination when the kidneys are sluggish and acting as a mild laxative."

Parsley was the only veggie they got daily for the past 3 years. I stopped giving it to them about a month ago because I learned how high in calcium it is and it can cause stones.

Is it possible that the parsley was keeping this edema down, and when I cut it out 4 weeks ago, this problem surfaced?

Or, this could just be the desperate result of internet searching.

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Ketus15
Love is a Guinea Pig

Post   » Thu Apr 14, 2005 12:37 am


I'm stewing in my own worries here. Too much thread searching and reading.
Pinta, I hate to ask because of your loss, but does this sound like Rachel?
Thank you.

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Ketus15
Love is a Guinea Pig

Post   » Thu Apr 14, 2005 1:31 am


Evangeline,

I saw a post on another thread where you mentioned thyroid problems and T4. Do you know the norms for this blood test? I'd like to ask my vet to test for it if he still has the sample tomorrow.

Thank you.

pinta

Post   » Thu Apr 14, 2005 1:37 am


Yes. I was thinking this sounded like Rachel. In her case it was kidneys.

I doubt parsley alone could have headed this off but if he has no stones, it probably wouldn't really hurt to give him some.

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Ketus15
Love is a Guinea Pig

Post   » Thu Apr 14, 2005 1:41 am


He's getting Lasix starting today. He's had one dose so far, and has lost 10 grams since 11am. He also looks less puffy.

Is this weight loss normal?

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