GI Upset

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rshevin

Post   » Sun Aug 27, 2006 9:24 pm


This is my first time posting a question about my pig although I've been responding to posts for a while.

I have an adult male (approx 4 yr, 1.4 kg) short-hair with occasional GI troubles which have recurred tonight. Symptoms over the past few days were simply misshapen poos. They had a "squeezed" quality to the tail end. Initially I treated with a perianal sack wash and watched the condition.

Over the past hour he has started to look somewhat tired and lethargic and his poos have nearly stopped. Earlier tonight they began to become soft and green but thankfully still solid. I have given 0.1mL simethicone PO as he's had gas issues in the past with no success as well as 1mL water. He'll energetically eat veggies but doesn't seem very interested in anything else although I do hear him drinking behind me as I type. I can palpate some kind of mass in his abdomen, right side, midway between his ribs and his hips as I was massaging his belly to relieve any possible gas. The mass isn't sensitive to him although he wasn't pleased with the massage overall. No weight loss (digital scale).

I'd welcome any advice and recommendations. I have critical care in the freezer (it's open and old but dry and has been stored there since opening to stay fresher) and some babyfood carrots in the emergency box. I don't have any pedialyte but could probably find an open drug store if I drove around town. The fridge has red/orange peppers, parsley, celery, a pear and grapes (mine).

I know catching things early to prevent an emergency is crucial to pig health. My vet is supposed to be very cavy savvy but I've never been dreadfully comfortable there (long story). Of course I'd love it if he could get better with home treatment but we can see the vet in the morning if necessary.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

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sus4rabbitsnpigs

Post   » Sun Aug 27, 2006 9:31 pm


I would take him to the vet and get an x-ray. If there is a mass in there, he could be blocked esp. if the simethicone isn't helping. It's dangerous to forcefeed if there is a blockage.

Is he eating any hay or pellets?

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sun Aug 27, 2006 9:32 pm


The soft green ones are his special poos he should be reingesting. Is he eating hay? Are you weighing regularly? The poos you describe with the tails could be a combination of not eating enough and dehydration. Have you ever had an xray done to check for stones?

If you suspect a blockage you need a vet. If something is getting through, you could start hand feeding.

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rshevin

Post   » Sun Aug 27, 2006 9:36 pm


Wow you guys are fast. I had hardly typed a thank you to sus when my mail chimed again. He just started eating hay. I think I'm going to put some towels down over his carefresh so I can monitor "output" over the night easily. I do weigh him regularly and am weighing tonight. I just panic so quickly with him because when I first adopted him, he had a severe GI reaction to antibiotics (vet didn't tell me to do probiotics, what did I know). Gosh I appreciate the advice so much! I won't start handfeeding until I'm POSITIVE something is getting through.

He's never been xrayed but is on a reduced Ca diet due to my suspecting sludge so it would be a really good idea. I'll call about it for sure.

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rshevin

Post   » Sun Aug 27, 2006 10:03 pm


10pm - 3 perfectly normal poos.... and a huge sigh of relief from mom. I'm staying up to monitor him tonight you can guarentee. Still VERY open to advice and suggestion. I'm going to get an x-ray but not emergency probably. Phew!

Also, what is the dose schedule for simethicone? He'll probably need a few more doses to settle down his tummy.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sun Aug 27, 2006 10:03 pm


Do make sure food is available to him.

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rshevin

Post   » Sun Aug 27, 2006 11:02 pm


He has pellets and timothy, both Oxbow. Should I try to keep giving him veggies periodically? I'm definately going to keep massaging his belly. I honestly think that helped the most last time he was sick with this.

I can't thank you guys enough.

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Mum
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Sun Aug 27, 2006 11:49 pm


If he has soft poo, I would withhold veggies for 24 hours and reassess.

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rshevin

Post   » Mon Aug 28, 2006 12:37 am


Oh my goodness, Piggy just came to watch TV with me on the sofa and in about 15 minutes he left me THIRTEEN perfectly shaped, dark poos! He still feels gassy to me but now that he's moving things through again, I feel I can at least get a few hours of sleep. It's just so crucial to keep them from getting into stasis. Again thanks for listening to my overreacting tonight. I'd much rather ask now than regret later. It's also just all the more knowledge to add. The more you know the better you can care for them. I'll post an update again in a few hours for the GL expertise but I'm hoping all is well.

I'd also like to note for my record that he's been drinking a lot tonight.

klynne

Post   » Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:52 am


"It's just so crucial to keep them from getting into stasis"

Is your vet familiar with using motility drugs like Reglan and Cisapride?

Of course, he needs an Xray to make sure he's clear first, but these meds can really snap them out of it and make for a much quicker recovery.

Fweeprluvr

Post   » Mon Aug 28, 2006 3:22 am


From the guide:
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Simethicone
"Try 1/2 pediatric dose 2 or 3 times a day."
"I use .15cc, give or take a bit (its 1/2 the low end infant dose), and I use it 2x per day."

Simethicone can relieve mild gas pressure. You must see a vet for severe gas or bloat but it can relieve moderate discomfort.

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rshevin

Post   » Mon Aug 28, 2006 8:53 am


Well, I woke up this morning to a happy, healthy, poopy pig who has no idea why mom is so worried. We're out of the woods but still need that x-ray of course. Weight is still stable. I'll be home at lunchtime to weigh him again and check on everything.

klynne, when I first got piggy about a year and a half ago, he went into stasis from an antibiotic. The vet gave him an injection of a motility drug as well as something for home but I no longer remember what they were. All I really recall is after 2 days of the motility drugs, he still wasn't pooping and a single dose of simethicone fixed him up literally in minutes. That's why I have trouble trusting my vet (he was given the AB even though he was NOT sick, against my better judgement). I have no idea why it helped, because obviously that isn't how it works at all, but it did then and it did last night as well and since it's a pretty safe medicine, it's my first defense.

Fweep, thanks for that information.

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rshevin

Post   » Mon Aug 28, 2006 6:42 pm


Well, Piggy was doing so much better last night and this morning but when I came home for lunch, he hadn't pooped and felt very gassy. Fearing bloat, we went ahead to the vet. She felt lots of gas and went ahead and took an x-ray to check for a blockage and also for urinary stones.

The images showed a lot of gas and that was it. No blockage, no stones. So we have 0.15mL cisapride (sp) BID and continuing with the simethicone. I hope this helps!

He's still eating very well. I made some thick critical care to help replenish intestional bacteria if necessary. He lapped it up from the spoon. I'm still worried about the little guy though.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Mon Aug 28, 2006 8:41 pm


I am hoping things improve for you too. Is your pig pooping okay?

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rshevin

Post   » Mon Aug 28, 2006 8:49 pm


He pooped a little at the vet but I'm almost out of towels and all out of quarters so I haven't been able to cover as much of his cage as I'd like. He's eating hay and drinking water so that's positive. It's nearly time for his evening medicine. I have absoutely no idea what instigated this episode. I know I'll be worrying for days until I'm positive he's better.

To make matters even worse, a fellow rescuer dropped off my new foster cat and he's skinny and has pink eye. I'm assuming this is transmissible to both me and the pig so am super duper washing up hands every time I leave the cat.

Well, back to pig nursing.

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rshevin

Post   » Wed Aug 30, 2006 10:01 pm


I was hoping to get one more question in before the thread falls down into oblivion.

How long are GI stimulants like cisapride usually given? The vet has suggested 2 weeks but that seems like a long time to me.

klynne

Post   » Thu Aug 31, 2006 4:27 am


Recovery from stasis CAN take weeks. 2 weeks is probably an okay course of meds, as long as you continue to see improvements and no serious side effects, I'd go with the vet's advice.

Stasis recovery is start and stop, keep in mind. You may see a good day, or even two or three, but then bam! right back into it. I'd use the meds and get him really going again, especially since you said he's had this issue in the past.

Oh, and you do know you can "bump" a thread back up once it sinks, just by searching for it, and posting again on it, right?

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rshevin

Post   » Thu Aug 31, 2006 12:51 pm


Thanks klynne. I only worry about longer term medicine use because he can't tell me how it makes him feel and the cisapride was taken off the market for humans. The vet wants to see him back next week so we'll see what they say then. I'll keep him on it until then. Whatever flavor they're using to compound it is a HIT with him that's for sure. I don't even have to pick him up to administer it and can hardly get the syringe back afterwards so at least it doesn't appear stressful.

He's been doing well for 2 days now so I'm encouraged. I'm very lucky I live close enough to check on him at lunch time or he would have been a VERY sick pig. The past 2 days I've come home to a nice pile of "perfect poos," large, dark, moist, and well shapped.

Again, I appreciate all the advice! I definately don't want to pull him off the med too early but nor do I want to give him more than is necessary.

Edit: It was about a year and a half ago that he had this issue before so luckily it doesn't appear chronic. I'm going to ask the vet if there's a way to keep cisapride powder or tablets stable for long periods so I can have at least one dose for emergency in the future.

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rshevin

Post   » Fri Sep 08, 2006 10:24 pm


I went to do the laundry and when I came back in, I found Piggy looking uncomfortable and very gassy. He's passed poos today (they have decreased in the past hour or two) but I am worried as always. He took about 2 teaspoons of thick critical care and carrot mush from the spoon to replenish any missing intestional bacteria and took another dose of simethicone and cisapride.

What, if anything, needs to be changed in the diet/lifestyle of a pig prone to these problems?

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Fri Sep 08, 2006 10:59 pm


Encourage eating as much hay as possible. Other than that, I think you are doing your part. He has to do his part too.

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