Who's your Branni?

Post   » Wed Jan 03, 2007 11:48 am

When does she come home? I wonder if this is his rally.

I hope not but when does your daughter come home again?

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Cindy in MI
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Post   » Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:45 pm

Thanks, guys.

She's home. She got home on Monday. So we made that milestone. I was preparing her for the worst last night before she went to bed. I don't like for my kids to be surprised by these happenings. I like to let them know what's coming, or at least what I think is coming or is likely coming. Then this morning old Roopie is all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

I just fed him again and he is very bright and fairly feisty. Last night "the light and life had gone out of his eyes", if you know what I mean. He just had that " I am giving up." look. Today he is full of life and spunk.

I was wondering that, too, bl. Even if it is, I'd rather see him go out in a blaze of glory than pitiful with barely a whimper. I dunno, maybe I am just being overly dramatic and pessimistic but in the past, my gut feelings haven't been too far off. I hope I am wrong, wrong, wrong this time.

I'll let you know what I find out about the ultrasound when I do.

Get on your bike.

Post   » Wed Jan 03, 2007 1:05 pm

The pitiful with barely a whimper is hard on the person but seems peaceful for the pig. I so hope you have a good outcome with this.

Let Sleeping Pigs Lie

Post   » Wed Jan 03, 2007 1:20 pm

We're still thinking of you and your family, and wishing the best for Rupert.

Who's your Branni?

Post   » Wed Jan 03, 2007 1:21 pm

Who can know! We have been wrong before - right? Right!

If not, he had a good go and is loved beyond his tiny comprehension.

Go Rupert go!!!

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Fossil Barb

Post   » Wed Jan 03, 2007 5:58 pm

Praying for Rupert. Always a glimmer of hope. Good luck.

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Post   » Wed Jan 03, 2007 9:29 pm

Sending good vibes to Rupert.

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Cindy in MI
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Post   » Wed Jan 03, 2007 10:10 pm

Rupert has continued to be spunky today. Yay! He has had that old spark of life back in his eyes.

I talked to the vet this evening. She said the radiologist agreed that the density on the ultrasound looks like a gall stone. The liver looks a little mottled also but that is not indicative of tumors or cancer and at this point doesn't appear to be a concern in view of normal liver bloodwork. She said that if his calcium levels are in fact elevated, that could be a contributing factor to developing a gall stone. She is going to do another calcium bloodwork tomorrow to see if the levels are still elevated like they were before or if that was a fluke. We may need to adjust his diet if he continues to have elevated calcium. Not exactly sure to what since he's on (what I think are low calcium) greens, pellets and hay. I will cross that bridge when we get to it.

In the meantime, she is going to start him on Actigall, an antibiotic different than Batyril (I forget the name), and an antioxidant. Then it's a matter of seeing how well he responds to treatment. She said that there is really nothing that can be done to try to dissolve the stone but rather treat his disease and symptoms to try to make him feel better and keep him going.

I specifically asked if the density was unlikely a tumor. She said there are no guarantees without either a biopsy or going in for it, which I understand, but that both she and the radiologist feel it does have the appearance of a gall stone and not the appearance of a tumor.

To me this is good news. This is better than a diagnosis of tumor. The outcome will depend on how well he responds to medication. She said that surgery would not be much of an option on a guinea pig unless we were facing a last ditch effort scenario. In the meantime I will continue to syringe feed him Critical Care to keep him going and hopefully he will respond to the medication we give him. He needs to start eating on his own because in spite of feeding him 50 ccs - 55 ccs of Critical Care a day, he continues to lose weight.

So at least now we have an idea of what we are working with and what we may be able to do about it. Good news.

It's funny, at dinner tonight I was talking to my husband about Rupert. I know he thinks I am nuts for going the distance I am with Rupert but I explained that because Rupert is a little living and breathing creature, I feel compelled to do all I can reasonably do for him. Husband said he knows that and that Rupert's improved condition between last night and today is all the love I've been giving him. I told him that even though he may think I am nuts for doing this for Rupert, it's something I feel I must do and this kind of approach and ideals just might be to husband's direct benefit when we get to our advanced age and he needs to be taken care of. Husband wasn't too thrilled about the idea of being syringe fed Critical Care.

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I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Wed Jan 03, 2007 10:45 pm

Go Rupert! He is lucky to have you. Keep us posted on how he's doing on the meds.

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Post   » Wed Jan 03, 2007 11:27 pm

Cindy, I know what you mean about how it reflects on future care of any living thing, human too.

I hope your little guinea pig does okay in the months ahead.

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Post   » Thu Jan 04, 2007 12:08 am

Go Rupert! Curiousity (sp?) has me asking what antioxidant she put Rupert on? There is an antioxidant that my vet has me use called DMG and one of the things it's good for is to detoxify the liver. It's made by Vetri-science.

Who's your Branni?

Post   » Thu Jan 04, 2007 8:00 am

Your husband will definitely not like poop soup.


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Fossil Barb

Post   » Thu Jan 04, 2007 10:39 am

Cindy thanks for starting my day off with a laugh. Thankfully I'd swallowed my swig of coffee!

I never thought to use that analogy with Mr. Fossil but will bring it up. (Cruel snicker)

He'll be grateful when I put him on fleece! Go Rupert!

Wheekness for Pigs

Post   » Thu Jan 04, 2007 2:06 pm

Here honey...have a nice hot bowl of poo stew!

4 the Good of all Pigs

Post   » Fri Jan 05, 2007 8:57 am

Ya know Cindy, I get sideways glances from my husband at the amount of time and effort I give for Fuzzy. I know he's thinking I'm nuts but in the back of my mind I was thinking the same thing as you! He'll be happy I'm so nurturing when it's HIS turn!

He hasn't said anything to me so I'm holding that card for when he does!

Go Rupert! You've got a great mommy!

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Supporter 2004-2020

Post   » Fri Jan 05, 2007 9:22 am

in spite of feeding him 50 ccs - 55 ccs of Critical Care a day, he continues to lose weight.
In spite of what the packaging says, my partner and I feel that 50 ccs a day may not be quite enough for full nutrition of an anorexic pig. If you can find the time (which is difficult) try to give him a little more. Keeping them well-fed seems to make a huge difference in their health. (I've heard that one needs MORE food, not less, when ill.) Lucky Rupert having you working so hard for him!

Wheekness for Pigs

Post   » Fri Jan 05, 2007 6:37 pm

I also found that I was able to get more food into my piggie when handfeeding if I fed smaller meals but more frequently than the package suggested. Critical Care seemed to stimulate her appetite, so that the more frequent meals gave her more frequent boosts in order to encourage chewing some hay. Your mileage may vary.

I have a piggie that is on the small side...~900g and she is 4yrs old.

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Cindy in MI
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Post   » Fri Jan 05, 2007 10:24 pm

Rupert has started on meds.

Actigall (ursodiol) - 2.5 mg twice a day (for gall bladder)
Flagyl (metronidazole) - twice a day (antibiotic)
acidophilus - twice a day 1 - 2 hours after antibiotic (probiotic)
Metacam (meloxicam) - once a day (for pain)
Zentonil (S-Adenosylmethionine) (aka SAMe) - 1.5 mg once a day
vitamin C - 100 mg once a day

I just got the Actigall, Flagyl, acidophilus, and Zentonil last evening so he hasn't been on them long. Thus, I've not seen any changes yet.

The Zentonil is the antioxidant he was given. The vet told me the idea is to help the liver out a bit.

I haven't broken the news to husband about poop soup yet. One thing at a time. I don't want to give him too much to look forward to all at once.

I'm glad I could give you a laugh. Mr. Fossil will be grateful some day, won't he?

The "some day you'll be old and decrepit and I'll take good care of you too" is a good card to hold until you need it.

Poo stew just sounds SO appetizing, doesn't it?

I've been thinking that 50 ccs - 60 ccs isn't enough. Roops keeps on losing weight in spite of that. I'm thinking about trying to up that to around 70 ccs and see what that does. I just hope his little belly doesn't explode in the process.

I've been feeding him anywhere from 13 to 19 ccs at a time. I would like to feed him smaller amounts more frequently but with working and having things I have to do, sometimes I just can't get that in. I will continue to strive for that but I realize I may not be able to get as close to it as I'd like as often as I'd like.

Rupert really dislikes the Critical Care. If it were orange flavored like the Oxbow vitamin C tablets, this would be easy because he just sucks that right down. Other than that, he has shown absolutely no interest in eating since 12/17. I am hoping that the good effects of some of these meds will kick in and he will start to eat on his own. He's been living solely on syringe feedings for 2 1/2 weeks now. I am more than willing to do this but I have to admit to getting really tired from staying up late and getting up early to feed him. If he starts to eat a little bit on his own, that will make me a really happy camper. And a more rested one, hopefully.

In his heyday, Rupert used to be over 1300 grams. He is now down to just under 800 grams. He's gone from 890 grams to 790 grams since 12/17.

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Cindy in MI
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Post   » Fri Jan 12, 2007 8:25 pm

Rupert has not responded much to the meds he is on. I think we are getting to the point of considering last ditch efforts.

As long as I feed him 70 - 76 ccs of Critical Care a day, his weight stays relatively stable. Yesterday and today I have only been able to do about 57 ccs because I had to work and just haven't had the time to get more into him. He is barely nibbling his greens, carrots and pellets. He is not eating enough to sustain himself.

The vet wants to try a one or two time treatment of cortisone to address whatever inflammation may be going on to try to make him feel better. She said guinea pigs don't tolerate cortisone well and once or twice is about all we can do.

I asked about trying a 10 - 14 day trial of heart meds. She doesn't see any value in it because his heart looks normal on x-ray and the ultrasound study she did. Maybe she is right but I do not see any harm in trying - nothing to lose. I think if we cannot get him to respond to something, euthanizing is going to be what I will have to consider. He doesn't eat, survives on syringe feedings, sits in his hidey house with his face in a corner and just doesn't have much of a quality of life. I could probably keep him alive with sryinge feedings for some time but I wonder for what purpose. Even if he has no underlying heart issues and doesn't respond to meds, I don't see where there is anything to lose in trying.

The vet only mentioned Lasix. In looking over other threads, I see ACE inhibitors mentioned. What would I ask for? Lotensin? Lasix and Lotensin? One or the other?

Before making the decision to let him go, I would really like to try to cover treatable possibilities. What I am doing right now is only keeping him alive, not doing much for the underlying problems. Maybe the gall stone is his only problem and just isn't fixable. I just want to make sure it isn't some sort of heart thing going on that is as easy as medications. Maybe I am just grasping at straws.

Can anyone give me an idea of what heart meds I should ask for him?

You can quote me

Post   » Fri Jan 12, 2007 8:42 pm

Lasix is a diuretic. Unless it is needed (fluid in the lungs), I don't think it is of benefit and may harm him.

I think Lotensin is what you should ask for, but email Mum or Pinta to get their opinions.

If they're going to try a steroid, what about pred or Dex rather than cortisone? I don't know the positives and negatives of each, but I see pred and Dex mentioned here more than cortisone.

You might want to email Josephine and ask her opinion on steroid use.

Bless you for caring for Rupert so well.

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