He was sent home with an antibiotic, reglan along with Critical Care formula. Meds & water are being administered orally without issue, but the Critical Care mixture is sticking to the rear of his mouth in clumps and he appears to be worsening. We have extracted as much of the compact Critical Care mixture as we can and given him water - but we are worried his massive weight loss (600g) hasn't left much more energy stores for him. He was weighing 1200 grams in December, he's now just over 600.
We're thinking he's still in quite a bit of pain from his surgery (it was done Friday at 11am) & pain from the ulcerations that were on his tongue caused by the overgrown teeth. The vet is closed tomorrow. We had planned to take him in Monday for a re-check, but we're afraid if we can't get that criticare down him, he won't make it.
Any suggestions for getting the criticare down? We are going to try making it much thinner next feeding.[/img]
You may need to mix the CC better, with 1.5 parts water and 1 part CC. Mixing in a small amount of baby food for flavor helps sometimes. What size syringe are you using?
Is he on pain meds? If he is in pain, he won't eat.
Which vet did you see?
This weight loss did not happen overnight. It happened over several days time. I am sure you now know how extremely important regular weighing is so you don't miss such a drastic weight loss.
Pain medication can also make a huge difference. See if you can get some meloxicam for him (perhaps call an emergency vet -- if you see one, get another subcue to keep him going).
I know how worried you are.
We followed the instructions for syringe feeding & thought we were doing the right thing.
He normally eats the regular pellets, timothy hay, & various treats (carrots, celery, spinach, etc.)
We feel helpless. At this point, he looks very weak & not moving around. :(
Pain meds are important. Esp. after teeth surgery.
He didn't lose all that weight overnight. You need the scale on hand to weigh them weekly at home.
I know of these ER vets in SD:
Avian & Exotic Animal Hospital
Jeffrey Jenkins, DVM
Armando Burgos, DVM (speaks Spanish)
2317 S. Hotel Circle, Suite C, Mission Valley, San Diego
24-hour page for emergency calls.
PET EMERGENCY & SPECIALTY CENTER
Todd Cecil, DVM
5232 Jackson Drive, Suites 102-105, La Mesa
Dr. Cote is recommended as an exotics vet for regular office hours.
Cote Animal Hospital
8915 Towne Centre Dr Ste 110
San Diego, CA 92122
- I GAVE, dammit!
Push it to the back molars, and only push the CC through when the pig is chewing on the syringe.
You can also syringe extra water in, separately from the CC. If the pig isn't drinking at all you need to give 60ccs per day.
Metacam is important, but not as important as handfeeding. Be sure you get at least 50cc of CC into the pig in a 24-hour period.
If your pig is too weak at this point to even make an attempt at swallowing you are going to have to try and get little bits into him at least every half an hour. When I have had pigs get to this point, I am just trying to get anything into them as often as possible. I have even used chewable vitamin C tablets dissolved in warm water just to get some kind of energy into them. My pigs like the flavour. I know the sugar isn't great for them, but if your pig can get up enough energy from the Vitamin C solution he might be able to take the CC better.
Thanks for all the help and advice - Chester is alive because of your help!
- I GAVE, dammit!
You do have access to a very good dental vet who visits California from Arizona every couple of months - Dr. Lyons. If you can make it up to Manhattan Beach when he's here, it might be well worth the visit.My pig became ill 3 weeks ago, took him in & he had severe malocclusion. His molars & incisors were trimmed. He nearly died but pulled through with diligent syringe feedings, antibiotics, etc.
Today I took him for a 2 week post op check & the vet said his incisors are being worn down uneven and also his molars are already growing across his tongue again & the back ones into his cheeks. She said he is most likely going to need ongoing syringe feedings and teeth trimmings will be forever. She believes he has a heredity (or possibly from an injury) jaw deformity. We adopted him as a 1 year old (or about that), so we don't know much about him. We have had him 2 years and never showed any symptoms of problems until Mid December when he started getting picky about which snacks he wanted. Until by Jan. he was only eating leafy greens and nothing hard, except hay & pellets.
Has anybody ever had this problem?? My vet basically said Chester's chance of becoming a "normal" happy piggy is very slim to none. I'm so sad.
Pinta is very knowledgeable about teeth issues - you might email her also.
Most likely he's losing muscle strength in his jaw(TMJ). Very common in senior pigs and age related onset can happen at 3 years of age. Does his mouth hang slightly ajar when he's not eating?
Read up on Willie's case history on the Chin-Sling page which is under teeth in the Care Guide.
I would encourage you to weigh diligently (daily). When Ama loses weight, that is my cue that his teeth problems are back.
And consider buying out a syringe company. I have lost count how many syringes I have gone through in feeding him.:)