Molly fell and are onw dragging both back legs

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Post   » Fri Mar 13, 2009 7:04 pm

I don't know exactly how Molly, 3 years old sow, managed to get out of her cage, but she did, and fell about 75 cm (the height of two cube panels). I was in the room when it happened, and saw it out of the corner of my eye. She started to move immediately, trying to hide, and cried really loud. When I lifted her up about 15 seconds later she continued to whimper when I run to the phone to call the emergency vet (its about midnight here now).

The first vet I got hold (only one on duty in that clinic) of is definitely not a piggy vet, more of a horse vet. He asked some questions, but as there was no blood he suggested to put her back in her cage to wait and see. I then called an other vet clinic, and got a horse vet there too, but I trust her more than the first one. She said the same, so I but her in a basket by herself for some time. Then I made a small enclosure for her inside the cage and put her in to see what happened. She don't whimper anymore, and moves around quite well, but she drags both her back legs flat out behind her, so there is obviously some damage to her spinal cord. She has pooped a few "beans", but I have not seen any pee yet. I have given her some water by a syringe, and she now munches on her hay.

I have talked to the vet again, and she don't think there is anything she can do for Molly now, but when I asked if I could give my baby some Prednisolon, as I happened to have some from when Poppy was ill, the vet said that could do no harm, and told me to give here half a 2,5 mg tablet (= about 1,25 mg) now, and the same in the morning. Then I can call again, and if I want she can have a look at Molly then.

Is there anything more I can do for Molly now?

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Post   » Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:18 pm

I have no advice but I am hoping others see this and can offer you some help.

Edit: her is another post about a guinea pig who fell and suffered spinal injury.

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Post   » Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:44 pm

Max fell from five feet; he had an x-ray and was seen by two vets. He was placed in a smaller cage to limit his movement and given Metacam until his sore tissues/muscles healed.

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Post   » Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:23 pm

I personally think you got it in time for the pred to help. It may not work immediately, but from my totally uneducated and inexperienced opinion, I think the pred will help her and she will regain motility, though it may be slowly.

Don't mix pred and Metacam, though. One or the other, but not both at one time.

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Post   » Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:42 pm

I think the prednisolone is supposed to help keep down the swelling. This would certainly be good if there was any spinal injury. You may want to restrict her movement and let her rest and heal.

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Post   » Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:12 pm

Edit: regain mobility, not motility -- although it might help with that too.

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Post   » Sat Mar 14, 2009 1:58 am

Thank you so much for your replies.

The link I will read more thoroughly in the morning, but from what I see there it seems to be important to restrict movement. Molly is in a 2 X 2 at the moment, and seems OK; at least I don't think she is in pain. But I find it difficult to restrict her movement totally, as she is a pig that easily gets startled and tries to run away from my hand (but loves to be cuddled when on my lap). I also worry that her bladder function is damaged, as I don't find any wet spots by now, but I still hope that will have changed in the morning.

I really hope I got her the Prednisolon in time, but I am not sure, as I can't say at what time it happened (I was too upset to pay attention to time), but I it might have been as much as 3 hours later that I gave her the Pred. I am a bit angry at the vet, though, that she didn't tell me to give it to her at once, as I told her I had some when I first spoke to her.

I have to get some more sleep now, and hope to find some pee in Molly's cage later in the morning.

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Post   » Sat Mar 14, 2009 2:04 am

Poor Molly! Thinking good thoughts for her.


Post   » Sat Mar 14, 2009 2:25 am

Poor Molly! I hope she'll be okay!

Let Sleeping Pigs Lie

Post   » Sat Mar 14, 2009 2:37 am

Oh, how scary! I'm very sorry that sweet Molly had an accident, and I hope she has a speedy and complete recovery.

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Post   » Sat Mar 14, 2009 8:25 am

Thanks for the well wishes! I hope she will be fine, too, but at the moment I am nor sure if she will be.

I have talked to the vet again, and she said that there is not so much she can do, and the best procedure for now is to continue with the pred, and wait and see as long as Molly is not in great pain. I don't think she is, but I am still a bit worried that she hides her pain too well, and wonder if I should give her some pain reliever, even if the vet didn't think that was necessary.

I have some Trimadol at home from when I had spine injuries myself, and as I think I have seen somebody mentioning giving that to their pig, I wonder if I could give that together with the pred, or if they are contraindicative? And what will the does be if they can be taken together? Does anybody have an idea?


Post   » Sat Mar 14, 2009 9:39 am

I think I would ask for pain meds anyway, just as a precaution. She may be in pain but not showing it. I am not sure about the tramadol, though. I think it is a safe med, I am not experienced enough to be able to dose it. Someone with more experience should answer that one for you. Also, be very careful when you handle her. You don't want to cause more pain or injure her more. Use a shoe box with the side cut out to get her in and out of her cage. I wish you luck! Hopefully she will recover completely.

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Post   » Sat Mar 14, 2009 11:36 am

Thank you, tiggyswift. I am concerned about her just hiding her pain, too, but the vet said something about pain being useful because it prevents Molly from injuring herself further when moving around. I can see the point, but it still worries me.

The shoebox is a good idea that I will try out. Until now I have lifted her carefully with one hand under her front and the other carefully between her back legs, and I have handled her as little as possible, but I am not sure if that could have damaged her further. I feel really bad about this, even though I know it was an accident that just happened, and I don't know what I could have done to prevent it.

On the bright side are the wet spots I have found in her cage - she seems to pee and poo just fine. She also has a healthy appetite, but I will of course weight her carefully in a few days and start hand feeding if necessary

I don't know the status of her back legs, as I have not tried to control if there are any reflexes or not - I feel she should rest as much as possible. But for how long should I let her rest before I start to exercise her? A few days, or more like weeks? I know it's sometimes crucial to start therapy early, but of course not too early. When will be the right time?

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Post   » Sat Mar 14, 2009 11:44 am

Molly is in a 2 X 2 at the moment
Max was moved into a smaller cage (pet store version; post-op size) to limit the area that he previously had: 2' x 4'. I feel, based on my own experiences, that a 2 x 2 grid is way too large and does not limit movement enough, if at all. Also, you might want to consider switching from the Prednisone to Metacam which is what Max was on.

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one pig at a time.

Post   » Sat Mar 14, 2009 11:50 am

When Natasha had sprained her hock, I moved her into a 1 x 2 and attached that cage right next to the cage she lived in with her friends so she could still be with everyone. You really don't want them to have to "walk" around to get everything. Just a bed, pile of hay, food dish and water bottle all right next to one another.

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Post   » Sat Mar 14, 2009 7:40 pm

Thank you both. I don't have a small pet store cage, but per your advice I have divided the 2 x 2, so Molly is now in at 2 x 1. I have given her water from a syringe, and she drank a lot, so I don't think she has used the water bottle much. She has also had some CC on a small plate, and a new pile of hay, so she should be ready for the night. Hopefully she will be relatively comfortable.

Pippi, the most friendly and happy of my four, is very conserned about Molly, and has tried several times to get under and through the bars, even though Molly usually is particularly unfriendly to her and bites her whenever she finds an opportunity. Pippi has a big heart, I think!

I have read several of the treads Christina pointed me to, and think I will try to build a Roxy Roller for Molly to start her on recovery training in some time. Hopefully I can get in at my favourite vet on Monday morning, and discuss this with her then.

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Bugs Mom

Post   » Sat Mar 14, 2009 8:10 pm

Hoping for good luck with Molly. Pippi sounds like an exceptional piggy.

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Post   » Sun Mar 15, 2009 11:38 am

Pippi, the most friendly and happy of my four, is very conserned about Molly, and has tried several times to get under and through the bars, even though Molly usually is particularly unfriendly to her and bites her whenever she finds an opportunity. Pippi has a big heart, I think
Be very careful, Pippi might not really be that concerned about Molly's welfare or she might misjudge Molly's need for help. I had a pig whose health was compromised and any pig I put with her tried to "chase her out of the herd" since she was not normal/healthy.

There needs to be no way that she can under any circumstances get underneath or over the 1 x 2 that Molly is in now particularly if Molly is not particularly friendly. (The 1 x 2 is actually the size c 'n c that I was going to suggest if you didn't have a small pet store cage; thanks Weaver!)

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Post   » Sun Mar 15, 2009 1:21 pm

Thank you, both! Bugs Mom, I think Pippi is exceptional, too! Thougt I also am aware there could be other explantions to her behaviour, like you point out, GuineaPigFun, so I have taken every precaution to keep Pippi out of Molly's enclosure, unless she decides to to jump, but as she has never ever tried that before, I don't think she will do it now. She has also settled with the situation by now, so I am confident I have the situation under control.

Tomorrow I will know more about Molly's situation. I'll keep you posted.

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Post   » Sun Mar 15, 2009 6:28 pm

I have an appointment at the vet at 9 o'clock tomorrow morning, thankfully.

During the day Molly has not eaten very much, and I have therefor handfed her twice. I have also weight her, and she has not lost much weight, if any, so she must be eating some.

My consern is about what I will have to decide if her back is severely fractured. I have read many of the treads about other spine injured pigs, and all the succes stories are about pigs without serious fractures in their spines. Will it be possible for her to live a good life as a "wheel-pig"? Or should I wait and see, same what the x-ray shows?

I am so afraid the vet will just say there is nothing to be done, and that euthanasia is the best for her. When feeding her today she looked at my face a lot, like she wanted to tell me something. I can't really say if she is in pain or not, but she eagerly ate her critical care, so I don't think she is ready to leave yet. She might have tried to tell me that. How much I hate this waiting!

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