Kidney Problems / Renal Failure

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Post   » Sat Jul 31, 2010 12:05 am

My 5 y/o boar has been quite ill lately and will be going in for a urinography next week after his antibiotics have run their course. I was hoping anyone out there with experience with renal failure could offer up their story and any tips. I get the impression that this is kind of the last voyage with not many options after diagnoses is made, but was still hoping for advice in case this turns out to be it for Brody.

Renal failure, I know, is common in adult pigs. Are there any members out there with diagnosed kidney problems in younger pigs?

What dietary changes were prescribed? Any medications? Any tips on how to ensure your pig stays comfortable, eating, healthy and happy for as long as possible? In dogs I understand renal failure to be a long drawn out process that isn't necessarily all suffering until the later stages. I fear that Brody, if this is a correct diagnoses, would be in the later stages as we would not be aware of the issue without the symptoms leaking through his powerful healthy-guinea facade. In guinea pigs, does it seem to be a quick process? "Symptoms show and it's over" kind of thing?

Any information is great, I seem to be having a hard time turning up solid stories on pigs who have or have had renal problems.

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Post   » Sat Jul 31, 2010 10:28 am

In my case, we had two guinea pigs who developed renal failure as a secondary condition to bladder and ureteral stones. One was 4 years old; the other was 5.

In both cases, the onset was gradual but in late-stage, pain management was very difficult because NSAIDs do further damage to the kidneys, and opiates slow down the gut.

I will say that daily subcutaneous injections (and towards the end, two or even three times a day) went a long, long way to providing some quality of life for a while.

We had a third pig who was diagnosed with renal failure a short time after we adopted him. I didn't have a very capable vet then, and I didn't know that fluid therapy was an option. Sadly, he didn't have much time with us. He was 6 when he passed.

I'm really sorry about your boar. I would definitely discuss subq's with your vet. Let us know what you find out. In the meantime, hopefully others with more experience w/ this than I will come along and offer some good advice.

Let Sleeping Pigs Lie

Post   » Sun Aug 01, 2010 3:46 am

I'm sending good thoughts for Brody. He sounds like a special guy.

I've not dealt with kidney problems; however, GP Estates has posted a concise history for her female, Katie:

Katie (F) - Kidney Disease

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Post   » Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:32 am

I too have not dealt with kidney problems but am hoping for the very best for Brody next week and have everything crossed for him.

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Post   » Sun Aug 01, 2010 12:06 pm

Thanks for the good information and well wishes everyone. Still not much luck with the force feeding but hoping things will turn around.

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Post   » Sun Aug 01, 2010 12:46 pm

Sending good thoughts your way. Have you read this? --

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Post   » Sun Aug 01, 2010 7:45 pm

Thanks sef that has some good points about hand feeding. Unfortunately the vise grip is a good help right now!

Any one have any advice for MUCOUS POOP?

I was really worried about Brody this morning - we have carried on with the recommended Critical Care feedings and although he has finally gained (1/2 oz) his tummy seems full and bloated and he has slowly progressed to FIGHTING not to eat (instead of loving the CC). I have been giving him tummy massages. Sometimes he squeaks when I rub it. I was afraid because he hadn't pooped all morning.

Just a little while ago he finally pooped a string of 7-8 tiny, dry, coarse poops all connected with a thick string of mucous. I've really never seen anything like it. I've done some reading up on the forum - most people suggest this is because of the gastro system shutting down. But he has already been put on a motility drug (Cisapride - 6cc twice a day). Is there any thing else I can be doing to help him... express?

Should I be rushing him back to the vet???

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Post   » Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:57 pm

" MUCOUS POOP " => try a probiotic.

Cisapride is a pretty rough med. In my experience, it does the job and very well if the pig can tolerate it.

Reglan works on the upper GI and is a little gentler.

If he seems otherwise to be improving ... that is, after the mucous string of pearls, his abdomen should feel less tight ... I'd call the vet tomorrow and ask about either substituting Reglan for Cisapride or adding in Reglan (metoclopramide) and reducing the Cisapride a little.

All this is based on my experience, and your mileage may vary.

Do you have any kind of pillow or neck massager thing that vibrates? These seem to help some pigs. Alternatively, if you have a good quality wash machine that isn't too violent, you can try putting him on top of it, on a pillow and/or towels, through a gentle spin cycle and see if the vibration helps him. If he doesn't mind a carrier, you can also put him in a carrier and simply drive him around for a while.

All of these expose the pig to gentle vibration that can sometimes help with excess gas or incipient stasis.

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Post   » Mon Aug 02, 2010 2:46 pm


It's a pretty low quality cell picture but It gives you the gist of how long and thick the mucous is. It is quite incredible. I'm OK as long as it isn't a foreshadowing of worse to come.

Brody is on Fortiflora once daily in the mornings at the moment, although I'm going to try to rob Murray, my younger boar, of a pellet to make some nutritious poop soup.

And thanks for the suggestions Talishan. I'm going to dig out my, ahem, "massager" and try that out on him :) anything to get things moving in there.

I'll also ask my vet about the Reglan vs Cisapride. I noticed that Reglan was a more commonly used medication on the thread and wondered why. Good information.

There is very minor improvement in the sunken-ness of his eyes and hunched up posture, but I am still very worried as his dough belly grows bigger each day. This morning he felt very feverish. I'm very worried because he went downhill so fast, it was less than 24 hours where he went from not really feeling ace to feeling like... a Guinea in trouble. I just want to make sure I offer him everything possible.

Are there any thoughts on the use of pedialite in guinea pigs?

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Post   » Mon Aug 02, 2010 4:07 pm

Some guinea pigs seem to enjoy it. I think it would help a dehydrated pig.

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Post   » Mon Aug 02, 2010 7:08 pm

How long has he been on Forti-flora? That's a product formulated for cats or dogs; not herbivores (unless you're using a formula I'm not familiar with). Did he start producing mucus after introducing the Florti-flora?

I'd recommend using either the powdered formula (not the gel) of Bene-bac, or using plain Acidophilus.

Have you spoken with your vet about doing subcues? It sounds like he could really benefit from it if you're seeing sunken eyes.

You can quote me

Post   » Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:05 pm

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