And Now Acorn! Respitory? Heart?

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amy m guinea

Post   » Sat Sep 10, 2011 1:05 pm


I feel like I'm going crazy, but now Acorn has lost 2 ounces in the last 10 days. I was going through all of Horace's issues (see" Losing Weight Looks Healthy") and noticed that little Acorn (See "Hamster for Adoption") was lying on her side alot and letting me pet her in the cage, I just thought she was getting tamer. Well, she is now losing weight. I think her breathing sounds a bit raspy but there's no discharge. She is now letting me hold her on her back and when I put her on the floor she walks around but is easy to pet and catch. Am I imaging she is hopping? She is a satin, could bone issues be showing up already? She's not even a year old.

We are going in for a fit-in this afternoon, it will be a long wait but I am just glad there's someone to see.

I'll try to get a urine sample.

She feels lighter and somehow loose, if that makes sense.

I seriously feel crazy. At least Horace is doing great.

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amy m guinea

Post   » Sat Sep 10, 2011 1:13 pm


Can someone help me find the links to bone loss info on satins? I am hopeless at searches. Thank you so much!

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amy m guinea

Post   » Sat Sep 10, 2011 5:25 pm


It's severe bone loss that even I can see on the rads. She's not even one yet.

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amy m guinea

Post   » Sat Sep 10, 2011 7:56 pm


My vet did not feel calcium supplementation is helpful, but now after reading the threads I've found here, mainly Pinta's, I want to try it anyway.

For a 1 lb 14 ounce pig, would 50 mg of calcium lactate twice a day be right (from KM's post)?

Would it hurt her at all?

I am going to get a full-spectrum bulb too.

I am going to read more threads here, it sounds like in Pinta's case, supplementing was helpful.

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Bugs Mom

Post   » Sat Sep 10, 2011 9:08 pm


I'm really not helpfull here but, as I remember, Mum also had good results.

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amy m guinea

Post   » Sat Sep 10, 2011 9:48 pm


Thank you Bug's Mom.

I just finished reading kristina's thread about Wilma and it is great. I am going to get a lamp and some calcium lactate and cranberry juice to mix in. I am asking my vet if it would hurt her in any way to give the calcium lactate. So far from reading here it doesn't seem it would hurt.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sat Sep 10, 2011 11:14 pm



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amy m guinea

Post   » Sat Sep 10, 2011 11:50 pm


Thank you Lynx. She seems so sad now. It happened so fast, and I was so preoccupied with Horace.

CavyHeart

Post   » Sun Sep 11, 2011 12:34 am


As I described in Wilma's thread, two of my boys recently began having osteodystrophy symptoms. Russet is three years old and Jasper is only about a year and a half. It can show up at varying ages. It did show up fairly suddenly.

Both of them have been feeling much better lately, though! I have had success with UV light for vitamin D (a Repti-Glo 5 bulb in a lamp for 10-15 minutes a day) and dietary calcium supplementation with KMS alfalfa pellets and calcium-rich foods such as parsley.

With as miserable as both of them were just a couple of months ago, I would have sworn there was no hope for it either. But they have both turned around considerably with just those two changes, and I hope that Acorn can improve too!

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amy m guinea

Post   » Sun Sep 11, 2011 11:18 am


Thank you, I am going to begin with all those things, my vet said calcium supplementation was worth the risk of stones.

This forum has been so helpful, by searching almost all my questions were answered.

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amy m guinea

Post   » Sat Sep 17, 2011 3:01 pm


She is getting UVB light at least 2 hours a day, and 40 mg bid calcium lactate. I had her on 50 mg calcium from Tums bid before I received the calcium lactate I ordered. She is on 0.1 ml metacam bid and am starting once a day tomorrow. She has maintained her weight (1 lb 14 ounces). She seems brighter.

The light I have is "Zilla" tropical series fluorescent coil bulb 13 watt "provides uvb light for proper calcium development in tropical reptiles, full spectrum illumination". The calcium lactate I have is Standard Process, each tab contains 40 mg calcium lactate and about 8 mg magnesium. I got it from Amazon for $20.00.

While she is blocked off in half the cage for her light therapy I give her some alfalfa.

Thanks to everyone here who has posted their info, it is invaluable and I never would have know what to do for her otherwise!

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CavyHouse
Supporter in '11

Post   » Sat Sep 17, 2011 9:16 pm


Amy - I just saw this thread. I can't believe that Acorn has OD already. I'm so sorry.

I've been pig-sitting a satin with OD. She has been here several times since being diagnosed with OD. At one point a while ago, she seemed to be going downhill but has made a good turn-around. She's on a calcium supplement, Metacam and is offered Critical Care along with her pellets and hay. Before she started on these, she wouldn't eat her pellets or hay.

I sure hope things go well for you.

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amy m guinea

Post   » Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:49 pm


Thank you Sue! She is so sweet and petite, she'll probably never get any bigger. The treatment is easy for me to do, but I just feel so bad for her. She does seem young for this to be so progressed. I was kind of in shock at the vet's, I just thought she would have more time.

I'm glad the piggie you have seen is doing better! It seems to be so common for satins, so sad.

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CavyHouse
Supporter in '11

Post   » Mon Sep 19, 2011 4:32 pm


I've been shocked at how many Satins have gotten OD lately. It would be good to know a ballpark % amount. If chances were 1% vs 20% vs 50%, it would be helpful for people thinking of adopting a Satin.

CavyHeart

Post   » Mon Sep 19, 2011 5:50 pm


I have had had a total of four satins thus far. Guinness passed away at two years of age from other internal congenital health problems, so I don't know if he would have developed osteodystrophy or not.

Of the three satins that are still with me, two of them have developed osteodystrophy (Russet and Jasper). The remaining satin (Theodore) is only just now entering the age range for when it most commonly shows up, so I am not sure if he would develop it or not. I have been giving him UV treatments along with Russet as a preemptive measure, since they are cagemates anyway. Russet, Jasper, and Theodore are not directly related to each other to the best of my knowledge.

So that's at least a 50% OD rate with even just my small sampling. :-(

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amy m guinea

Post   » Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:25 pm


That's very interesting CavyHeart. What age do you feel they begin to show OD? Acorn is barely, if even, one. I wonder how old they can live with this condiiton.

I would have adopted her anyway, even if I would have know it would show up so soon! It would have made me want to adopt her even more. I know I can take good care of her. There is something so sweet about her that made me fall in love with her from the start. But it would be good for people who may not be ready for this level of care to know!

She seems brighter to me so I am going to continue with Metacam twice a day. I want to give her bones a chance to get stronger before cutting it to one.

Good news, she has gained almost an ounce! Either the Metacam, the light, or the calcium or all are helping already.

She loves her calcium mixed with baby food carrots, and Horace comes to the cage to see why now she's getting all the attention instead of him!

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amy m guinea

Post   » Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:27 pm


And I'm so glad your pigs are better too CavyHeart! It gives all of us hope. It also seems Wilma is better.

CavyHeart

Post   » Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:50 pm


Hello, Amy M!

I'm so glad to hear that Acorn is feeling better, and Wilma, too!

I started trying to find some information on satins when I decided to bring my first satin home, Russet, because it was something new and unusual (at least to me) going on with guinea pigs. I was concerned about osteodystrophy, but what little information I could find generally seemed inconclusive or even downplayed the seriousness of the health problems associated with "satinization." As Russet aged and showed no symptoms, I felt a little more comfortable about satins and adopted others, only to find out that I had apparently simply been lucky thus far.

From what I have been able to read up on, osteodystrophy most commonly starts showing symptoms in young adulthood just after adolescence, around the age of 18 months. Jasper hit that mark almost precisely. Strangely, Russet, now at three years of age, began showing identical symptoms only about a month after Jasper did. It occurred to Dr. Gurney and I that all of this happened between one and two months after I switched all of the guinea pigs from a cheaper pellet that turned out to be alfalfa based (and thus contained a lot of calcium) to KMS timothy pellets.

Since osteodystrophy is apparently a metabolic disorder in which their bodies don't properly process calcium, in theory I unintentionally triggered the spiral of developing symptoms by taking away was was essentially a constant low-dose calcium supplementation. For the other piggies with normal metabolisms, I had done the right thing, as the excessive calcium they didn't need could cause sludge or stones down the road, but the satins had been stabilized in terms of the osteodystrophy by it. Talk about irony!

Because vitamin D is crucial to calcium absorption, the UV light was begun as a treatment for all of my satins. Although I couldn't find out the exact cause of the osteodystrophy in the satin guinea pigs, severe vitamin D deficiency ranks high in my list of possible culprits. And since the daily UV treatments generally have no bad side effects, I decided to go ahead and include Theodore, a satin Teddy who is a not quite 18 months old now himself, even though he has not shown any clear symptoms of osteodystrophy. I have also ordered KMS alfalfa pellets for the satins only and have been feeding them those, while the rest of the guys continue to get the timothy pellets.

With these two things changed, both Russet and Jasper have shown significant improvement. Jasper has put weight back on, 30 grams at his checkup last week. Both of them walk and even run normally again, and they have stopped lying down in awkward positions or being unwilling to move around like they were. Jasper was, in Dr. Gurney's words, "like a different pig." Neither of them have needed any pain medication after the first couple of weeks of symptoms, either. Unhappily, Russet was intolerant of the Metacam anyway, so this turnaround has been even better for him.

Granted, there isn't a cure, but the imbalance apparently can be successfully managed to give these guys a better and longer life, like diabetes or other chronic conditions. It's more work, but so worth it.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:44 am


Thanks for sharing your experiences. It all makes sense. Sounds like I should add info on diet that excludes satins from switching to timothy pellets in older age unless they are dealing with something else, like stones (I would recommend an evaluation by a vet for satins before switching diet).

Do people agree with this change in the guide?

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Bugs Mom

Post   » Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:02 am


It sounds like a reasonable change to me.

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