Its been a couple of years, I think.
I just thought I would post-- partly for my own education, but also because these forums (even through my silence) have helped inform me and I'd love to add my story to the files ---about what I'm going through with Carlie.
Carlie will be 5 years old this August. (As will her brother, Dash. Alice and Esme have just turned 5 this spring).
I noticed over the last month that she had been losing some weight-- (she has ALWAYS been a small sow to begin with, under two lbs) --and kept my eye on her. She was still eager to eat, screaming for treats... totally normal goofy behaviour.
About 1.5 weeks ago I noticed that she was not interested in hay anymore. I started feeding her some veggies during cuddle-time and realized she was having a hard time eating.
(She had lost a good bit of weight at this point).
I started feeding Critical Care that I had on hand, and made a vet appointment for last Wednesday.
She had her chompers looked at, and as I anticipated-- her back molars were long. There was just enough space that she could move her tongue in the gap, but it was probably starting to get stuck (not completely entrapped).
The vet said that the bottom of her jaw felt a little bumpy...elongated roots. Her eyes are clear and fine, so its unlikely the top is posing any issue.
I raised her weight by 50-70g between appointments..through vigorous Critical Care feedings. I'll upload videos later, and talk more about that process if anyone is interested ;)
So she had her teeth op this morning. Went in like a champ, came out like a champ. The vet (who I love. seriously. If you are in the Halifax, Nova Scotia area Dr. Suzette Dibblee at the Fairview Animal Hospital knows exactly what she is doing and is the kindest woman I've ever met) said that she drilled down a good amount of her back molars, and trimmed the front teeth a touch because they'd started to get long just from the lack of roughage recently.
The left side of the top molars were a touch long too. (longer than the right top side, anyhow).
The procedure finished around noon.. and when we picked her up at 3 she was munching away at her pellets and hay. She hasn't shown any interest in hay in well over a week.
She's been eating all night.
So. The vet expects that she will require trimmings now and again, but its just a waiting game to see how long we can go between each $500 vet bill.
She is to have .07ml of metacam once a day for the next two days... just in case of some jaw pain. (her cheek also got a tiny nick from the drill, though it only bled half a drop).
I'll continue supplementing with CC as long as it takes for her to eat normally and gain weight on her own.
She is still a little bit sleepy, tonight. I forget how long it took Dash to completely shake his post-neuter exhaustion. Carlie just seems quiet. (excited at the prospect of treats)..but quiet. I guess I can't blame her.
I've read a fair bit on GL about taking pigs off pellets.. so they are encouraged to eat/chew more hay. Helps with grinding down those teeth. My vet is all for this idea, she believes pellets are unnecessary. Thoughts?
Sitting on my shoulder..last summer. (she never sits still. unless she is perched on my shoulder.)
PULLING the syringe out of my fingers. (this morning before procedure). She is certainly eager.
Sitting on my toes, post-feeding.
She hopped around for a little bit after that, but other than that has just napped.
The others seem to have called it a night, too. ;)
( I have all 4 pigs in one cage... they always have lots of Orchard Grass, which is definitely the staple of their diet, and I will fill their dish (Oxbow Cavy Cuisine) every night before I go to bed. )
- Supporter in '13
My personal veiw on pellets is that I keep to 1/8 cup or less as I find my girls will over eat and munch on less of he hay/grass. Also, I worry that they may develop stones even though I feed them KM pellets.
Meanwhile, continued gd wishes to Carlie, she's a real cutie pie.
Eating lots of food on her own (comparitively to pre-op..).
But hay is still of little interest.
I am still feeding CC (though less often due to my schedule, and she is taking less... her weight is staying the same. 3-4 times today, has been 5-6 the last several)
I might pick up a small bag of alfalfa to see if she shows interest in that? Hoping its just her feeling "off"...
She is still opening her jaw wide occasionally, like there is something back there. Again...hoping it is just discomfort (muscles from chewing poorly for a while?) but my fear is dislocated jaw.
Though if that were the case you'd think they'd have noticed while they were filing her teeth.
And she is plowing through veggies at light-speed. Last week she was taking a noticably long time to get through a piece of green pepper... spitting out pieces.... however she is absolutely wolfing it down now. Along with the lettuce. And a bit of carrot. But apparently she doesn't really like carrots!! XD
Actually, now that I'm watching her go through this pile...she's really not doing the mouth/ear thing at all. She was this morning (about half as much as yesterday pre-op) , but she only did it twice since I sat down with her 30 minutes ago. She did do the ear/jaw thing to spit out ONE piece of pepper but that is it.
Okay. I've talked myself in a circle.
Just wanted to update.
I really just want her to eat hay.
She isn't taking it willingly. Even mixing in green pepper juice. I also tried a little strawberry juice. She is excited for one bite and then done with it.
She dropped in weight (an ounce) overnight because I didn't wake to feed her.
Veggies are still awesome. She will eat them indefinitely.
She will also eat some pellets. But obviously not enough.
She got right excited when I put in fresh hay, Buried her face in it, and 10 seconds later went to lay down again.
On a hunch i brought her out to the front lawn, and she has been munching happily here for a while---- is this something I should be doing daily??
I'm discouraged that she resists the critical care with all of her might.
She's still doing a little bit of the "food stuck" mouth movements.
Could we attribute this to her being uncomfortable?
Today was supposed to be the last dose of metacam...
- Supporter in '12
Maybe she does the food stuck motion because everything still feels weird in her mouth and she needs to get used to how to move food around in her mouth again without the long molars (just my first thought).
When I had to handfeed Barnaby, he resisted everytime. He would get so mad he would bite the syringe and I would take advantage of this attack and move is just before he bit it so that I could push a bunch of critical care in his mouth. It was brutal and stressful but got him eating. Never once did he actually want to be fed like that, I just figured tough love was in order.
She will be really good for some feedings.. I have a video of her trying to tear it out of my fingers. But its like she is just.. in a bit of a funk now. I'll force her when I need to... as long as I can keep her system moving I shouldn't get so nervous.
Its supposed to get up to 15 degrees (celcius) tomorrow which is amazing. So we can spend some time on the lawn.
I did not give her metacam this morning. (yesterday was supposed to be the last dose.. I thought I'd try without it).
She was eager for a couple bites of CC but then lost interest... so I brought down some veggies... and she is eating them with fervor.
She is making this awful noise... It sounds like hooting, but more whiny... like she is in pain. More congested than typical "hooting".
I took a video.. for audio purposes.
I gave her a metacam dose before taking this video... and now, 20 mins later, the noise has almost stopped.
I'll be calling the vet first thing monday morning. I will be home most all of the day tomorrow to feed/monitor her.
- Supporter in '12
Is she still interested in the fresh grass each day?
My guys make that sound sometimes when they have ate their food too fast and I think something is kinda stuck. Always goes away, usually a cough happens.
I still need to force the CC into her every 4 hours... just to keep her weight stable.
She is still excited about veggies, and had a nice little wander/graze on the lawn with Esme this afternoon (we couldn't yesterday because of the rain). She made the happiest clucking sounds I've heard from her in a while!!
But hay is still a no-go. And she is interested in pellets but doesn't eat enough, obviously.
ETA: I've been really consistent/frequent with her feedings today even though they are forced--- and her poops have looked really, really good.
She says there has got to be something else going on.
If I am willing, she would like to do x-rays to see whats going on and if anything can be done.
And now I'm finding myself conflicted between whether or not it is worth it on a tiny, underweight piggy who is almost 5 years old. I hate saying those words. Because I don't know what all *could* be done, if it was something "treatable", that she would eat again.
But without x-rays there's no way to know if it is even a matter of just making her comfortable and sticking out hand feedings ..... or just letting her go.
She still has so much spunk and energy.
- Supporter in '12
Of course it is your choice :)