I'm totally in love with her. Here are some pictures, by way of introduction. I'll get a video of her walking and toppling over later today so I can get her opinions and feedback.
Izzy walks, mostly close to the edge, though occasionally will walk across an open space. If she's startled or tries to run away, she will fall over. The other day, one of her cage mates nudged her (it looked intentional to me) and tipped her over (the guinea pig version of cow tipping?).
Once she falls on her side, she struggles quite a bit to get up (it's actually a little funny). When I pick her up she definitely curls herself to the left, almost like the letter "C".
When she leans, or falls, it always appears to be towards the left side. This doesn't appear to be head tilt, though you never know.
As I said, she's been treated for ear infections.
We're scheduled to take her to the vet next week, so I'll keep everyone posted. But if you have any thoughts for now, feel free to share.
She did have xrays taken, with no indication of any problems. if you look at the above photo, you'll see her left eye. It does look a little "pop" eyed, and there's that layer of - what? extra lid? - underneath.
I'm eager to see what Dr. M. thinks.
Isabelle’s been doing okay. She and blossom have become very good friends. She’s put on some weight (a lot) so, that’s good.
Here’s where I could use the GL mind. I’ve attached a YouTube video of Isabelle. I took this at dinner time. It’s terribly painful for me to watch, but I couldn’t have asked for a better video of exactly what happens with her.
I have tried not to intervene with her when she topples. I’m not always home, and she needs to be able to get herself upright by herself. I do have to rethink the cage environment again I think. I need to remove the fleece tent since she could get caught in it. I also have to be very careful to keep the ground level. Any lump or bump is a potential for her to topple. Also, this afternoon she was in a free standing hidey, moving around inside, and the whole hidey rolled over, with her in it, with the opening down. I’m not sure she could have gotten out of that alone. I need to secure all the hideys and prevent them from moving.
Here’s where I need help. I can’t detect any muscle weakness or problems actually moving her legs or hips. I just wonder if something like the roxy roller would her to keep her in an upright and stable position. I’m not sure any device would be temporary, leading to her strengthening something, but I’m looking at perhaps rigging something to give her more stability and prevent her from toppling.
By the way, Isabelle had just had a min-bath, so it's her trying to shake off after her bath and blow dry that triggers this topple.
- And got the T-shirt
I wonder if there were things in the cage that she could push against when she turns over if it would help? Maybe bricks placed around the open areas?
Does she seem to be learning to turn herself over at all, or is it as bad as when you got her?
I'm of 2 minds here (at least). I was hoping giving her open space would help her gain confidence and get better balanced. I was also hoping that she'd learn how to right herself better.
Neither seems to be happening.
Should I create a semi separate safe room for her? I take a small corner of the cage (about the size of a 1x1 c&c) and put soft bumpers on the side. I could place the food, water and hay in such a way that she could get to them by walking along the sides.
She could go out into the larger space if she wanted, and Blossom could come into the smaller space as well.
I guess the real question is should I try for rehab or accommodation?
- You can quote me
IMHO only -- accommodation. The semi-separate safe room, with access in and out, soft bumpers on the side and hay, food and water inside, sounds like a great idea to me.
Ideally Blossom could learn to help her right herself, but I'm not sure that's something that could be taught. If it were to spontaneously happen, though, that'd be great.