Took Ebony to emergency vets twelve am the other night. Jumped out of my arms as I was leaning down to put her down for last playtime before bed, landed on her chest. I thought she was done for. She began to choke and her breathing was bubbly, thought she might have broken a rib or some such and pierced a lung. However I cleared her mouth and she could at least get some air.
Luckily someone was available to take me to an out of hours vetinary hospital, which I've done business with before.
Examination and xray determined no broken bones, but a lot of gas, caused from shock and hyperventilation. Swallowed her air and blew herself up like a balloon, due to bruising, pain and swelling, they said. Hospitalised her there overnight. Seemed fine and chipper in the morning. Took her home, all well, eating a little slow though.
Called the vet back up and they advised me to give her some very small piece of green to start her eating. Did what I was told as I've not dealt with gas before and wanted to do it right.
Worked like a charm. She went after food like a tiger. But I think it's happening again. She's eaten too fast maybe? She is passing pellets etc and taking her own poop. But she's grumpy, won't let me touch her side. I called the vets back up and questioned about bloat.
He said if she wasn't swollen up, she's not bloated, as she seems bright otherwise. Now these guys have an impeccable record and have been a support for me, my family and others. They can even do a teeth rasp with a conscious patient, (very thin cavy too weak for anaesthesia). But when I asked them if I can give her some metacam which is way in date from Marbles's recent problems they advised against it.
But it's hard to see Ebony so grumpy and she hardly even wants to cuddle which is very odd. The time I've not posted on here I devoted to learning my piggies' personality and behaviour, to catch problems early on. Ebony us usually a snuggle machine. Surely I can give her a low dose of Metacam to ease her aches until the vets in the morning?
I know you guys are very knowledgeable about this stuff, so, advice? Should I immediately take her back? Money is not an issue but getting there is. It's at least fourty miles away and its the closest one. I'd have to rouse the family to help me like last time. They don't mind but they are disabled too and it took a bad toll on them. I am determined to get a car...so this won't happen.
Her tummy doesn't feel hard but I'm getting bitten when I try to examine. Real problem or just angry pig?
She keeps demanding vegetables, but I dare not give her too much in case it makes it worse.
I'm starting to feel really nervous about what I do or if I should even hold her. I really don't want to hurt her, but strangely at the same time she keeps coming to sit next to me whilst playing. Comfort I think. But if I try to stroke her nose, I get a nip. Very off for her.
I hope I'm just worrying too much. She's normally a sweetheart.
Ok, well I stayed up with Ebony as usual. First thing in the morning I took her to Birch Veterinary Centre, my local and excellent clinic. She was still unwilling to be handled, and wasn't producing enough droppings, nor eating her hay by morning. I ended up giving her small amounts of cucumber to keep her system going, and keep her hydrated.
My preferred vet was thankfully in today. After she read of the fall incident, she opined that it was likely Ebony was stunned from landing hard on her solar plexus. She agreed that Ebony has gas, but thankfully it had not yet reached a dangerous level, or full on bloating.
We had a chat on a number of other matters. My worry over Marble, and my wondering if I'm doing anything wrong with my piggies' diet or care. She gave me full bottles of the medications, so as to give me good value for money; then comforted me that sometimes problems just all come at once.
The medications are a painkiller, something to move her gut along more briskly, and something to ease the gas. I can't recall the names right now, but I remember that the painkiller is Loxicam. Or something similar.
Now Ebony is resting more comfortably. Anyway I need to go lie down in a dark room for a bit.
Thank you for the support those who have posted on this and other matters. It really helps me to know there is such a nice community of people online who care. It keeps down the panic. I hope all your piggies do brilliantly and have good health!
Tonight, she wants hugs! And lots of food. I have had a bit of an impromptu hair cut. But its ok I got it away from her before she got to eat it. I'm blonde, so she can be forgiven for mistaking it for some hay.
@Lynx: yes indeed. A day or so after I introduced them on here and started relearning things from the guide, I hunted up a suitably big flat, digital scale. They weren't very muscular as they hadn't had much exercise before I got them both. Marble weighed in at 1.24 kg, Ebony at .998. (Three weeks ago). Today's weigh in has Marble at 1.220 and Ebony at 1.001.
She did measure .996 before the problems started. But over the last few weeks they've been running around and toning up. Plus Ebony had the gas and is now eating and pooping like a champ, so it keeps fluctuating.
I'm giving Marble lots of veg and suitable favourites to keep his strength up for a possible operation after you mentioned the possibility of stones, as it got likelier as time moved along.
I would like to get a proper scale though....where I can put a pig in a pan and they can't scuttle off. Can you recommend one at all?
Sorry about the massive text blocks. I really don't want to miss anything out that could be important.
- You can quote me
For one of our scales, I got a rectangular plastic tray, like a cutlery tray for a kitchen drawer, then thoroughly glued it to the top of the scale. When the scale is turned off and turned back on, it sets to zero with the pan attached. Worked like a charm.
I fully, fully empathize with needing to lay down in a dark room for a bit. Best to Marble, Ebony and you, and please keep us posted.
- Supporter in 2014
I have a boar that suffers from bloat of occasion, twice it has needed an ER vet visit.
We usually find that Metoclopramide on it's own works okay. The two times he went to the ER vet he was still only given Metoclopramide, but by injection which seems to work better/quicker with him.
Hope you piggy is okay.
So the gas will just stay away if she keeps pooping and that is what the Meto is for. I wonder why she prescribed the Ranitidine then? I might just call and ask. After all, I'm paying her!
Currently hunting in ASDA for a bread pan and super glue...and diorilyte...however it is spelled to make sure she gets the hydration she needs. She seems a bit shy of her water bottle. I think her mouth got a bit bruised, in the fall.
Anyway thanks very much for all the useful info guys.
- You can quote me
The best protection for a cavy's GI is lots of high-fiber food. A coating agent like sucralfate can help, but an antacid isn't going to work as expected and can actually slow the GI.
The best 'protection' is food.