GL member: Ech90
Medical thread: Soft Stool/Squeaking and Straining While Pooing
My beautiful girl Buttercup struggled with chronic soft, smelly droppings for the entire 7 months that she was with me. I feel like we tried almost everything, but nothing helped. She completely stumped all of her doctors. It just about broke my heart when I lost her, but hopefully my experience will be able to help someone else.
Chronic soft droppings that were foul smelling, signs of pain while defecating (squeaking, arching her back, and flapping her ears while going to the bathroom), and gassiness. She had normal droppings on very rare occasions.
Fecal float, fecal gram stain, complete blood count and blood chemistry panel, whole body radiographs, and focal caudal abdominal ultrasound. There were no signs of any abnormalities. The next step would have been to do an endoscopy of Buttercup's colon to see if there was something in or irritating her distal GI tract, but she would have had to be put under anesthesia and there were no guarantees that it would provide us an answer. We did not want to put her through that.
We did a trial period where we completely eliminated vegetables. It was determined that vegetables were not the cause, but Buttercup was fed vegetables in moderation as we did not want to exacerbate the issue. We tried switching pellets from Oxbow Cavy Cuisine to KMS, then eliminated pellets entirely. Tried different types of hay. Nothing helped. It was suggested on her medical thread to try feeding cornhusks due to the additional fiber, but I was unable to try that as I did not have access to fresh ears of corn at the time.
Bene-bac Plus gel, Kyo-Dophilus capsules that I broke apart and sprinkled on top of her vegetables, and Bio-Sponge by Platinum Performance. Her vet said that these might not help, but it would not hurt to give it to her. I also tried feeding Buttercup "poop soup" from her cage mate Piggy.
At one point Buttercup was on three different pain medications, each one given 2x a day. They were Tramadol (an opioid), Gabapentin (an anticonvulsant), and Metacam (an anti-inflammatory). There were no changes in the signs of pain that she exhibited while on these medications.
2 courses of Flagyl and a subcutaneous Vitamin B12 injection from her vet. The B12 injection was given to help with any type of malabsorption in the GI tract.
Other medical issues:
• Buttercup was *very* small for her age. Not even in terms of being weight, but in terms of her bone structure. We knew from her previous owners that she was around 3-4 years old, but her vet said that she was physically only the size of a 6 month old.
• In the five weeks between a vet visit on 2/15 /12 and 3/21/12 she had started to form bilateral cataracts that had no previously been observed. This might have been due to an underlying endocrine disease or congenital defect. She would have eventually gone blind.
• She sometimes twitched very violently in her sleep.
• This was not so much a medical issue but definitely one of her quirks and might be worth noting. Buttercup was very interested in water and drank large amounts of it. This may or may not have been related to her medical issues.
On 5/2/12 I rushed Buttercup to the emergency room because I noticed a small amount of blood around her anus. She was discharged after a few hours because her vitals were stable and the blood had stopped, but they didn't know what it was from. She seemed completely normal and it was almost like nothing had even happened. Even though she had many medical problems, Buttercup was not an ill looking pig. Her vet even said to me once that if he hadn't been told about all of her poo problems, he would have thought that she was extremely healthy. Ten days later, on 5/12/12, Buttercup had what was most likely either a stroke or a seizure and passed away that night.