GL member: somechick
Medical thread: Soft poop: what the vet said
PC suffered from chronic bloat and abnormal droppings. After a series of tests and medications, PC passed from intussusception. Coccidia is suspected to have caused the telescoping of her intestines.
• Large, smelly droppings; also very soft
• Blood test
• Fecal float
• Gram stain
• Fecal culture
• Zinc testing
• Withheld veggies
• Vitamin C
• Poop soup
• Acidophilus capsules
• Simethicone; 30mls
• Reglan; 5mg/ml
• Propulsid (Cisapride)
• Metacam; 0.1 cc
• Albon; 0.5cc
Chronology of treatment:
10/5/2006: Vet said PC was very gassy and gave Simethicone. He was unable to do a fecal test (PC wouldn’t provide a sample during the exam). PC is eating hay, pellets, and veggies well. Her energy level is high.
10/7/2006: PC’s droppings are still abnormal. She passed 3-4 connected in a string of mucous. She still feels hollow when her side is tapped.
10/11/2006: PC is still gassy and not going as often as she should. The vet prescribed Reglan. A fecal sample examined under the microscope was negative. A fecal float was also performed; later came back negative.
10/12/2006: The vet feels PC’s case is mild and an x-ray isn’t needed.
10/21/2006: PC is still gassy and soft droppings. The vet prescribes PC with two more additional medicines: Propulsid and Nystatin.
10/23/2006: Blood test results came back. The one taken in-house showed nothing abnormal. The out-of-house blood test showed a high white blood cell count. The vet says this shows there’s an infection and wants to prescribe the antibiotic Zeniquin (after somechick expressed reluctance over using Baytril). The vet said Bactrim wouldn’t be the right antibiotic to fix PC’s problem. After researching, it’s learned that Zeniquin is essentially Baytril.
10/25/2006: Somechick relays the vet’s response:
The vet says he thinks PC has a GI infection doesn’t want to give Bactrim because he feels Baytril/Zeniquin work better in this situation. Somechick starts PC on Zeniquin.Cisapride: vet said the only reason it was taken off the human market was because a few of the people on it had heart attacks (I THINK - either way, something happened and they died) but those particular patients who did die from the use of it were *already* cardiac patients so it's not necessarily unsafe, but Janssen pulled it due to law suits. He said it's still available for human use in other countries.
Zeniquin: kind of the same as Baytril but he said it doesn't break down into floaxins like Baytril does and he has used it in pigs and has not seen any intolerance yet.
10/26/2006: PC refuses to take Critical Care and has a puffed coat. One of her droppings was a strange light greenish-tan color.
10/27/2006: X-ray didn’t show anything. More blood samples were sent out for testing. The stopped prescribing Simethicone since it didn’t seem to improve PC’s gas. The vet put her on Therabloat instead. The vet is stumped. He knows her gut isn't acting normal but he can't figure out what's causing the gas (that's not going away) or the motility problems (that also aren't going away). PC continues to poop but at a smaller rate than the other guinea pigs.
10/28/2006: Vet says to stop giving Reglan. PC continues to have digestive issues and is constantly puffy.
10/29/2006: PC’s droppings are looking more normal (shape and color) today. However, they appear a little dry.
10/30/2006: Somechick had a gram stain and culture at a new vet (second opinion). The vet says PC is overmedicated and on the wrong medications. She prescribed Reglan, Metacam, and Flagyl. She gave somechick subQs (60cc 3 times daily; many felt this way far too much fluid) to administer at home.
10/31/2006: PC’s has dropping though they still seem dry. She is still a little puffy. Somechick has great difficulty doing the subQs at home.
11/2/2006: PC is more bloated and puffy. She seems worse with the new regimen. Somechick had to leave PC at the clinic the day before. Vet says PC might require surgery if medicine doesn’t work. The vet took another x-ray last night, which showed PC isn’t improving. A gram stain and Zinc testing both showed nothing. One test showed Coccidia. PC is now on Albon as well as getting 30cc subQs. X-rays from today show PC is doing much better and seems to be improving.
11/3/2006: PC is picked up from the vet and looks a little puffy and gassy. The vet is unsure of the cause and says to keep a close eye on her. PC is still in a better state than before. PC’s liver results were normal. PC is prescribed Bupronex.
11/5/2006: PC is still looking puffy despite pain medication. Her droppings are abnormal (more than usual; described as tootsie rolls) and she has begun squeaking when she goes. PC now gets acidophilus probiotics. She’s currently on Flagyl (0.25cc), Albon (0.5cc), and either Metacam (0.1cc) or Bupronex (0.07cc).
11/6/2006: PC gets more puffed up when pooping. A fecal run today shows lots of Coccidia. The vet thinks that there might be something blocking full access to the cecum and that the meds aren't getting through for some reason, causing the gas to come back and the Coccidia to still be prominent.
11/7/2006: PC had an ultrasound done. The lady said that there are a lot of parts of PC's intestine that are wavy, which isn't normal. She doesn't know why it's wavy. She said that normally there are some waves to the small intestine, but in PC there were LOADS, which is apparently not normal. Since an ultrasound wasn’t done prior to PC’s illness, it’s unclear what “normal” would be for her. She said that in other pigs, it's usually a pretty solid line for the intestines, a kink here or there, but in PC these were all over. It could be something going on that surgery would show or it could be scarring from the infection.
11/8/2006: PC has diarrhea. The vet says it’s Coccidia-related and cut the dose of Albon.
11/12/2006: PC has lost weight (6 oz.) and is still a little puffed up. However, her gas is stable and minimal. The vet said PC finally had a negative for the Coccidia. She also said the drastic weight loss is odd and it might be because if her intestines are damaged, she isn’t absorbing food.
11/15/2006: All of somechick’s guinea pigs now have Coccidia. Somechick asked that PC be put on Bactrim since Albon alone hasn’t shown progress.
11/21/2006: After seeing PC do better at the vet and get gassy after returning home multiple times, somechick and the vet conclude that the hand feedings are contributing to PC’s gas. PC passed that evening. The results for PC’s necropsy were:
Full necropsy reportIntussusception was the official cause of death. Probably went into shock from the pain. This can be caused by bacteria, so we're thinking the Coccidia actually led to this. The tissues showed swelling and hemorrhaging of the intestines - the connective tissues that hold intestines in place. There was inflammation of the omentum and an infection of the abdomen. Inside there was also bacteria found which might have been clostridium, but she couldn't tell for sure. So all of this bacteria, infections, etc. most likely lead to the telescoping of her intestines… Her pancreas has lesions, which resembled a pancreas with the onset of diabetes. PC's glucose levels were always normal (81) and she never displayed signs of diabetes.