Midnight's Medical Topic

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Post   » Mon Sep 27, 2021 12:23 am

If it were my pig, and I saw blood in the cage, with whimpering and hunching while peeing or defecating, I would get an x-ray ASAP. If he were screaming -- and I do mean screaming, there is no mistaking this -- ER vet. IMMEDIATELY.

He may do just fine having one or more bladder stones removed from his bladder. If his kidneys continue to make them, and they continue down the ureter(s) into the bladder -- multiple surgeries are not quite so successful. They're hard on the pig AND on the vet. Scar tissue forms upon healing, making subsequent surgeries difficult for the vet to perform, much less multiple recoveries for the pig.

Ideally the stones will stay in his bladder, and he will feel fine to partly-crappy if they shift around; then when they resettle he'll be fine again. He can live well like this for quite a while. If they shift they may cause some bleeding; that's when I'd want an x-ray to see what they're doing.

If one blocks his urethra, you WILL know.

Midnight is the only pig I have ever known or heard of that would touch the Garden Select. Oxbow should pay you. 😁

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Post   » Mon Sep 27, 2021 12:42 am

Finally -- there are other pain management options out there, though less frequently used in my experience in a case like this. Steroids (prednisone, prednisolone) are second to none for reducing swelling and inflammation; they can also be very effective in slowing tumor growth or even reducing them. They CANNOT be used in conjunction with NSAIDs. There is a more-than-additive effect on GI irritation that can really damage the GI tract. They CAN be combined with narcotics.

Butorphanol (brand name Torbugesic) is an older narcotic that isn't used as frequently because it doesn't stay in the animal's system as long as buprenorphine. If Midnight has some difficulty with buprenorphine (if it comes to that), you can ask about it; it will require more frequent dosing. It completely, peacefully zonks them out for about five hours; then they wake up and eat everything in sight. No, not Twinkies and afaik it has no weed in it. Afaik. 😉 We had one pig actually gain weight on it. Just like humans, different pigs respond differently to different meds and a good vet will work with Midnight and you to get the best regimen.

This thread is very long, but take a look at how barley water and Tramadol helped this pig (lemme see if I can find it, to follow):
Last edited by Talishan on Mon Sep 27, 2021 12:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post   » Mon Sep 27, 2021 12:48 am


Continuing best wishes to Midnight, Moon and you. Please keep us posted on how he's doing.

Also, feel free to show your vet this thread. My medical knowledge is becoming dated and if anything I've written is flat-out wrong, I want to be corrected.

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Post   » Mon Sep 27, 2021 1:52 am

Actually, that goes for the current med pros and experienced owners here, too. Again, my med experience is getting dated. If GL members know of newer meds, procedures and treatments I'm not mentioning, or if something I've written is wrong, please don't hesitate to say so!

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Post   » Mon Sep 27, 2021 10:14 am

Thanks for the detailed advice! Your experience with ill pigs is so valuable.

And regarding narotics, guinea pigs are small. Any narcotic would be a fairly small amount.

Not enough to sell on the street ;-)

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Post   » Sat Oct 02, 2021 8:16 am

Talishan, Thanks so much for all the helpful advice.

Incidentally my vet has already given me a 1 cc syringe, so I should be good on that front. I can see that a 0.03 mL dose should be easy to administer.

Just as an FYI, Tylenol is not an NSAID: "Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is known as a non-aspirin pain reliever. It is NOT an NSAID [...]"

A number of reliable sources indicate it's safe for humans to combine Tylenol with Ibuprofen (an NSAID). For instance, the NHS. And as I understand from your post, combining Tylenol and NSAIDs is safe for guinea pigs too, which is good to know! Depending on the circumstances, it seems like it could be good step to try before moving onto opioids, if it comes to that.

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Post   » Wed Oct 06, 2021 1:10 pm

Good information. Thank you!

Continuing best wishes to Midnight, Moon and you.

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Wed Oct 06, 2021 1:40 pm

Just my $.02. Tylenol is worthless as a pain reliever. I can't take aspirin or NSAIDs, so it's Tylenol or the hard stuff. Or biting a bullet. None of those are particularly good choices.

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Post   » Thu Oct 07, 2021 11:11 pm

I agree Tylenol doesn’t seem to do much. My understanding is it’s supposed to block the pain receptors to control pain, whereas NSAIDs are anti-inflammatory and actually relieve the pain. They can be taken together. In fact, my favorite and most effective pain reliever is Exedrin, which is a combination of Tylenol, aspirin, and caffeine. The caffeine is the secret weapon that makes everything else work better.

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Post   » Fri Oct 08, 2021 3:13 pm

I want to be cautious about celebrating too early, but Midnight's weight has been mostly stable for around 2 weeks:


Here's what I've been doing:
  • 0.25 mg dose of Metacam each morning.
  • Adding some rolled oats on top of their veggies.
  • Feeding them both KMS pellets (finally back in stock!) and Oxbow "Garden Select" pellets, in different bowls, 1/4 cup in each bowl. They seem to prefer one or the other depending on their mood.
It's not obvious to me what, if any, of the above is what's helping Midnight. But I plan to continue for the time being.

With regard to the other food recommendations:
  • I tried the pellet mash a few times, but it wasn't obvious to me whether Midnight liked it better than actual pellets.
  • I have not tried Critical Care "meatballs" yet.
Also, behaviorally, he seems fine. Still no obvious signs of pain. The only odd behaviors I notice are pickiness about carrots and drinking more water than previously, both of which I've mentioned previously.

As the chart shows, Moon had an uptick in weight today, so it's possible the dietary changes I'm making for Midnight could end up being a problem for him. But that's just one sample, and a few more ounces probably won't hurt him, so I'm not going to worry too much for now.

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Post   » Fri Oct 08, 2021 11:17 pm

Sometimes when topics get long, it is really helpful to pull things back together. Repeating a description of any odd behaviors is a help!

Nice to see the weight stabilize for now.

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Post   » Sun Oct 10, 2021 4:45 pm

Excellent. Carry on. 😊

Drinking more water is not a bad thing. For whatever reason he may be doing so, it'll help keep him well hydrated and his kidneys and bladder 'flushed out'.

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