Bonnie - ovarian cyst w/ no symptoms

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puffin

Post   » Tue Dec 21, 2021 4:29 pm


A little update on Bonnie. She had another bought of mild stasis. It seems like her digestive system is out of whack. The good news is that she has been on a fully no veg diet for a week and is maintaining weight. Her droppings were looking better but then all the sudden have become squishy again, although the repercussions are less severe in that they return to normal quicker and she doesn't seem distressed by them. I now have some additional things to determine:
1. She has been chowing down on the oat hay - I am wondering if that is too rich (if that is a thing with hay) for her. She's also enjoying third cut timothy (which I thought I read somewhere could cause looser droppings) and orchard grass. I also offer plenty of 2nd cut timothy. I'm thinking of cutting out the oat first and see if that makes a difference.
2. She has been taking a little CC for weight gain (not a lot, but some). I wonder about there being some ingredient (wheat?) in that that is irritating.
3. She gets 1 Tbs of Oxbow garden select pellets and an oxbow digestive biscuit as a treat. Perhaps too many pellets/treat? Or some ingredient in those that is bugging her.
4. Maybe none of the above and either some other underlying issue TBD or she's just been on a roller coaster of diet woes that it is taking her body awhile to get back in balance.

I will continue observing and tweaking to see if she can stabilize on weight and droppings! I am grateful that this week she is in good spirits and her happy spunky self.

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Tue Dec 21, 2021 9:42 pm


Chew on the oat hay and see if you think it is too sweet. Fresh oat grass is pretty sugary - it depends on what stage the oat hay was harvested if it is sweet or not.

Glad to hear she is in good spirits.

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puffin

Post   » Thu Dec 23, 2021 8:57 am


I tried a piece but can’t really tell! I’ve cut it out entirely now and will see if that has any effect over the next few days.

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puffin

Post   » Sun Jan 23, 2022 9:34 am


We seem to be stable with Bonnie’s droppings. So far my only guess at this point is some of the Oxbow biscuits but I am still perplexed.

However, Bonnie has rapidly gotten weak in both of her hind legs, dragging them and struggling to get around. Her appetite is good and she comes over for treats. The vet has her on metacam to see if that helps (I cannot tell) and suggested we go for CT imaging at a specialist clinic. She thought the ovarian cysts could be pressing on a nerve.

I brought up scurvy and calcium deficiency but she didn’t seem concerned about those. Now that I’m reflecting though, during the past few months when we’ve cut out a lot of foods due to the loose droppings if her C levels got too low. I am going to try increasing C for the week to see if that helps.

I will go out today to find a chewable C. We have drops but those have upset her tummy in past. I did give her probably 50 mg yesterday between drops and food. No noticeable difference except her appetite went up as did her weight.

How quickly would scurvy recovery be noticeable?

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Sun Jan 23, 2022 11:56 am


Recovery from scurvy would be fairly quick.
http://www.guinealynx.info/scurvy.html

What is her weight now?
How recently has she been imaged? (xray or ultrasound)

There could also be a tumor pressing on a nerve causing the weakness (I don't know how likely this would be).

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puffin

Post   » Sun Jan 23, 2022 12:21 pm


Thank you, Lynx! I saw the ~1 week and wondered if you’d see gradual improvement or if it would be more binary after some days of extra treatment.

Her weight had been about 890 grams first thing in the am and today it was 912. Her appetite was voracious yesterday.

She has an ultrasound in November of the ovaries and an X-ray in December. The vet didn’t do an X-ray yesterday. I think she feels like the CT scan would be the next step but we were going to wait and see if the metacam helped her over the weekend.

I wondered about some sort of tumor too - maybe that caused her weight to go up. I know it’s not a huge amount but is certainly higher than she’s been in ages.

She seems in good spirits and begs for treats. She gets around, just not very gracefully.

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sun Jan 23, 2022 1:34 pm


You need to give about 100 mg of vitamin C per day for 7-10 days. If she doesn't improve, it's not a lack of vitamin C. However, I'd be tempted to bet that it is.

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puffin

Post   » Sun Jan 23, 2022 2:04 pm


Thank you! Is there any thoughts between breaking up the dose throughout the day versus one dose? Is it ok to give the 100 mg tablet and continue to feed high C veg like red pepper or would it best to mix the sources and aim for 100 mg total.

Would she see improvement before 7-10 days typically?

I am hoping this is what it is. I feel like with all the diet issues we had that she was probably not getting enough C. It has been a struggle getting that under control but as far I can surmise that seems to be from critical care and certain oxbow biscuits.

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sun Jan 23, 2022 2:52 pm


If that's the problem, you should start seeing improvement in 2-4 days. Give 100 mg. of the supplement and feed whatever high vit. C veggies you usually feed.

I have no idea whether it's better to spread it out or give it all at once.

Without reading back, how old is she? It's very common for older pigs to need supplements, sometimes a fairly large dose.

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puffin

Post   » Sun Jan 23, 2022 3:13 pm


Thanks again! I’ll do the 100 and break up throughout the day for now, to see how her tummy tolerates it.
I believe she’s about 4. We’ve had her for three years. She was adopted from a rescue so they estimated her at 1 yrs when we got her but who knows.

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puffin

Post   » Tue Jan 25, 2022 1:50 pm


A mostly uneventful update on Bonnie. She seems to be tolerating the vitamin C tablet. I have been quartering a 100 mg one and spacing out the dosing. I also purchased the Sherwood 25 mg vitamin C tablets, which are a little easier for her to chew. I hope those are okay - I know there has been some discussion on Sherwood generally (I think mostly about the pellets and dubious claims of the urine tablets to dissolve stones).
I feel that there is maybe an incremental improvement in Bonnie's movement. She is still dragging her feet but at times moves and sits more normally, although I can't tell if this is just me being overly hopeful at the moment.

She has a great appetite and continues to put on some weight. She is having trouble assuming the "eat the cecotrope" position though with her back legs. I work from home and notice she seems to generate them around 11 - 1, so I bring her out and manually feed them to her. I did notice when I got up this morning, there was a large cecotrope mass in her cabana where she sleeps. It seems like they just accumulated there in one big clump and she didn't eat them. I will offer them like this after the fact when I find them, but it seems like she doesn't have interest unless they are warm and fresh! She has been generating nice normal droppings too.

I have done some googling with limited success on vitamin C absorption from cecotropes. I can't seem to find much to confirm whether the amount would be available upon ingestion or is she getting it from the cecotropes. I am sure other aspects of nutrition are affected if she isn't able to eat them, but am not sure how critical this is and whether there are alternate ways to support her digestion/nutrition should her mobility be such in the long term that she can't eat them on her own without my helping her.

I am still waiting on the specialist referral for the imaging (my vet was out yesterday). Hopefully in the next few days it will be more apparent whether the hind leg issue is primarily Vit C related. I assume once the 7-10 days is up, the idea would be to taper over some days to a stable dose (versus just dropping from 100 to X). Not sure for her age and condition what X would be, but that can be discussion with the vet once we know more.

User avatar
puffin

Post   » Tue Jan 25, 2022 2:24 pm


I was able to get in with the specialist hospital on Monday for a CT scan, so we should have more data on the Vitamin C by that time.

User avatar
Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Tue Jan 25, 2022 2:27 pm


Your feeding her her cecotropes is excellent! They are more nutritious than you know.

p.s. I wonder if lightly warming them (on a heated plate? 2 seconds of microwave? something else? might work for the overnight ones that cool.

No idea how much vitamin C is passed through the cecotropes but there are so many more benefits, I would do this as often as you can. Ill guinea pigs will even follow around other guinea pigs hoping to get some.

Let us know how things go.

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puffin

Post   » Tue Jan 25, 2022 2:37 pm


I hadn’t thought of the warmth! I will try that - maybe a sort of sous vide approach with warm water. Although sometimes even with the fresh warm ones she doesn’t want them when I offer. It’s always an adventure here lately with these three sows!

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Tue Jan 25, 2022 6:38 pm


You could always make a slurry of them with a little water and syringe them to her.

User avatar
Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Tue Jan 25, 2022 9:30 pm


"maybe a sort of sous vide approach with warm water"

Yes, something like that! p.s. if you have an infrared thermometer (I love mine), you can easily check temp. Just avoid getting it in/near her eyes. I like bpatter's idea too.

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puffin

Post   » Sun Jan 30, 2022 10:41 am


We’ve done about a week now of increased Vitamin C but there didn’t appear to be too much difference. A few days last week I thought she was moving better, but then yesterday and today she is dragging a bit more. We see the specialist tomorrow for some imaging, so hopefully we can get some more insight.

Bonnie remains in good spirits and has a good appetite. I continue to help her with her cecotropes (red pepper sandwiches and corn husk tacos seem to work when she isn’t interested). The warmed up ones haven’t really been a hit after the fact but I continue to offer them.

User avatar
Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Sun Jan 30, 2022 8:02 pm


Well, warming them up was worth a shot! As many as she will eat is a good things. Love the "red pepper sandwiches" and "corn husk tacos"!

It was definitely worth trying the vitamin C. I would go for at least a total of two weeks.

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puffin

Post   » Tue Feb 01, 2022 8:30 pm


We saw the exotics specialist yesterday (Texas Avian & Exotics in DFW) and got the CT scan today. Bonnie stayed overnight there since it’s a long drive for me but she did ok.

I thought the Dr was very thorough in her physical exam. We had
also had bloodwork and radiographs.

Bloodwork was good - nothing of concern and kidney and liver function looked good.
Radiographs showed arthritis in the knees but the Dr doesn’t think that would cause the severity of what we’re seeing. There was also something suspicious (fracture?) in one hip but the CT should give more insight.
We should get the CT report by Thursday although with weather issues, there could be a delay.

Bonnie had anesthesia for the CT and recovered well. She seems a little out of sorts still but is eating hay and has some greens. She is completely dragging her back legs now. It just breaks my heart to see.

I asked about scurvy and calcium deficiency but the Dr didn’t think that was it. We are temporarily upping her meloxicam for a few days and I’m going to try the Oxbow joint support again (it seemed to upset her tummy before but I’m not certain that was the cause).

Please send good thoughts to her!

User avatar
Sef
I dissent.

Post   » Tue Feb 01, 2022 9:09 pm


Sending good thoughts to you both. I hope the CT results yield something helpful.

Is that the same clinic where Dr. Lauren Thielen works?

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