Four year old losing weight (big thread inside)

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Tracy

Post   » Wed Sep 14, 2022 8:47 pm


There is a thread about Skinny Pigs and T-4, in which I had posted the following from my vet. And on the last page of that thread, another book is mentioned, but maybe same one? I dont know authors of reference below.

My vet gave me the "norms" for thyroid in guinea pigs, from The Clinical Chemistry of Laboratory Animals textbook. I don't understand the units, but hopefully the numbers will help other owners and vets in diagnosing thyroid problems.

T4: male 2.9 +/- 0.6 ug/dL, female 3.2 +/- 0.7 ug/dL

T3: male 39 +/- 17 ng/dL, female 44 +/- 10 ng/dL

Free T4: male 1.26 +/- 0.41 ng/dL, female 1.33 +/- 0.25

Free T3: male 257 +/- 35 pg/dL, female 260 +/- 59 pg/dL

User avatar
Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Wed Sep 14, 2022 11:12 pm


Thanks for adding the report, Squiggles! I reformatted it with some breaks, a list, and made the words wrap properly (easier to read). Hope that is okay with you. It is useful to read his analysis.

Squiggles

Post   » Thu Sep 15, 2022 12:24 am


Tracy- That's where I'm so confused, because according to the chart you posted, my pig is definitely considered hyperthyroid, and yet he still reads normal to both vets. I know T4 is difficult to get an accurate reading, so I understand, but I'm going to go with that he has it, and hopefully when he starts the medication today after I pick it up, it'll help with something. I am not sure what the dose is, but when I get the bottle, I will post it.

Lynx- No problem! Still trying to get a grasp on the forums, so feel free to edit anything you need to.

Squiggles

Post   » Thu Sep 15, 2022 9:57 pm


Started the medicine around 9 tonight. It's 0.1 twice a day, in banana flavor, because I have to try to make everything a bit better for my pets. Asked if they had carrot or cucumber, no go. So banana it is. I weighed him tonight before I gave it to him, and he hasn't fallen much since his vet visit, so that's good. I hope it works, but I'm also prepared in knowing what I have to do if it doesn't.

User avatar
Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Fri Sep 16, 2022 7:43 am


I so hope it works too and that this dose will make a difference.

Squiggles

Post   » Mon Sep 19, 2022 9:20 am


His weight has been fluctuating between 672 and 653. I hope it doesn't get any lower, but I also know he's only been on the medicine for not even a week yet. He has spent more time in the playpen because I feel that's better for him, and he seems to be more relaxed and snuggles under his blanket. I do put him in the cage to see his brother at breakfast, but then I remove him because his brother wants to "play" and doesn't understand climbing on him isn't a good idea right now.

(Hope I posted the photo right. Feel free to edit!)


Image

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Mon Sep 19, 2022 9:30 am


Photo showed up fine! Having trouble finding him in the pen, though!

Squiggles

Post   » Mon Sep 19, 2022 9:37 am


@Lynx, he's actually in the cage in that photo. Haha.

User avatar
Tracy

Post   » Mon Sep 19, 2022 10:52 am


Squiggles, I don't know what time period to determine whether medication is "working," but definitely keep in mind that even holding his weight may be success, a.k.a. not losing. Weight GAIN is very hard. Also, with tapazole it sometimes takes a few adjustments to get the dosage right. I'm not sure why... I guess there's a range. At one point my vet realized we were giving wrong dose (perhaps miscalculated?); another time I was advised to double the dose and watch carefully. Be sure to discuss with your vet. I do hope it helps your piggy.

Squiggles

Post   » Mon Sep 19, 2022 11:16 am


@Tracy, I'm just glad he's still eating. My last guinea pig (that I think I realized the weight drop too, too late) just wanted cucumbers. He stopped eating hay entirely, and that's how I knew I couldn't do anything more. Think he ended up bloating as well because of that. This guy is eating everything, hay, pellets, vegetables, even the little oxbow "cookies". Right now he's on 0.1 twice a day, and boy, does he hate it. I tried to get it in a "better" flavor, banana, but maybe when this is done, I'll see if they have watermelon flavor.

Here he is in the pen. So tiny compared to his brother, who, ironically, was always the smaller of the duo. It's like they somehow switched weights, and then he got sick.


Image

User avatar
Tracy

Post   » Mon Sep 19, 2022 1:02 pm


My Inca (with thyroid mass) ate and ate also. And while I don't remember what flavor medication we had, she cooperated at first and then really didn't like it. My advice is to stick with it regardless. I tapered off (after several weeks, maybe months) and then stopped the med because she didn't like it, it didn't seem like it was working, and I wanted to preserve a good relationship with her. But tapazole should not be discontinued; that's my understanding from vets. Although Inca's death was relatively quick (may have been a thyroid storm), I regret stopping the med and would act differently if I ever have another thyroid piggy. It may have been helping imperceptibly.

User avatar
ItsaZoo
Supporter in 2022

Post   » Thu Sep 22, 2022 1:35 am


Can you mix the med into a flavor of Critical Care or other recovery food that he might like? I do that with the orange-flavored vitamin C drops for Gidget.

I’ve also used watermelon juice to mix meds and feed with a syringe.

Squiggles

Post   » Fri Sep 23, 2022 10:57 pm


I have thought of mixing it with his Emeraid, but then I worry he won't eat it. I've stopped syringe feeding him since I'm concerned about his lungs, and that lump doesn't help. He has no problem eating it off the spoon by himself. He was 661 tonight, but then I weighed him after he ate his vegetable dinner, and he was 730. I know that doesn't count, but it's amazing that all that will be dropped in the morning.

Watermelon juice sounds like an interesting idea. He loves watermelon.

I also should mention, he has crusty eyes. I have taken him numerous times to the vet and he has no URI, so I'm beginning to think it's an immune response. Earlier in the year his eye was insanely watery, and turned out he had a sty that had to be popped, but now both are crusty, so I wipe them gently off. Today though, it was less crusty, so I wonder if his immune system is trying to latch onto the medication.

Squiggles

Post   » Tue Sep 27, 2022 8:49 am


I don't want to put all my hope in, but he's climbing. He was 684 at the vet, then fell between 653-668, then the other day and night he was 698, today he's 703. I want to be happy, but at the same time, I know it could plummet and everything could become worse, but I'm at least glad to see this. The crust is also very little now and only one eye and he seems to be more alert and exploring again. Wheeking more as well. But always, always insanely hungry.

User avatar
Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Tue Sep 27, 2022 9:19 am


That is encouraging. Hopefully progress will be clear. The weight numbers are so small with a guinea pig. We often talk about normal variations so trying to weigh at regular times of day can help (I'm sure you're aware of the difficulties).

User avatar
Sef
I dissent.

Post   » Tue Sep 27, 2022 8:51 pm


Yes, that is encouraging! I hope the trend continues. Is he still on the meds?

amberkenn2016

Post   » Wed Sep 28, 2022 4:33 am


I don't have too much experience with thyroids in guinea pigs, but I just wanted to say that I'm glad he's making progress! I'm wishing you two the best. Alot of times with my late pigs, most diagnoses were based on trial and error, and sometimes I never got a definitive answer as to what went wrong. It was definitely very stressful all around!

One of the hardest things I had to learn was to cherish my pigs with the time they had left vs. getting caught up in finding answers to every little thing. I was so caught up in keeping the first few alive that I can say that I didn't even want to think any day could be their last. Not saying this is what you are doing, but I think it can be very easy to despair at any signs of deterioration. Regardless of how long they are with us, the only thing they will remember is the love you have given them. So even if things are looking rough, remember to give them all the loving they can take.

Again, I'm crossing my fingers that he'll keep improving, but figured I'd share that wisdom in the meantime!

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Wed Sep 28, 2022 8:27 am


Wise words, amberkenn2016.

Squiggles

Post   » Mon Oct 03, 2022 4:57 pm


Thank you so much for your support and kind words. I do spend a lot of time cuddling him and telling him I'm only torturing him this way because I don't want to lose him, and I don't think he's ready to leave either. He is still on the medicine, twice a day (I managed to get watermelon for the refill. They even had a timmy hay flavor they're working on! But I'll wait until the banana is fully done), and he seems to be falling now between 698-710. So while he's rising, I also know this could go sour any second. But he has more energy, runs in his little hoop in his playpen. Which I'm beginning to find he loves more. When I was cleaning it, I had him back in the cage and then put him on the ground and he kept nudging at the playpen. I still let him see his brother, but I'm beginning to see he likes his solo time more than anything.

I do have a quick question, though. Like all medication, I know it's going to eventually (I hope not) put pressure on his kidneys. Do we know exactly when I should start testing him to make sure it's not? It hasn't been a month since the medication began, but I'm just wondering.

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Mon Oct 03, 2022 10:55 pm


I am guessing this is a good question for your vet. He has been treating him and should have a much better perspective on this.

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