Legend's Medical Thread - Not Eating


Post   » Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:50 pm

Another good day today. I don't think they were quite as enthusiastic as yesterday, but still very good.

Their weight was up this morning, so we cut back the CC some more.

The Dr. talked me out of refilling the Cisapride. I hope that is the right decision. There seems to be plenty of poop today. They're still taking the lactulose, so that probably helps.

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Post   » Sat Jul 01, 2017 5:30 am

I can't blame the vet too much on this one. Cisapride is a pretty powerful med, at least in my experience, and probably should not be used real freely.

All that said, pigs that have had a stasis/ileus/bloat/general gut slowdown episode tend to be a bit more susceptible to another. Don't be scared or paranoid about it, but do be watchful for any early indicators of another incidence.

The lactulose should indeed continue to help. See if the vet will let you just keep some of that on hand on a regular basis. It's a more benign and gentle substance, and can generally be used a little more freely than cisapride.

If you can keep something "light-duty", like lactulose or Reglan, on hand, you'll have it available to give immediately if something like this starts to look like it's reoccurring. Nipping it in the bud can *really* help a minor slowdown keep from becoming a full-blown problem. And I guarantee you if they develop a minor slowdown down the road, it WILL happen at 2 a.m. on a Saturday of a holiday weekend. Guaranteed. :-p

The more your vet trusts you to keep on hand, the better.

Hope they continue to improve, and please keep us posted.


Post   » Sun Jul 02, 2017 1:08 am

Still going OK. Not back to normal eating, but getting there. Carrots and peppers are disappearing pretty quickly. Proportions of hay and lettuce are moving in the right direction. Overall amount still less than normal.

Tomorrow will be the last of the Lactulose, so hopefully they'll be OK without it. Next time we're at the vet, I'll try to get a supply for emergencies. (They're very squirmy pigs, so we take them in periodically for toenail trims. The tech remarked to me that he always wonders why people bring them in for nails, but he understood for these guys.) I might try to get some sooner, but it was a no refill prescription, which means I've got to get the Dr. to do it, rather than just pick some up.

We are down to 7.5 cc's of CC per feeding for Legend and 6 for Little One. My intention is to keep dropping it by 1.5cc's (1/2 syringe) per day until they're off. Their weight seems stable or up over the last 4-5 days, ignoring some day to day variance. My mathematically precise planning is somewhat complicated by the fact that they get fed a little more when I'm not the one doing it. Of course, the pigs and the scale are really in charge.

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Post   » Sun Jul 02, 2017 4:43 am

Their weights being stable and the increase with being interested in eating more on their own is very good. Awesome!

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Post   » Sun Jul 02, 2017 7:11 am

Excellent news. Keep going. You're doing all the right things, doing good planning, and going in the right direction.


Post   » Sun Jul 02, 2017 9:32 pm

Still good. We're tapering the meds off as they start to run out. I think they are probably eating nearly enough to not need CC anymore, but we don't want to change things too abruptly. Hopefully this will all be concluded in the next three or four days.

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Post   » Mon Jul 03, 2017 9:30 am

Excellent. You're doing all the right things. Tapering in my experience works best for many meds (with the exception of antibiotics).

I wish more cavy owners were like you.


Post   » Sat Jul 08, 2017 1:30 pm

Sorry for the lack of updates. I've just been exhausted.

They were doing so well on the 3rd, that we cut back on the feeding a little too much, and they had a fairly large weight drop on the 4th. We took a step back and tried to taper off again. Working better now. They are down to two feedings/day, which is helping us. Only meds are a reduced dose of meloxidyl and simethicone. They probably aren't necessary. And Little One gets her Poly Citra. (Question - I understand she will be getting that from now on. True? She's getting .08mL twice daily. Will it be possible to go once daily in the future? Obviously I'll confirm with the vet.)

Just a review of weights: A month or so before this started, they were around 940g and 1250g. At our first vet visit, they were 938 and 1141. They got as low as 899 and 1099. This morning, they were 945 and 1153. That's her highest, and his highest was 1162 yesterday. You don't want to know how much we spent at the vet. They inspired an article at the Motley Fool - search for "Pet Insurance" on Fool.com. Buy a newsletter subscription while you're there. Or not.

We're past the three week mark on this now. Fortunately, there are two of us. I don't think I could have done it by myself. And thanks again for all the help from the Talishan and the rest of the forum.

I'll be going out of town for a week or so, but I'll try to do one (hopefully) final update when I return.

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Post   » Sat Jul 08, 2017 1:51 pm

You might want to review www.guinealynx.info/weigh.html

Guinea pig weights do fluctuate during the day so some minor fluctuation is to be expected. It sounds like things are improving, which is great to hear!

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Post   » Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:53 am

Polycitra has a mixed track record here on GL. In theory it should slightly acidify the urine, enabling calcium carbonate crystals (the commonest type of guinea pig bladder stone) to stay in solution and be peed out, as opposed to precipitating out and forming sludge, grit and stones.

From a basic chemistry standpoint that makes good sense. In practice it doesn't seem to work as well as you'd think it should. Some pet owners have had success with it, others not. If it helps Little One, wonderful, and yes, it would probably (afaik) be a lifetime med. Hopefully she likes it. See what the vet says about 1x vs. 2x daily dosing.


Post   » Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:12 pm

Now we have an addendum to the story.

The pigs were been doing pretty well for a while (and Little One still is), but Legend has been slowly dropping in weight over the past few weeks. We took him to have his cyst drained, thinking that may have been bothering him, but he continued to lose weight. He seemed to be uninterested in his normal food, but fortunately he has come to really love his CC/pumpkin baby food mix, which we now feed him right through the cage wires. Otherwise he's quite perky and happy.

We took him in yesterday and had them pay special attention to his teeth. Sure enough, his molars were getting a bit overgrown. He had them filed down today, and I think they may have done some work on his incisors as well. He came out of the anesthesia very well and was quickly wanting to eat. He's got a good appetite tonight, so hopefully we've fixed the problem and he'll be back on track.

I do think this is a result of the lack of abrasive food during the bloat ordeal. They've examined his teeth a few times before, but from what I've read here, the problem can be subtle and hard to spot until it's gotten pretty bad, so I'm not sure the vet could have caught it before.


Post   » Tue Feb 19, 2019 2:09 am

Hello, I'm back and hoping for some insight into Legend's latest issue.

First, a long-winded background.

After his tooth trim in 2017 he did very well for a while, but we eventually had to have his cyst removed. The surgery was pretty hard on him, but he recovered from that and did okay for a while.

Then in the spring of last year, he started having a little trouble eating. We immediately suspected his teeth and took him to the vet. His problem was obvious. He had a malocclusion of his incisors. One of his lower incisors was poking up into the roof of his mouth and had caused a sore, which was slightly infected. They trimmed it off, gave him pain meds and antibiotics, and told us he would have to have his teeth trimmed every few weeks from now on.

So we took him in for a couple of uneventful trims, and on maybe the third one, he didn't want snacks on the drive home. He wasn't better after a couple of days so we took him back. They had overtrimmed his teeth down to the pulp and it was hurting him. Pain meds and a couple more days he seemed alright. Then two or three weeks later, he was having trouble again. We actually took him into the emergency room after midnight. One of his incisors was thick and brown, and he had a sore on his gum. They gave him pain meds and had us make an appointment the next day.

They took x-rays and found out that the root of that tooth was very short and had what appeared to be an infection or a tumor at the lower end. They took out the tooth, but unfortunately the antibiotic we had wasn't helping - so the infection got worse while we waited for cultures and got that sorted out. Finally, by around Christmas the infection was pretty well cleared up and we thought things were going to be ok.

Well, he was kinda okay, but never really got his appetite back, and was getting pretty skinny. Every time he's been in for surgery or dental work, he loses 50 grams or so and, despite our best efforts, never gains it back. At one time he was 1250 grams, and is now down to just under 900.

Anyway, he had another tooth trim at the end of January. They couldn't do a thorough job because he had trouble with the anesthesia which caused his heart rate to drop and they had to stop abruptly. We had hoped it would be good enough, but no, we had to take him back after only two weeks. They switched to a different anesthetic, which he seemed to tolerate.

So here we are. Remember the sore on his gum? Well, it never went away. The doctor had been watching it - not sure what was causing it or what to do about it. So at the last trim, she tells us that it appears to be a tooth, or tooth-like growth, coming out of the gum, and that it is now infected. She said she had never seen anything like it before.

Does anyone have any idea what this thing is? Or what to do about it? Or what his prognosis is?

Our little boy is not a happy camper. It's been since Friday and he's very down. We have to force feed him, since he only eats very small amount of treats on his own. He's been very fussy about what he eats since having his tooth pulled, but we've generally been able to formulate some CC/babyfood blend he would voluntarily eat. Now he doesn't want any of it, and that may well be because it hurts to eat.

At six years old, we are really wondering how much more we should put him through in hopes that we can get his dental problems under control. This thing growing through his gum seems like it might be ongoing and painful. We could really use some advice if anyone has ever seen this before.

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I dissent.

Post   » Tue Feb 19, 2019 6:52 am

Would there be any chance of getting the rads from your vet and posting them here? Our Sebastian had a weird, second tooth growing in behind one of his incisors, but he had a lot of metabolic issues going on (eventually, his front teeth became brittle and started breaking off), so he's probably not the best example.


Post   » Tue Feb 19, 2019 12:04 pm

Maybe. I can ask.

I believe Legend's mystery tooth-like growth is more in the molar area, and growing sideways in toward his tongue.

No one ever noticed it on his x-rays. Not sure if it wasn't there before, or it was missed.

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Post   » Tue Feb 19, 2019 12:26 pm

If he's getting his molars planed properly, that should go a long way toward fixing any incisor problem. And overtrimming down to the pulp is NOT acceptable. Can you find a better rodent dentist?


Post   » Tue Feb 19, 2019 4:31 pm

I don't think his incisors are fixable. They do not meet when he chews, so they can never wear down properly. Correct me if I'm wrong. We would just like to get things to a routine where he's feeling good between trims. I'm concerned how this weird growth will come into play.

We are fortunate to live near a large veterinary hospital that has a dedicated exotics department with several doctors. We like the doctor who did his most recent work, but have been wondering if she possibly doesn't have the best dental technique. We had a different doctor do the previous trim (when he had anesthesia problems). Each doctor is scheduled for surgery on a different day of the week, so you have to choose between having him seen quickly, and picking which doctor you want. He seemed do be in some distress, so we went with the first available dr.


Post   » Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:24 pm

Is Tramadol likely to cause a decrease in appetite?

We took him in for yet another molar trim, and he was immediately improved when he got home. (Different doctor did the trim this time.) But after the initial improvement, he's fighting the CC and has lost all interest in what had been his favorite treats. He doesn't appear to be in pain, just doesn't want to eat. We upped his Gabapentin from .2 twice a day to .2 three times, and added .1 Tramadol twice daily. Could this be the problem?

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:33 pm

It could certainly affect his appetite. And it's nearly impossible to trim the molars without nicking the gums, so he may not be eating because of pain. He may have eaten when he got home because he was still sedated from the procedure, but once it wore off, he didn't feel so well.

I'd make the CC a really wet slurry and syringe it to him.


Post   » Fri Mar 08, 2019 4:33 pm

We can try very thin CC, that may help.

I just spoke with the vet. She was noncommittal about the Tramadol, but said it was possible and we could see what happens without it.

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I dissent.

Post   » Fri Mar 08, 2019 11:24 pm

Is he lying around and sleeping more? I haven't really run into any issues with guinea pig loss of appetite from Tramadol, but I haven't used it with Gabapentin. I'm wondering if the combination is making him so zonked-out that he is disinterested in food.

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