Midnight's Medical Topic

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AviN4
Supporter in '21

Post   » Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:46 am


As I was cutting Midnight's toenails today, I found that one of his rear toenails was split. Should I be concerned? Is it possible he's in pain? What course of action should I take? Should I bring him to a vet?

I took some photos. I had difficulty getting the nail into focus, but hopefully they are sufficient.

Here is one photo:

Image

And some others:

https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipM1IvTkJ3ZM004y9bRAzVBj ... YXR6UVlmeDRn

Thank you!

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:13 am


So long as there is no bleeding and are no signs of infection, your guinea pig should be okay. How old is Midnight? Older guinea pigs' nails can get weird. You might want to review his diet if you are concerned.
www.guinealynx.info/diet.html

Note that this can be Midnight's medical topic. Post all questions about him here.

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AviN4
Supporter in '21

Post   » Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:31 am


Thanks so much for the helpful reply, Lynx! If I keep trimming small amounts, should I expect a healthy nail to eventually replace the split one?

I don't know how old Midnight is. I adopted him and his brother Moon from a shelter 6 months ago. They didn't know how old they were, and just documented them as "adults."

I think their diets are good, though I imagine their diets were worse before I adopted them. I typically feed them the following each day. (These are the combined amounts for both piggies.)

* Unlimited Oxbow oat hay. (I'm avoiding timothy and orchard because I have grass allergies.)
* Unlimited water. (Of course.)
* 1/4 cup of KMS timothy pellets.
* 2 cups of green leaf lettuce.
* 1/4 red or green bell pepper. (Just to make sure they get enough Vitamin C.)

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Sef
I dissent.

Post   » Sun Mar 17, 2019 12:00 pm


If there's any way to file it with an emery board with a fairly fine grit, I'd look for any sharp edges that could get caught on something and make it split more. It *should* gradually grow out, but do keep an eye out, as Lynx stated, or any signs of redness/swelling/infection.

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Kimera

Post   » Sun Mar 17, 2019 6:41 pm


It might be easier to secure the split nail with glue until it grows back, than to trim it to prevent catching on the bedding.

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:20 pm


Good points! If diet had anything to do with it, it may grow out better. When you clip, try to leave as smooth a nail tip as possible. Filing should help. Glue is an interesting idea!

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AviN4
Supporter in '21

Post   » Mon Mar 18, 2019 8:41 pm


Thanks everyone for all your helpful advice! I filed the nail a bit with an emery board today, so hopefully that reduces the risk of problems. I'll be sure to continue doing that after each time I cut his nails.

I don't trust my ability to properly apply glue and I'm concerned I about making things worse, so I'll hold off on that for now.

Would it make sense to cut the nail more often to try to get the split part removed sooner? If so, what's the minimal safe interval between nail cuts to avoid bleeding? I cut just the tip off each time.

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Sef
I dissent.

Post   » Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:18 pm


I think just cutting a little at a time should be fine. How far up the nail is the split? Does it go all the way up to the toe?

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:53 pm



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AviN4
Supporter in '21

Post   » Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:51 pm


self1268, It doesn't look like it's split up to the toe but it's hard to tell with his tiny black feet.

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Sef
I dissent.

Post   » Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:03 am


It looks like his other nails on that foot are normal and healthy, so maybe he just snagged it on something. Hopefully it will grow out and be okay, but some guinea pig's nails do get more brittle or malformed as they get older. You'll just want to keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't get infected.

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AviN4
Supporter in '21

Post   » Sun Jul 28, 2019 12:39 pm


I trimmed Midnight's nail weekly for a few weeks and then went back to monthly. After a few months, it's looking mostly better. I took him to the vet to confirm and the vet said it looks fine. Thanks everyone for your help. I'll be posting next about an eye problem which prompted the vet visit.

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AviN4
Supporter in '21

Post   » Sun Jul 28, 2019 1:01 pm


While cutting Midnight's nails yesterday, I noticed one of his eyes were blueish and cloudy. Here's a photo, though it's not that great.

Image

I took him to the vet. The vet did an eye corneal staining test and diagnosed Midnight with an corneal ulcer. The vet gave me gentocin eye drops to apply roughly every 8 hours (3 times per day) for 7 days. The vet also said if Midnight doesn't improve within 3 days, I should take him back.

A few questions on this:
  1. Does this diagnosis and treatment plan seem like a good one? I haven't done background checks on the vet's expertise, but on the surface he seems to know about guinea pigs.
  2. I'm worried I'm not getting enough of the drops in Midnight's eye. How worried should I be?
  3. The vet wanted to give me gentocin gel, but didn't have any, so he gave me drops instead. Does this make a big difference? Should I try to get a hold of some gel?
  4. How diligent do I need to be about applying the drops every 8 hours? The vet said a few hours longer here and there is fine, but I just want to make sure. I could probably adjust my work schedule if I really need to.
  5. How serious is this problem? Is Midnight at risk of experiencing severe pain, requiring surgery, or losing the eye? Or should easy treatments like eye drops be sufficient in this case?
  6. On the surface, Midnight does not appear to be in pain: He seems to be eating normally, he's gained 30 grams in weight over the past month, and I haven't noticed him touching his eye. Does this seem right?
  7. I'm worried I caught this later than I could have. I don't handle Midnight and his brother often because they don't like it, and catching them to pick them up is a struggle. Should I be more diligent about weekly checks of eyes, weights, etc.?

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sun Jul 28, 2019 2:06 pm


I think you're overthinking this. It certainly won't hurt for the times to vary by a few hours. He's not at risk of losing the eye over a corneal ulcer. Gel would work better because it stays on the eye better, but the drops will work.

See http://www.guinealynx.info/eyes.html for more info.

Side note about dosage times: In hospitals, if you're prescribed a pill to be taken four times a day, you'll usually get it at 9,1, 6, and 9, leaving you with a 12 hour gap with no coverage.

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AviN4
Supporter in '21

Post   » Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:16 pm


Thanks bpatters, I'm glad to hear I'm overworrying.

I think I've figured out the technique to get the drops in the eye and stay there, so hopefully the drops will do their job.

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:40 pm


Ditto bpatters. The gel would be preferable (why the vet first tried to get it) primarily because it stays in the eye better.

The drops should work.

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CavyDad
Supporter in 2018

Post   » Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:43 am


From one over-worrier to another, you're doing fine! My boar had a corneal ulcer awhile back and the treatment was pretty much what you are describing from the staining to the drops, and he recovered fine. For what it's worth, we noticed the cloudiness starting to clear up within a couple of days.

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AviN4
Supporter in '21

Post   » Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:09 am


After 8 days of the gentocin antibiotic eye drops, Midnight is doing a lot better. The cloudiness improved over time. About 6 days into the eye drops, a different vet in the same office did a corneal staining on Midnight and reported that the corneal ulcer had almost fully healed, with possibly just a scar remaining. A few days after that, I now see just a tiny bit of cloudiness, and only when I shine a bright light on his eye. Thanks everyone for your help!

I'm sure Midnight was not happy with me repeatedly removing him from his cage, but he seems to have gotten used to it to some degree. Removing Midnight and his brother Moon from their cage over the past year has been a struggle each time, so this is probably good for the long-term.

Also, for what it's worth, I was consistent about the 3 times per day, but I wasn't very good at the timing. I gave some of the drops within 2 hours apart because of time constraints.

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:17 am


Thanks for the update! I am so happy to hear his eye is clearing up. Hope you don't have any more eye problems in the future.

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Sef
I dissent.

Post   » Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:41 pm


Excellent!

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