This may be long, but in summary, Duck experienced some twitches and behavior that looked like she was passing over the rainbow bridge but snapped out of it. I am wondering if this is normal, if she is in pain, and how much longer we can expect to have her with us? Or did I completely misread what I saw?
Duck has been doing pretty well the last few weeks, but yesterday she gave us all a fright. The entire day she was laying down in her house, flatter and looking more limp than usual, eyes sunken in. I noticed that occasionally she would awake from a nap and appear to have labored breathing (mouth slightly open, sides heaving). She would come out very occasionally for hay and if we lured her out with vitamin c biscuits, but she looked kind of dazed and not really in herself when she would walk. She also looked extremely weak and wouldn't adjust her back feet during the walk until they were stretched out so far behind her that they couldn't support her. When eating she would be on her side with her back legs out from under her and propped up on her front feet for a few bites before collapsing her head down. Almost instantly, her ears would start flapping and her eyes looked like she was in REM sleep.
At night her body starting jolting at random times. She would be sitting up and have a jolt. Then her head would slowly go down to the ground so she was laying down in an uncomfortable looking way and she would have more twitches. Her ears flapped too and her back feet would also twitch. Overall, this behavior seemed very similar to when our other pig Beef passed. But after one particular twitch, she lifted her head up and started eating her poops. I gave her some tomato, cilantro, and banana because I wanted her to have a tasty treat to remember us by. Then she came out of her house for some hay, but her demeanor was entirely different. She had a pep in her step and it looked like Duck was back. This morning, Duck is eating and acting normal. Does what happened to Duck yesterday sound like a step of the death process for pigs? Or could it just have been a sudden drop in vitamin c/calcium? Is it normal for pigs to "snap out of it" when this time comes? Am I looking at extra days with her or months? Yesterday was an absolute emotional rollercoaster and as always, I appreciate your help in making this less confusing.
I don't have a medical background so I can only throw things out based on what I have read here over the years.
1) Sometimes a guinea pig has a "last hurrah", where they seem to improve, only to go downhill. The problems you experienced, IMO, are infrequent.
2) I understand guinea pigs can have epilepsy. I do not know that this is what you saw.
3) Neurological issues like what you saw can indeed precede death.
4) Heart issues - guinea pigs can have strokes and other problems, just like we humans do.
Or could it just have been a sudden drop in vitamin c/calcium? It is more likely low blood sugar than low calcium.
Hopefully she will continue her improvement. More reading:
I look forward to comments from other members who may have different experiences and advice!
- I dissent.
Obviously, these symptoms could be many other things as well, but just tossing it out there as another possibility.
- I dissent.
Also her sneezing has been pretty severe for the last 3 weeks. It wakes her from her sleep and is quite loud and sometimes discharge sprays from her nose. Today I found that around her left nostril, which is the one that experiences discharge, there were some bloody spots. Does anyone know what this could mean?
https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supple ... 071899?p=1
Does she show signs of mouth breathing? Is the sneezing partly to open her nasal passages?
The bloody spots from sneezing: I expect that like us, there are blood vessels easily injured causing bleeding from the nasal passages.
It is possible that she is sneezing partially to clear her nasal passages. She wipes at her nose a lot and sometimes does sharp exhales that often precede a sneeze. I forgot to mention yesterday that while we had her out to weigh her, we found something that looked like a very small grain of rice on the towel she was sitting on. We squeezed it and it popped with a milky white pus-like fluid. I have no idea what it was, but I wonder if she had dislodged it from her nose during a sneeze. I've been looking at her frequently throughout the day today and her nose seems to be more dry than it has been in the past 3 weeks. Any discharge seems to be clear rather than milky. I read a thread on here that someone's pig had chronic sinusitis and their vet said they would only have to treat their pig if the infection was acute (milky discharge). I hope we've seen the last of the milky discharge