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Thread: Pig with an injured leg

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    Cavy Slave
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    Pig with an injured leg

    Yesterday when I was cleaning out the cage, I noticed my boy Kenny was limping--something's wrong with his front right leg. He won't put pressure on it, but just merely holds it higher up so it won't touch anything. I took him to the after hours vet and luckily there are no broken bones. Vet may think its a bad sprain or a slight fracture that will heal on its own in a few weeks. Kenny is our athlete- he's the energetic one of my two pigs and is always doing laps around the cage, so seeing him limp is really hard for us.

    The vet gave me liquid pain medication to give him over the course of a few days to make him more comfortable. I've confined him to the lower section of the cage so he won't struggle up the ramp to the top floor.

    Has anyone else had this happen? What else have you done to make your pig feel better?

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    Cavy Slave SandyF's Avatar
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    Re: Pig with an injured leg

    Sorry for your pigge's injury. Most minor leg injuries tend to mend fairly well on their own. Is the med Metacam? How are you dosing it?

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    Cavy Slave nonamian_girl's Avatar
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    Re: Pig with an injured leg

    I'm sorry to hear that, I hope your pig gets better. Did he take x-rays? He could have just bruised it. Did the vet check for spinal injuries?

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    Re: Pig with an injured leg

    The medication is Butorphanol. It's just a pain reliever in liquid form and we're giving it to him via syringe every 8 hours. He's had a couple of doses since last night, no problems to report with the meds.

    No X-rays were taken--the vet was positive there were no broken bones. Unfortunately, he said the result of X-rays would be useless information since they wouldn't be able to do much for him as far as treatment, other than give him pain meds. It was quite interesting hearing about the possibility of a guinea pig sling though... but the vet said animals that small would have trouble moving around since the sling would also go around the frame of its body to keep it in place. He didn't check for spinal injuries... I can't imagine there would be any because even with the hurt leg, Kenny still moves (aka hops) at lighting speed when it's feeding time.

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    Cavy Star Percy's Mom's Avatar
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    Re: Pig with an injured leg

    http://www.guinealynx.com/analgesics.html
    Please read this link about pain medications in your piggy. There is some information regarding Butorphanol you should read incase your pig starts showing any side effects. As I'm sure you already know, you want to keep him on pain meds for as short a time as possible. Please keep us updated on his progress.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Pig with an injured leg

    Quote Originally Posted by Percy's Mom
    http://www.guinealynx.com/analgesics.html
    Please read this link about pain medications in your piggy. There is some information regarding Butorphanol you should read incase your pig starts showing any side effects. As I'm sure you already know, you want to keep him on pain meds for as short a time as possible. Please keep us updated on his progress.
    Thanks for the link, I haven't noticed anything unusual with the medication. Kenny still acts very much like the same as before, just slower.

    He is still keeping that front leg up close to his body and hasn't put pressure on it. Today, Cartman came to Kenny's rescue and stood by his friend everytime I tried to reach for him to pick him up to give him the medication. Little bugger knew he was preventing me from picking up Kenny!

    Kenny is getting better at taking the meds, hardly any resistance the last time. I don't know how much guinea pigs remember on a daily basis, but I think Kenny is starting to see that the meds help him, so he shouldn't resist in taking them.

    For anyone who has had pigs with injured legs, about how long did it take till you saw improvement?

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    Re: Pig with an injured leg

    *Update*

    It's been a week, and still no signs of improvement. Kenny keeps the right front leg very close to him and won't let it touch the ground. He's been hiding in the hidey house a lot more too--something he never really did before. If anything, he'd be on top of the house, but definitely not in it.

    My significant other and I are going to take a vacation in a few weeks, and are handing our boys over to a pet-sitter (my mom). I hope Kenny is healed by then!

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    Cavy Slave WEAVER's Avatar
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    Re: Pig with an injured leg

    I do not want to scare you, but if he is showing absolutley no improvement (and is no hiding in his house all the time) that is not a good sign. There may be something else going on with your little man. Do you know and really trust the vet Kenny went to?

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    Cavy Slave twinkies's Avatar
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    Re: Pig with an injured leg

    I agree with Weaver. Something else must be going on. Sounds like he is withdrawing now. And as you know, piggies go down hill very fast. I would make another vet appointment and ask to have a X-ray taken. (My vet doesn't charge for a "no better" recheck). Or see another vet. But he definitely needs to be seen again. Hope he feels better soon. Keep us informed.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Pig with an injured leg

    Thanks for the advice...

    The vet I took him to was not my normal vet, it was an after hours emergency care vet. I will make another appointment with my regular vet to have him looked at again.

    He is still eating and drinking, no change in weight. Has anyone else had leg injuries with their guinea pigs? I am not even sure how long it takes to heal or when he should be showing signs of improvement (and by improvement, what kinds of things should I be looking for?)

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    Cavy Slave sooocute!'s Avatar
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    Re: Pig with an injured leg

    My Zoe had an injury that sounds like Kenny's. She hurt on of her front legs. She was holding it up close to her body and not putting any weight on it. I took her to the vet, and like you, decided not to x-ray.

    It did seem to take a long time before I saw improvement. I cannot remember exactly, but I think it took longer than 1 week before I knew it was getting better.

    It has been several months since her injury. She is much better now. She does bare weight on it now and she uses it to move things. She still limps a bit. I think her leg was probably broken and since it was not set, it is not straight now - therefore she limps.

    She is a happy active pig.

    Based upon my experience, I think it would probably be okay to wait before taking Kenny back to the vet. Watch for signs that it is getter worse or changing. But since they do not splint or set these injuries, and piggies do not know how to stay off their feet, it is going to take time to heal.

    That being said, it is never wrong to go to the vet. So if that makes you more comfortable, then that is what you should do.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Pig with an injured leg

    Quote Originally Posted by sooocute!
    My Zoe had an injury that sounds like Kenny's. She hurt on of her front legs. She was holding it up close to her body and not putting any weight on it. I took her to the vet, and like you, decided not to x-ray.

    It did seem to take a long time before I saw improvement. I cannot remember exactly, but I think it took longer than 1 week before I knew it was getting better.
    Thanks for sharing your experience, I feel a little better knowing it might take longer to see improvement.

    I called my regular vet and one thing she mentioned is that Kenny will not be as active as he was before because he can't move around as well. Makes sense, but I'm not used to my "track and field star" being lazy. Pretty much everything she said was what the after hours vet said... 4-6 weeks to completely heal, make sure he continues to eat, X-rays won't change the treatment, and have the ramp off limits.

    Maybe it's just my imagination, but tonight I thought his injured leg was closer to the ground than before... kinda like he's testing the waters to see if he wants to try walking on it. I don't know, it could just be wishful thinking.

    Sooocute, when Zoe was injured, do you remember if she ever made noises like she was in pain? Kenny is extremely quiet to begin with, except for the god-awful noise he made when the vet's assistant was showing me how to give him the medication. She had said it was because he was being restrained and not neccessarily because he was in pain...I'm not sure though. I am just wondering what I should keep an ear out for if something goes really wrong.

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    Cavy Slave sooocute!'s Avatar
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    Re: Pig with an injured leg

    Zoe never made any noise (she is my quiet pig). I remember wondering if I would hear her cry in pain. Maybe crying in pain is a human thing, or maybe they do and this injury is not that painful. Who knows?

    She did move around less. But she would get come out of the hidy house (where she spends most of her day) to eat just like always. She would use the leg to when she needed it to eat - move the food bowl. So although she moved around less, she was able to do what ever she needed to do.

    The other thing that surprised me was that Zoe, despite her injury, remains very calm, and still, while I clip her nails. I, of course, did not clip them when I knew her leg was not healed. But I have clipped her nails a couple times since the injury and she has no issue with it AND I have to pull her leg a bit to get it in the right position to clip. Now, her sister Tess is a totally different story (and with no injury)!

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Pig with an injured leg

    *Update*

    Kenny started to use his leg again!

    He's not using it all the time, but every now and then I catch him putting pressure on it. Maybe he's still testing the waters? Not sure, but I'm happy that he's more active than last week--today he cleared the food bowl and made a running jump right over it!

    Looks like my little guy will be back to normal in no time. Yay!

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    Cavy Slave fourbwabbys's Avatar
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    Re: Pig with an injured leg

    That's great! He should be better in no time!

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    Cavy Slave PiggieMom's Avatar
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    Re: Pig with an injured leg

    That's wonderful news! Go Kenny, Go!

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    Cavy Slave sooocute!'s Avatar
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    Re: Pig with an injured leg

    Glad to hear Kenny's good news!

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