View Full Version : Injury Anyone Have Experience with an Arthritic Guinea Pig?

12-15-14, 11:47 am
So Saturday evening we noticed one of our oldest boys Howie (almost 5 years old) would not put his left hind leg on the ground. We put him in isolation so he could rest and not use the leg. He was still eating well but not drinking so we were syringing him water to keep him hydrated.

We took him to our cavy savvy vet this morning and had X-rays done. Nothing is broken, but the vet did notice that he has severe arthritis is both legs and some bone loss around his joints. Vet gave us some metacam to give him for the next 7 days and said he may need it for the rest of his life when he has a flare up. Howie was munching on some hay when I left for work earlier.

Anyone had an arthritic piggy before? I would love some tips to help ease his pain.

12-15-14, 12:03 pm
The metacam may do the trick. You want to give him the smallest dose that will control his pain. And there are other meds that can be used as well. See http://www.guinealynx.info/records/viewtopic.php?p=144#144.

12-15-14, 12:05 pm
Vet gave us premeasured doses for him.

12-15-14, 12:26 pm
If it turns out to be a long term treatment, though, you'll need to get the vet to adjust it downward to the lowest possible point. All pain relievers can have adverse effects themselves, so you don't want to cause another problem with the treatment for this one.

12-15-14, 01:52 pm
Ok I will definitely remember that if that's what ends up happening. The vet is hoping it won't be a every day thing once we get this flare he is having under control. We are just in the trying to see what will work stage right now

12-15-14, 06:11 pm
71066Here's our old man. Just gave him some water since I still don't think he's drinking. Can't tell much of a difference yet. He's still alert and eating though.

12-15-14, 10:28 pm
He's adorable! Feel better Howie, I know how much arthritis hurts!

12-15-14, 10:47 pm
Update: So Howie is now drinking water out of the bottle and moving better around the quarantine cage even though he isn't quite ready to bear weight on his leg. He still isn't really eating pellets but is eating any veggies and his hay that we put in the bottom of the cage for easier reach.

Looked at the dosage on the meds earlier and the vet gave him .12ml once a day for 7 days.

Still researching on what we can do to help him live as pain free as possibly. He's the first piggie we've had with arthritis.

12-18-14, 11:26 am
Update on Howie: Things are getting worse not better. He's still eating and drinking, but the medication is not having much of an effect. He is pretty much dragging or hopping himself around. Last night we noticed he has developed a lump on his right side. And he is having a little impaction trouble.

The vet said to try the antibiotics he is going to prescribe and bring him in tomorrow morning.

I guess I need to know are we keeping him alive for our own good? He appears to be suffering to me, and I don't want that.

I don't know what to do guys. I don't have the money to keep spending on him and if we think there's a chance for a normal life I have will find a way to do it. I'm just worried that I'm spending all this money to just prolong his suffering.

I really don't know what to do.

12-18-14, 08:57 pm
Poor little guy, that sounds really difficult to deal with. I don't think 5 is all that old for a piggie though?

12-19-14, 07:10 am
I don't think so either. Sitting at the vet's office now so we will see. My last 2 to pass away passed between 5-6 though. We just lost one of our girls this summer.

12-19-14, 08:15 am
In the end it was all too much for Howie to overcome. He had no use of his leg, was in pain, and losing weight. After discussion with our vet, we decided to put him to sleep. I'm devastated but I know he is in a better place.

12-19-14, 09:14 am
It sounds like you made a difficult decision but it was in his best interest. Deepest sympathies.

12-19-14, 09:51 am
You made an infinitely compassionate decision for Howie. My Bubba is the official greeter at the Rainbow Bridge, so he is probably showing Howie where to find the most delicious dandelion greens. Healing wishes to you from Chester & Maya.

12-19-14, 10:16 am
I'm sorry for your loss, I completely understand the decision you made.

12-19-14, 10:21 am
I'm so very sorry for your loss, Howie isn't suffering anymore and that's what was best for him. RIP little Howie.

12-19-14, 10:22 am
I'm so sorry. I know what a difficult decision that was to make. Just remember Howie wouldn't want you to be sad. He would want you to remember all the wonderful times you had with him. May his beautiful little spirit rest in peace.

12-19-14, 10:30 am
I'm sorry for your loss. It sounds like he may have had some neurological problems. I had a pig with neurological problems who would lose the ability to walk on the back end, and on occasion lose all ability to walk. This happened on and off for the last 6 months of her life before she passed from a blood clot. I also had a pig with arthritis, but it was not severe. If it became severe I was going to have acupuncture done for her.

12-19-14, 10:57 am
So sorry about Howie.