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skritters
09-03-16, 11:55 am
Please, I really need help.

After LSPís round of Baytril to treat her lung infection, things seemed to clear up. Sheís perky, alert, demanding, affectionate, and now coos when petted. Her appetite came back, and sheís started squealing for food. Except squealing for her has ALWAYS been raspy, since I got her as a little one. But right after the meds, it was raspy WITH squealing; now itís full rasp. I donít know if this is a problem, given that she was just treated for a lung infection.

The thing that Iím most anxious about, though, is her weight. She begs for food like thereís no tomorrow, and falls on her food eagerly when I give it to her, but sheís still losing weight. Her regular weight is around 30 oz, and this morning she weighed in at 24 oz. She lost about an oz in the last couple of days.

Another thing is her dark urine. Her stool is softer than Iíd like, but not full-on diarrhea. Her urine, though, is dark orangeóalmost brown. It doesnít look like blood. Her bottom is constantly soaking with it. Is she dehydrated? I do see her drinking at the bottle.

Is she somehow not absorbing her food properly? Sorry if thatís a dumb question. I donít know what to do. Should I supplement her regular diet with Critical Care? Like I said, she *is* eating on her own.

The thing is, I know the first response from everybody. ďTake her to the vet.Ē Of course thatís the first answer. But I donít know if I can afford it. Rent (raised), bills, security deposit, and tuition are all coming in at the same time. I already think I have to borrow money to make ends meet. I had an emergency vet fund, but it got all used up this summer. Her last illness cost me $500, and I paid it without hesitation even though Iíve been scrimping on food, so please, please donít judge me. I love her enormously and Iím scared for her and I donít know what to do if I canít afford the vet.

She never stops squealing (rasping). I donít know what else to give her. Itís breaking my heart.

bpatters
09-03-16, 12:13 pm
I wouldn't worry so much about the raspy voice. Some pigs just have them. I'd keep an eye on it, though, and if it sounds as though it's coming from her lungs rather than the vocal cords, or if she shows any signs of a URI, then you'll have to see a vet for antibiotics.

Is she squealing for food all the time? Does she always have hay? What else is she getting to eat?

How long did it take her to lose from 30 ounces to 24? A loss of one ounce in two days is certainly a warning flag, but not necessarily a full emergency. Are you weighing her at the same time of day, preferably in the morning before breakfast? If you're not, then you don't know what of the weight is pig and what is food. Weigh early for a few days, and see what kind of readings you get. If they're continually dropping, then it's time to worry about the weight.

Is the urine dark when it's fresh, or only after it's dried? Dried urine is always darker than fresh.

Is there any odor to the urine? That would be a sign of a UTI and a need to get antibiotics for her.

And last, but not welcome news, I'm sure, is that leaking urine can be a sign of a bladder stone, which would require an x-ray to diagnose. If she's squeaking while peeing/poopng, then she definitely needs to see the vet.

skritters
09-03-16, 12:46 pm
Thanks for such a prompt reply.

I always weigh her in the morning before giving kibble. She was doing so much better that I haven't been weighing her daily any more, but still regularly. I believe it's taken her about 3 weeks overall to lose the weight, but it's speeding up. I'll start weighing her daily again.

Yes, she's been squealing more and more constantly as the days go by. If if give her something, she'll gobble it down and be begging for more. It would make more sense to me if she were *gaining* weight, as maybe the increased begging would be a reaction to having her appetite suppressed when she was ill, but her losing weight makes me quite confused.

They get unlimited Oxbow Timothy Hay, sometimes with Oxbow Orchard Grass. For kibble I give them Oxbow's Cavy Cuisine (1/4 cup per day, shared between two pigs. They definitely both get turns at the food bowl). They have two water bottles on their cage. For veggies, they get green lettuce, green bell peppers, corn husks, diced celery, carrot bits, cucumber, zucchini...

The urine is dark while fresh, and yes, has a fairly strong odour. I haven't noticed her squeaking while peeing/pooping, but I'll keep a close eye on her. I give her little "bum baths", and while bathing her/wiping her bum, I've noticed that her anus/vulva area is... distended? Not swollen per se, not prolapsed, but... bumping out a bit?

So, likely she would need a vet visit, another x-ray, more antibiotics, treatment to remove a stone if there is one... I feel awful. I literally do not have the money for that. Is there anything I can do from home to help her?

bpatters
09-03-16, 12:53 pm
Not really. The urine odor and color indicate an infection, while the lack of squeaking while peeing/pooping indicate that there's probably no stone. So it should be a fairly straightforward vet visit just to get Bactrim.

There are other things that it could be, but much less likely, and much more expensive for tests. I'd see if I couldn't scrape together the money for the visit and bactrim, and then go from there. And the UTI could explain the weight loss.

If you caught her when she's in heat, her vulva would be distended.

skritters
09-04-16, 12:33 am
I bathed her this morning, and already by tonight her whole bottom is soaked dark orangey/brown. I don't know how to keep her comfortable. Earlier today she was still squeaking energetically, but I'm holding her now and she's rather still... she doesn't feel very warm, and her eyes are closing a lot. I don't know what to do for her.

CritterSlave
09-04-16, 01:16 am
How's her fluid intake? Good appetite with weight loss and wonky urination just screams diabetes to me.


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spy9doc
09-04-16, 09:12 am
How's her fluid intake? Good appetite with weight loss and wonky urination just screams diabetes to me.

If she were a human, then I would be inclined to agree with you. But, to my knowledge cavies rarely have diabetes.

skritters
09-04-16, 09:23 am
Her fluid intake has gone down, although she's still drinking some. Perhaps dehydration is contributing to her darker urine...? I know I've heard of pigs getting diabetes, and it did cross my mind... but I have them on a low-sugar diet. No fruit, some carrot. When she was sick last month I fed her berries, but it wasn't for a long stretch of time. Are there other signs I should watch for?

She still asked for food this morning, and is currently at her bowl, but is weaker than even yesterday morning, and her eyes aren't fully open. I found a big pile of poop from where she was sleeping; she didn't move away from it at all. Dark and soft, but still formed and normal-sized. Some of her poops, though, look like they're going to be soft, because they're so dark and shiny, but then they feel almost like they have a plastic coating.

Did I make a mistake in bathing her yesterday? I only bathed her bottom half; I felt so awful for her discomfort at having this horribly dirty bottom, but it was a bit futile and she seems to have gone downhill since then. It could be coincidence. I've had the heater on etc. so she wouldn't catch cold...

skritters
09-04-16, 09:42 am
I've just weighed her--- she's lost the better part of another ounce since yesterday morning. Even though she's been eating! I don't understand! Even if she's "leaking" due to a bladder infection, how would this cause her to lose weight? Is it water weight? Her poops aren't perfect but I don't feel like there's more than usual. Where is the weight going??

bpatters
09-04-16, 10:05 am
I know you're in a bad situation, but she needs a vet if you can manage it in any way possible.

spy9doc
09-04-16, 11:23 am
I agree. I suspect that your girl is quite ill and may not make it unless she sees a Vet. I don't think there is much else you can do.

skritters
09-05-16, 06:49 am
LSP passed away a few hours ago, at 3am. Less than 12 hrs until I could get her in to the vet. During the day she had actually perked up; she was begging for food and putting her feet up on the bars to get little pieces of celery and carrot. She was moving around, still acting like LSP. But late in the evening it’s like… she just started shutting down. Her legs weren’t working properly. I stayed up with her and cuddled for hours. I had a feeling this was the end, and made the call to not rush her into the cold night to an animal ER that probably couldn’t help. So I just held her, and pet her in all her favourite ways. At some point she began having heart attacks, and I held her close and talked and sang to her. Eventually, she was gone.

I’m completely heartbroken. I’ve never been closer to a pet than I was with her. I do believe I gave her a good life. I know she loved me and felt bonded to me.

I don’t know, in the end, if she had a bladder infection or not. To be honest, I don’t want to know. I know her body was shutting down. Maybe for her, 5 and a half was just… old. I don’t for one minute regret all the money I put out in July to get her through that lung infection. It gave her that last little bit of life. But this seemed different.

Again, I’m no longer asking for medical opinions or theories. Please don’t share any. I don’t want to know. I just wanted to update this, and say thank you to those that helped me.

spy9doc
09-05-16, 08:40 am
Don't beat yourself up for what you couldn't do. Feel good about what you did to comfort her at the end of life. My experience with Chester's passing was very similar to your's with LSP..........peaceful and loving.

These little furballs capture such a piece of our heart, don't they? Fly free over the Rainbow Bridge, LSP!

bpatters
09-05-16, 10:50 am
I'm so sorry.

lisa325
09-06-16, 04:53 pm
Your story is one of real devotion,you fought hard for her, you loved her, and she knew it. I'm so sorry you lost her, rest easy knowing she's not suffering any more. Run free LSP <3