View Full Version : Piggie has either tooth ache or URI, vet didn't help, need advice

07-14-08, 07:02 am
I got home from a trip to my Wiggles not eating. My boyfriend had been taking care of her over the weekend, and said she was morose Friday and stopped eating Saturday. I promptly took her to the emergency vet. They didn't really do anything for her, they said they didn't have the equipment to see if there was anything wrong with her teeth or test for a cold, and I had to take her to my regular vet. They gave her a shot of antibiotics and some fluids under the skin, charged me 170 bucks and sent me home.

The small animal doctor won't be in today, I know this from when my other one was sick, so I can't get Wiggles in till tomorrow at the earliest. I tried syringe feeding her a little bit, she's a bit more alert, trying to nibble on some chickory (her favorite) but generally not eating still. What can I do to keep her as healthy as possible until I get her to the vet? Is there a good combo I can blend and feed her with the syringe for optimum health? I tried an orange, some chickory, and some hay yesterday and I think the hay was a bad idea. Is there some sort of supplement that will keep her going until a vet can fix her?

Also any ideas what's wrong iwth her? The emergency vet said it could be overgrown back teeth, but she just had a checkup 6 weeks ago and the vet said her teeth were fine. Could a tooth overgrow that fast? She's 3 now as well, never had teeth problems. Her symptoms are:

crust around the eyes (wiped away, hasn't came back)
not eating or drinking

ANYTHING you can tell me to help her until a vet will see her will be most helpful.

07-14-08, 08:47 am
Sorry to hear about Wiggle. It could be a URI and that in turn can cause teeth problems because as she is not eating her teeth will become overgrown. You can mash up some pellets with warm water, let it cool and give to her or critical care which should be available at all good vets.

Do keep us posted on her progress. I would be syringe feeding every couple of hours to keep her going even during the night. Good luck.

07-14-08, 10:15 am
Guinea Lynx :: URI (http://www.guinealynx.info/uri.html) Lethargy, refusal to eat or drink, and crusty eyes are all signs of a URI, which can be deadly if not treated quickly.

Since the vet thought it was tooth issues, here's a few links on teeth.
Guinea Lynx :: Malocclusion of the Teeth (http://www.guinealynx.info/malocclusion.html) and Guinea Lynx :: Teeth (http://www.guinealynx.info/teeth.html). Drooling can be a sign of tooth problems. Did the vet check her molars on the visit? Incisors aren't usually a problem, it tends to be molars. This would also cause her to have difficulty eating.

Pigs need to be hand fed if they are not eating by themselves Guinea Lynx :: Hand Feeding (http://www.guinealynx.info/handfeeding.html). Critical care is commonly used Oxbow Pet Products | Critical Care (http://www.oxbowhay.com/link.sp?page=CriticalCare), some vets offices do carry it. A mash of pellets (instructions on GL link) also works.

Have you been weighing weekly? Has she had recent weight loss?

07-14-08, 11:08 am
Critical care is the best option. Get plain pedialyte to mix it up with and handfeed. Until you can get critical care, make a pellet mash with pedialyte and syringe that to her. If she doesn't like the taste you can add a small amount of any vegetable or fruit flavored baby food in for flavoring. See the guinealynx page on handfeeding that Pixie gave you.

6 weeks ago, did your vet use buccal pad separators to look at her back teeth? If not, then he has no way to tell if her molars are overgrown or not.

07-14-08, 04:01 pm
I did take her to critical care, they couldn't do anything.

I took her to the specialist today, I had to call a whole bunch of places before someone would see me today. They put her under and checked her teeth, her teeth are fine, so it's not that. They didn't think it was a URI, but gave me antibiotics for her anyway in case it was some sort of infection. They did an xray, nothing. They sent away blood work, will get information on that tomorrow. They think it could be kidney failure :(

I'm going to send my boyfriend for pedialyte now. The vet gave me Nutrical to help while she's not eating. Do you think that's a good idea or should I go with the pedialyte?

Thank you all for the help. My poor girl is sick :(

edit: and yes, she's lost about 10oz in 3 days. I've tried to syringe feed her but I guess I didn't do well, I just blended greens with water. I'm going to do the pedialyte/pellets and nutrical for now (unless you guys recommend otherwise). She starts antibiotics tomorrow.

07-14-08, 04:04 pm
I believe the critical care they're referring to is food for sick guineas, not a type of vet clinic.

07-14-08, 04:12 pm
Yes Critical Care is a dried food (I think it is made from hay) it smells minty infact it smell divine I love it. Your vet should supply it. You add water to it and syringe feed.

Syringe feeding can be hard work with an ill pig who doesn't want it so I always wrap pig in a towel and put their back to my stomach. If someone can feed while you hold that is ideal.

I've had critical care up the walls, infact I've still got some on my ceiling from the last attempt with my Sheltie who sadly didn't make it. He had similar problems to your pig and although treated for a URI it wasn't actually confirmed as one. I wish we knew more about their illnesses.

Fingers crossed this is something that can be put right.

07-14-08, 04:40 pm
the vet didn't give me nor offer 'critical care' he gave me nutrical. Is that going to be ok?

The boyfriend is out for pedialyte.

07-14-08, 06:23 pm
Nutri-cal is for cats and dogs. All it is is vitamins mainly. Not the same thing as critical care. Critical care is formulated for small animals like guinea pigs, rabbits, etc. It has more nutrients in it than just vitamins.

Oxbow Pet Products | Critical Care (http://www.oxbowhay.com/link.sp?page=CriticalCare)

07-14-08, 06:32 pm
I'll ask the vet if they can get me some of that then. They didn't even offer it. I fed her a bunch of pedialyte and mashed pellets, she seemed to enjoy it as much as circumstances could allow. Tomorrow I will know more about yknow, what the underlying cause is.

Thanks again for all the assistance everyone. The vet was great but I was too upset to ask logical questions. I'll give her some nutrical too before bed to make sure she has enough to get her through the night.

By the way, does anyone think this is diabetes?

07-14-08, 07:48 pm
update. I have her on my lap in a towel just so she's comfortable and clean. It feels like she's got the hiccups, but only ever 2 minutes or so she 'hics', sometimes more often but typically they're spaced. It wakes her up.

can this mean anything and if so can I fix it?

07-14-08, 09:34 pm
No, don't give her the nutrical. It's too fatty for her.

07-14-08, 11:17 pm
I'm going to send my boyfriend for pedialyte now. The vet gave me Nutrical to help while she's not eating. Do you think that's a good idea or should I go with the pedialyte?

Pedialyte is for rehydration. Nutrical is strongly discouraged on GL, see this link Guinea Lynx :: Topic - 45g baby--how much CC/pedialyte to feed? (http://www.guinealynx.info/forums/viewtopic.php?p=139455#139455).

What AB did your vet prescribe? See Guinea Lynx :: Dangerous Medications (http://www.guinealynx.info/dangerous_medications.html). Guinea Lynx :: Probiotics (http://www.guinealynx.info/probiotics.html) Probiotics are helpful to restore healthy gut flora in ill cavies during a course of antibiotics.

07-15-08, 12:19 am
So sorry you are going through this. I haven't heard a whole lot about kidney failure in GPs. What signs/symptoms did the vet say might indicate this?

07-15-08, 05:21 am
The vet gave her ciprofloxacin. Not sure what the signs are of kidney failure. Is cipro ok? I didn't see it listed on guinealynx.

07-15-08, 08:07 am
I was given cipro for a kidney infection... they told me it was a pretty strong antibiotic, broad spectrum because they weren't sure what was causing it, so they dosed me up pretty good with an IV of it.

Doing a google search, I came up with this from petplace.com:
"This drug is not approved for use in animals by the Food and Drug Administration but it is prescribed legally by veterinarians as an extra-label (http://javascript%3Cb%3E%3C/b%3E:%20void%280%29;) drug."

I hope this is an ok site to link to; I didn't thoroughly look at the site, just at this page on cipro. Ciprofloxacin (Cipro®, Ciloxan®) (http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/ciprofloxacin-cipro-ciloxan/page1.aspx)

It does go on to say that vet prescriptions for it are generally safe, and it can be used to treat UTI, URI, and skin infections.

[This site is geared toward dogs and cats]

07-15-08, 08:17 am
This is another article I use for antibiotic use in GP's in addition to Guinea Lynx. Its from the website of an exotic vet hosptial (they do frequently treat GP's but its too far from me to go for them to treat mine) Antiobiotc Use in Guinea Pigs (http://trentonpethospital.com/library/antibioticsGP.html)

Ciprofloxacin is listed both under safe and unsafe, its listed on unsafe because it can cause problems in growing pigs. "All quinolones have the capacity to cause articular degeneration of unknown pathogenesis in growing guinea pigs. This is characterized by blister formation and subsequent cartilage erosion with the lesions being most severe in the weight-bearing joints." It explains in the fourth paragraph of 'Antibiotic Toxcitity' in the article and details more in the third paragraph of 'Safe antibiotic' section.
As long as your pig is an adult, it should be okay.

07-15-08, 11:25 am
thank you both for the information, I greatly appreciate it.

Wiggles is 3, so she's an adult. She's holding on. On the offchance she could have developed scurvy from not eating in 5 days now except what I syringe feed her, i had my roommate give her 50mg of vitamin C per the directions on guinealynx mixed with pedialyte. I'm hoping that she had somethign wrong with her, it's been fixed, but now she has scurvy. If I'm completely off, do let me know.

Again, I do appreciate everything you guys are telling me. She's still not eating on her own, but seems 'healthy' in that she's not in pain and she's not having problem walking

edit: these are her symptoms to date:
- lethargic
- crusty eyes on third day of not eating, not come back
- little bit of crust on nose on 5th day of not eating
- not eating/drinking now 5 days
- no pain
- seemed to have sporadic 'hiccups'

have ruled out any issues with her teeth, is being treated with antibiotics, and is being syringe fed. Pending blood work.

07-15-08, 06:06 pm

I appreciate everything you all have offered and all the research you did. Wiggles didn't make it though, she just died. She started having seizures and then just let go. Keep her all in your thoughts, she was a rockin friend.

07-15-08, 07:09 pm
Oh, I'm so sorry.

07-15-08, 07:24 pm
So sorry that you lost your Wiggles.

07-16-08, 11:00 am
thanks for the sympathies :)

We got the lab results back from the vet, and it turned out to be either liver disease or liver cancer. So, there was nothing we did to have caused it nor anything we could do. I appreciate everything the vet did for her though, and all you guys offered. I think she had a great life, and I'm glad she got the pain medicine and wasn't in pain.

07-17-08, 10:42 pm
I know what you are going through. I lost a pig to suspected liver cancer not too long ago. So sorry for your loss.