View Full Version : URI/Upper Respiratory Infection Mineralized Lung Tissue

05-26-09, 08:23 pm
I'm copying and pasting a post that I posted on GuineaLynx. It's a strange situation that we're experiencing with one of our boars right now...

Cuy, my sweet little pig, has been through a lot today! Let me start from the beginning...

Cuy has had recurring URI's for the last 5 months. Four times he was diagnosed with URI and 4 times he was prescribed Bactrim (14 day course).

Yesterday morning (Monday) I noticed the tell tale signs of the beginnings of another URI. It was very mild and I figured I would make an appointment this morning (Tuesday).

Well, Monday night I was cleaning out the cage and noticed that there were far less Cuy poops than Gus poops (Gus is his cage mate). Gus is a GINORMOUS pig and has big poops, while Cuy has smaller ones. I suspected that Gus was bullying Cuy and taking all the food, so I weighed Cuy and found that he had lost 1.5 oz. I feel really terrible that I didn't notice this sooner, but with finals the last few weeks (I'm a college student) I guess I just didn't pay the attention that I should have and didn't do much weighing the last month.

So I decided it would be best for Cuy if I put him in a seperate cage. So I put Cuy in a 2x2 by himself and hand fed him some veggies and also gave him a few CC's of Critical Care just to get him on the road to weight gain. I then checked on him halfway through the night to give him some more food and make sure he was alright. HE WAS NOT! He went downhill super fast and seemed to be very weak and lethargic. I syringed him water and critical care and checked on him several more times during the night. I called the vet and they said they absolutely couldn't see him until 2:30! I don't know any other cavy-savy vets, so I waited.

I took him in at 2:30 and my doctor took an x-ray, gave sub-Q's and got him started with an injection of Baytril.

The x-rays are where it gets WEIRD!! It showed some sort of mineralization or calcification of one of his lungs, the other lung was fine. She said it looks to her like one of the lungs is not functional. This would explain his constant struggle with breathing difficulties, but she admitted she has never seen anything like it and would have to consult a colleague for some analysis. She wants to do more tests on him, but said she thinks we should wait a few days until he is not so weak, and is a little more stable.


Has anyone ever heard of anything like this?
Is it possible for him to be OK with one lung?

I should also mention that this morning while we were counting down the seconds til we could see the vet, Cuy started having weird poops.

They were normal shaped poops, but they were smaller than normal, and all attched with a "string". I don't know how else to explain it, it was weird, they seemed to be attached by some sort of string, and he is still having these kinds of poops, although they are getting a little bit bigger.

Also, the doc gave him a prescription for Lasix (sp?). She said she would like to see if he responds to it. She said it can't hurt, so we're gonna give it a go.

I know this is a long post, but I just wanted to get all the info in there. I would appreciate ANY feedback from you guys! Thanks so much!

05-26-09, 08:25 pm
Sorry about all of the size and font things! I think its because I copied and pasted it. Oops!

05-26-09, 08:27 pm
Sorry about all of the size and font things! I think its because I copied and pasted it. Oops!I fixed it.

05-26-09, 08:32 pm
I don't know anything about the medical situation you are in, but I wanted to send my sympathies and let you know that your piggy is in my thoughts. That's a really a scary situation for him and you to be in, I hope he feels better soon and I hope that your vet finds a cause to his problems and finds a cure for it as well...Good luck with Cuy and remember that people on this forum truly do understand your pain/sadness/fear of dealing with a sick little piggy who has become a family member.

I know that I'm not the only one who will have you in his/her thoughts.

Good luck to the 2 of you, and please keep us updated!

05-26-09, 08:45 pm
Did the vet say why the Lasix? Was there a build up of fluid in the lung/s or around the heart? Keep in mind lasix draws off fluid, so you will want to watch for dehydration. He should be able to live with one lung but will be more susceptable to infections.
Was the string attaching the poos like a dry string or slimy?

I am wishing the best for him and hope the vet can find out what is going on with him.

05-26-09, 09:09 pm
Kritterkrazy, the vet recommended the Lasix because of his chronic URI's. She said that in the x-ray his heart looked fine, but it would take an ultrasound to find out for sure. She didn't feel we should do any testing today due to his weakness. She didn't want to put him through more stress. He was showing other signs as well such as heavy sleep, letting people pick him up easily, and weight loss. She just thought rather than wait for more testing, that we just go with it and see if there is an improvement.

The string was moist, but not wet or slimy. It was not mucousy either, which was what I expected, until I gave it a closer inspection. And there will be like 10 in a row, all connected by string-like material.

Thanks for the mention that Lasix draws off fluid. I will continue to syringe him fluids along with his Critical Care.

05-27-09, 02:49 am
I'm sorry to have to report that Cuy just couldn't hold up through the night. He passed some time between 1:30 and 2:00. He was showing some improvement the hours leading up to his passing, so I'm surprised that this happened so quick.

I am having a hard time coming up with the words that I'll need to explain this to my 4 year old son. He's going to be heartbroken, I know I am.

05-27-09, 03:28 am
I'm so sorry to hear that your little guy didn't make it... I can only imagine how hard it is to deal with the loss of your little furry friend. At least now he is no longer in pain, and while he was with you he was loved and very well taken care of... he was a very lucky pig to have you in his life.

As to what to tell your son, perhaps tell him the rainbow bridge poem, just google "rainbow bridge".

May he now be happily popcorning over the rainbow bridge. May he be comfortable, happy, and breath easy. Rest in peace, Cuy...

05-27-09, 08:20 am
Poor guy. I'm so sorry for your loss.

You may want to consider a necropsy, to see if they can figure out what it was- both for your peace of mind and for the vet to know what to do if they ever see something like this again.

05-27-09, 01:11 pm
Alusdra, I did consider that, but because of my son I decided that it would be best for him to be able to have our funeral this morning and not drag it out. He is 4 1/2 and this is the first pet he has had to say goodbye to. Also, I just spent $583 trying to save our baby, only for it to all be for nothing. I just can't justify any additional costs. I wish we were in a situation that would make that more feasible, because I can see how it could help my vet.

My son was really upset by the idea of burrying him too. He said "what if an animal that lives under the ground tries to open the box and eat him?". This sounds irrational to an adult, but it was very serious to my little boy. We had to cover his box in packing tape. We made it very ceremonious. We put a letter to him in his box along with his favorite cuddle cup and a ball he liked. It was all very sad, but I have to think it will help him in the long run.

05-27-09, 05:34 pm
I am very sorry for your loss.

05-27-09, 05:44 pm
I'm so sorry for you loss. You and your son are in my thoughs.