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Thread: Bird's medical thread- weight loss, difficulty defecating

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner Agrimony's Avatar
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    Bird's medical thread- weight loss, difficulty defecating

    I tried updating an old thread as it has become relevant once again, but the thread was too old so I'm starting anew.

    Bird once again has all the symptomís he has last Jan- March including very rapid weight loss, eating less, dehydration, pain and difficulty defecating and very small, malformed droppings. Last time he was treated from January through March with simethicone, benebac, metacam, antibiotics and hand feeding critical care and water. After a while his symptoms went away, he regained all the weight and was back to normal, but with no specific cause listed. Based on x ray all they could tell was his stomach lining was slightly inflamed. I brought him to the vet yesterday, the day after his symptomís became apparent. His 100 gram weight loss happened within 4 days- I weight them every week and he went down from 1048 to 916. I was expecting it to be a one-time thing but here we are again.

    I am reluctant to take him off veggies again as that is what he is eating most easily, but last time it was recommended here. The vet did not say whether or not I should. He gets high quality pellets and unlimited bluegrass hay. No recent dietary changes.

    Any advice would be appreciated, or any idea what could cause this to happen yet again.

    Thanks

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Bird's medical thread- weight loss, difficulty defecating

    When you have to start a new medical thread because the old one is locked because of age, please include the URL of the old thread in the first post of the new thread so we can easily find it without having to chase through the search screens to look for it. Thanks.

    Urg. How on earth can they tell that his stomach lining is slightly inflamed from an x-ray?

    If he were mine, I'd take him off veggies for 24 hours and see if that helps. Then I'd start him back on one veggie at a time, but give him longer than the normal 48 hours in between new ones so you can monitor what's going on. I'd also give him BeneBac twice a day.

    Have you tried giving him pedialyte? Most pigs love it, and will happily slurp it down. That will help with the dehydration, which should help with the small, malformed droppings. If you do get it, keep it in the refrigerator and only take out what you'll give him at one time, as it goes moldy very quickly.

    What about him tells you that he's in pain? Squeaking while peeing or pooping? Squeaking when moving? Or something else?

    Has he been x-rayed to see whether he has bladder sludge/stones?

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner Agrimony's Avatar
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    Re: Bird's medical thread- weight loss, difficulty defecating

    Sorry about that, didn't even thin to do it. Here is the link https://www.guineapigcages.com/forum...lty-defecating

    I am not sure, that is just what they told me. I assume they could see the stomach and the outline was larger but I did not ask. I saw the x ray and could see his stomach on it but am not familiar enough to know if it looked different than usual. They took a few x rays and there was no signs of bladder sludge or stones.

    I will pick up some pedialyte, that's a great suggestion. I have him on benebac morning and afternoon and his antibiotic at night.

    The pain I am inferring from when he tries going to the bathroom he hunches up, winces and whines. if you touch his belly he winces as well. He is also puffed up, just clearly uncomfortable. When I first noticed him unwell I held him on a towel until he went to the bathroom (just to be sure he was still passing stool) and he hunched up small, puffed up and whined while he was defecating. He does not seem to be bothered while urinating.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Bird's medical thread- weight loss, difficulty defecating

    Well, that's a classic sign of a bladder stone.

    I also wonder about the antibiotic. There's not really anything that might be wrong with him with those symptoms that would be helped by an antibiotic except possibly a urinary tract infection, but those can be determined with a good deal of certainty. And the symptoms don't quite fit that.

    Is this an exotic vet? And how long ago were the x-rays taken?

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    Re: Bird's medical thread- weight loss, difficulty defecating

    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post
    Well, that's a classic sign of a bladder stone.

    I also wonder about the antibiotic. There's not really anything that might be wrong with him with those symptoms that would be helped by an antibiotic except possibly a urinary tract infection, but those can be determined with a good deal of certainty. And the symptoms don't quite fit that.

    Is this an exotic vet? And how long ago were the x-rays taken?
    It is an exotic vet, the X-rays were done back in February and again this week, neither time did they show stones. The vet has positively identified and removed stones from my other boar, so I'm sure she knows what she's looking for

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    Re: Bird's medical thread- weight loss, difficulty defecating

    Some pigs have been known to have (or were assumed to have) interstitial cystitis, which is a painful bladder condition. However, it's not associated with pain while defecating.

    Have they tried an ultrasound?

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    Re: Bird's medical thread- weight loss, difficulty defecating

    No ultrasound.

    Updates: Bird finished five days worth of metacam and antibiotics once a day, benebac and simeticone twice a day and hand feeding critical care. he had a one week check at the vet and he is really back to his usual self. He bounced back after a couple days of medicine. We went back from 912 grams to 966 so while we are stopping the other medications he is continuing benebac and critical care and going back next week for another check up. The vet said it was GI stasis though not sure what caused it. I hope to figure out the cause as this has happened twice now. I left with metacam so if it does happen again I can start him back on it right away.

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    Re: Bird's medical thread- weight loss, difficulty defecating

    Back to the vet for follow up and weight check tonight, here's my good Bird getting his critical care. He loves the taste and has gotten much better about eating it...though it is still a messy task!Click image for larger version. 

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    Re: Bird's medical thread- weight loss, difficulty defecating

    My pig Odeta had very similar symptoms, though her poops were more like diarrhea then joined-together. she was slightly bloated, cried while defecating and when her stomach was touched, was losing weight, and was eating less than usual.

    We took her to 2 different specialists on 4 occasions and none of them could tell exactly what was wrong, though she had a decreased amount of a certain bacteria in her poops because she hadn't been doing coprophagy properly. Her poops improved in texture & returned to normal bacteria-wise after we started to mix healthy poops from the other two pigs into the critical care, and I made sure to clean her off with a warm washcloth often so that she didn't get diaper rash- she did develop a small sore inside her anus at one point from excessive pooping and I was concerned it'd get infected, but I managed to prevent that, knock on wood :)

    My personal theory was that she had bladder stone(s) that were too small to be picked up by an x-ray, but I didn't have the money for an ultrasound to confirm, and surgery wouldn't be a viable option anyway, so I just cut all calcium out of her diet- absolutely no fruits or veggies with any calcium, no matter how much she begs, low-calcium pellet food, and I stopped using tap water because of the possible calcium added & started giving them bottled water (I intend to get a brita filter eventually). she has improved a TON since I did this, her poops are normal and she only very rarely seems to be in pain, so I think it was bladder stones causing it.

    I don't know if this helps you at all, but it's what I did and it definitely seems to have worked.

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    Re: Bird's medical thread- weight loss, difficulty defecating

    That is good advice, Thank you for sharing your story @jaycriae

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