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Thread: Hay Poke Gone Wrong

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    Cavy Slave katkor03's Avatar
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    Hay Poke Gone Wrong

    So last Saturday night, my pig got himself a hay poke. He is my youngest boar of two, about a little over a year old. I didn't notice until early Sunday morning and called my vet who is a small pet vet, and have been with her before. We had the appointment and she did a stain test, saying that she was sure his eye had been perforated a few layers and gave me antibacterial drops to give four times a day. I was supposed to see her after a period of ten days to see if he needed surgery to get his eye removed.

    The day I noticed, (I don't have pictures) it looked glazed over and filmy like someone with a cataract. It had a white spot where you could tell the impact was. Since then, it's been about four days on the drops and it looks less filmy and opaque, and more glossy again. He can open it all the way now, but not all the time. I was told to call her if anything about the eye changed. Crust forms, color changes, etc. The eye now has a ring of light brown around it, almost like a human Iris. So I contacted her immediately and she told me she wasn't sure if that was a good or bad sign and that she would do an air pressure test, as she wasn't sure as to why it would change colors like that.

    She gave me an estimate "that she would do on her own pets" for the surgery in the absolute worst case scenario ($1,200) and as a college student making 300 a month, I told her there was no way I could afford that. Even on a payment plan she would only accept two installments. She said she would try to come up with an alternative treatment plan, but even if it was $500 I would have a hard time paying that. The last option she said would be that I'd have to put him down if I couldn't afford it. She made me feel like I don't care about my babies because I couldn't pay. They are my world. They helped me get through so many nights of anxiety and depression. I'd be ripped apart if I had my little baby die because of a hay poke.

    Has anyone experienced a bad hay poke and know if a color change is okay?

    She told me to start looking gathering money to put him down, and at neutering my boy and getting a pair of girls instead. I don't even know what the "right" thing to do after my baby died would be. I can't even imagine it right now.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Hay Poke Gone Wrong

    Sorry your pig is having problems.

    Don't even THINK about having him put down because of eye problem. Even in the worst case, where they have to remove the eyeball, pigs do very well with only one eye. So there's no need to even think about euthanising him.

    You need an exotic vet. Small animal vet means dogs and cats, not pocket pets. They get little to no education in the care and treatment of exotic pets, and some of them are downright dangerous. Any why on earth would she tell you to neuter your other boar and get sows?

    Does the eye have any infection? Redness/swelling/pus/odor? Does he seem to be in pain?

    If not, I'd continue with the drops, looking for an exotic vet in the meantime in case things go downhill. It can take a while for eyes to clear up. He may have a scar on the cornea that will affect his vision, but that's not a major problem for him.

    If, however, he does have signs of infection, then he needs to see a better vet ASAP. Eye injuries are usually painful, so he'll needs to be seen.

    See http://www.guinealynx.info/eyes.html for more information.

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    Cavy Slave katkor03's Avatar
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    Re: Hay Poke Gone Wrong

    She specializes in Guinea Pigs. She said that the remaining pig would be less stressed with two girls instead of introducing him to another boar. My baby had lots of swelling and a raised eye. He was in so much pain, the only thing he'd do was eat and drink, then go into his hidey.

    She he told me to put him down if he needed the surgery and I couldn't pay for it, rather than let him go into sepsis if the worst case scenario happened and he really needed the surgery.

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    Cavy Slave barbaramudge's Avatar
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    Re: Hay Poke Gone Wrong

    If you can't afford to care for the eye how exactly does your vet expect you to pay for a neuter and two more pigs?! That's insane. If he needs surgery and you can't afford it then contact a rescue and give him up, don't just put him down for something fixable. It may be painful for you but it's better than death. Best of luck to you both.
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    Cavy Slave katkor03's Avatar
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    Re: Hay Poke Gone Wrong

    The neutering cost $80 with meds and procedure apparently. There's a local shelter an hour and a half away who adopts out piggies for $15 dollars if you can provide information and house visits. I didn't know giving up him up to a shelter would be an option :'( Would they let me adopt him afterwards??

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Hay Poke Gone Wrong

    Wait. This vet would charge $1200 to remove an eye and only $80 for a neuter? Something is seriously amiss here. The eye surgery should be MUCH less than that, and the neuter should be more.

    You need a new vet.

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    Cavy Slave barbaramudge's Avatar
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    Re: Hay Poke Gone Wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by katkor03 View Post
    The neutering cost $80 with meds and procedure apparently. There's a local shelter an hour and a half away who adopts out piggies for $15 dollars if you can provide information and house visits. I didn't know giving up him up to a shelter would be an option :'( Would they let me adopt him afterwards??
    Neuters are way more than that here. I'm not trying to be mean but you can't afford proper vet care so you shouldn't be getting more pigs. Pigs can need vet care at any time. No, I don't think they would let you adopt him back after, because again, you can't really afford them. I swear to you I'm not saying that to be judgey, I'm just being realistic. Keep up with the eye drops, you said you're seeing some improvement. Unless it gets worse I'd run the whole course and then see where you're at, but don't but him down, there's no need for that.
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    Cavy Slave katkor03's Avatar
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    Re: Hay Poke Gone Wrong

    She said for the "Golden Care" treatment. She's currently working on an estimate for other alternatives once I reminded her again that I can't pay for that. I'd be hard pressed to do $500, but with two payments and a lot less eating on my part, it's doable. I'm really pressing for that. I can afford them, I've been taking great care for them and loved them, but really? Because I can't afford $1200 I shouldn't have them at all?

    I've paid for everything myself for them. All their check ups, visits, food, cage, but because I can't just DISH out $1200?
    Last edited by katkor03; 09-09-16 at 10:07 pm.

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    Cavy Slave barbaramudge's Avatar
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    Re: Hay Poke Gone Wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by katkor03 View Post
    She said for the "Golden Care" treatment. She's currently working on an estimate for other alternatives once I reminded her again that I can't pay for that. I'd be hard pressed to do $500, but with two payments and a lot less eating on my part, it's doable. I'm really pressing for that. I can afford them, I've been taking great care for them and loved them, but really? Because I can't afford $1200 I shouldn't have them at all?

    I've paid for everything myself for them. All their check ups, visits, food, cage, but because I can't just DISH out $1200?
    Again, I'm not bashing you, and I'm not saying you don't love them, clearly you do! But yes, because you don't have $1200. Think about it objectively for a minute. $1200 is the difference between life and death. This pig would live if you could afford it. Can you see what I'm saying? If you had the money putting him down wouldn't even be in question. I feel for you, truly I do and I hope he doesn't need that and his eye gets better. This is a hard spot to be in and I'm sorry you have to go through this :(
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    Cavy Slave katkor03's Avatar
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    Re: Hay Poke Gone Wrong

    Again though, that's for the "golden standard" treatment of care. She said there were other alternatives and less amounts of tests she could do with still maintaining efficacy. I literally would go a month without lunch and dinner and ride the bus instead of driving to school so my baby could both live and be with me.

    If it doesn't have to be 1200, then that's okay. I can find a way to pay for it. It doesn't make me any less able or capable for paying for my babies or giving the care they need. We don't need the gold standard. It's like going to the doctor for an ear infection, and they want to give you a blood test, physical exam, charge you for every person who's touched you or your lab work, an ear swab, and 17 other tests that aren't necessary but they want to do it. When all you really need is an exam, swab, and medicine.

    Obviously he might need more than that, and it's an oversimplification, but still. She wanted originally to conduct 5 tests, plus the sick pet exam, totaling $230. When really, he needed the exam, eye stain, and meds. $130 at his first visit with her.
    Last edited by katkor03; 09-09-16 at 10:28 pm.

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    Cavy Slave barbaramudge's Avatar
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    Re: Hay Poke Gone Wrong

    I hope she can come up with something that works for you. If need be could you maybe sell some of your things you don't use on Craigslist? Or maybe ask family for help?
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    Cavy Slave katkor03's Avatar
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    Re: Hay Poke Gone Wrong

    My mom has never been an animal lover and wouldn't. I've been filling in taking care of little kids and have been scraping by with that in addition to my job and school. Again, I could scrape $250 for two months into two payments or so if it was $500. If it's something like $700 I might have to see what I can do. But still.

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    Cavy Slave lisa325's Avatar
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    Re: Hay Poke Gone Wrong

    I really feel bad for you, it's a tough situation to be in. You obviously love your little guy very much. Sending you all good vibes and wishes that the situation will be resolved without breaking your bank.

  14. "Thank you, lisa325, for this useful post," says:


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    Cavy Slave katkor03's Avatar
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    Re: Hay Poke Gone Wrong

    I think his eye is healing really well. There's black color coming back to it, and if you weren't holding him up to the light, you almost wouldn't be able to tell which eye it was. He still has the white-ish impact spot, but I think he'll be okay.

    Appointment tomorrow! Fingers crossed <3

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    Cavy Slave barbaramudge's Avatar
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    Re: Hay Poke Gone Wrong

    Good to hear! Good vibes your way!
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    Cavy Slave katkor03's Avatar
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    Re: Hay Poke Gone Wrong

    All good :) Spent $200 plus on vet sick visits, tests, meds, and follow ups, but I was definitely able to afford it and he healed well. I was pissed that the vet acted like healing from that sort of thing was like the miracle baby jesus. Especially for someone who's written research on guinea pigs. But just remembered I never gave the update!

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    Re: Hay Poke Gone Wrong

    Glad it all worked out and your baby is okay! Yay! Congrats

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    Cavy Slave barbaramudge's Avatar
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    Re: Hay Poke Gone Wrong

    Woohoo, congrats! I'm so glad things worked out for you both!
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