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Thread: Bloat and GI Stasis

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    Cavy Slave sallyvh's Avatar
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    Bloat and GI Stasis

    I'm currently dealing with a case of bloat in Margaret, who is around 6 years old.

    She was perfectly normal yesterday when I went to sleep, but this morning when I woke up she was puffed up in her cuddle sack and didn't come screaming for veggies. I immediately pulled her out, thinking it may be bladder related as she has had many little stones - however, her stomach was extremely round and firm to the touch. I also realized that there weren't really any poops in the cage.

    I called her vet right away and was able to get her in for noon.

    X-rays showed exactly what I expected, two large gas bubbles. Our vet also noted that there weren't normal digestion sounds going on.

    She was still pretty bright and very feisty, plus her temperature was normal so I decided that I would treat her from home instead of hospitalizing her. I think she will be much more comfortable here instead of there. She was given a big subQ injection and an injection of metoclopramide. We were sent home with:

    - oral metoclopramide
    - cisapride
    - simethicone
    - trimebutine
    - metacam

    Everything is to be given every 8 hours, except for the metacam which is every 12. I'm also supposed to hand feed critical care and fluids every few hours until she starts eating on her own.

    At the vets she made a few soft stools, there were also a few more in her carrier on the way home and just now there's a few small, soft droppings in her cage. She's visibly unconformable though, she's puffy and can't seem to find a comfortable position.

    She has been nibbling at her hay but not really eating much so I just finished syringing her 25mls of critical care. She isn't really active, but definitely not lethargic. She was very feisty at the vets and just now through all her feeding, meds and x-rays. She also still runs from me when I open her cage to pick her up, so I'm taking that as a positive sign.

    I'm just hoping she pulls through, Margaret means so much to me and I would hate to loose her to some random case of bloat. I really have no idea what caused it, she hasn't been on any medications, her diet has been normal, I have made absolutely no changes and she has been getting her regular 1 cup of veggies per day.

    I have dealt with a lot of different guinea pig illnesses/ailments and this is one of the most frightening. Seeing how they can go from normal to extremely ill in less than 12 hours is shocking. This is a great tome to have an emergency vet fund as well, this visit cost me $375 and it was completely out of the blue!

    Anyway, that's enough of my rambling for now, I'll update with how she's doing later. Here's a picture of her X-ray in case anyone is interested:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Bloat and GI Stasis

    Sounds like a plan. Do keep us posted on how she's doing.

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    Cavy Slave sallyvh's Avatar
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    Re: Bloat and GI Stasis

    So she isn't out of the woods yet, but Margaret has made some improvement.

    She just had her second round of meds and has had two feedings of critical today, each about 25mls, one at 4pm and one at 8pm. I plan on doing one at midnight and then waking up for a 4am feeding.

    She feels less bloated to me and is more active. Currently she is on my bedroom floor waddling about and eating fallen hay that is yet to be vacuumed up. I want to get her active and she seems to be happy rummaging around on the floor (the room is pig proofed).

    She's producing more poops; they are smelly, small, irregularly shaped and soft, but that doesn't matter to me right now. What's important is that she is producing poop and she's eating bits of hay on her own, has had a couple drinks from her water bottle and is spending less time hunched up in a cuddle sack. The floor time seems to really be helping.

    Fingers crossed that we can make it through this, I'm trying to be optimistic as I am seeing a real improvement! 12 hours ago she looked like she was on deaths door step, but she is perkier now. I'll update with how she's doing tomorrow.

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner ThePigAlchemist's Avatar
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    Re: Bloat and GI Stasis

    Her X-ray makes her look huge. Poor girl. She'll be in my thoughts.

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    Cavy Slave sallyvh's Avatar
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    Re: Bloat and GI Stasis

    @ThePigAlchemist She really was massive, I wish I had taken a photo as she is looking more normal now. She's a 6 year old sow, so she is naturally pear shaped but this was excessive. It looked like she has swallowed a bowling ball. I was shocked when I found her like that in the morning and I really do not understand how this even happened.

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    Re: Bloat and GI Stasis

    One of my piggies passed a few months ago from bloat at the vet :( i hope your piggy continues to improve, best of luck

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    Cavy Slave sallyvh's Avatar
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    Re: Bloat and GI Stasis

    We made it through the night here just fine. Margaret seems a lot more comfortable.

    My main concern is that she doesn't really want to eat much on her own. She nibbles at hay every now and then, ate a few pellets overnight and did come for a little piece of lettuce this morning when the other pigs were getting their normal veggies.

    She is pooping though, I fed her at 8am, went to class and just got back home now to feed her again and you can see there is poop in her cuddle cup with her that has all happened in the past 4 hours.

    I'm just not sure of a timeline as to when I should be expecting her to be eating normally on her own again, I mean it's only been 24 hours, but i'm still concerned. I imagine it's different for every pig though.

    This couldn't have happened at a worse time, it's my final week of classes right now and my exams start on Monday. Her around the clock feeding and care isn't very conducive for studying!

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    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: Bloat and GI Stasis

    Quote Originally Posted by sallyvh View Post
    Her around the clock feeding and care isn't very conducive for studying!
    IMHO....while around-the-clock feeding may be ideal, it isn't absolutely vital......especially given your circumstances.

    If your cavies are anything like mine, they tend to sleep through the night. Syringe feed her morning and evening and, if you can get home midday add a third feeding. Compensate by feeding her more at each feeding. When Chester wasn't eating at all, I fed him 60cc twice a day.

    It may take the simethicone up to 48 hours to make a significant change. I used to dose a dropper-full twice a day until the symptoms resolve. The metoclopramide seems absolutely appropriate.....but then, I don't need to tell you that, do I?

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    Cavy Slave sallyvh's Avatar
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    Re: Bloat and GI Stasis

    @spy9doc Currently I've been feeding her critical care every 4 hours, It's not too bad except for the 4am feeding. I just want to see her eating more on her own before I stop. She gets her medications 3 times a day at 7am, 3pm and 11pm.

    She's just being weird, in her cage she barely wants to eat, but I put her on my floor and let her run around under their cage and she is happy as can be, bopping around and eating hay.

    On the plus side, as soon as she heard veggies this morning she brightened right up and came running. I only gave her a small piece of lettuce as I don't want to overwhelm her system. I'm concerned about her water intake though, she isn't really drinking from her bottle (she is normally a big drinker). The critical care is decently watery and I syringe her bits of water and unflavoured pedialyte, but half the time she lets it run out her mouth.

    I wish right now that she had a cagemate, as I think a buddy would encourage her to move and eat, but she is extremely dominant and doesn't get along with the other girls so she shares a divided 2x6 with Mavis, my other extremely dominant female.

    I would just like all this stress to be resolved!

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    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: Bloat and GI Stasis

    I do hope Margaret pulls through this. Myself and my 3 boys are keeping you in their thoughts.

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    Cavy Slave sallyvh's Avatar
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    Re: Bloat and GI Stasis

    Things are looking good here!

    I have been in and out all day for class since 9 this morning but finally got back home for the evening at 10:30pm. When I walked into my room Margaret was sitting in her hay box nibbling away. She hopped out shortly after and laid down, but it was a start! There were also a fair amount of normal looking poops in the cage.

    At 11pm she received all of her meds, weighed her and she was pretty normal at 1378g. I then topped up all the pigs hay boxes and that is when I was really encouraged with her behaviour. She dove right in and started munching away, which is what she normally does.

    I decided to offer her one of her vitamin C hay tabs which she normally loves; she took it right away, ate the whole things and then had a decent drink.

    Good behaviour continued as I cut up the girls veggies, as I walked down the hall with them she was chewing on the bars, extremely eager to get some! I'm taking it very easy with her, she only got a small piece of red leaf lettuce and a small cherry tomato. But she ate everything up right away and then moved back to her hay.

    I'm extremely encouraged with this, I'm still going to take her out around 1am and give her some critical care and let her sit on the massaging pad for a bit. I think I will leave her alone overnight as she is proving to me that she is eating on her own. I have to be up for 7am to give her meds again so I will see how her weight is in the morning and feed her critical care and fluids accordingly.

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    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: Bloat and GI Stasis

    Great news! Sounds like she's definitely feeling better!

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Bloat and GI Stasis

    Good news!

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    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: Bloat and GI Stasis

    How has Margaret been doing?

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    Cavy Slave sallyvh's Avatar
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    Re: Bloat and GI Stasis

    She is much the same, eating bits of hay and pellets on her own, but not enough to sustain herself.

    I'm feeding critical care 4 times a day now. I'm trying to syringe as much water as possible too because she doesn't really seem to be using her water bottles.

    I'm becoming very concerned with bladder issues though. She is a stone pig and with all the critical care she is leaving TONS of white calcium spots behind. I thought I may have heard a bladder pain squeak earlier, but by the time I looked over she was just sitting there.

    If she develops a bladder stone I'm not really sure what I will do, I'm just finding the entire situation extremely stressful and upsetting.

    I'm trying to find the time to manage her care, finish up classes and study for 5 very important exams that are happening throughout the next 7 days. Not to mention, one of my other sows has been losing weight so she being supplemented with handfeeding and is booked to have a dental exam/trim and X-rays on December 9th.

    This is just a really horrible time for this, emotionally and stressful financially. I do save and plan for vet bills, but my funds are not unlimited.

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner ThePigAlchemist's Avatar
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    Re: Bloat and GI Stasis

    I'm sorry to hear that. Seems like pet health issues always happen at the worst times. Here's hoping that there are no stones in her future.

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    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: Bloat and GI Stasis

    Do you have someone that can assist with feeding and such? I'm sure you've already thought of that, I was just curious. Another thing I tried when I didn't want to give too much critical care was a pellet slurry. I just crushed up Poopy's pellets and mixed them with lots of water. I really really hope that all ends well with your situation and that Margaret pulls through fine.

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    Cavy Slave sallyvh's Avatar
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    Re: Bloat and GI Stasis

    I'm unfortunately am on my own with feedings and care.

    I'm just hoping we all make it through to December 15th, I'll be all done my exams then and will get to go back home for almost a month.

    On the plus side, she isn't any worse. Margs came and ate her lettuce this morning and is eating hay. I'm trying to reduce her feedings to hopefully encourage her to eat more on her own.

    I actually just grinded up some pellets last night and made a mix that was about 1/4 CC 3/4 pellets.

    The big thing is it is time to start weaning her off her medications, my vet suggested to switch everything to twice a day now, instead of 3 times as she does seem to be doing well and her poops are normal. I'm just worried I'll change the schedule and she will bloat right back up.

    It's just stressful having to sit around and wait and see if she's either going to be ok or if she is going to balloon up again and I'll have to race her back into the vets.

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    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: Bloat and GI Stasis

    If you actually have the capability to race her to the vets, that's a huge bonus and I envy you. Not so much an option where I am. Just an opinion, but perhaps the meds are also making her not feel like eating, and it could be that once her medication has begun decreasing she may find her appetite again.

    How did grinding up the pellets work for you? I had a serious trial and error trying to get the water/pellet ratio just right so that it didn't clog up the syringe or just dribble out all over the place.

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    Cavy Slave sallyvh's Avatar
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    Re: Bloat and GI Stasis

    I am very fortunate to live close to a vet clinic that offers 24 hours emergency service for exotic pets. It's not always my favourite vet available in the middle of the night but it will be someone who has had some exotic training with them and can offer some basic treatment or proper medication. Transportation getting there is the only issue. I don't have a car at my student house and neither do my roommates so I rely on Guelph Transit, which doesn't run very late. I would have to cab there which is about $35 round trip (not too bad though).

    Grinding the pellets went fairly well. Previously when I had a sick pig I grinded them up in a nutribullet, which works amazing, it grids them to essentially the same powder as critical care. However, I left my nutribullet back at home at my parents house.

    Last night I used a food processor and it worked ok, I couldn't get them completely to a powder so I has to use a tea ball (steeper thing for loose leaf tea) to strain everything through so I only had fine powder. It was time consuming! I ended up with a really nice powder though that I mixed with CC.

    It mixed well with water and came out of the syringe fine. I use the 35cc syringes for hand feeding.

    It's just super time consuming hand feeding and medicating everyone!

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