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Thread: Sparky's Medical Thread

  1. #1
    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Sparky's Medical Thread

    Please keep my beloved Sparky in your thoughts and prayers today. I had to rush him to the hospital last evening where he remains at present. Having just lost his "brother" two months ago, I wasn't willing to wait and take any chances.

    He has been a bit lethargic for the past week, but I attributed it to the warmer temperatures, and possibly just loneliness and boredom. I scheduled an appointment for today and when he didn't touch his food last evening, I simply couldn't wait until today. He has always had a head-bob with breathing and a forceful heartbeat. Both have increased with intensity and effort in the past few days. They immediately put him on oxygen as I waited for the doctor. After several hours and consultation with Sparky's regular doctor, they decided to treat him for both a cardiac issue AND pneumonia until things could be sorted out. Physical exam, x-rays, and an ultrasound revealed no masses or anything that leapt out at us. So I said "goodbye" to him around 10pm with the assurance that Dr. Albin would phone me after grand rounds today.

    The report was that Sparky was resting comfortably and awaiting further tests. They still don't know if he possibly has CHF or pneumonia.....or both. They are doing an echocardiogram this morning to see if they can sort it out. In the meantime they want to keep him there until he can breathe comfortably on his own. If it is pneumonia, he will continue on antibiotics. If it is CHF, it will be managed by meds, but it means that his life expectancy is a matter of months, not years. I never thought I would wish for pneumonia, but in this case that can probably be cured while CHF is a virtual death sentence. I should mention that I gained some invaluable information from guinealynx:www.guinealynx.com/heart.html

    I'm a mess today and Sparky's Poppa isn't doing much better. I can hardly stand to sit here and work at my desk with this empty cage beside me. I plan to go see him this afternoon and take his favorite greens. If he is stable, then I will most certainly bring him home.

    Thanks everyone for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers!

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Prayers for Sparky.......

    Fingers crossed here that he makes a full recovery.

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    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: Prayers for Sparky.......

    Oh, no no no.

    All our love and prayers that Sparky pulls through with flying colors.

    Our hearts are with you, his Poppa and with Sparky and our fingers are crossed.
    All our love,
    Mike, Punkin and Scooter.

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    Cavy Slave SSLee's Avatar
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    Re: Prayers for Sparky.......

    I'm so sorry that Sparky is doing poorly and am sending best wishes and positive thoughts virtually.

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    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: Prayers for Sparky.......

    Thanks, everyone, for the well-wishes. Good thing I got him to the Vet as soon as I did or he might not have survived.

    Spoke with Dr. Albin this afternoon and the echocardiogram revealed that both atria are enlarged and that there is mild pericardial effusion (fluid around the heart). So they are discontinuing the antibiotics and ramping up the heart meds. They are going to keep him overnight on oxygen, and if all goes well and he is breathing on his own comfortably, I will pick him up tomorrow evening and see how he fares at home.

    I should mention that Dr. Albin appreciated the information that I provided from Guinea Lynx (http://www.guinealynx.com/heart.html) and said how much it aided them in determining treatment. Apparently, CHF is not all that common in cavies.

    Hopefully, the right meds and a stress-free life will keep him going as long as possible. So, I guess that stress-free means that he won't be getting a feisty little brother to pester him. Fortunately, he doesn't seem to mind being an only child.

    Thanks for the love and support!
    Last edited by spy9doc; 06-19-19 at 04:06 pm.

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    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: Prayers for Sparky.......

    I'm glad you have a diagnosis, @spy9doc. Just not the one you were hoping for.

    Always here if you need to talk.
    Punkin and Scooter send their wheeks for Sparky!

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    Cavy Slave Smileandnod's Avatar
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    Re: Prayers for Sparky.......

    Well wishes and positive thoughts for Sparky!

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    Cavy Slave barbaramudge's Avatar
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    Re: Prayers for Sparky.......

    Sending love and light your way! You can do it Sparky!
    Using Tapatalk

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    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: Prayers for Sparky.......

    Just wanted to post an update on Sparky. As I write this, he is peacefully sleeping in his house. I keep looking over into the cage to ensure that he is really here! I went to pick him up at the hospital around 9:45pm last evening and thought we would never get out of there. They were overwhelmed with emergencies such as a dog who had been hit by a car, an elderly dog who was likely dying, and more than one cat emergency. I felt fortunate that mine was a happy scenario with my boy surviving and much improved. All he was concerned about was "did you bring me food?" When I got him home, he ate everything in sight.......greens, hay, pellets, and water. Then it was time to have some cuddles and reconnect.

    Yes, he has CHF (congestive heart failure) which will shorten his life, but for now he is doing really well. No more heart beating so forcefully that his entire body vibrated, obviously labored breathing to the point that his sides were flailing in/out, and his eyes revealing obvious pain. His condition will be managed with Furosemide 0.5ml 2x/day, and Vetmedin 1/4 tab dissolved in water or pedialyte once daily. We have a recheck in one week with Dr. Albin.

    And, Sparky has a new nickname......our "Platinum Piggy". He was discharged with the total bill of $1,175.77 for two days in the hospital, various tests and imaging studies, medications, oxygen, etc. This is just one more example of "it's not a matter of IF your cavy will need medical care, but WHEN". But, how do you put a price on saving a piggy who is loved as much as this one is?

    Thanks again for the love and support!

  10. "Thank you, spy9doc, for this useful post," say these 2 members:


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    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: Prayers for Sparky.......

    I am so happy he is home and much improved! Can't tell you how pleased I am, so I can imagine how much more so you and his Poppa are.

    You got this Sparky. You are such a loved little fella.

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    Re: Prayers for Sparky.......

    I have been watching for updates and it is good to see that Sparky is home.

    I try to learn a bit from every thread I read here and this one reinforces the need to have an emergency fund specifically for vet visits.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Prayers for Sparky.......

    So glad he's better!

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    Cavy Slave Smileandnod's Avatar
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    Re: Sparky's Medical Thread

    Thanks for the update! I love how you saw the positives in all of this, despite some challenges, and took it all in stride.

    So glad he is home and his condition can be managed. Sparky is a lucky piggy.

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    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: Sparky's Medical Thread

    Unfortunately, Sparky doesn't seem to be out-of-the-woods yet and I'm quite concerned about him. He has lost a good bit of weight and still seems to have labored breathing. He had a pretty good food day, but we have seen only ONE poop in the last 24 hours! And, it is obvious that he just doesn't feel well as he has slept most of the day. I can imagine that I wouldn't feel well either if I hadn't pooped in 24 hrs! All I can do is hope that he will continue to improve.

    I spoke with Dr. Albin who wrote an Rx for metaclopramide (a g.i. motility drug) and I made the trip back to the medical facility to pick it up to get Sparky started on it. I told the staff there that the way things are going, I might as well move in.

    Thanks again for your concern and well wishes!

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner ThePigAlchemist's Avatar
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    Re: Sparky's Medical Thread

    I'm sorry that you're dealing with all this. Best wishes for Sparky. Keep us updated when you can!

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    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: Sparky's Medical Thread

    Thank you for updating us, @spy9doc.

    We will continue to send all our love and energy to you and Sparky in the hopes that he can turn around and overcome this. Most of us know too well what it's like to have an ill furbaby and how stressful and gut wrenching it is. We just want Sparky to be well, and be happy.

    Continued best wishes on his complete and speedy recovery!

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    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: Sparky's Medical Thread

    Well, I never envisioned that the highlight of my day would be being in charge of the "poop patrol", but here I am. The metaclopramide obviously did it's job.......and well. Sparky has gone from a complete absence of stool for 24 hrs. to being a veritable poop factory! He is also eating a bit better today as well.

    His marked loss of weight is also concerning as he has gone from a high of 3lbs. on Feb 1 to 2:07.2lbs. /1118 gm today. I have to take into consideration that he had lost about 5 oz. before this current episode began. It's pretty interesting that just like some humans who go through a stressful situation and lose their hair, Sparky has been losing hair at a rapid rate. Never mind how much I brush him, within 30 minutes he is shedding all over everything. So, he got a good haircut and about a half-hour of brushing....and a couple of kale leaves as a reward. It was obviously a big morning for him and he is currently deep in his midday slumber.

    All positive signs, so i'm optimistic that he is on the road to recovery.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Sparky's Medical Thread

    Good news!

  20. #19
    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: Sparky's Medical Thread

    Good news coming out of the Sparky camp is always good. Can't wait to hear more of it!

  21. #20
    Cavy Slave Kelsie's Avatar
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    Re: Sparky's Medical Thread

    I haven't been to the forum for a few days and just today I saw your post about Sparky. I am so sorry for all of the difficulties that Sparky has been going through. I will keep your precious boy in my thoughts and prayers.

    Keep on fighting Sparky. We all love you!

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