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Thread: Baconís Medical Thread

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    Cavy Slave Rywen's Avatar
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    Baconís Medical Thread

    So it turns out Bacon does not have an enlarged heart. He does have an arrhythmia, but no heart murmur. The veterinary cardiologist was able to image the left side of his heart better than the right side. The size of Baconís left atrium and ventricle are normal for his size.

    My poor little guy was so patient during the echocardiogram. They had to shave his side and part of his chest, but no anesthesia needed for that. He didnít even seem to mind the cold alcohol spray and echo gel. He did get lots of baby carrots and bell pepper during the echo.

    Bacon saw his regular exotics vet today. Based on his x-rays the cardiologist had suggested he has airway disease, with possible chronic bronchitis (or pneumonia) and permanent upper lung changes.

    His vet concurred and put him on 3 weeks of oral antibiotics (marbofloxacin), and I get to nebulize him once daily with an inhaled antibiotic (gentocin) and a steroid (acetlycysteine) for 3 weeks. After that he gets nebs with just the steroid.

    Meanwhile Pennyís last bladder infection at the end of June never fully cleared (she has chronic bladder cystitis), and Trixie has another ear infection. So all 3 of my pigs are on antibiotics now.

    I keep trying to figure out if Iím doing something wrong, or just attract the sick piggies because I have the time and resources to handle it? Any ideas?

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    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: Baconís Medical Thread

    If you ever get this figured out, let me know! I don't know anyone who takes better care of their cavies than I, and yet none have lived beyond 5 y.o. The young woman who cuts my hair has a rescued sow who by all accounts is about 6+ y.o. and apparently perfectly healthy. Who knows? I think that much of it is just the randomness of the universe and the fact that cavies are truly delicate creatures.

    I'm confident that you have already done this, but have you looked for anything in their environment that could be contributing to their various medical conditions? I would more suspect an environmental component in Bacon's condition vs. that of Penny and Trixie. Any possibility of airborne irritants from chemical sources or even their hay? Do you have an air cleaner running near their cage? I have one that runs 24/7 at the foot of my cage. This seems to help both piggies and human since the cage sits alongside my desk where I spend a great deal of time.

    I know how humans are nebulized, but what sort of set up is there for cavies? I'm trying to picture Bacon with a little mask over his face with a nebulizer running nearby. ;-}

    Keep us posted!

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Baconís Medical Thread

    @spy9doc, you nebulize a guinea pig by putting it in a small covered box and running the business end of the nebulizer tube in there. I used a plastic file box with a thick folded towel as the lid, and taped the end of the nebulizer tube to the side of the box. Mine never minded being in there, as I also added favorite veggies at the same time.
    Last edited by bpatters; 07-28-19 at 12:12 pm. Reason: typo

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    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: Baconís Medical Thread

    Makes sense......thank you!

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    Cavy Slave Rywen's Avatar
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    Re: Baconís Medical Thread

    Just FYI, I had asked about feeding Bacon a veggie while heís in the nebulizer container and the vet tech said not to in case the misted medications accumulate on the veggie and he ingests them. I donít think they can ingest gentocin safely? Iím not sure about the steroid (acetylcysteine)?

    So then I was worried about Bacon ingesting medication off his hair since his whole body gets misted. Iíve been wiping him down with a barely damp paper towel (followed by a dry one) after his neb treatments. Iím probably a crazy pig mom.

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    Cavy Slave Rywen's Avatar
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    Re: Baconís Medical Thread

    @spy9doc Iím not suspecting anything environmental at this point, although an air purifier may not be a bad idea just in case.

    This whole thing with Bacon started last winter when he managed to yank the syringe with the liquid vitamin C out of my hand and aspirate some of it at the same time.

    Bacon kept coughing afterwards so quickly off to the vet we went. After 2 weeks of antibiotics he wasnít coughing as much but still coughing occasionally.

    So I took him back to the vet. Another X-ray showed his lungs were clear but two vets concurred that his heart was now enlarged. I kept asking why his heart would all of a sudden be enlarged, I got no good answers there (infection or congenital).

    We tried 2 weeks of lasix, Bacon stopped coughing except for very rarely when he was running. We tried 2 weeks off lasix, he started coughing a lot again.

    At that point they did another X-ray to make sure his heart size hadnít changed, it hadnít. They also put him back on lasix and I was referred to the veterinary cardiologist.

    What has me so irritated is that looking at the April x-ray with the 2nd veterinary cardiologist (Dr. R, who was able to get an echocardiogram unlike the 1st guy) itís obvious Baconís upper lungs arenít clear. Dr. R even had a theory about why the lasix reduced Baconís coughing with the lung congestion.

    Grrrrr. Poor little guy hasnít been able to breathe right for months.

    Heís doing much better now, Iíve heard very little coughing while heís on oral antibiotics and nebulizer treatments. Fingers crossed his lungs clear up.

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    Re: Baconís Medical Thread

    What an ordeal both you and Bacon have been through! Let's hope that he continues to improve. As painful as it is for those who are experiencing these medical scenarios, it benefits all members of the Forum to learn how we deal with them and the outcome.

    Please do keep us posted.

    ----------------------------
    Edit to add: If you are considering purchasing an air purifier, I highly recommend the HomMedics brand. I have one that has been running 24/7 for at least six years.....and I DO mean 24/7. I purchased mine from BBB with a 20% off coupon which brings the cost down. This is an instance where you genuinely "get what you pay for".

    https://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/sto...cs+air+cleaner
    Last edited by spy9doc; 07-30-19 at 04:26 pm.

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