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Thread: Punkin's medical thread

  1. #81
    Cavy Slave ItsaZoo's Avatar
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    Re: Punkin's medical thread

    All the best to you and your little guys. I hope they both on the mend soon!

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  3. #82
    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: Punkin's medical thread

    Update:

    Punkin's weight has slid backward somewhat since his stay at the vet for the Xrays. It dropped from 1432 the morning before he left, and dropped to 1392 by the next morning. Today it was down only 5 to 1387. This is still a good weight, but to put in perspective how big a pig he was, the last time he weighed roughly 1387 he was only 7 months old.

    He continues to be able to eat a little on his own, and I think I have even seen some improvements. If there are any, they're so small it's difficult to tell. His daily routine remains roughly the same, but this morning after his feeding they were both active but Punkin much more so. It was wonderful to see. Today he actually came when called for his noon salad, and sat for roughly 15 to 20 minutes and munched what he could get. Eating is difficult for him.

    On another quick note, Scooter does indeed have an URI. He has been put on .3 ml of Baytril twice a day for 14 days. His appetite has returned slightly and is back to eating some pellets and drinking a little, but he is being syringe fed a few times a day as well. His weight Sunday morning this week was 1448 grams, and by this morning he has slid back to 1343. He actually wheeked for his noon salad, albeit only a couple and he didn't eat much.

  4. #83
    Cavy Slave MerryFriarTuck's Avatar
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    Re: Punkin's medical thread

    Poor piggies ❤️ hang in there, all of you! All of us are sending our best wishes...

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  6. #84
    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner ThePigAlchemist's Avatar
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    Re: Punkin's medical thread

    I just saw all this that you've gone through with both of your boys. I'm so sorry; it's not fair to have to deal with so many issues at this age and especially with both of them now. I have my fingers crossed for your boys. I know they're in the best hands!

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  8. #85
    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: Punkin's medical thread

    For those following Punkin's issues:

    We have been rather preoccupied with Scooter the last day or two, but Punkin has finally been showing some progress. It began with being obsternate during feeding time.

    Tonight, he was given his own pile of vegetables and he sat and munched for some time. He has been munching hay off and on all day, and this is a new development also. He has popcorned a few times today, and for the first time in a few weeks when picked up for his antibiotic and metacam at 6pm, his chest was dry. No drooling 24 hours after his last dose of metacam. He also took his first drinks out of the water bottle on his own in a few weeks.

    He seems quite like his old self tonight, which is wonderful and sad at the same time considering his little brother is so ill. They are separated, Scooter is in a 2x3 "hospital cage" where Punkin can still see and "talk" to him, but can't bully him the way he has been to a small degree over the last week. We were told Scooter needs a lot of rest tonight.

    Will post more about his progress as it becomes relatable.

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    Re: Punkin's medical thread

    I have been out of pocket a few days and was really hoping to see good news. It is good to see Punkin making progress, but I was saddened to see the news about Scooter. Hoping and praying Scooter makes a positive turn soon.

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  12. #87
    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: Punkin's medical thread

    Update for Punkin:

    Punkin is slowly, but surely improving. This is going to be a very long process for him and he will likely be on antibiotics for some time.

    He is eating more on his own, but is still syringe fed on an every 4 hour basis as he still doesn't eat anywhere near enough to sustain himself. He is eating more hay, and eating some vegetables at night as well. Eating is difficult but he spends a considerable amount of time now eating them, instead of sniffing them and sampling and getting frustrated and leaving.

    For the first time since this started, last night, Punkin also ate a few pellets. The sour smell from his mouth disappeared yesterday and his chest has remained almost completely dry for the last couple of days, but was a little damp this morning. That smell did return a little this morning as well. Yesterday he was a very, very active pig and was running around and having a grand old time, but today seems a little more tired and subdued. We are getting there slowly with him, but it's nice to see him have some time like his old self.

    It is evident now that he (and we) are in for a long journey. I will post updates here as he progresses, but a full recovery of the infection just disappearing on its own with antibiotics is unlikely. In the meantime, we will keep him as happy and healthy and comfortable as we can, and spoil him of course.



    I also wanted to take this opportunity to publicly thank everyone for their concern, kindness, love and well wishes for both Punkin and Scooter. Every little bit helps both them and me. Only in a place like this, would anyone ever understand how one feels about their pigs. So thank you, and my boys thank you too.

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  14. #88
    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner Artista's Avatar
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    Re: Punkin's medical thread

    Your piggies are very lucky. Not everyone would do what you're doing. Gps are like my kids. They are living sweet souls that don't live as long as cats and dogs but they deserve the very best care and love. I'm a big gp and bird person. But I love animals more than most humans. Bless you for making their lives worth fighting for.

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    Cavy Slave MerryFriarTuck's Avatar
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    Re: Punkin's medical thread

    I couldn't agree more, Artista!! ❤️

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  18. #90
    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: Punkin's medical thread

    Update for Punkin:

    Punkin was switched back to the Sulfatrim roughly 10 days ago, as it seemed to be doing a better job than the Baytril was. There has been improvements with Punkin, but other things have gone sideways which considering what the problem is, was expected.

    Punkin and Scooter's vet left mid week at the end of September for an exotic vet conference in, I think, Missouri. He returns tomorrow, and Punkin has an appointment at 4pm.

    Punkins spirits are wonderful. He walks around bipping and talking, although not as much as he used to. He spends considerable time gnawing at veggies, but he doesn't get enough to sustain himself. He also spends plenty of time in the hay pile, again not sure how much he gets.

    He is still drooling and there is still some smell of infection from time to time but that has greatly improved. He is still on metacam. He has a new problem which I expected.

    His incisors are now badly angled. Obviously this is from chewing on one side of his mouth due to the pain. Although I can't see for sure, I'd bet the farm that he now needs some dental work so that he can eat again. Being force fed results in noises that sound like he struggles for breath and this concerns me greatly. We've had to slow down his feedings and give him less per mouthful to try and avoid choking him. And of course, as soon as he's been fed more often than not he goes straight to his hay pile.

    His weight has dropped more, but has gone up again and down again is small increments. His current weight is 1350, which is well below his normal "fighting weight" of 1600 grams. He has gone as low as 1311 but no lower.

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  20. #91
    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: Punkin's medical thread

    I was hoping for better news, but good to hear that Punkin is holding his own. Don't expect him to regain his previous weight. In my experience, that rarely happens. They simply reach a new normal and hover around that figure, whatever it is.

    I looked back at Sparky's record and on Feb. 1 he weighed 3 lbs. This morning he weighs 2:09.7 or 1171 grams which is a bit light, but he seems to hover around 2:10 and has done so for several months. His appetite is good and his Papa feeds him whenever he seems hungry. All discipline has gone out the window since he was diagnosed with CHF. The reality is that he will probably not live long enough to become overweight. His fourth birthday is on Oct. 11 and we're going to celebrate!

    It should go without saying that Sparky sends good wishes to Punkin and Scooter. "Hang in there, fellas. We're in this together!"

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  22. #92
    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: Punkin's medical thread

    Quote Originally Posted by spy9doc View Post
    I was hoping for better news, but good to hear that Punkin is holding his own. Don't expect him to regain his previous weight. In my experience, that rarely happens. They simply reach a new normal and hover around that figure, whatever it is.

    I looked back at Sparky's record and on Feb. 1 he weighed 3 lbs. This morning he weighs 2:09.7 or 1171 grams which is a bit light, but he seems to hover around 2:10 and has done so for several months. His appetite is good and his Papa feeds him whenever he seems hungry. All discipline has gone out the window since he was diagnosed with CHF. The reality is that he will probably not live long enough to become overweight. His fourth birthday is on Oct. 11 and we're going to celebrate!

    It should go without saying that Sparky sends good wishes to Punkin and Scooter. "Hang in there, fellas. We're in this together!"

    I do very much hope Sparky still has plenty of time left. Punkin and Scooter's third birthday is this Tuesday, two days from now. Won't be a salad celebration this time around since they likely won't eat much, but we'll celebrate the fact that they're both still here.

    An interesting note. You and I had spoken before about a head bob and forceful breathing being hallmarks of CHF, you had observed that in Sparky and sure enough it happened. I had expressed concern about the same thing, as Punkin has always had that head bob and forceful breathing, accompanied by an occasional cough.

    Since his weight has dropped, the forceful breathing and head bob have disappeared. I don't know what to make of it. I didn't think it could be his weight because he had the bob and breathing even when he was a baby just a few weeks old.

    Punkin has always been a big pig. Up until this, he had always hovered just under 3 1/2 lbs. When he doesn't want to be force fed anymore, he has taken to crawling out of his blanket burrito and either standing on top of my forearm, or just snuggling against my upper arm as if to say, "Enough now, Dad. I don't want any more." Adorable, and very, very heartbreaking at the same time.

  23. #93
    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: Punkin's medical thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Guinea Pig Papa View Post
    You and I had spoken before about a head bob and forceful breathing being hallmarks of CHF, you had observed that in Sparky and sure enough it happened. I had expressed concern about the same thing, as Punkin has always had that head bob and forceful breathing, accompanied by an occasional cough.

    Since his weight has dropped, the forceful breathing and head bob have disappeared. I don't know what to make of it. I didn't think it could be his weight because he had the bob and breathing even when he was a baby just a few weeks old.
    I don't know what to make of it either. Right after Sparky was started on his heart meds, the head-bob and forceful breathing all but disappeared. Then it began to return about three weeks ago and I spoke with Dr. Albin about it. At that time he suggested an increase in the Furosamide from 0.5ml to 0.75ml.

    Heat was the thing that seem to exacerbate his condition. We actually had to run the a.c. for him on most warm nights in addition to the small fan that is over his cage. Now that it is a good bit cooler, no more a.c. as he seems to be quite comfortable and he has gone back to sleeping in his cozy.

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  25. #94
    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: Punkin's medical thread

    Update for Punkin:

    Punkin had his first visit with Dr Ker since mid September. His molars are slightly overgrown, but not enough to cause a problem. He tried to squeeze some of the pus out of Punkins mouth and was unsuccessful. Punkin was thoroughly pissed off with all the manhandling and poking and prodding.

    He needs to go for another round of xrays next week, to see if there is any progress. Dr Ker is, at this time, of the opinion that Punkin will more than likely need to have the tooth removed.

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  27. #95
    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: Punkin's medical thread

    Update for Punkin:

    I have waited most of the weekend to post an update to see how things progress. Here is where we are.

    Punkin was scheduled to go for Xrays this coming Wednesday. By Thursday last week he had declined further and in light of Scooters missed molars on initial examination, I called the vet back and insisted that he have Xrays Friday, and have his teeth also looked at under sedation. Turns out I was right.

    Punkins molars were all overgrown, and I knew because I could feel the obstructions putting a 1ml syringe in his mouth. The infection, thank god, appears to be gone. No evidence of it on xray at all.

    Because his incisors were SO angled from chewing only on one side of his mouth, he had broken off the lower right incisor. Dr Ker trimmed that off, and straightened the uppers.

    He has been drooling a lot which is to be expected. Since the procedure he has an amazing interest in any kind of food, but is unable to eat much of any of it. He does seem to manage to get a fair bit of leafy green vegetables rather well, but obviously I can't constantly feed that to him. It appears that he is eating other things like hay and pellets, and he gets some but not enough to sustain himself. Not even close. He is down to a perilous 1156 grams as of this morning. Compare that to his maximum weight in January of this year, at 1654.

    We were told to wait over the weekend to see if their appetites would return after being removed from the antibiotics and to let them eat on their own, and they have. I gave Punkin a cucumber slice this morning and it took him some time to manage half of it. I have decided to continue with syringe feeding every few hours. He took a full syringe and a half this morning, and then followed it with that half cucumber slice.

    All in all he is in fantastic spirits. Very happy boy, chases and mounts and plays with his brother who is now able to reciprocate. He even bullies Scooter in that he continually kicks him out of whatever house he's in.

    Not out of the woods yet, but progress is slowly being made. His attitude certainly gives me hope. One thing I neglected to mention is that he has figured out his water bottle again. He hasn't touched it in six weeks, and he has been drinking copiously.
    Last edited by Guinea Pig Papa; 10-14-19 at 08:07 am.

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  29. #96
    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: Punkin's medical thread

    Update for Punkin:

    Drooling is still constant. He gets .4 ml of metacam daily. Still interested in food but not getting much. I have reverted back to feeding a full syringe and a half every 4 hours. He gets his last feeding around 10pm and is fed again around 530am.

    He has lost more weight. This morning he was down to 1126. It has gone up and down, back up at high as 1145.

    He's still in great spirits. The missing incisor is growing in nicely. Obviously his mouth is still in pain evidenced by the slobbering but no idea why. Woke up this morning to a trashed cage. Hay everywhere, hideys all relocated. Looks like the two of them had a party for crying out loud. They havent normally been active during the night at all once lights have gone out. Before I actually went in the living room I checked the camera (night vision) and both were running around.

    I guess we just have to keep moving forward and try to do everything we can for him.

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  31. #97
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    Re: Punkin's medical thread

    It has been my experience with my cavies (most of whom have gone through a health crisis) that they never seem to regain their prime weight. It is as though the body adjusts to a "new normal" and they seem to hover around that new norm. For instance, Sparky formerly weighed 3:1.2 (1385 gm.) and now hovers around 2:09-2:10. Yesterday morning he weighed 2:09.2 (1167 gm.). I have no basis in fact for this observation, but just that it has been my experience.

    I believe that both your boys were 3lbs at one point? I could probably get Sparky's weight up by feeding Critical Care, but why? It is probably better that he doesn't carry extra weight and put a strain on his heart. If Punkin isn't eating enough on his own, then I absolutely would feed him Critical Care. I fed Chester CC for the last six months of his life with all the dental issues that he had and at least kept him alive.

  32. #98
    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: Punkin's medical thread

    Punkin was 3.5 lbs when he became ill. Scooter was 3.2. Both have lost significant weight. Punkin was 1126 grams or 2.48lbs as of this morning, so he has lost......459 grams since the start of this. Scooter now weighs 1136 grams or 2.5lbs so he has lost 314 grams. This is in spite of the constant Critical Care.

    Scooter is now eating pretty much enough to sustain himself. Punkin is not. In fact, Dr Ker wanted him to eat on his own immediately following his planing last Friday, and he lost 150 grams in three days. He has been back on a 4 hour feeding schedule since, minus the 2am feeding. He's getting 1 1/2 Monoject 412 syringes full of CC every feeding.

    He's being fed CC just to sustain what he has. I would LOVE to get his weight up.

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