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Thread: Found abandoned guinea pigs

  1. #41
    Cavy Slave ChicoAndAmigo's Avatar
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    Re: Found abandoned guinea pigs

    Bruin is doing really well. Altho he is still breathing very fast, he is moving around more, eating, and has started to come to the side of the cage to beg for food. He isn't happy about the meds...he started to wheek when I caught him today. Taking meds twice a day isn't fun (the theophylline is given every 12 hours). When I hold him he breathes so hard like he just ran a marathon. He clicked when he breathed this morning but seems better now. He has a follow up next week to see how well the meds are doing.

    About him cornering his brother in a house until his brother cries...I noticed that when I catch Bruin doing this, many times he is laying down and asleep with half his body laying out of the house. I'm starting to think he just wants to sleep with Little Bear, but Little Bear won't tolerate it.

  2. #42
    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: Found abandoned guinea pigs

    The fact that Bruin isnt happy about taking meds, at least in my experience, means that he's feeling better. The better Simon felt, the more he wasn't interested in his meds. So that to me seems to be a good thing.

    Also, Leo does the same thing to Simon. Simon will be in a pigloo, and Leo will literally lie there inside the pigloo with nothing but his butt hanging out because it isn't big enough for both. Simon doesn't mind, however.

    Little Bear might be frightened simply because he can't see what's happening very well.

  3. #43
    Cavy Slave ChicoAndAmigo's Avatar
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    Re: Found abandoned guinea pigs

    Here is one of his xrays for anyone curious. Vet says one side is worse than the other. The clear/black on the right is supposed to be a lung so the left side is bad
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  4. #44
    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: Found abandoned guinea pigs

    Poor little thing. Disgusted beyond belief people could abandon them.

    Very much hoping that he recovers without the need for the CHF meds long term.

  5. #45
    Cavy Slave ChicoAndAmigo's Avatar
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    Re: Found abandoned guinea pigs

    Today at our follow up vet visit, we did a new xray which shows the meds are helping remove the fluid in his lungs. The heart apparently is still not visible. The vet thinks for sure a heart issue. She wanted to do a test/consult that would tell us exactly what the heart issue is so she can prescribe the right meds. This would be around $700 which is getting out of my price range. I came to terms with euthanasia and figured at this appointment if we had to say goodbye I would do it...but she never mentioned it this time even tho I brought it up with the tech, and said keep him on the current meds for now. I'm thinking its better to euthanize him than to subject him to more tests and pump him full of meds . I took him home with some probiotics since he keeps eating Little Bear's poop and decided to enjoy our time and I'll schedule the euthanasia "eventually".

    The meds have definitely helped him enjoy normal pig behavior, but his breathing isn't really improving.

  6. #46
    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Found abandoned guinea pigs

    I doubt that I'd agree to the tests, but there are many heart pigs who live happy lives with their meds just being tweaked as their symptoms require.

    Read those GL links I gave you -- there's a ton of information there, and if necessary, I can put you in touch with one or two of the users who have a lot of GP heart experience.

  7. #47
    Cavy Slave ChicoAndAmigo's Avatar
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    Re: Found abandoned guinea pigs

    Update, nothing exciting happening and everything is well. I got a refill of meds for Bruin and he's acting like a normal pig aside from his breathing. I'm really interested in doing all the testing the vet recommended so we can see what's going on w/ his heart, just to do it to see what's happening, but since he's doing all right like this and I don't have the money for it right now, I think we're happy like this.

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  9. #48
    Cavy Slave ChicoAndAmigo's Avatar
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    Re: Found abandoned guinea pigs

    I put Bruin to sleep today. His breathing was very bad today. We went to the vet as an emergency and the vet said his heart sounded very bad today, and thinks she heard a murmur- basically described his heart as shoes in a dryer. I feel more relief than sadness that I let him go. I brought him home and let Little Bear see him - he just sniffed Bruin a few times and was more interested in eating. I have a towel in the cage that I rubbed on Bruin. I hope Little Bear doesn't grieve too much.

    I have 2 boys I can place Little Bear's cage by. I'm not sure WHEN to do it. Basically they pigs won't be able to see each other, but they can smell and hear each other. I don't want my pair to get upset by seeing another boy. Little Bear I'm pretty sure is almost blind so I'm not concerned about him seeing anyone.

    I suspect he's pretty old since a new cataract formed in the month I had him. I'm not sure if I want to get a new friend for him, or leave him next to Chico and Amigo til he dies. If I did get a new friend, I would want a senior so there is no need to re-pair anyone when Little Bear dies.

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  11. #49
    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: Found abandoned guinea pigs

    Thank you.


    Thank you for giving Bruin a chance. A fighting chance that his former "caregiver" didn't give him. Who didn't give either of them, for that matter. I very much wish that it had worked out, but you've done what was right for them, right from the start.

    Since Little Bear is almost blind, I think you're right. I think he'll be fine on his own. When Sly was almost blind from the osseous metaplasia, he seemed to do fine on his own. He DID have Punkin and Scooter right next to him in another cage and he could smell and talk to them, but other than that he was fine. If Little Bear has Chico and Amigo close where he can smell and hear them, I think that's all he needs.

    Thank you again. So very, very much for doing all you could for Bruin. Rest in peace, little trooper. You sure gave it one hell of a fight.

  12. #50
    Cavy Slave ChicoAndAmigo's Avatar
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    Re: Found abandoned guinea pigs

    We've been approved by the local rescue to adopt a new friend for Little Bear. He just hides in one house all day so I decided to adopt.

    But last night Little Bear had some sort of seizure. I took him out to clean the cage. I didn't chase him or stress him more than usual (since he doesn't like hands or being picked up). I set him on the floor and he fell over and twisted up and didn't exactly convulse but he was curling up like something in his brain was not firing right. It lasted maybe 20 seconds and now he's back to normal.

    I have an appt Monday already at the vet but I wonder if they could see him sooner

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Found abandoned guinea pigs

    They would be the only ones who could tell you if they can see him sooner.

    But I can tell you from experience that they probably won't be able to tell anything unless he has another episode in front of them. Diagnostic equipment capable of examining a guinea pig's brain just almost doesn't exist, and is horrenously expensive when it does.

    I had a similar thing happen to one of my pigs, except that it lasted much longer. I didn't think it was a stroke, because she was still hungry and ate quite a bit while laying in my lap and being hand fed. It happened late at night, and by morning she was fine. I took her to the vet, of course, who said it might be torticollis, also called wry neck, and that there was nothing to treat it. But she never had another episode.

    In your case, the short length of time it lasted would argue against torticollis. He may have some neurological defect that caused the seizure, or it may have been a mini-stroke. I'm sure the vet will have more ideas. But here's hoping it never happens again.

  14. #52
    Cavy Slave ChicoAndAmigo's Avatar
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    Re: Found abandoned guinea pigs

    We went to the vet yesterday, and Little Bear basically got a clean bill of health. Everything with him (aside from being almost completely blind) is perfect. They guessed his age around 5 or 6. The vet suspects the seizures are neuro or age related. Another forum suggested maybe stress related, as this didn't happen when Bruin was alive. The local rescue is only open Saturdays, and I won't have one off til Dec 26. I'm trying to make it there sooner.

    He did have another seizure as I was getting him out of the cage to go to the vet. I was about to place him into the carrier and he started to convulse a lot worse this time and he was kicking his legs, but it didn't last as long. I had to hold him instead of get a video since it seemed a lot more violent.He went back to normal and acted totally fine at the vet. He'll just have to stay in the cage for now and not be removed during cleaning.

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    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: Found abandoned guinea pigs

    I'd be lying if I said I wasn't concerned about Little Bear, but I do feel a little better hearing he got a clean bill of health. I have no clue what the seizures could be. I'm just so impressed with your dedication to those two.

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  17. #54
    Cavy Slave ItsaZoo's Avatar
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    Re: Found abandoned guinea pigs

    Could the seizures be fear related since he can’t see? And I’m sure you would have noticed something like itching or mite infestation that would be so bad it would cause a seizure.

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    Cavy Slave ChicoAndAmigo's Avatar
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    Re: Found abandoned guinea pigs

    Quote Originally Posted by ItsaZoo View Post
    Could the seizures be fear related since he can’t see? And I’m sure you would have noticed something like itching or mite infestation that would be so bad it would cause a seizure.

    I'm not sure anymore. At first I thought, maybe because he is blind the seizures are from stress (both being picked up and the loss of his brother). However...the past 2 days he had seizures while in the cage. The first time he was having the zoomies and then dropped over and had a seizure. Today, as far as I know he wasn't doing anything and when I looked over (I was cleaning my other boys' cage that is next to), he was on his back convulsing.

    The thing is...he gets right back to normal. Today, he got up and went right to his bowl to start eating.

    These are just the ones I SEE - Idk if he's had any while I'm away, so I'm tempted to set up a camera to watch him.

    The vet said everything during the physical exam was great. She thinks the seizures could be old age, or neuro. I feel like stress/neuro but the chance of me getting a friend before my allotted with the rescue seems slim. I debated getting a second opinion on the seizures, but I have no idea if there's anything that could help like meds or whatever.

    I read up about mites causing the seizures, but I truly don't believe its mites. Bruin would have had them, and Little Bear isn't itchy and his coat/skin are great.

  19. #56
    Cavy Slave ItsaZoo's Avatar
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    Re: Found abandoned guinea pigs

    If it is stress related, how do you think he would react to a buddy being added to his world? Since he's pretty much blind, he could smell and sense the other pig, but would never really know where he is. Sometimes a stuffed animal provides comfort to pigs that are alone. I have one that I got at the Dollar Tree and sometimes my guinea pig cuddles with it. Just make sure there are no plastic eyes or ears that could be chewed. I know with dogs that are blind, sometimes a scent is used on furniture and cabinets so they know which room they are in and where things are placed. There are also calming scents for dogs and cats with anxiety. I don't know if something like that could be used to help him if it's anxiety.

  20. #57
    Cavy Slave ChicoAndAmigo's Avatar
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    Re: Found abandoned guinea pigs

    Quote Originally Posted by ItsaZoo View Post
    If it is stress related, how do you think he would react to a buddy being added to his world? Since he's pretty much blind, he could smell and sense the other pig, but would never really know where he is. Sometimes a stuffed animal provides comfort to pigs that are alone. I have one that I got at the Dollar Tree and sometimes my guinea pig cuddles with it. Just make sure there are no plastic eyes or ears that could be chewed. I know with dogs that are blind, sometimes a scent is used on furniture and cabinets so they know which room they are in and where things are placed. There are also calming scents for dogs and cats with anxiety. I don't know if something like that could be used to help him if it's anxiety.

    Honestly I think a friend is the best thing. While I had only him living with Bruin for a month, they did really well together and I didn't any major issues. Little Bear acts likes he can see, aside from when getting zoomies or exploring outside the cage he may bump into something a sighted animal would avoid like a toy or hand. I also have a blind dog and I truly feel people don't give blind animals enough credit. They make up for lack of sight with their other senses quite well. Little Bear is quite aware of my presence when I'm near the cage, altho I have no idea if he knows his cage is next to my other boys.

    But he literally just had another seizure. This one a lot shorter. I held him and his eyes were racing back and forth (reminds me of when my dog had vestibular disease). Then he went right back to normal and started rumbling because he doesn't like to be touched. I guess the vet I talked to just made me feel like I can't do anything for him. But the vet we saw wasn't the one who was treating Bruin. I may try to get an appt w/ her again as a second opinion. I'm a bit overwhelmed for him and concerned he won't even make it til Dec 26 when I'm set to get a buddy (we're doing boar dating at the local GP rescue).

    I even tried a free vet chat I have thru my work, but the vets say seizures aren't 'common' in guinea pigs and all lean towards mites. But this pig is not itchy, at all, and his skin is great. I highly doubt its mites but we may go ahead and get him tested for that particular seizure-causing mite anyway.

    I'm off work today and tomorrow so I'll be able to keep an eye on him and see how many more seizures, if any, he has. Right now the last 3 days, the seizures have all been around the same time in the morning (which where I am in Texas is 6am)

  21. #58
    Cavy Slave ChicoAndAmigo's Avatar
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    Re: Found abandoned guinea pigs

    Little Bear hasn't had a seizure (that I know of) since the 13th. I got a new c&c cage (a used set up full of fleece bedding and lots of other awesome stuff) for him and his new friend (coming Dec 26), and he's been running around and vaulting over the edge of the kitchen and acting great. I have a good feeling about next week's boar pairing!

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  23. #59
    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: Found abandoned guinea pigs

    Man, I just LOVE good piggie news! Hears to hoping Little Bear stays healthy and happy and gets along great with his new buddy!

    Incidentally, Dec 26th was the same day last year the Leo and Scooter were introduced. Leo's one year anniversary with us is tomorrow. I hope your introduction goes as perfectly as theirs did.

  24. #60
    Cavy Slave ItsaZoo's Avatar
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    Re: Found abandoned guinea pigs

    That’s good news. I’m glad things are looking up for him and I hope he gets on well with his new buddy.

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