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Thread: Olive just seems "off"? Instinct or something actually wrong? How to tell?

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    Cavy Slave pocketmonster's Avatar
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    Olive just seems "off"? Instinct or something actually wrong? How to tell?

    Hey guys!
    I just wanted to first start off and thank everyone for the helpful advice you always give me. Having two piggies as a college student is stressful but I love them dearly and work hard to give them the best home possible.

    I’m here today because I’ve noticed Olive acting different than she usually has. She’s eating and drinking normally, and even begs for carrots when the time comes, but it’s the way she has been resting that has me worried.

    Usually, she lounges out in the cage, with legs sprawled all out. Yesterday, I noticed her hunched in the corner with her hair all poofed out. Her belly is not distended or “hollow” when I tap it as suggested by GuineaLynx, but something is just telling me she’s “off”. She does not squeal in pain when I pet her or anything, but I’ve had her for two years now and my instincts are just going crazy over this. She seems like she has a tummy ache but she isn’t exhibiting the signs of bloat.

    What would you suggest? I have built up savings to use on them should a vet visit be required, however I just took Radley to the vet last week and racked up a $100 vet bill for a piece of hay in her eye. I **WILL** take Olive to the vet if something is wrong, but right now I just don’t even know if something is actually wrong, or if my maternal instincts are just going haywire and making me worry about nothing.

    Please, please help. Olive is my sweet lady and I want to do anything I can to help her.

    Thank you!

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    Cavy Slave GuineaPigster's Avatar
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    Re: Olive just seems "off"? Instinct or something actually wrong? How to tell?

    Has she only done this once?

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    Cavy Slave pocketmonster's Avatar
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    Re: Olive just seems "off"? Instinct or something actually wrong? How to tell?

    Quote Originally Posted by GuineaPigster View Post
    Has she only done this once?
    Yes, this is very uncommon for her. She has an appointment at 8:30 tomorrow morning but I am working frantically to get her an appointment with a vet today.

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    Cavy Slave GuineaPigster's Avatar
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    Re: Olive just seems "off"? Instinct or something actually wrong? How to tell?

    If you think something is that wrong with her, I would def. push for an appointment today.
    Is your local Banfield any good?

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    Cavy Slave pocketmonster's Avatar
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    Re: Olive just seems "off"? Instinct or something actually wrong? How to tell?

    Quote Originally Posted by GuineaPigster View Post
    If you think something is that wrong with her, I would def. push for an appointment today.
    Is your local Banfield any good?
    Unfortunately, the local Banfield is horrible! Thankfully though, the Pitt County Animal Hospital has a vet who does not specialize in guinea pigs but has seen them before, and felt confident that she could help diagnose a case of bloat. They said I could come in before 4:30 today and get squeezed in around the patients.

    I tapped on Olive's belly, and it did sound hollow, so we are leaving in 15 minutes to head to the vet. She is currently eating hay, but is still sitting hunched and poofed out. Now, she's drinking water, so I'm sure it's a good thing that she is eating and is hydrated.

    I have never thought that I would actually need to spend the savings I have accumulated in case of emergency for these two little girls, but these past few weeks has taught me the importance of just that. I am so glad that I have saved money to be able to help them — between Radley's eye pain and Olive's belly problems, I would feel utterly horrible if I couldn't afford to take them to the vet. I love them with every part of me and just want them to be happy.

    I'll keep posting updates!

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    Cavy Slave GuineaPigster's Avatar
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    Re: Olive just seems "off"? Instinct or something actually wrong? How to tell?

    I know the financial situation you are in. Keep up the good work, because we need more pig owners like you!
    For future reference, check out VPI Pet Insurance.

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    Cavy Slave pocketmonster's Avatar
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    Re: Olive just seems "off"? Instinct or something actually wrong? How to tell?

    Quote Originally Posted by GuineaPigster View Post
    I know the financial situation you are in. Keep up the good work, because we need more pig owners like you!
    For future reference, check out VPI Pet Insurance.
    Aw, thank you! :)

    I just got back from the vet with Olive. I went to an Animal Hospital that was referred by her vet. The vet there has had experience with rabbits and a few other small animals but it is not her specialty so I am taking her advice with a grain of salt.

    She said that she can definitely feel and hear gas in her belly with a stethoscope. She also said that because Olive eats and drinks like usual, she doesn't think there is any intestinal blockage, or else how would Olive have room to keep eating? She thinks that Olive just has gas because of her diet, potentially. I haven't been as diligent with their vitamin C intake as I could have been, as I was under the impression that their pellets really don't have the vitamin C I thought they did. I stocked up on red pepper, kale and romaine lettuce and have given my girls a piece of kale each. Olive ate most of hers until Radley stole it from her. Typical. She's nibbling on hay now and has been sipping water.

    The vet gave me pain medicine for her to take twice a day. The medicine is buprenorphine and I'm supposed to give her 0.14 cc by mouth twice daily. Is this correct?

    I still have an appointment with her regular vet tomorrow at 8:30. I was advised to keep an eye on her and if she doesn't improve despite her vitamin C, I should take her in. What do you think?

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    Re: Olive just seems "off"? Instinct or something actually wrong? How to tell?

    @pocketmonster: Kale is very high in oxalic acids and is also a cruciferous vegetable. Please don't give Olive any kale, cabbage, broccoli or other "gassy" veggies until the issue has been resolved. And even after she gets over her gas episode, kale (as well as other high calcium, gas-causing veggies) should be given very sparingly, if not at all. You might want to hold back her veggies for a day or two just to avoid bloat.

    And yes, please keep your appointment with your regular vet for tomorrow. You want to be sure all avenues are taken when looking into sick guinea pigs. I can't comment on whether or not the medicine or dosage is adequate for her situation, but maybe @bpatters, @pinky, or @lissie could chime in here. Hope everything works out and keep an extra eye on her tonight. Maybe plan on checking in on her throughout the late PM/very early AM for good measure. Good luck.

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    Cavy Slave pocketmonster's Avatar
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    Re: Olive just seems "off"? Instinct or something actually wrong? How to tell?

    @alphilip77 Gotcha! No more kale. I would like to add that she is still eating fine, although she is sitting hunched in the corner with her hair poofed out, wearing that face of pain she's had since Sunday. It's bringing me to tears to look at her like that when she's usually sprawled out when she relaxes, lounging comfortably. I just don't know what to make of the matter.

    Is there anything else I can do to keep her comfortable until her appointment tomorrow at 8:30 am?

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    Re: Olive just seems "off"? Instinct or something actually wrong? How to tell?

    Quote Originally Posted by pocketmonster View Post
    Aw, thank you! :)


    The vet gave me pain medicine for her to take twice a day. The medicine is buprenorphine and I'm supposed to give her 0.14 cc by mouth twice daily. Is this correct?
    The dosing will depend on the concentration of the medicine in suspension. Here are typical doses in mg of medicine per kg of pig (link below). If you post the details from the medicine and olive's weight, we can let you know if it's in the typical range.

    guinealynx.info/analgesics.html

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    Re: Olive just seems "off"? Instinct or something actually wrong? How to tell?

    Is it cold where she is being kept? Is her weight normal? Are there any other possible explanations?
    If you think this is the start of bloat, others have used things like vibrating pads to get gas moving through.

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    Cavy Slave pocketmonster's Avatar
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    Re: Olive just seems "off"? Instinct or something actually wrong? How to tell?

    @cavy_jdas Their cage is in my bedroom and is actually next to one of the heating vents in the room. I was wondering if she's just cold, but I've had her for a few years and have never seen her puff herself up so often like she has been recently. She literally sits in her cage all hunched as if her stomach is hurting.

    The medicine is called buprenorphine and I am supposed to give her 0.14 cc twice a day. I'm not sure what other information I can supply about the medicine. Olive weighed in at the vet at her normal 1.5 lbs. Is it something that will help her tummy, or just cause her more discomfort from lethargy?

    Thank you so much!

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    Re: Olive just seems "off"? Instinct or something actually wrong? How to tell?

    On the medicine label it should say how many mg/ml, just before or just after the name of the medicine.

    1.5 lbs is a small piggie. I don't know what impact this would have on how she feels or how active or lethargic it would make her. It's a pain medicine, so it would hopefully make her more comfortable. Did they check teeth or do anything else? Puffed up is a symptom of so many possible things. Is she grinding her teeth at all, or have watery eyes (which can be signs of pain)? Any signs of respiratory infection? I would continue to monitor that she's eating and drinking, peeing and pooping. Keep her warm. And have your vet tomorrow do a very thorough exam - not just dismiss bloat and send you home if something else could be going on.

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    Re: Olive just seems "off"? Instinct or something actually wrong? How to tell?

    Quote Originally Posted by alphilip77 View Post
    @pocketmonster : Kale is very high in oxalic acids and is also a cruciferous vegetable. Please don't give Olive any kale, cabbage, broccoli or other "gassy" veggies until the issue has been resolved. And even after she gets over her gas episode, kale (as well as other high calcium, gas-causing veggies) should be given very sparingly, if not at all. You might want to hold back her veggies for a day or two just to avoid bloat.

    And yes, please keep your appointment with your regular vet for tomorrow. You want to be sure all avenues are taken when looking into sick guinea pigs. I can't comment on whether or not the medicine or dosage is adequate for her situation, but maybe @bpatters , @pinky , or @lissie could chime in here. Hope everything works out and keep an extra eye on her tonight. Maybe plan on checking in on her throughout the late PM/very early AM for good measure. Good luck.
    Kale is okay once or twice a week.
    Quote Originally Posted by pocketmonster View Post
    @alphilip77 Gotcha! No more kale. I would like to add that she is still eating fine, although she is sitting hunched in the corner with her hair poofed out, wearing that face of pain she's had since Sunday. It's bringing me to tears to look at her like that when she's usually sprawled out when she relaxes, lounging comfortably. I just don't know what to make of the matter.
    So sad-sounding!!
    Is there anything else I can do to keep her comfortable until her appointment tomorrow at 8:30 am?
    Quote Originally Posted by pocketmonster View Post
    @cavy_jdas Their cage is in my bedroom and is actually next to one of the heating vents in the room. I was wondering if she's just cold, but I've had her for a few years and have never seen her puff herself up so often like she has been recently. She literally sits in her cage all hunched as if her stomach is hurting.

    The medicine is called buprenorphine and I am supposed to give her 0.14 cc twice a day. I'm not sure what other information I can supply about the medicine. Olive weighed in at the vet at her normal 1.5 lbs. Is it something that will help her tummy, or just cause her more discomfort from lethargy?

    Thank you so much!

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    Re: Olive just seems "off"? Instinct or something actually wrong? How to tell?

    If it indeed does seem like gas, another thing you can consider is simethicone - you can find it at any drug store in the infant medication area. It's a medicine to help break up gas bubbles. You'd want an infant version that is in drop form. I know @pinky has used this with success, and it's only a few dollars to pick up. http://www.guinealynx.info/motility.html#simethicone

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    Cavy Slave pocketmonster's Avatar
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    Re: Olive just seems "off"? Instinct or something actually wrong? How to tell?

    Quote Originally Posted by cavy_jdas View Post
    If it indeed does seem like gas, another thing you can consider is simethicone - you can find it at any drug store in the infant medication area. It's a medicine to help break up gas bubbles. You'd want an infant version that is in drop form. I know @pinky has used this with success, and it's only a few dollars to pick up. http://www.guinealynx.info/motility.html#simethicone
    I have picked up a bottle of simethicone and have administered to her once already. I hesitate to give her more because I read that it can be ineffective because it does not work the same in a guinea pig's GI tract? Something to do with foam? Will it hurt to give it to her just in case?

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    Re: Olive just seems "off"? Instinct or something actually wrong? How to tell?

    If she will let you, a VERY gentle tummy massage can also help.
    Also, try to get her to walk. Even though she probably won't want too, it can really help relieve pain. Mindy agrees.
    You can use treats as encouragement.

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    Re: Olive just seems "off"? Instinct or something actually wrong? How to tell?

    Hi Pocketmonster,

    First of all, I'd like to apologize for the late response. On Tuesday, Crackle had surgery to remove a sebaceous cyst from inside her ear, so things have been a bit hectic.

    Crackle had a similar problem to Olive's. She didn't have bloat, but was a bit hunched. Also, she had started losing hair. We went for two opinions on her hair loss, and the second vet said that she was pulling it out herself because of discomfort. When she did an x-ray, she found a lot of air bubbles. She gave me buprenorphine and cisapride. The doses were 0.06ml every 8 hours for 5 days for the buprenorphine, and 0.13ml twice daily for 7 days for the cisapride. We stopped the buprenorphine after two doses, though, because it seemed to make Crackle sluggish. However, the cisapride works really well. It's a motility drug. After her surgery, we also gave her cisapride, but now she's off it and is doing fine.

    I've also started giving Crackle a probiotic once daily (twice is too much for her), and I've got the Oxbow Dietary Supplement, although I haven't started it yet because she has too many new things in her system right now. I've also had to start monitoring her diet better. I found out that I had previously been giving her more than one cup of veggies per pig per day, so I've cut back a little. I've cut back on the variety as well. Poofters likes variety, but Crackle obviously can't handle it. Her veggies are: butterhead lettuce (also known as Boston bibb lettuce); greenleaf lettuce; cilantro; carrots; green pepper; and yellow pepper. She also eats a whole Oxbow vitamin C tablet. Of course, she has her pellets and unlimited hay too. I try to vary the hay a bit so she's encouraged to eat more. She has a thick cut and a finer cut of timothy hay, orchard grass hay, a small amount of meadow hay, and an occasional piece of Oxbow hay stack. It just gets her eating more hay. Exercise is also good to get rid of the gas.

    I hope this helps. When I read your post, I really could sympathize with the feeling that your piggy was feeling "off". I hope Olive is feeling better!

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    Re: Olive just seems "off"? Instinct or something actually wrong? How to tell?

    I was reading my post, and I realise that I had made a mistake. The Oxbow Dietary Supplement is actually the Oxbow Digestive Support. Sorry about that!

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    Re: Olive just seems "off"? Instinct or something actually wrong? How to tell?

    For those looking for the posts about Tricia_TD's pig Perky, it has been split into its own thread called "Perky's Medical Thread" so the focus here can be brought back to pocketmonster's original post.

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