Where People & Piggies Thrive

Newbie or Guinea Guru? Popcorn in!

Register for free to enjoy the full benefits.
Find out more about the NEW, drastically improved site and forum!

Register
  • ONE THREAD per pig please!
    We really want your pig's history all in one place to help you. Please don't start a new thread for a new issue. Just reply to your old one. We can edit the title for you if needed.

Injury Can a paralyzed guinea have a good life?

justastudebt

Active Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Feb 27, 2012
Messages
32
Hi everyone, I'm really conflicted about my piggy Ruffles. She recently got hurt by freaking out and running and jumping of my shoulder when I was petting her. It happened so quick there was nothing I could do and that's when I noticed her hind legs were no longer moving. She didn't make any noise to indicate that she was in pain and took her to the vet in the morning because there weren't any emergency vets available for gp's.

Found out from the doctor that she's completely paralyzed from the mid-back down and can not feel any deep pain but she does have her reflex on her legs. The doctor told me if her quality of life isn't good then it would be better to put her down. This is where I'm conflicted, she has a pal named nibbles (female) and she runs around dragging her legs, eats, drinks, and hangs out in her house (and I bought a rabbit sized house so she's able to move around in it better). I'm considering buying a little wheelchair for her and it seems like she's happy but I really don't know. Can she live happily with a disability?

Currently I'm cleaning after her to make sure there isn't any feces where she's sitting or sleeping to prevent any infections. What preventative care can I do to help her live happily?
Thanks.
 
Oh dear, I am so sorry to hear this.

Since you say she is still eating, drinking and interacting that she can and maybe is still having a good life. That is just my thought, but I might be very wrong.

You sound like a wonderful Piggy Mommy.
 
I'm am verry sorry about Ruffles. You are being very proactive in this process, and I certainly commend you for that.

I found some links to a company that makes animal wheelchairs. Although they are primarily for Dogs, they have also made custom guinea pig wheelchairs: (broken link removed)

I think that if she has a good appetite and is healthy, a piggy wheelchair would be a wonderful choice, that is if you can afford it. I wouldn't be able to if my pig became paralyzed, but I would get one if I could.

I'm not an expert. This is simply my opinion. I might be wrong, if I am, then someone please tell me so that I can mend this statement.
 
Although they are primarily for Dogs, they have also made custom guinea pig wheelchairs: (broken link removed)

That's the company we're looking into, we found a fitter near our area and we're considering buying from that website since it seems like they're the only company that makes them for guineas. I'm hoping they have a payment plan, but I'm saving up just in case.
 
I had a guinea pig with osteodystrophy which was a progressive disorder. Even though she lost the function of her back legs, she'd also drag herself around and seemed happy until the disease progressed to her front legs and head. I wouldn't euthanize your pig if she's able to get around. These little ones get a lot of pleasure from just eating hay and laying around. As long as you are able to keep her clean, she could have a pretty normal life. My guinea pig's cage mate used to groom her to keep her clean. Her illness had very little effect on their relationship. You sound like a really caring person. Ruffles is lucky.
 
(broken link removed)

You can find some more links above!
 
Here's what the Doggon' Wheels wheelchair would look like for a guinea pig
(broken link removed)
 
The first shot looks like it is at too sever of an angle for the piggies back to me. Just sayin'. :)
 
in humans paralysis of the lower body can also effect elimination (peeing and pooping). if your guinea pig is or will be effected by that, i can't imagine how you would then take care of her in such a way that would maintain quality of life. i'm so very sorry for this terrible tragedy. it must be so hard to process and try to make this decision.
 
in humans paralysis of the lower body can also effect elimination (peeing and pooping). if your guinea pig is or will be effected by that, i can't imagine how you would then take care of her in such a way that would maintain quality of life. i'm so very sorry for this terrible tragedy. it must be so hard to process and try to make this decision.

I never even thought of that. With osteodystrophy, my guinea pig's bones were fused which caused her to lose function of them. It might be very different with paralysis due to nerve damage. I would imagine there would be info on guinea lynx.
 
Take a look at that Guinea Lynx link -- the pig in it is at a much better angle for a pig. And there are directions for making that roller for very little money.
 
@(broken link removed), you are right. More level.

@(broken link removed), wouldn't the piggy be very ill by now?
 
in humans paralysis of the lower body can also effect elimination (peeing and pooping). if your guinea pig is or will be effected by that, i can't imagine how you would then take care of her in such a way that would maintain quality of life.

I don't see how this would be a quality of life issue. Urinary incontinence is of no concern to a pig, and if a pig has motility issues (what we would characterize as consipation) there are plenty of drugs (Reglan, for instance) that can be provided as a motility aid.
 
@SurfingPigs you're right. i wasn't thinking so much about incontinence as about the inabiity to pass urine or move stool. i have a pig now with what appears to be a chronic impaction condition, so i may have be a little quick to jump the gun about a potential problem because of my own sensitivity. oops!
 
Last edited:
@SurfingPigs you're right. i wasn't thinking so much about incontinence as about the inabiity to pass urine or move stool. i have a pig now with what appears to be a chronic impaction condition, so i may have be a little quick to jump the gun about a potential problem because of my own sensitivity. oops!

Well, now you've got me thinking. Since urinary retention is an issue (I was focusing more on loss of sphincter control, thus incontinence), I wonder if it wouldn't be prudent to start pigs with spinal cord injuries on some sort of modified diet? My thinking being that with deminished bladder function, sludge/stones could become a more serious issue, as fewer calcium will be passed in the urine. If this were my pig, I would be spending extra time ensuring they had a healthy Ca:p ratio in their diet.

I thought about impaction as well, but with a sow it is not a common issue, and gut motility would be a greater health threat. Thankfully there are drugs to address it.
 
We have a blind boar with partial paralysis (left side low-function, partial facial paralysis that includes his jaw and eyelid). We have to get his teeth planed b/c of the jaw issue -- he doesn't chew evenly -- and have eye drops b/c the inability to blink can cause dry eye. His low-functioning left side makes him have a funny gait and he uses his rather ample center of gravity (large bum) to do turns. We suspect he may have some hearing issues. He has some gut issues that we manage with a restricted diet (thank goodness he can eat his hay and pellets, but we have to be careful with his fruit and veg).

This is all to say -- Picckalo was considered unadoptable at the shelter (you know what that means) and is now a sleek, happy boar who adores my doting husband. He likes lap time a whole lot more than the other pigs and will actually fall completey asleep on my husband's chest for long stretches. He just needs more cuddles than the other pigs.

We had to make modifications for the location and height of his hay hammock and we never change his food and water bottle locations. Depending on your cage you may want to do the same. He's only in a 2x3 C&C because he's not able to comfortably negotiate a larger space (he's a single pig but next to the other 3 pigs' pens).

If you can, I'd give her a chance. It sounds like you love her very much and are willing to do what it takes!
 
Well I don't think she has any elimination issues because she poops and pees (and a lot, her amount has not changed since the incident) and I would just have to remove it from under her because she won't move away for it to fall out and I try to wipe her down with non fragrance, non alcohol baby wipes to make sure there isn't any stuck anywhere on her derriere.

@SurfingPigs you're right. i wasn't thinking so much about incontinence as about the inabiity to pass urine or move stool. i have a pig now with what appears to be a chronic impaction condition, so i may have be a little quick to jump the gun about a potential problem because of my own sensitivity. oops!
 
So for a piggy that can't use their back legs what preventative care can I do in order for her to stay healthy? I know she has some compaction from to lack of movement which I always check under her and her rear. I also check if where she's lying down is wet so I can replace it with dry bedding cloths. Is there anything else to look for besides the basic weekly check up's?
 
Well first of all I'm glad that you are at least trying to give her a chance at living a good life and it sounds like what happened was a freak accident and you are doing a great job at taking care of her and her buddy. I didn't know that you could get little wheel chairs for piggies I've heard and seen them for cats and dogs though hmmm. I'm not a vet so I really can't tell you how to care for her medically but I would just try to keep her as comfortable as possible and I would think that if she was in much discomfort she would be eating or drinking normally but as I said I'm not a vet so I can't tell how to care for her but these are my ideas...if they do sell wheelchairs for guinea pigs then maybe look into those. Hope all goes well for you and Ruffles.
 
Status
This thread has been closed due to inactivity. You can create a new thread to discuss this topic.

Similar threads

Lavendergirl99
Replies
2
Views
311
bpatters
bpatters
J
Replies
3
Views
371
Guinea Pig Papa
Guinea Pig Papa
L
Replies
4
Views
201
gpihgos
gpihgos
D
Replies
1
Views
501
bpatters
bpatters
megamazing
Replies
5
Views
480
SSLee
SSLee
Top