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Conditions Casper's Medical Thread: lesion on testicle

bpatters

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What he really needs are motility meds, and that means a vet visit. Not all emergency vets are GP savvy, and often there's not an exotic vet available. But if you've got one, take your pig in. The longer bloat goes on, the worse the likely outcome.

The only things readily available on a weekend are massage and simethicone. Baby simethicone is good, give about 1/4 to 1/2 the dose for an infant.

If you've got something that vibrates, even a toothbrush or your clothes dryer, put him on it for 20 minutes or so at a time. Or sit with him on your lap and gently massage his tummy.

Keep him hydrated. The liquid will help loosen any material in his digestive tract and make it easier to pass.
 

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Got home from work a while ago and he HAS pooped some during the day, though it's very scant and misshapen. He's still bright and alert and allowing me to feed him, and even putting up a fuss when I flush his abscess. He's a brave little animal.

I've been giving him simethicone since I realized his eating was off, and my vet even told me that he could take it at a much higher dosage. I think she said 10-20 mg/kg every 8 hours? I'll go find my post-it and post when I find it. I massage his belly during his feedings. He is drinking on his own still, but I'll be sure to offer him some Pedialyte, too.

I checked with the emergency vet and they don't have an exotics vet there today. I'll support him at home overnight and take him to his regular vet tomorrow. I'm thinking he's going make it till then alright.
 

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Update on Casper: he started pooping more overnight and was much more active this morning. Got him in to see the vet and she prescribed metaclopramide to stimulate his gut. Of the 2 antibiotics he was taking, I'm pretty sure the metronidazole was the one causing the issue. The other antibiotic is bactrim, and he's had it before without any problems. Vet said to drop the metronidazole and start back the bactrim once he's eating again on his own. She also sent us with some betadine to mix into his solution to flush the abscess. When he got home, he actually ate a few strands of hay. He's since been quiet the rest of the day, haven't seen any more poop yet, but I'm hoping I'll see some more activity this evening. Hopefully he's on his way out of the GI issues so we can go back to treating the abscess.
 

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Update: Casper was very sedate last night and for a while I was worried that he was backsliding. However, he does seem to be making steady progress today. I haven't seen any poops all day, which was worrying. But at the same time, he seems more active and more willing to eat and his abdomen is starting to feel less gassy. After watching for a bit, I managed to catch him eating his own stools, so it seems he actually is pooping more than I thought! 😂

I'm still worried that he doesn't seem to be eating enough on his own, but when I offered him some fresh clover, vetch, and grass from the yard, he gobbled it up and came looking for more. I got him to eat a little botanical hay and orchard grass as well, which are a change from his usual timothy. So clearly he WILL eat at this point, I think he's just needing a bit of encouragement. To that end, I decided to go ahead and take the risk and just put him and Poptart back together. Poptart really has turned out to be an excellent cagemate for Casper. He's rarely aggressive, but he's great at pestering Casper into doing things he doesn't always want to do - like move around and get up to eat and drink every once in a while. I'm hoping that he can keep Casper moving forward while I'm at work the next few days, but I'm still going to take a long lunch and come home to check on him and give him meds and supplemental feedings as necessary. Also, I have a webcam installed in the pigpen, so I'll be able to kind of keep an eye on them from work the next several days.
 

LittleSqueakers

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Forgot something important! He seems to have formed a fistula from the abscess up into the floor of his mouth. When I was flushing the abscess earlier, we were BOTH surprised when the water shot out from around his lower incisors and hit me in the face. It was like being squirted by a toy from a big kids meal! 😂 I called and talked to his vet and she seemed surprised too, but not overly concerned. She says the fistula will likely close up on its own as the abscess heals, and to just try rinsing his mouth when I flush the abscess so that he doesn't wind up with food caught in it. The abscess is looking really good so far. I'm going to start him back on the bactrim soon, once I'm sure he's serious about eating on his own.
 

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Update: Casper's eating well on his own now, and I started him back on the sulfa last night. I noticed that his weight has dropped again this morning, but I think it might just be because I stopped feeding the critical care and he hasn't re-started eating his pellet food yet. I'll continue to monitor him closely over the weekend, but right now he's acting like his normal self and is eating hay and veggies well. If he doesn't start eating the pellet food again soon, I have the Oasis multivitamin drops I can supplement with.

I'm a little concerned about the situation with flushing the abscess with the fistula in the floor of his mouth. Every time I flush through the hole the vet lanced in his throat area, he starts chewing and drinking the water that comes out through his mouth and I also catch a whiff of this evil odor that tells me the pus just flushed through the fistula into his mouth. 😫 I know I need to keep the external lanced hole open to drain the abscess, but I don't want to keep flushing through the fistula or it may not close up. I guess I'm going to try my vet's suggestion and just gently rinse the lanced hole to keep it open without flushing with a lot of force. I'm hoping that after a few days of antibiotics and backing off on the forceful flushing, the fistula will have had some time to close up. Let's hope we get lucky, too, that the sulfa just happens to be the right drug to kill whatever bug is living in the abscess. I'll keep posting regular updates in the hopes that maybe this experience will prove useful to someone else who may be dealing with a similar problem one day. Wish us luck! 🤞
 

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Update on Casper: He took his final dose of bactrim this morning and seems to be doing great. However, he still hasn't re-started eating his pellet food, and his weight has been up and down according to how much/often I've been able to feed him critical care. I know that pigs can do just fine without pellet food as long they are properly supplemented with a multivitamin, but the weight loss just still has me on edge. How am I supposed to know if it's just from not eating pellets or if he's actually getting sick again? The abscess itself it closed, but I can still feel a little knot of tissue under the skin. I'm pretty sure it's healed for now, but I still have a feeling that it's probably going to end up causing issues again at some point.
 

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Update: Casper finally started eating his pellet food again Friday night after I posted. His weight this morning is up 10 grams from yesterday and 20 grams from the day before that. So he's gaining slowly, but headed in the right direction. I can still feel the lump where the abscess is/was, but it doesn't seem to be changing, so I'm crossing my fingers and hoping it's just healing tissue. The only thing is that Casper screams when I touch it, so I'm not sure whether it's actually still painful, or if he's just reacting because he's expecting it to hurt. Idk. I'll continue to monitor it and if it seems to be growing or changing again, we'll go back to the vet.
 

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Update: It's not healing tissue. I palpated the abscess this morning and it felt slightly bigger, but then as I pressed on it, I smelled pus express into his mouth through the fistula. As I examined him a little more closely, I saw a little blood around his lower incisors, so the fistula into his mouth is definitely still open and the abscess is not yet healed. I wonder if 7 days of antibiotics wasn't long enough? It was getting better, but apparently didn't go completely away. I'll call his vet when they open to see if I can get him in today or tomorrow for a recheck. He seems fine as long as I'm not messing with the abscess, but he does appear to have stopped eating his pellet food again, so I think the abscess may be making that difficult/painful. More updates to come.
 

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Update: Casper went back to the vet for a recheck on Tuesday. A different vet saw him this time, and bumped up his dose of bactrim by 50%, and he's going to take it for 2 weeks this time instead of 1. Vet did mention possibility of this being a tooth root abscess, but thinks it unlikely at this point. He was doing fine until yesterday morning, when I noticed he had lost a big chunk of weight and hadn't eaten his food pellets again. When I got home from work yesterday evening, he was sitting puffed up and puny, and clearly hadn't eaten much that day. So, back to hand-feeding CC, and I started him on simethicone and reglan again. My working theory is that maybe a 50% dose increase of bactrim is a little more than he can handle, so I've dropped the dose back down to the lower dose the first vet prescribed. The abscess had been showing improvement on the lower dose, and he wasn't bothered by the meds, so I'm hoping that doing it for 2 weeks will be enough. He's looking a bit better today, and he's showing some interest in munching hay and lettuce, so I think I hopefully noticed quickly enough that he was having a problem that he can bounce back quickly, too.
 

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