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.

Conditions Leo's medical thread

Guinea Pig Papa

Moderator
Staff member
Cavy Slave
Joined
May 12, 2015
Messages
428
Good morning everyone, and Merry Christmas Eve.

To make a long story short, Leo is a senior, now approaching 6 years old. Shortly after Simon passed away, Leo began to hobble. I suspected an injury to his right rear leg and attempted to limit his movement, and it seemed to help somewhat.

Fast forward a little, however, it became worse. I had some metacam left in the house, and began giving him .2ml each morning. It helped him quite a bit. So I made an appointment with his vet.

Leo has been diagnosed with arthritis but not in his leg as I suspected, but in his back. He was prescribed .5ml metacam, once daily. It helps him during the day quite a lot, unfortunately it seems dependent on the weather. He seems very stiff and sore when he gets up after lying down for awhile. I made the decision to split the dose every 12 hours and while that also helps, I want to do more.

I'm hoping that some of you have some tips to help with an elderly, arthritic pig. He doesn't use beds or cozies. He prefers to spend most of his time lying on top of his hay pile, which I now have to change daily.
 
Is he on any joint supplements? I'm skeptical if they worked but I was giving them to Walter for a time.

Movement and floor time may help, it will not do him any good if he wants to sit around all day. I let Wally run around almost every day, but he is also not a senior.
 
Last edited:
He's been on joint support tabs for a couple of months now, when I noticed him hobbling I ordered them.

His cage and pen are huge, so they don't get floortime per se. Their cage is wide open at 4 grids by 7 grids.
 
I kept my senior pig (eight and a half when she died) going for about 9 months on twice-daily doses of metacam. I know it has side-effects, but so does pain, and I didn't want her to suffer. She did very well until one day she didn't, and I made the choice to euthanize her shortly thereafter. Good luck to Leo.
 
I don’t have experience with guinea pig arthritis but I did have a dog with degenerative disease in her back, and our current dog has arthritis in his lower back. Pain meds and joint support help. Also, warm packs and massages are very comforting.

I notice our dog curls up in a tight ball and doesn’t want to move when he’s in pain, which makes it worse. I have a rice pad I warm up in the microwave and drape on his back. After 15-20 minutes, I give him a gentle massage in a circular motion on eight ear side of his back and the muscles in his back legs.

You’d probably have to hold Leo on your lap for this but it might give him some relief.
 
I kept my senior pig (eight and a half when she died) going for about 9 months on twice-daily doses of metacam. I know it has side-effects, but so does pain, and I didn't want her to suffer. She did very well until one day she didn't, and I made the choice to euthanize her shortly thereafter. Good luck to Leo.
Dr Ker and I discussed the side effects, mainly the damage metacam will do to his organs long-term. We both feel that keeping him comfortable and maintaining his quality of life is more important at this point. Kind of feeling cursed at this point. It seems that whenever one of my pigs pass, their partner almost immediately develops some sort of issue that can't be resolved. Regardless, I will do whatever I can to keep Leo comfortable and happy. He has good days and bad days and it mainly seems to center around the weather.
 
Our vet was not concerned about the side effects of meloxicam when it came to older/terminally ill pigs (like Amigo w/ CHF). She is more concerned about long-term effects in someone young like Walter, so we are encouraged to use the lowest dose (.10 ml) or dose every other day. For Leo, being a senior, I personally wouldn't focus too much on possible meloxicam side effects.
 
Our vet was not concerned about the side effects of meloxicam when it came to older/terminally ill pigs (like Amigo w/ CHF). She is more concerned about long-term effects in someone young like Walter, so we are encouraged to use the lowest dose (.10 ml) or dose every other day. For Leo, being a senior, I personally wouldn't focus too much on possible meloxicam side effects.
That's how both the vet and I felt as well. I realize he's beginning to decline, between the arthritis and now recent weight loss. I just got a travel trailer and was very much looking forward to having them camp with me this year (obviously with air conditioning) but I have a feeling Leo won't see July. My vet has a saying. "A month is a long time in the life of a guinea pig." Given that this only began immediately following Simons passing and has only been two months, All I can do is keep him happy and as comfortable as possible until I know its no longer possible.
 
I read this thread with a lot of interest. Lily, right pig on my avatar, is now 7 years old and I've noticed she seems to hobble a bit. Lily also doesn't move much unless I lift up the hidey that she is under. I've given her a daily Oxbow joint supplement for several years. Now I also use the pain relief gel pen, the one Saskia uses and sells on the LA Guinea Pig Rescue website. I have made an appointment for Lily to see the vet in case she needs metacam.

@GPP, I remember when Leo joined your household and can't believe he is six already. I hope you will have many more years of Leo's company.
 
I read this thread with a lot of interest. Lily, right pig on my avatar, is now 7 years old and I've noticed she seems to hobble a bit. Lily also doesn't move much unless I lift up the hidey that she is under. I've given her a daily Oxbow joint supplement for several years. Now I also use the pain relief gel pen, the one Saskia uses and sells on the LA Guinea Pig Rescue website. I have made an appointment for Lily to see the vet in case she needs metacam.

@GPP, I remember when Leo joined your household and can't believe he is six already. I hope you will have many more years of Leo's company.
Thank you! He hasn't quite hit six yet but it is rapidly approaching. The dreaded "senior decline" however, is upon us I think. He has begun to lose weight, and his hindquarters have a bony feel to them now. He is still a happy boy, absolutely LOVES the Oxbow "cookies" (He will NOT eat them out of the packaging, I have to crush them into a powder with a mortar and pestle, add water and syringe feed) and takes his Metacam happily. I go away every July to a week long camping trip at the racetrack but the pigs have never gone. This year, my father bought a very large travel trailer for me, with the hopes that we can all go away now. I have to say Leo's decline began and progressed so suddenly that I now fear he won't be with us to make the trip. I hope I'm wrong, but when the exact same thing happened to Pooper he had about 6 months.
 

Similar threads

AbuBalooandMe
Replies
3
Views
543
bpatters
bpatters
4boipigs
Replies
115
Views
5K
Guinea Pig Papa
Guinea Pig Papa
Guinea Pig Papa
Replies
0
Views
369
Guinea Pig Papa
Guinea Pig Papa
pigglesworth_palace
Replies
3
Views
305
bpatters
bpatters
mccolgan22
Replies
2
Views
407
mccolgan22
mccolgan22
Top