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Lump Nikki has a lump

Nikkipig

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This late morning, I discovered that Nikki's begun to make that dreaded "hooting" sound consistently and my heart sunk into my stomach. I already have an appointment set up with the amazing vet that treated her for her bladder stone tomorrow at 10:30am. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as I just lost my mom (age 53) to a car accident two weeks ago. :(
 

Guinea Pig Papa

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Fingers are crossed and positive vibes for you and for Nikki as well. Do let us know how she makes out.

And on a side note, please accept my deepest condolences on the loss of your mother. She wasn't much older than me, and she had so much time left.....
 

Nikkipig

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Thank you! I appreciate your kind words.

Well, it turns out that it's not heart problems, and the hooting stopped yesterday, which is the good (very good!) news. The bad news is that her breathing is heavy, so the vet put her on a dose of antibiotics as well as a probiotic in case it's the early sign of a URI forming, and the x-rays showed that she's formed several more small stones, as well as bone deterioration. Ugh! The bone deterioration is likely from a lack of vitamin C she received as a pup before she was in my care, as she gets 1/8 of a cup of Oxbow Cavy Cuisine pellets (always has in my care), 1/8 of a green bell pepper (again, always has in my care), and as of the past 6 months or so, 33 mg of a vitamin C supplement daily due to her age, which is 6 years. The poor girl has been through a lot over the years, but she's a fighter for sure and I'm confident we can get through this.
 

Nikkipig

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Nikki's lost over 4 ounces over the past week, and I caught her sneezing - though only once, so I definitely suspect it's a URI that the vet and I caught. Thank goodness she's on Bactrim and Bene-Bac per the vet's request. If she loses any more weight (I'll be weighing her daily), I'll buy some Critical Care and force feed her. I'm thankful it's not heart problems we're dealing with, at least.
 

Guinea Pig Papa

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If she's lost that much weight in just a week, Nikki, personally I would have her on critical care already. That's a good chunk to lose.
 

bpatters

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If she's really lost four ounces in a week, I'd be getting her into a vet ASAP for some diagnostic work. That's a huge amount for a guinea pig to lose in a week, and I'd be very suspicious that it's due to something more serious than a URI.
 

Nikkipig

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It's already 9pm here, so I'll buy some tomorrow if she hasn't gained any weight overnight. Where should I buy it? Oxbow's website says it should be bought from vets only, and my vet is an hour and a half away (not saying I won't make the drive if I have to).
 

Guinea Pig Papa

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I get mine from my vet. And bpatters is right, 100 grams is a lot to lose. I'd be heading back to the vet pronto. If you have to make the drive anyway, take her with you.
 

Nikkipig

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Sorry bpatters, didn't see your reply earlier as we were typing at the same time.

Will do, and will check back in with updates on whether or not she gets better.
 

bpatters

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I order mine from Amazon.
 

Nikkipig

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The good news is that overnight, Nikki started eating and drinking normally again (she inhaled her food and drank a little under half of her water within hours), and has gained 5 ounces by this afternoon! I'll weigh her again tonight before veggie feeding time like I normally do when her stomach is the most empty, but I personally don't think Critical Care or a vet visit is needed at this moment.
 

bpatters

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[MENTION=18967]Nikkipig[/MENTION], I don't think you're reading your scale correctly. A guinea pig can't lose, or gain, that much weight in only a few days. Please find something in your house whose weight you know, and figure out whether you're reading the scale properly.
 

Guinea Pig Papa

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I use an electronic scale the measures in grams. 28 grams equals 1 ounce, so 5 ounces is 140 grams. That really is a massive amount of weight to lose or gain, and the only explanation Nikki is the scale. It just seems very odd to have that big of a weight swing in such a short period of time.
 

Nikkipig

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I have some very bad news... Nikki has produced three more bladder stones and is still hooting. I can put her on heart meds but I feel as if it's her time to go to the rainbow bridge... She's 6.5 years old and has been through a LOT in the past year. It just seems unfair to keep putting her through surgeries and vet visits and forcing meds down her twice a day when the bladder stones never stop. It's also putting a lot of stress on me financially as I now live with my boyfriend in an apartment and am currently unemployed (in training to be a kennel assistant, so hopefully that changes soon). Don't get me wrong, I do have the money to take proper care of her, and my dad is helping out, but I feel as if I'm torturing her by keeping her alive at this point. She has another vet visit on Monday and I guess I'll discuss my options with the vet then. I'm heartbroken. This guinea pig has seen me through middle school, high school, and my first year of college. I don't want to let her go but she seems so unhappy with life and I feel sick every time I think of her.
 

bpatters

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It's very hard to decide to let a much-loved pet go. But some pigs just constantly produce painful bladder stones, and they are a major quality-of-life issue.

I'd worry more about the stones than the hooting. The hooting might easily be controlled with meds, but the stones can't be. And if she's not a good surgical candidate, she runs the risk of having a stone totally block the flow of urine through the urethra, and that's a painful, expensive medical emergency.

My own feeling is that I can't stand to see an animal suffer in pain, and I'd opt to have her euthanized rather than let her suffer. But everybody has to make that decision for themselves.

Do keep us posted on how she's doing.
 

Nikkipig

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I agree. I don't want her to suffer, and so I've made the decision to euthanize her. She has an appointment tomorrow afternoon.
 

Guinea Pig Papa

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I'm so sorry that it's come to this. It's such an agonizing decision to have to make, and no matter what way you choose to rationalize it, it's a very painful decision to come to.

You've given her a great life, more so than so many other pigs get. Take comfort in knowing that she won't be suffering any more.

Hoping for a peaceful, easy trip across the Rainbow Bridge.
 

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