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Sneezing Simon's Medical Thread.

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Guinea Pig Papa

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Well, here we are again.

Some of you may remember that when I first picked Simon up, his former owner told us that she'd given him a bath, and he got a faceful of water. He was very congested sounding, and after a period of waiting to see if it would clear on it's own we took him to the vet.

At that time, he was prescribed Sulfatrim as a precaution, and it did seem to improve.

Fast forward until now.

The congestion never did seem to go away. Occasionally, when he sneezed there would be a line of white mucus coming from one nostril. His weight was always stable, his eyes were a little crusty from time to time and he always had an appetite. The day he came to live with us, he was 967 grams. He has gone as high as 1030, about a week ago.

He was taken again to the vet a few weeks ago, because I just wanted him to be better. He was put on Baytril (which immediately put me on guard, considering every single pig I've ever had on Baytril has reacted poorly to say the least).

Simon seemed to thrive. He never lost any appetite. The congestion seemed to abate, while never completely disappearing. His weight was stable. When he went back to the vet for checkup after being on the Baytril for 10 or 11 days, he had GAINED weight from the previous visit. This shocked me AND his vet. I was hoping for the best.

Simon finished his Baytril Monday night this week. Since that time, his weight has continued to slide. His eyes have been crustier. The congestion has returned, and doesn't seem to abate. It's not in his lungs. His heart and lungs sound clear. This morning, I weighed him again. Friday last week he was 1030 grams. Today, 973. The water bottles were untouched during the night last night, and this is NOT normal. There is always a noticeable decrease in water from evening to morning.

He has been eating hay and pellets today. I gave them a couple of fresh toilet paper tubes and I actually saw Simon playing with one and throwing it around a short time ago. This is new for him.

I am trying to get him back in to the vet for Monday. Needless to say, I am at my wits end. Is it too much to ask for two happy, healthy pigs?
 

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I weighed him just before bedtime. 954. So he's lost even more weight. He nibbles at hay and takes the odd sip or two of water but that's all. I gave him a full 12cc syringe of Critical Care, also offered him a nice cucumber slice which he ate all of. He ate some of the bedtime veggies. He seems rather lethargic tonight. Doing everything I can.
 

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So, I had some Sulfatrim left over from Simon's first vet visit at the beginning of June. I'm really not sure of the shelf life of this stuff, but at the rate Simon was deteriorating I had nothing to lose. I believe he would have been critical by this morning.

I started the Sulfatrim again yesterday morning when it became apparent that this was serious. He got two doses 12 hours apart yesterday, and a third this morning. I gave him a full syringe of Critical Care yesterday evening, along with some water. I laid in bed watching tv with him on my chest for some time last night, and he just collapsed there. It brought back some very painful recent memories indeed.

I didn't sleep well. I checked the piggie camera several times, and saw that Simon was up twice, at 1230 and around 330. He was eating pellets, some hay and drinking water. I got up and weighed him at 0430 and he was holding stable at 954 grams. He was still 954 at 0630 when I started my day.

He got his meds this morning, some supplemental vitamin C and a slice of red pepper. Simon has never been very big on peppers, but he IS coming around. Today, to my surprise he ate almost half of his slice. Good start.

I weighed him again just before 9 when I left, and he was at 948. I kept checking the camera while I was gone and he seemed to be eating and drinking roughly every two hours. When I got home at 230pm, he was STILL at 954 and I was told that he pooped up a storm this morning. Good news! Seems he's eating and drinking enough to stabilize himself.

Will update again either tonight or tomorrow, hopefully post vet visit.
 

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Just out of curiosity, has anyone else ever had a pig with a stubborn sinus infection? Any suggestions on what helped their pig, and duration of antibiotics needed to finally get rid of it? Two weeks on .25ml of Baytril is what he just finished Monday night last week, and 5 days later he was terribly ill.
 

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Well, so far we tried Sulfatrim in June. Helped but didn't get rid of it. He just had two weeks of Baytril. Again helped but back 5 days after finishing. He has improved with the Sulfatrim again, but don't know if I trust it now.
 

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I took what you said to heart, and I am now looking at nebulizers online. Unsure if I can get one from the vet if need be, and if I never need it so be it. Having one would be better than not.
 

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[MENTION=13820]bpatters[/MENTION], I appreciate that very, very much. Our postal system is in tatters right now. I have a parcel I've been waiting for from New York State, the flew out of JFK to Toronto on June 23rd. It has yet to arrive. It may take awhile to get to me, but just with the 3 doses of oral Sulfatrim he's had there is a marked improvement. He may be able to go on the oral antibiotic.

Please get in touch with me whenever you're ready!
 

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Just a small update:

In my travels this morning I managed to determine that the oral suspension of Bactrim (or Sulfatrim in my case, also has many other names) has a shelf life of 5 years. So giving him 2 month old Sulfatrim is fine. In fact, I have Leo's Sulfatrim from February, and Punkins from October on hand as well. To the tune of 45ml worth.

Until just now close to 2pm, I was unable to get through to his vet only to find he isn't in yet. They won't be there until close to 4.

On the positive side, Simon's weight went UP overnight, from 940 at bedtime to 950 at 6am. He has been up and around eating and drinking more, and when I got home again at 11am he was at 963. He's going in the right direction. He's also pooping though not as much as usual which is to be expected.
 

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Thank you for that, [MENTION=31353]sallyvh[/MENTION]. I appreciate the info!

I did manage to get Simon in to the vet today. He is remaining on the Sulfatrim at the same dosage I've been giving him for now, with a recheck in two weeks. He did conveniently display his symptoms at the vet office to boot, at first seeming fine and then getting congested and having to be rechecked lol.

The Sulfatrim is DEFINITELY working. This afternoon, he shocked the hell out of me. He was running laps of the pen. All by himself at first, then with Leo. This was before his vet visit. He's been eating more, his water consumption has gone back up and so has his poop production.

Tonight, he's been more active than he's ever been. Considering the level of dyspnea he displayed on Saturday (Here is a link to that https://youtu.be/BvmxCl1hkdE ) I'm shocked at the level of energy and activity in him tonight. His weight at the vet was 960 grams and I expect that to at least stay the same or increase by bedtime.
 

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Woke up this morning to find rearranged pigloos. Only Simon does this, Leo can't be bothered.

I picked him up to bring him out for his meds. Plunked him into the tupperware to weigh him, and noticed the water bottles were lower and the pellet bowls were disturbed.

Simon is back up to 983 grams this morning.

Gave him his vitamin C, his Sulfatrim and a slice of orange pepper. He took two bites and ignored it. Typical.

Put him back in the cage with Leo, and after some time he did something he's never done before. Well, two somethings. He ate almost his entire orange pepper slice, then ate a fair portion of Leo's as well.

Spent an hour and a half or so eating, drinking, playing dodge the Leo, among other things. I heard no congestion this morning, and something I haven't heard from him lately. Happy piggy noises.
 

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Update for Simon:

Simon is improving, little by little now. His weight has come up to about 980, from a low of 940. His appetite is fairly good, with or without probiotics. First pig I've ever had whose appetite is unaffected by medication.

He plays with Leo from time to time, but he's always laid around a lot. Then again, hes never really been healthy since I've had him apparently.

I was watching him lying down today. The congestion in his nose seems to come and go, as does the dyspnea. The last couple of days he seems to have had a little more trouble breathing than he has been during the week.

He goes back to the vet on Tuesday the 25th at 5pm. He'll be re evaluated at that time and a decision will be made whether to continue the antibiotics, stop them or change them.
 

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I have thought about that, and even though I'm not a vet I have dismissed it.....for now. His whole body bobs, not just his head. And its not constant, although it IS always accompanied by nasal congestion. You can hear the congestion in his nose............but none in his lungs on a stethoscope, so we know his lungs are clear.

If you watch the video further up, you can see the dyspnea he's experiencing and if you can listen past both the Formula 1 race I had on, and the jingling of my dogs tags, when I get close you can hear the congestion in his breathing.

The congestion is not as bad as it was and it comes and goes, but the severity of the dyspnea coincides with how much congestion is evident at the time.

As far as lethargy goes, I believe I can attribute most of it to him simply being a laid back pig. Make no mistake, the boy can RUN and Leo with his fat butt absolute cannot keep up with him. But at the same time, he does not mind being picked up at all. He doesn't fuss, or nip, or struggle. When you want to pick him up, you just do. He doesn't care.
 

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Update for Simon.

Simon was taken in to the vet early. His improvement had slowed, stopped, and even seemed to reverse somewhat.

The one positive is that his weight is remaining stable, just over or under 1000 grams.

The congestion is 100% in his sinuses. There is none in his lungs, and his heart is good and strong. When we got to the vet as if on cue, he was breathing very raggedly and wet through his nose, sneezing and snotting and wiping his face, and exhibiting difficulty breathing. When Dr Ker tried to examine him, we had to wait for him to settle down as he began to wheek very, very loudly. He was scared. He doesn't like being examined. He cries the same way when he's being given a butt bath.

He has now been switched to a fairly large dose of azithromycin, starting tomorrow morning. He will be on this for 10 days, and see where we are at that point.

I will say I am maybe foolishly optimistic, as azithromycin was the miracle that brought Scooter back from the brink back in October and November. I'm really hoping it's the same miracle for Simon. He deserves to be healthy and happy.
 

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And you deserve that he is healthy and happy! You do your utmost for every one of your furry children and it is about time for a great outcome.

BTW, how is Leo handling everything?

I'm not worried about me. I'll be happy when they're both healthy and happy.

Leo is, and always has been a joy. He's never known another pig before Scooter and he just loved him. I think losing Scooter broke something in him too, because he is every bit as affectionate with Simon as he was with Scooter, but more so. He seems to be MUCH clingier with Simon. Can't seem to let him out of his sight. Always rumblestrutting beside him, or watching his every move. If Simon gets up, Leo has to follow. If Simon lies down, Leo will flop near him. They don't snuggle like Punkin and Scooter did but otherwise they are every bit as bonded as they were. Leo loses his mind with happiness when Simon comes home from the vet.
 

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Update for Simon:

We are on day 6 of the azithromycin. The day before yesterday, I was a little concerned because his weight had slid backward, to about 945 grams. He was eating a little at about 3 am, and then nothing. He wouldn't eat or drink or come out for several hours. So I tried something different. He got poop soup from Leo instead of the usual probiotics.

That seemed to do the trick. He's developing a sassy little attitude. The nasal congestion, crusty eyes and crusty nose are gone, and have been since the second day. He is up and around a lot more, and he is eating a fair amount of hay and drinking a TON of water. (two 12 ounce water bottles are pretty much gone in 24 hours between the two of them.)

He's been partaking in bedtime veggies, loves cucumber slices. Stupidly optimistic about his progress, as it's been nothing like his other courses of antibiotics. My fingers are cross that he has beaten this thing. 4 doses left.
 

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Update for Simon:

Simon is a different pig today. In a positive way.

In the three months I've had him, I have never, ever seen him this active. He has had some short naps today, but other than that he has been active the entire day. Eating, drinking, running and playing. He is wearing Leo out. Not only is he developing a sassy attitude, but he is becoming rather vocal. Not so much wheeking, but he babbles up a storm.


It's been mostly Simon, and Leo has had a fair bit, but between them they have drained two full water bottles today. He's always drank a fair amount, but today has been exceptional.

He was 961 grams when I got up this morning. Simon's trend has always been to gain some weight overnight, and lose it during the day. Not today. Late afternoon today, he was up to 993. His output is matching his intake. What an unbelievable poopmonster.

After so many painful letdowns in the last year, I need a win. WE need a win. Please keep Simon in your thoughts, hopefully this is the end of his illness and he can finally begin his new life with us and with Leo in earnest.
 

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Update for my little walking toupee:

We are two weeks now post antibiotics. The first week off the meds was rough. He had some pretty nasty tummy issues, alternating between doing fine and then not pooping, and a short bout with some pretty loose stools.

Simon is a massive water drinker. Lately he has been draining a 12 oz water bottle twice a day. Leo of course drinks too, but 80 percent of it is Simon. He just seems to love water. He drank a fair bit before his 10 days of azithromycin but seems to have stepped it up after being off the meds. I have wondered if he perhaps might be diabetic. He really doesn't eat much in the way of veggies, not like every other pig I've ever had. Leo would eat tons if you let him. He has little to no interest in peppers of any colour. Loves cucumber. Gets nighttime veggies with Leo, and will sit and munch for 10 minutes or so and then back into the hay pile. He will graze at a hay pile all day long, and it's easily 90% of his intake. He no longer eats any pellets for some reason, too. So he doesn't really have a diet that would lend itself to him being diabetic, and I've read that the treatment for a diabetic pig is basically what he's getting already anyway.

I do wish I could get him to gain some weight, he seems to hover now between 900-950 grams. I WILL say that his attitude and demeanor are much different. We are FINALLY seeing his personality come through. He grumps and complains when he's picked up, but will happily lay on my chest and submit to pets for a good long time. He has come to wheek some when it's salad time. He no longer lays around all day, acting like a sick pig. I will scratch his cheeks and he will latch onto my thumb with his teeth. He just holds it, not causing pain or trying to bite. He just holds my thumb with his teeth, kind of like a dog will tug at a toy you're holding. If I sit in the pen, he will come over and climb up into my lap, or simply sit there and lick my toe for some reason.



After close to 4 months, I believe I have finally met the Simon he was meant to be. And he is an absolute sweetheart.
 

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I thought I should post one last update for Simon, regarding his sinus infection issue.


There have been NO return of symptoms. He still sneezes quite often, but the hay is dusty and he very much likes to dive into the pile. That seems to be the explanation for the sneezing.

He has become MUCH more comfortable in his new surroundings, and has become a quite vocal and affectionate piggy. He loves his new brother Leo, and it's safe to say that Leo loves him just as much. They aren't quite the snugglers that Punkin and Scooter were, but they very much love each other and enjoy each others company. It's such a joy to watch them interact with each other.

Leo seems to have lost some weight, and it's likely because he's become more active with Simon. Simon's weight seems to still hover around 1000 grams, so he's just a small pig. Physically because of his floofiness he looks bigger than Leo, but Leo outweighs him by almost a full pound.

I now have two happy, healthy and active pigs. Their favourite things in the world are fresh hay, and each other.


I want to thank everyone for their words of encouragement, their help and support. The adventures of Leo and Simon are beginning in earnest and I can't wait to see what these two hams get up to!
 

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So, a little update on Simon. Unfortunately not a great one, but not terrible either.

Simon continues to do very, very well. He has come out of his shell in his new home, he's very vocal and playful and honestly is just a sweetheart of a pig. He and Leo truly are the best of buddies. His weight has been stable for some time now.

Simon is oddly obsessed with cellphones. Every time I sit in their pen and pull out my phone to take pictures, little fluffy boy comes waddling over, sticking his nose in the air investigating. He will literally climb in my lap to get to my phone and will proceed to try and nibble on it. No clue why.

Simon has never really stopped being a sneezer. Their hay has been rather dusty and I've just been hoping it's that. He's sneezed when hes been around me, but I haven't seen anything and he almost always immediately wipes at his nose with his paws.

TL:DR

Thursday last week, he was climbing up into my lap to get to my cellphone, which was pointed at him to take a pic. And he sneezed. And the back of my phone was covered in little green snots. He STILL seems to have a sinus infection.

So, back to the vet we went, because when things get critical with my pigs it's ALWAYS on a holiday weekend, and I need to be safe rather than sorry. He was put on another 10 days of azithromycin to combat whatever this is. Other than that, he was given a clean bill of health and his vet and vet tech are very happy to see how happy and healthy he is.
 
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