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Sick Stiff back legs???

hikergirl

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I recently took a sick/old guinea pig from a friend. Piggie is roughly 4-5 years old and is not doing well. The vet recommended that she be euthanized (not a cavy savy vet). I really don't think she is ready for that. She is still eating, drinking, pooping, wheeking and loves all her veggies.

Here's the problem. She doesn't seem to have any use of her back legs. They are very stiff. She can move them a little but ends up falling over because they don't move as quick as her front half. She spends alot of her time lying to one side which has caused a small sore. She is able to stand up on her back legs if helped. This friend has other quinea pigs and feeds them a balanced diet. Veggies twice a day, quality pellets and hay. She eats very well but I can still feel her back and hip bones. I started giving her vitamin c twice a day as well as lots of red peppers, parsley etc.. just in case she is suffering from scurvy. I'm not sure what else to try. Would the oxbow critical care help? I don't have any but can certainly find some. There isn't a cavy savy vet anywhere near me so I'm pretty much on my own. I have some 5mg prednisolone that my cat needs to take occasionally. Could I give her a small dose of that to see if it's a swelling issue? I really want to help her. I can tell by looking at her that she isn't ready to go yet which is why I took her but I certainly don't want her to suffer. What is the chance of her recovering the muscle she has lost in her back end and being able to use her legs again?
 

foggycreekcavy

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I would not give her prednisolone until you know for sure the problem. It could be a pinched nerve, a break, or a calcium problem. I don't think it's scurvy, but I could continue with the vitamin C. Sometimes a stone can cause mobility problems, too.

Do you have a vet you can take her to?
 

MySpottedFrog7

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Is everything else normal? Does she appear to be in pain? I know you said there is no cavy vet near you but it might help to share your general location and see if someone knows where one is. You can even try locating the closest guinea pig rescue or even another exotic pet rescue (such as a rabbit rescue or ferret) and see if they know who to contact. If she is eating and going to the bathroom, playing, etc maybe she is just waiting for some help, not to be put down. Sometimes there are vets who work with wildlife in your area who can help as well, hence why I would recommend doing your homework and looking around a lot. It's really paid off, in my experience. Beyond that, I don't know whats going on but I cannot help but to wonder if it is some sort of break, fracture, etc. It could be something fairly simple. Its so hard to tell. I would not give the prednisilone, however, since you do not know the right dose or if its needed. Medications can be dangerous.
 

hikergirl

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Thanks for your input. I'll definitely look into pig and rabbit rescues. I live in Pittsburg New Hampshire. The vet we take our cats to is almost an hour away and they gladly admit they know nothing about guinea pigs. She doesn't seem to be in any pain at all. She can stand up on her back legs but can't keep them under her when she tries to walk. Her entire back end just seems very frail and her hair is thinning in that region also. If you didn't see her try to walk, you'd never know something was wrong with her.
 

foggycreekcavy

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Was this girl used for breeding? Can you post a picture of the hair loss?

If there's hair loss I always automatically treat for mites.

Does she have two large "bumps" on her sides? How do her nipples work?
 

hikergirl

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No, she was never used for breeding. Her hair loss is only on her back legs. Upon further inspection, it looks like she's barbering. She also tends to lay on her left side and it's her right side that is thinning. The more I watch her, the more I think she may have had a stroke. I'm definitely worried about her. She isn't moving around as much as she was. She would just prefer to stay in one spot. I'm heading to Massachusetts this weekend and bringing her with me. I'm going to bring her to Tufts to be checked out. I've brought some of my other guinea pigs there when they were't feeling well and I trust that they will point me in the right direction with either treatment or euthanasia. I was hoping to see some improvment over the past 10 days and haven't.
 

hikergirl

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I brought my new little girl to the vet this past weekend. No sign of anything broken. No mites. Vet doubts any type nutritional deficiency given the diet she's been on. He thought it could possibly be a stroke but really wasn't sure. Since she is still eating, drinking, and pooping her normal amount and doesn't seem to be in any pain at all, he left the decision up to me. I took her home. She still has so much life in her eyes, I just couldn't put her down. I built her a great little wheelchair so she can escape her cage and run around for a while every day. I'm watching her closely and I'm sure I'll see the signs that she is done being on this earth sooner than I want to. Until then, she'll be spoiled rotten. Anyone have any ideas how I can prevent sores? She has a little hotspot on the hip she always lays on. I want to protect it now before it develops into something more.
 

foggycreekcavy

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You could rub some extra virgin coconut oil onto it.

I imagine she will most likely develop a callous there. Watch for swelling.

Was an xray done?
 

hikergirl

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I started the coconut oil. Hopefully it helps her. I wish I could get her to lay down on the other sides every once in a while. An x-ray was taken and it only showed a little bit of arthritis. Nothing that would cause her problems.
 

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