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Vet Talwar's Medical thread

Turns out the plate on the scale was so loose that it fell off, so his weight is actually 835 and not 850. We'll find out for sure at the vet on Saturday.
 
He was 835 a week ago, so while he may not have gained, holding steady for an ill pig is still a win!
 
Talwar has not gotten any better. In fact he may be worse. The dr believes 'at best' pneumonia is not beaten and may need to change meds, and 'at worse' pneumonia has been beaten and now we're looking at possible heart failure. She is going to consult with other exotics vets and get back w/ me. We'll find out in a few days what to do next.
 
Keep us posted. I'm sorry he isn't doing well.
 
So on the new rads his right side is worse than a few weeks ago. It appears there is either inflammation in his bronchi or it is the arteries of his heart. On guinea pig rads, the heart can be seen with the lungs, so this is how we have a clear-ish view, but his right lung/side that's affected is still hazy/white with junk. It could be pulmonary hypertension and/or the arteries are mineralizing as a side effect from the pneumonia, which could lead to heart trouble. So she wanted to talk w/ her colleagues to get a second opinion on the rads. At least that's how I understand. I preferred it dumb-downed for now as either 'we need a new approach to pneumonia meds' or 'need to start exploring heart issues'.

Either way, if it's heart stuff, I don't want to go the path I did with Amigo. I don't want to see him struggle to breath even while on meds and lose anymore weight. He's young, but there's no way I'm going to drug him up til he's on his last legs. There is no bonded pair to worry about, so that makes it easier. Sounds morbid to think that way maybe, but it's something I'm going to prep for anyway.
 
I'm so sorry that Talwar isn't doing well! 😢

Few realize how fragile the respiratory system is, and how quickly a cavy can go downhill. I've had at least two of my babies die very quickly. The last was Rafi's brother, Rascal. Rascal exhibited signs of definitely not feeling well (respiratory effort), and I took him to the Vet the next day. The Vet did a physical exam and put him on antibiotics. Rascal died that same night......after I had spent $$$ that day. The same set of circumstances occurred with a little sow that I previously owned. Not complaining about the cost, but just to illustrate the scenario that seems all too common.

Fingers crossed that your Vet makes a timely determination and that Talwar recovers very quickly.
 
I’m sorry you’re both going through such a tough situation. I hope the vet can figure out something that gets him back on track and feeling well again.
 
So on the new rads his right side is worse than a few weeks ago. It appears there is either inflammation in his bronchi or it is the arteries of his heart. On guinea pig rads, the heart can be seen with the lungs, so this is how we have a clear-ish view, but his right lung/side that's affected is still hazy/white with junk. It could be pulmonary hypertension and/or the arteries are mineralizing as a side effect from the pneumonia, which could lead to heart trouble. So she wanted to talk w/ her colleagues to get a second opinion on the rads. At least that's how I understand. I preferred it dumb-downed for now as either 'we need a new approach to pneumonia meds' or 'need to start exploring heart issues'.

Either way, if it's heart stuff, I don't want to go the path I did with Amigo. I don't want to see him struggle to breath even while on meds and lose anymore weight. He's young, but there's no way I'm going to drug him up til he's on his last legs. There is no bonded pair to worry about, so that makes it easier. Sounds morbid to think that way maybe, but it's something I'm going to prep for anyway.
Just out of curiosity......have you tried nebulizing pneumonia meds yet? Its apparently a very effective technique to administering medications to a guinea pig. There are a few videos on YouTube detailing the process, and I understand its a lot more common a practice in the US than it is here. My vet was unfamiliar with it when Simon was very, very ill a few years ago and wouldn't try it.
 
We have not used a neb yet, however the doctor mentioned that as a possibility this visit. We are still waiting to hear from her.

Idk if I mentioned it but he has had coughing and noisy breathing again for about a week. Which the dr states is from whatever is happening in his right lung or arteries.

I am going on a trip next month and he will have to boarded alone at the vet if he doesn’t improve. Vet advised me they are seeing lots of bordetella cases so they rather not board more than one of my pigs. The other boys will be at the rescue.

They ask I bring his cage which obviously won’t work due to being an 2x6.

I just threw away part of an old cage that would have worked well for boarding.

Now I need to decide if to buy a knockoff Midwest from Amazon for $50 and never use it again…or use the Prevue 528 I have (old hamster cage).

I don’t him in a tiny cage, alone, in weird territory for a week…I could have my friend watch him but she can’t drive. If an emergency happened he would be in a tough spot. At least the vet can give meds and watch him for signs of illness. He would be in their break room and away from all the animals. He will probably be fine there but he’ll still be alone and most likely scared.

The trip is not going to be postponed…not after sinking all this money into it.
 
Email from the dr. What should I do? I'm going to ignore the euthanasia suggestion for now considering he is eating okay and what not...Amigo was the same way, happy to eat and active, but he also lost all his weight and struggled to breath. We're worried about sedation because Wally reacted so poorly to it when he was sedated for his xrays. I am not super interested in doing such a culture. A CT would likely require him to sedated as well. I know when Little Bear had one recommended, it was like $1000.

"I have heard back from 2 people regarding Talwar.
The first was a radiologist. They felt that the heart was at least a little enlarged. They felt that the amount of opacity seen was severe and complete resolution would be unlikely. They thought the partial response was due to control of some infection and decreased airway secretions. They gave a grave prognosis based on x-ray appearance.

The second was an exotics specialist. They agreed that it was a pretty severe infiltrate.

They said that the ideal would be to get a culture from the lungs by adding fluid and sucking it back out (something called a bronchoalveolar lavage) or from using a small needle to aspirate some of the material (with ultrasound guidance). There is a significant risk with either of these and they would require sedation. If successful, it may allow us to get the culture to determine the correct antibiotic.
They suggested adding in nebulization. Sometimes adding antibiotics into the nebulization can be beneficial. The meds she talked about using can have some negative effects on the organs (especially the kidneys), but they are less of an issue when inhaled than when given orally.
They said that they tend to go to a different antibiotic when dealing with resistant infections. The medication is called chloramphenicol. This antibiotic should be handled with gloves because humans can have a rare reaction where this medication affects your bone marrow and prevents red blood cell production.
They recommended making sure that Talwar retains the ability to blink. They have seen chronic respiratory infections going with inner ear infections that can damage the nerve controlling the face. That makes it where Talwar can lose the ability to blink temporarily.
They said that a CT scan wouldn’t be a bad option as it may give better detail than x-ray.

A lot of where we go from here depends on which route you want to take. The least invasive would be to try chloramphenicol (it would have to be compounded). They both have this as a relatively aggressive change. Euthanasia is not a wrong choice if you are leaning that way because the prognosis is guarded at best.

If you have a nebulizer at home, that is usually easiest to set up by putting talwar in a travel carrier and using a bag or towel to keep the mist around him. "
 
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I am so sorry it seems that bad. Your luck with your boys has been abysmal. I do hope things can turn around. I too would ignore the euthanasia for now, but you have enough experience to know when to let go when the time comes. I'm in the same boat with Leo now, he's approaching six years old and his health is declining. He has arthritis in his back and just went permanently on metacam last week. Hoping for better news in the future. Please keep us updated.
 
I was anxious when I wrote that but better now. Made a post on Guinealynx to see if I could get more advice. Going to do the recommended med along with a neb. If he does well on the new med, we will add in gentamycin to the neb.

If all of that fails, I am keeping euth on my mind. The tests and CT are too costly and dangerous.
 
I know the anesthetic is risky, but at the same time they HAVE to disclose the risks. All of my pigs have been sedated with gas except for Pooper, and Sly had the anesthetic at minimum 11 times. It's scary but I don't think its as bad as its made out to be, I could be wrong. Cost I can understand.
 
The main danger with anesthesia is when it's a lengthy procedure involving surgery. For things that aren't terrifically painful and don't require deep anesthesia, they usually just "whiff" them under with isofluorane and then reverse it immediately afterward.

But just think about it. If you decide to have him euthanized rather than anesthetized, he's definitely dying from that, when the anesthesia might not even affect him.
 
Our doctor sounded hesitant to go ahead with those tests due to risks. She definitely did not sound comfortable or advocate for the needle biopsy of the lung. I honestly don't remember if we talked about the other lung test. A CT, while yeah I have insurance, is going to be super expensive at the exotics dr. Little Bear's CT at our old vet for his eye removal was $1000. At Texas Avian and Exotics, it's going to be way more. Plus he would absolutely have to be knocked out.

With respiratory and possible heart issues, the chance of death is much higher. Granted yes we were able put senior Little Bear under for eye removal and he was fine. But this is underweight, ill Talwar. Walter's experience getting stasis after sedation is not encouraging.

He did well with the neb today. I put him in a carrier, sealed it up with towels, and gave him treats.

The new med got delayed. I may have mentioned that. It should arrive tomorrow.
 
Our doctor sounded hesitant to go ahead with those tests due to risks. She definitely did not sound comfortable or advocate for the needle biopsy of the lung. I honestly don't remember if we talked about the other lung test. A CT, while yeah I have insurance, is going to be super expensive at the exotics dr. Little Bear's CT at our old vet for his eye removal was $1000. At Texas Avian and Exotics, it's going to be way more. Plus he would absolutely have to be knocked out.

With respiratory and possible heart issues, the chance of death is much higher. Granted yes we were able put senior Little Bear under for eye removal and he was fine. But this is underweight, ill Talwar. Walter's experience getting stasis after sedation is not encouraging.

He did well with the neb today. I put him in a carrier, sealed it up with towels, and gave him treats.

The new med got delayed. I may have mentioned that. It should arrive tomorrow.
Whatever happens and no matter what you decide to have done, we are all pulling for Talwar. Underweight and very ill are definitely considerations to be made when dealing with anesthesia.
Fingers are crossed that nebulization and the new meds do the trick.
 
My next challenge is what to give him while he is having his neb treatment. I have been giving him a pea flakes and pellets but I’d like to get him something else since can’t have veggies.
 
Are there any Oxbow treats he can have? I keep the strawberry banana timothy treats on hand for variety. Would dehydrated veggies like carrot shreds be a possibility?
 
He's been getting the Oxbow vit c cookies, so I may just buy a bunch of the Simple Rewards or whatever they are. He can eat pea flakes without getting sick, but I worry about anything else right now honestly. After I gave him just a couple leaves of parsley recently, he got gassy, so no veggies at all for him. I've been experimenting with different veggies and give just enough for a few bites, but there seems to be no hope.

I noticed his noisy breathing has stopped since we've been using the neb.
 
He has been hit or miss. He tolerates the neb just fine. Started giving the new med. Vet approved to use Gentamicin w/ the neb (need to arrive thru Chewy). He has been unwell the past couple days, mostly sitting in a corner. Sometime facing the wall. Last night he was really bad, noisy/fast breathing and just sitting there. Almost took him to the emergency vet. But I can't imagine they would do much aside from say put him to sleep. I have all the meds/supplies I need.

He doesn't have noisy breathing today.

I have started to assist feed him again. He will take treats. Maybe he is painful/gassy, because he tries to bite me when I pick him up and go near his tummy. He will eat on his own sometimes.

Idk. I have two more days off to watch him. Will probably set up a camera again to watch him.
 

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