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Vet Went To The Vet Today..2nd opinions?

alanaafaye

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Hi, everyone. I took my two piggies to the exotic vet for the first time today. I was afraid about them having mites, although I haven't noticed excessive scratching, but because I got them from a pet store and one of them has bald spots behind its ears. The vet seemed pretty knowledgeable and had pictures everywhere of all the different reptiles and small mammals he has seen. But he suggested a few things I wasn't sure about so I wanted some second opinions.
1. He went ahead and treated my girls with Revolution (although he seemed confident they didn't have them) since I was so concerned about it, but he says I need to come back in 30 days for a second administration of it. I thought I had read somewhere that Revolution only needed to be applied once?

2. When I was telling him what I fed them he seemed astonished. He was good with my Oxbow pellets and orchard grass, but says I'm feeding way too many vegetables. I feed 1/2 cup of green or red leaf lettuce twice a day and 1/2 cup of other veggies twice a day. Other veggies consisting of: green pepper (daily), raddichio (daily), tomato (2-3 times a week), cucumber (2-3 times a week), 2 baby spinach leaves (2-3 times a week), 2 baby carrots (daily). He said that feeding too many veggies will keep them from eating enough hay. But I think they eat a ton of hay as it is. He also said that Trixie was really gassy and that it was because I was feeding too many "succulent" veggies.

3. He also suggested that I get them spayed. He said that it would decrease the risk of diseases when they are older.

4. He said Trixie's lymph node in her throat was swollen and prescribed an antibiotic for me to administer to her over the next 10 days and then bring her back in for a recheck. Does that sound right?

Any and all second opinions are appreciated, thanks!
 

bpatters

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Mumble, mumble..... I wouldn't be too happy, but I don't know whether it's bad enough to suggest changing vets.

First, all guinea pigs have bald spots behind their ears. And if they weren't scratching, they didn't likely have mites. You could possibly have saved yourself a vet bill.

Second, I definitely would not have wanted them treated with Revolution unless they were showing symptoms of something that Revolution would fix. You're not running a rescue, so you don't have to worry about mites spreading throughout a whole herd. Since your pigs live together, they've both been exposed to whatever either of them have. So there was no danger in waiting so see if they actually had mites before you treated them. The only winner in this scenario is the vet's pocketbook.

He's correct that feeding too many veggies can keep them from eating enough hay, but mistaken about your feeding too many veggies. What you're doing sounds fine to me, and is similar to what I feed my two. The only thing I see in that list that might cause gas is the cucumber -- some pigs get gassy when eating it, while others can eat quite a bit with no problems.

He's also correct that spaying will prevent ovarian cysts, but spaying a guinea pig is a VERY invasive procedure, much worse than neutering a male. While many sows will develop ovarian cysts, many will not. And even if they do develop, there are alternatives to treatment. I have two five year old sows. One is showing signs of ovarian cysts, and the other is not. Because of Ruffles' age, I'm trying to decide whether I want her spayed or not. I'm about to decide against it, and try one of the hormone treatments instead. Some pigs get a very good response to the hormones, and don't need another treatment for many months. Others, not so much. But if the hormone treatments don't work, spaying is still an option, albeit a risky one.

The treatment is appropriate for the lymph node. If it's cervical lymphadenitis, the antibiotics may take care of the problem. If it's a true abscess, it will probably need to be surgically removed. So keep an eye on it, and if it doesn't go away, then additional treatment will be needed.

Which antibiotic did he give you? And did he suggest a probiotic? Guinea pigs often lose their appetities on antibiotics, and probiotics can help. But you also may have to hand feed her. Weigh her daily as long as she's taking it, so you'll have an idea of how much it's affecting her.
 

alanaafaye

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The antibiotic is sulfameth. I'm guessing you don't suggest going back for the second Revolution treatment? Thanks so much for all the information!
 

foggycreekcavy

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No, I wouldn't have the second Revolution. I'm actually okay with the vet treating them with it the first time (being pet store pigs it's possible something could have popped up later) but once is enough unless they start showing symptoms.

I've known vets that advocate spaying all female guinea pigs. But like bpatters says, not all pigs develop ovarian cysts. Unfortunately, some don't develop them until it's too late to spay. It's something you'll need to decide for yourself. Since spays aren't regularly done, many vets aren't experienced in them. I've had very good luck with the pigs I've had spayed.

If your pig does at some point start showing symptoms of ovarian cysts later on, then that's when you can decide whether to spay or not.
 

alanaafaye

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An update on the enlarged lymph node: She's been on the antibiotics for a week now and the vet says the lymph node feels less firm, which he says can be a good sign. He told me to continue to give it to get until the end of the month. If the node is still enlarged then he said we will either need to switch medicines or proceed with surgery.
 

alanaafaye

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Another question. When the vet originally put Trixie on antibiotics he asked me if I had noticed her sneezing much, which I hadn't. But this morning I have heard Annabelle sneeze multiple times in an hour. I know it was Annabelle because I've had Trixie out for lap time. So is whatever Trixie has potentially contagious? Should I take Annabelle in to the vet?
 

bpatters

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It doesn't sound like Annabelle has the same symptoms as Trixie, so I doubt they've got the same thing.

I'd pay attention to Annabelle today and see if she keeps sneezing. If not, she may just have gotten into some hay dust. If she does, or if she's got runny eyes and/or nose, is coughing, or having trouble breathing, then I'd see a vet.
 

alanaafaye

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Annabelle quit sneezing so much, I switched them off of the aspen bedding I had just started using and that seemed to have worked. I'm just beyond worried about them. Annabelle is usually a very wheek-y pig, and for the past 2 days she hasn't wheeked at all as I've brought their vegetables. Last night as I was holding her I noticed a weird sound. It wasn't so much like labored breathing.. I'm not sure how to describe it. But it wasn't the clicking sound I've read about. The fur up by her head has been in all sorts of disarray the past week or so, when it's usually smooth. And she hasn't been losing weight, I've been weighing her daily to make sure. But I don't notice any crusty eyes or mucus or any other symptoms. And she acts fine, other than not wheeking. I have very little money (like $28) at the moment and don't want to go to the vet just to find out I am being paranoid. But I will go if this is actually something. I read up for like an hour on URIs last night and I'm not convinced it really matches up. Thoughts?
 

bpatters

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If she's eating/drinking/pooping/peeing normally, isn't sitting puffed up in pain, doesn't have runny eyes and/or nose, isn't sneezing a lot, and is acting normally, I'd quit worrying and just enjoy her.
 

foggycreekcavy

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I'd start an emergency vet fund. Whenever you have money (payday, allowance, whatever) put some aside into a special fund.

For example, I had to take a guinea pig to an emergency vet last night. $500 and four stitches later she's home and fine.
 

alanaafaye

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I have over $3000 dollars saved up which is a mix of guinea pig money and money for when I move out. I just prefer to not dip into that if at all possible.
 

alanaafaye

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Alright, hopefully this is my last update. Took Trixie back once again and her lymph node is back to normal. So that's my good news!

The vet said she is still gassy though. Which I don't understand. All I feed them now is green leaf lettuce, green pepper, occasional red pepper, raddichio, and roma tomato. Of course they have pellets and hay as well. Any idea why my piggy is still gassy?
 

bpatters

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Have you tried an elimination diet? Cut out all vegetables and see if the gas goes away. Then add them back one at a time, 48 hours between each addition, and see if you can pin it down that way. A probiotic might also help.
 

alanaafaye

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The vet did give me a probiotic. Should I see if that helps before trying the elimination diet?
 

bpatters

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You can. If the probiotic clears it up, you won't know which vegetable, if any, caused it. And you may be stuck buying the probiotic for the rest of the pig's life. I think I'd try the veggies first, and only if that doesn't work you can add in the probiotic.
 

alanaafaye

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The first time I noticed Trixie being gassy I assumed it was cucumbers and completely cut them out of the diet. But from that day and for the next 3 and a half weeks she was on her antibiotic. Do you think the antibiotic was messing up her gut bacteria and that caused the gas? I feel so bad not giving her vegetables.
 

bpatters

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Absolutely the antibiotics mess with the gut bacteria. They kill off bacteria in the intestine, allowing other organisms to proliferate.

You're not taking vegetables away forever. I'd rather have a couple of days of them begging for something than weeks of wondering what's causing the gas problems. But it's your choice, as always.
 

alanaafaye

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So I originally opted to not do the elimination diet. I only fed green leaf lettuce, tomato, green pepper, and carrots. And I didn't feed them all at once. For example - I'd do a 3 day gap without one veggie to see if the bloat went down. Nothing I've done has worked, I can't find any pattern or reason for her gassiness. I've been giving her the probiotic and that isn't seeming to help either. Her weight is consistent.

My concern now is that when I go to pick her up she seems in pain. If I even touch her sides she starts making terrible noises, tries to get away, and uses her back legs to push my hands away. She's never been fond of being handled, but she's never acted like this. She's also been rumblestrutting for well over 2 weeks now. Anytime Annabelle gets near her she rumblestruts. She has always been the boss pig, but has never so consistently shown such a mood.

So I'm kind of at a loss. It's been an entire month since this bloat was first noticed and it hasn't gone away. I've decided to go ahead and do the elimination diet now, but honestly don't think it will work. 24 hours without veggies and she is still very bloated - to the point that a light tap produced a hollow sound. Could it possibly be anything else? She's only 4 months old.

Edit: Thought I'd throw in that I do know she is pooping. I have seen her poop multiple times.
 

bpatters

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You need to get her back to the vet for some motility drugs. Bloat is a medical emergency, and needs to be treated very promptly. It's quite a different thing from being gassy because of too many veggies, which is what you'd mentioned earlier. See http://www.guinealynx.info/search_bloat.html for more info.

For tonight, get some infant simethicone and give her 1/4 of an infant dose. If you've got a vibrating pillow, put her on that. If not, use an electric toothbrush. You need to get the gas moving through her system.
 

alanaafaye

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I'm sorry. Can I ask for a clarification on the definition of gassy and bloated in guinea pigs? I've been trying to read up on this as much as I can and am having difficulties figuring it all out.
 
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