Thread for Melvin

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daj

Post   » Mon Jun 07, 2021 5:25 pm


Looks like I have posted about Melvin before, but not on a thread of his own, so am starting one now. When I searched to see if I'd started one for him, I see that I was talking about the same issue I'm seeing with now, back in Sept. of 2020. He seems to be having painful poops. I'd forgotten this has come up for him before.

I had him to the vet today for an x-ray because I feared he had stones, which he doesn't. The vet could find nothing wrong. Now when I've had him home for a couple hours he let out a squeal/grunt again. I wen to him and see a pellet that looks like he just passed it, so I think the pain comes when he poops. If it's not stones, does anyone have any thoughts or experience with other possibilities? He seems otherwise normal. The pain seems to only be occasional, like maybe once a day as far as I can tell.

daj

Post   » Mon Jun 07, 2021 10:14 pm


Shortly after posting this our new bag of KMS pellets arrived. At the vet's I said there were no changes in his diet. When the pellets got here it hit me that he has been on different pellets for a bit over a week. When the KMS weren't due for that time I got something I've used before, which I always thought was really good... Oxbow Garden Select. I've used it before and none of the other pigs seems to have any problem with it. I've switched Melvin back to the KMS and am keeping my fingers crossed that it could have been the pellets.

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Tue Jun 08, 2021 12:14 am


Unusual that it might be the pellets (Oxbow should be okay).

I take it the vet looked on the xray for anything else that might cause painful pooping? You were definitely right to check for stones.

daj

Post   » Wed Jun 09, 2021 10:01 am


Yes, she said everything else looked good, but now I am wondering why she didn't then recommend checking his urine. I am going to collect a sample and get it checked.

daj

Post   » Sat Jun 26, 2021 10:39 am


So, after getting Melvin back on the KMS pellets everything seemed fine. After about two days I heard no more squeals... until yesterday. And, during the night I heard a bunch. The vet's thought was that if it continues he should be put on a pain med. I will follow through on collecting urine and taking it in. Do you have any thoughts/suggestions? He seems fine otherwise, still the most active beggar for food out of the 5.

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Lynx
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Post   » Sat Jun 26, 2021 10:28 pm


It is possible the temporary change in pellets was unrelated to the pain. I take it you have read the info on interstitial cystitis? Stones could still be the cause even though they were ruled out a few weeks ago but you might want to first read about interstitial cystitis.
http://www.guinealynx.info/records/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=21

daj

Post   » Wed Aug 04, 2021 10:44 pm


I'm taking Melvin in Friday. I thought we had cured his issue with the same protocol I used for my pig with bladder stones, but then I've head a squeal with pooping, like once or twice a week, usually during the night. He has also starting making a noise when he eats, sort of like a rhythmic grunt, grunt, grunt. Other pigs have made a similar sound, including him, but more like a whoot, whoot, whoot. I mentioned this to the vet some time ago. She said she knew what I was talking about and did not think it was due to pain or distress. I suppose I should check his teeth, but not sure I know what I'm looking for.

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Lynx
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Post   » Thu Aug 05, 2021 11:03 am


Unsure how checking his teeth would relate to the issues you are seeing. If you read over the teeth section, you might get some ideas for what to look for (mostly you will be able to see how the incisors look, how mouth is closing, tips for malocclusion detection, etc.).

It sounds like you will schedule an xray to check for stones.

daj

Post   » Thu Aug 05, 2021 2:59 pm


Since the grunting is when he eats I thought he teeth should be looked. The squeal is with pooping. And yes, I'm sure the vet will x-ray for stones, even though he showed none in an x-ray about 2 months ago. This will be a different vet. In the info on interstitial cystitis, I didn't see a recommended treatment, other than the shilintong I am already using. Is the only approach pain management with meds?

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Lynx
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Post   » Thu Aug 05, 2021 9:26 pm


So far as I know, that is correct (pain management). And maybe extra fluids.

daj

Post   » Fri Aug 06, 2021 6:38 pm


The vet said interstitial cystitis would be farther down on her list than other things. She wants me to cut out all vegetables. She said that's something she's seeing more of in veterinary discussion. (This is an exotics vet and a really good one who currently has pigs of her own, in addition to a small zoo of other exotics.)

Melvin's x-ray was excellent. She said everything looks really good and no sign of stones. She said vegetables can have the effect of making the poops more compacted. She was also in favor of of trying to get him off store bought pellets, and she recommended trying psyllium husk too. I plan to try this first, because it seemed to make a difference when he was on KMS v. Oxbow. I consider KMS to be a thing of the past now, even if they are still available on Amazon. With the apparent changes in the company, I am not so trusting anymore, and after looking into it a bit, I feel pretty good about making something myself.

I gave it to him for the first time today, and he readily ate it. If it seems to be working for Melvin, I plan to switch all my pigs over.

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Lynx
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Post   » Fri Aug 06, 2021 9:14 pm


With her suggestion of cutting back on vegetables and pellets, I'd like to see what diet she does recommend.

daj

Post   » Fri Aug 06, 2021 11:02 pm


She didn't suggest cutting back on pellets. She was recommending going with just hay and pellets, but she thought trying to find an alternative to the pellets was worth a try. Sorry if I'm being confusing.

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ItsaZoo
Supporter in 2020

Post   » Sat Aug 07, 2021 12:45 am


I have a vet that also recommends just hay and pellets. I’ve reduced the amount of veggies but I still feed a few.

I hope you find a pellet replacement that works out and keeps Melvin healthy. Did she say anything about using Critical Care instead of pellets, or would that be similar to the pellet ingredients?

daj

Post   » Sat Aug 07, 2021 1:52 am


Thanks. I think I am getting to a good recipe. The pigs are liking it. I am thinking that it may not be as complicated as it might seem, and if I stick with a few basics like hay, of course, barley, flax, sweet potato flour, brewer's yeast, etc. and include a bit of liquid multi vitamin, it should work out well. The vet didn't mention critical care. It does seem to have some of the things I'm trying to avoid though, like soybean oil, wheat bran and whet middlings. Basically, I want to use pulverized hay mixed with some food ingredients, avoiding fractionated things as much as possible and avoiding things that strike me as fillers or cheap byproducts from other food production. I am not a fan of grains. Right now I am using rolled barley flakes, but I could probably eliminate it. I myself, eat a grain-free diet, and I think it's probably best for pigs too. There aren't any natural grain eaters in nature except for birds, and even they don't feed them to their young.

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Lynx
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Post   » Sat Aug 07, 2021 10:42 pm


Be very careful using a multi vitamin. There are fat soluble vitamins that can build up in the body and cause medical problems. You would need to carefully evaluate the vitamin/mineral requirements to know how much you could give. Natural sources are always better (better absorbed too) and tend to occur in safe amounts.

"Do not give multivitamins! Plain vitamin C is fine, but multivitamins are not. Excesses of fat soluble vitamins like A and D can cause serious problems for your pet."
https://www.guinealynx.info/healthycavy_orig.html

One of the veterinary books I have documents medical problems caused by multivitamins (an excess of certain fat soluble vitamins).
Self-Assessment Color Review of Small Mammals by Susan A. Brown and Karen L. Rosenthal

daj

Post   » Sun Aug 08, 2021 12:27 am


Yes, good advice that I will heed. I'm not in favor of them either, esp. for pigs. I was thinking it would cover anything my mix might be lacking, but with hay, the vegetables and the mix I'm making, I would think I'm covered. They are loving it, but I think I may need to dilute what I did the first two days. The night of the first day was the first in about a week that I didn't hear Melvin squeal in pain, so I am 99.99% sure it was the Oxbow Garden Select. I would bet I was using it when he was having pain about a year ago. I've come to feel really good about this path, like I am doing something that will be highly beneficial for them, but I guess only time will tell.

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