Binky's health

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pigjes
Cavy Comic

Post   » Wed Jun 10, 2020 3:20 am


I need advice before I go and see a vet.

Binky has heart problems, he's on meds since years. He also has Petit Mal. His heart issues are severe, the vet already warned he's not a candidate to have anesthesia. She's the best vet I ever had, my country is plagued with a lack of knowledgeable rodent vets. She studied extra and is very piggie savvy.

He's a happy boy and very cheerful, despite that he has to live alone. His Petit Mal and a sad set of social skills to deal with other pigs results him having to live alone. He had 4 caretakers before he ended up here, and you can see by the multiple healed ear nips that they all tried to put him with other pigs and it didn't work out.

Recently he has a daily chewing problem with soft food after he gobbles about 2/3 of it. He then stops to smack for a minute. You can see his lips turn blue sometimes, which sorta indicates a lack of oxygen or is it his heart? He always scarfs vegs down way too fast at lap time, so his nose gets filled with liquid and he needs to do one sneeze to get it out. He does not do that when he's fed in the cage. He has no problems chewing anything else, except for one dried veg type in his pellet bowl mix, which are rather large hard flat saucer type of pieces. His mix is a combination of low calcium pellets and dried vegs.

I opened his mouth, but can't see the molars. It seems OK as far as I can see. I also checked his mouth closed, his tongue is not entrapped like it sometimes happens with malocclusion. He still chews his rock hard treats and is able to chew well from side to side, to grind his teeth down.

He gradually lost 100g over 1.5 years. He's 800g now. He's small, so he's still not skinny. He's 4.5 years old.

He had an ear infection recently, which healed well. He also has a small head tilt since we got him 3 years ago.

One small detail: he refuses to eat any type of hay. I'm glad that I have access to green oats here instead. We tred just about anything. If he has no green oats, he gets diarrhea fast, as he still refuses to eat hay. He even seems scared of it, like some type of PTSD, maybe he got attacked from pigs sitting inside or behind it too often. I need to offer a pile that is not too high or he won't even come near it. Flat hay piles make him chew a strand sometimes, but rarely. He is addicted to the green oats and shoves a nice pile down per day.

I hope you can offer me some insight.

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Wed Jun 10, 2020 12:10 pm


You are so very observant. I know how special Binky is to you! I don't know what kind of ear infection it was (outside of ear? inside of ear?) but would also take a good look at the ear and check for further signs of infection. It could affect how he is eating.

I am glad you found a wonderful vet.

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pigjes
Cavy Comic

Post   » Wed Jun 10, 2020 3:42 pm


Thanks! It was on the outside. As usual, when he has a problem, he tells us and shows where, which goes completely against the normal instinct to hide problems, as all piggies do. Never had a pig who did that in 51 years! I have been keeping a close eye on his ear ever since and check every 2 days if it's still OK. I will keep doing so and tell the vet about it too!

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pigjes
Cavy Comic

Post   » Wed Jun 10, 2020 3:45 pm


Also, by soft food, I meant vegs. Not boiled vegs, of course.

SardonicSmile

Post   » Wed Jun 10, 2020 5:11 pm


Have you tried compressed hay?

https://www.dierenkruiden.nl/detail/2154281/rosewood-naturals-hay-cookies.htm

My ladies like these. On that site they have their own version too, but they aren’t half as tasty going by my girls lack of enthousiasm. (They don’t look or smell as nice to me as a human either).

They also have small hay pellets, more like regular food pellet size.


Can’t help with the smack and sneeze situation. It sounds like he stuffs his face and doesn’t swallow enough so it builds up and somehow ends up in his nose? They breathe through their nose, so if there is fluid built up in the nose the sneezing is very necessary!

User avatar
Sef
I dissent.

Post   » Wed Jun 10, 2020 8:22 pm


I wish I had something useful to suggest. It almost sounds like maybe he has some congenital issues. As Lynx said, you are very observant and one of the most experienced folks on here, so I know you're doing all of the right things. :)

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ItsaZoo
Supporter in 2020

Post   » Thu Jun 11, 2020 1:14 am


It almost sounds like when he eats soft food he can’t catch his breath. The smacking might be that he’s trying to get more air by opening his mouth, and that would also explain the blue lips.

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pigjes
Cavy Comic

Post   » Thu Jun 11, 2020 2:25 am


Thanks for the tips so far everyone! You sorta confirmed all my suspicions. I will try and make an appointment for next week, hoping she will let me in, due to the outbreak restrictions even placed on vets here.

Yep, tried a few brands of hay cubes. He walks around them, lol, as if they are plagued. Worse, he kicks even them out of his kitchen area. I tried all sorts of hay I could find besides the high calcium one, breaking my rule to only offer low calcium hay. Nope, he's not interested.

To keep his weight up, I offer a lot of "fattening" extras per day since years, which I vary to keep him interested, like JR Farm breifutter, a type of recovery food in a glass set on its side, he gobbles that down with gusto.

Bookfan
For the Love of Pigs

Post   » Thu Jun 11, 2020 12:06 pm


https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/hypoxemia/basics/causes/sym-20050930

"Several factors are needed to continuously supply the cells and tissues in your body with oxygen:

*There must be enough oxygen in the air you are breathing
*Your lungs must be able to inhale the oxygen-containing air — and exhale carbon dioxide
--->*Your bloodstream must be able to circulate blood to your lungs, take up the oxygen and carry it throughout your body

A problem with any of these factors — for example, high altitude, asthma or heart disease — might result in hypoxemia, particularly under more extreme conditions, such as exercise or illness. "

It doesn't mention blue lips but that sounds like lack of oxygen to me too.


Could be from heart problems, but that doesn't tie in with the situational nature of it. I.e if it was simply a result of heart insufficiency you'd think the blue lips would be more constant or with exertion. 'Course, I'm sure Binky puts a lot of energy into his eating! And maybe he's just eating some things too fast and ending up with a temporary obstruction. I really don't know if this can happen with piggies - diff. anatomy from humans (obviously), etc..

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pigjes
Cavy Comic

Post   » Thu Jun 11, 2020 3:43 pm


We tried something else today: at lap time, he had his veg treat in 4 portions, so he could not gobble it down as fast as usual. Result: no smacking. So, I'm now convinced he eats too fast at lap time which strains his heart. Still, I will take him for a checkup to the vet next week.

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pigjes
Cavy Comic

Post   » Mon Jun 15, 2020 10:24 am


Vet visit done today. It was clear meanwhile that he has a reoccurring ear infection. He's on a stronger antibiotic ointment, so that should help. The rest is still OK, considering his other health issues, including his teeth.

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Mon Jun 15, 2020 8:37 pm


I hope the ear infection is the primary issue and that you are able to clear it up.

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pigjes
Cavy Comic

Post   » Tue Jun 16, 2020 2:37 am


Thanks everyone for your help!

It's clear today that this stuff is much better than Fucithalmic, which I normally use for all booboos, human or pets. It's intended for eye infections but I was prescribed it for my own ear infections originally, but it works great on all kinds of small infections too.

He popcorned soon after the first dosage and smiled at me this morning when I took care of his ear, heheheh.
https://www.merck-animal-health-usa.com/product/canine/Posatex-Otic-Suspension/1

User avatar
Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Tue Jun 16, 2020 9:58 am


That is cool! (that you are seeing such improvement)

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Sef
I dissent.

Post   » Tue Jun 16, 2020 10:06 am


Excellent!

Bookfan
For the Love of Pigs

Post   » Wed Jun 17, 2020 5:58 pm


Great!

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pigjes
Cavy Comic

Post   » Thu Jun 18, 2020 4:53 am


Thanks everyone! Binky is doing better already, his fever has gone. The treatment is working.

The vet had to laugh often because he's so communicative with me without wheeking to make his point clear in her presence and because he's so willing to be examined. I told her that he knows the words "Doc, ill, see Doc, medication, check (choose body part)" well, which impressed her, as she could see that it was true.

User avatar
Sef
I dissent.

Post   » Thu Jun 18, 2020 7:40 am


That is so amazing. So glad Binky continues to improve! :)

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:45 am


Binky is one cool guinea pig. I am so glad you have each other.

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ItsaZoo
Supporter in 2020

Post   » Thu Jun 18, 2020 11:06 pm


Such good news, glad to hear he's feeling better!

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