Kira's Med Thread

Annapox

Post   » Sun Dec 03, 2023 1:22 pm


Slightly belated update because I've been having migraines the last couple days and haven't had the energy to type all this out.

On 11/30 I noticed that the swelling near Kira's vulva was coming back. The swelling was and still is the only symptom I've noticed. I got her in to see a different vet at the same practice (my other favorite vet) on the evening of 12/1. At first he was going to order another round of the same antibiotic as before, because he didn't realize Kira had already been on it while she was in foster care as well as after I adopted her. Apparently when I brought Kira's medical records to her first vet appointment, they were scanned and saved in the same file as the first weight chart I brought in, so this vet didn't know they existed. Considering every weight chart I bring in overlaps significantly with the previous one, it's understandable that he didn't think to look at the oldest weight chart.

Anyway, once I pointed out that Kira had been prescribed the same antibiotic twice during foster care and twice while in my care, he found the medical records and decided to go for a more "heavy duty" antibiotic. Unfortunately, I don't know what it's called. I hadn't heard of it before, and I don't have it yet because it had to be called in to the compounding pharmacy, which was closed by the time of my 12/1 appointment. The vet called the prescription in yesterday (12/2), so I'm hoping I can pick it up tomorrow. I think Kira is supposed to be on this antibiotic for at least four weeks. The only other thing I know about it is that even though guinea pigs tolerate it well, I have to wear gloves when administering it because in rare cases it can cause anemia in humans.

The vet said that if this antibiotic doesn't work, surgery to remove the abscess casing may be necessary. He wants to avoid surgery if possible, though, because of how easily the incision could get infected (it would be right next to her vulva and therefore also very close to her urethra, her anus, and the cage floor). He decided not to drain the abscess; he said it was too small for him to be able to drain it. It is smaller than it was at any of the three appointments when it was drained, so that seems plausible to me.

The vet also told me during the appointment that Kira has a low-grade heart murmur. He said we don't need to do anything about it at this time but that we should monitor it in case it gets worse.

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Sun Dec 03, 2023 7:16 pm


Sounds like the antibiotic is chloramphenicol:
https://www.guinealynx.info/antibiotics ... amphenicol

This antibiotic requires special handling.

Poor girl! I am SO glad you are so observant! I hope the antibiotic helps. If surgery is required, I believe the most likely options are removing the abscess and the wall of the abscess and stitching it up well (sealing it in a sterile manner) and leaving it open, perhaps with a drain, and flushing regularly.

Annapox

Post   » Sun Dec 03, 2023 10:46 pm


That name sounds familiar. I definitely remember "chlor" being in there somewhere. I'll post an update once I have the medication and can read the name off the bottle. You're probably right, though.

Usually I just leave medication syringes out on a paper towel on the kitchen counter since the syringes are meant to be reused, but I think I'll need a different system for this medication. A friend suggested I keep the syringe in a closed container, like a Tupperware or something. I think that could keep me from coming into contact with the medication accidentally. Maybe the bottle should go in the container, too, in case some of the medication ends up on the outside. I have a pretty good supply of disposable gloves because I wear them to spot-clean the cage. Are there any other precautions I should be taking?

From the day after I adopted Kira until 11/22 when the abscess was tentatively declared resolved, I weighed Kira daily, and she never lost a significant amount of weight. In fact, the general trend in her weight has been upward. Does it make sense to go back to weighing her daily, or will monitoring the size of the abscess and weighing weekly be sufficient?

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Mon Dec 04, 2023 11:10 am


I am going to have to admit to being somewhat sloppy - i.e. just standard washing hands, perhaps, and a bit of care in measuring and where I lay things down (that they be cleaned or discarded). I think the cautions are there but hygienic practice is adequate.

As for her weight, the new antibiotic may have a different effect on her so I'd still have a quick and simple weight check (and/or be super observant regarding any apparent changes in appetite).
https://www.guinealynx.info/antibiotic_advice.html

Annapox

Post   » Tue Dec 05, 2023 4:01 pm


Lynx, you were indeed correct about the antibiotic. It's chloramphenicol. Kira gets it twice a day for 28 days, starting tonight. It's good to know that I don't have to be too scared of the stuff as long as I wash my hands and store things carefully. I will resume weighing daily.

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Tue Dec 05, 2023 10:34 pm


You can do some research on safe handling - I am talking about reasonable, careful handling; being aware to use extra care not to touch it. But if you have any concerns at all, a pair of protective gloves should help.

I hope this antibiotic does the trick!!

Annapox

Post   » Tue Dec 05, 2023 10:50 pm


Yeah, I wore gloves, which was good because Kira spat a tiny bit of it up on me. I also washed my hands after I took the gloves off, just in case.

I hope this antibiotic does the trick, too!

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Wed Dec 06, 2023 7:14 am


I wore gloves, which was good because Kira spat a tiny bit of it up on me.

Ha! I guess when you are treating animals, some precautions may be helpful!!

Annapox

Post   » Tue Dec 26, 2023 2:40 pm


Kira had her follow-up appointment today. She started the new antibiotic three weeks ago, and she has a week left. The abscess looks exactly the same as it did three weeks ago. The vet says it's possible that the infection is gone and what's left is scar tissue. If that's the case, the scar tissue won't go away, and Kira may have an increased risk of UTI in the future, but otherwise it'll be fine. The way to tell whether it's scar tissue or an infection is to finish the course of antibiotic on schedule and then just watch to see if the swelling gets worse again. If there are no changes after about a month of no antibiotic, it's just scar tissue. If the swelling gets worse or I see any other indications that the infection is back/worse (redness, any kind of oozing, etc.), we start talking about surgery.

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Tue Dec 26, 2023 8:16 pm


What you say makes sense. I sure hope it doesn't get worse.

Annapox

Post   » Mon Jan 01, 2024 8:57 am


The bottle of antibiotic was supposed to last through tomorrow morning, but last night there was only enough left for a partial dose (0.2 ml instead of 0.3 ml). I haven't spilled any, and I haven't been rinsing the syringe (that's a great way to run out of medication early, as I've learned the hard way in the past), so I don't know what happened. I called the vet, and they said that since they don't have the medication (the prescription was filled at a compounding pharmacy), all we can do is monitor Kira's abscess and declare the course of antibiotic finished. They said one extra day wouldn't have made much difference; I'm not sure I totally believe that. If Kira's swelling really is just scar tissue, then I guess it's true that the extra day of antibiotic wouldn't have done anything, but if there was still an infection when Kira started the medication, I'm not so sure.

The vet who prescribed this antibiotic wasn't on call last night, so I'm going to email him to let him know what's going on.

Annapox

Post   » Mon Jan 01, 2024 9:23 am


I forgot to mention that I'm still weighing Kira daily, and she lost 5% of her bodyweight between 12/25 and 12/30 but then gained 5% (almost the full amount she lost) overnight. It was after the vet's office closed on 12/30 when I weighed Kira, so my plan was to call and make an appointment tomorrow when they were open for non-emergency appointments again, but if she gained almost all the weight back overnight, and if she hasn't lost it again when I weigh her later today, I'm not sure whether an appointment is actually necessary. I included this information in my email to the vet and asked for his thoughts, so we'll see what he says.

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