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Back Leg Paralysis

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kittyla

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Poor Truffle is dragging himself around this evening, his back legs are not working atall. I will take him to the vet tomorrow, (Simon Maddock) but thought I'd see if
anyone can advise me of anything I can do for him until then. I've read the threads about this often being caused by calcium deficiency, so I gathered what I could
find that I think is calcium rich - dandelion leaves, broccoli, baby spinach, a little piece of mint. However I think his girlfriend Moo ate most of it!
Truffle does have a lump/cyst on his back leg that has burst & been emptied & grown back a few times, I did wonder if this could be anything to do with it?
Truffle is about 5
 
Sudden (overnight) paralysis from a sudden drop in calcium is not uncommon in older piggies, but it can have other reasons, so it is good that you have him booked in with a knowledgeable vet for a proper diagnosis. You can gently passage the legs, but if it is calcium based, Truffle will need a much higher dosed treatment, so just keep him on normal diet. The good news is that in most cases the piggies will recover from sudden back leg paralysis if sometimes more slowly.
 
Thanyou, he's not booked in yet but I will make sure he is seen tomorrow somehow!
Do guinea pigs need extra calcium or vit D as they get older? all winter they've been living in a corner of the kitchen that doesn't get much sun
so I wonder if that could have contributed to lack of vit D? I hope this is all it is, he is eating ok but when I picked him up he bit me which is
something he never does, so he must be in some discomfort.
 
Hugs for Truffle and I hope you get some answers tomorrow
 
Thanyou, he's not booked in yet but I will make sure he is seen tomorrow somehow!
Do guinea pigs need extra calcium or vit D as they get older? all winter they've been living in a corner of the kitchen that doesn't get much sun
so I wonder if that could have contributed to lack of vit D? I hope this is all it is, he is eating ok but when I picked him up he bit me which is
something he never does, so he must be in some discomfort.

No, sudden back leg paralysis is not linked to that. Have you got some metacam at home that you could give him?
 
No, sudden back leg paralysis is not linked to that. Have you got some metacam at home that you could give him?
Yes I have some in the cupboard, the dog one, I don't remember what the dose is for a piggy though, any idea?
 
The minimum dose is 0.05ml, but you can go up to 0.2ml twice daily for a short period in an emergency with a normal sized guinea pig.

Please make sure that your boy is eating normally; his appetite may be affected if the pain is really bad. if necessary, top him up with hand feed.
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/complete-hand-feeding-guide.115359/
thanks, I've given him some metacam, a cuddle & checkover, some veg - which he's tucking into, and his favourite cuddly tunnel for the night.
He doesn't seem to be in pain, just looks scared - but that's normal for Truffle!
 
0.2 mls of metacam, twice a day will be fine. Please insist they give you an appointment to see Simon tomorrow. They are likely to be fully booked but they do have some emergency appointments. You can ring from 8.30 in the morning now, so I suggest you ring as soon as they open. This week is going to be busy as Simon and Kim are on holiday the week after. xx
 
0.2 mls of metacam, twice a day will be fine. Please insist they give you an appointment to see Simon tomorrow. They are likely to be fully booked but they do have some emergency appointments. You can ring from 8.30 in the morning now, so I suggest you ring as soon as they open. This week is going to be busy as Simon and Kim are on holiday the week after. xx
Thanks for the advice Debbie, I've got an appointment for later this am.
 
Simon was unsure what is the cause of Truffle's problem, probably some kind of spinal irritation,
he doesn't think its likely to be a calcium problem
& hopes with some metacam he may just get better, but it wouldn't hurt to try the osteocare.
Truffle managed to crawl along the table, his back legs still sort of work but aren't supporting
him atall, I think there may be a slight improvement from last night. I'm going to try metacam
twice a day for a couple of days then if there's no improvement try the osteocare.
I've redone their cage so the floor is 2/3 vetbed so easier for Truffle to move around on,
megazorb & hay up one end, and I've moved it back into a sunny spot. Truffle however
has gone straight into the hay & stayed put! he's being quite crabby with poor Moo which isn't like him.
 
Simon was unsure what is the cause of Truffle's problem, probably some kind of spinal irritation, he doesn't think its likely to be a calcium problem
& hopes with some metacam he may just get better, but it wouldn't hurt to try the osteocare. Truffle managed to crawl along the table, his back
legs still sort of work but aren't supporting him atall, I think there may be a slight improvement from last night. I'm going to try metacam twice a day
for a couple of days then if there's no improvement try the osteocare.
I've redone their cage so the floor is 2/3 vetbed so easier for Truffle to move around on, megazorb & hay up one end, and I've moved it back into
a sunny spot. Truffle however has gone straight into the hay & stayed put! he's being quite crabby with poor Moo which isn't like him.

I was wondering as you reported pain, which is not usual for paralysis caused by a sudden calcium drop. It is good that you have been able to have Truffle seen promptly! I hope that he can make a slow, but steady recovery. Please continue to gently massage his back legs. Poor Truffle is obviously not feeling well and is in a fair amount of pain. it will hopefully get better as the metacam builds up and he improves.
 
Just an update, I'm pleased to report that Truffle is improving every day. Still not completely back
to normal, one leg seems weaker than the other, but I think he'll make a full recovery. He's still
on metacam twice a day for now.
 
That is great news!

Thankfully, most piggies recover from back leg paralysis unless it is caused by an injury to the spine. Just hang in there and give it time! ;)
 
Check out the Peter Gurney health pages online; he suggested giving big doses of calcium with vitamin D. Some years ago one of my pigs had this problem; was the weekend and I couldn't get him to the vet, so in desperation, I got some big capsules of liquid calcium w/ vitamin D. Worked like magic, a day or 2 later he was fine. I still took him to the vet for a checkup, he couldn't find any nerve or bone damage, and he was VERY interested in the theory that calcium deficiency could cause the paralysis. (nice to find vets who admit they don't know everything, hm?)
 
Check out the Peter Gurney health pages online; he suggested giving big doses of calcium with vitamin D. Some years ago one of my pigs had this problem; was the weekend and I couldn't get him to the vet, so in desperation, I got some big capsules of liquid calcium w/ vitamin D. Worked like magic, a day or 2 later he was fine. I still took him to the vet for a checkup, he couldn't find any nerve or bone damage, and he was VERY interested in the theory that calcium deficiency could cause the paralysis. (nice to find vets who admit they don't know everything, hm?)
Actually I was very pleased that Simon is now a lot more open minded towards
alternative treatments than he used to be. He actually brought out Vedra's manual
for reference re the dosage of Osteocare & spoke quite respectfully of her knowledge,
which didn't used to be the case many years ago. His view is that most of these paralysis
cases probably recover in spite of giving calcium, rather than because of it, but it may
help in some cases & it wont hurt to try. It would have been my next step had Truffle not
begun to improve.
 
Actually I was very pleased that Simon is now a lot more open minded towards
alternative treatments than he used to be. He actually brought out Vedra's manual
for reference re the dosage of Osteocare & spoke quite respectfully of her knowledge,
which didn't used to be the case many years ago. His view is that most of these paralysis
cases probably recover in spite of giving calcium, rather than because of it, but it may
help in some cases & it wont hurt to try. It would have been my next step had Truffle not
begun to improve.

There has been thankfully somewhat of a truce between vets and rodentologists in recent years and the bits that clearly work are being integrated. Vets have become a lot more openminded anyway re. trying new medications in the last years and the new generation of vets are much more knowledgeable about piggies anyway compared to the old ones.
Simon has been practicising as one of the more knowledgeable piggy vets through the times when the battle was at its worst, and it wasn't pretty. I didn't appreciate the time our forum was drawn into this battle by some members, either. It was like the cold war all over! :(
You will find that many vets have tremendous respect for the pioneering work that Vedra has done, but equally deep regret that she never did the step to study for a vet degree, as it has left her open to some obvious mistakes.
 
Interesting, I think I missed the battle! I'm glad its mostly over now. I have to say, having met Vedra a few times when I first
started keeping piggies, the hours she worked with the little guys barely left time for sleep let alone study! Anyway, on
behalf of Truffle & Moo I'm very grateful to her and to Simon for their dedication! and of course to this forum for your
support when I'm worrying! :)
 
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