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Specialist Diarrhoea And Losing Weight (graphic Warning!)

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Liane

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I apologise in advance, diarrhoea isn't a pleasant subject.

Elphie, who is just over 4 years old, is rapidly losing weight and has diarrhoea. I took her to our local vet two weeks ago for treatment for the diarrhoea and conjunctivitis. She was given baytril and eye drops, the conjuctivits has cleared up nicely, but the diarrhoea and weight loss remains. She went to our usual vet last week for a check up, and we have another appointment booked. The vet said she has quite a full tummy, a little bloated, but she is concerned as she doesn't seem to have any fat or muscle on top. She's down to 686g which is worryingly low, as she is between 900-1000g at healthy weight. She is still very active and looks otherwise healthy.

The diarrhoea isn't severe - the worst she had it was Wednesday; it wasn't massively watery but it was dripping from her bottom. What is baffling is that it isn't constant - it clears up and her poops are well formed, a little on the small side, but otherwise good. And then suddenly they'll turn soft, sometimes they recover, other times it progresses onto runnier poops. Yesterday was a good day and she did good, solid poops. Today she started off with soft poops and now she has gloopy mess oozing out of her bottom. I've noticed that she seems to be trying to eat poops from Glinda's bottom.

I've stopped all veggies, although last week I tried to ease them back in but her poops worsened so I stopped again. She's still on baytril, almost finished the dose, and this doesn't seem to have any particular effect on poop quality (it's not making it worse). I've also been giving her fibreplex and critical care feeds. She has plenty of hay, which she eats, and I've reduced nuggets.

I don't have a clue what is causing this, or how to help her. I'm at my wits end.
 

Wiebke

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I apologise in advance, diarrhoea isn't a pleasant subject.

Elphie, who is just over 4 years old, is rapidly losing weight and has diarrhoea. I took her to our local vet two weeks ago for treatment for the diarrhoea and conjunctivitis. She was given baytril and eye drops, the conjuctivits has cleared up nicely, but the diarrhoea and weight loss remains. She went to our usual vet last week for a check up, and we have another appointment booked. The vet said she has quite a full tummy, a little bloated, but she is concerned as she doesn't seem to have any fat or muscle on top. She's down to 686g which is worryingly low, as she is between 900-1000g at healthy weight. She is still very active and looks otherwise healthy.

The diarrhoea isn't severe - the worst she had it was Wednesday; it wasn't massively watery but it was dripping from her bottom. What is baffling is that it isn't constant - it clears up and her poops are well formed, a little on the small side, but otherwise good. And then suddenly they'll turn soft, sometimes they recover, other times it progresses onto runnier poops. Yesterday was a good day and she did good, solid poops. Today she started off with soft poops and now she has gloopy mess oozing out of her bottom. I've noticed that she seems to be trying to eat poops from Glinda's bottom.

I've stopped all veggies, although last week I tried to ease them back in but her poops worsened so I stopped again. She's still on baytril, almost finished the dose, and this doesn't seem to have any particular effect on poop quality (it's not making it worse). I've also been giving her fibreplex and critical care feeds. She has plenty of hay, which she eats, and I've reduced nuggets.

I don't have a clue what is causing this, or how to help her. I'm at my wits end.
I am very sorry for your trouble. Please top her up with syringe feed, as much as she will take. Make sure that she has plenty of water. You can also try to give her poo soup, i.e. the water you have soaked fresh poos from a healthy piggy in; the stuff in them is what she is digging for in her companion's bum to help re-stock her guts. Probiotics can also help.

Can your vet do a float and/or a culture so you can see what is causing the ongoing digestive issues? It can be a range of things that can cause it, but in your case, I really feel that it is important to have tests done to find out exactly what you are dealing with. Only then will you be able to get over it. http://www.guinealynx.info/diarrhea.html
 

Liane

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Thank you :)

With poop-soup, how long should I soak poops for? Would it be beneficial to mash the poops, or just leave to soak?
 

Wiebke

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Thank you :)

With poop-soup, how long should I soak poops for? Would it be beneficial to mash the poops, or just leave to soak?
You can mash the poos if you wish to; you will notice when the poos are disintegrating. don't use a lot of water and rather give a little several times a day, freshly made. Most piggies just gobble it down.
 

Liane

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You can mash the poos if you wish to; you will notice when the poos are disintegrating. don't use a lot of water and rather give a little several times a day, freshly made. Most piggies just gobble it down.
Thank you :) I experimented before with poop soup for another poorly piggy, they seemed to quite like it but the consistency wasn't great!

I hope I can get some answers as to what's causing this! I've read about some truly awful bacteria that can affect piggies digestive tract, and now I'm worried sick!
 

Poppy'sMum

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I agree with Wiebke, you need your vet to send off a poop sample in a sterile container to get it analysed. I would recommend they use Mary at Chester Zoo Exotics lab as they do the most comprehensive investigations into this sort of thing. You can ask your vet to give her a ring first if you like, I'll dig out the phone number if you need it :) If it is Giardia though it might not show up, this bug comes down in "Showers" in the faeces so you might get a negative result. When Petal had the upset tummy for 8 weeks after her full hysterectomy, despite no veggies whatsoever in the end we used Metronidazole (Flagyl) that finally cleared in up. Whereabouts are you based?
 

Liane

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I agree with Wiebke, you need your vet to send off a poop sample in a sterile container to get it analysed. I would recommend they use Mary at Chester Zoo Exotics lab as they do the most comprehensive investigations into this sort of thing. You can ask your vet to give her a ring first if you like, I'll dig out the phone number if you need it :) If it is Giardia though it might not show up, this bug comes down in "Showers" in the faeces so you might get a negative result. When Petal had the upset tummy for 8 weeks after her full hysterectomy, despite no veggies whatsoever in the end we used Metronidazole (Flagyl) that finally cleared in up. Whereabouts are you based?
I think I have Mary's number somewhere, as Elphie needed tests last year.

We're based in Milton Keynes, although our vet is Simon in Northampton.

Elphie's poops are more poop-shaped today, although still not great quality. Just about to collect some healthy samples from Elma for poop-soup.
 

Poppy'sMum

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Simon really is a great piggy vet, as is Kim :) The Baytril wasn't supplied by him though was it? I don't remember him ever using it. The other things you could try are Shepherd's Purse if you can't get the fresh stuff then dried is pretty good I recommend you contact Galen's Garden, they supply Shepherd's Purse & ASAP powder both of which provided us with good results with Petal's loose stools which lasted for 8 weeks post-op x
 

Liane

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Simon really is a great piggy vet, as is Kim :) The Baytril wasn't supplied by him though was it? I don't remember him ever using it. The other things you could try are Shepherd's Purse if you can't get the fresh stuff then dried is pretty good I recommend you contact Galen's Garden, they supply Shepherd's Purse & ASAP powder both of which provided us with good results with Petal's loose stools which lasted for 8 weeks post-op x
You're right, not Simon! The local vet prescribed it - helped with her conjunctivitis, done nothing for her poops (which it was intended for!)

Thank you SO much for all the advice. I will look into getting those things. Elphie's poops are still reasonably good this evening, fingers-crossed they stay that way.
 

Poppy'sMum

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No problem :) I would definitely keep her off the veggies for at least a week though, give her as many pellets as she is happy to eat & tempt her with varieties of hay, mine love Timothy hay, they actually squeak for it lol :D
 
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