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Specialist Fits/seizures/heart attacks?

JustRed

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Hey all, long time gawker, first time poster.
One of my girls (Lillith, 5) recently started to fit, I'm calling them 'spatters'. I took her to the vet after the first time, and she was issued some ABs for a possible URI (more on this later).
She has had 4 or 5 spatters since then, was good for a while and had another one last night.Hoping I can get some clues as to whats going on from here, before I take her back to the vet as we're both stumped. I'll be making a phone appointment with him before hand since

So first, what is actually going on with her?
I've seen seizures and strokes in piggies before, but this....I dunno. I filmed some of last nights spatter to show the vet, if anyone thinks watching that will be helpful I can upload it to tube..
Some points
-seems as though one side of her body goes limp
-eyes twitching/rolling
-rolls over, but not a mites roll, falls because one side goes limp and she usually corrects herself afterwards
-seems to be conscious/aware, no confusion about where she is
-last nights spatter, I tried paddling her back legs, seems both were responding well, yet she cant stand herself
-2 spatters have been bad/violent and she wrecked my wrist biting. (were warning nibbles and its like her muscles tensed up and she sunk her teeth in, then back to warning nibbles)
- slightly wobbly after it's over, this lasts 60seconds maximum
-spatter starts gradually, ends the same (not on/off)
-the lesser spatters have lasted mere seconds, and recovery was instant, back to normal straight away
-no apparent lasting damage

There's so many little things going on I wouldn't know where to start..
-Obtained 2 new piggies recently, both arrived sneezing their little heads off. Seemed to clear up so I put it down to allergies, but 2 week after I got them, Lillith started her spatters, then the vet diagnosed her with URI...hmmmm... (They all got treatment by the way, just in case)
-Wondered if they'd brought mites as well as a URI, so I sprayed them all with ivermectin just in case - I thought that had worked as she was fine for a couple week till last night
-couple weeks ago, she started doing that thing where they seem to have something stuck in their mouth? She was also screaming for food even after i'd given her veg, like she didnt want anything I'd given her.... started making stodge (mushed pellets) and she's gobbling that by the plate full regular now. No chewing problems with that. Also gone back to veg no probs
-Her wheak has started to break a little bit
-Her mum showed similar problems, only had 2 fits (from what I can remember, they looked the same as Lilliths too) but had trouble eating, completely lost her voice, serious weight loss (Lillith's still a chunky monkey). Passed away before her ultrasound so we never found out what was wrong with her, vet reckoned lump or something in/near her throat
-last couple of days I've noticed her happily eating her nuggets again....then she has another spatter...starting to think she's choking/no oxygen causing the spatters (although there's no choking noises)
-maybe coincidence, but she's a free roam piggy and spends little time in her cage, yet every spatter has been in there. Yesterdays spatter, she was crawling AWAY from the end with the food dish when I noticed. Reinforcing my last point...

If you saw her now, you wouldn't think there's anything wrong with her, she seems more than healthy! Obviously not though..
Have wondered if it was a heart attack, as first time it happened I'd just put the babies in the cage with her. They started to popcorn, and she started to do a little popping herself. I left them to it and left the room, heard lots of noise, assumed it was popcorning. It carried on and got louder so I went in to see WTF was going on, and she was twisting and rolling all over the cage...completely out of the blue. Did she get over excited and party too hard maybe? Doesn't make sense why it's happened since though. Also the baby girls turned out to be baby boys, so I'm no longer bonding them haha

I've ruled out the possibility of them being strokes, as there's no way she's had this many (plus any I may have missed) and gotten away scott free, right?

I have a sickly feeling it's heart related, I'm sure I read once something about enlarged hearts pressing against throat/ribs etc making it hard to breathe and swallow :(
Also if you knew her mum, you'd see it was fitting for her to die from having a big heart. Lilliths a little devil, doesn't seem like a big hearted piggy but it could be hereditary I guess


Anyway that's every bit of info I can think of, I have to somehow shorten this for the vet lol. Hoping someone can provide even a scrap of advice as to what this could be. In particular, what's actually going on when she's having these spatters. I think if I can figure out what that is, I can figure out what's wrong with her.

I know it's a strange thing to ask but, anyone here have any experience with different types of seizures?Thanks for any potential help, and Lillith says hi! Oh wait no, she says she wants me to make her some stodge...
 

Wiebke

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Hi and welcome

Please accept that fitting is not easy to pin down and requires a thorough investigation and if necessary a scan or x-ray re. enlarged heart by a knowledgeable vet in case there is a genetic disposition. If it is a neurological problem, then it is more like playing detective for any vet and there is only a limited range of things that can be done.
Unfortunately the kind of medically trained experience you are looking for is outside my own purvue.

Here is our recommended vets locator, but members from your wider area may be able to give you more specific recommendations.


@PigglePuggle @Piggies&buns @Siikibam @furryfriends (TEAS) @Abi_nurse
 

PigglePuggle

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Well this definitely sounds like a neurological problem, one thing that kind of jumps out at me here (as someone who knows a bit about pesticides/antiparasitics and toxicology) is you saying that you sprayed your piggies with ivermectin? Ivermectin is usually a spot-on treatment or in very severe cases an injection, either way the dosage is tightly controlled. Did you spray ivermectin, if so what product was this? Or was it not ivermectin but a flea or mite spray containing cypermethrin? An overdose of either of these things could well cause the neurological symptoms and seizures you are describing... not saying that is what definitely happened, but if this was a "toxicology case study" like we set for our students that would be an avenue worth exploring further? These things can persist in the body and the environment for a long time...
 

JustRed

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is you saying that you sprayed your piggies with ivermectin?..... These things can persist in the body and the environment for a long time...
Thanks for taking the time to read and reply. Yes and no, also maybe?
EDIT: it's This stuff. Doesn't list any other ingredients :hmm:. Now you've said that, I wouldn't mind some assurance that its safe. I've been using it for 'years' but I've only actually sprayed them once in a blue moon. On the plus side, I know that if anything I'm UNDER dosing them, as that spray mechanism is a bit naff hehe they never get the full 2 sprays.
- She was already fitting before I sprayed her, and last spray was waaaaay before I moved house (nearly 2year ago)...if I did overdose at some point though, could that still be an issue now? I often got worried about them licking it off the others coats too..

About the vets, should I be asking him for a scan to rule out any lumps or bumps, things like that? And if it is neurological...is there nothing to be done? Sorry it's just in 30 years of owning piggies, this is actually the first time I've dealt with this :( (except maybe cubey, but she was visibly ill, Lillith seems otherwise fine)

Oh just an afterthought, I recently changed their nuggets over to Sainsburys brand, seems like a cheaper burgess without the silly high calcium content, all the pigs love them (with added mint too). I can't remember exactly when I started switching their diets, but I think it wasn't long before her spatters started....seems a bit far reached, but any chance there's an issue there?

Thanks again so much! (can't believe I only just bothered signing up for this forum)
 

PigglePuggle

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Ok well the beaphar product you linked to does look safe, but it isnt what we'd recommend for mites, the dose would be hard to control and also it would go all over the fur which isnt what you want with ivermectin, it is absorbed straight through the skin into the body so doesnt need a spray delivery! But unless you really overdid it, or your piggy is very sensitive to it, I dont think this is the culprit.

I think you can also rule out any changes in diet, unless you bought a weird unknown brand of pellets with weird additives- but again, that doesnt seem to be the case here.

Has your piggy had any contact with rabbits? There is a rabbit parasite E. cuniculi that can cause neurological damage in guinea pigs...

Otherwise I think you just need to get a thorough vet check, checking the ears is a good idea as ear problems can affect balance and leave piggy disorientated and they might fall over and panic in a way that looks rather like a seizure...

Apart from that, it will be tricky for the vet as there isnt really anything obvious to look for in neurological cases that present as occasional seizures, but they may be able to suggest or rule out a few obvious things, or refer you to a specialist.

Best of luck!
 
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