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Guinea Pig Limping; possible paralysis

kwomack86

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My guinea pig, Reese (3months), jumped out of my arms and onto the concrete ground on our way outside to eat grass. Immediately after, he began limping so we took him to the ER. They did several Xrays and weren't able to come up with a diagnosis. They told us that it may or may not have been a hip fracture, but they couldn't be sure. They ended up sending us home with painkillers and antibiotics to take for 7 days and told us to keep him on bedrest. It has only been one day since we've started the medication but I'm extremely worried. he hasn't been squeeling in pain or anything since it first happened, and hes able to extend his leg, but he wont put any pressure on it. He's also still eating, drinking and pooping. I'm worried about paralysis. I'm also wondering if giving him calcium could potentially help, I'm just not sure what brand.
Any help?
Has anyone else experienced this?
 

Siikibam

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:wel:Giving calcium won’t help and can actually lead to other problems. There is enough calcium in veg and pellets (one tablespoon per day only) so there’s no need to supplement him.

Are your vets exotics? If they didn’t find anything it may be he merely sprained his leg, but we can’t confirm that as we’re not qualified to do so. One of my boys injured their leg once. We’d been out and on return while topping up their hay, I noticed he was limping. Took him out with no protest at all (very unusual for him). Took him to the vet at the start of the week and he was given painkiller.

You also say your guinea pig, is he alone? Piggies are very social and it’s vital that they have constant companionship of their own kind. No amount of human interaction will make up for it, simply because you won’t know all the nuances of their behaviour and language. I’d advise that you make sure you have a big enough cage (minimum 150x60cm though 180x69cm is better) and get him to a rescue that hopefully offers boar dating so he can pick his own friend. At his age it’s still crucial that he has company so he an learn ‘how to be’ a guinea pig. Also, if you got him from a pet shop I’d strongly suggest you sex him yourself. It’s also good practise.
Companionship
Illustrated Sexing Guide
Single Guinea Pigs - Challenges and Responsibilities
Arrival in a home from the perspective of pet shop guinea pigs
Quick Information Bundle For Wannabe Owners

Please also add your location to your profile. This is a U.K. based forum but the members are from all over the world. It also makes it easier to tailor information to you. Do go introduce yourself and your boy in the introduction section. We’d love to see photos of him!
 

kwomack86

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Yes, the vet that I went to was exotic. I have a 2 y/o guinea pig named Nugget. Reese is my newest pig, we've had him for about 3 weeks and we've been slowly introducing them to each other. As of right now, they are in separate cages while Reese is on his medication and recovering. He's been acting completely normal, just favoring his leg and drowsy from medication. The vet could not confirm exactly what was wrong with him, and I was skeptical about mixing calcium with the other medications he is on right now, hence why I joined the GuineaPigForum.
Has your piggy recovered from his limp?
 

Wiebke

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My guinea pig, Reese (3months), jumped out of my arms and onto the concrete ground on our way outside to eat grass. Immediately after, he began limping so we took him to the ER. They did several Xrays and weren't able to come up with a diagnosis. They told us that it may or may not have been a hip fracture, but they couldn't be sure. They ended up sending us home with painkillers and antibiotics to take for 7 days and told us to keep him on bedrest. It has only been one day since we've started the medication but I'm extremely worried. he hasn't been squeeling in pain or anything since it first happened, and hes able to extend his leg, but he wont put any pressure on it. He's also still eating, drinking and pooping. I'm worried about paralysis. I'm also wondering if giving him calcium could potentially help, I'm just not sure what brand.
Any help?
Has anyone else experienced this?
Hi and welcome

Please don't panic. The overnight back leg paralysis that affects both back legs out of the blue that you have obviously been reading about is caused by a sudden drop in calcium typically in older guinea pigs and in many cases reverses on its own again, at least partially. It has nothing whatsoever to do with an injury from a potential break, so please do not throw the kitchen sink at your piggy just because you are feeling guilty. Extra calcium for a piggy that doesn't need any can contribute to bladder stones if you are not careful.

What your piggy needs now is painkiller and rest to allow the leg to heal as much as possible. If you are lucky it is just a bad sprain as your vets haven't been able to see a clear break. He may be limping for some weeks to come, especially with a bad sprain but he should be able to get around on three legs once he has recovered from his fall and is not longer feeling so painful and dazed. I know of several three legged piggies are getting around as just a quickly as four legged ones and I have certainly had enough piggies with sprains over the years. Time is the best healer - and patience from you.

How much does your piggy weigh and what dosage and strength of painkiller have you been given? Cat or dog metacam are different strengths but either can be prescribed for guinea pigs; dog metacam is three times stronger.

If you want to do something constructive, please read the two guides below:
How To Pick Up And Weigh Your Guinea Pig Safely ( how to prevent blind jumps during transport with videos)

Looking after guinea pigs with limited or no mobility (with some practical tips as to how you can rearrange the cage for your piggy's comfort and easy access to food.
 

Wiebke

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Yes, the vet that I went to was exotic. I have a 2 y/o guinea pig named Nugget. Reese is my newest pig, we've had him for about 3 weeks and we've been slowly introducing them to each other. As of right now, they are in separate cages while Reese is on his medication and recovering. He's been acting completely normal, just favoring his leg and drowsy from medication. The vet could not confirm exactly what was wrong with him, and I was skeptical about mixing calcium with the other medications he is on right now, hence why I joined the GuineaPigForum.
Has your piggy recovered from his limp?
Please keep the boys next to each other with contact through the bars in order to not break their bond. Please be aware that you cannot bond piggies in small instalments. For them every meeting is a full-on bonding session that is rudely aborted by you.
Take the time to read our illustrated bonding guide so you can learn about guinea pig behaviours and how to go about bonding when your boy is better in himself again.
Bonding and Interaction: Illustrated social behaviours and bonding dynamics
Dominance Behaviours In Guinea Pigs
 

kwomack86

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I'm hoping it is just a bad sprain. Watching him hop around is very hard, before this happened he was a perfectly happy, energetic piggy. He is currently on Meloxicam (0.2ml every 24 hours), Cisapride (.06mls every 12 hours), and Gabapentin (0.2mls every 12 hours) all for 7 days.
 

kwomack86

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Please keep the boys next to each other with contact through the bars in order to not break their bond. Please be aware that you cannot bond piggies in small instalments. For them every meeting is a full-on bonding session that is rudely aborted by you.
Take the time to read our illustrated bonding guide so you can learn about guinea pig behaviours and how to go about bonding when your boy is better in himself again.
Bonding and Interaction: Illustrated social behaviours and bonding dynamics
Dominance Behaviours In Guinea Pigs
They are in the same room directly next to each other. Prior to this, we had floor time everyday along with outside time in a neutral area so that my older piggy, nugget, wouldn't be aggressive or attack Reese. I was told by the vet to keep them separate while Reese recovers, but they are indeed bar to bar!
Thank you for all of your help.
 

Wiebke

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Is the meloxicam for cats or dogs? The dosage is very low if it is cat metacam (meloxicam is just one of the brand names for metacam). In guinea pigs it should be given every 12 hours because of their faster metabolism.

Gabapentin is also a painkiller specially for nerve damage while meloxicam is an analgesic( anti-inflammatory cum painkiller that works by swelling down inflamed tissue.
 

kwomack86

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Is the meloxicam for cats or dogs? The dosage is very low if it is cat metacam (meloxicam is just one of the brand names for metacam). In guinea pigs it should be given every 12 hours because of the faster metabolism.

Gabapentin is also a painkiller specially for nerve damage while meloxicam is an analgesic( anti-inflammatory cum painkiller that works by swelling down inflamed tissue.
I'm not quite sure if its for cats or dogs. The bottle only says "For Vet Use Only" and i don't recall the vet specifying. Possible nerve damage was brought up by the vet, along with amputation if he doesn't show signs of recovery in the next few days. They left me with a lot of 'what ifs' and it's eating away at me not knowing exactly what's going on with him. I started all of the medications today and he seems completely normal, just drowsy but that is to be expected.
 

Wiebke

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I'm not quite sure if its for cats or dogs. The bottle only says "For Vet Use Only" and i don't recall the vet specifying. Possible nerve damage was brought up by the vet, along with amputation if he doesn't show signs of recovery in the next few days. They left me with a lot of 'what ifs' and it's eating away at me not knowing exactly what's going on with him. I started all of the medications today and he seems completely normal, just drowsy but that is to be expected.
Just hang in there. Patience is what you need most of right now.

It is likely to take a day or two for the body to settle after a bad fall and a hard landing that has jarred more than just the leg he landed on. that is not a process you can hurry on, as much as you crave quick answers. the fact that he is moving around is encouraging.

Please read the guide links above so you can make him more comfortable in the next week while he is very sore. There are lots of simple practical tips in the mobility guide that make a big difference for your boy.

While you are at it, instead of fretting, concentrate on learning more about guinea pigs; especially how their prey animal instincts work so you can avoid another fall in the future. Unlike cats guinea pigs only have got good eye sight for about 1-2 feet; any further is blurred and they react only to sudden movement. That is why they cannot see the ground when they jump and why injuries are so common when new piggies take a sudden fright.
You will find this guide link here not just helpful but very interesting as well: Understanding Prey Animal Instincts, Guinea Pig Whispering And Cuddling Tips

Here is our full new owners guide collection with all the practical tips and helpful information on a very wide range of subjects we get the most questions and cries for help from: Getting Started - New Owners' Most Helpful Guides
 

kwomack86

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Thank you so much for all of your help, this was honestly more helpful and insightful than the vet! I am definitely going to take a look at the guides to above to make him as comfortable as possible while he is in pain and on his medications!
 
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