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Specialist Heart disease diagnostics

rio_rita

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I'm an owner of 1 year old guinea pig.
Several monthes ago my pig started sound strange, like whistle or howl and it happens only in the morning.
My vet diagnosed that it's rhinitis and prescribed to use Fluimucil. But it gets only worse. The sounds started happen more often and not only in the morning. Sometimes he caughs and it get better for some time. He became less active, sleeping with closed eyes.
Last week it became more gurgling or growling.
We've made an Xray and the doctor said that he saw an enlarge heart.
I came with this Xrays to our vet and she said that she didn't see ane enlarge heart at all.
I'm so confused right now. Could you look at this Xrays and tell who's right?

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Betsy

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Is your vet very knowledgeable about guinea pigs? A lot are just general vets that see mainly dogs and cats. You really need to see a cavy savvy vet. There is a vet locator at the top of the page. These have all been recommended by members.
 

Wiebke

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I'm an owner of 1 year old guinea pig.
Several monthes ago my pig started sound strange, like whistle or howl and it happens only in the morning.
My vet diagnosed that it's rhinitis and prescribed to use Fluimucil. But it gets only worse. The sounds started happen more often and not only in the morning. Sometimes he caughs and it get better for some time. He became less active, sleeping with closed eyes.
Last week it became more gurgling or growling.
We've made an Xray and the doctor said that he saw an enlarge heart.
I came with this Xrays to our vet and she said that she didn't see ane enlarge heart at all.
I'm so confused right now. Could you look at this Xrays and tell who's right?

View attachment 91494
View attachment 91495
Hi and welcome

Can you please add your country, state/province or UK county to your details, so we can help you as best as possible. Vet access, brand names etc. vary enormously across the world. Please click on your username on the top bar, go to account details and down to location. This makes it appear with every post of yours and allows us to tailor any advice straight away to what is available and relevant where you are.

Please accept that none of us is a trained vet, but several of us have experience with looking after heart piggies.

I am tagging some heart problem-savvy members for you.
@Abi_nurse @Jaycey @helen105281 @Freela
 

rio_rita

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Is your vet very knowledgeable about guinea pigs? A lot are just general vets that see mainly dogs and cats. You really need to see a cavy savvy vet. There is a vet locator at the top of the page. These have all been recommended by members.
I'm from Moscow, Russia. Unfortunately there's only 1 good exotic animals vet in my city and we're he's patients. And I can't say that he knows a lot.
That is why I looking for help on the internet.
 

Wiebke

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I'm from Moscow, Russia. Unfortunately there's only 1 good exotic animals vet in my city and we're he's patients. And I can't say that he knows a lot.
That is why I looking for help on the internet.
Thank you for adding your location. This means that we can list any medication as their active ingredients rather than by the UK brand to help you and your vet prescribe the needed medication with what brands are available in your country. ;)

Please wait; we are doing this in our free time and come on the forum whenever we can.
 

rio_rita

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Thank you for adding your location. This means that we can list any medication as their active ingredients rather than by the UK brand to help you and your vet prescribe the needed medication with what brands are available in your country. ;)

Please wait; we are doing this in our free time and come on the forum whenever we can.
Thank you so much for your help!
As I've said before there's almost no good rodent vet at all in Moscow. And all we have to do is to study threads in the Internet.
We're going to ultrasound of his heart next Monday.
But he's so weak and this howling breathing. Maybe I could help him till Monday?

I put videos of 2 different types of this sounds on youtube
Maybe it could help.
 

Wiebke

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Thank you so much for your help!
As I've said before there's almost no good rodent vet at all in Moscow. And all we have to do is to study threads in the Internet.
We're going to ultrasound of his heart next Monday.
But he's so weak and this howling breathing. Maybe I could help him till Monday?

I put videos of 2 different types of this sounds on youtube
Maybe it could help.
Are you support feeding him? If not, please do to keep up his strength! The need to breathe comes before the need to drink and only thirdly the need to eat. If he struggles with breathing, he will not have enough energy left to eat.
Weigh him daily instead of weekly. Keep in mind that over 80% of the daily food intake is unlimited hay, which you cannot control by eye only and which you need to replace with syringe feeding and offering water whenever necessary.
If you are feeding water soaked pellets, you need to cut off the syringe tip as shown in the guide to allow any fibre to come through.

Keep him as cool and stable as you can in any summer heat; this is an additional pressure on an already frail body, and especially on the heart.

If it is a heart problem, with heart medication is usually either a very quick and noticeable improvement or none at all.
Finding knowledgeable guinea pig vets is a problem everywhere. It is often very difficult to diagnose a heart problem in guinea pigs. Often it is better to just trial heart medication for a week and see whether there is a real improvement or not.

Complete Syringe Feeding Guide
The Importance Of Weighing - Ideal Weight / Overweight / Underweight
Hot weather management and heat strokes
 
D

DM030819

  • Benazepril (Lotensin®), an ACE inhibitor 1.25mg am, and 1.25mg pm
  • Furosemide (Lasix®) a diuretic -5mg am, and 5mg pm, this is the maximum dose though so it's not recommended this is kept up for more than a few days
  • Vetmedin - half a tablet am, half pm (I can't remember the dosage)
Hi @rio_rita . These are the 3 drugs I used for my heart pig. He was classed as a heart pig although his xray never confirmed an enlarged heart.
 

anyar.dris

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I used to have a heart piggy too, Deedee (she's also had bladder and kidney stones so she was taking loads of meds during those time). She had an enlarged heart and fluids in it. She was prescribed furosemide and metacam, which she had to take during her entire life (well what was left of it). She managed to live an extra 10 months after the diagnosis, but as I said, she also had other health problems which caused her passing. She made those breathing noises as well (plus hurting while peeing) which was the reason we took her to the vet.

Hope your vet can help you with your piggy. Piggies can live long even with heart problems with proper medications and maintenance of it.
 

rio_rita

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  • Benazepril (Lotensin®), an ACE inhibitor 1.25mg am, and 1.25mg pm
  • Furosemide (Lasix®) a diuretic -5mg am, and 5mg pm, this is the maximum dose though so it's not recommended this is kept up for more than a few days
  • Vetmedin - half a tablet am, half pm (I can't remember the dosage)
Hi @rio_rita . These are the 3 drugs I used for my heart pig. He was classed as a heart pig although his xray never confirmed an enlarged heart.
Thank you for help. I've already bought Fortekor (benazrpril) but I want my vet to prescribe us right dosage though she didn't answer all day.
 

rio_rita

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I used to have a heart piggy too, Deedee (she's also had bladder and kidney stones so she was taking loads of meds during those time). She had an enlarged heart and fluids in it. She was prescribed furosemide and metacam, which she had to take during her entire life (well what was left of it). She managed to live an extra 10 months after the diagnosis, but as I said, she also had other health problems which caused her passing. She made those breathing noises as well (plus hurting while peeing) which was the reason we took her to the vet.

Hope your vet can help you with your piggy. Piggies can live long even with heart problems with proper medications and maintenance of it.
Thank you for your answer and I'm sorry for your loss.
It's so hard when they're ill. So small and can't tell what's wrong.
I'm insisting with our vet to prescribe us heart medications.
 

rio_rita

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Are you support feeding him? If not, please do to keep up his strength! The need to breathe comes before the need to drink and only thirdly the need to eat. If he struggles with breathing, he will not have enough energy left to eat.
Weigh him daily instead of weekly. Keep in mind that over 80% of the daily food intake is unlimited hay, which you cannot control by eye only and which you need to replace with syringe feeding and offering water whenever necessary.
If you are feeding water soaked pellets, you need to cut off the syringe tip as shown in the guide to allow any fibre to come through.

Keep him as cool and stable as you can in any summer heat; this is an additional pressure on an already frail body, and especially on the heart.

If it is a heart problem, with heart medication is usually either a very quick and noticeable improvement or none at all.
Finding knowledgeable guinea pig vets is a problem everywhere. It is often very difficult to diagnose a heart problem in guinea pigs. Often it is better to just trial heart medication for a week and see whether there is a real improvement or not.

Complete Syringe Feeding Guide
The Importance Of Weighing - Ideal Weight / Overweight / Underweight
Hot weather management and heat strokes
Thank you! I do my best to feed him, giving him lots of hay, greens and vegetables. He's eating but less than before.
I wrote today my vet about trial heart medications. Hope she'll answer soon.
 

Wiebke

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Thank you! I do my best to feed him, giving him lots of hay, greens and vegetables. He's eating but less than before.
I wrote today my vet about trial heart medications. Hope she'll answer soon.
If he is not eating enough to hold his weight you need to syringe feed.
Your care in this respect is every bit as important as any medical care in getting him through this! It can really make the difference between life and death.


Our illustrated syringe feeding guide is specially written for people with no previous experience. Far too many guinea pigs die because they do not get the home support care that they need and because their owners are either too squeamish or grossly overestimate their piggy's food intake. :(

Don't underestimate the importance of keeping up his fighting strength by giving him enough energy to fight for his life!
 

Betsy

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The syringe feeding guide is easy to follow. I'd never syringe fed a piggie before Christian's life saving abscess operation a while back. We both took to it easily. I can understand how difficult and frustrating it must be if you have a reluctant eater in a guinea pig though.

Christian Syringe feeding 3.JPG
 

rio_rita

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If he is not eating enough to hold his weight you need to syringe feed.
Your care in this respect is every bit as important as any medical care in getting him through this! It can really make the difference between life and death.


Our illustrated syringe feeding guide is specially written for people with no previous experience. Far too many guinea pigs die because they do not get the home support care that they need and because their owners are either too squeamish or grossly overestimate their piggy's food intake. :(

Don't underestimate the importance of keeping up his fighting strength by giving him enough energy to fight for his life!
He's not losing weight though it seems that he eats less to me (judging how quickly his bowl or hay bag gets empty). I've learned how to feed with syringe with my first pig.
 

Charolette

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My Charolette has the same problems with her heart. I don't think my Vet knows what she's doing and I'm so upset! Hope yours is doing better and will read more of all the Forums. I just joined today and happy for all the support this website has for our little pig's.
 
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