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Male Neutered Guinea Pig (~6yo) Unsteady On Hind Legs

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Este22

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Hi All,
This is the first post in 1 year now. You may remember my bladder-pig Sam who had reoccurring UTI's.
I haven't been on the forum for so long because he has been so well! Every other day 200mg glucosamine seems to have done the trick...
Until 23rd June when he completely lost use of his hind legs.
A trip to the vet and he prescribed Loxicom (like metacam for cats). Each day he got a little better until he was running around again and being his cheeky self.
Today (3rd July) he is hopping again and is not keen on moving far. I've been syringe feeding water as he's not a drinker, and this bout of illness has put him off drinking even more! :(
What can I do?! I've started the metacam again, but I am at a loss now. Vet again tomorrow. Some threads on here suggest Osteocare, but I'm really hesitant to try that with all his calcium problems, but should I try it?!
Any other ideas?
Thank you, Este
 

Wiebke

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Hi All,
This is the first post in 1 year now. You may remember my bladder-pig Sam who had reoccurring UTI's.
I haven't been on the forum for so long because he has been so well! Every other day 200mg glucosamine seems to have done the trick...
Until 23rd June when he completely lost use of his hind legs.
A trip to the vet and he prescribed Loxicom (like metacam for cats). Each day he got a little better until he was running around again and being his cheeky self.
Today (3rd July) he is hopping again and is not keen on moving far. I've been syringe feeding water as he's not a drinker, and this bout of illness has put him off drinking even more! :(
What can I do?! I've started the metacam again, but I am at a loss now. Vet again tomorrow. Some threads on here suggest Osteocare, but I'm really hesitant to try that with all his calcium problems, but should I try it?!
Any other ideas?
Thank you, Este
Please speak to your vet about it. As it is recurring, it doesn't really sound like your classic calcium drop overnight back leg paralysis to me, which is usually a one-off experience.
Back leg problems can be also caused by arthritis, blood clots, severe UTI/bladder issues, scurvy, spinal injuries etc. It is often some detective work on behalf of the vet required.
 

Este22

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Thank you @Wiebke - I will keep the forum updated with what the vet recommends tomorrow
 

Adelle

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I agree with @Wiebke that it could be a number of things that she mentioned. However if it turns out to be arthritis (i have a 7yr old sow with what used to be pretty bad arthritis) metacalm will help as well as a supplement i have found to be excellent for this issue. Oxbow science support hay tablets, the senior version. I have tried the joint version, but ironically this wasnt as effective as the senior one. Its a herbal supplement aimed to tackle inflammation. She only had metacam for the first few days due to having kidney/heart issues so it isnt recommended for her- but the supplement is enough on its own now. She is still boney over her hips with little muscle but her movement, steadyness and strength has improved massively. Shes been on these now for around 4/5 months, still loves them and still doing the job!
Hope u get some answers soon x
 

Este22

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Thank you so much @Adelle
Well yesterday was a very traumatic day (and so was last night!)
I took Sam to the vet yesterday morning and he gave me two options: euthanasia or dose (slightly higher) on metacam. Of course I was at a loss at what to do for the best of Sam so ended up asking the vet what he would do if it were his gp. He said, give him another chance.
So that was it. I took him home, gave him another dose of metacam but throughout yday afternoon I began to regret the decision as Sam seemed to get worse rather than better :(
I decided to start syringe feeding oxbow critical care and water. By late evening I was convinced I would be taking him back to the vets today.
Get up at 5.30am this morning and go to see him expecting the worst and there Sam is talking away ready and up on all fours for his breakfast. I honestly felt like I was dreaming and had to blink a few times.
So. So far so good. But what next? My plan today is another dose of metacam (already given this morning), syringe feeding water as he is still not drinking (he is eating plenty of hay and some pellets now though), and ?? How do I keep this good progress? Some great advice from @Adelle thank you - i will source the tablets, but Sam is a bladder piggy and I'm worried that it's not just arthritis... I will continue with his daily glucosamine, but wondering if there is anything else I can do.
Any ideas very welcome
Thank you again soooo much gp community! x
 
D

DM030819

To help with his bladder you need to keep his water intake up. My bladder boar doesn't drink water so I make sure his veg is very wet when I give it to him, and I also consulted the vet on any types of juice I could add to his water. He now has 100% fresh orange and water which he drinks.

Keeping him active is good for the bladdet too, so lots of floor time.

Along with limiting calcium rich foods.

My boar also has arthritis. He went from limping with one foot to climbing his cahe bars within 1 week on Metacam. My boar has 0.1ml a day of the dog version. But my vet says we have lots of room to increase to twice a day and increase the dose too. So I just need to look out for signs of discomfort
 

Wiebke

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Thank you so much @Adelle
Well yesterday was a very traumatic day (and so was last night!)
I took Sam to the vet yesterday morning and he gave me two options: euthanasia or dose (slightly higher) on metacam. Of course I was at a loss at what to do for the best of Sam so ended up asking the vet what he would do if it were his gp. He said, give him another chance.
So that was it. I took him home, gave him another dose of metacam but throughout yday afternoon I began to regret the decision as Sam seemed to get worse rather than better :(
I decided to start syringe feeding oxbow critical care and water. By late evening I was convinced I would be taking him back to the vets today.
Get up at 5.30am this morning and go to see him expecting the worst and there Sam is talking away ready and up on all fours for his breakfast. I honestly felt like I was dreaming and had to blink a few times.
So. So far so good. But what next? My plan today is another dose of metacam (already given this morning), syringe feeding water as he is still not drinking (he is eating plenty of hay and some pellets now though), and ? How do I keep this good progress? Some great advice from @Adelle thank you - i will source the tablets, but Sam is a bladder piggy and I'm worried that it's not just arthritis... I will continue with his daily glucosamine, but wondering if there is anything else I can do.
Any ideas very welcome
Thank you again soooo much gp community! x
Make sure that you give the metacam twice daily because of the fast metabolism that guinea pigs have.
The glucosamine will help with both the bladder and the arthritis.

Keep your boy on a low calcium diet with filtered water, low calcium pellets and a balanced low calcium veg diet. You will have to include a daily 1 in strip of spring greens (or if you can't get them, other cabbages) for magnesium, as that is found only in calcium rich veg.
Low Calcium Diet For Bladder Piggies
Plenty of fluids help to flush the bladder, but please do not force any water down your piggies if they really don't want to.

Keep the bedding soft and dry; change twice daily in the bedding area. If you can get vetbed, that would be ideal.

Keep an eye on the front leg pads for signs of infection (bumblefoot). Especially older/arthritic guinea pigs with limited mobility are prone to it as they can struggle to take any weight off her their front legs. My Nerys developed it in the wake of her back leg paralysis, caused by a growing swelling in the adrenal gland area and a sudden increased in weight through that, but she was off her back legs for 3 weeks and she is pretty arthritic at 8 years old.
 

Este22

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Thank you so much @Wiebke
Unfortunately I write with heavy heart. Despite Sam's massive improvement this morning, by 10am he started to deteriorate again and without hesitation I took him back to the vet. Sam gave me a look I'd never seen before and I knew it was time to say goodbye. My vet knew it as well thank goodness and we agreed the kindest thing would be to put him to sleep.
I'm absolutely devastated. He was my beautiful boy :'(
Thank you all so much for your fast advice and understanding.
I must focus on Angel and Paolo now who are missing their lovely Sam. X
 

Adelle

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I am so sorry :-(

Sleep tight little one xx
 

Este22

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Thank you for your kind words. It's been a tough week :'(
 
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