• Discussions taking place within this forum are intended for the purpose of assisting you in discussing options with your vet. Any other use of advice given here is done so at your risk, is solely your responsibility and not that of this forum or its owner. Before posting it is your responsibility you abide by this Statement

Metacam dosage for IC piggy

DougalandDiego

Teenage Guinea Pig
Joined
Aug 6, 2019
Messages
848
Reaction score
1,137
Points
625
Location
Somerset UK
Hi everyone,

Sorry iadvance for the rambling! I hope it all makes sense...

I’m hoping to get some opinions on metacam dosages for my IC piggy, Diego. He seems very happy in himself (other than the odd squeaky wee and the occasional very small bloody wee patches) but his weight has been fluctuating (only very small amounts 20-35g).

He has been prescribed dog metacam and our vet has prescribed him 0.2ml x2 per day along with x2 cystease capsules. He currently weighs around 1220/1230/1240g (however a few months or so ago he would sometimes weigh in at around 1250/60 - I think this could have been him with a full bladder?) Our vet (who is a piggy specialist and is great) knows that I up it to around 0.4ml twice per day and anywhere in between that and his lowest dose of 0.2 if he’s having a flare up.

Recently he has ‘dropped’ again and now stays around 1230g when I’ve weighed him the last week or so, I know it’s not a massive weight drop and he always stays around 1220-1240g. However, I’m wondering whether the recent weight drop (in line with some very small bloody wee patches in his cage) are what is causing his weight to fluctuate. My vet always says that when she examines him when he goes for his monthly cartrophen injection he doesn’t seem in discomfort when she feels his bladder, but being a nervous pig I think he freezes/wouldn’t squeal as he’s too scared.

I know she has given me the ok to up the metacam but always prefers if I can reduce it back down again if he is comfortable as she is concerned about the long term effects but also knows that it’s all about quality of life and wants him to be comfortable. I’ve tried to do some reading on the forum and have seen that some comments say that guinea pigs have a faster metabolism so it doesn’t effect them like it does a cat/dog. Does 0.4ml for a guinea pig of his size seem excessive? He has been on the metacam for a few months now and I don’t want to cause any long term problems, I’m aware IC can last for years so don’t want to give him too much but don’t want him to be uncomfortable either.

I think I’m going to up his dose to 0.4ml tonight and keep it up for a few days and see if his weight goes up too - I think this will then tell me if the weight change is him being in discomfort or just his weight naturally fluctuating.

I’d really appreciate it if anyone can give me their opinion on the metacam dosage and the long term effects.
Thanks in advance x
 

Attachments

Swissgreys

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 15, 2016
Messages
8,548
Reaction score
19,462
Points
1,965
Location
Zürich, Switzerland
Obviously you should always be guided by your vet when it comes to medication, but 0.4ml dog metacam twice a day is not an overly high dose for a pig weighing well over 1kg.

My own exotics specialist says in the short term during flare ups it is fine to dose at 1mg per kg, so I think your plan of upping the dose to 0.4ml twice a day (as already agreed by your own vet) is fine. It will be interesrtignto see if it makes a difference to his weight which would indicate the higher level orf pain relief is helping him to feel better.
 

DougalandDiego

Teenage Guinea Pig
Joined
Aug 6, 2019
Messages
848
Reaction score
1,137
Points
625
Location
Somerset UK
That’s great thanks @Swissgreys . My vet is great and has basically said that if he needs it he should have it but always says it’s obviously best to try and get the dose back down again if he can tolerate it. I think it’s difficult because she says he never squeals when he’s touched etc. but like I said I think he’s such a scared pig he wouldn’t make
a noise anyway.

I just don’t want him in pain but am also concerned if he’s needing to be on it long term that it isn’t going to cause other problems... these piggies are such a worry! Yes it will be good to see if his weight goes up and then it will make it more obvious. I also think I’m going to discuss a blood test when he’s been on it for 6 months (I think she’s already mentioned this) to check his kidneys too.
 

DougalandDiego

Teenage Guinea Pig
Joined
Aug 6, 2019
Messages
848
Reaction score
1,137
Points
625
Location
Somerset UK
Hi everyone,

Hoping to get some help from you lovely people about Diego. He was diagnosed with IC last year and since then has been pretty consistent with his weight around 1240g. Recently since the start of February his weight has been dropping between 1200-1230g and has been staying at around 1200 for the past couple weeks. On the 18th I weighed him and he was 1200g and this morning I weighed him and he’s down again to 1177g! I took a pee sample to the vets on Thursday as he has had quite a few squeaky pee episodes and I think my vet is on leave for a couple of weeks (she’s an exotics specialist) until our nextappointment for his cartrophen injection on the 1st April. The pee came back completely fine no infection and no blood. Every time she checks him she says he never has any bladder discomfort or anything and his X-ray and ultrasound scan was clear for sludge/stones and she said his bladder lining didn’t look sore/thickened either. I'm trying to think of anything that’s happened recently to make him suddenly start loosing weight, I recently upped Diego’s metacam and feel that maybe that could have contributed to his weight loss as it has been consistent with when he has lost weight but it could also be a coincidence. He is also on two cystease tablets per day as the vet has said he can have that but I wonder whether all the medication could be making him loose his appetite? I also noticed last night he was drinking a lot more so not sure if that has anything to do with it?

I’m going to step in with syringe feeding but not sure whether to ring my vets as I don’t want him seeing someone that doesn’t have experience with piggies! 😓

thanks in advance if anyone can offer any advice x
 

sport_billy

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 10, 2009
Messages
52,738
Reaction score
36,691
Points
3,350
Location
Wolverhampton
I have never seen weight loss linked to metacam as it is well tolerated. We have had two long term metacam piggies and there have been no issues even with kidneys to which we knew.
There is a quality of life balance with any drug that may cause long term damage, but a happy pain free life is key here

is he eating the same amount of veg? Is he a good hay eater? We had a IC piggy one of our first girls it is a tough one. But she had to live on metacam and cystease and catrophen for 1.5 years after she started with it at 4pm
 

DougalandDiego

Teenage Guinea Pig
Joined
Aug 6, 2019
Messages
848
Reaction score
1,137
Points
625
Location
Somerset UK
Thats what I was thinking with the metacam... however just seems so weird that he’s started losing more weight since I’ve upped the dosage as you would think it would be the other way round and his weight would go up! Before we diagnosed it and he wasn’t on any medication his weight never seemed to fluctuate this much. It’s so hard! He’s having his cartrophen injections monthly now and he seems to be himself eating his veg, exploring his cage and eating his hay other than the squeaky wees which have been happening for a few months now. Completely at a loss of what to do for the best for him! He’s only turning two in may/June so he isn’t an old piggy and don’t want him to be in pain and his weight to be dropping and fluctuating so much! I wonder whether he needs to go back to having the cartrophen injections every two/three weeks and see if that makes a difference?

I think I’ll ring the vets and double check if our vet is definitely off next week and see if I can get an appointment with her and if not I’ll know ive tried. I managed to syringe him about 20ml of mushed pellets this morning.
 

DougalandDiego

Teenage Guinea Pig
Joined
Aug 6, 2019
Messages
848
Reaction score
1,137
Points
625
Location
Somerset UK
Just rang the vets and they’re having problems with their online diary so they’re going to give me a ring on Monday and see if they can get him in with Kristina of Livia who are exotic specialists before the 1st but I’ll keep up with the syringe feeding etc. and monitor his weight until then if I can’t be seen. These piggies are such a worry! :( :doh:
 

DougalandDiego

Teenage Guinea Pig
Joined
Aug 6, 2019
Messages
848
Reaction score
1,137
Points
625
Location
Somerset UK
@Wiebke I hope you don’t mind me tagging you - I’m trying to read all the IC posts possible on the forum and saw that you had posted on another thread about testing blood in pee and sometimes it doesn’t show when having an accute flare up of IC? I may have read it wrong so sorry if I have but I wondered if this was the case for Diego? When he pees in his cage I can visibly see spots of blood but when it’s tested there is never any blood present... is this a common thing for IC?
 

Wiebke

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 10, 2009
Messages
76,859
Reaction score
53,517
Points
3,466
Location
Coventry UK
@Wiebke I hope you don’t mind me tagging you - I’m trying to read all the IC posts possible on the forum and saw that you had posted on another thread about testing blood in pee and sometimes it doesn’t show when having an accute flare up of IC? I may have read it wrong so sorry if I have but I wondered if this was the case for Diego? When he pees in his cage I can visibly see spots of blood but when it’s tested there is never any blood present... is this a common thing for IC?
Hi!

The red in the pees at the onset of an IC flare is actually porphyrine and not blood. Seemingly clear urine can test high on blood content. This means that seemingly bloody pees can test free of blood while seemingly clear pees can contain quite a lot - and basically anything in between...
For that reason, I have stopped testing for blood - it doesn't really contribute anything helpful apart from acerbating any exiting anxiety of yours. The IC is not going away any sooner or getting any worse. Once your piggy is displaying acute symptoms, in my own experience, you are more effective in upping the glucosamine dosage in getting the flare under control fastest; more so than when upping the metacam dosage actually. It very much looks like that glucosamine is the key to managing sterile interstitial cystitis but you have no control over for how long it stays around.
 

DougalandDiego

Teenage Guinea Pig
Joined
Aug 6, 2019
Messages
848
Reaction score
1,137
Points
625
Location
Somerset UK
Thank you @Wiebke thats really helpful to know as I couldn’t understand why it looked like he was having bloody wees but never showed up when it was tested! Yes my vet also says the same about glucosamine so that’s why she has told me it’s safe to keep him on two cystease capsules per day.

It’s strange that the IC is effecting him enough that he’s losing weight during flare ups but that his bladder looks and feels fine when she checks him over... I feel like I don’t know where to go now!

I’m wondering whether he needs something as well as the metacam (ive read on the forum about tramadol and gabapentin but don’t want to give him more than he needs/make him more unwell!) when he is having an acute flare up if the monthly cartrophen injections, 2 cystease capsules and 0.4ml of metacam aren’t enough to stop him losing the little bit of weight that he’s lost during this flare up? Is there another pain killer that you think would be worth discussing? Or is weight loss just something that is common for IC piggies and I shouldn’t get so worried about? I’m concerned as every time he loses he doesn’t seem to put the weight back on (he used to be 1260g in October last year) and he’s not even 2 yet but he’s been pretty stable until around the 28th Feb when he dropped from 1230/40 to 1200 and then 1177g today. Thanks in advance x
 

Wiebke

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 10, 2009
Messages
76,859
Reaction score
53,517
Points
3,466
Location
Coventry UK
Thank you @Wiebke thats really helpful to know as I couldn’t understand why it looked like he was having bloody wees but never showed up when it was tested! Yes my vet also says the same about glucosamine so that’s why she has told me it’s safe to keep him on two cystease capsules per day.

It’s strange that the IC is effecting him enough that he’s losing weight during flare ups but that his bladder looks and feels fine when she checks him over... I feel like I don’t know where to go now!

I’m wondering whether he needs something as well as the metacam (ive read on the forum about tramadol and gabapentin but don’t want to give him more than he needs/make him more unwell!) when he is having an acute flare up if the monthly cartrophen injections, 2 cystease capsules and 0.4ml of metacam aren’t enough to stop him losing the little bit of weight that he’s lost during this flare up? Is there another pain killer that you think would be worth discussing? Or is weight loss just something that is common for IC piggies and I shouldn’t get so worried about? I’m concerned as every time he loses he doesn’t seem to put the weight back on (he used to be 1260g in October last year) and he’s not even 2 yet but he’s been pretty stable until around the 28th Feb when he dropped from 1230/40 to 1200 and then 1177g today. Thanks in advance x
Hi!

It is normal for piggies to lose a little weight during acute flare ups and nothing to worry about.

Urine is very corrosive and REALLY painful when in contact with raw tissue (even if it is just a fresh small scratch on your hand when you are cleaning yourself). The natural glucosamine coating of the urinary tract that acts like a layer of protective paint to keep the urine from coming into contact with raw tissue is what is badly affected in a sterile IC so it is that direct contact that is causing the pain and the weight loss in a flare up. Unfortunately you are already doing all you can and are minimising the discomfort greatly; there is unfortunately not much else we can do - cats with feline sterile cystitis (FSC) are in the same boat. The flares should ideally happen in slowly lengthening intervals but it can be a very slow process, especially in those piggies that are really badly affected by sterile IC. Good that you have got an IC savvy vet!

Sterile IC in guinea pigs and cats seems to affect mostly animals that have been born to stressed-out mothers and that have accepted these high stress levels as their normal default settings as embryos, so there is very little you can do to change that apart from keeping them in as stress free an environment as you can. It is unfortunately one result of our current uncontrolled mass breeding culture of disposable 'toy' pets. I had a discussion with my own vet a couple of years back when we were comparing notes - and my own IC piggies over the years have all fit that category. :(
 

DougalandDiego

Teenage Guinea Pig
Joined
Aug 6, 2019
Messages
848
Reaction score
1,137
Points
625
Location
Somerset UK
Thank you @Wiebke , that’s good to know I’m already doing all I can.

I may leave his original appointment date and not put him under anymore stress with an extra trip depending on how he is when they call on Monday! These poor piggies and cats with IC... it must be really horrible for them!

Thanks again for the advice - you can’t help but feel so helpless when they’re really suffering... especially as Diego’s seems to have gotten worse over time and not better 😩
 

Wiebke

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 10, 2009
Messages
76,859
Reaction score
53,517
Points
3,466
Location
Coventry UK
Thank you @Wiebke , that’s good to know I’m already doing all I can.

I may leave his original appointment date and not put him under anymore stress with an extra trip depending on how he is when they call on Monday! These poor piggies and cats with IC... it must be really horrible for them!

Thanks again for the advice - you can’t help but feel so helpless when they’re really suffering... especially as Diego’s seems to have gotten worse over time and not better 😩
Please discuss with your vets on Monday if things are getting worse instead of better - that should not happen with injections. It may be that another underlying 'silent' issue is in play that could lower the response.

It is always difficult and upsetting when what you can do is very limited; unfortunately, it is a situation that we come up against all the time with a badly underresearched pet species like guinea pigs. Veterinary medicine has made massive strides in the last decade but the wider the horizon, the more complex issues we come up against. :(
 

DougalandDiego

Teenage Guinea Pig
Joined
Aug 6, 2019
Messages
848
Reaction score
1,137
Points
625
Location
Somerset UK
It’s nice to know that others have piggies with the same thing and feel the same as me @VickiA . I looked back at his weights I recorded tonight and wrote all the weights out properly with the months and I’m probably clutching at straws but we got rid of his big elmato wooden hidey in February as it had gotten really gross that they he used to love and replaced it with wooden tunnels and I’m wondering whether that could have caused a bit of stress and upset as it was around then he started dropping weight so I’ve ordered him a new one that’s arriving tomorrow just in case 🙄🤦🏻‍♀️ I feel like I’m constantly worried about him lately... wondering whether I’m missing something or not doing enough and really beating myself up over it all. I’m in the habit of weighing every morning now since he dropped to 1200g as I’m terrified he will drop a lot in a short amount of time and get really poorly but I think that’s probably not helping with it fluctuating so much! 🙄 and then I beat myself up that weighing him could be causing him stress and making the IC worse... feel like it’s a viscous cycle!
 
Top