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Mimmi's Weightloss

Leeni

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Mimmi had quite a serious bloat in the end of October. I posted about it here:
Bloat, Need Of Support!

She got better from it and hasn't suffered from any bloats after that one. However, her health is not as good as I would like it to be. Her weight issues puzzle me. My question is that is this what can be expected after a serious bloat? Or could this be something else? Please help if anyone has a clue of what this could be or what I should do now!

Mimmi is already 5 years old. She has always been a very small piggy and now even smaller, only 670g (normal weight around 720g).

Mimmi's weight keeps going up / being stable for some days and she is her happy self. Then suddenly the weight goes down again so that I will have to start support-feeding her again. The weight loss comes with soft poo but not diarrhea. She also keeps eating herself but clearly not enough since weight is going down. She is also more tired during these phases. Her only meds at this point are vitamin E supplement, Supreme Science Recovery Plus and healthy pig's poo every feeding time. Only fresh food is a daily small piece of cucumber that her stomach has been tolerating quite well as far as I can see (or no gas has developed at least at any point after the first 10 days).

When she has been better we (me and hubby) have stopped giving her healthy pig's poo because she has been eating her own poo which I thought was good enough but maybe it isn't? From now on we have thought that we shouldn't stop the poo-doze even if she's better because the good phase hasn't lasted.

The weight pattern has been this:
- Bloat in the end of October - early November (the aggressive phase with severe tummy issues) 10 days
-> weight up with only minimum support feeding 5 days
-> weight down with support feeding 5 days
-> weight up with only minimum support feeding 10 days
-> weight down with support feeding 10 days
-> today: weight up, better for 4 days in a row.

Other symptoms: strongly colored wee with no blood in it (tested for several times). And her genitals are also quite weirdly swollen.. The swelling has been there for a long time, also before the bloat and sometimes in the end of her heat she acts weirdly withdrawing herself from others and seems to be in pain for a very short time (has happened only a couple of times during last year or so). I don't know if these things have anything to do with her present state but let's try if someone has experienced something similar with their piggy.

I'm going to vet's again on Tuesday and maybe I'll ask for blood tests.
 

BonBon2010

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I feed my Truffles oatbran because it helps her maintain weight (she's got alopecia and only has hair on her belly and shoulders upwards), a small handful suffices once a day mixed with her nuggets, and a heated pad overnight to keep her warm helps too. Older Guineas can be a nightmare to keep at a good weight , especially after illness. Apart from suggesting a vet visit and discussing where to go next, i'm not sure what else to suggest
 

Wiebke

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Mimmi had quite a serious bloat in the end of October. I posted about it here:
Bloat, Need Of Support!

She got better from it and hasn't suffered from any bloats after that one. However, her health is not as good as I would like it to be. Her weight issues puzzle me. My question is that is this what can be expected after a serious bloat? Or could this be something else? Please help if anyone has a clue of what this could be or what I should do now!

Mimmi is already 5 years old. She has always been a very small piggy and now even smaller, only 670g (normal weight around 720g).

Mimmi's weight keeps going up / being stable for some days and she is her happy self. Then suddenly the weight goes down again so that I will have to start support-feeding her again. The weight loss comes with soft poo but not diarrhea. She also keeps eating herself but clearly not enough since weight is going down. She is also more tired during these phases. Her only meds at this point are vitamin E supplement, Supreme Science Recovery Plus and healthy pig's poo every feeding time. Only fresh food is a daily small piece of cucumber that her stomach has been tolerating quite well as far as I can see (or no gas has developed at least at any point after the first 10 days).

When she has been better we (me and hubby) have stopped giving her healthy pig's poo because she has been eating her own poo which I thought was good enough but maybe it isn't? From now on we have thought that we shouldn't stop the poo-doze even if she's better because the good phase hasn't lasted.

The weight pattern has been this:
- Bloat in the end of October - early November (the aggressive phase with severe tummy issues) 10 days
-> weight up with only minimum support feeding 5 days
-> weight down with support feeding 5 days
-> weight up with only minimum support feeding 10 days
-> weight down with support feeding 10 days
-> today: weight up, better for 4 days in a row.

Other symptoms: strongly colored wee with no blood in it (tested for several times). And her genitals are also quite weirdly swollen.. The swelling has been there for a long time, also before the bloat and sometimes in the end of her heat she acts weirdly withdrawing herself from others and seems to be in pain for a very short time (has happened only a couple of times during last year or so). I don't know if these things have anything to do with her present state but let's try if someone has experienced something similar with their piggy.

I'm going to vet's again on Tuesday and maybe I'll ask for blood tests.
All the best at the vets. Please have the genitalia and reproductive system checked unless they are simply more prominent because of the 'shrinkage' of the rest of the piggy. That is not uncommon in older guinea pigs on a lw regular weight.

My own Pili Pala has just been diagnosed with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) by a specialist vet because of her yo-yoing weight every few days; hers has come in the wake of a full-on GI stasis in November. Pili is not showing any symptoms other a than thickened guts in her lower abdomen and unusual/overactive gut sounds that the vet thinks point to mini-cramps; there are no indications that point to another organ or to diabetes. She is very thin, but perky in herself; but her poos vary between normal, tiny or squishy all the time.
 

Leeni

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All the best at the vets. Please have the genitalia and reproductive system checked unless they are simply more prominent because of the 'shrinkage' of the rest of the piggy. That is not uncommon in older guinea pigs on a lw regular weight.

My own Pili Pala has just been diagnosed with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) by a specialist vet because of her yo-yoing weight every few days; hers has come in the wake of a full-on GI stasis in November. Pili is not showing any symptoms other a than thickened guts in her lower abdomen and unusual/overactive gut sounds that the vet thinks point to mini-cramps; there are no indications that point to another organ or to diabetes. She is very thin, but perky in herself; but her poos vary between normal, tiny or squishy all the time.
Thank you Wiebke! I think Mimmi’s situation sounds a lot like Pili Pala’s. I reckon Mimmi also had GI stasis back in the late October, her guts stopped for a few days in the beginning.
There are sometimes tiny poos, sometimes a huge pile of squishy poo. Unfortunately we don’t have such specialists in Finland but I’ll tell the vet also about your situation and see what she thinks about Mimmi’s case. Mimmi’s urine tests have so far showed nothing but normal results.
Edit. And now I recall that her gut sounds are quite loud too..
 

Leeni

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All the best at the vets. Please have the genitalia and reproductive system checked unless they are simply more prominent because of the 'shrinkage' of the rest of the piggy. That is not uncommon in older guinea pigs on a lw regular weight.

My own Pili Pala has just been diagnosed with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) by a specialist vet because of her yo-yoing weight every few days; hers has come in the wake of a full-on GI stasis in November. Pili is not showing any symptoms other a than thickened guts in her lower abdomen and unusual/overactive gut sounds that the vet thinks point to mini-cramps; there are no indications that point to another organ or to diabetes. She is very thin, but perky in herself; but her poos vary between normal, tiny or squishy all the time.
@Wiebke , what kind of treatment/meds were suggested for Pili Pala? I could ask those from my vet just in case nothing else is found.
 

Wiebke

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@Wiebke , what kind of treatment/meds were suggested for Pili Pala? I could ask those from my vet just in case nothing else is found.
Pili Pala is currently on metacam (0.2 ml twice daily), emeprid (can be replaced with metoclopramide in a pinch; 4 ml 2-3 times daily) and zantac (ranitidine; 0.25 ml twice daily). She is being seen by the vet before Christmas again when she will decide whether it is better to try cisapride if the current combination of meds doesn't bring any noticeable improvement. Pili Pala is yo-yoing around 800g at the moment. She was 950g before her GI stasis.
 
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Leeni

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Pili Pala is currently on metacam (0.2 ml twice daily), emeprid (can be replaced with metoclopramide in a pinch; 4 ml 2-3 times daily) and zantac (ranitidine; 2.5 ml twice daily). She is being seen by the vet before Christmas again when she will decide whether it is better to try cisapride if the current combination of meds doesn't bring any noticeable improvement. Pili Pala is yo-yoing around 800g at the moment. She was 950g before her GI stasis.
Thank you very much :)! And all the best for Pili Pala. I hope both she and Mimmi will improve!
 

Leeni

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Pili Pala is currently on metacam (0.2 ml twice daily), emeprid (can be replaced with metoclopramide in a pinch; 4 ml 2-3 times daily) and zantac (ranitidine; 2.5 ml twice daily). She is being seen by the vet before Christmas again when she will decide whether it is better to try cisapride if the current combination of meds doesn't bring any noticeable improvement. Pili Pala is yo-yoing around 800g at the moment. She was 950g before her GI stasis.
@Wiebke, how is Pili Pala doing at the moment? And which meds is she currently on?
Mimmi is also having Zantac (0,25 ml twice daily). Is Pili Pala really having 2,5 ml or is it just a comma mistake?
Mimmi had also a course of Primperan during Christmas time but we have stopped giving that already. She's not on Metacam now because there's no sign of any pain and previously it didn't helped her with this problem.

Mimmi is also given Cerenia (0,07ml once daily for five days, then two days break). I think Cerenia is not commonly used with guinea pigs but we are experimenting with the meds (of course prescribed by our vet) as nothing so far has really helped Mimmi. Mimmi also has lost most of her muscles and being already an elderly fragile piggy there is not much hope for her anyway if we can't get this problem under control somehow. She's still perky and eating eagerly on her own etc., so we will keep trying as long as she keeps her spirit up.

I am not sure if it really is Cerenia that has helped her, but her weight has been much more stable lately plus has taken a dip during the two days break. We've only done two five day sets courses (the second one ends today), so I'll tell if this continues with the same pattern.

Mimmi is eating well on her own as far as I can see and the poo has improved in shape and also the "undigested" (as I call it) smell is almost gone from it. But she is getting a lot of support feed also. 3 X 40 ml daily a mix of oatmeal mixed of oat flour and Recovery Plus and some nutritional oil in it. I'm using the oatmeal because she is eating hay on her own and getting lots of fiber from that so with the support food I just try to get more calories into her. Despite this quite large amount of feeding she is not really gaining much weight but at least we've been able to keep the weight quite stable. Her tummy is still very noisy at times but I think that maybe it's not as noisy all the time as it was before...?

I also wanted to share a mistake I made with oatmeal that caused Mimmi another bloat just before Christmas. She hadn't been bloated since the end of October so I felt really bad about it. I didn't realize that boiling the oatmeal properly is crucial to make the oats swell. I had boiled the oatmeal in my own microwave oven previously but at my grandparents house the oven worked less efficiently. So I just poured boiling water on the oats and quickly cooled it down by keeping the cup in cold water. Then the oats then didn't swell properly and I ended up adding too much "raw" flour to make the texture as thick as usual and that caused her the bloat.

I immediately stepped in with the meds, support feed and massage and luckily Mimmi recovered surprisingly quickly. I had anticipated that I had ruined her guts completely but she was back on track already 24 hours later. Well, I'll never make the same mistake again now that I know better :(. To end this post with a more cheerful note, here is Mimmi licking plexi glass:
 

Wiebke

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Hi! Sorry, I have made a comma mistake; it is 0.26 ml of zantac for Pili. I' have corrected it now.

Her weight has stabilised on her meds, but her guts are still painful and she doesn't like being touched there. She is also not putting any weight on. I have been given cisapride by my vet, but been recommended to only use it if there was a noticeable deterioration because there is very little that can be done for guinea pigs in her situation. The normal treatment would be with steroids, but they are a big no no for all rodents.

I think cerenia has been used for forum members' guinea pigs once or twice, but has not made it into the exotics vets 'mainstream' so far. It still seems to be on an ad hoc experimental level.

Glad that Mimmi has recovered so well and quickly! She is adorable!
 

Leeni

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Hi! Sorry, I have made a comma mistake; it is 0.26 ml of zantac for Pili. I' have corrected it now.

Her weight has stabilised on her meds, but her guts are still painful and she doesn't like being touched there. She is also not putting any weight on. I have been given cisapride by my vet, but been recommended to only use it if there was a noticeable deterioration because there is very little that can be done for guinea pigs in her situation. The normal treatment would be with steroids, but they are a big no no for all rodents.

I think cerenia has been used for forum members' guinea pigs once or twice, but has not made it into the exotics vets 'mainstream' so far. It still seems to be on an ad hoc experimental level.

Glad that Mimmi has recovered so well and quickly! She is adorable!
Sounds like Pili Pala and Mimmi are having quite the same situation.. Very best of luck for you! I hope our efforts will give these girls a chance of recovery at some point. I really hope that time heals even if these meds don't. Mimmi is such a trusting and loving piggy with a lot of guts (pun intended) :). I can see that she is trying really hard and I don't want to let her down so I also try my hardest.

Also my vet told me that steroids would be the way to go if only Mimmi was a dog and and not a guinea pig *sigh*..
 

Wiebke

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Sounds like Pili Pala and Mimmi are having quite the same situation.. Very best of luck for you! I hope our efforts will give these girls a chance of recovery at some point. I really hope that time heals even if these meds don't. Mimmi is such a trusting and loving piggy with a lot of guts (pun intended) :). I can see that she is trying really hard and I don't want to let her down so I also try my hardest.

Also my vet told me that steroids would be the way to go if only Mimmi was a dog and and not a guinea pig *sigh*..
My vet did tell me the same! Unfortunately IBS is a chronic issue. I am considering myself lucky that Pili Pala has celebrated her 5th birthday in December and has lived to see the turn of the year against the odds. Any day more is a gift to be cherished, as far as I am concerned.
 

Leeni

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My vet did tell me the same! Unfortunately IBS is a chronic issue. I am considering myself lucky that Pili Pala has celebrated her 5th birthday in December and has lived to see the turn of the year against the odds. Any day more is a gift to be cherished, as far as I am concerned.
Mimmi is also 5 (and 5 months) and although I know she is a senior and already has had a long good life, it's very hard for me. Mimmi has a very special, big personality and I know I'll be devastated when I lose her. But I know that it is due to her spunk that she is still here, live and kicking, against the odds just like Pili Pala. I'm very proud of her and know that together we've done everything we can :).

I came across a strange thing when I went through my vet papers: I noticed that Mimmi has had the same symptoms (losing weight and eating poorly) already in 2015 and 2016 at the exact same time of each year! It has been that time of the autumn when we have to switch from outside greens to grocery store vegetables (this happens in early to mid October in Finland), and a couple of weeks later Mimmi has had problems with her appetite and probably also with her tummy. The vets (they were just some random vets near our home because I just rushed to vet's when I noticed something was wrong. Now I think that was not the best idea..) couldn't find anything wrong with her except for a mild UTI each time. Also this year one of the findings was UTI. I think she gets that when her immune system goes down due to the poor eating and when she is less active and laying more in one place. I think it's probable that she had also bloats back in 2015 and 2016 but I wasn't experienced enough to notice and the vets who then diagnosed her were not guinea pig experts either. So I'm thinking that she has had the same problems before, only milder and more underlying, and they are maybe caused by the changes in her diet. This time it was more serious due to her age. In the future I'll be very careful with any changes in diet. This discovery was an eye-opener for me because I had thought Mimmi has bloat and tummy issues for the first time but now it seems to me that she's actually prone to them.
 

Leeni

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And I forgot to say: Cerenia very probably has no efect on Mimmi's condition. Her weight has actually gone a little bit up after we stopped giving her that five days ago. She was over 700 grams in her weighing this morning which made me happy though things might be different again tomorrow.
 
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