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More Bloat :-(

Eryan

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Hi everyone,

As some of you may know, my dear Clover passed away December 19th, almost a month ago, due to extreme bloat and what seemed to be an inner ear infection. After 3 months of trying to convince our old vet that she was regularly bloated, when we finally switched clinics and found out that she truly was - it was too late.

Now I'm afraid we're experiencing this all over again with Pixie. It started with a grumbly tummy about a week ago and now it has gotten to the point where her sides are swelling and she cries when I massage her, she's very sensitive and uncomfortable, the poor dear. She's been off veggies for 48 hours now but I think red bell pepper is to blame. We took her to the vet today and got her a physical and an x-ray, luckily no tumors or obstructions and the swelling was found not to be due to any liquid/blood, just gas.

Her x-ray was examined by a specialist and she believes Pixie's bloat is due to the bacteria present in her gut, so it was suggested her diet is changed. We were told to continue to stay off the veggies, pull back on the pellets, and increase her Timothy. We weren't given any medication to help with pain or gas relief, which makes me feel like they think it isn't too serious, but I'm still so nervous. After our experience with Clover I'm worried that Pixie will pass too.

Is there anything I can do to help her? I normally massage her sides with an electric toothbrush or gently with my hands, but recently she started to cry when I'd do it so I have stopped. The vet didn't encourage me to do it either, so should I just leave her be? Also, we have a three hour ride home tomorrow with her and I'm hoping the bumps and everything along the way will help to work some gas out of her, but Clover became very very weak during this same ride last month and had to be put down the next day, so I'm anxious. We have to make this drive to get back to our home, but I don't want history to repeat itself. Is there anything more I can do for her?

She eats, poops, drinks, and sleeps (a lot), nothing much has changed with her besides the appearance of the bloat itself. I'm not sure if there's something clearly wrong with her diet that explains her bloat but her normal feeding schedule is something like this:
7 am: 1/2 an Oxbow vitamin C cookie
10 am, 12 pm, 3 pm: 1/3 or 1/2 of a cranberry/peppermint Oxbow cookie
7 pm: 1/2 an Oxbow vitamin C cookie + new pellets (1 tablespoon of an Oxbow and ZuPreem pellet mix - She's never loved her pellets much, usually hardly touching them at all, Clover was the same. They were originally fed one of those dried fruit mixes before we rescued them and so far, she's never came around to the new food)
7:30 pm: 1 cup of veggies and fruit - this week the veggies were red lettuce (1 decently sized leaf), radicchio (1 leaf every two days), and red bell pepper (1 ring of it). She had 1 blueberry this week as well.
She'd have a mix of Timothy, Meadow, and Orchard all day too.

I had always heard guinea pigs could have bell pepper every day, but had no idea how high in sugar red bell pepper was. She'd normally have green or yellow each day without issue but now that she's started on red she's bloated all of the sudden. The introduction of Meadow hay and more Timothy was new this week too, but I have never heard of a guinea pig reacting poorly to new hays.

Is there something I'm doing wrong or any other way I can try to help her?
 

piggieminder

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Eryan

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Thank you for your help and kind words @piggieminder ♥

I have continued with the massages like the post that you linked said to and have begun to offer her critical care as well.

I have Meloxicam on hand and was wondering if anyone thinks we should give her some of that to help with the pain? We'll call the vet again at 11 when they open, but I'm not sure what they'll say. We're meant to leave at 12-12:30 today for our ride back home and I just want to get her on a proper plan to help her get back in shape.

She may be pooping less than normal now too but I'm also a worrywart and it could all be in my head.
 

Guineasmama

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feed her critical care and water every 2 hours and mushed pellets in boiling water and give once cooked down to keep her gut moving. I’d take her to the vets ASAP... they can give medication to give relief of the gas. Good luck x
 

Eryan

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feed her critical care and water every 2 hours and mushed pellets in boiling water and give once cooked down to keep her gut moving. I’d take her to the vets ASAP... they can give medication to give relief of the gas. Good luck x
I usually only feed her critical care until she no longer wants it, do you suggest syringe feeding her? She's still eating hay and small bits of the critical care when she wants it.

Should I syringe feed her? She absolutely hated it when I've had to in the past, so I'm nervous it will stress her out even more, but I'm more than willing if it'll help.
 

Guineasmama

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If she’s eating on her own that’s good. See what the others say but if syringe feeding will stress her then hold off. Just make sure she’s eating hay/pellets herself every couple of hours. I lost my piggy Bubble on Monday as he slowed down and then stopped eating completely. Wasn’t even drinking water. If the vet found gas, I’m surprised he didn’t give medicine to resolve this. Maybe call them again. I think they get given Zantac and something else but I cannot remember the name.
 

Eryan

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If she’s eating on her own that’s good. See what the others say but if syringe feeding will stress her then hold off. Just make sure she’s eating hay/pellets herself every couple of hours. I lost my piggy Bubble on Monday as he slowed down and then stopped eating completely. Wasn’t even drinking water. If the vet found gas, I’m surprised he didn’t give medicine to resolve this. Maybe call them again. I think they get given Zantac and something else but I cannot remember the name.
I'm so sorry for your loss, Clover was the same way towards the end. The Meloxicam was prescribed for pain before for them, but as this is a new vet, I'm not sure if he'll want her on something different. I'm 100% calling as soon as they open up.

And yeah, it's very fortunate that she's still eating all on her own. Lots of water and lots of hay, but like I said in the post, she's never been too keen on her pellets. Hopefully others will reply soon to give us more ideas on how to go about this all. Thank you!
 

Guineasmama

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Thank you and wish you luck. There’s a moderator that gives good advice. But I think ultimately, vet is best. Need to relieve her of the gas. If you massage her tummy (apparently end of electric toothbrushes help or tap her tummy sides, stay of vegetables for 24 hours so the gut can heal).
 

Eryan

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Talked to the vet again, he said she's good to take Meloxicam so I gave her her dose for the day. He also said that he wanted to find a good antibiotic for her that will help with the bacteria in her stomach and I talked about the zantac and emeprid you guys recommend for gut mobility. I'm not sure if he'll prescribe those to her but at least she's finally get something prescribed!

(Also I feel so silly because I've been waiting all morning to call the vet only to find out that today they opened at 9am instead of their usual 11am, oops 😬)
 

Guineasmama

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You can give her probiotic to help with good bacteria. Antibiotics usually upset the balance I think. Let us know how she gets on x
 

Eryan

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You can give her probiotic to help with good bacteria. Antibiotics usually upset the balance I think. Let us know how she gets on x
Yeah, he said that he was trying to find the proper one because of how sensitive her GI tract is. I'll keep you all updated!
 

Eryan

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We made it home! The car ride went well and Pixie is just as alert as always, in no way close to how poor Clover was when we made the same drive a month ago. I'm very grateful that she made it home with us, but we've still got this bloat to deal with.

The vet gave us proviable and chloramphenicol... Neither of which will help move her gut along I don't believe. Will any of this help with bloat?

I'm sad that they didn't give me the medications I asked for to help with gut mobility and now I'm not sure what to do. We're back in our apartment now, some 200 miles away from that vet and an hour from the vet that let Clover suffer with bloat for months. Last time we called no vets in the area were taking new clients. What do we do if these meds don't do anything to help?

Do we go back to the vet that left Clover undiagnosed and request those specific medication recommend I'm the bloat guidelines? What should we do?
 

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Eryan

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I'm most definitely worrying myself too much, but Pixie is flicking her ear about and when I looked inside, I found a chunk of earwax stuck in there. Now maybe this is normal for guinea pigs but the week leading up to Clover's passing, she constantly had reoccurring earwax build up clogging her entire ear.

I could be reading way too far into this, but it just makes me nervous that now all of the sudden Pixie is bloated like Clover was and is experiencing these chunks in her ear now too.
 

piggieminder

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I am pleased to hear you made it home safely. I'm sorry I can't help with your other questions. Sending Pixie lots of love and healing vibes.
 

Eryan

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Does any know who could give me some assistance? I know @Wiebke is big on the forums but I'm not sure if they deal with bloat?
 

piggieminder

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Yes she will be monitoring the health thread when she is on line, for some reason you seem to be being missed. Hope you get some help soon.
 

Piggies&buns

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I’m sorry your post has been missed yesterday - most of us health advisors have been unable to get online as much as usual yesterday for one reason or another.
I see the bloat guide has already been linked in earlier in the thread - this covers all the information we can really give. Ultimately a vet is going to be the only person who can help with the correct medications.
 

Eryan

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I see the bloat guide has already been linked in earlier in the thread - this covers all the information we can really give. Ultimately a vet is going to be the only person who can help with the correct medications.
So just go along with the meds given? No known issues with chloramphenicol? I've never used it before and so I'm a bit anxious.
 
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