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Pneumonia and Kidney Problems

Sasco

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Mabel (aged 4) developed laboured breathing a week ago but when we visited the vet her lungs sounded totally clear. After trialling a couple of different medications in case the cause was pain from her recent spay (for polycystic ovaries) or being caused by fluid retention on her heart or lungs we had to rush her back to the vet yesterday when her breathing became worse and she started to become more and more withdrawn. The vets scanned her and did blood tests, which showed severe pneumonia and mid - stage kidney failure. I had a long chat with the vet about whether it was ethical to attempt to treat her or if it would be fairer to let her go. He was clear that he felt it was appropriate to try to treat her and that if we can quickly get on top of the pneumonia he can hopefully control her kidney failure with medication. She's a satin pig, and had issues with her growth as a baby. She's also always been a big drinker. We now think that this may be an indication that her kidneys may have been struggling for a long time. The vet she is seeing is an exotic vet and is one of the forum recommended vets - Iain Cope. He and his team have been fantastic with her and I would definitely recommend him to anyone else who lives nearby. Mabel is now on the following meds - salbutamol and F10 via nebuliser; gabapentin for pain; baytril and doxycycline; vivitonin for her kidneys. I am interested hearing from anyone who has experience with a pig with kidney problems, particularly if they have been on vivitonin. I am also hoping for advice on any extra care that I can put in place for her. Are there any foods that are best avoided or good to give to a pig with renal problems? I am aware that the long term prognosis for her probably isn't great, but hoping to get her to a point where she is happy and comfortable. The vet and I are monitoring her closely and if things start to go in the wrong direction or she just doesn't improve then we have agreed she would have to be pts.
 

Swissgreys

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I am so sorry you are going through this.
I can't add any medical knowledge, but I wanted to say I think you are doing an amazing job offering Mabel the absolute best care possible.

I am sure someone else will be along shortly to comment on the medical specifics.
 

Siikibam

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I’m sorry your girl has been hit with such a double whammy. I’ve no experience but just wanted to offer my support. I hope the meds work and she has many more happy today’s with you.
 

Wiebke

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Mabel (aged 4) developed laboured breathing a week ago but when we visited the vet her lungs sounded totally clear. After trialling a couple of different medications in case the cause was pain from her recent spay (for polycystic ovaries) or being caused by fluid retention on her heart or lungs we had to rush her back to the vet yesterday when her breathing became worse and she started to become more and more withdrawn. The vets scanned her and did blood tests, which showed severe pneumonia and mid - stage kidney failure. I had a long chat with the vet about whether it was ethical to attempt to treat her or if it would be fairer to let her go. He was clear that he felt it was appropriate to try to treat her and that if we can quickly get on top of the pneumonia he can hopefully control her kidney failure with medication. She's a satin pig, and had issues with her growth as a baby. She's also always been a big drinker. We now think that this may be an indication that her kidneys may have been struggling for a long time. The vet she is seeing is an exotic vet and is one of the forum recommended vets - Iain Cope. He and his team have been fantastic with her and I would definitely recommend him to anyone else who lives nearby. Mabel is now on the following meds - salbutamol and F10 via nebuliser; gabapentin for pain; baytril and doxycycline; vivitonin for her kidneys. I am interested hearing from anyone who has experience with a pig with kidney problems, particularly if they have been on vivitonin. I am also hoping for advice on any extra care that I can put in place for her. Are there any foods that are best avoided or good to give to a pig with renal problems? I am aware that the long term prognosis for her probably isn't great, but hoping to get her to a point where she is happy and comfortable. The vet and I are monitoring her closely and if things start to go in the wrong direction or she just doesn't improve then we have agreed she would have to be pts.
Hi!

I am very sorry! It is worth giving it a try to see whether you and your vet can get on top of the pneumonia quickly or whether her immune system is already too badly impacted to fend it off. You sound like you are in very competent hands.

Unfortunately there is not much you can do about kidney failure, medically and dietary. Yours seems to be more likely rooted or impacted by a genetic disposition.
You can follow the advice for people with guinea pigs with urinary tract problems, but you have to be aware that these measures will take several weeks to come through and that they are more likely not going to make much of a difference in your case; they are more geared towards preventing the longer term reoccurrence of bladder stones or sludge and supporting a guinea pig with sterile interstitial cystitis.
Long Term Balanced General And Special Needs Guinea Pig Diets

I am very sorry for the situation you are finding yourself in; respiratory infections are opportunists and tend to hit and hit worse when the immune system is lowered by an underlying problem.
Having had to pts several of my own piggies over the years when their kidneys went wrong, I truly feel for you. It is always a very tough time when you are with your back against the wall and your options are becoming less and less. I would think that the next few days are going to be crucial in seeing how and whether she is responding to her medication so you hopefully have the option to buy her a bit more time to enjoy her life while she still has got the quality and the will to live.

Anyway, I am keeping my fingers firmly crossed. Please weigh your girl daily at the same time in the feeding cycle and step in with feeding support if necessary to keep up her fighting strength as much as possible while she still has a zest for life and is willing to fight.
 

Sasco

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Thank you all. I am definitely in good hands with the vet - we were referred to him for the issues Mabel's sister, Ethel had been having for years and the transformation since he performed surgery on her has been amazing. I have the silly, hyperactive pig I had two years ago back and she's bouncing off the walls. I will do everything I can for Mabel, but only for as long as she shows me she wants to keep fighting. She seems a lot better this evening - the nebuliser in particular seems to be making a massive difference to her breathing and the argument she had with me about syringe feeding suggests she's got a lot more energy! The other pigs are also behaving more normally around her this evening. Ethel had been sleeping with her in the hay, blocking me or the other pigs from being able to get up close to her, but is now back to rumbling at her and generally being annoying. I am hoping these are positive signs but know it's really early days for her.
 

VickiA

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You sound to be in very safe hands and are clearly doing all you can for her. I’m pleased to hear that behaviour wise there is some indication that things are looking more positive.
 
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