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Elgifu321

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So at the beginning of September I lost my beautiful boy Oswyn and his cagemate Rupert was lonely so I got two new baby boars and Rupert popcorned and played zoomies and was so happy to have new piggy friends it was lovely to watch...

But when Oswyn died, I'd noticed Rupert was a touch underweight. He was weighing in at 1035g which was about 100g less than he had been previously now call me a bad owner but I hadn't weighed them in about two months and I truly regret it.

Fast forward to wednesday and I took Rupert to the vets with mild diarrhoea and the tiniest bit of bloat and put on Baytril. I felt a bit fobbed off by the vets to be honest so I set to look for an even better vets (mine was cavy friendly and on the list but still...) I then found an exotic vets further away but still relatively nearby and took him in on Friday. This vet seemed amazing, honestly.

I discussed Ruperts weight loss- weight down to 816g dropped over three weeks-ish. (I had expressed concern over this at his vets on two occasions) and how he was trying to eat but dropping food... we discussed his slight diarrhoea and bloat and also how he was still quite bright and acting himself other than the occasional fluffing himself up and the vet was convinced it would be teeth issues so booked him in for today (Saturday) for not only a dental X-ray and treatment but a whole body X-ray to examine the bloat. He told me to feed Rupert healthy piggy poos and critical care and gave me loxicom (1.5mg/ml meloxicam) to ease any pain. He also told me to leave the Baytril whilst we try to fix his poops as he wasn't sure why he was even prescribed it after viewing his records.

So I took Rupert in this morning and when I went to collect him an he later they said he was still anaesthetised (risky, I know but I couldn't watch him waste away and the vet is incredibly experienced) and asked for permission to take bloods... took a few tries but they got them and as a nurse was monitoring Rupert I spoke to the vet.

His teeth were fine... X-ray showed healthy heart and lungs and only the tiniest bit of bloat that was just basically indigestion and basically normal (I fed Rupert a few of Caspers poops the night before and his poops were back solid by the morning!) but the vet had noticed two issues, first Rupert has arthritis in his knees and second his jawbone is slightly rough and irregular underneath which could be causing pain. He's also concerned about kidney disease due to the symptoms.

So now Rupert is on tramadol for the pain as the meloxicam can make kidney issues worse, he's also on fortekor tabs for kidney disease just in case (because it won't harm him if his kidneys are normal but it will really help in the mean time if they're not) and he's back on the Baytril in case there's a bacterial problem causing kidney issues... he's also on critical care to boost him so he doesn't lose more weight as well as a healthy piggy poo every day whilst he's on the Baytril.

I'm so scared of losing him... I love him to pieces and was an absolute mess losing Oswyn. Surely I can't lose both boys before their time? :( (4 years old) he's looking really skinny now and it's awful! He's still eating and drinking by himself though just clearly not enough to maintain his weight. He's generally bright and acting like himself too but he's just slept most of today- I assume this could just be because he was anaesthetised earlier and is groggy? But he was only anaesthetised using gas no injections.

Does anyone here have experience with kidney problems? If it's mild the vet said medication and special homemade diet can buy him some happy time but I can't find any info about diet?

I'm praying the vet is completely wrong about the kidney disease... at least if it just an infection or the jaw issues he's got a chance. Really feeling heartbroken today :(
 
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DM030819

A bumpy jawline can be an indication of elongated roots, which causes pressure on their teeth and so they don't want to eat. It should have shown up on his x-ray. I would ask the vet about it.

The blood tests will pick up any kidney disease. One of my pigs had a test done a few months ago, thankfully he was okay.

Has his urine been tested? High protein in urine can be an indicator of kidney issues, that's what set off my vet thinking my boy had it.

The arthritis could also be an indication. My boy has arthritis and had started to lose weight. We're trying him on an increased dose of Metacam for a week or two to see what that does. My vet said that muscles need to be used or they go away, and as my boy is feeling a bit stiff he's not using his muscles and so they're wasting away which contributes to weight loss.
 

Abi_nurse

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Sounds like you found a good vet.

Yes, seen and deal with kidney issues often in piggies and I currently have a sow with policystic kidney disease. She has been going strong for a good year or more now with the kidney problems and only just in the last few months been losing more weight. Don't be too disheartened, although kidney disease is chronic and terminal it doesn't mean you will lose him rite away unless it is very advanced.

Bloods will usually tell you if there's renal insufficiency but it may also be worthwhile checking the urine for excess protein too as this is a clinical indicator of kidney issues too.

Arthritis can be managed well with pain killers as and when needed. How significant did the vet think the jaw was? As already said it could be a sign of dental issues but I wouldn't just jump straight in and think that this is the main problem yet.

Hope the bloods give you some answers.

x
 

Elgifu321

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Apparently his bumpy jawline showed up on X-ray but the vet said he'd seen worse so we're just covering all bases. I'll update when the results are back x
 

Elgifu321

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Update: just got off the phone to the vet. So relieved that Ruperts kidney function is absolutely fine. He's eating better on tramadol too so that leads me to believe his jaw is part of the problem. The vet noticed high white blood cells though indicating an infection. He asked me if I'd noticed anything and Ruperts eyes are quite crusty but he's on Baytril and he had slight discharge before but now it's worse so my vet thinks chlamydia and wants to try him on doxycycline to see if it clears up, I'm picking this up tomorrow and going to try and get a urine sample as due to the small amount of blood collected they couldn't do a full health check and at this point I just want to make sure we haven't missed anything. His weight is also up to 860g but I'm syringe feeding him twice a day to top him up as he is eating just not quite enough.
 
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DM030819

Great news!

Definitely keep an eye on his eating though. Catching a teeth issue in it's early stages is better than further down the line
 

Elgifu321

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Great news!

Definitely keep an eye on his eating though. Catching a teeth issue in it's early stages is better than further down the line
I will do. The issue is with a bumpy jawline though, not with the actual teeth per se - they have been thoroughly checked and he has had a dental X-ray which showed the irregularity in his jaw bone.
 

Adelle

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Good news about his kidneys!

Your vet sounds excellent and very thorough.

I have used tramadol recently and found it to be a good pain relief and didnt make my girl drowsy (as i thought it would).

Hope your little ones comfortable for a long time to come x
 

Elgifu321

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I'm so relieved! And honestly my vet is great, the best I've had by far! His names Alan Humphreys, he's from village vets in Liverpool and is an exotic specialist. Lots of people get referred to him with piggys as well as other exotics, he deals with lots of rodents. Takes me about half an hour to get there but I'd go further if I needed to.

With tramadol Rupert was on 7.5mg a day and his weight was 816g when we started. What dosage is your girl on if you don't mind me asking?
 

helen105281

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Has your vet considered a brewing dental abscess? that can usually be linked to a lumpy jaw line.
 

Elgifu321

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Has your vet considered a brewing dental abscess? that can usually be linked to a lumpy jaw line.
Not that he's mentioned so I might mention it when Rupert goes back on Saturday to have his staples removed (to close small incision on his neck from taking blood) the vet glued in but one of the other pigs ate the glue out in a day so he had to go back for staples, nothing can ever run smoothly haha

Oh the vet did mention he checked for any smells when he inspected the mouth but then I suppose if it's not properly formed there might not be any smell yet? I don't have any experience with dental abcesses personally..
 

helen105281

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I think a lot of abscesses in the early stages are not visible. My Tim had one behind his eye and it only became obvious a few months down the line. His eye was then removed by Simon Maddock at the Cat and Rabbit clinic in Northampton. It would be worth getting his opinion if you are able to travel.
 
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