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Post Operation Problems

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elgerardo

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Our 4 year old guinea pig Mabel stopped eating last week, it took us a day or two to notice something was wrong and we took her to the vets, she needed surgery and a few days later the vet removed her ovaries which had become enlarged.
We took her home and have been feeding her a sort of critical care paste that the vet gave us. its now been a week since we first took her to the vets and she's still not eating or drinking. We are trying to give her as much as possible, at the minute I'm trying to give her a few mls of food and water every two hours. However she's if anything gotten worse, she has no energy, her breathing is fast and rapid, and she makes a noise when breathing like she's in pain/ struggling to breath, it's kind of a wheezing noise.
We don't know what else to do, I feel like shes just slowly dying, we had her at the vets yesterday for a check up and she gave us more paste, painkillers, and anti-biotics. We have another check up tomorrow, but even if she makes it to then, I think the vet will prescribe more of the same.
Does anyone have any advice to what we should do? At the minute when I feed her, she can barely even swallow, she doesn't chew, I have to just squirt a small amount down, hope she swallows, wait, and try again.
Please any help will be really appreciated!
 

Wiebke

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Our 4 year old guinea pig Mabel stopped eating last week, it took us a day or two to notice something was wrong and we took her to the vets, she needed surgery and a few days later the vet removed her ovaries which had become enlarged.
We took her home and have been feeding her a sort of critical care paste that the vet gave us. its now been a week since we first took her to the vets and she's still not eating or drinking. We are trying to give her as much as possible, at the minute I'm trying to give her a few mls of food and water every two hours. However she's if anything gotten worse, she has no energy, her breathing is fast and rapid, and she makes a noise when breathing like she's in pain/ struggling to breath, it's kind of a wheezing noise.
We don't know what else to do, I feel like shes just slowly dying, we had her at the vets yesterday for a check up and she gave us more paste, painkillers, and anti-biotics. We have another check up tomorrow, but even if she makes it to then, I think the vet will prescribe more of the same.
Does anyone have any advice to what we should do? At the minute when I feed her, she can barely even swallow, she doesn't chew, I have to just squirt a small amount down, hope she swallows, wait, and try again.
Please any help will be really appreciated!
Hi! I am very sorry - you are trying your best and you are doing all the right things. Please do not quirt any food into her mouth; if she struggles to swallow because of being very weak, it will go down the wrong way and cause the wheezy breathing. Feed her only a small bit of a syringe and wait until it has gone down.
Complete Syringe Feeding Guide
Tips For Post-operative Care

How much painkiller have you been prescribed and how much food/water is she getting? What antibiotic and dosage is she on? Are her sides heaving when she is breathing?
 

elgerardo

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Hi! I am very sorry - you are trying your best and you are doing all the right things. Please do not quirt any food into her mouth; if she struggles to swallow because of being very weak, it will go down the wrong way and cause the wheezy breathing. Feed her only a small bit of a syringe and wait until it has gone down.
Complete Syringe Feeding Guide
Tips For Post-operative Care

How much painkiller have you been prescribed and how much food/water is she getting? Are her sides heaving when she is breathing?
We were given 3 syringes with about 1ml of painkiller in each, and I gave her one this morning, she didn't need one yesterday because the vet gave her a stronger painkiller while she was there for her check up, I think I'm going to give her another one soon, then the last one tomorrow morning, her appointment with the vet is tomorrow at 4.
She is literally only getting what we give her, in terms of food and water, I'm trying to give her 2mls of the paste every two hours, and around the same time I also try to give her around 4mls of water, and she isn't getting anything else, because she just lies down in her cage when I put her back.
And yes here sides have been moving up and down quite fast with her breathing since yesterday.
I'm really worried she just isn't getting enough food and it's too late to do anything, but I'll keep trying to give her food, I have been worried about choking her with the food, but since she isn't do anything at all to feed herself, I don't see what else I can do. I'll give her smaller portions though.
Thanks for the reply.
 

Wiebke

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We were given 3 syringes with about 1ml of painkiller in each, and I gave her one this morning, she didn't need one yesterday because the vet gave her a stronger painkiller while she was there for her check up, I think I'm going to give her another one soon, then the last one tomorrow morning, her appointment with the vet is tomorrow at 4.
She is literally only getting what we give her, in terms of food and water, I'm trying to give her 2mls of the paste every two hours, and around the same time I also try to give her around 4mls of water, and she isn't getting anything else, because she just lies down in her cage when I put her back.
And yes here sides have been moving up and down quite fast with her breathing since yesterday.
I'm really worried she just isn't getting enough food and it's too late to do anything, but I'll keep trying to give her food, I have been worried about choking her with the food, but since she isn't do anything at all to feed herself, I don't see what else I can do. I'll give her smaller portions though.
Thanks for the reply.
That is unfortunately too little food to be sustainable and she is obviously getting weaker - do not give her more than 0.1 - 0.3 of a ml in one go, but stop feeding if she is becoming very apathetic and can no longer process it.
If she is starting to struggle breathing (the heavy breathing that comes from the diaphragma rather than the normal breathing from the lungs), then it means that her heart is straining and that her body may have started to slowly close down. :(

All you can do is your best, which you are doing, but it sounds you are up against it. Keep her as comfy as you can and keep the painkiller going for as long as possible (again, give it slowly in little portions she can swallow). HUGS!
 

elgerardo

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That is unfortunately too little food to be sustainable and she is obviously getting weaker - do not give her more than 0.1 - 0.3 of a ml in one go, but stop feeding if she is becoming very apathetic and can no longer process it.
If she is starting to struggle breathing (the heavy breathing that comes from the diaphragma rather than the normal breathing from the lungs), then it means that her heart is straining and that her body may have started to slowly close down. :(

All you can do is your best, which you are doing, but it sounds you are up against it. Keep her as comfy as you can and keep the painkiller going for as long as possible (again, give it slowly in little portions she can swallow). HUGS!
Yea that's what we feared, that it's too late and her bodies shutting down, we'll give her some painkiller and try and make her comfortable, thanks again for the advice.
 

Adelle

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Hi,

Id strongly suggest having your piggy seen by a more specialised vet as soon as possible.

The pain relief you where given pre-made in 1ml syringes- what pain releif is it? If it is an opiate, this could explain the lethargy and the increased breathing effort. Buprenorphine/vetergesic are notorious for causing this. If it is metacalm, it should of been prescribed in a bottle with a specific dose for you to give regularly.

If she hasnt been given an opiate, she needs checked for an upper respiratory infection that could also be causing all of her symptoms. This would require an antibiotic.

Time really is of the essense, i wouldnt give up until you have at least seen a vet with more guinea pig knowledge. A URI is treatable if caught in time, and the effects opiate will go away if given appropriate pain relief i.e metacam.

Are you in the uk? Have you checked the recommended vet locator on the forum for a piggy savvy vet near you?
 

elgerardo

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hey guys,
thanks for the replies, just thought I'd let you know Mabel passed away in my arms last night. Pretty sad at the minute, she just wouldn't take any food and kept losing more energy, we gave her some painkillers to make her comfortable, but even that was hard to get to go down her throat, it was like she had given up. I think the combination of the surgery and her having not had substantial amounts of food just was too much for her body, she had lost almost half her weight from the surgery, it was just too much of a toll on her.
Thanks for the help, I have looked for specialist online at the start of the week, unfortunately there are only two in all of Ireland from what I can tell, and neither is near me.
Thanks again.
 

Wiebke

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HUGS

I am ever so sorry that we couldn't help you sooner! :(
RIP Mabel

You are welcome to post a tribute to Mabel in our Rainbow Bridge section if or whenever it feels right for you.

Here are our tips on how to look after a bereaved companion if Mabel has one: Looking After A Bereaved Guinea Pig
 

Adelle

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I am so sorry for your loss. Sometime surgery can be too much for our older piggies, and can cause underlying issues to surface, but if they face an op we owe it to them to at least try- which you did.

Sleep tight little one xx
 
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