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Rear End Paralysis - 3 year Old Sow Require Further Advice

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FeeW

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Trudi one of our 4 X 3 year old sows was showing signs of rear end weakness last week. Other 3 are fine. Her legs were splayed our and she couldn't run so fast. Took her to vet who physically examined her and couldn't find evidence of injury. Prescribed Metacam (only had cat version at 0.5mg/ml and we were told to dose her as if she was a 7kg cat - seems a lot to me). Tried this for two days by which time full paralysis had set in. She is eating, though not as enthusiastically as normal, seems happy if a bit subdued, cost is glossy, eyes are bright and poos are normal. Found calcium info on forums so tried Osteocare - 1ml 2x a day for first 2 days. Now on 1ml per day. Have now run out of Metacam so need to go back to vet but I'm not sure they are really up on cavies as it took an age for them to settle on the Metacam dosage needed. Trudi's legs are completely paralysed, feet are cold and her rear end is showing signs of wasting. Currently she's have 2 baths per day to keep her clean. We are all devastated to see her and torn between taking her to the vet and being advised to put her to sleep and allowing her to continue in her current condition. What we would like to ask is : How long can it take for paralysis to subside (she's now been like it for 7 days)? Is there anything else we need to do? Is the Metacam still worth giving? Do we need to give her any other supplements as we don't think she's consuming her soft pellets?
Many thanks in anticipation
 

karonus

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Check up on my posts of Star. She had a metacam injection into her neck which helped first time.
 

Wiebke

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Trudi one of our 4 X 3 year old sows was showing signs of rear end weakness last week. Other 3 are fine. Her legs were splayed our and she couldn't run so fast. Took her to vet who physically examined her and couldn't find evidence of injury. Prescribed Metacam (only had cat version at 0.5mg/ml and we were told to dose her as if she was a 7kg cat - seems a lot to me). Tried this for two days by which time full paralysis had set in. She is eating, though not as enthusiastically as normal, seems happy if a bit subdued, cost is glossy, eyes are bright and poos are normal. Found calcium info on forums so tried Osteocare - 1ml 2x a day for first 2 days. Now on 1ml per day. Have now run out of Metacam so need to go back to vet but I'm not sure they are really up on cavies as it took an age for them to settle on the Metacam dosage needed. Trudi's legs are completely paralysed, feet are cold and her rear end is showing signs of wasting. Currently she's have 2 baths per day to keep her clean. We are all devastated to see her and torn between taking her to the vet and being advised to put her to sleep and allowing her to continue in her current condition. What we would like to ask is : How long can it take for paralysis to subside (she's now been like it for 7 days)? Is there anything else we need to do? Is the Metacam still worth giving? Do we need to give her any other supplements as we don't think she's consuming her soft pellets?
Many thanks in anticipation
Hi and welcome

Where are you located? We have got members from all over the world, so vet access/knowledge etc. can be very different and we can help you much more efficiently if you please added your country, state/province or UK county to your details, so we can always tailor any advice straight away to what is doable and available where you are. Click on your username on the top bar, the go to personal details and scroll down to location. Thank you!
We may be able to see whether you have got a more piggy savvy vet within your reach.

Please supplement her with syringe feed to up her fibre intake and keep the guts steady; either with recovery food, mushed up pellets or a mix of both. I would also recommend fibreplex if her digestion is affected. Offer her as much water as she will take. You can also give her syringe a dissolved 1/8 of a vitamin C tablet daily. Back leg paralysis can affect the guts and can cause partial gut stasis. The loss of mobility is also not helping; it also means that she cannot clean herself so you have to continue to wipe her and give her a gentle hand warm water bum bath whenever necessary.

Please gently massage her back legs to encourage the blood flow. I would also recommend to use a microwaveable snugglesafe to keep her warm; don't heat it fully, only half the advised time and rather reheat 1-2 times in 24 hours.

Most cases of back leg paralysis go away eventually even though it can take a few weeks before things get slowly better; sometimes it is just a for a few hours. However, it very much depends on what is causing it. A sudden drop of calcium ("overnight back leg paralysis") is usually reversible, but there are other things that also can cause it. What is exactly the matter is usually rather difficult to discern for a vet.

As you do not know what is causing, continuing with the metacam may not be a bad idea.
 

karonus

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In essence over her 5 1/2 years we had 3 bouts of paralysis, we believe caused by a cyst on her neck that became inflamed causing pressure on her spine. Metacam proved to be a solution, however, there are many reasons for paralysis which needs an experienced piggy vet to check. Check the list of cavy savvy vets on the forum headers or if you are near Northampton check out Cat and Rabbit clinic.
 

Adelle

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If oral metacalm isnt helping then an injection of metacalm intramuscular wont either.. She could have something pressing on her spine, wether it be a disk, a clot or a tumour.

The fact she went downhill so rapidly even on metacam, i dont think this will be your answer but i do think she needs pain releif so keep up with that.

If it was me, i would be looking at her quality of life, as she must be uncomfortable and wont be happy that shes soiling herself. Realistically it wouldnt be fair to let her continue to drag her rear end around, but i understand that a sudden onset of this makes you wonder if it will right itself soon too.

A last option that i would consider (and you really would need to research it) would be steroids- steroids arent usually recommended for use in guinea pigs, but they are usually a course of action for other animals that develop this condition. Obviously without a known cause, its difficult to find a cure, but steroids would be a very last option if i was in your position.

Have you checked the vet locator on the forum to see if theres any piggy savy vets that you could get to that might have other ideas?
 

Adelle

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Just to reiterate before i start a war- steroids are NOT usually recommended for guinea pigs. This is, however, usually the port of call for the medical management of spinal issues in other animals.

If she isnt recovering at all, and you are facing pts- steroids may provide her relief but obviously any treatment needs to be cleared by a piggy savvy vet.
 

Wiebke

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PS: My Ffraid had temporary back leg paralysis with partial gut stasis caused by very strong pain (she was twisting immediately before), which the vet suspect was either caused by a trapped nerve (sciatica) or a small blood clot.

My 8 year old Nerys has just got over hers over the last 2 months; she had a sudden mystery weight gain, which the vet located as a painful swelling in the adrenal gland area two days before Nerys suddenly lost use of her back legs for about 3 weeks when she developed a temporary swelling down one side. She also suffered digestive problems/partial gut stasis, but I got her over those with offering her syringe feed. The swelling has gone again and Nerys is now able to walk, if not well, considering her arthritis. I insisted on Nerys feeding from a spoon - the moment she'd give up having the will to eat, I would have been prepared to pts. Nerys is on metacam for her arthritis anyway.
 

FeeW

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Hi and welcome

Where are you located? We have got members from all over the world, so vet access/knowledge etc. can be very different and we can help you much more efficiently if you please added your country, state/province or UK county to your details, so we can always tailor any advice straight away to what is doable and available where you are. Click on your username on the top bar, the go to personal details and scroll down to location. Thank you!
We may be able to see whether you have got a more piggy savvy vet within your reach.

Please supplement her with syringe feed to up her fibre intake and keep the guts steady; either with recovery food, mushed up pellets or a mix of both. I would also recommend fibreplex if her digestion is affected. Offer her as much water as she will take. You can also give her syringe a dissolved 1/8 of a vitamin C tablet daily. Back leg paralysis can affect the guts and can cause partial gut stasis. The loss of mobility is also not helping; it also means that she cannot clean herself so you have to continue to wipe her and give her a gentle hand warm water bum bath whenever necessary.

Please gently massage her back legs to encourage the blood flow. I would also recommend to use a microwaveable snugglesafe to keep her warm; don't heat it fully, only half the advised time and rather reheat 1-2 times in 24 hours.

Most cases of back leg paralysis go away eventually even though it can take a few weeks before things get slowly better; sometimes it is just a for a few hours. However, it very much depends on what is causing it. A sudden drop of calcium ("overnight back leg paralysis") is usually reversible, but there are other things that also can cause it. What is exactly the matter is usually rather difficult to discern for a vet.

As you do not know what is causing, continuing with the metacam may not be a bad idea.
Thank you so much for your advice. We were wondering about the Vit C in particular. If there is even a small chance of recovery even after a couple of weeks then we'll carry on. The nearest Cavy vet according to the locator is about an hour away so will investigate. We may return to our local vet for more Metacam as they have a nurse with lots of cavy experience too, she just wasn't around when we took Trudi in.
 

Wiebke

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Thank you so much for your advice. We were wondering about the Vit C in particular. If there is even a small chance of recovery even after a couple of weeks then we'll carry on. The nearest Cavy vet according to the locator is about an hour away so will investigate. We may return to our local vet for more Metacam as they have a nurse with lots of cavy experience too, she just wasn't around when we took Trudi in.
An hour is hopefully still within your reach. I have taken my Nerys (and my Hywel who needed an operation for a secondary dental abscess at the same time) that distance to have them seen by a good vet. It is well worth it, as my local vets are decent, but not particularly piggy savvy. All the best!
 
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