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Sick little piggy

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PiratePig

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Hi everyone,
I'm new here and recently did an intro post.
I think that my pig, Athena, is very ill. We are going to see the vet this afternoon, it will be a new experience for both of us. It is a completely new experience for me to be taking care of a pet on my own.
Athena is hardly eating or drinking; she seems bloated; she doesn't move around much; her ears and toes get ice cold; her poop, when there is any is very small and dried out; she hasn't peed that I can tell in a while. :(
This has been going on very noticeably since Friday. Of course on friday I kind of wrote it off because I assumed that maybe she was just having a bad day. On Saturday all I could get her to eat was cucumber and yesterday the only thing she would touch was the cilantro (I think you call it coriander in the UK? My mom likes British cooking shows) Today she won't even touch that.
I'm worried that this might be her death knell, and even if it wasn't to begin with that I've left it too long and it will be. I only decided that I would take her to the vet yesterday and of course, being Sunday no one was open.
Right now I'm just trying to cuddle with her lots. I read on on another forum that a vibrating pillow can help with bloat. While I'm not positive that is the issue, Athena sure likes to sit on it.
I'm kind of sad that this is what prompted me to finally join this group as it generally comes up whenever I do a search on just about anything for GPs.
 

lauralucy

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sorry i dont have any advice but wanted send vibes to you both, let us know how you get on at the vets.
 

PiratePig

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Update!

So Athena and I just got home from our excursion to the vet.

Vet felt her over and then looked at her teeth and noticed that the front teeth were so long that the back molars couldn't meet. So he trimmed them with a dental drill. It was so sad listening to her cry because she doesn't like to have people look at her teeth.

He said that if that if there isn't improvement in a day or two I should call up the office and ask them to order me some Oxbow Critical Care and feed it to her and see if that makes it better.

He also suggested putting vitamin c drops in her water. I've read a couple places that this may not be the best way to get vitamin c for pigs. Thoughts?

Athena seems to be resting at the moment, but I can't fault her there... she just had a very stressful day. We'll see if she eats anything for dinner.
 

lauralucy

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with putting vitamin drops in the water they can make the water taste different and athena may stop drinking, also you cant regulate how much she takes, best to try and feed her high in vit c foods like red peppers and brocolli :))
 

Little Piggles

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No advice I'm afraid, but very best wishes to Athena

Hope her teeth are feeling better now and she can quickly get her appetite back x
 

Wiebke

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So Athena and I just got home from our excursion to the vet.

Vet felt her over and then looked at her teeth and noticed that the front teeth were so long that the back molars couldn't meet. So he trimmed them with a dental drill. It was so sad listening to her cry because she doesn't like to have people look at her teeth.

He said that if that if there isn't improvement in a day or two I should call up the office and ask them to order me some Oxbow Critical Care and feed it to her and see if that makes it better.

He also suggested putting vitamin c drops in her water. I've read a couple places that this may not be the best way to get vitamin c for pigs. Thoughts?

Athena seems to be resting at the moment, but I can't fault her there... she just had a very stressful day. We'll see if she eats anything for dinner.
PLEASE find a better, guinea pig savvy vet! It is the typical sign of a vet who has no idea of what he is about to shorten the front teeth instead of having a good look at the ones in the back!

Long teeth in the front happen because the molars at the back are overgrown and not worn down evenly. It is THEM that need to be treated, so Athena can eventually chew properly again.

You will need to syringe feed Athena - her mouth is very sore and she still won't be able (or willing} to chew as the real problem has not been tackled. You can mush up some hay pellets and syringe these.

Please make sure that Athena is kept hydrated and that her guts are kept moving. Ideally, you dissolve a little bit of a vitamin C tablet in a little bit of water and syringe that - that way, you can control the intake (which you can't with a water bottle where the vitamin C quickly looses its potency and only aid the growth of algae). Please weigh her daily to control her food intake.

Here is are some links:
http://www.guinealynx.info/teeth.html
http://www.guinealynx.info/handfeeding.html

This is a link to a website of a forum member who specialises in health problems in connection with the Cambridge Cavy Trust. She can mail you a deatiled factsheet for hand feeding and give you more advice on tooth treatment and can hopefully can help you find a better vet or rodentologist.
http://www.guinealynx.info/handfeeding.html

I hope that you can get Athena sorted in time with the right help.
 

PiratePig

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I kind of got a feeling that he didn't really know what he was doing... :(
He needed my help to even get her to hold semi still enough for him to even look at her teeth.
And he certainly didn't have her under general anesthetic to file her teeth.

She does seem quite a bit more active now, though and is actually eating. Still she doesn't seem to be eating much and I will look through that hand feeding info right away. It worries me that she isn't drinking and hasn't been drinking for the past little while. I just assumed she was drinking when I was at school but lately I have not been well and have been home all the time and still no drinking.

Luckily I stopped at a drugstore on the way home and picked up a syringe as a "just in case" tool.

I will give the other vet in town a call. I've heard some pretty decent things about him specifically dealing with rodents. It makes me sad that GPs kind of get the bum end of the stick when it comes to vets, even ones for 'exotics' like the doctor today was.
 

Glynis

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Oh no sorry to hear what Athena was put thru, i know exactly the probs you are talking about :{
Whee will cross paws that you can find another piggie savvy vet, even then you may have to educate them ;) Take in whatever info you can get and show them........i also have to do this, it is not always appreciated but hey i've now been proved right!

GET WELL ATHENA xoxoxoxoxoxo
 

PiratePig

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Good News!

So, after getting your replies last night I mixed some pellets and hot water to turn them to mush and hand-fed Athena because she only ate a few of her pellets. She ate it very eagerly. She still was acting like she was pretty uncomfortable so I went for a walk to the drugstore and got some gripe water for her. This seemed to help immensely (though it made her a little smelly for a bit). I also gave her water to make sure she was hydrated.

Not an hour or so after I started giving her the bit of gripe water, and giving her mush and water her poop began to look like normal again. Not the half-size dried little balls. She also stretched out and looked all comfy as she laid there.

I still wanted to make sure that all was well so this morning when I got up I called the vet in town that is supposed to be very good with small animals. They were able to get me an appt for 45 minutes after I called.

I just got home from seeing him. I *really* like this guy! He seemed to know exactly what he was talking about, he was very gentle and thorough with Athena. He chatted with her and even commented on how good she was (apparently he has seen quite a few that don't get handled enough:( ). He just gave off very good vibes in general.

He checked her teeth and tongue and said that everything looked fine and that the filing job seemed pretty good. He also said there didn't seem to be a problem with her molars but that what I was describing sounded more like a GI upset than a tooth issue.

Needless to say I am definitely going back there again! Even though it is a bit further away (but luckily still accessible by public transit)

Athena seems much much better, even after her big excursion out. When I put her in her cage she immediately started munching on some hay and walking all around her cage and as I type this she is even eating her carrot (she hasn't so much as touched a carrot since last Thursday).

I feel so much better knowing that all is well and that I found a very good vet that I would recommend to any other pig owner!
 

lauralucy

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I'm glad she is eating and more like her normal self and i bet your very pleased to of found a good vet :)

hope she continunes to get better :)
 
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