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Syringe feeding?

Nicky93

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Hello,

I was hoping for a big of advice. Out 5ish year old piggie has been quite poorly for a couple of months now with URIs. He's had a swab test, blood test, thyroid test and ultrasound. The ultrasound showed fluid around his heart and he's being treated for heart disease.

Meanwhile he's still struggling with his breathing. He was prescribed Zithromax as a last ditch attempt on Sunday. Unfortunately the vets weren't able to order it and didn't let us know until I rang them to check on the status of it on Tuesday. The vet then didn't ring back until late Tuesday to get him a prescription written for it, eventually managed to get it from boots on the Wednesday evening after they put it through as an urgent delivery.

He's been on it since Wednesday evening and so far no improvement. As of today he's stopped eating pellets and stopped drinking (unless he's sneaking if in whenever I pop out of the room). Still having an occasional nibble of hay and he was interested in some veggies at least.

We are wondering therefore if we should syringe feed at this point due to the lack of pellets and water. His vet isn't in until Sunday and whenever we've rang before, the other vets have been incredibly reluctant to get involved with it not being their case, hence posting here.

He's also on vetcal progel twice a day (so he's getting some nutrition from that still) metacam twice a day (both of these for 4 weeks this time) in addition to the heart disease medicine and now the zithromax.

We're aware that it's not looking good for him, especially with the delay with the vets not ordering the medicine in and the extra three days of deteriorating that that caused, but hoping to give him the best shot possible at having enough time for the Zithromax to take effect.

Can anyone direct me towards any resources on how to syringe feed/how much/how often etc?

Thanks in advance
 

Nicky93

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0.36 frusol and 0.48 zithromax, 0.32 metacam and 1ml vetcal, all twice a day
 

Nicky93

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He weighs 985g. The Zithromax do you mean? It just says 0.48 twice a day.

Can you define carefully? Small amounts at a time I assume? Any guidance on amounts/frequency?

Posted before I saw the video- thanks, will go watch now
 

Wiebke

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Hello,

I was hoping for a big of advice. Out 5ish year old piggie has been quite poorly for a couple of months now with URIs. He's had a swab test, blood test, thyroid test and ultrasound. The ultrasound showed fluid around his heart and he's being treated for heart disease.

Meanwhile he's still struggling with his breathing. He was prescribed Zithromax as a last ditch attempt on Sunday. Unfortunately the vets weren't able to order it and didn't let us know until I rang them to check on the status of it on Tuesday. The vet then didn't ring back until late Tuesday to get him a prescription written for it, eventually managed to get it from boots on the Wednesday evening after they put it through as an urgent delivery.

He's been on it since Wednesday evening and so far no improvement. As of today he's stopped eating pellets and stopped drinking (unless he's sneaking if in whenever I pop out of the room). Still having an occasional nibble of hay and he was interested in some veggies at least.

We are wondering therefore if we should syringe feed at this point due to the lack of pellets and water. His vet isn't in until Sunday and whenever we've rang before, the other vets have been incredibly reluctant to get involved with it not being their case, hence posting here.

He's also on vetcal progel twice a day (so he's getting some nutrition from that still) metacam twice a day (both of these for 4 weeks this time) in addition to the heart disease medicine and now the zithromax.

We're aware that it's not looking good for him, especially with the delay with the vets not ordering the medicine in and the extra three days of deteriorating that that caused, but hoping to give him the best shot possible at having enough time for the Zithromax to take effect.

Can anyone direct me towards any resources on how to syringe feed/how much/how often etc?

Thanks in advance

Hi!

Please split the once daily dosage of zithromax into two and give half every 12 hours if you haven't already been prescribed it in two dosages. That can in some cases help with the appetite as the impact on the gut is not so great; it will however diminish the effectiveness to a degree. The accurate dosage is 0.1 ml per 100g of body weight in 24 hours.

Most piggies tolerate zithromax well but when it affects the gut, it usually does so quite emphatically. Please step in with syringe feed ASAP, every 2-3 hours depending on how much he will accept in every session; more often is you struggle to get 5 ml in one session in as many bits as he can hold in his mouth and swallow around his breathing issues, every 3 hours if you can get to 10 ml. You are aiming at ideally 60-90 ml in 24 hours (in order to avoid a significant weight loss) but the closer you come to 40 ml just to keep your piggy alive the better. I tend to give about one quarter or one third of a syringe to my guinea pigs that are not actively taking food from the syringe; if they are very weak, it is only 0.1 ml and then waiting until that has gone down in order to prevent anything going into the lungs or up into the nose.

Personally I find that a mix of mushed pellets and recovery formula or emeraid (UK brand) will go down best. You will have to cut off the syringe tip (and if necessary the plunger tip in a metacam syringe, too) just below where it widens in order to allow the pellet fibre to pass through.

Please support the gut with 2-3 times daily 'poo soup' (i.e. transfer of live healthy gut microbiome from a companion not on medication) as the most effective measure when made properly, probiotics or if you can get some, a course of fibreplex (best mixed in with some syringe feed as many piggies don't like the taste or the thick nozzle. Fibreplex contains probiotic but some other gut boosting ingredients too.

Having had to drag two piggies of mine through a full two rounds of zithromax with appetite loss and no alternative than toughing it out on syringe feed, I feel for you. In my case it was worth it - neither piggy did lose their eye after some rather nasty injuries, as they were not considered fit for a removal operation due to their advanced age.

Keep hanging in there!

You can find our full information on syringe feeding and any mentioned support products (including the poo soup recipe) via this guide link here: Complete Syringe Feeding Guide
 

furryfriends (TEAS)

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He weighs 985g. The Zithromax do you mean? It just says 0.48 twice a day.

Can you define carefully? Small amounts at a time I assume? Any guidance on amounts/frequency?

Posted before I saw the video- thanks, will go watch now
Zithromax dosage sounds right and good it’s been prescribed twice daily.

I let the guinea pig guide me with how much to give. They can normally manage a full ml at a time, but when breathing is bad, it’s likely you’ll need to give it much slower. Maybe 1/4 ml at a time.
 
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