• Discussions taking place within this forum are intended for the purpose of assisting you in discussing options with your vet. Any other use of advice given here is done so at your risk, is solely your responsibility and not that of this forum or its owner. Before posting it is your responsibility you abide by this Statement

jmo0214

New Born Pup
Joined
Dec 13, 2020
Messages
9
Reaction score
9
Points
70
Location
Texas
Hi everyone, I wanted to share our T-Tot's story and maybe get some insight from other people with some piggies who may be going through the same thing. (Sorry if this is a long post)
20200301_214050_HDR.jpg

My son, Noah, who is 10yo, takes really good care of his T-Tot (almost 1yo). They're best friends, they truly are. T-Tot is a super sweet and friendly piggie, just like our Noah. Every morning, T-Tot will go up to his cage to say hi to us once he hears us up and about the house. He's always greeting everyone that walks by. We say hi and pet him, and he'll purr and purr and rub up against our arm like a kitty would. Our other two piggies, Mr. Piggles and Cookie, who are paired up with my other two kids, are sweet as well, but they'll run and hide if they see someone they don't like. T-Tot will say hi to anyone. I'm telling you... he is the sweetest piggie ever, just like my Noah.
20200301_175904_HDR.jpg
20200824_174542_HDR.jpg

Just a fair warning again, this will be a really LONG post only because I want to give everyone as much detail as possible about T-Tot symptoms and medications that he's been taking and what we've tried out to help him. Because if any way this can help another piggie out, it'll make us sooo very happy.

At the beginning of November, we decided to move our piggies cages to the kids room since there was going to be a cold front, and the heater in our home broke. So we kept our piggies warm with a space heater, making sure it wasn't too hot for them either. We realized T-Tot wasn't drinking any water, and he just stayed in his house. We took him out and examined him to make sure he wasn't bloated or anything. We checked his little bum, his area, and everything looked healthy. He was eating in his house, which he never does because he's always active and outside of his house, and he wasn't drinking. So we thought he might have just been depressed or stressed out because we moved his home. We decided to move him back a few days later once the weather got warmer (Texas weather). And to us, it seemed like he was trying to be normal and we figured he was happy when we moved him back because he would go up to the cage again and greet us.

On November 9th, at 5AM, my hubby and I check on T-tot and he was completely on his side with his feet straight out and stiff. I went to pet him, and he got up slowly. We seriously thought he passed and it scared us so much. He just had these abrupt symptoms, major head tilt, spinning in circles, and he just had no idea where he was going. He had the sniffles, but not dripping, no eye discharge coming out but the whites of his eyes were grey. He stayed in his house and didn't want to come out for anything. He was just all fluffy and didn't want to move. We've been doing research on all of these symptoms and it all pointed to an ear infection, and URI. So my hubby and Noah took him to the vet. According to the vet, no sign of an ear infection, but the vet assumed respiratory issues. He wanted to put him on some antibiotics and pain meds first before doing any sort of xrays. According to my husband, this vet saw a lot of guinea pigs, but seemed like they didn't know much on why he was stumbling around. Dr. gave him an enrofloxacin injection and gave us enrofloxacin, meloxicam, Bena Bac, and Oxbow Critical Care powder to take home. So pain meds because dr. says you can never tell if they're in pain or not because they'll hide their pain, and the grey in his eyes was just a little discharge. He weighed 855 grams, and they found out T-Tot's birthday for us. January 9th, a day before my hubbys (which he's really happy about). In about a few days, he seemed to be getting better. He was walking about, not toppling over so much. He gradually started greeting us at the cage and was starting to get normal. He did go crazy over his antibiotics where he would try to pull the syringe from me too, that's how much he loved it. Then a day after he finished his antibiotics he started to decline.
20201106_124114_HDR.jpg
Here's T-Tot being really fluffy.

On November 25th, we decided to take him back to the vet. His symptoms got worse, except the only difference was that he wasn't hiding in his house. He was trying to be normal, but he couldn't. He was laying on his side a lot and couldn't move much, but then again he wanted to. His breathing was very, very slow and tiny. I picked him up and he was super floppy and limp. I put him against my chest and he would just lay his head against me. He didn't have any energy to move. His wheaks were soft and sounded like he was so sad... We tried scheduling an appt with the same vet, but his vet wouldn't be back till after Thanksgiving weekend, so we had to find a different exotic vet. Once we found another, which was actually in a small animal hospital, we told them his symptoms and they wanted to see him right away. Noah and I got to the vet by 9AM, and they took T-Tot right away and put him on oxygen therapy. While waiting around and filling out forms about 30 min later they said he was actually standing up with the help of oxygen, but his oxygen level kept dropping below 90 and it's supposed to stay above 95. They said it also didn't help that he kept kicking his tiny monitor off his foot, but they definitely know that he's not getting enough oxygen and wanted to get an xray done to rule out some things. You could hear it in his breathing that it was very raspy and he was struggling, and the vet said it sounds like he has fluid in his chest.

They showed me and Noah his little xray of his whole body and showed us his tiny lungs. She said all the nice black area in his lungs look good, except the other side of his lungs were almost all white, which meant it's filled with fluid. We couldn't even see his heart because too much white was covering it up.
20201125_100311.jpg

After the xrays, the dr. decided she wanted to put T-Tot in an incubator and keep him there for a couple of hours. She said if she could, she would have kept him overnight with the oxygen therapy, but their offices will be closed and nobody will be here over the holidays. She gave me the address and contact info for a hospital vet downtown with better equipment in case things got worse. She feels that if he would be on oxygen for a few days then he will be able to survive the night. So Noah and I sat there listening to the dr. telling us that T-Tot will not survive if we take him home. Noah sat there crying in the corner and asked to see him, but he couldn't go back there due to everything else going on. We don't have a lot of money, but we told her we will do everything we can for T-Tot to get better and what we think is best. T-Tot is not only just a guinea pig, he really is apart of our family and so are the other piggies at home. We were not going to give up on T-Tot.

So our options were to take him that moment to downtown not knowing how or when I'd be able to get there because my hubby was at work and due to other circumstances, or give him care right that moment at the hospital vet we were already at. We chose to keep him there since he was showing at least a tiny amount of improvement. So there's a slight chance he will make it, and a slight chance he won't make it. We asked her to do as much as they possibly can for him, and we will take him home with us. So they gave him a shot of antibiotics, and kept him with oxygen and in the incubator, and told us to come back at 3PM to pick him up.

We left their office at 12 noon, and got a call from them around 1PM. The dr. sounded very sad for T-Tot and claimed that he's not doing well and there was only a slight showing of improvement, but then it went away. She offered that they can keep doing this for him and mix the medicine and we can take it home for T-Tot, or euthanize him. She said she didn't want us to take him home and go through with finding out that he passed away while we were sleeping. This made me very sad that it would come to where they would offer to put him down. My heart was broken for T-Tot and Noah.

I called my husband and gave him the updates, and he asked me what I wanted to do. I wanted to at least bring him home and try the medicine out. The dr. just didn't want us to pay for the meds, take it home and then find out T-Tot passed away overnight on Thanksgiving day with medicine that we paid for. But I wanted to try for T-Tot and not just give up on him. During the hours of waiting till 3PM, my hubby was able to get off early and meet me at home. We sat Noah down and told him what the dr. said. And without even a second thought, Noah said, "Nope, I want him to come home. I know he'll be alright. I have faith that he will survive because we've been praying for him."

This melted my heart hearing him say that and I'm tearing up now just writing about it. So we went back to pick up T-Tot and his meds, but I had to speak with another dr. since the first dr. had to leave early... According to the first dr., this second dr. is really good with guinea pigs and has had plenty of experience with them. So this dr. that gave me the meds also told me that T-Tot doesn't look well, and on how he's reacting to everything else they've done for him, T-Tot will have a slim chance of surviving. And on the other hand, Noah and I are on the other side of the counter asking questions on things that we can do to make him feel better at home. He told us if I had a nebulizer like from the kid's doctor, we could use that and use contact lens solution. For those of you who have children, the dr. may have given you a nebulizer to take home if one of your kids had to use one at night. You can use that for the piggies too, but unfortunately, we didn't have that anymore. I asked about a humidifier. The dr. said that can help as well. Then one of the technicians came out from the back holding T-Tot in a towel. You can see T-Tot with his legs sticking out to the side, and the technician had this face of concern/disgust. Noah took T-Tot in his arms, I took the meds, and dr. said they'll call us on Friday to see how he's doing. The dr. gave us two antibiotics to give him twice a day, enrofloxacin and doxycycline and we started it at 8:30PM. And off we went to buy a humidifier.

Knowing that the dr. most likely didn't feed T-Tot for all those hours he's been with them, we immediately fed T-Tot some critical care, gave him some water, his antibiotics at 8:30PM, and let him rest and we just kept praying for our T-Tot. We also gave him Bene Bac twice a week. What a long day... but that night he was already more active. On Thanksgiving Day, he was already showing signs of improvement. He wanted to eat, wanted water, gave him antibiotics, and let him rest. He was moving around his home, but he was mostly dragging himself and still a bit floppy, but of course, we knew he wasn't going to be 100% in a day or two, but in about 1 week he was back to normal, popcorning, eating on his own, drinking on his own. He was soo much better. The vet receptionist was surprised when they called us on Saturday on the 28th, and I told them that T-Tot was doing great. So the dr. wanted to do a follow-up for T-Tot on December 3rd. They did another xray and I wish I had taken a picture of it, but his lungs looked really good and mostly all black except the upper part of his lungs there was a tiny bit of white. The dr. was happy to see him popcorning and active and the fact that he's a lot better now. She wanted him to continue with his antibiotics since he declined with his last set of antibiotics on his very first visit to the other vet. I'm sure with all the oxygen therapy and incubator they were able to do for T-Tot, it helped him out a lot including all the prayers!

On December 7th T-Tot wasn't having a normal day. He was still active, but he was toppling over a bit. I looked it up and supposedly after guinea pigs have pneumonia, they go through an ear infection as well. And on that same day, I actually got a follow-up call from the vet to check on how he was doing. I told them what was going on, and the dr. called me and just according to his symptoms, she told me I could get some Dramamine (Meclizine) for him, which is nausea medicine and I can get it over the counter. I was hesitant to give this to T-Tot because I looked everywhere and I see nothing about guinea pigs taking this. A few days later he started to get worse, he wasn't eating or drinking right, but he wanted to. So we fed him with a syringe. Symptoms, toppling over, head tilt, laying on his side, not being able to eat or drink, defecating very little, and if any, it's very small pieces or just very skinny.

We went back to the vet but this time it was the second dr. This dr. checked T-Tot's heart, his breathing, looked in his mouth, watched how he walked and pressed on him everywhere to see if he was in any pain, and checked his bottom. He toppled over and fell to his side and just stayed there for a few seconds so the dr. was able to witness what I was talking about. The dr.'s best guess is that T-Tot could of had a stroke because he notices signs of droopiness on his right side. He can't control half his body much therefore he tumbles over. And no signs of an ear infection though, just wax. The dr. was silent for a while just petting T-Tot. He didn't even know what to say to us. I honestly think he didn't know what else they could do. He didn't want to suggest another xray because his lungs sounded good. He knew the toppling over and head tilt had to do with the inner and middle ear, but he has no ear infection. He knew the first dr. suggested the nausea medicine, but he said there were two types of Dramamine, and Meclizine was different from the over the counter Dramamine. So he called a pharmacy to formulate one for T-Tot and now we have this Meclizine and anti-inflammatory/pain meds that he has to take now. I also asked the dr. about the antibiotics if he was just on it for too long. He said he can get off of them if I feel that he isn't eating well due to it. He also said if these 2 meds (Loxicom/Meloxicam and Meclizine) don't work, there's honestly nothing else they can do unless I go to a specialist for guinea pigs.

So I went home, did some research on these two antibiotics he's taking, enrofloxacin and doxycycline. A lot of the side effects, such as uncoordinated walking, depression, lethargy, and diarrhea, which T-Tot was having, I decided to take him off the antibiotics. He didn't have a loss in appetite because I would see him come out of his house and try to eat hay and pellets. We syringe feed him every day, 4-5 times a day of critical care according to the last dr. visit. Since I got a new bag of critical care, I think T-Tot despises this new flavor, (natural anise flavor) so I'm going to have to try to get the strawberry and banana one again, but he does eat this one because he's hungry.
20201216_125522.jpg
Here's T-Tot after being fed

20201216_125657.jpg
And then he adjusted himself like this on Noah. Lol... He looks satisfied and happy in this picture...

As I am posting this today, I just finished syringe feeding him. There will be days where he will swallow his food and water, and every other day he is unable to swallow. I think he cannot control his tongue due to the fact that he cannot swallow, and I can see his tongue hanging to the side of his bottom teeth while I'm syringe feeding him. He doesn't move it, but he tries his best to swallow. He is eager to eat and drink once he smells there's food and he'll go towards the syringe. So he does show effort in eating and drinking, it's just that he has zero energy. Ever since we have been giving him the anti-inflammatory/pain and the nausea meds, he has not been improving and only been declining. It's just been getting worse. Just from my best guess and observing T-Tot and the one whos been feeding him and taking care of him mostly, I'm guessing it's not because we took him off of the antibiotics because he was already declining hard when he was already on it. And the fact that the vet gave me the ok to stop giving it to him, I felt that it was ok to discontinue both antibiotics.

And now that he has been on these pain and nausea meds, I feel like they haven't even been doing anything for him because, for one thing, they gave him the anti-inflammatory/pain meds out of a good hunch that he might be in pain. What if he's not? Of course, that will give side effects. And the nausea meds, the dr. just assumed he was nauseous because of his symptoms of falling over, and they already told us this will make him very sleepy. So today, I have decided to not give him the meds and just give him some TLC... give him good vibes of positivity, keep feeding him of course and give him water. We are letting him rest and trying not to bug him so much. We check on him a lot without touching him, checking on his breathing which is good. The dr. pointed out his fast breathing which is normal to be able to see it because he's less active, which makes sense. He's developing eye crustiness, no runny nose, he's accepting food, accepting water, he's very sleepy and tired. Still unable to walk of course, but this is the first day that we have taken him off the other 2 meds. I will update everyone on T-Tots condition later.

On another note, the dr. mentioned that if T-Tot did have a stroke, he can be back to normal or it can be permanent. And on my note about pain meds, with us being human and taking pain meds, I think about how I felt while on it and all the negative side effects I got from it. I got very sad, didn't want to do anything, and I didn't feel like eating. I would like all these meds to flush out of T-Tots system at least. He hasn't been able to poop like normal, and I know he's been able to pee, and I gave him Bene Bac yesterday on Sunday, so I'm hoping it helps. Imagine how we feel when we are constipated and can't use the bathroom, we feel like booboo. So I'm hoping after all these meds are out of his system that he will feel better on his own.

I'm really hoping someone can get something out of this or share a similar story. Anything that someone can relate to or anyone who has had plenty of experience with all of this please comment. Another thing I'd like to add is, don't give up on your piggie. We love T-Tot so much. He is such a fighter and you can tell he is really trying to get better. He's fought for almost 2 months, and he shows that he wants to be normal. I honestly think just that little bit of oxygen and being incubated helped him a ton, and the shot of antibiotics gave him good results and with tons of prayer, he got better. Being on the liquid antibiotics longer didn't seem to do much, and only seemed to make it worse. The other meds didn't work and only gave him more side effects. He's eating and drinking still, not a lot. We do weigh him every day, and his weight is fluctuating up and down. I cannot and don't want to say that he is slowly passing. I want to say that he is in the recovering process because we've seen him recover before and it was such a joy seeing him popcorn and run around his house again.

Again, I'm so sorry if this was way too long of a post, but I hope someone out there can reach out and share something, or please reach out if you have any questions for me, Noah, and our T-Tot. Thank you for those who took the time to read this post.
 

Merab's Slave

Forum Buddy
Joined
Nov 27, 2017
Messages
27,900
Reaction score
36,071
Points
2,375
Location
Wirral, UK
Welcome to the forum.
Thank you for sharing your story. It’s been a real rollercoaster for you.
Noah’s comment about praying for T-Tot brought tears to my eyes
I can’t add anything beyond offering support and prayers.
 

jmo0214

New Born Pup
Joined
Dec 13, 2020
Messages
9
Reaction score
9
Points
70
Location
Texas
Welcome to the forum.
Thank you for sharing your story. It’s been a real rollercoaster for you.
Noah’s comment about praying for T-Tot brought tears to my eyes
I can’t add anything beyond offering support and prayers.
Thanks so much for reading... and thank you for your support and prayers.
 

piggieminder

Forum Donator 2021/22
Joined
Apr 7, 2015
Messages
10,596
Reaction score
17,362
Points
2,125
Location
Bristol, UK
Welcome to the forum.
I am so sorry you are going through this, sick piggies are such a worry.
 

tabelmabel

Forum Donator 2021/22
Joined
Sep 2, 2012
Messages
1,384
Reaction score
1,457
Points
750
Location
Perth Scotland
Goodness me - what amazing people you are to have gone to such lengths for little t-tot.

I'm afraid i cant share any stories with happy endings. Last year i nursed my almost 7 year old piggy with liver failure and other issues. He was on palliative care and it was really, really difficult for me to actually make the decision to decide the day for euthanasia. We had got into a little daily care routine and, even though he was so ill, his little face was so hopeful and he always tried to give me a little chirrup sound if he could. He was about 2 months from diagnosis to passing.

And, now these past 2 weeks, i had been nursing my younger piggy (only 4yr 8mnth) with some kind of infection of the lymphatic system. Though the vet said it might have been lymphoma.

And he passed at home on sunday.

So, to read your story is just incredible to me with its ups and downs. And how little T-tot is still battling on is testament to your prompt care and actions.

Please do keep updating on his story. I so, so hope you get to see T-tots popcorn again:hug:
 

jmo0214

New Born Pup
Joined
Dec 13, 2020
Messages
9
Reaction score
9
Points
70
Location
Texas
Goodness me - what amazing people you are to have gone to such lengths for little t-tot.

I'm afraid i cant share any stories with happy endings. Last year i nursed my almost 7 year old piggy with liver failure and other issues. He was on palliative care and it was really, really difficult for me to actually make the decision to decide the day for euthanasia. We had got into a little daily care routine and, even though he was so ill, his little face was so hopeful and he always tried to give me a little chirrup sound if he could. He was about 2 months from diagnosis to passing.

And, now these past 2 weeks, i had been nursing my younger piggy (only 4yr 8mnth) with some kind of infection of the lymphatic system. Though the vet said it might have been lymphoma.

And he passed at home on sunday.

So, to read your story is just incredible to me with its ups and downs. And how little T-tot is still battling on is testament to your prompt care and actions.

Please do keep updating on his story. I so, so hope you get to see T-tots popcorn again:hug:

Thank you so much. This made me tear up. I appreciate you reading T-Tots story.
I see you have been through so much as well, and I'm so very sorry for their passing. I'm just so happy to hear that there are many people like you who will do what they can to help and care for their piggies like family. I will keep you guys updated. Thank you!
 

jmo0214

New Born Pup
Joined
Dec 13, 2020
Messages
9
Reaction score
9
Points
70
Location
Texas
Updates on T-Tot for those who are following this :) It's been a week since I started this post. From the 21st through the 29th he's been gradually losing weight, but today the scale finally went up! I know some people might bash us for this... but we gave T-Tot some goats milk on the 22nd... According to a real experienced guinea pig rescuer that we spoke to in person said that it will help T-Tot. And we decided to give it a try since we stopped all medications. I think we all know that antibiotics do help with killing the bad bacteria, but then if taken longer it'll kill good bacteria as well. So she suggested goatsmilk. He was very willing to drink this goatsmilk though. We gave him 2ml in the morning and 2ml at night. We would stay up as late as we could to feed him Critical Care so he wouldn't be starving when we woke up to greet him. Today, we stopped giving him goats milk because if I'm right, the person we spoke to said to only give it to him for 7 days.

But every day we would say good morning to him like usual, pick him up and feed him Critical Care and water many times a day even when he struggled to swallow just 1ml of food and water. We lay him down in his cage, and we'd wake up super early to check on him and he'd be on the same exact spot... He had crusty eyes, and sniffles, so we just wiped his cute beady eyes with warm water.
On the 23rd, he finally pooped but it was very skinny poop. He drank and ate a little more and he actually got up and sat up for a few seconds! This was very exciting for us to see him improve even just a tiny bit from just literally being lifeless... He ate more and more every day and seemed like he was able to swallow better everyday, but still couldn't move his tongue. But every day he still was losing weight, and finally today even just a few grams he gained weight!
Just for reference... here's his weight and dates that I recorded.

11/9 - 855 grams
12/18 - 728
12/19 - 753
12/20 - 704
12/21 - 688
12/22 - 670
12/23 - 646
12/25 - 631
12/26 - 617
12/27 - 599
12/28 - 592
12/29 - 598

As you can see, he has lost a lot... And every time we saw the scale go down, it was just so depressing to us. But then on the bright side, he was actually able to move his legs around, he can stand up on his own for a few seconds now, he's dragging himself everywhere. We saw him in his pellet bowl trying to eat. He tried reaching for his water spout while laying down. When we hold him, he holds his head up high looking around at us. These are the things we were so glad to see. It was such a great Christmas to see him improving and not declining anymore. The only thing declining was his weight. He is definitely eating more, and I know he needs to gain his muscles back too from laying down unable to run around for a few weeks now. But he really is trying.

And for his poops, at first, they were very skinny and long and very dry, so we knew he was dehydrated of course... then saw that his poops got a little bigger. The other day it was a lot bigger and grouped together and mushy. And yesterday it was starting to look normal, and some were pointed at the ends. I've been looking at guinea pig poop charts and trying to go by his poops on how he's doing. T-Tot says hi, and thank you, everyone, for those who read and sent out your gracious support and prayers for us...

I also wanted to share an experience we had with T-Tot 😅, since he couldn't control his body he actually made some boar glue!... And since he couldn't move, it was stuck to his leg, and to the fleece blanket. Then we noticed that his penis was protruding and got stuck with his fur and couldn't retract... We got a paper towel with warm water to help him get unstuck or else he'd be so miserable. Good thing we weren't too late. Just thought I wanted to share that experience with others 😅😂... Oh T-Tot... Here's some pics from last week! Hope everyone had a very blessed Christmas, and have a great New Year. Goodbye 2020!

20201222_145647.jpg20201223_114424.jpg20201223_161049.jpg
20201224_143822.jpgThis was on Christmas Eve. He actually tried to get up to the cage and say hi to everyone!
 

Bill & Ted

Forum Buddy
Joined
Jun 20, 2018
Messages
17,455
Reaction score
30,776
Points
2,125
Location
Cornwall
Oh poor little man, what a terrible rollercoaster you have been on. I pray you see some improvement to T-Tot, he looks such a beautiful little chap and been through so much x
I can’t offer any help or suggestions, I lost my Ted on the 22nd of this month to suspected kidney stones or a mass, I’m still very sad.
Keep us all updated, fingers crossed for your boys recovery x
 

Merab's Slave

Forum Buddy
Joined
Nov 27, 2017
Messages
27,900
Reaction score
36,071
Points
2,375
Location
Wirral, UK
Such a gorgeous boy.
He does sound as if he’s in the best hands.
Holding you all in my thoughts
 

jmo0214

New Born Pup
Joined
Dec 13, 2020
Messages
9
Reaction score
9
Points
70
Location
Texas
Oh poor little man, what a terrible rollercoaster you have been on. I pray you see some improvement to T-Tot, he looks such a beautiful little chap and been through so much x
I can’t offer any help or suggestions, I lost my Ted on the 22nd of this month to suspected kidney stones or a mass, I’m still very sad.
Keep us all updated, fingers crossed for your boys recovery x
Thank you for your prayers and concerns for T-Tot. I'm so sorry to hear you lost Ted.

I do have good news. Ttot is so much better now. He's actually running around. Not fully 100% on walking, but just yesterday was his birthday and he started eating hay again! Hes gaining a good amount of weight. It's been so nice to see him get better over the past few weeks. I'll post a few pictures 🙂

Thanks everyone for your thoughts and prayers!
 

Bill & Ted

Forum Buddy
Joined
Jun 20, 2018
Messages
17,455
Reaction score
30,776
Points
2,125
Location
Cornwall
Aw, that’s great new, hoping T-Tot will make a full recovery now, so glad he’s started eating hay x
 
Top