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UPDATE ON BEECHIE'S OP - cause of gut probs found!

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#1
Beechie had an exploratory op yesterday. He has for the past year had probems with this guts, starting off with a case of full-blown stasis and subsequently always having pain towards his hind leg area and bouts of squishy poos. He has been on zantac and metacam and is relatively in-active spending a lot of time hiding under his fleece but does come out when there are veggies to be had. Some veggies (brassicas, unfresh spinach or just too much veggies ) can trigger an episode.

On X ray a large mass was suspected, attached either to the spleen or gut, so after much soul-searching, he was booked in for an exploratory op yesterday with a view to removing it if possible or at the very least taking a biopsy.

He was X rayed again before the op and there was no evidence of the mass but still an area of radio-opacity so vet decided to go in.

He found that the cause of the gut problems was a series of adhesions of the gut to itself and other tissues. This slows the stomach emptying (it was apparently very distended) and also causes distension of the guts as food gets stuck and the guts don;t move properly (ileus) The vet has freed some of the adhesions but left the rest alone for fear of damaging his intestines.

Now as the the cause of the adhesions........a past infection in the abdomen and/or previous disturbance of the tissues during a past op.

Beechies only abdominal op (he had abcesses renoved from his mouth/cheek the previous year) was a neutering carried out over a year ago by what used to be my local practice...who had performed many neuterings and other surgery for me before with no problems. I had 5 piggies neutered/spayed that day including Beechie....but by a locum vet..... and was very unhappy with the outcome....one developed an internal abdominal abcess (now sorted), two died within two months of the op but to be fair at the time their deaths weren;t linked to the surgery (one was a ruptured thoracic duct and the other was un-known wasting) ......and just Muffin and Beechie seemed to have "got away with it". However it was enough to prompt me to change vets.

Beechie's gut stasis happened two months after his neutering following 4 weeks of baytril for a URI (which we now believe could have been a virus rather than the normal bacteria hence why the baytril didn;t work)...and this episode may also have contributed to the adhesions that developed.

So despite the fact that the neutering in Beechie looked to be OK at the time with no complications - he possibly had a low level infection in the abdomen at the time that eventually cured itself.....and tissues were disturbed during the surgery (quite high up in the abdomen considering it was a neutering operation).

Beechie has recovered well and apart from a 5cm long incision and a cold belly through lack of fur; he is back to his normal self. I'm really pleased he has no lump....and relieved that we have finally identified the cause of his "irritable bowel". Long term he will continue to be managed on daily zantac (4mg/kg) and metacam when he is in pain together with the odd dose of metaclopromide if needed.


Thought I;d share this info for anyone who has a piggie with difficult to determine gut problems.....or for those whose vets don;t routinely prescribe antibiotics post op when neutering piggies......personally I am going to insist on septrin post-op for any future neuterings.


x

 

doglovinpiggylover

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phew thats a long one!

Glad Beechie getting there, awwww such a long drawn out time for him and you.

I guess at the end of the day, knowing what the actual problem is helps so much, its awful when you do what you can and get all the help you can and you still get a crappy outcome.

Hes beautiful x x)
 

hot fox

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#6
That has been useful for me, our neutered boy has just recovered from being bunged up. Zantac seemed to do the job for him, but I am still wondering what caused the episode, and if it will ever happen again. Glad he's not the only boy pig to suffer from unexplained slow guts, strange! Best wishes for a speedy recover for your equally beautiful boy.
 

Wiebke

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AS gutted as you must be, you must be glad to have finally got to the bottom of poor Beechie's problems! I am so sorry that he and his friends had to suffer so badly from a bed practioner.

Hopefully, he'll recover well and his guts are moving better from now on!
 
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Sad update - warning...some may find this post distressing in it's clinical detail.

Well a sad update today....I'll put in the clinical detail because it may be useful for others.....however be warned some of you might find some of the clinical information distressing so you might want to stop reading now.

Beechie did recover well initially from his op to release some of his adhesions and was actually a much more lively piggie with regular poops .....until last sunday when I thought he was having another gut episode and also developing a URI.

For the last 5 days he has been boarding at the vets receiving daily meds/syringe feeding to keep his guts moving and although he had lost the use of his hind legs it was thought temporary (not a stroke...and no central nervous system problem as his reflexes were fine and his legs strong)so he was allowed home for the weekend. But yesterday evening he refused to take his syringe and today whilst waiting at the vets he deteriorated very suddenly with severe breathing problems....not due to respiratory infection or pneumonia but due to pressure on the lungs internally (vet thought probably pus) which indicated peritonitis was developing. It is also thought likely that more adhesions had developed following the surgery which caused the gut stasis last weekend (and that pressure from all the issues in his abdomen was being put on the femoral nerves hence the back leg problem). So sadly my beautiful brave lad was very peacefully helped to The Bridge 8...8...

With hindsight perhaps I shouldn;t have agreed to the op....but we thought at the time he had a large tumour that was causing the gut problems and that it might be removable. And I guess, without the op, we wouldn;t have discovered the adhesions as being the cause of his gut problems in the first place.

One thing I am now very conscious of is the risk of adhesions developing following any abdominal surgery and therefore if, for instance, I ever consider having another piggie neutered, I am now forewarned to be on the look out for possible gut motility problems developing two weeks post op onwards.

One final thing to say is that he was helped to The Bridge in a way I haven;t seen before that was extremely peaceful and stress free for both of us .......using a ketamine injection as a sedative prior to giving (very slowly) the final injection.


RIP Beechie Boy....run free now to eat as many veggies as you want.

x
 

Priestess

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I am so sorry for your loss.

He was a beautiful piggie. I know and others know exactly how you are feeling as we had to make the same decision 3 days ago due to gut problems.

RIP Beachie xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
 

flips

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#13
I am so sorry for your loss. You and Beechie have been through so much together. Thank you again for sharing his story.

Goodnight lovely Beechie. :rose
 
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PM results

I hate loose ends so I thought I;d update with the PM results.....I gave my regular vet permission to do a PM at his expense out of professional courtesy as he was not on duty when Beechie was put to sleep and I felt it important that he determined what happened (for his own peace of mind as well as mine) as he was gutted when he heard the news.

It would appear that Beechie hadn;t developed peritonitis...the abdominal cavity was clear of infection, fluid or other problems so at least my regular vets surgical technique etc was vindicated. However Beechie's lungs showed the same chronic "no-knowncause-pneumonia" pattern of all my other piggies that have gone to The Bridge this last year.

Our current thinking is that whilst most of them can live quite happily with this disease (albeit with some breathing problems managed by furosemaide)... the moment they become debilitated or weakened (eg by an op) this "whatever it is" rears up and claims them very suddenly by completely filling the lungs with fluid....( a bit like the way avian flu behaves in humans)....so regular vet also believes it was the right decision to PTS.

Unfortunately therefore this means the remaining 6 piggies (originally 15) are back in quarantine and now getting regular check ups to monitor their breathing. :(
 
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