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Urgent help/advice/second opinion needed ASAP, I think my girl is slipping away

oxtinamona

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Hi, one of my girls ( she may be anything from 3yrs + as we rescued her so do not know her age) has gone down hill since yesterday really quickly. I have found two lumps and we took her to the vet who found lumps around all of her lymph nodes. Effectively my worst fear was lymphoma and the vet kinda agreed, but haven’t actually diagnosed her, as said only biopsy would determine it. Which naturally is as helpful as chocolate teapot. I’m in such a shock that it happened so quickly as thursayd she was her usual chirpy happy and inquisitive self. On Friday however mypartner noriced the other sow was throwing her weight about and chased her around for no apparent reason...
Yesterday she was lethargic and I notice her piggy friend started chasing her around and chattering teeth at her etc... Penelope seems to be deteriorating. She has been trying to eat a little but it is nothing like the Penny I know. the vet said also I could be systemic infection but she said prognosis for both are poor and said it is best if we speak to exotics vet tomorrow... penny is now not interesting in anything, she is facing the cage walls all the time, we separated her from the other two pigs when we returned from the vet as the other one was giving her very hard time. I think she just senses penny is poorly.
She’s not pooping much and by looks of her poop I know she’s dehydrated.
She hadinjection with fluids and Baytril and meta cam ... I don’t think meta cam is doing anything for her. Her breathing is very laboured and that’s what worries me the most because vet said that if it is lymphoma it can be pressing on her airchannels and this effectively means she cannot breathe properly = she’s suffering.
Earlier we were determined to have biopsy done tomorrow but seeing how she is now and having every right to assume is lymphoma And there is no cure I’m thinking it’ll only get worse and if it is for sake of 2 extra months of life with poor quality then...
I’m literally torn as the vet actually confused the hell out of me if I am perfectly honest.
She’s had some food earlier but not too much, she had about 3mls of critical care and she now refuses to eat. I’m worried I’m making her suffer more ... whilst we are waiting for appointments etc and then results which may be another 3-4 days ... she’s now also started chattering her teeth which I know can also mean she’s in pain... :(
 

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I am sorry that your piggy has gone downhill so quickly. It does sound as if she is in pain.
It seems to me the only option is to see an emergency vet tonight for extra pain relief and then talk it through with your regular vet tomorrow. It's very hard to see them like this, so sorry x
 

Wiebke

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Hi, one of my girls ( she may be anything from 3yrs + as we rescued her so do not know her age) has gone down hill since yesterday really quickly. I have found two lumps and we took her to the vet who found lumps around all of her lymph nodes. Effectively my worst fear was lymphoma and the vet kinda agreed, but haven’t actually diagnosed her, as said only biopsy would determine it. Which naturally is as helpful as chocolate teapot. I’m in such a shock that it happened so quickly as thursayd she was her usual chirpy happy and inquisitive self. On Friday however mypartner noriced the other sow was throwing her weight about and chased her around for no apparent reason...
Yesterday she was lethargic and I notice her piggy friend started chasing her around and chattering teeth at her etc... Penelope seems to be deteriorating. She has been trying to eat a little but it is nothing like the Penny I know. the vet said also I could be systemic infection but she said prognosis for both are poor and said it is best if we speak to exotics vet tomorrow... penny is now not interesting in anything, she is facing the cage walls all the time, we separated her from the other two pigs when we returned from the vet as the other one was giving her very hard time. I think she just senses penny is poorly.
She’s not pooping much and by looks of her poop I know she’s dehydrated.
She hadinjection with fluids and Baytril and meta cam ... I don’t think meta cam is doing anything for her. Her breathing is very laboured and that’s what worries me the most because vet said that if it is lymphoma it can be pressing on her airchannels and this effectively means she cannot breathe properly = she’s suffering.
Earlier we were determined to have biopsy done tomorrow but seeing how she is now and having every right to assume is lymphoma And there is no cure I’m thinking it’ll only get worse and if it is for sake of 2 extra months of life with poor quality then...
I’m literally torn as the vet actually confused the hell out of me if I am perfectly honest.
She’s had some food earlier but not too much, she had about 3mls of critical care and she now refuses to eat. I’m worried I’m making her suffer more ... whilst we are waiting for appointments etc and then results which may be another 3-4 days ... she’s now also started chattering her teeth which I know can also mean she’s in pain... :(
Hi! Please take a deep breath.

The quality and quantity of poop is reflecting the food intake 1-2 days ago. Teeth chattering is a sign of displeasure. Teeth grinding can be a sign of severe pain, but you generally notice that from other symptoms, too.

If she is struggling to breathe and her sides are visibly heaving then that is usually a sign that her heart straining badly, whether that it because she struggles to breathe or her heart has gone into failure (like it did with my Pili last Sunday) is pretty moot. Guinea pigs are only small animals when the chips are down and can go downhill with terrifying speed. Because of their big personalities we tend to forget that. :(

Keep her warm, but not hot and as comfy an calm as you can. If at any stage you feel like she is in real discomfort, then please contact the out-of-hours vets and speak to them.
Concentrate on sending her loving and soothing thoughts; try not to transmit your panic onto her.

Guinea pigs feeling very ill usually move away from their companions. In a cage, this generally results in sticking the head into corner and the companions staying mostly away. In that case, you can remove her from the cage and hold her in a cosy fleece blanket, if necessary with a half-heated snugglesafe and and enough space to get off it if she feels hot.
If her friends are still snuggling with her, then leave her with them; she will be happier with their comfort than away from them.

If she really doesn't want to eat (the need to breathe comes before the need to drink and only thirdly the need to eat), then leave it and do not stress her out unnecessarily.

Try not to obsess over possible lymphoma or not; concentrate on doing what is necessary for her comfort right now.

HUGS
 

oxtinamona

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I am sorry that your piggy has gone downhill so quickly. It does sound as if she is in pain.
It seems to me the only option is to see an emergency vet tonight for extra pain relief and then talk it through with your regular vet tomorrow. It's very hard to see them like this, so sorry x
She already had a high dose of meta cam to last 24hrs... and the vet we went to is our regular vet... that’s why I’m so confused.. they are usually good however, admittedly they’re not labelled as ‘exotic’. They helped us with all other issues we had. Presley absces, 2 surgeries in 2 days pretty much... one full anaesthesia the other local... he made it through... all other things they treated our pig is the usual stuff these monkeys suffer from, haypokes, eye infections, UTI, URI... I wonder if they are just not certified as exotics and hence not touching anything more complex... I guess she knows what it is, but she cannot diagnose 100% officially... which is why is making it so hard for us. Penelope isn’t looking great... but she’s got runny outbursts when she’ll chew on bit of hay etc... but I know it’s jusy our wishful thinking and that she is actually suffering. The question is, is worth waiting another night and seeing another vet?
 

oxtinamona

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Hi! Please take a deep breath.

The quality and quantity of poop is reflecting the food intake 1-2 days ago. Teeth chattering is a sign of displeasure. Teeth grinding can be a sign of severe pain, but you generally notice that from other symptoms, too.

If she is struggling to breathe and her sides are visibly heaving then that is usually a sign that her heart straining badly, whether that it because she struggles to breathe or her heart has gone into failure (like it did with my Pili last Sunday) it pretty moot. Guinea pigs are only small animals when the chips are down and can go downhill with terrifying speed. Because of their big personalities we tend to forget that. :(

Keep her warm, but not hot and as comfy an calm as you can. If at any stage you feel like she is in real discomfort, then please contact the out-of-hours vets and speak to them.
Concentrate on sending her loving and soothing thoughts; try not to transmit your panic onto her.

Guinea pigs feeling very ill usually move away from their companions. In a cage, this usually results in sticking the head into corner. In that case, you can remove her from the cage and hold her in a cosy fleece blanket, if necessary with a half-heated snugglesafe and an option to get off it if she feels hot.
If her friends are still snuggling with her, then leave her with them.

If she really doesn't want to eat (the need to breathe comes before the need to drink and only thirdly the need to eat), then leave it and do not stress her out unnecessarily.

Try not to obsess over possible lymphoma or not; concentrate on doing what is necessary for her comfort right now.

HUGS
Thank you. We will do that. We now have her in recovery cage and she will be with us in the bedroom. Have you got any thoughts on the fact that the fact found about 8 other lumps, all around lymph nodes? Have you ever had a GUINEA with the same diagnosis ? X
 

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She already had a high dose of meta cam to last 24hrs... and the vet we went to is our regular vet... that’s why I’m so confused.. they are usually good however, admittedly they’re not labelled as ‘exotic’. They helped us with all other issues we had. Presley absces, 2 surgeries in 2 days pretty much... one full anaesthesia the other local... he made it through... all other things they treated our pig is the usual stuff these monkeys suffer from, haypokes, eye infections, UTI, URI... I wonder if they are just not certified as exotics and hence not touching anything more complex... I guess she knows what it is, but she cannot diagnose 100% officially... which is why is making it so hard for us. Penelope isn’t looking great... but she’s got runny outbursts when she’ll chew on bit of hay etc... but I know it’s jusy our wishful thinking and that she is actually suffering. The question is, is worth waiting another night and seeing another vet?
My vet isn't an exotics trained vet but she knows a lot about piggies. It's all about trusting your vet rather than their qualifications.
Only a vet can really assess this situation so l would follow Wiebkes advice and speak to an emergency vet. They can give extra pain relief such as buprenorphine in addition to the metacam.
 

Wiebke

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Thank you. We will do that. We now have her in recovery cage and she will be with us in the bedroom. Have you got any thoughts on the fact that the fact found about 8 other lumps, all around lymph nodes? Have you ever had a GUINEA with the same diagnosis ? X
If there are other lumps on other lymph nodes, then it is likely lymphoma. It can take from just a few days to generally just a few weeks after the diagnosis, depending on aggressive and advanced the cancer is and how strong your piggy's immune system is. Please try and leave this aside for now as it is not here or there; you can rehash that with your vet or an out-of-hours vet later on. None of my vets (specialist, local and local out-of-hours) are exotics vets, but it doesn't necessarily take an exotics vet to diagnose something pretty obvious.

Please concentrate on HER welfare while she she needs you NOW!
If you wish, you can place a bowl of steaming water close by and see whether that helps to ease her breathing a bit.

Contact an out-of-hours vet if you think that she is in pain or major discomfort and suffering.
Her quality of life (and that includes the end of the life) comes before any of your own feelings right now;
Her wellbeing whatever the cause is more important. You can work through your feelings in your own time afterwards.
 

oxtinamona

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If there are other lumps on other lymph nodes, then it is likely lymphoma. It can take from just a few days to generally just a few weeks after the diagnosis, depending on aggressive and advanced the cancer is and how strong your piggy's immune system is. Please try and leave this aside for now as it is not here or there; you can rehash that with your vet or an out-of-hours vet later on. None of my vets (specialist, local and local out-of-hours) are exotics vets, but it doesn't necessarily take an exotics vet to diagnose something pretty obvious.

Please concentrate on HER welfare while she she needs you NOW!
If you wish, you can place a bowl of steaming water close by and see whether that helps to ease her breathing a bit.

Contact an out-of-hours vet if you think that she is in pain or major discomfort and suffering.
Her quality of life (and that includes the end of the life) comes before any of your own feelings right now;
Her wellbeing whatever the cause is more important. You can work through your feelings in your own time afterwards.
I know that her qualify of life is a priority and that is why I’m trying to assess right now. I haven’t been through anything like it before and neither has my partner... we know that when they suffer too much then it’s time to draw the line, but I suppose we just can’t establish in how much pain she is now. I know she’s not comfortable and her sides are moving very visibly when she’s breathing ... I know she’s not as alert and bright as she was and I know she’s basically not her usual self.
She’s not healthy... I just don’t know if this qualifies me to make that very important decision about letting her go, or do I need more ‘proof’...? That is what we are trying to establish..last thing I want is for her to be in prolonged pain... :(
The out of hours vet is basically the same vet we saw few hrs ago, the emergency vet is in the same clinic as our usual vet. Hence we went there as we knew they’re open. We fed her as much as we could and will wake up during night to feed her critical care. We will try and make her comfortable as it is possible in this situation and stay with her all night...
 

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Heaving sides are always bad news, but she is not necessarily in pain.
Keep her as stress-free, calm and comfy as you can and brace yourself that she may not make it through the night if the strain of breathing becomes too much at some point.

You can give metacam only about every 10 hours at the very most (usually every 12 hours but the piggy metabolism is just a little quicker than that).

Contact the vet if she starts growning or making other sounds of discomfort, or if she just can't find a comfortable position.
Also speak to them if she is fitting for longer than 10-20 minutes or if the fitting is really severe when the body is shutting down and is becoming oxygen deprived ('running to the Rainbow Bridge'). Thankfully your girl is mostly out of it by that stage, but it can be a shock if you have never encountered it.

All the best for the coming night. Take your strength from doing what you can to make things easy on her. ;)
 

oxtinamona

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Heaving sides are always bad news, but she is not necessarily in pain.
Keep her as stress-free, calm and confy as you can and brace yourself that she may not make it through the night if the strain of breathing becomes too much at some point.

Contact the vet if she starts growning or making other sounds of discomfort, or if she just can't find a comfortable position.
Also speak to them if she is fitting for longer than 10-20 minutes or if the fitting is really severe when the body is shutting down and is becoming oxygen deprived ('running to the Rainbow Bridge'). Thankfully your girl is mostly out of it by that stage, but it can be a shock if you have never encountered it.

All the best for the coming night. Take your strength from doing what you can to make things easy on her. ;)
Thank you all for help. I pray she has a calm night and I think tomorrow will be a decision time. She’s now came out of her cozy and is eating hay...
 

oxtinamona

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It’s 5:02am and Penelope is still here. Just gave her another feed of critical care... she’s trying to munch on hay, but she’s struggling. She also seems to be unable to get comfortable and it’s turning and twisting in her cozy sack. She’s looking at us with these big black eyes and I can’t tell anymore is she’s askkng us to release her from the pain, or else. Her breathing is still laboured. She’s such a strong little soul, but it’s clear to see she’s struggling ... :(
 

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What an awful time you are having right now. Has the light gone from her eyes? If it has she is asking for you to help on her journey to the Rainbow Bridge. :hug:
 

oxtinamona

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What an awful time you are having right now. Has the light gone from her eyes? If it has she is asking for you to help on her journey to the Rainbow Bridge. :hug:
I’m not sure ... her eyes are so big...her breathing got worse... she lifts her head up when she hears me talk to her... she tried to eat hay as she’s so brave but ... I don’t think she’s strong enough. I think it’s yime for my baby to cross 😢
 

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It sounds like you've all had a tough night :( When I've helped piggies cross the rainbow bridge, the sparkle has generally gone from their eyes :(

I've had to help two piggies to the bridge due to lymohoma, Erika 's lumps grew so big that one of them was pushing on her windpipe preventing her from breathing properly and it was then we let her go.

It sounds like your baby can't get comfortable anymore. Look deep in to her eyes and she will tell you if it's time.

I am so sorry that you are going through this :( (((hugs))) xx
 

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I'm so sorry that you are having to go through this. Sending my thoughts to you xx
 

oxtinamona

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Thank you all for your supportive words and advice. It means a lot. We have decided to let out beautiful Penelope go tho morning, so she can popcorn over rainbow bridge. She’s worsened over night and was refusing syringe in the morning. Her breathing was ever so laboured and it took longer than it usual takes for her to drift in her forever sleep, because her airwaves were blocked by tumour partially and she wasn’t inhaling enough gas before the final injection. It was the hardest thing I’ve done in my life so far, but I couldn’t have her suffer whilst we were waiting for biopsy and then have her poked around for possible treatments. The vet said that with this amount of lump on each of her lymph nodes it’s safe to say it’s lymphoma... having her tormented with more procedures with no actual cure...It wouldn’t be fair to our lovely, wonderfully inquisitive and fearless little Penny. She’s gone from our lives but not from our hearts and I’ll miss her forever. We will have her ashes in about a week and will scatter them over Yorkshire Dales, when we go there on holiday in April, as this is where Penny is from. Thank you all again for your kindness.
 

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I'm so very sorry. It was a brave, kind and loving thing you did for Penny this morning.

Popcorn free in the Dales, little one.
 
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