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Urgent: Pig Has Fluid In Chest On One Side...cannot See His Heart.

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KenzieC

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Hello everyone! My wonderful baby Atlas (m) is back on antibiotics for the third time since i got him 4 months ago. When I bought him (stupidly) from a PetSmart, I quickly found that he was sick. We went to the vet and he had severe pneumonia and a URI. He was on baytril and a dieuretic for 2 weeks. he seemed to recover. a few weeks later, he had symptoms again. I took him back to the vet and they put him on another 4 week course of baytril. I thought he was fine until i recently started to notice the clicking sound appear in his breathing again. I took him back to the vet and they decided to do Xrays and bloodwork. The xrays revealed that he has fluid outside on of his lungs and the heart is not visible due to the fluid. They told me they arent sure if it is cancer or if his original pneumonia infection just got outside his lungs....but he is now on a week long course of doxycycline. He is still eating a lot, pooping, peeing, playing, etc. He seems fine other than his heavy breathing.

My main concern: i am a broke college student and have now spent close to $2000 on this one guinea pig. I do not have the money to afford any more vet visits, however, i can afford to refill his medicine.

I have several questions:
1: have any of you had luck with doxycycline?
2: have any of you experienced a similar situation with a pig and what did you do?
3: what are my options after this course of anitbiotics if they do not work/only work for a short time?

i really just dont know what to do. Ive done everything i can afford to help him but it doesnt seem like i will be able to go to the vet anymore. I love him so much and dont want to lose him so early on in his life. (he is only about 8 months). Please help me figure out what to do! thank you!

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Wiebke

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I am very sorry; your piggy needs a diuretic. My Tegyd was on frusol when she was diagnosed with fluid in the chest cavity; this is often the sign that the heart is not working fully or there is pressure on it from elsewhere.

With Tegyd, the heart was clearly visible on a scan and was excluded, but because of the fluid, the treating vet was not able what was causing it. he suspected an internal tumor, likely lymphoma; he recommended to not try an operation. Tegyd passed away 7 weeks later.

I am tagging in @helen105281 , who has experience with heart issues. Please be patient, it is late evening here in the UK!
 

helen105281

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I can't see your xray pics unfortunately.

Recurrent respiratory infections that don't respond to antibiotics can be a sign of a heart issue. I have pigs with a heart issue and they are all on a medication called Benazapril which is an ACE inhibator. They are on it for life but it does help them. The key here though is to get rid of the fluid, so the diuretics are important. Doxy is a good antibitotic but if it does not clear the symptoms I would ask your vet about a heart medication trial. It is usually for a month and if the pig responds well to the medication then you basically have your answer.

If it is an actual infection then another antibiotic to try would be Azithromycin (Zithromax). My Buzz had Pneumonia and it cleared it, though sadly it came back a few months later. He was on diuretics too.
 

KenzieC

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I am very sorry; your piggy needs a diuretic. My Tegyd was on frusol when she was diagnosed with fluid in the chest cavity; this is often the sign that the heart is not working fully or there is pressure on it from elsewhere.

With Tegyd, the heart was clearly visible on a scan and was excluded, but because of the fluid, the treating vet was not able what was causing it. he suspected an internal tumor, likely lymphoma; he recommended to not try an operation. Tegyd passed away 7 weeks later.

I am tagging in @helen105281 , who has experience with heart issues. Please be patient, it is late evening here in the UK!
thank you!
 

KenzieC

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I can't see your xray pics unfortunately.

Recurrent respiratory infections that don't respond to antibiotics can be a sign of a heart issue. I have pigs with a heart issue and they are all on a medication called Benazapril which is an ACE inhibator. They are on it for life but it does help them. The key here though is to get rid of the fluid, so the diuretics are important. Doxy is a good antibitotic but if it does not clear the symptoms I would ask your vet about a heart medication trial. It is usually for a month and if the pig responds well to the medication then you basically have your answer.

If it is an actual infection then another antibiotic to try would be Azithromycin (Zithromax). My Buzz had Pneumonia and it cleared it, though sadly it came back a few months later. He was on diuretics too.
i was able to add the xray pics if you would like to take a look
 

Swissgreys

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I am really sorry to hear about your problems with your pig.
I have nothing to add on the heart issues, but I did wonder if you could contact the pet store and ask them to cover some of the costs?
It sounds like he was already sick when you got him, so it might be worth getting a quick note from the vet as well as the receipts for his treatment, and writing a letter to the store, asking them to contribute towards his treatment.
 
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