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Very Ill lil pig

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My male pig is only a year old but has already had to be treated for an ear infection which appeared to clear up but has left him with a bit of a head tilt. Anyway, over the past week I've noticed he has been eating less. Yesterday he looked really "flat", barely moving, barely opening his eyes, breathing really quickly. I took him to the vet who gave an antibiotic injection, pain relief and something to make sure his digestive system was working. She said he was really dehydrated so I syringed-fed some recovery fluid she gave me.

He went back to the vet this morning and appeared a tiny bit brighter but he is still really weak, holding his head on one side, walking around in circles when he does move (which isnt very much at all) and his eyes look glazed and gummy. His poos (though I havent seen any today) are very pale in colour. The vet doesnt know whats wrong but has said it could be: 1) infection of the ear, brain or intestinal tract or 2) a tumour.

I've been sent home with oral antibiotics and I'm syringe feeding crushed up pellets with warm water. He still isnt eating or moving. The vet has said to give him until monday and if he hasnt improved he will have to be put to sleep.

Sorry to rattle on but if anyone has any idea in relation to what might be wrong or what else I can do, I'd be really grateful. :(
 

Wiebke

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I am sorry about your worries.

Where abouts are you?

Could you please tell us more how your piggy has been eating less. Has he been picking up bits but then letting them drop/go; i.e. rather wanting to eat but not being able (which is usually an indication of tooth trouble) or has he been not interested in food generally, but nibbling at bits (and if yes, what bits)?
 
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I'm in Arlesey, Bedfordshire.

I first noticed he wasnt eating because he absolutely loves hay but the rack has remained full. His favourite food is carrot. When I offered him one he sniffed but didnt attempt to bite it. I noticed him looking in his food bowl, but again, he didnt attempt to take anything.

Thank you for your help.
 

MintyAndGarry (TEAS)

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If you can get to Northampton, there is a fantastic piggy vet here. However, he is away until Tuesday (as far as I am aware).

I had a piggy with an inner ear infection that did not clear up completely and came back. He had the head tilt and everything. He was treated with Zithromax. Not many vets will prescribe this for pigs, but it is a great, effective antibiotic.

For the time being, I would keep trying to syringe feed food (little and often) and also some water to ensure he maintains his fluid intake.
 
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Thanks very much. Which practice does he work from? I've also contacted the Cavy Trust - waiting to hear back.

I'll keep going with the feeding - I just hope he isnt suffering.
 

Wiebke

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If you could contact either Simon Maddock in Northampton, who is one of the best guinea pig vets or the Cambridge Cavy Trust near Huntingdon, you might get the most qualified help in your region.

For Simon Maddock
http://www.catandrabbit.co.uk/contact_us.htm

For more qualified member help and direct contact details with the CCT contact Laura on here: http://www.guineapighelpline.com/
 
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Hi Hlou,

Sorry to hear about your piggie being poorly. What is his name by the way?

I hope you get treatment for him as soon as possible. The recommendations given seem to be the best. Good luck hunny.

Beth xx
 

helen105281

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Poor thing, you must be so worried. I am in Letchworth if I can help at all. Our vets are a bit hit and miss but there is one good one, Jeremy Lintott at the Letchworth Veternary centre if that helps.
 
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Thank you to everyone that has replied. The link I was forwarded in relation to why guinea's stop eating was also really helpful in terms of how to syringe feed him (Benjimen by the way). I'm hoping that he will seem a bit brighter tomorrow. Otherwise I will try to track down the people that you have recommended!

H X
 

Laura-CCC4

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Hi H, I'm one of the people Wiebke mentioned (Guinea Pig Helpline). Very sorry to hear your piggie is so unwell, seems to be the time of year for poorly piggies, I have had a lot of conversations today about poorly piggies.

Would it help if I emailed you a factsheet about syringe feeding? Just some tips and bits and pieces of advice. If you feel it would help, I am happy for you to drop me an email at guineapighelpline@hotmail.co.uk and I'll reply with the factsheet.

At the moment I feel his symptoms are fairly "vague", nothing in particular is coming to mind at the moment so for now I am in agreement that you are doing all you can by feeding and hydrating him, and trying the antibiotics.

How long ago was he treated for the ear infection?
 
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I've just got back from seeing Vedra - she was so helpful. She found that Benjie has a horrible ear absess which she was surprised had been missed. His teeth were also getting sharp from not eating and his mouth was really sore. I've got oral antibiotics, antibiotics to put in his ear, and some oral gel to help with his mouth. Vedra also gave me the syringe feeding fact sheet. If I could contact you with any worries I'd be really grayeful.

Thank you for your help.
 

Laura-CCC4

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Glad you have got a diagnosis and some help for Benjie, a relief for you although sure you'll be far more glad when the abscess has cleared.

I hope you find Vedra's info on syringe feeding helpful, FYI I do have a different syringe feeding Factsheet to Vedra, it is one I put together myself.

I do hope Benjie's treatment works and you see improvement soon.
 
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Ah ok. I'll drop you an email then. I am having some difficulty with it. He really doesnt want to be fed (probably because his mouth is sore) so I'm worried he isnt getting enough.
 
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Benjie took a turn for the worst and I had to rush him back to Vedra yesterday morning. She could hear fluid on his lungs and said the prognosis wasn't good. I've just heard that he hasn't made it :( It wouldnt be so bad if he'd had a long life but he was barely a year old. And as other people have said, I'm now worried about his cage mate, Archie. They were brothers and have always been together.

How quickly should I try to find another piggie? I feel really disloyal to Benjie, seeking another one but dont want Archie to be lonely. I was thinking of getting him snipped so he can have a female friend. Is that the best idea?

I'd like to adopt one of a similar age to Archie - where is the best place to go? I'm in Bedfordshire.

Thanks
 

Claire W

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I'm afraid I have no advise but I am so sorry for your loss :( I lost a young pig myself last year. She was only 18 months old. I rescued my remaining guinea pig a friend with in 2 weeks and Eliza was so much happier not being by herself xx
 
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So sorry for your loss :( you did everything you could for little Benjie - popcorn free at the bridge little fella xx

I cant help with best place to rescue a piggy in Bedfordhshire but someone will be able to advice on this - my sister in law got her bereaved piggy a different friend within about 10 days of Hutch passing

Big hugs to you at this sad time xx
 

Wiebke

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BIG HUG

I am so sorry to hear that Benjie hasn't made it; you have tried your best!

I would give Archie a few days to mourn; most piggies withdraw for some time. You can bond him from when he comes out of his shell again, which should hopefully have happened by the next weekend. If you can, give him a cuddly toy or snuggle bag to have somthing to snuggle into for comfort.

If you want to have Archie neutered, I would strongly recommend using Simon Maddock in Northampton; he neuters as a matter of policy for the Rugby rescue and has all the experience you can wish for! Archie will have to wait ideally 6 weeks after his operation until he can go and live with a lady or two - it takes that long to be 100% sure that there won't be any life tadpoles around.

Here is a list of rescues in your area, but you can also post in the "rescue wanted" section; some of the rescues active on here rehome further afield. Often forum members are very helpful with organising piggy trains if you happen to come across a lady or two that you really fancy; provided the rescue is Ok with it and with your set up.

If you'd prefer not to wait for so long, the best thing to do is arranging a boar dating session in a more local rescue that is prepared to help finding a suitable boar companion for Archie. That way, Archie can choose who he fancies most!
http://www.guineapigrehome.org.uk/gp/centres.asp#Bedfordshire (best look over the border as well!)
 
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