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When is enough enough? - pts or not

Amysguineapigs

Teenage Guinea Pig
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#1
I’ve been having a 5 week battle with my 4 1/2 year old guinea pig, Teddy. It started with a light limp on his back legs then gradually he’s been losing weight, was a healthy 1200g now 990g. Because he’s lost most of his mobility, he can walk if he really has to but ‘bunny hops’. Put him on metacam to see if it helps but it didn’t so not likely arthritis.

We have a great cavy savvy vet and she x rayed Ted but sadly was inconclusive...although she did see arthritis in his knees and the base of his spine (coccyx) is arched compared the average pig. She said potentially something degenerative, spondylitis or a mass/tumour which x rays don’t always show. We did think maybe injury as his friend Noah has knocked the wooden house over many times but there’s been no improvement and metacam doesn’t help. He’s had steroid injection, anti inflammatory but nothing has helped, and he’s on joint medication. I’ve been speaking to my vet over text and she suggested hydrotherapy, getting him to swim a little, so I’ve done that twice so far but he struggles to move his one back leg.

So everyday, 3x daily for five weeks I’ve been syringe feeding, it’s been very difficult, he’s keen for food and loves food still but he just won’t move for it so we have to bring hay to him etc. If it wasn’t for me syringe feeding he’d die of starvation. He’s on emeprid, and infacol so he doesn’t bloat. His friend Noah who’s 2 is becoming inactive and misses having an active pig, Noah is neutered and we have two girls, I thought about just moving him in with them but that’s not fair on Teddy, although I don’t think he really cares about Noah being there right now.

I have been thinking about pts but feel like a failure to myself and Teddy. I’m a veterinary nursing assistant but yet still don’t know what the right thing to do is, I’m not convinced Teddy is happy, who would be just sitting in a house all day… it’s no quality of life. My vet said last week give it more time see if he improves but so fair there’s been no improvement, he can’t even stand up for long periods of time, he has to lay down. I’m at a loss...
 

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Eriathwen

Adult Guinea Pig
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#2
What dose and concentration of metacam was he given? I currently have a boar with Osteodystrophy and we're still working out a pain management plan for him but so far he is showing good results on 0.4ml of dog metacam and a small dose if infant Calpol as per our vets reccomendation. They tolerate metacam really well and palliatively they can go up to 1ml, according to one of the vets I've had him seen by.
There are quite a few options for pain if it is arthritis, laser therapy, catrophen injections (although nsaid painkillers need to be stopped for those I believe), tramadol, gabapentine etc can be tried, it sounds like once his pain is under control his quality of life would go up as he would be more mobile and better able to feed himself but unfortunately some vets are reluctant to go higher than the recommended dose when using cat/dog formulae to calculate doses, but there is a new one for rabbits which offers a dose more suited to guinea pigs higher metabolism.

I find when it comes to making the final decision, they will let you know. If he seems otherwise happy, I would continue trying, but that's just me, there is no wrong answer really when it's made with piggies best interest at heart.
 

Amysguineapigs

Teenage Guinea Pig
Joined
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#3
What dose and concentration of metacam was he given? I currently have a boar with Osteodystrophy and we're still working out a pain management plan for him but so far he is showing good results on 0.4ml of dog metacam and a small dose if infant Calpol as per our vets reccomendation. They tolerate metacam really well and palliatively they can go up to 1ml, according to one of the vets I've had him seen by.
There are quite a few options for pain if it is arthritis, laser therapy, catrophen injections (although nsaid painkillers need to be stopped for those I believe), tramadol, gabapentine etc can be tried, it sounds like once his pain is under control his quality of life would go up as he would be more mobile and better able to feed himself but unfortunately some vets are reluctant to go higher than the recommended dose when using cat/dog formulae to calculate doses, but there is a new one for rabbits which offers a dose more suited to guinea pigs higher metabolism.

I find when it comes to making the final decision, they will let you know. If he seems otherwise happy, I would continue trying, but that's just me, there is no wrong answer really when it's made with piggies best interest at heart.
He’s only on 0.2 daily, which is barely anything. I didn’t know they could have calpol though, something to ask her. I’ve heard they can go higher than most vets realise. I’d be interested in trying the cartrophen injections or tramadol, what is the new ones for rabbits? Metacam?

I agree, I think you just know and right not I’m not sure, thank you for your reply x
 

Eriathwen

Adult Guinea Pig
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#4
He’s only on 0.2 daily, which is barely anything. I didn’t know they could have calpol though, something to ask her. I’ve heard they can go higher than most vets realise. I’d be interested in trying the cartrophen injections or tramadol, what is the new ones for rabbits? Metacam?

I agree, I think you just know and right not I’m not sure, thank you for your reply x
Yes it's still cat or dog metacam, but a new way of working out the dose if that makes sense. I'm not sure how it's worked out though, maths was never my strong suit sadly! But Leonard was also on 0.2ml to start with when they used the old dose calculations but on the new he can have about 5 times as much so that's definitely something to discuss with your vet :)
I'd definitely ask about the infant Calpol too, he was put on 0.04 - 0.08ml once a day which is a very small amount but the difference in him is huge. He had previously been chewing at his knees and back where the pain was but that has reduced a lot.
 

Claire5012

Junior Guinea Pig
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Cornwall
#5
I'm sorry to hear about your little piggy :( If I was in your position I would try all the options and give them time to see if you get an improvement like you are doing right now. If you've exhausted all of your options then it would be better for him if you let him go. At the end of the day life is about quality and not quantity. It sounds like he's had a lovely life with you so you shouldn't feel bad if that ends up being the path you take. For now though, try to stay positive. You might both be able to get through this yet x
 

Freela

Adult Guinea Pig
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Canada
#7
I'm sorry you are in this predicament. Judging quality of life is so hard. I would give it some time, if only because if it's an injury of a nerve, they can be slow to heal and you may yet see some improvement. And I would keep titrating up the pain meds with your doctor's guidance if he is on the low side of dosing.
 

Reggie&Chunk

Junior Guinea Pig
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#8
I’m sorry you’re in such a rubbish predicament 😔 I agree with the others, I would try and exhaust every option possible whilst he is relatively happy. I would speak about upping his pain meds, my Chunk was on 0.3ml twice a day of dog loxicom whilst we were fighting his abscess. Not thinking, when he came finished his antibiotics I stopped giving him the loxicom. But from being on 0.6ml a day for two months to nothing was a big drop so he’s having 0.3ml and going to wean it down. So your boy would definitely be able to have more, it’s amazing the difference it can make! Good luck 🤞🏻
 

Guinea Slave

Forum Donator 2017/18
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#9
This sounds so difficult for you, I really feel,for you, my arthritic Guinea has been on 0.7ml twice a day of dog metacam for the last few months and I have seen a marked difference in her. She is being looked after by one of the most experienced exotic vets in the UK who says we often under dose Guineas and that they can cope with a lot more. He is of the opinion that qualify of life is far more important than anything else. She is a different Guinea now and so much happier. I wish you luck with your gorgeous boy. Like others have said, I’d keep trying but only you and him can say for sure what is the best thing to do.
 

Swissgreys

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#10
This is one of the hardest parts of owning these wonderful animals.
I think the first thingt o say is there is rtreally no right or wrong decisions here.
If you make a decision with love and your guinea pig isn't suffering then you have made the right decision for you and Teddy.

I fall into the 'better a day too soon than a minute too late' camp, but ultimately only you can really know what is best for you and Teddy.

As for Metacam dosage, the most recent reseach shows that guinea pigs can have up to 1mg of Metacam per kilo of body weight 2 x daily.
Obviously the amount (mls) you give them will depend on if it is dog metacam or cat (becasue the dog one is more concentrated), but clearly this is something you need to clarify with your vet.
 

Amysguineapigs

Teenage Guinea Pig
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#11
Hi everyone, thank you for all of your lovely and helpful comments.

I’ve been chatting with my vet and we’ve spoken about alternative meds so we’re trying him on tramadol, low dose to start to see how he reacts. Alongside metacam too, haven’t yet increase the dose of that. But if tramadol doesn’t help then Gabapentin and if that doesn’t then I know I’ve tried everything I can for him x
 

miowmix

Junior Guinea Pig
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Canterbury
#14
Hi, you may also wish to try a glucosamine supplement, oxbow do a joint tablet or you can get johnson's '4 joints' liquid which as an added bonus has vitamin C. In the past I have given 4 joints at 0.4ml once a day (I used to have a satin guinea pig that had osteodystrophy). Alongside glucosamine he had osteocare and metacam. If Teddy is having difficultly eating then you could try putting a dish of soaked and mashed nuggets in his enclosure. My pig also had to have his veg finely grated (I used a parmesan cheese grater to get it really mushy). The syringe feeds are a bind but if he will eat a bit of mash on his own you might be able to get it down to regular feeding times eg once at breakfast, once at lunch, once at teatime, once before bed. Good luck and good on you for looking after him.
 

David Pet Lover

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#15
Hello. I also had a piggie witb little rear leg moment. She did well and as long as she could.
It's not easy and i wish you all the best. x
Be strong Teddy.
 
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