Geriatric sow, constant drinking & weight loss

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Heyruthie

Post   » Thu Oct 26, 2017 12:15 pm


PLEASE, no haters on this thread. I have rescued a number of geriatric piggies through the years, and helped them heal from mites, damaged feet, vision problems because of eye infections, and many other things. Right now, I have a sweet old girl (obo 6 years, not totally sure, as she was a rescue.) Who has lost quite a bit of weight, and is now drinking way too much. She is constantly at the water bottle. Do I assume correctly that this is probably diabetes? I've changed/augmented her diet several times in response to her weight loss, in an effort to help her regain weight. I've also been offering her syringes of Critical Care, which she seems to enjoy. But the constant drinking is telling me that diabetes seems logical. I would love to take her in and get all her bloodwork done, but the small animal vet in my area will charge a minimum of $600 to just start her tests, and I don't have that right now, for a senior piggie of her age. Does anyone have any kind, gentle helpful advice for me? Again, please no haters. I love my piggies, and want to give them the best life I can, and each of these senior piggies was due to be euthanised at our local shelter when I rescued them, including this girl....over two years ago. And the last two years have been wonderful.

Heyruthie

Post   » Thu Oct 26, 2017 12:16 pm


Also, her teeth are in great shape, with no malocclusion or overgrowth.

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Thu Oct 26, 2017 12:35 pm


Here's a link with more info: http://www.guinealynx.info/links.html#diabetes

I'd think that all they'd need to test for diabetes is a blood sample, which shouldn't be anything like $600. And they might be able to just overclip a nail to get a drop of blood, which might be enough.

Granted, a single blood sugar test wouldn't find anything else that's wrong, but it should be definitive for diabetes. I'd ask to speak to the vet, explain that the pig is a rescue and that you've got limited funds, and see if they'll just test for diabetes.

Heyruthie

Post   » Thu Oct 26, 2017 1:45 pm


bpatters, I'll do what you suggest. I live in a really high cost of living metropolitan area, with only one small animal vet within 100 miles. I'll see what they say. Thank you.

Heyruthie

Post   » Thu Oct 26, 2017 2:00 pm


OK, so I called the vet back, and spoke extensively with a different tech this time, who was more helpful. The minimum price that she could be seen/diagnosed for was coming in at around $350. This is still a lot. We spoke more, and she said it may or may not be diabetes, but she actually thought it was more likely kidney failure. She was also honest enough (when I asked her to be) to tell me that there was little they could do for a pig of her age besides palliative care--even blood work would probably just reveal that she should be given pain meds.

She actually recommended that we try to keep her comfortable, and if she seems really uncomfortable to come in for a non-diagnostic appointment to just get her pain meds. A pain-meds appointment is $90. So, that's what I'll do if things continue in this direction. What kind of pain medication are guinea pigs given? She said they'd start with "guinea pig advil," but I don't know what that means. Has anyone out there given their piggies pain meds from the vet?

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Thu Oct 26, 2017 2:05 pm


Sounds like a plan to me.

http://www.guinealynx.info/pain.html

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mmeadow
Supporter 2004-2017

Post   » Thu Oct 26, 2017 3:13 pm


Yes, we just said goodbye to an older pig who was on hospice care for the past eight months. She was on a dose of meloxicam (Metacam) for most of that time and it seemed to help her.

GrannyJu1
Armcavy

Post   » Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:42 am


My Peek is doing what your baby is doing - drinking lots and losing weight. He's somewhere close to 7, not sure since he was an adult when I got him and no one seemed to know his age. My vet diagnosed kidney disease and said to give him lots of extra fluids. I give him 40-60 cc of pedialyte a day. He seems to be hanging in there well with no further symptoms (except he's still losing weight). His fur is still shiny, his eyes are still bright, and he's eating well.

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mmeadow
Supporter 2004-2017

Post   » Fri Oct 27, 2017 12:21 pm


Our hospice pig really appreciated syringes of extra water along with her Critical Care.

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Delaine
Supporter in '14

Post   » Fri Oct 27, 2017 12:40 pm


I have a sow over 6 1/2 years and like you I am focusing on quality of life for her. She has different issues so not sure if my information will be useful. She has slow growing ovarian cysts and I have chosen not to spay her at her age. She is also blind with cataracts.

Weight loss has been an issue and I have had to become creative. I grind Oxbow pellets in my coffee grinder and three times a day I feed her a mash made from 1 tsp. ground pellets, 1/2 tsp. Critical Care and 20 ml of warm bottled water. This ensures she gets calories, vitamins, minerals and fluids. Critical Care has 18 mg of vitamin C per teaspoon so this gives her approximately 30 mg of vitamin C per day just from the mash. She begs for it and licks it from my finger. She is still eager for her greens, yellow pepper and she does eat hay. So far I have been able to keep her weight stable and it has even gone up a little. She also gets a daily dose of Metacam for any pain. Besides the ovarian cysts she has some degeneration in her spine and arthritis in her knees so keeping her moving around is also a challenge.

Good luck with you piggy. I hope you can find a plan that works well for her and you.

Heyruthie

Post   » Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:56 pm


UPDATE: My old gal is still here. I switched over to a different brand of pellets (in addition to her hay and veggies) and I also got a new (different) water bottle, and she has regained quite a bit of weight! She still drinks a lot, and she's still pretty thin, but she's really doing a lot better. I was actually giving her a very expensive pellet before, and I've switched over to the cheaper pet-store variety. For whatever reason, she seems to tolerate these better, and can more easily chew them, I think. She's put on several grams of weight, and I am very happy. I don't know why the new water bottle helps, but it does, too. I guess the lesson here is that when piggies get old, just try everything, and do what works, not only what is *supposed* to work. Old people and piggies don't always have to have reasons :-)

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