Poppy the Piggy- Heart Condition, Benazepril Dosage, Critical Care Supplement

skuchi

Post   » Tue Jul 23, 2019 11:58 pm


Hello!

We have a senior pig, Poppy, she's 6 years old. We took her to the vet because she's losing quite a bit of weight. She has a heart murmur, they checked her kidneys and they are functioning normally. The vet put her on Benazepril for her heart but the dose seems very low. It's compounded at 2mg/ml and she's supposed to get .02ml (yes, .02 not .2) once a day. That puts her at roughly .04mg of Benazepril daily? From everything we've read that seems to be quite low.

She's still eating with gusto when it comes to fresh veggies but pellets and hay have slowed down, so we started supplementing with 2-3 feedings of Critical Care a day. She'll only eat about a generous 1/4 tsp (measured dry before mixing with water) per feeding willingly (she eats it right off the spoon) before she seems full. Is that enough? Weight seems to have stabilized but she's not gaining. Hard to say since we've only been giving her the extra CC for about a week now.

Thanks in advance for information from the piggy parents who have had experience with this!

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Sef
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Wed Jul 24, 2019 12:20 am


What is her current weight?

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pigjes
Cavy Comic

Post   » Wed Jul 24, 2019 1:13 am



skuchi

Post   » Wed Jul 24, 2019 9:29 am


sef1268 wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 12:20 am
What is her current weight?
She is currently about 630 grams.

@pigjes Thank you for the link. I found this link at the bottom of one of the threads and it was helpful. Again, there is the .5cc of 2mg/ml solution dose. This is the kind of thing I'm reading over and over again that make me think the dosage our vet prescribed may be far too low.
viewtopic.php?t=34346

skuchi

Post   » Sat Aug 03, 2019 12:58 pm


Update on Poppy and Questions About Weight:

In February she weighed 784 grams at the beginning of the month, at the end she weighed around 735 and has been in a steady decline since then. Currently she's hovering around 600-620, some days she's closer to 640-650 (we generally try to weigh her at the same time and before she eats). The weight loss has slowed, possibly even plateaued, but she's still so thin! She's not eating much of her pellets or hay on her own, especially with the addition of the CC. She eats her veggies fine and a generous 1/2 tsp of CC twice a day. She eats 1/4 tsp willingly off a spoon, after that we generally have to force feed her the other 1/4 tsp. Our vet, as good as she's been, has not been very helpful when it comes to offering info on what to do other than medicine. She didn't say anything about the weight loss, we've undertaken all of this on our own. Poppy's still taking .05mg of Benazepril daily and no other meds.

Any suggestions from the forum? Her loss of and inability to gain weight concerns us. Been raised with many animals but guinea pigs are not ones I am familiar with so we are trying to figure it out as we go along.

bpatters
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Post   » Sat Aug 03, 2019 4:45 pm


Just as an FYI, senior pigs tend to lose a little, plateau for a while, lose a little more, plateau, etc. And it is VERY difficult to get a senior pig to gain weight.

I'd just continue feeding the CC, maybe add another kind of hay to see if she likes it better, and maybe sprinkle a few rolled oats over her veggies.

skuchi

Post   » Sun Aug 04, 2019 1:16 pm


Thank you, bpatters! Is it ok to mix in a little alfalfa hay at this point? Not as a steady diet, but from time to time? We've tried various types and brands of timothy and orchard and they nibbled at them a little or snubbed them entirely. The hay they have now has been their enthusiastic favorite, until recently, and they usually mow through a healthy sized box a day. Now they just pull it out and seem to enjoy sitting in it, they nibble a bit but don't eat much. :(

bpatters
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Post   » Sun Aug 04, 2019 1:38 pm


I wouldn't give a senior pig alfalfa hay. They're prone to bladder stones anyway since they get less exercise as they get older, and you surely don't want to encourage that problem.

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Sef
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Sun Aug 04, 2019 5:01 pm


What brand of timothy hay are you buying?

skuchi

Post   » Sun Aug 04, 2019 6:17 pm


bpatters, thank you for the input! No alfalfa for our senior ladies then. I ordered some meadow hay from oxbow to see if a change of feed might entice them.


sef1268 wrote:
Sun Aug 04, 2019 5:01 pm
What brand of timothy hay are you buying?
We have purchased several brands over the years including bales from the local feed store, oxbow, and a few reputable growers (like Small Pet Select) off the internet. Which ones exactly I don't recall, I would have to look up records. We're all allergic to it though, and our girls prefer the orchard grass by leaps and bounds so we haven't bought timothy in awhile.

skuchi

Post   » Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:40 am


Hello again fellow pig parents!

Poppy is going into the vet today because she's acting lethargic, seems to be breathing faster than usual, and is just generally not acting herself. She's still eating veggies, but otherwise just kind of wants to sit and sleep. She has a heart murmur so we don't want to take chances. Is there anything you would suggest we have the vet do to check her heart further? She's not had an x-ray or sonograph, just blood tests for liver & kidney function. Are x-rays or sonographs useful in seeing what's going on with her heart?

Has anyone had problems with lethargy with their piggies on Benazepril? I know it can lower blood pressure and we raised her dosage from .05 to .07 just a few days ago because it's not having the diuretic effect the vet wanted to see, I'm wondering if that might be part of the problem?

She and Bella are still not eating hay as they used too but the rate has picked up a bit since we changed to the Oxbow botanicals and oat hay. They love those two.

bpatters
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Post   » Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:45 am


An x-ray can show an enlarged heart and/or fluid around the heart, but nothing internal to the heart itself.

Anything that lowers blood pressure can cause lethargy, and I think there are other diuretics that don't have the same effect. How is the diuretic effect being measured?

skuchi

Post   » Tue Aug 27, 2019 3:25 pm


Bpatters- The vet is measuring it by asking us if the output is increased or not. Honestly, it's really hard to gauge. We have her out on a pee pad at least twice a day and we haven't seen any increase there, so that was the determination. But otherwise she's in her enclosure with Bella and there is no way to tell with the two piggies in paper bedding. The vet who listened to her heart today isn't sure there is a heart murmur. She said she could hear a breathing sound that could be mistaken for a heart murmur, but when Poppy stopped breathing she didn't hear the sounds. She said her heart sounded steady and fine. She also said she's not a mammalian cardiac specialist and knows the vet who diagnosed the heart murmur and has good respect for her. She suggested we may want to have it checked by a specialist.

bpatters
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Post   » Tue Aug 27, 2019 4:04 pm


That's kind of what I thought. As far as I know, there's absolutely no way to know what urine output is unless the pig is housed alone and the bedding is perfectly dry -- then you can assume that it's zero.

Most heart pigs are on a combination of meds, and it usually requires pretty frequent tweaking to keep them balanced.

There's some good info here: http://www.guinealynx.info/heart.html. And there are several forum members who are particularly good with heart problems -- Talishan, pinta, and a third whose name escapes me at the moment. Maybe someone will come along and add it. But you could send a private message to any of them and ask them to check this thread and answer questions here on the forum.

skuchi

Post   » Wed Mar 18, 2020 10:56 am


Hello everybody!

I hope everyone on here is well. I know current circumstances for many of us are rough.
We're having some problems with Poppy again, the timing is bad but things rarely wait. :(
Quick background: She's a senior, was losing some weight (loss, plateau, loss, plateau) and was diagnosed with a heart murmur last year and put on Benazapril. She became lethargic at even small doses of that, we took her to another vet (under hurricane conditions) who said she couldn't hear the heart murmur and to take her off. We did, she improved. We checked back in with her regular vet who said, she may have a murmur but quality of life is also a consideration. She's been doing fine and the symptoms she has now don't seem related. She still gets cc at night, about 1/2 tsp-1 tsp is as much as she'll eat. We stopped giving it to her in the morning to both piggies because they wouldn't eat their salad through the day otherwise. They're both old and slowing down.

Poppy continues to lose weight and plateau. She has lost 40g over the past 2 weeks. (it's hard to say exactly because she loses, rebounds a little, loses, rebounds, etc and it's been going on for a long time.) But she's not rebounding this time and has hit a new benchmark for low weight. She's not losing daily, she does have an appetite still but is becoming noticeably more picky about what she will and won't eat. Eats smaller volumes. Last night when my daughter had her out it looked like she was walking funny. She's a silky so we trimmed off all her hair to see what was going and her legs seems slightly splayed out on her sides. She didn't eat as vigorously as usual, though she's still eating pretty well and was up and eating this morning, along with asking for her salad. Also, last night we noticed that all of her poops are about half the size they normally are. She's becoming noticeably sleepier again. Any advice? I'm not sure our vet is still open. We're only a few miles away from the epicenter of the Covid19 outbreak in Florida.

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Wed Mar 18, 2020 12:48 pm


I think most seniors need extra vitamin C. The older body doesn't metabolize as well as younger ones, so they don't get the full effect. I had a couple of seniors that I supplemented with C because of hair loss, and it cleared right up.

The splayed legs could be an indication of low C levels. Vita Drops makes a liquid vitamin C preparation that's stored in an opaque bottle, so lasts quite a while. Just don't follow their instructions to add it to the water bottle. Some people dilute with a little orange juice, and others, including me, just sprinkle it on the veggies.

skuchi

Post   » Wed Mar 18, 2020 1:30 pm


Thank you, bpatters. You are always so helpful, and your advice is a great relief. We've got some ascorbic acid on hand so we'll mix up a proper solution and start adding that to her veggies and/or critical care daily. :)

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Wed Mar 18, 2020 2:39 pm


You'll have to mix the solution every time you want to give it. Vitamin C in water degrades almost immediately in the presence of light. You can't even make a day's worth of solution and have it be any good by the end of the day.

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Sef
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Wed Mar 18, 2020 3:19 pm


VitaDrops also makes a mist that you can spritz on veggies. I actually like that better than the drops.

skuchi

Post   » Fri Mar 20, 2020 6:40 pm


The vitamin C seems to be helping with her legs. She's got crusty, white stuff around her eyes now and still very, small poops. :( Is that related to the vit C? Just trying to do what we can for her under trying circumstances.

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