So as the title says I have a 2 year and 10 month old boar who was recently diagnosed with pulmonary edema. I have suspected heart problems since he was about 6 months old but after several vet visits (including one this spring) I was constantly told everything was fine. 5 days ago I decided I'd had enough and I pretty much demanded they'd do new X-rays and bloodwork and this time they took me seriously. He was breathing heavily and put on oxygen immediately when we arrived, and was then taken for X-rays and blood.
X-rays showed lots of fluid in the lungs, but they couldn't say for sure if the heart was enlarged. Surprisingly the lungs sounded clear when listened to and his pulse was normal with no murmur. Bloodwork was fine and there were no signs of infection.
He is now on furosemide (orally) 10mg/ml and I give him 0.6 ml twice a day. It has only been 36 hours but I am worried that he's not showing any signs of improvement. It is quite the opposite actually and I find him to be even more blue/gray around the lips/ears/paws and his nasal discharge is way worse. I would say his breathing is a bit heavier too.
Any thoughts on dosage? I have no earlier experience with lasix and I'm not sure what a normal response is but I'm pretty sure they're not supposed to get worse. Nasal discharge is also green-tinted when dried up. I'm taking him back to the vet in 2 days to check for possible infection and/or further treatment.
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The dosage of Lasix sounds right to me, depending on his weight, although I'm not a guinea pig heart expert. If he's more than one kilogram, it could be increased. Have you read http://www.guinealynx.info/heart.html#medications?
The green tint to the nasal discharge suggests infection. You should get that looked at ASAP.
You could email the user Talishan through this forum mailer and ask for her opinion on the heart issues. Good luck with him, and let us know how you get along.
I asked the vet about his heart and she said it didn't seem enlarged and that I should worry about one thing at a time. She gave him a 50/50 chance to live through the weekend. Can't believe this happened over night...
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The guidelines say that a pig who is eating nothing else needs 100+ cc of Critical Care or pellet slurry for every kilogram it weighs, every day, divided into 6-8 feedings around the clock. Adjust up or down according to the weight of the pig, and down if he's eating some on his own. See http://www.guinealynx.info/handfeeding.html for more info, and post back here if you have questions.
However, he is still nowhere near his normal pink color, and there is still discharge from the nose. I can't say I notice a big difference in his ability to breathe properly either. I'm taking him back to the vet tomorrow for a check up. I can't shake this feeling I could be doing more, and I feel so helpless.
One vet told me I could have him placed under 24/7 care at the clinic, but it's not a specialized exotics clinic. He would however be given oxygen around the clock which I think he really needs. Do guinea pigs take well to being hospitalized? I feel it would put him under great stress and might not be worth it.
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Lasix alone won't treat a heart condition. What it does is get rid of the excess fluid, but doesn't specifically target the heart. He's way more likely to get dehydrated from the Lasix, although that's not actually much of a worry.
On our last vet visit I was called in to look at the X-rays. They confirmed that his heart was very enlarged (just as I had claimed from day one). I once again asked for Benazepril but she wouldn't listen. She said we couldn't rule out cancer, and suggested maybe he should be euthanized. I was furious and demanded we take the next step in his treatment and we got an appointment with a cat/dog cardiologist for ultrasounds.
Sadly, my dear Scrampen (I know, my pig names are wierd) did not make it to that appointment. He died peacefully two days later surrounded by me and the other boys. It just breaks my heart that with all my experience, and all the money we spent, and all the trips we took it made absolutely no difference. The vets won't listen and guinea pigs are still considered disposable.
He never really liked me so most of his life I just let him do his own thing. Some days he would come up to me and say hello, and enjoy a little head scratch, but it was always on his terms. It still makes me smile when I think about what a little brat he was, and I loved him with all my heart.
Thank you Lynx and bpatters for your help, and taking an interest in him.
I know you will miss him.