Penny's Med Thread

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Annapox

Post   » Wed Nov 30, 2022 4:37 pm


Penny's weight was stable through 11/27 (three days ago), and I even saw her popcorn two or three times over the last few days. However, she's barely touched her pellets today, and when I weighed her, she was 94.3 g lighter than on 11/27. Only 12.5 g of that can be accounted for by the uneaten pellets. I have a vet appointment for Penny tomorrow afternoon, but it's at a different location (same practice, though) with a different vet. Penny's last dose of the Cisapride was on 11/24; could the weight loss be because she isn't on it anymore?

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Wed Nov 30, 2022 10:05 pm


I'm sorry to hear she has lost weight. Let us know what the vet thinks. The cisapride (a motility drug) may have something to do with it - but I don't really know. Does she seem to be in pain at all?
www.guinealynx.info/pain.html

Annapox

Post   » Thu Dec 01, 2022 8:31 am


Her fur is sticking out, but I don't think she's hunching. Then again, I've never seen a guinea pig hunch as far as I know. Penny's fur has also always stuck out during veggie time, so it didn't register as a possible symptom until I read the list you linked. I don't think she's showing any of the other symptoms on the list. She's acting like her usual happy self, although of course she's probably not actually happy. She ate her veggies as eagerly as usual yesterday and has eaten her vitamin C biscuits yesterday and today (she gets one twice a day and loves them), but I left the pellets out for her overnight and they still looked untouched this morning. I did see her eat one pellet last night, though.

I did the math (or rather my spreadsheet did), and Penny lost 9% of her weight between 11/27 and 11/30. She still looks the same size, but that might just be because her fur is sticking out. The silver lining is that, since Penny was very overweight before all this, she could afford the weight loss. I'm not so worried about whether she'll gain the weight back; I just want her to stop losing weight.

The vet appointment is scheduled for about 5.5 hours from the time of writing this, so I'll post an update sometime after that.

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Thu Dec 01, 2022 8:43 am


So glad she is still eating. F
FYI, a good way to evaluate weight can be found on this page (a veterinarian sent me condition guidelines - they do not depend on weight but distribution and condition).
www.guinealynx.info/weigh.html

Annapox

Post   » Thu Dec 01, 2022 7:34 pm


Thank you for the info!

The vet said it's GI dysmotility; Penny's back on the Cisapride and will remain on it indefinitely. The vet said that any number of things can cause GI dysmotility in older pigs. He managed to draw blood without anesthesia (he drew it from her leg), and according to the results of the first set of tests Penny's liver and kidneys and everything are functioning normally. I should get a call about her red and white blood cell counts and things like that by early next week.

Penny is currently eating her pellets, which is a relief.

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Thu Dec 01, 2022 10:07 pm


Yes, there definitely are guinea pigs that have been put on motility drugs long term.

Annapox

Post   » Sat Dec 03, 2022 10:17 am


Penny resumed eating her pellets within a couple hours of her first dose of Cisapride on 12/1 and finished her pellets about as fast as she does when she's healthy. She didn't finish them until about 10:15 pm, though, and I'm guessing that's why she was very slow to eat her pellets yesterday (12/2). She almost finished them during the night; she had about ten pellets left when I woke up this morning.

On 12/1 I forgot about weighing her until after she'd had her veggies, but she was weighed at the vet when she'd only had a little bit of lettuce (for hydration on the way to the vet), and her weight was stable compared to 11/30. Yesterday (12/2) when I weighed her, she'd gained 62.9 g from 11/30.

Yesterday I got an email from the vet who did Penny's well check in October (he asked me to keep him updated on Penny's condition back when we started her on the meloxicam), and he said Penny's weight loss could be caused by stopping the Cisapride but that he's usually careful about putting pigs on Cisapride long-term because it can cause electrolyte imbalances. He also told me which vet to ask about it if I brought Penny in for an appointment, and it was the vet who saw her on 12/1. That vet didn't mention anything about electrolyte imbalances and said it was safe to put guinea pigs on Cisapride long-term, so now I'm a little confused. The vet's office just called a few minutes ago to check in and see if I had any questions, so I asked about Cisapride and electrolyte imbalances. The office will call me back when they have an answer for me.

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Sat Dec 03, 2022 10:22 am


As I mentioned earlier, there are definitely guinea pigs here who have been put on motility drugs long term.

Glad to hear she's eating better now!

Do make sure any exam includes an examination of her teeth in case she is losing weight. It's helpful to keep the details of this page (signs of malocclusion) in mind:
www.guinealynx.info/malocclusion.html

Annapox

Post   » Sat Dec 03, 2022 11:59 am


Thank you for the information! Penny isn't showing any of the listed symptoms of malocclusion. Her teeth were definitely examined on 12/1, both by using an otoscope and by feeling her jaws. I actually thought this was standard procedure, because I don't think I've ever seen an exam where the guinea pig's teeth weren't examined.

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sat Dec 03, 2022 2:40 pm


That's not really an adequate dental exam, because it can't diagnose elongated roots. If you think she's having any trouble eating, you need skull x-rays, taken from both the side and the top, to diagnose the problem.

Annapox

Post   » Sat Dec 03, 2022 3:09 pm


She's able to eat veggies, hay, and her vitamin C biscuit without any noticeable difficulty. She takes longer to finish her pellets than usual, but her chewing looks normal to me when she does eat them. She had X-rays done on 11/14, but I didn't get to see them because the computer wouldn't load them, so I don't know what angle(s) they were taken from. I just know that that's how the vet initially found the excess gas in Penny's digestive system.

If Penny is eating all her other foods normally, does the fact that she's slowed down on pellets still point to a dental issue? I was thinking it was because she ate most of her 12/1 pellets in the evening and so she might not be as hungry earlier in the day, since most of her pellets seem to disappear in the evening.

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Sat Dec 03, 2022 8:16 pm


I can't answer that but if she ends up having problems maintaining weight, it certainly would still be a good avenue to explore.

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Sef
I dissent.

Post   » Sat Dec 03, 2022 8:49 pm


Agree.

Annapox

Post   » Wed Dec 07, 2022 6:25 pm


Penny's weight has remained stable over the last few days. Some days she eats at least half of her pellets, and sometimes she barely touches them, but at least she isn't losing weight. The medication seems to be helping. Yesterday I got an email from the vet saying Penny's bloodwork came back normal. The vet wants her to go in for exams every three months going forward, obviously more often if her health starts to decline again.

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Wed Dec 07, 2022 8:50 pm


Sounds like a plan. You are very observant and are sure to catch any serious issues.

Annapox

Post   » Fri Dec 16, 2022 4:37 pm


So Penny's been losing a little bit of weight each day for about the last week. In total she's lost about 3% of her weight over the last week, which on its own isn't out of the ordinary, but it's been consistent weight loss instead of fluctuations. Penny is still eating and pooping; in fact, she's back to finishing all of her pellets before the morning is over. She's gotten into the habit of pulling at the fleece bedding until the edge is accessible so that she can chew on the edge, and she's never done that before, but I would think that if she had a dental problem she would be chewing on the bricks I keep under the water bottles to catch drips (bricks seem like they'd be more effective at wearing down teeth, and it's what one of my previous guinea pigs did when she had dental issues, even though the issue was with her molars). I've solved the fleece-chewing problem by safety-pinning the edges of the fleece to the quilted furniture pads underneath so that she can't pull them toward her (the safety pins are also out of her reach). I emailed the vet, and he said I should keep monitoring Penny's weight but that it might not be a bad idea to do more X-rays to see if anything has changed. I'm trying to decide whether I should wait on the X-rays and see how Penny's weight does over the next few days since she only lost 3% over the last week, or whether I should make the appointment sooner rather than later because she never gained weight over the last week.

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Fri Dec 16, 2022 8:35 pm


It sounds like you're not hand feeding at the moment. Do you have some Critical Care available? A few people have tried making small soft mushballs to put on a plate so their guinea pig can eat them if they care to. Might boost nutrition without the stress of hand feeding.

Annapox

Post   » Sat Dec 17, 2022 10:31 am


I have some Critical Care in the freezer from when Penny was spayed a year ago (she never needed it, so it's unopened). A couple weeks ago I tried making some of her pellets into mush for her to eat when she wasn't eating her pellets, but she ended up eating the pellets after all and ignoring the mush. I could try Critical Care, though. Does she need the extra nutrition even though she's eating all her food?

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Sat Dec 17, 2022 7:54 pm


Go by her weight. If you are seeing gradual, consistent weight loss and she is not overweight (guidelines on the weigh page), some sort of supplement is needed.
https://www.guinealynx.info/weigh.html

Annapox

Post   » Mon Dec 19, 2022 3:43 pm


Penny has actually gained weight for the last three days, so I guess she doesn't need the Critical Care just yet.

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