Guinea Pigs' health

Update on Kirk and something about luck

Kirk seems to be doing fine. Breathing normally, taking his meds. Some loss of appetite, but apparently normal due to the antibiotic and anti inflammatory meds. Nothing to panic, he still eats and poops.

Ms M is looking at the last photo she took of Worf few days before he died. And she is struggling not to cry. Somehow that Saturday end January when she took Worf to the animal clinic she had a feeling he would not come back.

He came back though. He wanted to fight, but he relapsed. And unfortunately the vet that should have taken care of him considered he is not worth fighting. She couldn’t even say if it was pneumonia or a tumor.

The humans still blame themselves for giving in to tiredness due to dealing with two small kids and accepting an easy solution for the vet. They believe they should have followed all their warning signs and find a second vet faster. It was not done, Worf died.

Actually, when it was done, after almost two months of struggle, he was to weak to keep fighting.

Of course the (not so) cavy savy vet that actually had no idea how to put a diagnostic, nor to treat pneumonia had it’s share in this tragic happening. But the main responsibility is on the humans’ shoulders. Or at least this is how they feel it.

After Worf’s death, Ms M searched on the cavy savy groups and web pages and found useful info about how a pneumonia should be addressed and what were the odds for a longer, heavy treatment to be needed. To bad she didn’t do it before…

Now Kirk got hospitalized for a similar issue. His (new) cavy savy vet was not there; she is on site only on Wednesdays. But he was consulted by a generalist that got in contact with the cavy savy vet, explained the situation, decided together the treatment and so on and so forth.

Two days after, he was discharged by the cavy savy vet and Ms M received an explanation about the course of treatment. The vet prescribed a longer period for the antibiotics, mentioned that there is a chance a second course should be needed etc. And, the most important, she said that if he would have again issues breathing, to go back asap.

For Worf it was just a shoulders raising, a condescend smile and “well, if he has issues again we should put him to sleep”.

Life is not fair. At all. But apparently Kirk is luckier than Worf. Or the humans had a wake up call. But still not fare. At all.

And Kirk refuses to stay still for a photo. 🙂

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Guinea Pigs' lifestyle, Uncategorized

Power struggle

Kirk is back home. Not cleared, but stable and not in need for oxygen therapy. So all the other medicines can be given at home.

After three days of being the king of the pen, Archy seemed a little bit disturbed by Kirk’s return. Kirk didn’t take it well neither, so they picked a fight. Not the usual rumbling and teeth chattering, but really some biting and Kirk ended up with some scratches on his nose.

The logical thing to do was to separate them. Kirk is still under treatment and avoiding supplementary stress should be a priority. Of course, from the logistic point of view, this separation caused a mess.

The grids were used to build a shelf. Now the shelf had to be dismantled in a hurry (kids were demanding attention too). The VetBed was placed in such way that they both sleep on it, but is not large enough to cover the full cage. So it had to be moved. And redecorating was necessary too.

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On the other hand, Spock was out of the house for less than nine hours. When he got back, both Data and him were so happy for the reunion that they hid in the same little wood house and just enjoyed the closeness.

Now we just hope Kirk and Archy will accept once again to share the same cage.

Guinea Pigs' health

When the humans are freaking out

Kirk has troubles breathing so he is in hospital waiting further investigations.

Since yesterday morning when Ms M noticed this she is literally freaking out. Especially that Worf died end March due to a bad managed pneumonia. And that Kirk had a mammary tumor removed some weeks ago and the vet explained it could give metastasis to the lungs.

Unfortunately our new cavy savy vet comes to Brussels once per week, on Wednesdays. And her very good clinic is quite far from the town.

So Kirk was taken to the clinic where she consults in Brussels and the generalist vet will follow the cavy savy instructions in order to investigate.

So far no news and Ms M already cleaned her desk twice. She is almost trembling and in a very bad mood.

Fingers crossed for Kirk.

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Uncategorized, Guinea Pigs' health

Bumblefoot and The Gang

Disclaimer: This is not medical advise. This is just our experience with pododermatites in Guinea Pigs and the purpose of this post is to offer our experience in case it can help others. Please talk to your vet before administrating any treatment.  

Worf had pododermatites to his back paws and one of the front. We didn’t realized and, by the time we got to the vet, it was pretty bad.

The vet we had at that time said it was quite common in Guinea Pigs and, unfortunately, there was not much we could do. But she proposed laser therapy.

After 14 sittings, he was cleared. His paws were “like new”.

The vet that performed the laser therapy suggested to use VetBed too, at least in his hidings where he loved to hide and sleep. By the time it was ordered and arrived, Worf got pneumonia and died. (I feel like crying now.)

Data had pododermatites. He has some soft poop, we are trying to clear that out now, and it gets stuck to his paws so the moisture got to him. Not as bad as Worf had.

The old vet noticed nothing. The new vet saw it immediately. We missed it, of course.

The new vet proposed Traumeel cream (composition for 100g: arnica montana radix D3 1,5 g, calendula officinalis Ø 0,45 g, hamamelis virginiana Ø 0,45 g, echinacea Ø 0,15 g, echinacea purpurea Ø 0,15 g, chamomilla Ø 0,15 g, symphytum officinale D4 0,1 g, bellis perennis Ø 0,1 g, hypericum perforatum D6 0,09 g, millefolium Ø 0,09 g, aconitum napellus D1 0,05 g, belladonna D1 0,05 g, mercurius solubilis D6 0,04 g, hepar sulphur D6 0,025 g). We had to apply this twice per day for about one month. Paws got cleared.

VetBed was implemented in their cage. Spock takes advantage of it too.

Archy had / still has some pododermatites. He used to have saw dust as bedding and most probably the wet one was not cleaned often.

I have noticed some dried “skin” hanging from his soles and clipped it while taking care of his nails. As it didn’t get worse, we leave it like this and mentioned it to the vet when we were last week. She showed me some scars (little ones) and said it was pododermatites, but almost cured so no need to do anything else.

Archy is on VetBed since 10 July and most probably this helped a lot. Vitamine C and the fact that he is younger too.

Our conclusion: bumblefoot can be treated. But, most important, it can be prevented!

  • Use a bedding or clean the bedding as often as needed so it stays dry under their buts.
  • If your piggy doesn’t move a lot due to age or other conditions, definitely invest in VetBed.
  • Paws check should be part of the weekly routine, along with weighting and feeling for lumps.

Live long and prosper!

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Guinea Pigs' health

Archy went to the vet

Yesterday 3 piggies were scheduled to see the vet. Two of them should have had also some minor surgery. But it’s summer and computers and humans go crazy so our vet’s agenda was messed up and only Archy got to be “solved”.

So, Archy had a check up to make sure he is healthy and fit. He got the clean bill.

Apparently he had pododermatitis but everything looks fine now. How he got this diagnosis? Well, he had some “dry skin” hanging from his paws. Ms M cut this and it never came back. The vet said it was for sure pododermatitis and showed some leftover scars. Small pieces, but still there to prove the diagnosis. According to her, moving him on a VetBed was the best thing to do and due to that he is now almost pododermatitis free.

We will come back with another post on our experience with pododermatitis.

Meanwhile, this is Archy and his busy, Kirk, enjoying breakfast.

guinea pigs tales

Life with two toddlers

Our family counts 2 toddlers, one of 1 year old and one of 3, and four guinea pigs. Getting rid of the piggies when Ms M was pregnant first time was out of question. And some strict limits are in place regarding the interaction between piggies and kids.

First and most important, piggies are not toys. They have their life and they should be left in peace to live it. This doesn’t exclude playing with them, but the moment the piggies are not comfortable anymore, the play stops.

Since Lil’ M’s birth, piggies started to adapt to the new life. Parents and kid too, but this is about the piggies. New noises, lots of noise in general, toddler jumping on the couch, toddler getting in te cage and stealing food, you name it.

Now Lil’ M jumps from the back of the couch on the couch and Spock and Data keep munching their food like nothing happens.

Lil’ G brought new challenges in the family. He started walking earlier and he didn’t understand much about inflicting pain at that age. So all he wanted was to get in Spock’s and Data’s pen and play with them. That’s why their exit to the couch was blocked. Actually the entrance to their cage was blocked. 😀

Now Lil’ G is big enough to bend over the fence and try to pet them. Weirdly enough Spock accepts it! He usually doesn’t accept being touched.

While Lil’ M steals their veggies and pellets, Lil’ G takes the water bottles and drinks the water. So Ms M must check the food bowls and the water bottles before going to bed.

The difficult part was when Worf died. This had to be explained to Lil’ M and she insisted on playing with Kirk to keep him company and be his friend. She used to ask to be put in his cage and stayed there talking to him and giving food.

Once she insisted on putting a spinach leaf on his head and on hers too and said they were wearing hats. Kirk was not disturbed.

Of course, the adults were always around and the cage is big enough for the piggy to have enough room to hide from the toddler.

Now that Kirk and Archy live together, Lil G goes to the fence and tries to say their names. Achy and Kik. 😀 He even gets super excited when the piggies are roaming in the cage.