After hours of searching around, there isn't a whole lot of information when it comes to caring for a disabled guinea pig. A lot of the threads I find end with the owners opting to put their piggies down or juicing them up with medications they found online without consulting a vet first. Every day, I sit down in the hopes of finding a comprehensive guide to hopefully make this process easier on not just Sully, but me and my brother (who has been helping with his care a lot). I found a single video about physical therapy, so we incorporate that technique with what we've been currently doing. We clean him several times throughout the day and give him a full on bath every few days. Mainly to get all the yucky stuff off of him, but we've also been trying out modified hydrotherapy to see if it makes a difference.
Sully is still struggling with mobility. I don't think it's a lost cause entirely because he's been gaining muscle in his right hind leg and actively tries to pull his feet away from during therapy. But this is all trial and error for us because as I said, there doesn't appear to be much on caring for guinea pigs in his position. Despite our efforts to keep him clean, he's still losing bits of fur because of skin irritation. With his inability to move much, he has a bed sore, which thankfully hasn't gotten infected because we caught it early enough. We've bandaged it up to keep everything else out of it. He's still eating, drinking, and using the bathroom normally. We've bumped up his vitamin C intake, he gets fresh hay whenever he wants it, and I'm going to get him some toys he can play with since he can't use any of the ones I got for his floor time (crinkle tube and a teach n' treat). He's still surprisingly spunky despite the lack of mobility because when the rabbits are out playing, he gets excited and wheeks for attention. I catch him trying to popcorn when he gets his dinner, so I don't think this is something that needs to end with him being put down like some other sites suggest. Is there anything else I should be doing? Does anyone have any helpful guides or videos they could point me to?
- Supporter in 2019
- Cavy Comic
There were no meds offered for it for piggies back then in my country. The X-ray showed she had arthritis in her hips. I put Bibi on Glucosamin and Alchemilla permanently myself instantly after. Her slow hopping stopped, she walked again within days and was running up to rocket speed within a week. Amazing! The last X-Ray before her death showed that it even reversed her arthritis so much that the vet didn't even spot it.
Binky had it even worse when he complained about being sore (he goes against all instincts and always tells us when he has a prob). The X-Ray showed a severe arthritic right knee and lesser problem in the left. The vet said that if he were human, he needed a knee replacement. His bad heart condition, which he was treated for already, made him a bad candidate for chronic meds, it would kill him soon.
Since I too have arthritis and thrive well with Glucosamin and Collagen for it, as I can't stand Alchemilla, I instantly started him on it. Within 14 days, you would never have know that he has arthritis and has been well ever since. I would say that this combo works great, considering how bad his right knee was.
- For the Love of Pigs
fudgecakes - hope you find some solutions that help. I won't go into all the detail, but we had a pig that got paralyzed hind legs from stone surgery (we think her legs were tied down too tightly). Warm water soak did seem to help temporarily. We tried to build a cart & failed - we're not very resourceful. And I didn't know about the page sef linked to. Sounds to me like you're on the right track.
After bandaging up his bed sore, it's completely scabbed over and healing. Looked it over and the scab looks healthy, no pus or swelling so I don't think we'll have to worry about it getting infected. He still isn't enjoying physical therapy and every session ends with him trying to attack something, whether it be the baby wipes or his towel, or he tries to bolt. We aren't even upset when he runs because at least he's moving lol.
- Cavy Comic
I can add that I gave it to my hub, as he started to suffer as well. Him being reluctant to try it was wiped off the table when his mom had to have surgery on her shoulder. He too started to feel a difference after a month and after a year, it almost completely reversed itself. I suggested his mom to take it as well, and it prevented her other shoulder to have surgery, so it seems to work well for both of them too.
I have to add some curcumin for Binky. I also take curcumin for my MS muscle and joint problems with a noticeable result. Binky has been kept in small cages too long before he ended up with us, he had lower back pain, and it seems to have helped tremendously for it as well. I also give it to hub and he claims that the curcumin also has a fantastic effect on his muscles after he does some DIY or gardening, it makes him far less sore after, he says.
That, however, can have an effect on bile production, so there is a dosage for each individual that works well or makes you feel slightly ill and affect liver values in tests. So, I take the minimal dosage for all of us.
I buy all supplements on Amazon: decent prizes and great stuff.
And another update on the little guy for those who are curious. He stood up on his own during physical therapy last night! We'd give him a break from the stretches and he'd lay down for a second before he was back on his feet. He even tried walking, but after taking a few steps, he decided he had enough for the day and taking a nap was ultimately more appealing.