Young, ill pig

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Post   » Fri Mar 08, 2002 8:23 pm

Alicia is having trouble registering and is looking for more feedback. She sent this to me (it has also been posted at CG):

I went to give my piggies some veggies about half an hour ago. One of the babies ( 7 weeks old) looked really sort of down so I picked her up to give her a hug. She had lots of poo clogging her fur round her bottom. I

gave her a bath and cleaned her up. But she won´t eat. I put her back in her cage and she is just sitting there with her back to all the others. she won´t move. She usually runs round the cage when I go to feed them or stroke her but she´s just sitting there.

I have her on my lap now and she´s all puffed up. I have tried hand feeding her - she had a little nibble but is totally uninterested. I also noticed, when she did walk, she sort of dragged her back feet as one. Can anyone help me. My vet is really really reluctant to come out - the last time I phoned him with a sick cat he wouldn´t come either. Does anyone know what this could be and what can I do.

I am in tears as I write this - I know how serious it can be if they are sick. Should I just stay up with her all night and make sure she is ok? Please help.

I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Fri Mar 08, 2002 8:30 pm

The baby needs fluids and food. If poop is clogged on her butt, then she has loose stools or diarrhea. She must subcue, or very carefully force feed. Wet grass. The pig won´t make it for 24 hours unless she starts aggressive care.

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Post   » Fri Mar 08, 2002 8:31 pm

People advised her to post here (in hopes Pinta is around). She says, " Since I posted that message, she has been nibbling on food but still not really interested. I do not have a syringe with which to feed her so hand feeding her is proving difficult. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Also, should I put her back with her cage mates tonight or keep her separated.? Thanx for any help you can give me. "

I think some people have tried feeding with a straw. I´m not quite sure how they did it, but it could work. I would look around for an eyedropper (clean) -- something to suck things up with. Hopefully you will already have read the handfeeding info on Guinea Lynx and the advice on nuking pellets etc. I am sure they advised you to contact a vet. If your pet has a bacterial infection, only feeding will not help greatly.


Post   » Fri Mar 08, 2002 9:38 pm

You can try sucking unflavoured pedialyte up a straw and letting it dribble into her mouth. I don´t know how successful this might be since I´ve always had syringes available. It is vitally important that she chews/swallows the fluid. If fluid gets into her lungs, pneumonia could result.

Unflavoured pedialyte would be best since it has electrolytes in it. But she will need a lot of fluid if she is dehydrated. An adult pig requires about 60cc daily for maintenance.

I would separate her only to keep the others away from her poop. If she has an infection, they may pick it up from her poop. She may need drugs. You really have to get her to a vet. The dragging hind feet could be evidence of a C deficiency or a calcium deficiency.

From -


Like primates and certain other animals, guinea pigs lack l-gluconolactone
oxidase, an enzyme needed to synthesize ascorbic acid from glucose. Guinea pigs
require at least 5 mg ascorbic acid per day for normal growth and reproduction.

Clinical signs of deficiency are vague, and include weakness, anorexia, lassitude,
weight loss, and anemia. Affected animals may appear to be ataxic or to have
posterior paresis. There may be swelling of the stifle joints and hind feet.

Even before clinical manifestations appear, changes are said to be present in
odontoblasts and epiphyses. There is lack of normal osteoid formation, dense
mineralization of spicules present, and widening of costochondral joints.
Hemorrhages may occur anywhere: subcutis, joints, muscle, intestine. There may be
spontaneous fractures (mainly at proximal end of tibia in our experience). Cases have
been described in which classic signs were not present. Affected guinea pigs had
diarrhea, weight loss, and dehydration.
The jejunum, cecum, and colon were atonic
and hyperemic. Histologically, there was edema and hyperemia of the lamina propria
of the intestine with a mononuclear infiltrate of the lamina propria and submucosa,
and there was free blood, neutrophils, or both in the lumen. Bone lesions were
characteristic of the disease in the early stages, and included reduced osteoid
formation, reduction in bony trabeculae, thin epiphyses with fewer than normal
chondrocytes that formed irregular columns, maturation sequences that varied from
little maturation to normal, little osteoblastic activity, and increased osteoclastic
activity in regions of calcified cartilage.

You could start giving her 50-100mg/kg vitamin C daily. Give all of the pigs this dosage for a week in case they all have a C deficiency. Normal daily C requirement is about 25mg/kg (I think - don´t have the numbers close by).

Most important is to get her to a vet ASAP. If she has a bacterial infection, she will probably not survive without antibiotics.


Post   » Sat Mar 09, 2002 3:13 pm

she is still posting on CG with even more serious symptoms.
I have asked her to come here and post, but for some reason she has not.

I just came on and her post at CG has been collecting dust for 4 hours.
Please post a response to her or if you want her direct email(she doesn´t want it posted) email me at

Thanks Friends

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Post   » Sat Mar 09, 2002 3:41 pm

I can´t get the link to work. I can´t pull up CG either. You can post the information here if you wish but I can´t get at it right now (is the board turned off?). I don´t know how available Pinta is on the weekends. It´s also possible to write Josephine (she checks in here but not as regularly).

Alicia still has not been able to successfully register but she tried.

I am guessing you have advised she must see a qualified vet. Without reading more, this still is the best advice she is going to get.


Post   » Sat Mar 09, 2002 3:49 pm

I can´t get into CG either. I don´t think we could help much, though. This pig needs a vet and meds ASAP.

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Post   » Sat Mar 09, 2002 3:54 pm

I was just able to get in. I´ll copy the latest post in case you still can´t or there are more problems getting in. I guess there was alot of diarrhea yesterday.

.....I took Poppy to the vet this morning. She gave her an injection of antibiotics, but was reluctnat to give her a course of antibiotics becasue she said it would kill off all the good bacteria. Unfortunately, because I was so dead on my feet having been awake all night, I never asked the vet what antibiotics it was she had given her. She never mentioned what it was.

Poppy was the runt of the litter and is very underweight. The vet reckons that the others have been bullying her when feeding and stopping her getting food. So, I have separated them. The vet also gave me some Avipro to be dissolved inher water to try and replace the good bacteria in her gut. thankfully, my new vet seems to know what she is talking about.

The good news is she is eating again. Although she is not exactly gorging herself, she is showing a great deal more interest than she was last night and has eaten a small amount. Although for some reason she is very reluctant to take water from her bottle (can anyone shed any light on this?) I am managing to feed her water from a syringe with the Avipro in it.

The bad news is there is now blood in her poop. There wasn´t before. She is much perkier though and I really thought she was getting better. I have tried to call teh emergency vet but she isn´t answering her phone. Is there anything I can do for her in the meantime? And, why is their blood in her poop when she has been given antibiotics.?

Also, I visited, the Peter Gurney website and it said to give them a diocalm tablet to try and stop the gut spasms and try to make the piggy feel better - but is this suitable for baby pigs? Sorry this is so long. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

There are a couple threads on diarrhea here that might be helpful. I think the vet is wrong to not provide you with antibiotics to administer at home. There are some that don´t seem to upset the good bacteria much. I would do everything I could to get hold of the vet regarding the blood in the stool. I don´t think the behavior of the other pigs had anything to do with this problem.
Last edited by Lynx on Sat Mar 09, 2002 3:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Post   » Sat Mar 09, 2002 4:02 pm

I also think the vet was wrong and I agree with Lynx that the other pigs have nothing to do with it.
Giving just one dose of antibiotics is extremely bad, since it is so important that a full course be completed to avoid resistance. I don´t have a good feeling about this vet.

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Post   » Sat Mar 09, 2002 4:10 pm

This is the diarrhea thread: ... abee8&page=1

From reading it it sounds like you could use a stool culture to determine what antibiotic would work best and it also sounds like flagyl would help.


Post   » Sat Mar 09, 2002 8:12 pm

Yes, she needs a course of antibiotics. A poop from a healthy pig mashed up in a water and syringed down will help restore the gut flora.

And no, I don´t think her being bullied by the other pigs has anything to do with her illness although it could contribute to a C deficiency if she couldn´t get at high C foods.

Was the blood IN the poop or around it? Has red-tinted food like beets been ruled out.

Blood around poop could come from a wound or even from a urinary tract or bladder infection. If the pig poops and pees at about the same time it can be confusing as to where the blood is coming from. She could have passed a blood clot from a bladder infection and it intermingled with the poop.

If she has a UTI then the antibiotic might not have had a chance to work yet.

I´m not familiar with Avipro personally so can´t comment on it. Not familiar with Diocalm either. Is she having gut spasms?

If she is eating that is a very good sign. Keep handfeeding her and syringing down fluids. Lethargy is a sign of dehydration.

Are you giving her vitamin C supplements? C boosts the immune system and sick pigs should get additional C. Your initial descriptions of her symptoms sounded very much like a C deficiency to me. Without enough C her immune system will be compromised and she will be more likely to come down with infections healthy pigs can fight off.

Give her 50-100mg/kg daily.

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Post   » Sun Mar 10, 2002 5:38 am

I have finally managed to register. She is still eating, she has regained her appetite and I am still giving her lots of fluids. But, Now there is no diahorrea, she is only passing blood. I am trying in vain to get a hold of the vet. I will let you know how she is as soon as I get through to the vet. Thanx for all your help.


Post   » Sun Mar 10, 2002 6:51 am

If she´s passing blood it could very well be a urinary tract infection. Is she on a sulfa drug? Like Bactrim. Sulfa drugs are great for UTIs.

Is the blood in the pee? Does she strain when she pees? keep her on a white towel to monitor her output.

Since she is so young Baytril is not recommended.

Are you giving her vitamin C?

Does she appear to be in any pain?

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Post   » Sun Mar 10, 2002 7:21 am

I managed to get hold of the vet and took her to the surgery. The vet gave her another injectin of Baytril and gave me 5 days supply of it to give her twice a day. I have to give her 0.07mls twice a day. She also gave her a huge injection of fluids, although the vet said she did not seem to be dehydrated as I have been giving her fluids. The vet said the blood is definately not in the pee.

She is very bright and perky and her appetite seems to be back to normal. The vet said the fact she is so bright and perky is a good sign as is the fact she is eating again. She also told me to give her vitamin C drops, but I have run out of mine and the pet shops are closed. My uncle gives his pigs a small amount of orange squash in their water for vitamin C - is it ok to do this?

Thanks for your advice. I will keep you posted.

P.s. She is walking normally again as well. The vet said she was probably walking funny because she would have a pretty sore bottom.


Post   » Sun Mar 10, 2002 7:32 am

Just give her a portion of a vitamin C pill. It doesn´t have to be for pets. The squash isn´t going to do it. Give her parsley - that´s high in C and calcium.

Baytril is not recommended for young animals because it can interfere witrh their growth.

Bactrim, Chloramphenicol and Doxycycline are all safe for young pigs.

Baytril is usually a "last resort" drug with baby animals.

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Post   » Sun Mar 10, 2002 12:01 pm

Update - It looks as if the diahorrea and blood have stopped in the last few hours. Fingers crossed it doesn´t start again.


Post   » Sun Mar 10, 2002 1:45 pm

I don´t think you understand. Baytril is NOT for young animals. It would be better to switch to something safe for her bones and joints.


Post   » Tue Mar 12, 2002 4:33 pm

Sadly, Alicia´s pig died today. I´m sorry.


Post   » Tue Mar 12, 2002 6:41 pm

so am I.


Post   » Tue Mar 12, 2002 10:23 pm

That´s sad. I´m sorry.

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