Pepino's Medical Thread, Starting with Mites

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ItsaZoo
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Fri Oct 04, 2019 12:56 am


I’m sorry to hear about Pepino’s diagnosis and hope your vet can help you provide comfort and quality in his life.

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JaneDoe

Post   » Fri Oct 04, 2019 1:42 am


Thank you, Bookfan.

It’s pretty incredible. The vet found the lump more than two weeks ago and the life expectancy for pigs with lymphoma is two to five weeks after diagnosis. I took Pepino to the vet yesterday and the vet said Pepino had gained weight since his last weigh-in and the post-surgical swelling had gone down. The lump in his neck had not come back and there were no new ones to be found anywhere.

Steroids are usually used as treatment for pigs with lymphoma but usually don’t have any major effect, also the vet is worried about other side effects. So for the time being we are keeping Pepino as happy and comfortable as possible with the pain meds we used for the post-abscess treatment and letting him eat as much as he wants of whatever he wants.

Our vet is continuing to research his condition as much as she can and also ask the advice of Dr. Scott Stahl, one of the area’s premiere exotic veterinarians, who is cutting back on his practice hours to pursue other interests.

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JaneDoe

Post   » Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:34 am


Thanks, ItsaZoo, sorry I missed you there.

You see we are being cautiously optimistic--the vet says this does not look like other lymphoma cases she's seen.

Bookfan
For the Love of Pigs

Post   » Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:22 am


That's interesting Jane. Fingers crossed he'll continue to do well.

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Sef
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:49 am


Fingers crossed here, too. Big time. Keep us posted, okay?

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JaneDoe

Post   » Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:50 pm


Thank you both. Again, I am being CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC. I am wondering if it could also be an error at the lab. But then some diseases hit humans differently, too. Few men actually die of prostate cancer but I remember one man who had a very virulent form and went quickly. Meanwhile, a local TV reporter has had stage four lung cancer for years and is doing well.

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JaneDoe

Post   » Sun Oct 20, 2019 2:46 pm


I'm afraid Pepino doesn't have much time left. He seemed okay when I left for work Friday night (maybe eating a little less and a little less energetic) but it came and went. This morning (about 28 hours later) when I got home he hadn't eaten most of his food and was spending more time in the pigloo. He sniffed at some food but didn't seem able to eat it and he kind of wobbles when he walks. I have seen this too often.

I have been syringing water and Critical Care into him to keep him hydrated at least but I am not sure he will live through the night (or even the afternoon). I feel terrible but I have been through this too often and know when it is an animal's (or a person's) time to go.

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Sef
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Sun Oct 20, 2019 3:02 pm


I'm so sorry, Jane. My husband and I just suffered a loss this past week, so the pain is still very fresh for me. I hate that you're going through this. Fingers crossed that Pepino rallies and can spend a little more time with you, but unfortunately it sounds like you may be right.

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JaneDoe

Post   » Sun Oct 20, 2019 3:25 pm


Thank you, Sef. Nine pigs in almost seventeen years and you learn. I just wish I hadn't offered to work extra tonight and I hope if he goes soon it won't be at TOO bad a time.

My co-worker who evidently doesn't know much about animals doesn't understand it's not kind to keep syringing food, water and meds into an animal that can't hardly swallow. When Pippin died I met a guy who had recently lost his dog. We talked about syringe-feeding animals for extended periods of time and his quote was "they don't enjoy it and neither do we."

I am very grateful to have had Pepino more than five years. When I got him he had what looked like a bite wound from one of his brothers and mites which he had probably been harbouring for a while. After that (about four years) he hardly even sneezed--the only time he was at the vet's was for check ups. When he got the abscess last December I didn't expect him to live through New Year's and then I didn't expect him to survive Good Friday. Now I'm done with school for at least the time being, my mom's house has been sold and she is safely in assisted living. So I guess it could be worse.

Kelly Jo said animals know when it's their time to go. Pippin lived through the misery of mold remediation and refinancing the house--just too bad he died on my birthday. My aunt is one of those people who has to have SOMEONE to care for--my mom said G-d kept her drug-addicted son and our 96-year-old grandmother alive long so my aunt would have someone to care for. Now she has one daughter in law, three grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

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Sef
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Sun Oct 20, 2019 4:41 pm


Especially after what we just went through with Amos, I have very mixed feelings about force feeding and some of the heroics we do to try to keep these little guys with us. We love them and want them to have a good quality life with us for as long as possible, but if I had been able take my emotions out of the equation this past week, I might not have opted to put our little guy through surgery and all of the attempted life-saving measures on my part, the stress of which may have actually hastened his death (or at least, didn't make his last moments very pleasant).

You have my sympathy, Jane Doe.

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JaneDoe

Post   » Sun Oct 20, 2019 5:25 pm


I know if it weren't for past measures Pepino would have died a long time ago and up until now his quality of life has been good. The main problem when I last saw him was he was breathing hard and kind of "wobbling" when he walked, also seems unable to eat. This has been different from his last episodes so I'm sure it won't be cured by a new antibiotic or a shot of cortisone, etc, although he does seem happier with more pain meds.

When Patapsco was dying the vet did suggest some last-ditch measures driving at least 15 or 20 miles to another vet in Virginia and having more tests done, which would probably not Tammy at Cavymadness, who is like my Obi Wan Kenobe or my Mr. Miyagi agreed that stuff like that only stresses the animal and in this case would have stressed me, too. After the vet found the huge tumour on his Patapsco's pancreas she told me I was "110% right" in insisting he be euthed that same day.

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ItsaZoo
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Mon Oct 21, 2019 2:00 am


I’m sorry you have to go through this, Jane. You have done an outstanding job caring for your piggies and they were all very fortunate to have you there for them.

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JaneDoe

Post   » Mon Oct 21, 2019 2:59 am


Thanks, ItsaZoo.

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JaneDoe

Post   » Mon Oct 21, 2019 10:46 pm


I came home yesterday evening and found him dead. Will post more later.

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ItsaZoo
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Mon Oct 21, 2019 11:33 pm


My sympathy to you, Jane. You have been through so much. Take care of yourself and know that you did so much to give Pepino such a good life.

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mmeadow
Supporter 2004-2020

Post   » Tue Oct 22, 2019 5:09 pm


I'm so sorry.

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JaneDoe

Post   » Tue Nov 19, 2019 12:25 am


Thank you both.

The vet called with Pepino’s necropsy results the day (or the day after) I dropped him off but this has been very painful to post about. Surprisingly it apparently wasn’t the cancer that killed him—it had spread very little if at all since the surgery. The vet said she found blood in his chest so it was probably a heart attack or a stroke that killed him—whatever it was it was probably sudden although I knew about 12 hours before he died he probably didn’t have much time.

Surprisingly his liver and kidneys were fine although he had been on various medications for almost eleven months—my own liver and kidneys took a beating from just a few weeks of OTC medications. At any rate she says he probably didn’t suffer much (he seemed pretty good about 25 to 36 hours before) and even if I had got him to an emergency vet it wouldn’t have helped. And he got to die at home.

I am tearing up just writing this and still feeling blue, even though the vet says Pellegrino is fine and we are going with all the happy things that come with adopting a new baby.

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Sef
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Tue Nov 19, 2019 5:51 am


I'm so sorry, JaneDoe. I'm sure it was sudden if it was either a stroke or heart attack, and there was nothing that the vet could have done.

Sending you a gentle hug.

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JaneDoe

Post   » Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:07 am


Thank you, Sef, the sad feelings come and go. I am happy about getting a new baby and that Pellegrino seems well but still sad thinking about Pepino. And for all the beautiful piggies who need homes whom I can’t adopt. But once things are official with the new baby my mission will be to find homes for these other guys. And girls.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:16 am


Although I only had one necropsy done (on Kitten, the guinea pig), it was very helpful to have the results and glad I had it done. Sometimes we don't get a definitive answer but at least enough information to have an idea of what likely happened. I see so many guinea pig owners blame themselves for a death when they had actually done all they could.

I am sorry about Pepino.

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