Boar with coordination problems and blindness (sorry, techni

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Post   » Mon Mar 18, 2002 11:02 am


maybe four wheeks ago our boar Poldi, 1yo, 880g,
suffered a pneumonia. This was treated with antibiotics
which cleared his respiratory system up quite fast.
Unfortunately he stopped eating, we needed to force feed him.
He is now down on 800g, but has started to eat again,
so we only supplement him.

Within the last week he got not only weak,
he makes the impression of being blind (his eyes
still react on light), he often lifts his head
up to sniff around, he runs around in his pen like
mad until after one minute he calms down.
Furtheron he is completely uncoordinated,
he seems to suffer fits after we feed him and
give him his medicaments, he throws his head
in his neck and gets extremely nervous.

He has no other signs of illness, eats, poos and wees,
seems quite well when he is in his pen with his buddies.

Our vet is clueless.

We give a vitB supplement and some yoghurt.

Any hints ? At the moment his main condition
is very bad, he is completely unccordinated and


Jens E. Jesau

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Post   » Mon Mar 18, 2002 11:52 am

What is it you are supplementing him with? I wonder if he is getting an adequate amount of vitamin C?


Post   » Mon Mar 18, 2002 12:34 pm

I´m definitely no expert here, but I´m wondering if he might have suffered any kind of accidental fall or injury that could result in neurological damage?

Another thought is that possibly he accidentally ingested some kind of toxic substance. Has he had access to anything that might have been contaminated with weed killer or cleansing chemicals, for example?

Incidentally, what kind of antibiotic was he on?

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Post   » Mon Mar 18, 2002 12:37 pm

Regarding Lisam´s advice -- if food intake were down, it is possible for a deficiency to occur.

What antibiotics were given? How long? What is he getting now? Does the vitamin B supplement have any other vitamins in it? New problems can show up if fat soluble vitamins are also given. How much yogurt? You might want to switch to acidophilous capsules (give a few grains sprinkled on wet vegs) or a crushed poop from a healthy pig. Yogurt usually has vitamin D added and is actually not a good food to feed a cavy. I think excess D can interfere with calcium absorption.

Has your pet been treated for parasites? There is a parasite that apparently affects balance in rabbits.

Is there any chance your pig is chewing on anything that has lead based paint on it? Is there anything being ingested that might contain toxins?

Is the vet trying anything else? Has he done any tests? Keep in mind I have no veterinary background at all, but I would try treating with ivermectin and a new antibiotic and review all the things your pet is eating.

Maybe you can describe the diet (including how fresh the pellets are, how much fresh food, etc.).

Meanwhile weighing daily sounds important and making sure he is getting enough food. What did you suppliment him with? Some things have little nutritional value. Critical care might help alot.


Post   » Mon Mar 18, 2002 4:14 pm

Why do you think he is blind? Is he bumping into things?

Have mites been ruled out? Giving him meds and feeding him require handling. If he was ill, his immune system was compromised and that is when "dormant" mites can often become a severe and painful infestation.

What you describe sounds like a reaction to pain. Since he seems fine when he´s in with his buddies, I would suspect he is reacting to something that occurs while being handled. It would be worth checking his mouth and throat for signs of traumalike ulcerations, or abscesses, since there seems to be a connection between his "fits" and feeding activity.

If he is uncoordinated and jerky all the time it could be from an inner ear infection. Dinomom at Cavies Galore has plenty of personal experience with the difficulty of inner ear infections and balance loss. There are many threads about Chocolate Milk in the medical forums. Also pigs suffering from heart problems can appear uncoordinated, although from my experience the uncoordination is not combined with frenetic activity.

He may have been ill from more than one bacteria and while the antibiotics cleared up one, the other was resistant, had a chance to proliferate and move throughout the body.

To cover all bases I would ask for a culture to be done, and while waiting for the results, try a different antibiotic. I would also have the throat and mouth checked for sores, and give ivermectin. Our vet does not like to treat compromised animals with Ivermectin but if there is an indication that parasites like mites are the root of the problem, then it would be an appropriate treatment to try.

And definitely it would not hurt to give the therapeutic dose of C, 50-100mg/kg daily while he is ill.

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