Penny's Med Thread

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Sat Oct 15, 2022 7:43 pm


Paper towels have their uses. I guess I am someone who uses cloth towels and washes them.

I don't think butt baths are harmful. If you feel it is appropriate, I would just do one. Guessing a mild cleansing agent like Johnson & Johnson's baby shampoo might work.

[edit] But much better to use a shampoo specifically formulated for pet hair that will not strip oils from the skin. A couple suggestions follow in the posts below.

Annapox

Post   » Sun Oct 16, 2022 12:18 pm


Yeah, I've been using baby shampoo for the butt baths, and it works. I'm just worried about drying out Penny's skin because sometimes she gets a new poop stain the day after a bath. I don't want to leave the poop there for too long, but I don't want to bathe her so frequently that it dries out her skin, either. So I was just hoping there was something I could do to stretch the time between baths.

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sun Oct 16, 2022 1:34 pm


As long as you rinse her well, the frequent baths won't hurt. But I'd get something besides baby shampoo. Squeaky Clean Critter Shampoo is made for small furries, and won't strip the oil from her skin and hair.

Annapox

Post   » Sun Oct 16, 2022 3:29 pm


May I ask what it is about Squeaky Clean Critter Shampoo that keeps it from stripping the oils from the skin and hair?

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sun Oct 16, 2022 11:02 pm


As I understand it, it's formulated for small critters and their skin and fur/hair. Baby shampoo is formulated for human hair.

The pH of the skin is different between human and animals, and can cause damage to the acid mantle of the pet's skin. You'll get a bunch of hits if you google "why use a pet shampoo instead of baby shampoo."

Annapox

Post   » Mon Oct 17, 2022 10:06 am


Thank you, that makes sense.

User avatar
Sef
I dissent.

Post   » Mon Oct 17, 2022 11:01 pm


I have used and like Odie & Cody shampoo.

User avatar
Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Tue Oct 18, 2022 7:41 am


I edited my post above. Totally agree that a shampoo formulated for pet fur/hair is the better choice. I am forgetting what I put in the care guide!
http://www.guinealynx.info/grooming.html#bathing

Annapox

Post   » Tue Nov 08, 2022 5:14 pm


So Penny finished her three weeks of meloxicam last Tuesday, and while at first I thought I noticed some improvement (she seemed slightly more tolerant of being picked up than usual, so I thought she might be in a better mood), by the end of the second week I'd decided that it was probably just wishful thinking on my part. Penny didn't soil herself at all during week three, which was good, but she was definitely still pooping lying down a lot.

The vet said the next step was to stop the meloxicam and see whether Penny got noticeably worse. So far she seems pretty much the same, although she might be pooping standing up more often than usual. That seems odd given she'd just stopped the medication that was supposed to help her feel better, so it might be wishful thinking again. No new poop stains, though. The vet said after another week or two of observing her behavior without the medication we'll decide what to do next. He said the next diagnostic steps would be blood work and X-rays.

User avatar
Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Tue Nov 08, 2022 7:25 pm


I hope the improvements stick and hope she manages fine without the medication.

Annapox

Post   » Tue Nov 08, 2022 10:28 pm


I spoke too soon; I found a poop stain this evening. Penny gets a butt bath tomorrow.

Annapox

Post   » Sat Nov 12, 2022 1:39 pm


When I was shampooing the soiled part of Penny's fur (with the Squeaky Clean Critter Shampoo recommended by bpatters), several clumps of fur came out in my hand. I was lightly wiping the fur with my fingers to clear the suds away so I could see whether the fur was still discolored, and some of it came out. It didn't feel like I was pulling the hair out; it felt like it had already fallen out and was just stuck to the rest of the fur, like how the head hairs we shed can sometimes cling to the rest of our hair until we pull them away. Is it normal for a guinea pig to lose whole clumps of fur from a soiled area like that? I've emailed the vet with the same question and am waiting to hear back, but he doesn't always check his email on weekends.

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Sat Nov 12, 2022 9:58 pm


Depending on how long they were clumped together and if there was any pulling of the hairs, they might come out together. I assume you are not seeing signs of mites or fungus?

I vaguely recall one of my guinea pigs losing tiny clumps of hair. I guessed it might be a fungal infection, maybe a yeast infection (a yeast infection is a fungal infection). I gave her a Nizoral shampoo, which is supposed to treat fungal infections. I think there was some dandruff, too.

Annapox

Post   » Mon Nov 14, 2022 2:24 pm


I think the poop stain was there for about two days before my dad had enough time free to help me bathe her, so I guess that's how long the fur was stuck together. I was pulling on the hairs a tiny bit to wipe the suds away, but it shouldn't have been enough force to pull out even one hair, let alone a whole clump. I didn't feel any resistance at all, so it definitely felt like the hairs had already fallen out and were just stuck there. I looked for a bald patch and couldn't find one, and I don't see anything else suspicious. The vet said it could be a reaction to one of the things we've used to clean her up and that I should watch to see if it continues.

But there's a new problem: Today Penny weighed in 58.7 g lighter than a week ago (a 5% loss). She hadn't finished her pellet food yet when I weighed her, and usually she has because I usually weigh her later in the day, but there were only 5.7 g of pellets in the bowl (I weighed them). I have a vet appointment for her this evening.

User avatar
Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Mon Nov 14, 2022 3:57 pm


There can be other factors affecting weight so don't worry yet.

Annapox

Post   » Tue Nov 15, 2022 10:04 am


I saw a new vet (different doctor, same practice) this time, and I think I've now met the only vet who isn't a proponent of weighing guinea pigs weekly. Usually vets are so happy to see the weight chart I always bring with me.

Anyway, the vet did a physical exam and couldn't find anything wrong; he said that Penny looks great for six years old. (The physical exam didn't seem as thorough as the one she got at her well checkup last month, though. It went a lot faster.) He recommended X-rays and blood work. Penny had to be sedated for the blood work, but when they put the little anesthesia mask thing on her she started making a gurgling/wheezing sound, so they aborted the anesthesia because they were worried Penny would aspirate some of the leftover food guinea pigs always have in their mouths. So, no blood work. The X-ray showed a lot of excess gas in Penny's digestive system; I didn't get to see the X-ray because the computer system wouldn't let the vet pull it up, but he said there was a lot of excess gas. He said it looks like a weird case of GI stasis where Penny is somehow still eating and pooping normally even though her digestive system isn't working correctly.

The vet prescribed Cisapride (a GI motility medication) every 12 hours for ten days, and Penny got her first dose last night. I've been instructed to keep monitoring Penny's weight (but not too often) and behavior and to bring her back if things get worse, at which point they'll try to do blood work again. If Penny doesn't get worse, the vet recommends bringing her back in six to eight weeks for another checkup.

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Tue Nov 15, 2022 10:57 am


IMO, blood work isn't going to tell you a whole lot about a guinea pig unless there's some serious illness going on. And it's very hard to draw blood on one because their veins are so tiny. I always refused blood work unless they could get enough from clipping a toenail and getting a drop that way.

Why on earth do you suppose this vet doesn't think a guinea pig needs to weighed regularly? While I agree that there's no need to weigh more often than once a day, preferably in the morning, I can't figure out a reason why they shouldn't be weighed weekly.

Annapox

Post   » Tue Nov 15, 2022 11:13 am


He said that weighing too often can be misleading because you can get caught up in the little fluctuations instead of seeing the overall trend. I've definitely gotten caught up in the little fluctuations before, but I don't agree that that means I shouldn't weigh the pigs weekly. (And I have a line graph on my weight chart spreadsheets so that I can see the overall trend more easily.) I'm still planning on weighing my guinea pigs weekly when they're healthy and more often than that when they're sick, because every other vet I've met has been in favor of that.

The vet recommended blood work because GI stasis can sometimes be caused by other things that would show up in blood work, like bacterial infections. He also said that we don't draw blood from guinea pigs by clipping their toenails anymore because it's the equivalent of cutting off the tip of a person's finger. The vet I went to before I moved to where I currently live got blood samples that way, though, so I had thought that was standard practice. I don't know. The fact that he doesn't think weighing guinea pigs weekly is important makes me think I should take everything he says with a proverbial grain of salt.

Annapox

Post   » Mon Nov 21, 2022 12:10 pm


Penny has been on the Cisapride for about a week now. Between 11/14 and 11/20 she gained back 11.3 g. I weighed her every day just to make sure she didn't lose weight for several days in a row, and she didn't. I'm hoping that means she's on the mend.

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Mon Nov 21, 2022 8:02 pm


I hope so too! Thanks for the update. Hoping positive updates continue!

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