Friday, May 28, 2010

Mochi's Drinking Problem

I posted a while back about my little girl Pocky, who suddenly stopped eating hay. It progressed and she stopped eating altogether, but after a month or so of syringe feeding, meds, and vet visits we finally got her back to normal with prednisone. Shortly after Pocky's recovery, her mother Mochi stopped eating hay...

We brought Mochi to the vet, and started her on the prednisone. It worked for her as well as it did on her daughter, and she was eating again sooner than later. She actually seemed to get a little neurotic on the pred, so I tapered the dosages down and got both of my pigs off of it. Mochi was very hungry and thirsty on the pred, which I understand is a side effect. She continued to be very, very thirsty even after getting off the meds. I had to get her a larger water bottle and a large litter tray. Mochi would literally drink an entire large bottle of water, 20 oz, and soak the entire litter tray of Carefresh with pee, every day. Fearing the big D word, we took her to the vet for testing.

The tests showed that, thankfully, she wasn't diabetic and she didn't have kidney failure. The doctor examined her and could see that she had enlarged ovaries, which may be a factor in her thirsty behavior. I brought Mochi back in for an all-day water deprivation test, in which they controlled the amount of water she had and tested her urine. Blood was found in her urine, indicating an infection, so we put her on antibiotics. After a couple of weeks on the meds, she was still drinking an entire water bottle a day.

Again I brought her back to the vet to get spayed. The enlarged ovaries were suspected to be the cause of the drinking issue, as they could be releasing a large amount of hormones into her body. The procedure went well, and she did actually have a uterine cyst that would have caused her problems in the future. I'm glad that Mochi got spayed because it would help her have a longer, healthier life, but she was still drinking a lot afterwards. The doctor told me that it may take a while for the hormones to get out of her system.

It's been about a month now since Mochi's been spayed. I'm not refilling her water bottle everyday anymore, and she only uses up half of the carefresh every day. Seems like it's going to be a very gradual decrease in her water intake, but I'm glad she's showing some improvement. I wonder if there have been other piggies with drinking problems out there?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Another Sick Little Guinea

My latest guinea pig medical issue is affecting my little Kokiri. He was brought to the vet recently because his eyes were constantly watering and getting crusty, and his breathing looked a bit labored. He also had some spots on his piggy tush and tummy where the fur was looking a bit sparse. The doctor examined him and listened to his lungs. Thankfully Kokiri didn't have a URI, he was exhibiting the symptoms of allergies. The balding spots were the result of over-grooming, probably due to itchiness. He also saw that Kokiri was a bit lumpy, and was concerned that he may have tumors. We bought a new bale of blue grass hay, and I completely scrubbed Kokiri's cage and accessories clean and gave him a bath before giving him the new relatively dust-free hay. Despite these efforts my little peeg was still showing signs of allergies.

We took him for a biopsy a few days ago. Luckily, the mass in Kokiri's neck wasn't a tumor, but a large abscess. The vet removed the abscess and stitched him up, and sent a sample of the pus to a lab to find out what kind of bacteria it is. The poor peeg still has smaller abscesses. He apparently has guinea pig strangles. We're going to try to get rid of the infection with antibiotics, and he was put on a regimen of acidophilus, reglan, and baytril for 3 weeks and metacam for a week or so.

My poor peeg! His neck is shaved and the stitches look terrible. He's eating well, and even seems a bit perky. Before the surgery he looked like he wasn't feeling well at all, sitting around all puffy. Now his eyes are a tad brighter and he appears to be feeling better. I removed his brick and litter tray so he wouldn't have to jump or accidently scrape his neck on anything. I put a big pile of hay down for him to nom on. I've been sitting with him and he even does his tiny little mousie squeaks while I pet him. Kokiri seems like he's doing ok, and I think he'll make a full recovery. I'm still concerned for my little squeaker though.

Here's a picture of Kokiri well before he became ill. Doesn't he look so cute and comfy? If I was smaller I'd climb into his cage and use him as a pillow. I'd post a recent photo.... but maybe I'll wait til he feels and looks a little better.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Custom Plushie Update! Too Many to List! Part 2

Here's the second part of the large amount of custom plushies I made during and immeditely following the holidays. There are a few ornaments and even a few custom mouse plushies.

I've been busy. I've moved into a lovely new home with a big workroom. My boyfriend's mom recently came to stay for a few days. She's such a sweetie, it was a lot of fun. I also had to take yet another guinea pig in for surgery. Poor Kokiri. But I suppose I'll leave the details of that for another day.