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?