Monday, September 23, 2013

Dottie's Decline

My guinea pig sisfur Dottie isn't doing very well, pals. She's getting older and she suddenly started acting ill yesterday morning.

Dad was the first to notice. She was sitting, just staring at the wall of her cage yesterday morning. She wasn't talking or interacting at all. Mama noticed there wasn't much water gone from her bottle and asked who had last filled it and when. Dad had filled it the morning before. It should have been almost empty, but was only down about an inch. Grandma also said that the hay in Dottie's feeder was from the day before.

Mama picked her up and Dottie didn't try to wiggle away at all. When she held her close she noticed how cool she was. That wasn't normal. Mama called the vet to see if they could bring her in to be checked out. Unfortunately, the vet who works on Sundays doesn't know much about guinea pigs, so they had to make an appointment for first thing Monday morning.

Meanwhile, Mama bought some vitamin C liquid to give her in case the problem was scurvy. She gave Dottie a dose, plus some water, then wrapped her up in her blanket and put her in a little cat bed. She filled up some water bottles with hot water and put them in the bed with her. Later, a friend of Mama's who also has guinea pigs suggested that she mush up some of Dottie's pellets in some water and give her that by syringe, too. Dottie didn't like it, but Mama did the best she could to get some nutrition in her.



Mama then put Dottie back in her cage with a newly warmed water bottle and told her goodnight. She prayed that Dottie would still be alive in the morning.

This morning, Mama got up and checked on Dottie. She seemed about the same. Mama got ready and her and Dad took her to see Dr. Krogh at Banfield.



Dr. Krogh was very thorough in her exam of Dottie. She explained that at over 4 years old, she was elderly. She didn't find anything wrong with her during the exam. Her teeth were fine and so was her heart. She was skinny, but that was all.

Dr. Krogh said that they could do bloodwork and x-rays to see if there was a tumor or if her liver or kidneys were failing. Mama asked if they found something like that, was there anything they could do? Dr. Krogh said no. She also said that Dottie was probably just experiencing normal aging issues. Mama and Dad decided not to go through the diagnostics. Instead, they asked what they could expect and how to best care for her.

Dr. Krogh explained how they could keep syringe feeding her using baby food. She also said it was important to keep her warm since she wasn't able to maintain her body temperature by herself. She said to watch for her appearing to be in any pain or if she wasn't taking any food from the syringe.

Mama asked how long she thought Dottie could maintain like that. Dr. Krogh said that as long as she was taking food from the syringe, she could hang on for months. She said that if Dottie couldn't walk anymore or was hurting, that would be time to let her cross the bridge.



Mama and Dad took Dottie home and got her comfy. Mama bought a few kinds of baby food to try out. Dottie hasn't been very cooperative taking the food from the syringe yet, but Mama and Dad are hoping that after getting a little food in her, it might stimulate her to eat a little more.

Mama is going to set up her desk lamp next to Dottie's cage to keep it warm overnight. Her and Dad are determined to help Dottie live as comfortably as she can for as long as possible.

Please send good thoughts that Dottie will eat and that we will have her around for a long time to come.

24 comments:

  1. I and all the Hotties will send good thoughts and healing energy to Dottie and hugs to everyone in the family.

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  2. Sending #pawcircle power to Sweet Dottie, please eat little one, we all want you to feel better.

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  3. My human and I are so sad to read this. I'm sending my very best purrs Dottie's way.

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  4. I will be sending healing thoughts and praying Dottie rallies. Hugs

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  5. Sending healing purrz and heat to Dottie GP.

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  6. We're all purring over here as hard as we can for sweet Dottie.

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  7. We are purring for Dottie. I understand with guinea pigs that old age really does come on quickly, because they live such short life. We think wonderful thoughts of her enjoying her food and feeling warm and comfy, and send love to you humans.

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  8. M has added Dottie to her prayer and I'm purring for Dottie. She has the best pawparents ever taking care of her. Hugs for mom and dad. We hope for the best for Dottie.

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  9. Poor Dottie :-( She's been so lucky to have such a lovely mama and dad to take such good care of her. Sending healing doggy licks her way and hugs to your mama and dad.

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  10. Sending our thoughts and prayers to you and your sweet Dottie. She is super lucky to have you as loving parents.

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  11. I didn't realize they had such short lives.. The Crew and I are purring very hard for Dottie and that she accepts the help your mom and dad are able to give her and had a good quality of life before she comes to see you Sebastian..

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  12. I hope Dottie gets to feeling better. My piggie sister is 5 yrs old and I know she is elderly but she still has spunk. She sends warmest wish to Dottie too.

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  13. Sending good thoughts to you guys & Dottie! <3

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  14. The average lifespan for a guinea pig is 5-8 years. We've had one guinea pig who made it to age 10. I'm a little concerned that you're being told Dottie is elderly at age four, though some congenital issues can make guinea pigs age faster.

    A few other things that can be treated...bladder stones, ovarian cysts/tumors, bloat, dehydration, bumblefoot. Not as treatable: cancer. But you'll need to make the decision as to whether treatment is the right choice for your Dottie. The main thing I would be concerned about beyond not eating or drinking is pain. Guinea pigs are prey animals, and they can mask pain pretty well until it's too much for them to handle.

    If you decide you want to go to a cavy specialist, consider Gentle Care Animal Clinic in Lawrence or the K-State Vet Hospital in Manhattan.

    Thinking the best possible thoughts for Dottie. I'm so sorry she's not feeling well. :(

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  15. We're sending pawsitive thoughts and purrs of comfort to Dottie from all of us at Prancer Pie.

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  16. Sending healing light and mega purrs for Dottie.

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  17. We're purring still for Dottie and wanted to cheer you guys up a bit - Lowenstein got an award from us today. No need to do anything but feel a bit better maybe?

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  18. we are very sorry and are sending purrs.....

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  19. Oh, we hate to have a family member not doing well. Your mom and dad are doing their best to make her comfortable. We hope she will keep eating and be okay. Guinea pigs make such good pets.

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  20. So sorry to read Dottie is not doing well. Sending her Healing purrrrrrrrrrrrrrs.

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  21. Sending healing husky wooooos and pawsitive vibes,

    RA

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