Hey everyone! Lately, us here at DaisyPets have been visiting the vet much more than we would like to. BMO, our guinea pig was the culprit in all of this. I had him out of his cage for some lap time and clicker training like I do every evening, and noticed that he had his leg sticking out the back. At this point I started to worry, because he wasn't relaxing and the foot felt cold to the touch. I moved it around a tiny bit, enough to know that his foot had no feeling in it, or not enough feeling to move it but where it joins the leg and the actual leg were fine. When walking he either dragged it behind him, or would limp excessively to get the foot around and not bend it. It was also very swollen, and the toes didn't fan out like the other foot does when you lift it off the ground.
We booked him in for an appointment the next morning, and I confirmed over the phone that the vet we were visiting was experienced in Guinea Pigs.
Well, that vet visit wasn't the greatest. She admitted to not knowing much about guinea pigs, and even had to ask me if Guinea Pigs were able to vomit. It didn't leave a great feeling for me. Anyway, for that visit she concluded that he had no broken bones and it was most likely a bruise and gave us enough Meloxicam for three days.
As some of you might know, BMO and our rabbit, Schmutz were in the same cage. We had got them together and they were the best of friends. It felt horrible to try and separate them so we left them to be friends. However, we figure that this injury was from Schmutz, not on purpose but he has grown much larger than BMO and a stray back leg could have easily done this. So with much sadness, I have had to separate them into their own cages. I had always been prepared that I might have to do this one day, but I didn't want to nor did I want it to be because Schmutz had hurt BMO. BMO isn't a very expressive pig, he is not much of a squeaker, and I have only heard him vibrate so I couldn't tell if he was sad that he didn't have his buddy anymore. Schmutz was definitely upset though. He searched his cage all day for the first day, looking for his buddy. From then on, he has come to the bars and stretched up trying to smell or see if I am bringing BMO back. When he is on floor time, he tries to go and see his little friend. It is very upsetting, but it had to be done so now I just need to work harder to keep Schmutz entertained and happy. But back to BMO's leg...
I gave him that for the three days, but I still was unsure about the diagnosis and his foot wasn't changing exceptionally. I contacted members from the New Zealand Cavy Club as well as the Rabbit Council of New Zealand to find a specialist vet in my area that could give us closure on what was wrong with his foot. We got recommended Brendan Bullen at Pet Doctors by at least four people. I contacted them as soon as possible and booked an appointment for the next morning.
I was blown away by Brendan's service. Not only did he check out BMO's foot, he completed a full examination which the other vet had not bothered to do. BMO at this point, had slightly more reaction in his foot so Brendan done a nerve test by pinching the end of his foot and there was definitely feeling in there as he let out a squeal. That meant that it wasn't completely dead which I was relieved to hear. The next thing was to work out if the foot was broken, or if it had just gone through trauma. Based on feeling, he said that he doesn't believe it to be broken. He offered a x-ray but we decided to go down the trauma root first as this is what he thought it was, and then if that didn't work, we would look into x-rays and amputations. He gave us the same medication as the previous vet but in a different dosage and enough for three weeks. He concluded that rest, patience and a bit of anti-inflammatory would hopefully sort this out, and he was positive that we would not have to go down the amputation route.
I will update you all on when he starts using his little foot again. From this post, I would like to thank Brendan endlessly. He is the best vet that I have taken a guinea pig to, and really took the appointment seriously instead of just flogging us off. So thank you for that Brendan.
Thanks for reading :)