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Linda Simmon
Linda Simmon, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 8086
Experience:  MVB MRCVS
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Paralysed back legs, Guinea pig, 5 days, 4 days ago, Caramel

Customer Question

Paralysed back legs
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What type of animal are we talking about?
Customer: Guinea pig
JA: How long has the guinea pig had this paralysis?
Customer: 5 days
JA: When was the guinea pig last seen by a vet?
Customer: 4 days ago
JA: And what's the guinea pig's name and age?
Customer: Caramel age 5
JA: Is there anything else the Vet should know?
Customer: Problem diagnosis as nervous system. Meds given. No change. Unsure of diagnosis as can be many possibilities. Vet not an exotics vet. She may have guessed. No suggestion for test for virus or bacteria but i know this can cause issue also. Just need reassurance im not being fobbed off because its just a pig
Submitted: 17 days ago.
Category: Vet
Customer: replied 17 days ago.
Just not sure the vet knows or can be bothered. I dont want to lose her and seems to be pain free but stressed
Expert:  Linda Simmon replied 17 days ago.

Hello, you are through to Dr Linda, a UK based vet with 10 years of clinical experience.

I'm sorry to hear this and understand your concern for Caramel.

Has Caramel got any movement or sensation in her back legs?

Is she lethargic, off her food or losing weight?

Customer: replied 17 days ago.
She waits by the run for her food. Only time she moves! With the med she now sort of flips baxk leg to help motion but had four doses and vet said she sd have responded by now
Expert:  Linda Simmon replied 17 days ago.

I'm sorry to hear this, she does sound very unwell.

If she cannot move the legs or get about by herself, and she has not improved with time and medicine (presumably steroids) it may be she will not get better.

There are several possible causes for her signs including spinal cord compression due to a tumour, a broken back, an infection of the central nervous system etc.

Unfortunately, we are limited when it comes to guinea pigs and diagnostic tests. We could consider an x-ray of the spine and limbs but this would not guarantee an answer.

It is also worth considering seeing an exotics specialist, but this may not change the outcome.

Customer: replied 17 days ago.
I do not know that they would have any other ideas and most of these may be starting with xrays and progressing from there. However, as you know, these small animals can go downhill really fast.
I am loathe to give up on her as she seems to eat well, appears pain free, yet is so sad to see her stressing to drag herself around.
I appreciate your time, although probably feel that by the time all else has been investigated she may have caused yet more stress and damage to her frame.
Expert:  Linda Simmon replied 17 days ago.

I understand, it is a difficult situation.

If we did want to pursue things further, the next step would likely be an x-ray.

If you feel this is not for you and you don't want to put her through anything more, that is understandable.

If she is not responding to treatment, we need to carefully assess her quality of life. While she may not be showing signs of pain, it must be distressing for her to live in this way. If not moving as she should, she will be prone to skin abrasions, ulcers and infections.

Customer: replied 17 days ago.
I am constantly changing the bedding and have water and hay beside her to make it easier but yes, she will be stressed definitely.
Please could you advise in your opinion whether there is a likelihood of spine issue and if this was so, wd any of that be treatable or wd it simply diagnose an inability to get well
Expert:  Linda Simmon replied 17 days ago.

Unfortunately, without being able to examine her and without her having had any tests run (such as an x-ray), there is no way of answering those questions.

From your description, it does sound likely her spinal cord is affected and her chances of recovery are low if she has no movement or sensation in her back legs and if she has not improved at all.

Customer: replied 17 days ago.
I would think so. I am very grateful indeed for your kind support. I just truly want to clutch at straws. Living with animals is so rewarding, but when they aren't doing well it's so very difficult.
Thank you once again for your time and support
Expert:  Linda Simmon replied 17 days ago.

Not at all and I am so very sorry this is happened.

Take care.

Customer: replied 17 days ago.
Thank you so much