Belle (f/5, going to be 6 next month) has some severe arthritis. Right now, she has extremely limited mobility in her back legs, along with some sort of grunty breathing. We went to see Dr. Fowell on Tuesday, who confirmed via X-ray that she has arthritis. As for the breathing, her lungs looked clear, so no respiratory issues. Dr. Fowell thinks it might have been caused by convulsions, from the pain. Along with the meloxicam (and anti-seizure/anti-convulsion meds), I’ve been doing warm water soaks (per vet) and rubbing her leg joints. She kind of flexes them a little and no longer does the loud breathing, as of Sunday.
But because she can’t completely move around on her own, I’ve been having to move her around the cage, putting new hay piles in front of her and hold the water bottle in front of her (if she’s not near one) so she could drink.Despite that, you couldn’t tell she has bad arthritis. Her face still looks alert and perky as usual, and she still gets excited for vegs and her urinary & vitamin C supplements.
And obviously, all of this didn’t happen overnight. Dr. Fowell thinks this was developing for a while now, but Belle was hiding it (as guinea pigs do). I remember her doing the grunty breathing last Thursday night, the night before I found that she having mobility issues.
And something triggered the arthritis, like maybe something scared her. And at the time, I couldn’t think of what could’ve caused it, but after contemplating and going through previous messages to contacts, I remembered, Friday night when they were getting their dinner, a loud plane flew over our house. Belle screamed from her hidey and at the time, I thought the noise just scared her and that was it. But after all this happened, I think the noise triggered the arthritis, and she was screaming from the sudden pain?
Timeline of Events
Apr. 22, 11:40pm — Noticed she had loud, grunty breathing. Thought she had something stuck in her throat and thought it would pass (based on what I read and my previous experience when hearing this sort of thing).
[Actual probable explanation: Pain from the arthritis was making itself more known, but she was still trying to hide it.]
Apr. 23, 8:31pm — Loud plane flew over our house and Belle screamed/wheeked from her hidey. They were also getting their dinner, so I couldn’t tell if the noise scared her or if she was telling me to hurry up with the food (it wasn’t a loud wheek, more like “wheeeeeeeee!”, which is how she normally wheeks, unlike most guinea pigs who go “wheee wheeee wheeee!”).
[Actual probable explanation: The noise triggered somehow triggered the not-able-to-walk part of arthritis.]
She ate her greens as usual (in her hidey—so at the time, I thought she was still freaked out by the noise).
Apr. 23, 11:50(ish)pm — Noticed that she having seriously trouble moving on her hind legs. Had a huge thing of messy 💩 stuck to her bottom, usually means she hasn’t been eating hay (probably hasn’t been getting up).
She did eat the hay I put in front of her though.
Apr. 27, 2:00pm — X-rayed, diagnosed with severe arthritis. Prescribed meloxicam (for the pain) and Gabapentin (for the convulsions from the pain).