Sunday, April 7, 2013

1353. Sunday's interesting case. A head-shaking guinea pig.


The poodle owner who bought a poodle puppy from a person who used fake vaccination certificates (reported in Straits Times & Facebook recently and complaint to the AVA) referred a fair lady with long false eyelashes.

The lady had brought the recumbent guinea pig to Vet 1 as emergency. "Vet 1 had dug out a lot of black ear wax," she said. "She said it was ear infection. She advised an MRI scan as ear infections affect the brain."

"Ear infections can lead to brain infections," I said. "There is a tube which connects the ear to a part of the brain."

"The guinea pig is very ill, he has runny nose and breathes very fast," I said. "The chances of survival are not good even with treatment."

"How many %?" she asked.
"Around 10%," I said.
"How long he would live?"
"Less than a week," I replied. "He is not eating or drinking."
"Do you think the guinea pig has ear disease just because there is wax inside the ears?"
"Yes," I said.
"Based on what?"
"There is pain on palpation of the ears, esp. the left ear," I demonstrated that the guinea pig squealed a bit when that part was palpated. But most important, you said the guinea pig had been shaking his head for the past 3 months. It is not normal to shake heads. Dogs with ear infections shake their heads for long periods of time."
As for MRI scan, I doubt whether it is economical for guinea pig owners to get it done. There must be an MRI scan reading expert to interpret the scans and I doubt Singapore has such veterinary MRI scanning experts. The scan can be sent to overseas experts but which guinea pig owner will pay $1,000 or more for an MRI scan? 

She brought the guinea pig home without treatment as that was her sister's guinea pig.  


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