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Sparky's Stasis Saga

menagerie

Creative Genius
Joined
Jan 28, 2009
Messages
2,029
Sparky came to the rescue on Saturday, June 7th, with a group of guinea pigs that he had been living with for several months. One of our volunteers pulled him from the guinea pigs and called me to have a look at him. She said he looked horrible, had a really rough coat, was sneezing and not breathing well. At that point it was my intention to get her set up to take care of Sparky until he went to the vet with her on Monday morning. Since he was sneezing, I didn’t want to bring him into my house with the other chins. So I packed up all the necessary chin staples; pellets, hay, healthy treats, apple wood sticks, antibiotics, a dust bath and headed on over.

I took one look at Sparky and my plans changed dramatically. His coat was horrible, he was hunched over and when I picked him up his abdomen was rock hard and distended. He was in stasis. At 8:30 on a Saturday night we went straight to the emergency vet for subcutaneous fluids and medication. I was rather disappointed because the vet didn’t have any Cisapride on hand. That was the main reason we went to the E-vet as I have fluids and Reglan (metoclopromide) at home (I have a really good working relationship with our vet and he has taught me to be able to give subcutaneous fluids and meds and I am in constant contact with him while treating the animals in my care). He was x-rayed to rule out obstruction and given 17 ml of subcutaneous fluids and a prescription for Reglan and we were sent home. We left the E-vet at 12:45 am, came home and I set up a cage for him and started syringe feeding him Oxbow Critical Care. He was hungry and ate 7 ml without much trouble. At this point I also started warm tummy compresses and abdominal massages and metacam as he was obviously in a great deal of pain,. I finally got to bed around 3:30 am.

You can see all the gas in his xrays:


For the warm compresses I took an old sock, partially filled with uncooked rice (just the right amount so it fit nicely under his tummy) I tied it off with enough give so that it would go pretty flat and it didn't feel like he was laying on a rock. This was put in the microwave for 20 - 30 seconds (depending which microwave we were using). I then put the compress on my chest and Sparky laid on top of that.

Here's a photo of one of his rice socks:


Sunday morning he ate another 7 ml of CC and took his meds like a champ. He was given an additional 20 ml of subcutaneous fluids. By the afternoon everything fell apart. I had a hard time just getting his meds into him. And he wasn’t at all interested in eating anything. I continued with the warm compresses and tummy massages and getting as much of his meds into him as I could.

Here are some photos of him on Sunday, June 8th.
 

menagerie

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Joined
Jan 28, 2009
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2,029


Monday morning I phoned our exotics vet that is associated with the emergency hospital and asked for additional help. I told him I needed Cisapride, turns out it’s not something that they carry but he was more than happy to phone in a prescription to a pharmacy if I could find one that was able to compound the drug for me. Multiple telephone calls later I had located a compounding pharmacy that had the ingredients in stock and could make Cisapride for me the same day (for an additional fee, of course). By 6 pm Monday and with my wallet $80 lighter, Sparky had Cisapride in his system and we were scheduled for a vet visit the next morning. We continued getting as much medicine and food into him and giving him regular tummy massages and warm compresses. He also had another 20 ccs of subcutaneous fluids. We also made an appointment for him to see the vet first thing Tuesday morning.

Tuesday morning we had some poops, but they were small and dry. The vet was very concerned about Sparky’s condition. His poop had gone really small and we decided to alter his course of treatment. He was put on 40 cc’s of subcutaneous fluids twice a day and sent home with injectable Reglan and metacam. We decided to go with injectable for two reasons. One, the drugs are not absorbed until they get into the gut. With him being in stasis, we were concerned that he wasn’t actually absorbing the meds. Two, it was getting increasingly hard to get anything into him orally. If I could cut down oral meds by 1 cc, that was 1 additional cc of CC I would be able to get into him. Warm compresses and tummy massages continued throughout the day.

His poor tummy would get pretty large between massage sessions. He was really good about sitting and having his tummy massaged. A typical massage session lasted 15 – 30 minutes. Plus 15 minutes of warm compress.

Wednesday, all he wanted to do was be held and cuddled. He even curled up and fell asleep on my chest while I was on the computer. By evening he was hungrier and had started producing some decent poop. Thursday, we took a step backwards and his poop was basically non-existent again, what he did produce was very tiny. This was our daily routine:

Upon waking: meds (Cisapride, Simethicone), warm compress, tummy rub, syringe feed, warm compress, tummy rub.
Drive to my mother’s house for subcutaneous fluids and injectible meds (reglan and metacam).
Tummy rubs and warm compresses every 2 to 3 hours.
Exercise in playpen.

8 hours after his first lot of meds and food: meds (Cisapride, Simethicone), warm compress, tummy rub, syringe feed, warm compress, tummy rub
Exercise,
More tummy rubs and warm compresses every 2 to 3 hours.

Approximately 12 hours after subcutaneous fluids, more fluids and injectible meds (reglan and metacam).
More tummy rubs and warm compresses every 2 to 3 hours.

8 hours after last meal: meds (Cisapride, Simethicone), warm compress, tummy rub, syringe feed, warm compress, tummy rub
Warm compress and tummy rubs before bed.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

During the first week he actually spent more time on me or having tummy rubs than actually in his cage or the play pen. My goal was to give him as much attention as he needed so that he would survive.

Here he is napping on me, you can see how bad he feels:


Friday brought decent poops again and he had regained his appetite. I was able to get 13 cc’s of CC into him at each feeding.

Sunday, June 14th Sparky’s poops were good and copious, so we reduced his subcutaneous fluids to once a day and switched to oral forms of reglan and metacam. We were still having syringe feedings three times a day and lots of tummy massage sessions a day.

Thursday, June 18th he had his last subcutaneous fluid treatment. Which was perfect timing since my mother was going out of town the next day and I was going to be without a helper. At this point he was still being syringe fed, having oral meds and tummy massages, but was starting to nibble on hay and a few pellets.
Sunday, June 21st I began weaning Sparky off his gut motility meds, they were reduced to once a day. Syringe feedings were reduced to twice a day to encourage him to eat on his own.

Wednesday, June 24th, I stopped motility meds and reduced syringe feedings to once a day.

Friday, June 26th, I stopped the syringe feeding as Sparky was still getting bloated between meals and we figured it was due to him gulping air while he was eating out of his syringe. Before every syringe feeding he would take 1 ml of Simethicone to help reduce air in the stomach.

When his treatment started Sparky was easy to get out of the cage or carrier. He felt so bad that he would lean into my hand for comfort and I could easily scoop him up. I’m happy to report that he is now pinging off the walls of his cage and is a pistol to catch. He has turned into quite a cheeky monkey.

Here are the most recent photos of Sparky:
 
E

EnslavedByNinjas

Guest
Wow! He definitely has the spark back in his eyes (no pun intended, well, maybe a little)! Awesome job, the little cheeky monkey looks like quite the in-charge furball. :D
 
C

Chinniechantel

Guest
Wow, he looks so much better already! I am so glad he found you, how lucky. Great job with him, seriously bloat is not easy to treat, and stasis is even harder.
 

Claire D

Responsible & wise
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Messages
3,457
Location
UK
I think this thread is a testament to the amount of care and dedication needed to pull a sick chin through gut stasis. The length of time and effort put in to saving this little chap were truly remarkable.
It just goes to show that stasis is not easily treated nor a "quick fix" problem.

I know Meanie spent long hours caring for Sparky and did not get much sleep - for me, this is the true nature of someone who rescues and the dedication and effort pulled off a miracle as far as Sparky is concerned.
Treating a chin in stasis is a rollercoaster of emotions - you spend hours massaging, medicating, and feeding and when the chin looks like he/she is fading it is devastating, especially when you're exhausted. Then when they poop and show that twinkle in their eye as they get better the feelings of joy are almost overwhelming - I know Meanie went through the whole gamut of emotions with this little chap.

The contrast between the photos is amazing - I love that photo of his cheeky face peeping out of the pot - one to be treasured I think.

:bowdown:
 
Last edited:

Sandi

non-stop poop sweeper
Joined
Jan 29, 2009
Messages
6,708
Location
Chicago suburb
I think this thread is a testament to the amount of care and dedication needed to pull a sick chin through gut stasis. The length of time and effort put in to saving this little chap were truly remarkable.
It just goes to show that stasis is not easily treated nor a "quick fix" problem.

I know Meanie spent long hours caring for Sparky and did not get much sleep - for me, this is the true nature of someone who rescues and the dedication and effort pulled off a miracle as far as Sparky is concerned.
The contrast between the photos is amazing - I love that photo of his cheeky face peeping out of the pot - one to be treasured I think.

:bowdown:
You said it so perfectly. Thank you Menagerie for all your hard work in saving this beautiful chin.
 

Nancy S

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 22, 2009
Messages
217
Location
Missouri
Oh My!! What a story! Loved it! and sooo inspiring. Love, love, love little sparky. Sounds like you are a true "chinchilla nurse"!hehe. And, thank you for the great idea with the rice/sock. That is something i intend to use. (that's another reason i really like this forum-people like you giving "great" tips) The last pic of sparky --really did look good!yah
 

Jenn

ZooKeeper
Joined
Jan 30, 2009
Messages
6,056
Location
Washington State
What a great story with a happy ending! Poor guy must have been so miserable and it is so great that there are caring and dedicated people like you who take the time to nurse these creatures back to health. He looks so happy now! You have a friend for life!
 

mishellyshel

Chin Slave
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
Messages
4,633
Location
New Jersey
meanie--quick question--how did you know sparky was out of gi stasis??
i have been handfeeding richie for a month now and i still every once in a while there will be a little of the mucuousy gas bubble that comes out on his poop. he is on still in the cisapride 3 times a day, he is also on tramadol 2 x a day & metacam 1 x a day.
i just went out & got him the gas drops to see if that would help.
his initial x rays at the end of may looked just like sparkys with all the gas, so i just want to make sure that i am doing the right thing. you can pm me if you want.
 

starleomach

Dawnna's Keeper
Joined
Jan 29, 2009
Messages
4,257
Location
Cary IL,
Wow what a wonderful sucess story. I wish there were more of those. you certainly are dedicated and it shows with the wonderfully good things you accomplish
 

Cuddlebug

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 30, 2009
Messages
2,907
Location
Aurora, Colorado
Thank you for showing us all what it can take to help a chin recover from this. It is a real eyeopener and you are an angel for going through it with him.
 
R

RNmama2girls1chin

Guest
your thread made my day! Congrats to you for being so awesome!!! I'm so glad to know there are people like you out there! I'm a new chin owner and so reading these stories is incredibly inspiring to me! Sparky looks wonderful!
 

ArmyWife

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 13, 2011
Messages
345
Location
New Jersey
What an amazing story. It's heart wrenching to see that little guy looking like that in those pictures. It's so amazing what you did for him and saving his life. He's one lucky little chin!!
 

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