|Guinevere basking outside. She's lost weight since her mouth infection progressed.|
Since my last follow-up on February 15, 2013, we have had to do a second full round of Baytril to combat what we thought was the infection rearing its head again. After giving her time to respond to that treatment, without success, it was time to take her back to the vet and see what we were dealing with. By now it seemed like she had a pretty bad oral infection.
|You can see how swollen her gums are and the yellow gunk|
that is a product of the infection.
May 24, 2013 - After 4 days of antibiotics and rinsing out her mouth I am starting to see an improvement in her strength. She feels stronger and slightly more active. She has not been able to chew food on her own, so requires that I force feed her pre-killed insects. But so far so good. With the help of my father, who does a great job at gently restraining her, we have cleaned out her mouth of all the cheese-like gunk that had formed and she seems to be feeling and breathing much better. We are still providing lots of water, to keep her kidneys healthy through all this medication, and she thankfully drinks very well. We'll see what the results of the culture tell us this Monday or Tuesday.
May 26, 2013 - This morning we were able to clean out several big blobs of yellow gunk that had been hiding in the swollen folds of her mouth, as well as some really persistent ones around her gum-line and her mouth seems much cleaner. We use a Q-tip dipped in the astringent rinse to scrape out and then use some rinse-soaked gauze to really wipe down her mouth afterwards. She's still not feeling well enough to eat on her own (antibiotics tend to curb appetite anyway) but she's taking the force-feedings well and I feel her building up strength.
May 31, 2013 - Today marks day 12 of treatment. Her mouth looks significantly better. There is still a lot of swelling but her mouth almost 100% clean and she's even eating a few superworms on her own. Tomorrow we have an appointment with our vet to see where we are with her treatment and she'll hopefully have the results from the cultures ready. The fungal one has taken much longer to come back. Below are some photos of her yawning, but it gives you a great look into her mouth. The yellow in the corner of her mouth is the only gunk left from the infection, the rest of her mouth is essentially impeccable. Also, the mouths of Meller's are naturally black, so don't be alarmed by the color.
June 11, 2013 - So, we saw her vet about 10 days ago and she agreed that she looked much better and had gained 50 grams since we started this last round of antibiotics. She has not had any more medicine since then and seems to be doing much better. However, she still hadn't been showing any interest in food, so I was still force-feeding her now and then (I didn't want her to be too full, otherwise we wouldn't know if she were hungry or not). Finally, today, I put some roaches in her feeding cup, not expecting anything, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that she rushed towards the cup and quickly caught several roaches. I immediately put several more in there and she ate a few more.
I consider this a small success! We didn't know if she would ever eat again and here she is, finally hungry on her own! I am super pleased. Hopefully this is the end of this terrible ordeal with her, I hate having to mess with her this often and I bet you she hates it too. Keep your fingers crossed for us!
|Delicious adult cave roach! Sorry for the low quality of the photo, but I didn't want to bother her.|
I will keep this post updated as her treatment progresses.