Saturday, October 8, 2011

Blood Tests for Bertie

Bertie completed her meds on Tuesday.  Dr. Holmes had told me if Bertie's weight did not go up after the antibiotics were done, that Bertie should come in for more tests.

Bertie's weight was the lowest since her teeth were filed in August:  886g.  She and I returned to the vet this morning.  Dr. Holmes listened to Bertie's lungs, felt around in her tummy and, as in the past, nothing felt or sounded amiss.  If it wasn't for the tremendous weight loss (nearly 200g), we'd swear Bertie's in perfect health:  she is active, is eating, has bright, clean eyes, clean ears and a full, healthy coat.  She isn't sneezing, wheezing, or bleeding and isn't crying or whimpering when peeing or pooping.  Which means it was time for the dreaded blood work. No one was happy with this next course of action, especially not Bertie.

Guinea pig skin is tough.  Anyone who's ever had to inject a guinea pig knows this.  I have bent my share of needles trying to pierce Willow's skin.  They have small blood vessels, too, so drawing blood is very difficult.  Dr. Holmes allowed me to watch her and a tech draw blood from Bertie.  They worked on her left front leg for two or three attempts (and at least two needles) before switching to Bertie's right leg.  The right side needed to be shaved a bit, so they could have a clear shot at the vein.  After a couple of attempts on the right side, they successfully drew enough blood for testing.  Whew!  Bertie was worn out and rather bedraggled.  Both legs were wet from the alcohol and water.  Her left leg was pink because one of the punctures on that side that had bled a bit. 

Bertie had fussed and cried very little and she didn't struggle too much through the whole process.  I was impressed with how Dr. Holmes and the tech handled her.  As quiet as Bertie was, I could see about halfway through that she was getting pretty stressed.  She was so relieved to get back in the carry case to go home.

The reward for a hard morning's work
After Bertie got home, she and the girls got to spend an afternoon in the beautiful weather.  I'm sure she felt a lot better with a belly full of grass and the vet a distant memory.

Test results should be in on Tuesday.  I'm dreading it.  Either the blood test will be inconclusive and we'll still have no idea what's wrong, or we'll know what's wrong and I worry it will be something untreatable.  So for now, I'm trying not to think about it.


  1. My prayers go out for you and Bertie. I hope she starts to put on weight very soon. (((HUGS))) ~Cabbysmom

  2. Oh poor bertie;(( hope she did not get hurt badly whenthey draw blood to her. More grass as a treat for her will make her happu Ben and Bert x x

  3. xxoos to Bertie!


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