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Baytril And Syringe Feeding Advice Needed

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Junior Guinea Pig
Mar 18, 2014
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Hi everyone, I'll be grateful for any advice on this, as I don't know what else to do!

I have two pigs, Thor and Loki, and a week ago Loki went to the vets with blood in his urine. She prescribed 0.7ml baytril twice daily, and 4.5ml metacam once a day with food. But getting the medicine into him is a complete nightmare! I've tried towel wrapping, laying him on his back, dipping the syringe into cucumber to try and take the initial taste away, his favourite treat (coriander) afterwards, and I've had a search on this forum for other suggestions, but nothing seems to work and he continues to struggle and buck his head. The last two days he's taken to biting us when he can get close to our fingers!

I've read about adding ribena to the baytril - we only have Ribena Light squash in our house, but can anyone recommend this, and is it not bad for the piggy?

He's also dropping 30g a day now, so it's affecting his appetite - would a probiotic such at the 'ProC Probiotic 100mgm' from Pets at Home help with this, and would it affect Thor in any way? (Thor already eats more than enough as it is and I can't separate them to feed them as Loki won't eat without Thor).

Please please can anyone recommend anything else? :soz: We've got another week to go with this!
Hi Fiona.

Sorry I can't advise on whether to put ribena into the baytril as I never did with my girls, but the probiotics if definitely reccomended for piggies on antibiotics, especially baytril. It should be given by syringe mixed with water around an hour after the antibiotics. Someone more knowledgeable in the medical department should be along soon that could perhaps answer more indepth.

Sending healing vibes to your piggies!
I've not heard about ribena, but Baytril does taste horrible and you are not alone in having this problem. I have heard of mixing it with strong tasting herbs like mint or with organic baby food (Ella's Kitchen is a good one), but as he's associating the syringe with Baytril he may still have a problem. Have you got another person who could help hold him while you go in with the syringe? I have found that if you can hold the pig in such a way that the top lip is parted slightly, it makes it easier to get the stuff in the mouth. At the end of the day, you may just have to hold him very firmly (I would keep wrapping him).

Probiotics are a very goof idea as Baytril can not only upset the tummy, but also depress appetite. It won't do Thor any harm either.

It might be worth asking the vet about prescribing a different antibiotic, such as Septrin (yummy banana taste!) as this is often more successful than Baytril for UTIs.

His weight loss is a worry and you should think about topping him up with some syringe feeding (another possible way to get the Baytril into him too.

Here is a link to our hand feeding guide:


Please let us know how you get on. x
I would make sure the probiotics are given at least an hour after the Baytril as they can affect each other, also is best to syringe it rather than putting in the water bottle. There is a probiotic section in the handfeeding guide mentioned above.

I second the Septrin recommendation.
I would try and see whether ribena will do the trick. it is not good for the them for the long term, but it won't do any harm in the short term. Baytril is an appetite suppressing medication, so I would recommend to give a pinch of a probiotic 1-2 hours after the baytril and if necessary, hand feed. See your vet if things don't get better or if the appetite goes down further.
Please can I query the doses of baytril and metacam you're giving. 0.7 mls of baytril, twice a day seems rather a large dose, although I can't remember the last time I used baytril so someone else might have more idea. 4.5 mls of metacam is massive though, even if you're giving the cat one. Do you mean 0.45 mls?
Thank you all so so much, I syringe fed him some of his Burgess Excel pellets as in the guide and he loved it - even tried biting the syringe (which is better than my fingers)! And was much better behaved for the rest of his meds! I'm so so grateful to you all, thank you so much! Now for some probiotic in a couple hours :D

Sorry furryfriends, it was 0.45ml of metacam - my bad typo this morning! :doh:
Yeah 0.7mls of baytril seemed alot compared to what I've read on other threads here but the vet OK'd it and Loki seems much better - but please let me know if this is wrong!
How much does Loki weigh please?
Some vets do prescribe higher doses of abx than others because they wish to take into account higher metabolic rates of guinea pigs. Most vets opt for a recommended rabbit dose but others opt for a rat dose (which is normally higher)
To confuse matters further - as far as baytril is concerned - this is one drug where the rabbit dose is higher than the rat (for unknown reasons)

The British Small Animal formulary (vets bible for drug dose presciption) advises a baytril dose of
10-30mg/kg daily for rabbits and
5-10mg/kg twice daily for other rodents
With your 2.5% baytril suspension, 0.7ml twice daily would be equivalent to 17.5mg of active drug each dose. Working backwards Loki should weigh about 1.15kg if he is being given the rabbit dose?
Loki hovers between 870-900g - today he was 847 - do you think he's been prescribed too much? :(
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If you are working by Small Animal Formulary Dosage Rules then by rights he should be getting 0.35ml twice daily or 0.7ml once daily given his weight.

Will; the double dosge do him any harm? probably not much unless he is one of those piggies whose gut doesn;t respond well to batyril.

Think you need to run the dosages by your vet tomorrow morning.
I rang the vets and spoke to a different one who said the dosage was too high - he said it wouldn't do any harm but 0.4ml twice daily would be better, so we're reducing Loki's dosage.

His poos this morning are small and hard and a light brown colour, so we'll be syringe feeding lots of water with his food and meds! Poor Loki :(
Poor baby. I have put neat Ribena into Baytril before. Baytril is vile tasting (I've tasted it off my hands before). The Ribena just makes it a little less vile but not greatly so. Some piggies are easier to medicate than others. Good luck x
I think after a while you realise as well how important it is he that he takes the meds and the food. Our cookie fights you, but right now I am not having any of it and the food goes in. I find it easiest to have him on a blanket in front of me. I stroke him from the head. And when he tries to knock me away with his head I hold it gently and Pop the syringe in. I found It hard the first couple of weeks, but then sort of got used to it. After a while you work out where the mouth is... Also try and put the syringe properly into their mouth, so it's harder for them to pull away and off the syringe.
Last time I had to syringe barney some meds I put him on a chair in front of my while I sat on the floor and gave him a piece of carrot. While he was chewing the carrot I just squirted the meds in the side of his mouth.
I rang the vets and spoke to a different one who said the dosage was too high - he said it wouldn't do any harm but 0.4ml twice daily would be better, so we're reducing Loki's dosage.

His poos this morning are small and hard and a light brown colour, so we'll be syringe feeding lots of water with his food and meds! Poor Loki :(

Good you got the doasges sorted out. Please keep a very close eye on his poos - size and frequency. It sounds like his gut is slowing down owing to insufficient food intake. If the poos get any smaller/.drier (or stop altogether) then he will need to see a vet for gut stimulants to get his gut moving again.
Thanks for all the help :) yes I've been keeping a very close eye on his poos and they're nearly back to normal now - good colour and slightly smaller than Thor's! He seems much better and was even begging for food tonight. Only three more doses to go now, he's even behaving better when giving him his meds!

I can't thank you all enough for all your help :hug:
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