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Guptheguineapig

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Hello there!
I have a little girl named Tippy. She was a rescue from a pet store. She was kept in the back room because she had a head tilt and they couldn't put her out in the front with the rest of the pigs... When I rescued her she was reported infection free (which now I don't believe) because she is on her second round of Baytril, and meticam for the inflammation.
The Baytril seemed to be doing the trick before, but from my research and conversations with the vets it has probably traveled to the middle and inner ear which is causing her head tilt to continue, and her wobbly-ness. There are times she will run across in the cage and pretty much just roll.
She is eating absolutely fine, she is drinking plenty of water, she is talkative still, but I am still worried.
Do I have her rely on antiinflammatory medications for her life? What other options do I have for a middle/inner ear issue? From what I have read vets can't really test that far into the ear...
Any advice and conversation would be very much appreciated. As a dedicated piggy momma I want to be as educated as possible for my girlie with special health issues.
 

Wiebke

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Hi and welcome

Can you please clarify whether your girl has already come with the ear infection or whether it has been diagnosed after the purchase? Do you have rabbits or rabbits close by?

I am tagging in @Abi_nurse for you. She is the one best poised to answer your questions. Please be aware that she is working long shifts, so it may take more than a day for her to answer.
 

Guptheguineapig

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Wow, thank you for your quick response!
I have no rabbits. When I rescued her from the pet store they had said she was abandoned because of a head tilt and ear infection, but that a clerk took her to the vet herself and had her treated. I was told she was healthy.
Then after about 5 months of her living with me I noticed she started to tilt again and her ear had a little gook in it, so I went straight to the vet. She was treated with Baytril for 5 weeks and seemed to take well to the medication after another check-up from the vet. A week ago I noticed signs of her having something bothering her in her ear, as well as an increasing head tilt again. She has been on Baytril .25ml (she is really small) again now for about a week and a day, and was prescribed Metacam(?) for discomfort/inflammation after I called yesterday because she was having balance issues and kept toppling over. The Anti-inflammatory seems to help some. SIDE NOTE: She has been eating and drinking normally this entire time, minus the balance she seems to be unaffected by her issue.
I don't know what to do about her though...I want her to be okay! <3
 

Guptheguineapig

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Wow, thank you for your quick response!
I have no rabbits. When I rescued her from the pet store they had said she was abandoned because of a head tilt and ear infection, but that a clerk took her to the vet herself and had her treated. I was told she was healthy.
Then after about 5 months of her living with me I noticed she started to tilt again and her ear had a little gook in it, so I went straight to the vet. She was treated with Baytril for 5 weeks and seemed to take well to the medication after another check-up from the vet. A week ago I noticed signs of her having something bothering her in her ear, as well as an increasing head tilt again. She has been on Baytril .25ml (she is really small) again now for about a week and a day, and was prescribed Metacam(?) for discomfort/inflammation after I called yesterday because she was having balance issues and kept toppling over. The Anti-inflammatory seems to help some. SIDE NOTE: She has been eating and drinking normally this entire time, minus the balance she seems to be unaffected by her issue.
I don't know what to do about her though...I want her to be okay! <3
Update to something else I have noticed 8/20/19: Tippy is wobbly, but stable when she is eating and cleaning herself, but when she appears to be stimulated, such as excited or scared, she seems to flip over on to her side until she can roll back over... Seems very neurological, but before I jump in for thousands of dollars, I want to hear everyone's advice.
 

Abi_nurse

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Hello there,
Sorry for the lateness in my reply, been rather busy. As for some advice I would O a few things.
- firstly cover for the parasite called e.cuniculi, this is a rabbit parasite which causes head tilts but guinea pigs can certainly get it and it can cause signs like this. You will need to treat her with a 28 day course of panacur to cover this and it's not an expensive drug and well worth treating to see if it improves her signs. If it does then bingo you have at least part of the answer. Although you have little history on her this is always a chance she could have picked it up from the environment, poor breeding conditions as a baby or in the pet store
- in all honesty if you would like to see exactly what the problem is then getting your piggie a CT scan is the best course of action. The vet can then get a 3D image of the ear to see exactly what is going on. These can be pricey but is the best thing to do to image the inner ear to be honest if you would like to know more about what's going on an get more of an idea. This may also tailor what treat,eat she is put on or what's done
- if she has gunk in her ear then chat to your vet about potentially sampling it to see what the infection is and see which best antibiotic to use. That way you will ensure you can give her the right one.
- consider the sure of anti vertigo drugs. We tend to use stemitil in cases like this and it can have some positive effects.

You should not need to put her on long term ant inflammatory drugs unless the ear condition is not resolvable. But without further diagnostics then I wouldn't want to say anything for certain.

Hope this helps. Feel free to ask more questions.
x
 

Guptheguineapig

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Hello there,
Sorry for the lateness in my reply, been rather busy. As for some advice I would O a few things.
- firstly cover for the parasite called e.cuniculi, this is a rabbit parasite which causes head tilts but guinea pigs can certainly get it and it can cause signs like this. You will need to treat her with a 28 day course of panacur to cover this and it's not an expensive drug and well worth treating to see if it improves her signs. If it does then bingo you have at least part of the answer. Although you have little history on her this is always a chance she could have picked it up from the environment, poor breeding conditions as a baby or in the pet store
- in all honesty if you would like to see exactly what the problem is then getting your piggie a CT scan is the best course of action. The vet can then get a 3D image of the ear to see exactly what is going on. These can be pricey but is the best thing to do to image the inner ear to be honest if you would like to know more about what's going on an get more of an idea. This may also tailor what treat,eat she is put on or what's done
- if she has gunk in her ear then chat to your vet about potentially sampling it to see what the infection is and see which best antibiotic to use. That way you will ensure you can give her the right one.
- consider the sure of anti vertigo drugs. We tend to use stemitil in cases like this and it can have some positive effects.

You should not need to put her on long term ant inflammatory drugs unless the ear condition is not resolvable. But without further diagnostics then I wouldn't want to say anything for certain.

Hope this helps. Feel free to ask more questions.
x
So I actually had to rush to an emergency specialist who kept her overnight. She was critically underweight because she was lackking the bacteria in her stomach because I made the critical mistake of not giving her a probiotic. She ended up having a DOUBLE ear infection that traveled to middle and inner ear. The doctor put antibiotic impregnated beads, and since she has had the procedure her rolling has gone down drastically and she is eating lots of hay and not given many veggies as I need her bacteria to go back up! Prayers she will gain weight and recover fully.
 

Guptheguineapig

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Hello again!
So my Tippy ended up having an emergency procedure to place antibiotic impregnated beads right behind her neck. She was kept overnight at the hospital so they could monitor. The vet was a phenomenal exotic specialist (that I drove an hour and a half to go see and then dropped $700!) and gave me a lot of information about guinea pigs in general.
Basically Tippy's biggest issue right now is not the double ear infection, instead cause for concern is her dysbiosis. In simple terms Tippy's tummy bacteria was killed off with the first treatments of antibiotics, and I somehow forgot the importance of probiotics during that time. She was basically severely underweight and not pulling nutrients from her food. Normal guinea pig weight for female guinea pig is around 700-900 grams. Tippy weighed 440 grams. My job now is to nurse her back to health and do everything in my power to help her to feel better.
Right now she is receiving two doses of probiotics daily along with poop soup (from her healthy cage-mate), vitamin C, pain medication, and TONS of hay. I limit fresh veggies to very little because right now she need hay the most to balance her back out. Yesterday was her first day home and she wasn't eating much without me placing her in the hay. This morning she was eating hay on her own and was much more lively. While we aren't out of the woods, I can only hope she keeps fighting.

Does anyone have advice that has gone through something similar with their pigs?
Does anyone know of hay based treats besides oxbow veggie treats?

Thanks!
 

Wiebke

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Hello again!
So my Tippy ended up having an emergency procedure to place antibiotic impregnated beads right behind her neck. She was kept overnight at the hospital so they could monitor. The vet was an exotic specialist (that I drove an hour and a half to go see and then dropped $700!) was phenomenal and gave me a lot of information about guinea pigs in general.
Basically Tippy's biggest issue right now is not the double ear infection, instead cause for concern is her dysbiosis. In simple terms Tippy's tummy bacteria was killed off with the first treatments of antibiotics, and I somehow forgot the importance of probiotics during that time. She was basically severely underweight and not pulling nutrients from her food. Normal guinea pig weight for female guinea pig is around 700-900 grams. Tippy weighted 440 grams. My job now is to nurse her back to health and do everything in my power to help her to feel better.
Right now she is receiving two doses of probiotics daily along with poop soup (from her healthy cage-mate), vitamin C, pain medication, and TONS of hay. Yesterday was her first day home and she wasn't eating much without me placing her in the hay. This morning she was eating hay on her own and was much more lively. While we aren't out of the woods, I can only hope she keeps fighting.

Does anyone have advice that has gone through something similar with their pigs?
Thanks!
Hi!

You are doing all the right things to re-inoculate her gut and to rebalance it again. Please always syringe any piggy not eating at all. Keep going until her weight is stable.
Once your piggy is starting to eat on her own, you can offer her as much as she wants 2-3 times daily whether that is from a syringe or a bowl. Weigh daily in order to monitor the food intake and adjust the top-up feed accordingly.
Porridge oats may also help to push the weight up, as can readygrass - the latter please more as a treat than as part of regular nutrition.

Bad reactions to antibiotics can happen with any brand. If the appetite has been totally wiped out, it can take some effort to get them going again as I know from my own experiences. Gut stimulating medication may additionally help. Hay is the mainstay of the piggy diet, and what they live on, so that is indeed your first priority.

You can start with feeding veg once the poos have normalised; ideally you start with a little fresh herb and then add another veg with every dinner to get the gut used to fresh food again.

You can find more information on support feeding in this guide here: Complete Syringe Feeding Guide
Underweight: Weight - Monitoring and Management
 

Guptheguineapig

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Hi!

You are doing all the right things to re-inoculate her gut and to rebalance it again. Please always syringe any piggy not eating at all. Keep going until her weight is stable.
Once your piggy is starting to eat on her own, you can offer her as much as she wants 2-3 times daily whether that is from a syringe or a bowl. Weigh daily in order to monitor the food intake and adjust the top-up feed accordingly.
Porridge oats may also help to push the weight up, as can readygrass - the latter please more as a treat than as part of regular nutrition.

Bad reactions to antibiotics can happen with any brand. If the appetite has been totally wiped out, it can take some effort to get them going again as I know from my own experiences. Gut stimulating medication may additionally help. Hay is the mainstay of the piggy diet, and what they live on, so that is indeed your first priority.

You can start with feeding veg once the poos have normalised; ideally you start with a little fresh herb and then add another veg with every dinner to get the gut used to fresh food again.

You can find more information on support feeding in this guide here: Complete Syringe Feeding Guide
Underweight: Weight - Monitoring and Management
I noticed her poos are a bit smaller than they have been, is that because she is no longer getting fresh veggies to push stuff out? She is eat which is an awesome sign! In fact, she's snacking on pellets and hay right now!
 

Guptheguineapig

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Again this is another message about tippy my beloved double ear infection rescue with dysbiosis.
She is eating on her own and only has access to TIMOTHY HAY and SHERWOOD PELLETS.
I have been weighing her every night around 6pm, starting the day she came home from vet hospital but so far it's not going up, but it's going down in very small amounts.
8/22-- 440g
8/23-- 431g
8/24-- 428g

Is this cause for alarm?
I haven't given her any Critical Care, I have tried a little mashed pellets but it seemed to stress her out to try... so I stopped because she is eating on her own.

I am watching her incredibly closely. Her behavior has improved, she's more lively, she's eating what she should to help her digestive tract...

Thanks!

--Paranoid Piggy Mommy
 

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Whortleberry

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Hi guptheguineapig and Tippy, I'm sure someone more experienced will respond in the morning (I'm up syringe feeding a poorly pig). I just thought that if you're worried you might want someone to hear you and thought I'd drop a message of alongside-ness. I had a quick look at your other posts and it sounds like Tippy and you have had a bit of a rough time with her ear problems and the dysbiosis. It also looks like you've had some specialist information from @Wiebke and that you're getting back on track with the antibiotic beads and probiotics.

It's good that you have been weighing Tippy consistently since her procedure. In the illness support guides it talks about top up feeding if a pig has lost more than 50g. However, as Tippy is already so small, I'm sure she would need supplementing with any degree of weight loss (possibly also if she wasn't gaining weight). Her weight may also suggest the reason (not enough volume of food) for the small poos you've mentioned in another thread (when it comes to feeding human babies I always like to think that "what goes in, must come out" - I'm sure it's the same for GPs).

What I've found when syringing my piggy is that it was a bit tricky to start with because we both had to get used to what was going on. Now I try and make sure I've got everything to hand and then sit and relax with him so the process is as stress-free as possible. I've tended to cover myself in a fleece blanket to catch any mess and keep a cloth / kitchen towel to hand. Again, I kind of think of it like human baby feeding; it can't be rushed and with a lot of practice it's become a bit of a turn-taking dance of offering, allowing a response, feeding, waiting, watching and offering again (etc).

I don't know if any of my ramblings help. I've put a couple of links below with information from those more experienced with such situations:
Illness Support Care Guides
Complete Syringe Feeding Guide

Good luck!
 

Guptheguineapig

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Hi guptheguineapig and Tippy, I'm sure someone more experienced will respond in the morning (I'm up syringe feeding a poorly pig). I just thought that if you're worried you might want someone to hear you and thought I'd drop a message of alongside-ness. I had a quick look at your other posts and it sounds like Tippy and you have had a bit of a rough time with her ear problems and the dysbiosis. It also looks like you've had some specialist information from @Wiebke and that you're getting back on track with the antibiotic beads and probiotics.

It's good that you have been weighing Tippy consistently since her procedure. In the illness support guides it talks about top up feeding if a pig has lost more than 50g. However, as Tippy is already so small, I'm sure she would need supplementing with any degree of weight loss (possibly also if she wasn't gaining weight). Her weight may also suggest the reason (not enough volume of food) for the small poos you've mentioned in another thread (when it comes to feeding human babies I always like to think that "what goes in, must come out" - I'm sure it's the same for GPs).

What I've found when syringing my piggy is that it was a bit tricky to start with because we both had to get used to what was going on. Now I try and make sure I've got everything to hand and then sit and relax with him so the process is as stress-free as possible. I've tended to cover myself in a fleece blanket to catch any mess and keep a cloth / kitchen towel to hand. Again, I kind of think of it like human baby feeding; it can't be rushed and with a lot of practice it's become a bit of a turn-taking dance of offering, allowing a response, feeding, waiting, watching and offering again (etc).

I don't know if any of my ramblings help. I've put a couple of links below with information from those more experienced with such situations:
Illness Support Care Guides
Complete Syringe Feeding Guide

Good luck!
I made her some today with a little applesauce and she didn't seem phased. This morning I thought of shoving tiny little pieces of pepper and she went right for the CC. I have noticed her poo got a little bigger, a little softer. She is eating on her own and I am just going to keep with that momentum, but haven't really dedicated myself to CC. The vet had actually told me that pigs don't actually take too much from the CC. Their picture is on it, but it doesn't really have the most beneficial make up for pigs.
 

Merab's Slave

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When I was syringe feeding I mashed a small piece of banana in with the Critical Care. Micah loved it and wouldn’t let go of the syringe.
He was also very fond of the grated sweet potato and oat mix I put in a small ramekin dish in his cage.
These just help boost food intake and weight gain.
It’s an anxious time with a piggy who’s not well.
Holding you in my thoughts
 

Wiebke

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Again this is another message about tippy my beloved double ear infection rescue with dysbiosis.
She is eating on her own and only has access to TIMOTHY HAY and SHERWOOD PELLETS.
I have been weighing her every night around 6pm, starting the day she came home from vet hospital but so far it's not going up, but it's going down in very small amounts.
8/22-- 440g
8/23-- 431g
8/24-- 428g

Is this cause for alarm?
I haven't given her any Critical Care, I have tried a little mashed pellets but it seemed to stress her out to try... so I stopped because she is eating on her own.

I am watching her incredibly closely. Her behavior has improved, she's more lively, she's eating what she should to help her digestive tract...

Thanks!

--Paranoid Piggy Mommy
Hi

The daily weight swing is 30-40g. Weight loss is therefore only seen as such once you have lost 50g or more. Just emptying a full bladder can mean 10g less. ;)

However in such a small piggy that should be putting on weight and not losing it, any steady weight is worrying. If it continues, please see a vet.

PS: Always weigh at the same time in the feeding cycle, like before breakfast or dinner) in order to minimise the diegestive cycle and the difference between a full and empty bladder.
 

Guptheguineapig

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Hi

The daily weight swing is 30-40g. Weight loss is therefore only seen as such once you have lost 50g or more. Just emptying a full bladder can mean 10g less. ;)

However in such a small piggy that should be putting on weight and not losing it, any steady weight is worrying. If it continues, please see a vet.

PS: Always weigh at the same time in the feeding cycle, like before breakfast or dinner) in order to minimise the diegestive cycle and the difference between a full and empty bladder.
Her poops have become a tad softer now that she is having critical care. Has that happened to you or anyone else?
 

Wiebke

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Her poops have become a tad softer now that she is having critical care. Has that happened to you or anyone else?
If it is just a tad, then there is nothing to worry; it can be because she is taking on more water via the syringe feed,
 

Guptheguineapig

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Hello all
My little piggy Tippy has been back and forth to an exotic specialist for the last two months for an ear infection. She has antibiotic impregnated beads that have been placed to better attack the ear infection she has had. Today I noticed some of the pus that was deep inside her ear has begun to drain out of her ear. Does anyone know if this is a sign that antibiotics are finally pushing things out or if it is a sign of worsening? Very worried

Thanks
 

Wiebke

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Hello all
My little piggy Tippy has been back and forth to an exotic specialist for the last two months for an ear infection. She has antibiotic impregnated beads that have been placed to better attack the ear infection she has had. Today I noticed some of the pus that was deep inside her ear has begun to drain out of her ear. Does anyone know if this is a sign that antibiotics are finally pushing things out or if it is a sign of worsening? Very worried

Thanks
Hi! I would think that this is a good sign, but if you are in doubt, please contact the clinic.
 

Guptheguineapig

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Hello again.

I still have my little girl Tippy with the chronic ear infection is on her third round of antibiotic impregnanted beads. This time the vet said she is not as hopeful of the outcome. She said that usually by the second set the pet is healed, but Tippy still had clogged ears, pain, and lower weight. She said that there is a small chance that this last set of beads could help kick the infection, but the only positive right now is her young age/energy level/ability to eat. I am hoping and praying that by some miracle she can beat the infection and thrive, but if she doesn't I don't know what to expect?
Has anyone been in a familiar situation where they have a pet with an untreatable illness that, particularly an infection.
It breaks my heart to think of her in pain, but it also breaks my heart to think that she may have a deadline now, and despite all that has been done we only prolonged the inevitable.
 

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