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Specialist extremely persistent uri


New Born Pup
Jan 4, 2020
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My two year old piggy named Nugget has been suffering with breathing issues ever since she was just a few months old. I’ve taken her to the vet plenty of times. They always say she has an upper respiratory infection and prescribe her baytril or doxycycline I believe but it never seems to really do much. She has never stopped eating or pooping and her energy level has always been pretty steady, but her breathing has gotten progressively worse through the years. She almost sounds like a pug, and she sneezes a lot.

There was one time where her breathing got really bad and she lost quite a bit of weight. She got prescribed a heavy dose of baytril and doxycycline and it seemed to bring her back to her normal self, however still really struggling with her breathing.

I think i’ve read just about every article online about guinea pig breathing issues, and it seems to me like she’s got a heart problem, however when I mention it to the vet he says her heart sounds normal which means she does not have one.

We got a culture test done around a month ago which showed she did have a bacteria, I think it was staph and that it was resistant to baytril and doxycycline but there was another medicine that did work on it. I forget what it is called & the name isn’t on the bottle, but it’s pink if that helps. She was prescribed that twice a day and has been taking it for nearly a month, but she doesn’t seem to be getting any better. She had also been getting eye drops (tobramycin ophthalmic solution) because one of her eyes was a little goopy but that didn’t seem to help her either.

The other day, I noticed the edges of her ears were getting black and she seemed to be twitching the ear on the same side as the goopy eye. We took her back into the vet and while he was checking her ears, a little chunk of the black broke off and her ear started bleeding. He said she has an ear infection which is likely causing the eye problem and he finally agreed to consider the possibility of a heart problem. She just started on 0.07 ml of furosemide twice a day and we’ve only been through one dose so far, as well as baytril otic drops for the ears.

Can someone please let me know if I’m on the right track? I feel like I’ve been trying to fix her problems for years now and nothing seems to work. Nugget is clearly struggling and it hurts so much to see her not well. Thanks


Staff member
Mar 10, 2009
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Coventry UK
Hi and welcome

I am very sorry; it rather looks like there is an underlying problem with your piggy.

When treating for heart problems, our members are generally prescribed frusol/furosemide (which is a diuretic to prevent a build up of water in either the lungs or chest from heart insufficiency or pneumonia) and vetmedin. Heart problems, unless it is an irregular heartbeat can be very difficult to diagnose in guinea pigs that do not display the classic symptoms (which is not uncommon) - and even if they do (as I know from piggies of mine), it may turn out that there is nothing wrong with their heart.

To help the medically more experienced members I am tagging for you (please keep in mind that this is a weekend and they are doing this in their scant free time), it would help us if you please added your country to your details. If possible, call your vet clinic and enquire after the name of the last antibiotic you have been prescribed; it should be in your piggy's file on the computer. What weight is your piggy at the moment, so we can check dosages?

@Abi_nurse @furryfriends (TEAS)