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Guinea pig asthma

Caffee

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Hi, so for nearly two years now my 6 year old penny has had a wheezing/“hooting” issue as some may call it. Having episodes of this “hooting” usually happening 1-2 times a week to 1-2 a month depending on the season. Tends to be more frequent during the hot months and less frequent during cold months. Ive also had these episodes happen on days her hay needs a restock in her cage (shes a lone pig for special reasons so her hay doesnt needs an every other day refill) which i assume is from dust. Anyway, i took her in for a check up with my vet so i could ask her about this and her likelihood of having arthritis. Her response to the hooting was that since shes had it for so long and is completely healthy otherwise, its ruled out this is not an infection of sorts. So she told me unless her health deteriorates, theres not much we can do. At the time the hooting was barely once a week in the month of november, so i went with this. But now the hot summer months have returned, the hooting has significantly gotten worse. She has been having these night/early morning episodes of hooting nearly 4 times a week. She will only have these episodes in the night/early morning, which i find strange. Also, her cage is located upstairs, where its signifigantly warmer. I plan on getting a fan to let blow far from the cage just to circulate the air; i know in humans asthma tends to worsen in heat. These episodes can last a while and they do seem to stress her a little bit; but ive also seen her sleep through them, eat through them, drink through them- pretty much act entirely normal despite the obvious discomfort. Which eases my mind a little bit, but i still get so upset hearing it and often will stay up to make sure shes alright. The only thing that makes these episodes stop sooner is if she coughs, which shes done before during an episode, but lately she hasnt been able to.
Now, I'm not asking to be told to just “go back to the vet”. I understand thats what i have to do. What I'm asking from anyone really is if this is sounds like an asthma issue and if there is ANYTNING at home i can personally do to make her more comfortable or help her through these episodes. I'm also asking if anyone knows any sort of medications i can bring up to my vet that i can give her to possible lessen or rid of these episodes entirely. Ive heard of metacam being an anti inflammatory and also bactrim (i think i spelles that right). But if anyone knows of something better then please let me know. Any information is helpful. Also, reminder, penny is an old girl and any medication is a risk on her kidneys. If the medication is heavy please say so.

EXTRA INFO
Her cage is a 2x4 and she tends to like her hidey hut close to her “kitchen” area due to the fact she has minor arthritis and sleeps more often. This makes her close to her possibly dusty hay 24-7. Her bedding is fleece and is given daily spot cleans with the weekly machine wash. No chemicals (besides distilled vinegar) or dryer sheets ever used.
Other then the hooting and minor arthritis, she has no other compelling issues and is completely healthy otherwise with no past/current signs or illness or infection.

Side note: please, no rude or hateful remarks. At the end of the day, my little girl is everything to me and i came here to help her. I understand ive made some mistakes, but i want to fix this. Thank you.
 

Caffee

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IMPORTANT EDIT!: forgot to add that the vet did listen to her chest when i brought up the hooting and said that her lungs sound entirely normal hence why she suggested we take action if her health deteriorates. Sorry for missing that!
 

Betsy

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One thing you won't get on here is "rude or hateful remarks" we are a friendly forum who just want the best for piggies and their slaves. Tagging in some Health and Illness specialists for you. @Jaycey, @Wiebke.
 

Caffee

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One thing you won't get on here is "rude or hateful remarks" we are a friendly forum who just want the best for piggies and their slaves. Tagging in some Health and Illness specialists for you. @Jaycey, @Wiebke.
Sorry if i came off as pushy with the side note. This is just something ive been wanting to ask help for but was scared people would be angry at me for it as it has happened on other sites before. Thank you for your reassurance.
 

Wiebke

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Hi, so for nearly two years now my 6 year old penny has had a wheezing/“hooting” issue as some may call it. Having episodes of this “hooting” usually happening 1-2 times a week to 1-2 a month depending on the season. Tends to be more frequent during the hot months and less frequent during cold months. Ive also had these episodes happen on days her hay needs a restock in her cage (shes a lone pig for special reasons so her hay doesnt needs an every other day refill) which i assume is from dust. Anyway, i took her in for a check up with my vet so i could ask her about this and her likelihood of having arthritis. Her response to the hooting was that since shes had it for so long and is completely healthy otherwise, its ruled out this is not an infection of sorts. So she told me unless her health deteriorates, theres not much we can do. At the time the hooting was barely once a week in the month of november, so i went with this. But now the hot summer months have returned, the hooting has significantly gotten worse. She has been having these night/early morning episodes of hooting nearly 4 times a week. She will only have these episodes in the night/early morning, which i find strange. Also, her cage is located upstairs, where its signifigantly warmer. I plan on getting a fan to let blow far from the cage just to circulate the air; i know in humans asthma tends to worsen in heat. These episodes can last a while and they do seem to stress her a little bit; but ive also seen her sleep through them, eat through them, drink through them- pretty much act entirely normal despite the obvious discomfort. Which eases my mind a little bit, but i still get so upset hearing it and often will stay up to make sure shes alright. The only thing that makes these episodes stop sooner is if she coughs, which shes done before during an episode, but lately she hasnt been able to.
Now, I'm not asking to be told to just “go back to the vet”. I understand thats what i have to do. What I'm asking from anyone really is if this is sounds like an asthma issue and if there is ANYTNING at home i can personally do to make her more comfortable or help her through these episodes. I'm also asking if anyone knows any sort of medications i can bring up to my vet that i can give her to possible lessen or rid of these episodes entirely. Ive heard of metacam being an anti inflammatory and also bactrim (i think i spelles that right). But if anyone knows of something better then please let me know. Any information is helpful. Also, reminder, penny is an old girl and any medication is a risk on her kidneys. If the medication is heavy please say so.

EXTRA INFO
Her cage is a 2x4 and she tends to like her hidey hut close to her “kitchen” area due to the fact she has minor arthritis and sleeps more often. This makes her close to her possibly dusty hay 24-7. Her bedding is fleece and is given daily spot cleans with the weekly machine wash. No chemicals (besides distilled vinegar) or dryer sheets ever used.
Other then the hooting and minor arthritis, she has no other compelling issues and is completely healthy otherwise with no past/current signs or illness or infection.

Side note: please, no rude or hateful remarks. At the end of the day, my little girl is everything to me and i came here to help her. I understand ive made some mistakes, but i want to fix this. Thank you.
Hi!

We are a friendly and supportive forum, but please accept that we have a clear policy of working through vets whenever necessary.

Guinea pigs have a very small and narrow respiratory tract; they can also not breathe through their mouths. This means that every little obstruction in the airways is very audible. In older guinea pigs the airways can narrow even more; it is not all that uncommon.

You can try and see whether a bowl of steaming water next to the cage is easing the breathing or not. If it is bringing relief, then nebulising is the way to go. If the tester bowl is not working then nebulising could make the problem worse.
You can use a steamed up shower as an improvised nebuliser or build your own with the help of an asthma nebuliser and a plastic box if necessary. Other members with experience can help you with that if it is the way to go for you.

@Jaycey @helen105281
 

Caffee

Junior Guinea Pig
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Hi!

We are a friendly and supportive forum, but please accept that we have a clear policy of working through vets whenever necessary.

Guinea pigs have a very small and narrow respiratory tract; they can also not breathe through their mouths. This means that every little obstruction in the airways is very audible. In older guinea pigs the airways can narrow even more; it is not all that uncommon.

You can try and see whether a bowl of steaming water next to the cage is easing the breathing or not. If it is bringing relief, then nebulising is the way to go. If the tester bowl is not working then nebulising could make the problem worse.
You can use a steamed up shower as an improvised nebuliser or build your own with the help of an asthma nebuliser and a plastic box if necessary. Other members with experience can help you with that if it is the way to go for you.

@Jaycey @helen105281
How should i go about the bowl method? Do i use it only when she has her episodes? Also thank you for your reply.
 

Wiebke

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How should i go about the bowl method? Do i use it only when she has her episodes? Also thank you for your reply.
Use it when she has her episodes; place it close to where she is sitting and see whether it helps or not. Then take it from there. ;)
 

Caffee

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Use it when she has her episodes; place it close to where she is sitting and see whether it helps or not. Then take it from there. ;)
Okay, thank you! Fingers crossed 🤞
 
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