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Guinea Pig Crusty Eye/behaviour Change\not Drinking Much And Snotty

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New Born Pup
Feb 8, 2015
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Hi everyone so iv had my first boar to the vets 8 times since December with a range of different health problems, firstly he's new and around 5 months old, we got him from pets at home, and they sold him to us I'll, they covered the vet bills but money isn't the issue I'd spend anything to make sure there ok, so the first trip to the vet was days after we got him, he had a uri, 2nd time we went because it hadn't cleared up and same with the 3rd visit, 4th was because he is snotty and they prescribed metacam, 5th time was an upset tummy, 6th was yet again a snotty nose, 7th time was behaviour issues and not eating which was put down to introduction of new guinea pig (an hour a day) that was stressing him and today is the 8th visit with a crusty eye aswell as a crusty nose, shy all of a sudden and sneezing which I suspect is a uri, he gets his cage cleaned daily, fresh hay, fresh water. Fruit and vveg, don't use woodshavings, i use back to nature, carefresh and megazorb (not all together of course. I'm worried why he's so sick, is this down to luck? I see an exotic vet btw, could the vet be misdiagnosing him?, he seems to never get better with the meds they give him, i just want him happy and healthy, any thoughts would be appreciated, thanks
I dont claim to be an expert but I dont why they would prescribe metacam for a snotty nose as its a painkiller. Has he been on antibiotics?
What medication is he on?

Is he still with his new cage mate? if not, once he is well you will need to do introductions on neutral ground in one hit, not an hour a day as they have to start the dominance battles from scratch every time.
It sounds very much like a URI; good that you have him seen today! He may need a different and stronger antibiotic as this seems to be an ongoing problem. :(

Please hand feed and hydrate if necessary. The need to breathe comes before the need to drink and thirdly the need to eat. Place a bowl with steaming water and a couple of drops of olbas oils (not vicks, please) next to the cage to help ease the breathing. Give your boy extra vitamin C to support his immune system. Make also sure that you give a probiotic about 1-2 hours after the antibiotic to keep the guts going.
You can find all necessary information in this thread here: https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/forums/caring-for-an-ill-guinea-pig.53/
Thanks everyone for the reply, Helen it was the vet funnily enough that told me to do the hour a day, will look into, thank you for the feedback on that, and yes metacam, baytril, a pinch of powder from a sachet the vet gave me to put in food (can never remember the name) but nothing seems to wwork, got the vet at 3.30, got so many questions to ask, he gets a probiotic, 1 scoop in every 200ml of water, full of vitamin c and friendly bacteria, comes in a yellow bottle.
I am having the exact same problem with Biscuit. The vet also put her on Baytril, Metacam and probiotics loaded with vitamin C. And still no change! :( She has been at the vets at least once a week the past 2months. The vet thinks she coukd have a resistance to baytril but said it's the only antibiotic they have for guinea pigs! I'm getting so worried now, she's still eating well but the weights falling off regardless!
I dont claim to be an expert but I dont why they would prescribe metacam for a snotty nose as its a painkiller. Has he been on antibiotics?
My vet prescribed it for a URI as it is also an anti-inflammetry so can ease some of the 'bunged up' symptoms!
How did it go?

I wouldn't put probiotics in drinking water as it needs to be given at least an hour apart from antibiotics. It's best to syringe it.
While baytril is the only officially licensed antibiotic, your vet can prescribe another one if you sign a disclaimer that you take any responsibility for it. There are other antibiotics being used for persistent URIs.
@Wiebke i don't suppose you have any recommended alternatatives to Baytril. I don't mind signing a disclaimer but i this forum seems alot more informed than vets round here!
The best way to persuade your vets to try another anitbiotic is to ask them to do a throat and nasal swab and culture the bugs for antibiotic resistance. My pigs routinely test positive for baytril and septrin-resistant staphylococcus and streptococcus. Although my vets try to use these two if possible - they will also prescribe doxycycline or marbocyl - some other vets will prescribe azithromycin for particularly stubborn respiratory infections.

The thing NOT to prescribe is the penicillins and cephalosproin classes of antibiotic as these are very harmful to guinea pigs, causing bacterial overgrowth in the gut/dirahhoea and can lead to to death.

However one other thing to consider is that your vets sound extremely conservative and not very knowledgable about current treatments for guinea pigs - so you might be better off finding another vet.

Sorry to hear that skye it'sso frustrating, took him to the vet and yet again more meds, ficithalmic vet eye drops, and more baytril and metacam and a powder sachet. Longer dosage this time, hopefully this works. Gave eye drops earlier and what a drama that was but it's made his eye nice and hhydrated. Maybe ask vet for a longer dosage? Asked about metacam, said it helps the noseband acts as a painkiller too because the eye is bound to be sore. But I don't have high hopes of this working either, poor we guy. I won't let it beat him, we will get it sorted eventually.
Would your vet consider switching up the antibiotics, as the Baytril does not appear to be knocking the infection out? Although Baytril seems to be the 'go-to' antibiotic for many vets, there are other meds that can safely be used, as not all illnesses are susceptible to Baytril. I hope he feels better soon... poor little guy!
Would your vet consider contacting another specialist over switching medications? Our own in-house medications specialist @Pebble has given you the best advice re. what the possible alternatives are. You could copy the post and show it to your vet, especially as your don't have a lot of choice where you are?

PS: Pebble has got an advanced medical degree even though she is not a vet.
If your vet is intransigent about prescribing alternative antibiotic....(and I note you are in Inverness) - can you go see Glenn Hodgson at Apex vts in Denny, Falkirk? I know it is a long way but I think this would be your best bet to get proper meds for you piggie.

You could also suggest you own vet ring Edinburgh DICK school for advice!! (They'd soon put them straight about abx other than baytril)

I'm sorry you have found yourelf in this position - you do need to find an alternative vet for your piggies.
@Pebble and @Wiebke thank you that is very usefull! I will take this message into the vets tomorrow and hopefully get a resolution, and Falkirk may end up being the option as this is now the thirds vets i've tried! :( Onverness does have a rather poor selection for piggies!
Fingers firmly crossed that you can get the issue sorted!
@scottishdean thank you she is still no better but i'm impressed at how happy she has remained throughout her ordeal, she's a real drama queen with medicines too but at least she's loving all the extra attention. I'm going to show Pebbles' advice to them tomorrow and hopefully they'll take it. I really hope it works out for your piggy too as i understand how distressing it is when you don't see any difference. Keep me posted on how he's doing and i'll let you know if Pebbles has found the magic cure! :)
@SkyexXx : can you please start a new thread in H & I for Biscuit so we don't confuse the two cases? Please provide details of Biscuit's age and any previous medical history, her current symptoms and what meds she has had/is currently on. (For your info - my qualifications are a BSc in Microbioloigy, a GI Biol in Immunology, a PhD in Infection and Immunity....also having to put up with two senior medical consultants in the family (hooman - one in anaesthesia and one in HIV) ..and 20years of piggie keeping working with an extremely experienced exotics vet and paying shedloads of money for diagnostics and post-mortems to advance vet's knowledge of guinea pigs)

@scottishdean : the pinch of powder is probably bisolven - it dissolves mucus and helps pigs clear their snotty noses if they have an upper respiratory infection (ie in the nose/throat)
My concern with your youngster is that even at this young age - baytril is not cutting the mustard and getting rid of his condition. My advice on getting a swab to enable selection of a different antibiotic still stands (best for him to be antibiotic-free for at least a week before taking the swab otherwise it can affect the results). Oh - and i think you should pressurise P@H to foot the bill for the diagnostics (and od not use their vets - make sure you have a trusted exotics vet) I'm not prepared to say anything more in public (but if you want to continue this conversation then please PM me)
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