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Guinea pig suffered a stroke. Need advice.

EllieHawkins

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Sadly my beloved Luna (1 year 2 months old) has suffered a stroke. I visited the vet immediately but because he didn’t see it happen he didn’t want to say it was for certain but prescribed me antibiotics. She drools on one side (the weak side) and has lost her balance and tilts to the one side. I’m currently feeding her critical care throughout the day so often and keeping her comfortable. She’s separated from her two sisters so she can recover peacefully with no fuss. I just want to know if she will recover (she takes the critical care but won’t venture out of her hut) as I don’t want to keep syringe feeding her if she won’t ever move again as it isn’t fair. I just need some tips and advice for anyone who has experienced it as I haven’t had this happen to my Guineas before so I’m not as clued up. I want to do everything I can for her.
 

VickiA

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I’m sorry I have no personal experience of this. What physical symptoms does she have? Is she able to move her front and back legs? Why did the vet give antibiotics? Is he thinking an infection and head tilt?
 

Betsy

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I’m sorry I have no personal experience of this. What physical symptoms does she have? Is she able to move her front and back legs? Why did the vet give antibiotics? Is he thinking an infection and head tilt?
I was wondering the same thing.
 

Wiebke

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Sadly my beloved Luna (1 year 2 months old) has suffered a stroke. I visited the vet immediately but because he didn’t see it happen he didn’t want to say it was for certain but prescribed me antibiotics. She drools on one side (the weak side) and has lost her balance and tilts to the one side. I’m currently feeding her critical care throughout the day so often and keeping her comfortable. She’s separated from her two sisters so she can recover peacefully with no fuss. I just want to know if she will recover (she takes the critical care but won’t venture out of her hut) as I don’t want to keep syringe feeding her if she won’t ever move again as it isn’t fair. I just need some tips and advice for anyone who has experienced it as I haven’t had this happen to my Guineas before so I’m not as clued up. I want to do everything I can for her.
Hi!

BIG HUGS

It is unfortunately impossible to say whether she will ever make a recovery and to which degree, or whether she will have more strokes and die. You can't say it with humans, so it is even less possible with guinea pigs. :(

Has your vet checked for a potential ear infection or - if you have rabbits close by - potential e.cuniculi? The second is not well known but can present with similar symptoms. If treated promptly, a recovery is possible.

You are doing all the right things in keeping her quiet, comfortable, warm but not hot.
With a stroke piggy it is worth keeping in mind that they cannot clean and hydrate the eye on their paralysed side, so you may want to get some plain artificial tear gel (if you can't get it from a pharmacy, you can get plain drops but they won't last as long and are more difficult to apply in my experience) to help keep the eye hydrated and irrigated.
Here are tips in how to care for piggies with limited mobility: Looking after guinea pigs with limited or no mobility

My only experiences were looking after the survivor of a major stroke once she was ready to move homes for a nurse on long shifts. Sadly Nimue only lived for about another months before a series of small strokes meant that her teeth on her weak side were overgrowing but because of her small strokes she was not fit to have a much needed dental. :(
But here is a little popcorning and running video of her (despite her head tilt) just a few days before she had to be sent to the Rainbow Bridge; my Lola had taken her under wing and was genuinely upset to lose her.


In August this year, I found my nearly 8 years old Tegan collapsed on her side in her cave; she died not long after in my arms. :(
She is the ginger, black and white peru in the first video.
 

EllieHawkins

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He’d mentioned it could be an infection of some sort so wanted to put her onto baytril to be safe and see if it helps her. She’s also on metacam as pain relief but I don’t feel she’s in pain. Her legs work alright but on her weak side they’re weak and she doesn’t really want to move as she does fall over on that side. The only other symptoms she has is drooling and also very small poops which aren’t normal looking but guessing because she isn’t eating on her own. She also sometimes makes slight low cooing noises maybe once a day for a minute and stops.
 

Eriathwen

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Would you be able to ask your vet about treating with a precautionary course of panacur? E.cuniculi is an underdiagnosed but increasingly common issue and she sounds an awful lot like how my Bramble was when she came down with it. You'll need a 28 day course, if they agree with it. Has there been a stressful event lately? That is usually what causes a sudden issue if it's EC, for my Bramble, it was simply having her hair cut, which she used to hate.
My experience with it was having to feed extremely small amounts of critical care over the course of an hour, every 3 hours, due to the nerve damage making swallowing difficult. The nerve damage healed itself quite well over the course of a few months, she needed round the clock syringe feeding for weeks and weeks, at least 2 months if I remember right, even though she slowly became more able to eat by herself. I had to grate up or puree her veggies for a while, clean her back end regularly, guide her while she tried to walk. It was a bit like having a newborn baby, but ultimately, so very worth it. Even if she isnt in any pain, continue with the metacam, it is also an anti inflammatory, if it does turn out to be E.cuniculi this will help prevent neurological damage caused by inflammatory lesions.

This was my girl shortly after the start of her treatment.
 

Merab's Slave

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I can’t add to the advice given but wanted to say I am so sorry for what you are dealing with.
Holding you in my thoughts
 

EllieHawkins

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Would you be able to ask your vet about treating with a precautionary course of panacur? E.cuniculi is an underdiagnosed but increasingly common issue and she sounds an awful lot like how my Bramble was when she came down with it. You'll need a 28 day course, if they agree with it. Has there been a stressful event lately? That is usually what causes a sudden issue if it's EC, for my Bramble, it was simply having her hair cut, which she used to hate.
My experience with it was having to feed extremely small amounts of critical care over the course of an hour, every 3 hours, due to the nerve damage making swallowing difficult. The nerve damage healed itself quite well over the course of a few months, she needed round the clock syringe feeding for weeks and weeks, at least 2 months if I remember right, even though she slowly became more able to eat by herself. I had to grate up or puree her veggies for a while, clean her back end regularly, guide her while she tried to walk. It was a bit like having a newborn baby, but ultimately, so very worth it. Even if she isnt in any pain, continue with the metacam, it is also an anti inflammatory, if it does turn out to be E.cuniculi this will help prevent neurological damage caused by inflammatory lesions.

This was my girl shortly after the start of her treatment.
I don’t remember a stressful event happening as I hadn’t done anything to her the day I suspected it happened but I can’t 100% be sure about it. I need to ring the vet tomorrow as he asked to know how she is in 48 hours so I can try to get an appointment tomorrow and I can mention it to him! He’s quite a stubborn vet so he will need a lot of persuasion but I’m going to give it a try as I’m willing to try anything. She really means a lot to me, she’s always preferred my company over her cage mates and we have such a special bond. But I’d never want to keep her alive for my sake, I want to do what is best for her in the end. She’d actually been on meds 2 months ago from a suspected ear infection as she kept falling on that same side but she was still healthy and acted normal and she seemed to go back to normal after a week of meds.
 
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