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Head Tilt

Joined
Sep 27, 2017
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#1
Hello,
This is my first time posting and I'm hoping for some advice. I have a 1 1/2 year old peruvian guinea pig named Kevin Bacon. I noticed one morning about 2 1/2 weeks ago that he developed a head tilt to the right side and was not acting himself. I am lucky to work at a veterinary hospital and took him to work with me that same day. He saw an exotics vet and she suggested we do a CT or start him on antibiotics for a potential ear infection. He has no clinical signs except for the head tilt. However, when I first noticed the head tilt he had hard time walking straight and actually fell over a couple times. Since I took him in, he hasn't fallen but will still circle to the right. He was prescribed SMZ-TMP (Sulfamethoxazole / Trimethoprim) for 0.6 mL twice daily. He has been on this for a little over 2 weeks now with no improvement. I weigh him once a day and he has lost no weight and is eating great but it seems like he's losing his spirit. He is generally pretty feisty but now not so much.
I am so worried about him and my main concern is how long to wait before I try something different and if I should go ahead and get a CT done. I was hoping for any advice or tips from those of you that have had similar experiences. The only reason I haven't done a CT yet is that it is very expensive, however, it's looking like I might have to go ahead and do it. Any advice and tips is greatly appreciated. I just don't know what to do.
Thank you.
 

gizzy

Adult Guinea Pig
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#2
Hi there how old is Bacon ? Just to rule out burth trama as probabaly the most common caurse! Also any Particals that may have found its way into his ear !
Has he had any tests for antibodie irregularities? As you have acsses to the facilties, an m.r.i /ct scan may be useful

Other things l would consider are polyps! tumors cysts cancer

Has he been on any drugs prior to this problem?
 

Wiebke

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#3
Hello,
This is my first time posting and I'm hoping for some advice. I have a 1 1/2 year old peruvian guinea pig named Kevin Bacon. I noticed one morning about 2 1/2 weeks ago that he developed a head tilt to the right side and was not acting himself. I am lucky to work at a veterinary hospital and took him to work with me that same day. He saw an exotics vet and she suggested we do a CT or start him on antibiotics for a potential ear infection. He has no clinical signs except for the head tilt. However, when I first noticed the head tilt he had hard time walking straight and actually fell over a couple times. Since I took him in, he hasn't fallen but will still circle to the right. He was prescribed SMZ-TMP (Sulfamethoxazole / Trimethoprim) for 0.6 mL twice daily. He has been on this for a little over 2 weeks now with no improvement. I weigh him once a day and he has lost no weight and is eating great but it seems like he's losing his spirit. He is generally pretty feisty but now not so much.
I am so worried about him and my main concern is how long to wait before I try something different and if I should go ahead and get a CT done. I was hoping for any advice or tips from those of you that have had similar experiences. The only reason I haven't done a CT yet is that it is very expensive, however, it's looking like I might have to go ahead and do it. Any advice and tips is greatly appreciated. I just don't know what to do.
Thank you.
Hi! A head tilt is most often the first symptom for an inner ear infection, which can kill. With prompt treatment, the head tilt should sort itself out as the infection goes down. You have done that, and I am sure that our vet has checked the ear to see whether there is any build-up of wax or other stuff that could have caused the balance issues.

Once your vet has eliminated that option (which I think you can by now), you are looking at neurological issues which can be rather difficult to diagnose, including a stroke - hence the scan. In most cases, there is very little you can do. Before you book a scan, I would have a word with the treating vet about what a scan can do and cannot do.

The symptoms fit either category. His issues can also be the result of an untreated ear infection which he has survived, but which has permanently damaged his balance organ.

All the best!
 

gizzy

Adult Guinea Pig
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#4
Sorry l see that Bacon is 18 mounths old, l dident see that the first time l read :mal:
Safe to say that you can rule out burth trama :tu:
 
Joined
Sep 27, 2017
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#6
Hey everyone, thank you to those who replied. I opted to sedate him and put a little scope down his ears to see if there is an infection. The right ear drum was bulging and opaque, which is abnormal. They ended up performing a myringotomy (puncturing the ear drum) and a lot of pus came out. They are currently culturing the fluid from his inner ear and we will be able to see what type of bacteria to treat since the first round of antibiotics did nothing. He is one some pain meds for now until we can figure out how to treat his infection but I'm glad we were able to figure it out. I'm also very glad it is an infection and not anything neurological.
Thanks again to those who responded. It is much appreciated!
 
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