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Heavy Breathing

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Critter

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Snowball's breathing is slow and deep, as if forced, as you do when you are taking deliberately deep breaths. The other piggies are making two normal breaths to her one deep one. Her chest/sides seem to be rising twice as high as the others.
Her breathing is not noisy, she has no signs that I can see of a cold.
This came on a couple of days ago whilst asleep. I thought nothing of it as she was indeed sleeping and she does sleep heavily, twitching and jerking her limbs at times, though she never used to breath so heavily I felt it was due to sleep and nothing more.
Yesterday she was like it all afternoon. and noticed she was active and normal in her speed of doing things (but breathing heavily) whilst awake, but also napping more than usual. She is usually a very vocal piggy, and has gone quiet. She doesn't seem distressed or in pain, just a bit breathless.
Her breathing is now like this all the time, resting, eating, moving, interacting...
I can't hear any rattling or clicking, she's not 'hooting'.
She is eating well - hay, veggies, grass, nuggets....
Snowball has no medical history - she has always been healthy and spritely and has never needed the vets.

I don't feel this is something that can wait any longer, after seeing if it went away yesterday (it didn't) I am concerned that it is her heart, and if so my hope is that meds will control it.
Anyhow, I'm off to the Alfreton vet practice (the one as recommended on the vet locator) this afternoon.

Snowball is 6 1/4 years old. I have to face facts that it may soon be her time, but as I say, hopefully with treatment she will be with us (and her mate Freddie) and healthy for a while longer.

I'll keep you updated, and of course any thoughts and advice will be welcome.
xx
 

Flutterby

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Poor little mite :( sending healing vibes and good luck at the vets it's never nice when they are ill x
 

helen105281

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Good luck at the vets. Like you say, it could be her age but I would get her heart checked as the deep breathing and heavy sleeping are both signs of a heart issue. If a heart issue is suspected she would need either a conscious xray or scan, though some vets are happy to diagnose by a trial of heart meds. An infection needs to be ruled out too.
 

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Thank you everyone for your well wishes.
Back from the vets :)

There are two guinea pig experts at that vet hospital, but they were both on a course today. However, I saw the heart-lung specialist, and working closely with the guinea pig specialists she knows a good thing or two :)
She asked lots of questions and examined her, listened to her heart and both lungs. Her heart sounds clear and healthy. She mentioned that if there was fluid build up around that area her heart wouldn't sound so clear. Her lungs however are congested, making it difficult for her to breath. She diagnosed a chest infection and gave Ronaxan tablets. Snowball has now had her first dose, crushed up and mixed with Supreme Science Recovery mix (which I always have in - it's a great get-to if they are ill in any way). She wolfed it down, and I had to mix some without tabs for Freddie, as he could smell it and was practically drooling! Next time I'll take Snowball away to give her dose.

Anyhow, she mentioned a scan, but at this point her heart appears to not be under stress. It could be done if the tablets do not improve her condition. Unfortunately the practice ultrasound is away for repairs and their stand-in scanner is one they're not getting on with, BUT that's no bad reflection on the vets, it's one of those things. It should be returned by the time I go back early next week (assuming I need to).

She feels positive about clearing it, being as it's been caught early :) She also prescribed Metacam for its anti inflammatory properties. I've not given that yet, but I will in a wee while :)
 

helen105281

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Ronaxan is Doxycycline so should kick in pretty quickly if it is an infection. Did the vet mention a diuretic at all to clear the congestion on her lungs?
 

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Ronaxan is Doxycycline so should kick in pretty quickly if it is an infection. Did the vet mention a diuretic at all to clear the congestion on her lungs?
Thanks @helen105281 I asked about the diuretic but she didn't feel it necessary. She didn't feel that there was much in the way of actual fluid build up within the lungs, more of a congestion, if that makes sense? However it's open for adjustment if the Ronaxan doesn't take effect over the next few days.
 

helen105281

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That does make sense. At least the option is there if you need it.
 

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I think I see an improvement in Snowball's breathing this morning. Not a huge improvement, but it doesn't seem quite so forced. She is also less sleepy, so I am hopefull that her meds are kicking in now :)
I'll update again as things go on
Thank you again for the well-wishes, it really does make things seem better when you're worried about something xx
 

irene

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I think I see an improvement in Snowball's breathing this morning. Not a huge improvement, but it doesn't seem quite so forced. She is also less sleepy, so I am hopefull that her meds are kicking in now :)
I'll update again as things go on
Thank you again for the well-wishes, it really does make things seem better when you're worried about something xx
Keep up the good work Snowball!
 

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Snowball had another appointment today. Her heart was checked again, along with the breathing. Heart seems fine, and her breathing is better but still not clear, so we are keeping her on the tablets for a while longer.
 

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Sadly Snowball passed to the Bridge today.
She was totally her normal self early this morning as I fed her her meds, she ate enthusiastically and had some coriander for good measure. Bright and spritely.
Her breathing was not bad, not completely better but certainly not bad, and in these last few days in fact she appeared to be making a slow but steady recovery.
Her weight had remained stable.
Snowball was an old piggy at 6 1/4 years old, and it could well have simply been her time, chest infection or not.
.....
I walked in from work today and got her meds ready straight after putting the shopping away. I then found her in her forever sleep with Freddie trying to wake her up, or at least that is what it looked like. Snowball had just the starts of stiffness, so she'd been passed for just a little while.

I will put up a thread in her honour when I'm ready. Thank you for your good thoughts xx
 
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