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xmegj_96x

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Hi, firstly I'd just like to say that i've been using this forum for help for many years but have only just made an account to make my first thread as usually I am able to find the info I need from others but I am now in a bit of a tricky situation and I'm not sure where else might be able to help me.

Also thank you in advance for anyone who takes time to read this thread/can help me as it's probably going to be quite lengthy!

My guinea pig's name is Peanut and he is just a little over 3 years old, for some time (probably almost 2 years) he's been having issues with his breathing, it ranges from raspy to wheezing to hooting sounds, when it first started it would go on for an hour or so, then nothing for a month, then it would last a few days and then nothing for a few months, gradually it has started happening more often and for longer periods of time. I've taken him to numerous different vets where they have all listened to his chest/lungs, told me everything is fine and clear and sent me on my way, i've had vets suggest dust allergies and even asthma but nothing concrete.

A few months ago he started getting scabs on the edges of his mouth so I took him into the vets again but this time I was told about a vet named Mike who is guinea pig savvy (not sure why it took them so many trips there to let me know about Mike) but anyway I take him to see Mike and he checks his teeth and says he has dental issues which was causing him to drool which was then causing him to have a sore mouth. So I get him booked in to have his teeth burred, all goes well. A few weeks later I notice the scabs are getting worse so I take him back to Mike and he says he wants to put him under and have another look to see what's going on, this was now just over a month ago.

Right before he was due to have his teeth burred his breathing issues start again, so I take him to see Mike hoping he might have a better answer for me than the vets before, after listening to his chest/lungs and confirming everything is clear he listens to his throat/airways and says he sounds like he has a lot of mucus in his airways. He then prescribes me with Zithromax as this is apparently the best for tackling URI's, i've used Zithromax very successfully in the past for my pet rats chronic URI's so this all seems good to me but now i'm here 3 to 4 weeks later and absolutely no improvement.

I've been back and fourth to the vets for weeks, i've booked and cancelled 3 teeth burring appointments as we keep expecting him to be better but he's not getting any better. At the minute he's eating lots and has actually gained weight since the last time I weighed him so i'm not necessarily worried about his teeth for the time being, i've also been applying Daktarin to the scabs on his mouth twice daily which has improved them a lot and is keeping them at bay for the time being. My main concern is getting his breathing back to normal.

Like I said he's been put on Zithromax and he's been on it for the past few weeks without any improvements, I also noticed on the box that it says discard after 10 days and its been at least 15 days so there's that. I went down to the vets today to pick some fresh up as I accidentally knocked over the bottle I had the day before yesterday but I'm actually glad I did that now as it seems like after 10 days it's probably not going to help much anyway.

The issue i'm now having is Mike is away on holiday and told me that he was coming back this Sunday and would be back in work on Monday, I found out yesterday when trying to get an appointment with him that he's not in work next week and I go on holiday myself next Wednesday for 2 weeks so I really wanted to be able to see Mike before I left which is why I double checked with him that he would be there, so i'm not sure whats gone on there but i'm now left stranded without a vet and all the other vets at the practice don't seem to want to touch a guinea pig with a ten foot barge pole. I only managed to get some more Zithromax today because I told the vet I would mix it myself at home because even that was an issue for them.

I've only ever mixed Zithromax up for my pet rats which I had to add 9ml of water to the powder, but from reading lots of threads today it seems like that's also how it should be mixed up for guinea pigs. I also noticed from reading threads on here that the dosage that Mike put Peanut on seems low. Peanut is currently on 0.2ml twice daily and he said I could up it to 3 times daily if he wasn't improving but that still makes it 0.6ml a day altogether which according to all the other threads on Zithromax is less than half of what he should be on. Also if 9ml is the correct amount of water to be added i'm pretty sure Mike added more water than that as after a week of him being on it I still had 12ml left. So if all this information is correct, the Zithromax solution was too diluted and he wasn't having a high enough dose of it which is maybe why he was showing no improvement.

So here is my question,

My Zithromax strength is 200mg/5ml, how much water should I add to the powder and what should Peanuts dosage be? He currently weighs 1.430kg so by what i've read he should be on 1.4ml a day not 0.6, is this correct?

Also if anybody can recommend a good vet in the West Yorkshire area I would really appreciate it. I have an appointment for Peanut on Monday but by the looks of it with Mike not being there, nobody is going to be of much help. I feel completely stranded at this point as I don't know how i'm going to be able to leave him and enjoy my holiday for 2 weeks whilst he is like this.

P.S. Other than him having breathing issues he is very bright and alert, he is his usual self and is running around like a happy little pig eating all the food. I also have someone looking after him when I am away who is very good with animals and will get him to a vet if needs be. But I still would really like a guinea pig savvy vet to see him before I go and to maybe try different antibiotics if the Zithromax is still a no.

Any suggestions/help will be very appreciated as I am feeling very stuck right now, Thank you!
 

xmegj_96x

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Thank you @Lady Kelly I think when I get back from holiday i'm going to make the trip to The Cat and Rabbit Care Clinic, I just want to get Peanut on the up beforehand as he gets very stressed in his carrier/car and its over a 4 hour round trip for me, hopefully some light can be shed on what I should be doing antibiotic wise!
 

piggieminder

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I can't help with your questions but would just like to send you some support. I'm going through something similar myself at the moment and know how worrying and draining your situation is. Sending Peanut healing vibes, hope he gets better soon.
 

xmegj_96x

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I can't help with your questions but would just like to send you some support. I'm going through something similar myself at the moment and know how worrying and draining your situation is. Sending Peanut healing vibes, hope he gets better soon.

Thank you for the reply nevertheless! It’s nice to know i’m not the only one out there, most people would be excited about going on holiday in less than a week but I’m absolutely dreading it! I really wanted him to be better before I went anywhere. I hope your piggy is gonna be okay also, it is very worrying having a poorly pet!
 

Wiebke

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I am very sorry about your situation. Please discuss the continuation of zithromax with your treating vet. I have given it longer than stated without ill effect.

Are you taking your piggy with you or have you go experienced care?
 

xmegj_96x

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I am very sorry about your situation. Please discuss the continuation of zithromax with your treating vet. I have given it longer than stated without ill effect.

Are you taking your piggy with you or have you go experienced care?
This is one of my many issues, my vet is away on holiday and was supposed to be back on 2nd September but for some reason isn’t going to be and I go away on the 4th and the other vets in the practice can’t seem to help me, I’m happy to carry on with the Zithromax but I’m sure that the dose is way too low and possibly why it’s having no effect but I can’t discuss this with him before I’m gone for two weeks, I’m trying to look into finding another vet I can go see on Monday just for some peace of mind

My piggy is staying at home but will be with someone very experienced so I know he’ll be in good hands!
 

Wiebke

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This is one of my many issues, my vet is away on holiday and was supposed to be back on 2nd September but for some reason isn’t going to be and I go away on the 4th and the other vets in the practice can’t seem to help me, I’m happy to carry on with the Zithromax but I’m sure that the dose is way too low and possibly why it’s having no effect but I can’t discuss this with him before I’m gone for two weeks, I’m trying to look into finding another vet I can go see on Monday just for some peace of mind

My piggy is staying at home but will be with someone very experienced so I know he’ll be in good hands!
Why don't you contact the Cat&Rabbit Care Clinic to book an appointment and to ask them for their advice for the meantime re. medication and care?
The Cat and Rabbit Care Clinic
 

xmegj_96x

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Why don't you contact the Cat&Rabbit Care Clinic to book an appointment and to ask them for their advice for the meantime re. medication and care?
The Cat and Rabbit Care Clinic

I don’t wanna put him under the stress of such a long journey right before I go away as his breathing is always worse on the days I take him to the vet and my current vet is a 10 minute round trip rather than a 4 hour one and I can’t book an appointment this far in advance as I don’t drive myself and I will have to wait until my bf knows his shifts :(

I appreciate the suggestion though and I will book him into the Cat&Rabbit Care Clinic as soon as I can

I’ve managed to get hold of my vets email so I’m gonna just send him a little message to see if he can shed any light on what I should do for now and hopefully when he does get back I can get my guinea sitter to take him down for me whilst I’m away
 

Wiebke

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I don’t wanna put him under the stress of such a long journey right before I go away as his breathing is always worse on the days I take him to the vet and my current vet is a 10 minute round trip rather than a 4 hour one and I can’t book an appointment this far in advance as I don’t drive myself and I will have to wait until my bf knows his shifts :(

I appreciate the suggestion though and I will book him into the Cat&Rabbit Care Clinic as soon as I can

I’ve managed to get hold of my vets email so I’m gonna just send him a little message to see if he can shed any light on what I should do for now and hopefully when he does get back I can get my guinea sitter to take him down for me whilst I’m away
@furryfriends (TEAS) is currently very busy and her sanctuary is full up but she has allowed us to refer members with serious dental problems to contact her via her website during normal daytime hours. She runs a sanctuary for guinea pigs with chronic severe dental problems and has all the experience you could wish for if you or your piggy sitter need experienced advice in the next two weeks.
The Excellent Adventure Sanctuary – Providing life-enhancing care for Guinea Pigs with extra needs

Please make sure that you have got everything ready in case your sitter needs to step in with syringe feeding.
Complete Syringe Feeding Guide

Contains important advice if you have guinea pigs with health issues: Tips For Organising Your Holiday Absence
 

xmegj_96x

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@furryfriends (TEAS) is currently very busy and her sanctuary is full up but she has allowed us to refer members with serious dental problems to contact her via her website during normal daytime hours. She runs a sanctuary for guinea pigs with chronic severe dental problems and has all the experience you could wish for if you or your piggy sitter need experienced advice in the next two weeks.
The Excellent Adventure Sanctuary – Providing life-enhancing care for Guinea Pigs with extra needs

Please make sure that you have got everything ready in case your sitter needs to step in with syringe feeding.
Complete Syringe Feeding Guide
Thank you very much! I don’t think he’ll be in need of urgent dental care over the next few weeks as it’s been an ongoing problem and so far he’s not had any issues eating and his weight is very healthy, he’s also on painkillers for the time being, but I will make sure my sitter knows all there is to know and that she keeps a close eye on him and his weight whilst i’m away, I already have some back up critical care in the cupboard which I bought when he first started having dental issues but so far I’ve not needed to touch it as nothing seems to be able to come between him and food :)

My sitter will most likely be receiving instructions the size of a novel!
 

Qualcast&Flymo

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I can't give specific advice regarding doses, but I remember that when one of my piggies had zithromax for repeated URIs, if I was given a bottle of the powder, I had to mix it with 9ml of water. I did notice though that the instructions say discard mixed powder after 5 days, and the dose my boy was on meant the 9ml lasted 10 days, so I tried to get the powder split into 2 bottles so I could use it one half at a time.
I can't remember the exact dose he had, but I do remember that he would need most of the medicine before his infection was appreciably better.
Best of luck with helping your boy get better! x
PS just reread your original post - I may be misremembering the exact number of days after which the info said to discard the mixed powder.
 

xmegj_96x

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I can't give specific advice regarding doses, but I remember that when one of my piggies had zithromax for repeated URIs, if I was given a bottle of the powder, I had to mix it with 9ml of water. I did notice though that the instructions say discard mixed powder after 5 days, and the dose my boy was on meant the 9ml lasted 10 days, so I tried to get the powder split into 2 bottles so I could use it one half at a time.
I can't remember the exact dose he had, but I do remember that he would need most of the medicine before his infection was appreciably better.
Best of luck with helping your boy get better! x

Thanks so much! I was 99% sure it was 9ml of water just wanted someone else to confirm it for me! And yeah i’m sure the dose he’s been put on is too low but i’ll keep it at what it was and hopefully my vet will email me back soon saying whether I can up the dose or not and thank you i’m sure Peanut appreciates the kind messages just as much as I do! x
 
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