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Hooting And Stuffy From Hay?

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Parnassus

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Hey There!

I am reading some horror stories about heart disease in hooting guinea pigs. I want to run this working theory I'm troubleshooting by you to see if this sounds like a reasonable theory.

We are currently helping Blade's cage mate, Whistler, through bladder sludge (Thread on that topic here! : Clearing Bladder Sludge Effectively). We recently switched out the Timothy hay for orchard grass and oat hay per our vet's direction for Whistler's condition.

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Blade has a sneezy history with oxbow hay products (they make her stuffy and sneezy, doesn't matter which kind -- we spent months troubleshooting this with our cavy savvy vet last year. When we switched from oxbow to KMS hay, the entire problem resolved on its own!).

Oxbow's oat hay is the only kind of oat available in our area, so we mixed it in with some locally sourced orchard grass, per Whistler's new dietary needs.

The next day after adding in the oxbow oat hay, I noticed Blade was quietly hooting while grazing, face-deep, in the new hay. It didn't sound raspy or wet like all the videos I've looked up. She coughed, and it stopped all together. This was almost a week ago.

She didn't hoot at all, or have any other accompanying symptoms in the meantime.

This morning, she was quietly hooting while laying on the edge of her fleece bed (I'm not sure if she was grazing just before that, since I woke up to it). I picked her up and it stopped. When she snuffed vigorously at my fingers, she sounded a little stuffy in the nose, which reminds me of last year when we were troubleshooting the oxbow/sneezy issue.

I switched out the oat hay and have only orchard grass available for them now, and there have been no more issues so far today.

We also just switched out the furnace's filter, since I'm pretty stuffy in the house this week, too. I think the air quality is low since we can't air out the house as much in the winter. I'm going to air out the house here after work to make sure it's won't contribute to the issue.

In the 1.5 years we've had Blade, she has never made this sound, ever. And it has only happened these two times.

Do you think I'm right? I love Blade a whole lot... so I want to make sure I'm on top of this, whatever it is. I hope I'm just being paranoid.

Also, is there anything else I can do to eliminate bad air issues? Does anyone have a good air purifier recommendation that's guinea pig friendly?

P.S. Blade is currently pop-corning around during floor time, eating the orchard grass and running about, exploring and sniffing without problems/ and no odd noises; Telling Whistler to screw off when she gets near *her* tunnel, gobbling up her pellets and drinking water. All totally normal!
 

helen105281

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Hooting is just one of many heart pig symptoms and is usually accompanied by at least one of the others like nodding when breathing, weight loss, recurrent URIs. This does sound like it is a reaction to the hay plus possibly dry air too from the heating.
 

Wiebke

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Hey There!

I am reading some horror stories about heart disease in hooting guinea pigs. I want to run this working theory I'm troubleshooting by you to see if this sounds like a reasonable theory.

We are currently helping Blade's cage mate, Whistler, through bladder sludge (Thread on that topic here! : Clearing Bladder Sludge Effectively). We recently switched out the Timothy hay for orchard grass and oat hay per our vet's direction for Whistler's condition.

--------------------------

Blade has a sneezy history with oxbow hay products (they make her stuffy and sneezy, doesn't matter which kind -- we spent months troubleshooting this with our cavy savvy vet last year. When we switched from oxbow to KMS hay, the entire problem resolved on its own!).

Oxbow's oat hay is the only kind of oat available in our area, so we mixed it in with some locally sourced orchard grass, per Whistler's new dietary needs.

The next day after adding in the oxbow oat hay, I noticed Blade was quietly hooting while grazing, face-deep, in the new hay. It didn't sound raspy or wet like all the videos I've looked up. She coughed, and it stopped all together. This was almost a week ago.

She didn't hoot at all, or have any other accompanying symptoms in the meantime.

This morning, she was quietly hooting while laying on the edge of her fleece bed (I'm not sure if she was grazing just before that, since I woke up to it). I picked her up and it stopped. When she snuffed vigorously at my fingers, she sounded a little stuffy in the nose, which reminds me of last year when we were troubleshooting the oxbow/sneezy issue.

I switched out the oat hay and have only orchard grass available for them now, and there have been no more issues so far today.

We also just switched out the furnace's filter, since I'm pretty stuffy in the house this week, too. I think the air quality is low since we can't air out the house as much in the winter. I'm going to air out the house here after work to make sure it's won't contribute to the issue.

In the 1.5 years we've had Blade, she has never made this sound, ever. And it has only happened these two times.

Do you think I'm right? I love Blade a whole lot... so I want to make sure I'm on top of this, whatever it is. I hope I'm just being paranoid.

Also, is there anything else I can do to eliminate bad air issues? Does anyone have a good air purifier recommendation that's guinea pig friendly?

P.S. Blade is currently pop-corning around during floor time, eating the orchard grass and running about, exploring and sniffing without problems/ and no odd noises; Telling Whistler to screw off when she gets near *her* tunnel, gobbling up her pellets and drinking water. All totally normal!
The VAST majority of hooting incidents are caused simply be a partially blocked nose and are perfectly harmless; virtually all temporary/episodal hooting falls in this category. Guinea pig airways are very narrow, so even the smallest obstruction is usually very audible.
The connection to heart issues is unfortunately currently still very much making the rounds online, but it is pretty rarely borne out. Persistent hooting over a period of weeks should firstly be cleared as to any connection with URI or other respiratory problems, then hay dust or pollen issues. Only if there are other symptoms that could point towards a possible heart problem should this be considered. Heart problems are still very difficult to diagnose, even for an experienced vet.

In your case, I would assume that some hay dust has got into the nose and blocked it temporarily. ;)
 

Jaycey

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I definitely agree.

If I have one of my pigs in the room when I clean their cages I can guarantee he'll have heavy breathing the next morning.

My nose is blocked up today and I cleaned them out yesterday. I'll have got a bit of hay dust up my nose. It happens fairly iften.
 

Claire W

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My Edward started hooting off and on a few months ago.

A vet check ruled out a URI and heart issues do my vet has put it down to allergies mainly against dust.

I use snowflake wood shavings which are dust extracted but since mixing them up with easibed, Edward has had no problems apart from the occasional hoot if he comes in to contact with dusty hay.

But if in any doubt, please see a vet just to rule out any nasties x
 
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