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Inner ear infection

MessyMoose

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Hi guys - I rescued two piggies that were left at the vet clinic that I work for. About a week ago, I noticed that one of the pigges (Gordy) had a head tilt and nystagmus. I immediately took him to the clinic and they said he possible had an inner ear infection. He has been on enrofloxacin twice daily and meloxicam once daily. His appetite is still not the greatest, but I do see him drinking water. He mostly eats hay and sometimes some pellets. He will take a bite of his veggies every now and then. I have been doing probiotics in between the antibiotics but I see that his stools are not normal. It is not diarrhea, but they seem a little but more mushier, if that makes sense. I have told the vet many times but he keeps telling me to continue the medication and that it is going to be a long recovery process. I have been giving him small amounts of critical care since he is eating. He does walk around his cage, but also sleeps a lot. He fights me a lot when I syringe feed him the critical care.

I feel like the antibiotics are not really helping his GI tract. Do yall have any tips to make this process easier on him? I feel terrible because I feel like I am not doing something right.

Thank you in advance!
 

sport_billy

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Yes, that particular antibiotic is baytril and does cause upset tummies, it tends to right after the course

lots of hay and as you are doing probiotics. How many days have you got left on the course of AB’s togo?

sending lots of healing vibes x
 

Wiebke

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Hi guys - I rescued two piggies that were left at the vet clinic that I work for. About a week ago, I noticed that one of the pigges (Gordy) had a head tilt and nystagmus. I immediately took him to the clinic and they said he possible had an inner ear infection. He has been on enrofloxacin twice daily and meloxicam once daily. His appetite is still not the greatest, but I do see him drinking water. He mostly eats hay and sometimes some pellets. He will take a bite of his veggies every now and then. I have been doing probiotics in between the antibiotics but I see that his stools are not normal. It is not diarrhea, but they seem a little but more mushier, if that makes sense. I have told the vet many times but he keeps telling me to continue the medication and that it is going to be a long recovery process. I have been giving him small amounts of critical care since he is eating. He does walk around his cage, but also sleeps a lot. He fights me a lot when I syringe feed him the critical care.

I feel like the antibiotics are not really helping his GI tract. Do yall have any tips to make this process easier on him? I feel terrible because I feel like I am not doing something right.

Thank you in advance!
Hi and welcome!

Baytril tends to impact on the gut microbiome and causes softer poos in many cases. This tends to self-correct once the course is over. You need to weigh daily at the same time but only step in with support feeding if your piggy is losing weight or is losing their appetite altogether, which is an adverse reaction that can happen with any antibiotic.
In the UK sulfatrim (previous used as septrin but also known as US brand bactrim) is now licensed for guinea pigs as well; it is usually not quite as harsh on the gut as baytril. Any other possible antibiotics are unlicensed so you will have to sign a consent form for use of unlicensed medication in the UK. General vets are usually much more careful about only prescribing licensed medication for any species they are not familiar with; they also tend to have a much smaller range of medication in stock in order to keep the running cost lower. A surprisingly large part of the budget in an exotics clinics actually goes on stocking small amounts of a wide range of medication.
Please be aware that you should never stop any course of antibiotics prematurely. The antibiotic builds up slowly over the course until it reaches ideal efficiency; if you abort, you won't reach that point and only contribute towards creating more resistance. If there is total loss of appetite and your piggy being very poorly, then please contact your vet promptly to discuss whether you can switch to another antibiotic or need to tough it out with round the clock syringe feeding support.
What to do in case of loss of appetite: Emergency, Crisis and Bridging Care until a Vet Appointment

What you can do for a guinea pig on antibiotics is to give 'poo soup' made by soaking just freshly dropped poos from a healthy companion in a very little water and then syringing the water (i.e. live healthy gut microbiome transfer). this may be a bit gross but when correctly done it is a lot more effective than any probiotic powder.
More information on non-medication support products in this guide here: Probiotics, Recovery Foods And Vitamin C: Overview With Product Links

Here is our recommended vets locator. A link to vets in some other countries is at the bottom of the UK map if you are not happy with your vet. You can also find the link on our top bar. Unfortunately you have not mentioned your country or UK county.
Vet Locator

All the best!
 

MessyMoose

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Yes, that particular antibiotic is baytril and does cause upset tummies, it tends to right after the course

lots of hay and as you are doing probiotics. How many days have you got left on the course of AB’s togo?

sending lots of healing vibes x

Thank you! So they put him on for a month so really we have 3 weeks to go now. That is why I am so worried! I am going to consult with him this Monday when I take him in for a recheck. I also feel like the dose a bit too high - 0.75mL BID of 20mg/mL for a 1.03kg guinea pig.
 

MessyMoose

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Hi and welcome!

Baytril tends to impact on the gut microbiome and causes softer poos in many cases. This tends to self-correct once the course is over. You need to weigh daily at the same time but only step in with support feeding if your piggy is losing weight or is losing their appetite altogether, which is an adverse reaction that can happen with any antibiotic.
In the UK sulfatrim (previous used as septrin but also known as US brand bactrim) is now licensed for guinea pigs as well; it is usually not quite as harsh on the gut as baytril. Any other possible antibiotics are unlicensed so you will have to sign a consent form for use of unlicensed medication in the UK. General vets are usually much more careful about only prescribing licensed medication for any species they are not familiar with; they also tend to have a much smaller range of medication in stock in order to keep the running cost lower. A surprisingly large part of the budget in an exotics clinics actually goes on stocking small amounts of a wide range of medication.
Please be aware that you should never stop any course of antibiotics prematurely. The antibiotic builds up slowly over the course until it reaches ideal efficiency; if you abort, you won't reach that point and only contribute towards creating more resistance. If there is total loss of appetite and your piggy being very poorly, then please contact your vet promptly to discuss whether you can switch to another antibiotic or need to tough it out with round the clock syringe feeding support.
What to do in case of loss of appetite: Emergency, Crisis and Bridging Care until a Vet Appointment

What you can do for a guinea pig on antibiotics is to give 'poo soup' made by soaking just freshly dropped poos from a healthy companion in a very little water and then syringing the water (i.e. live healthy gut microbiome transfer). this may be a bit gross but when correctly done it is a lot more effective than any probiotic powder.
More information on non-medication support products in this guide here: Probiotics, Recovery Foods And Vitamin C: Overview With Product Links

Here is our recommended vets locator. A link to vets in some other countries is at the bottom of the UK map if you are not happy with your vet. You can also find the link on our top bar. Unfortunately you have not mentioned your country or UK county.
Vet Locator

All the best!

Thank you for all the helpful information! I am definitely going to try the healthy poo from another guinea pig!
 

Wiebke

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Thank you! So they put him on for a month so really we have 3 weeks to go now. That is why I am so worried! I am going to consult with him this Monday when I take him in for a recheck. I also feel like the dose a bit too high - 0.75mL BID of 20mg/mL for a 1.03kg guinea pig.
Your vet has gone to upper limit in terms of a daily dosage but it is very much safe to give for prolonged periods. However, I would recommend that you split the dosage and give 0.4 ml twice daily (which is what 1 kg guinea pigs with urinary tract infections are routinely put on); this measure may also dampen the effect on the gut a bit as there is less of a big whammy every 24 hours.
 

MessyMoose

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Your vet has gone to upper limit in terms of a daily dosage but it is very much safe to give for prolonged periods. However, I would recommend that you split the dosage and give 0.4 ml twice daily (which is what 1 kg guinea pigs with urinary tract infections are routinely put on); this measure may also dampen the effect on the gut a bit as there is less of a big whammy every 24 hours.

Thank you! His dose is actually 0.75mL every 12 hours, so I wouldn't be able to do that. However, I went in for a recheck today and consulted with another veterinarian. (This morning he was hunching over and making some noises like he was having a hard time pooping/peeing, so I freak!) We took x-rays and it looks like he was starting to get some gas build up. So the doctor made the decision to take him of the baytril and put him on pain meds and metoclopromide for the next 48 hours. So we are now waiting to see how he responds. Ear infections stink! :(
 
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