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Specialist Inner Ear Problem

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Treaclelove

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My piggie just suddenly one day started running round and round in tight circles his eyes were twitching a lot and he kept falling over we took him to a vet straight away who said it was an inner ear thing but she wasn't a qualified guinea pig vet and kept comparing his problem to ones which are common in rabbits and dogs which worried me. she gave us some medicine to treat what she said was a parasite in the inner ear something that was common in rabbitshe seems to be getting better he is still tilting to the left when he walks and keeps going round in a circle but the eye twitching and falling has stopped he never stopped eating or behaving differently so I'm not sure. I'm just worried it might come back or suddenly deteriorate very quickly any advice
 

Kerrie74

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Hi, welcome to the forums. I'm very sorry to hear your guinea is have problems :(

we adopted a himi not too long back and it was evident just by looking at him that he had a tilt, not sure why the rescue didn't notice, anyway, he saw two vets at first, wasn't happy with the first ones comment lol, the second vet checked him over, said she couldn't see anything wrong, but prescribed him some baytril, low and behold he doesn't tilt as much, he went to see an exotic vet in Derby who checked him over as we were going to have him neutered, she said that he does still have a bit of a tilt, couldn't see anything wrong in his ears again and then it could be a neurological problem and he was probably born that way.

I'm NOT saying this is the issue with yours of course, I'm just explaining what happened with one of our boars, we also had a boar who we sadly had to have pts this year that kept getting ear infections and URI's last year, his eye would roll when he had the infection, again a vet thought he may have a neurological problem.

I think someone like @Wiebke who is one of the mods on the forums might be able to advise you on this, she has a lot of experience with guinea's.
 

Treaclelove

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Hi, welcome to the forums. I'm very sorry to hear your guinea is have problems :(

we adopted a himi not too long back and it was evident just by looking at him that he had a tilt, not sure why the rescue didn't notice, anyway, he saw two vets at first, wasn't happy with the first ones comment lol, the second vet checked him over, said she couldn't see anything wrong, but prescribed him some baytril, low and behold he doesn't tilt as much, he went to see an exotic vet in Derby who checked him over as we were going to have him neutered, she said that he does still have a bit of a tilt, couldn't see anything wrong in his ears again and then it could be a neurological problem and he was probably born that way.

I'm NOT saying this is the issue with yours of course, I'm just explaining what happened with one of our boars, we also had a boar who we sadly had to have pts this year that kept getting ear infections and URI's last year, his eye would roll when he had the infection, again a vet thought he may have a neurological problem.

I think someone like @Wiebke who is one of the mods on the forums might be able to advise you on this, she has a lot of experience with guinea's.
Ok thanks I will ask them
 

Kerrie74

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It's ok, I tagged her so she'll probably look when she comes online :) She's usually quite good at responding to posts like this.
 

Wiebke

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Hi and welcome!

Inner ear problems can be caused by rabbit ear mites, but also - more frequently - by an ear infection or a neurological problem. It is not always easy for any vet to see what your piggy is specifically suffering from. The eye flickering seems to indicate more a neurological issue than an ear infection, but I am not a specialist, either.

Could you please tell us what medication your piggy is on (with which dosis). How old is he and is he living indoors or outdoors (i.e. how likely is he to contract ear mites)? Do you have rabbits yourself or nearby? Ear mites are pretty rare in indoors guinea pigs in my experience on this forum.

Could you please add your country, state/province or UK county to your details, as we have got members from all over the world. This will help us to tailor any recommendations to what is available and doable in your specific location/situation. We work strictly through vets, but try to adapt any advice to how knowledgeable the best vet you can get to is.

We have got a piggy savvy UK vet locator on the top bar, but can provide a link to a list of recommended vets in other countries if wished.

@helen105281 @Abi_nurse @Elwickcavies
 

Treaclelove

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I'm sure that the rabbit ear mites is what the vet thought it was but I'm not quite sure what the medication she gave me is its a white liquid to treat ear mites with instructions to syringe feed daily the vet said it was probably mites as she didn't think it was bacterial as he was still eating and behaving normally they live in an outdoor hutch which previously housed rabbits although it was thouruly cleaned with an antibacterial cage cleaner he is roughly 12 weeks old
 

Wiebke

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I'm sure that the rabbit ear mites is what the vet thought it was but I'm not quite sure what the medication she gave me is its a white liquid to treat ear mites with instructions to syringe feed daily the vet said it was probably mites as she didn't think it was bacterial as he was still eating and behaving normally they live in an outdoor hutch which previously housed rabbits although it was thouruly cleaned with an antibacterial cage cleaner he is roughly 12 weeks old
Could you please bring your two boys inside; if you are in the UK, we are experiencing some cold nights at the moment, which won't help his immune system and his strength to fight off any parasites or illness.

The medication should be printed on the label of the bottle you have been given? Otherwise, you can always ring the vet clinic and ask the receptionist for the name; it should be on your piggy's file. Do you mean that you are to give the medication orally (i.e. by syringe)?

Please weigh your ill boy once daily at the same time in the feeding cycle (like always before breakfast or dinner) to keep any eye on the weight/eating, so you can contact your vet asap if there is a deterioration. Normally, we recommend to weigh once weekly in conjection with a weekly oncever health check to spot any developing issue as quickly as possible.
 

helen105281

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It sounds to me either something neurological or an ear infection. The eye twitching is called Nystagmus I think and can even happen after stroke. Like Wiebke has said, it would be helpful to know what meds he is on.
 

flintstones

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My Fred and my little Milo both had inner ear infections. Fred was unable to walk his eyes would move quickly to each side. Both pig's ran in circles, also falling over and inability to stay standing. It's very scary to watch. Antibiotics are necessary if it is an inner eye infection. Does your pig have a head tilt? Baytril is a sensible choice for an inner ear infection.
Please speak to the vet about Metacam it's essential in my eyes. My little Milo was miserable and perked up substantially once given some painkiller. Metacam also helps with inflammation.

Milo was compromised so unfortunately didn't recover, however Fred made a full recovery.
 

Treaclelove

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The label seems to read dog/cat susp which seemed strange to me but I'll try check because she seemed sure it was the stuff for the rabbit mites thanks for all your help I will check with the vets
 

Elwickcavies

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I'm wondering if the vet thought it might be E. cuniculi (a parasite) and the medicine was panacur (which is white). There is only one drug that is licenced for guinea pigs to my knowledge (an antibiotic) so meds for other species are usually used for guineas. Your vet will have altered the dose for your piggy, so the fact that it is listed as dog/cat is not something to be concerned about. E. cuniculi is more common in rabbits, but does occur in guineas and can cause the symptoms you have described, especially with the eye twitching, which makes me think it's more likely than infection. Unfortunately the head tilt may be permanent, but I've know pigs with quite severe head tilts that have led long and happy lives. How long has he been on the medication? You may well see more improvement. I would recommend going back to see your vet if you have any concerns.
 

Treaclelove

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Thank you so much I've been quite worried about whether it was the right medicine as the vet was not a qualified guinea pig expert as the closest one is about 3 quarters of an hour away and of course I want my guinea pig to get better asap so that was a big relief to hear that he is probably taking the right stuff and has a big chance of recovering it will put my mind to ease now
 

Elwickcavies

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Actually, guinea pigs and rabbits are similar in many ways, and even guinea-savvy vets will refer to cases they have seen in rabbits (because they see more of them than guinea pigs). I'm sending lots of healing vibes. x
 

Abi_nurse

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So sorry you've been having some problems.

I'm glad your boy is making some improvements.

The parasite the vet is probably talking about is called e.cuniculi. There is a possibility that it can affect guinea pigs but there is little research on this, but to cover this your piggie should be on a 28 day course of panacur.

There are many things that can cause a head tilt, the most common is an inner ear infection, a long course of antibiotics will help with this, but the head tilt may never be completely resolved. Outer ear infections and mites can also cause the head tilt and also more major issues such as neurological problems with the brain, but this is less common.

Vets will sometimes compare piggies with other species as they can and do get problems similar so don't be put off.

I hope he starts to feel better soon. If you need any extra advice don't hesitate to ask.

x
 

Treaclelove

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Thanks for all your help it's really made me feel good again as I didn't need to worry about everything as much so thank you all X I'm sure you'll be glad to know that he seems to be almost completely better and is walking in an almost straight line again woo hoo!
 
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