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Mystery Ear Infection, Please Read!

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sarahpiggies

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Hello everyone

My guinea pig Twiglet (female, 7 months) has a suspected ear infection, now going on for 3 weeks and I thought I would share our experiences and see if anyone can offer any advice.

It is strange because the ear is only sensitive when touched, she does not scratch it and is not bothered by it when she is in the cage and it has not become any worse or any better. There is definitely no sign of a head tilt, and she is a happy popcorning, squeaking and greedy piggy. We have been to the vets on three occasions now, the first time she was prescribe a course of Baytril as this got rid of Lyra's (other guinea pig, one of four) ear infection from a few months back. After a week and no obvious effects of Baytril she was given a week of Canaural ear drops, still no effect.

On the last vet visit the vet took a swap and viewed under a microscope - he rang me to say he identified a more than usual amount of bacteria (I think he said Streptococcus) and some yeast. He would now like to try Malcetic Aural (contain boric acid and acetic acid) ear drops in the hope they work. I can't find anything anywhere about these ear drops being used in guinea pigs and wondered if anyone else has been prescribed this for their piggies?

If this doesn't work the vet has suggested sedating her and taking a skull xray and looking into her ear properly and taking a swap to send off for antibiotic testing (difficult when she is awake) - does this sound like an appropriate course of action?

I think I've read every single thread on ear infections haha! If anyone has had a similar experience I would love to know, as we are a bit puzzled with it all!

Sarah :)
 

Wiebke

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I am tagging @Abi_nurse, @helen105281 and @Elwickcavies for you. They are our most medically experienced members.

PS: We have several members monitoring this section and try our very best to answer any thread in this section as quickly and best as we can, so you do not need to ask for special attention as long as you put your specific issue in the title, which indeed is most helpful to us! ;)
 

furryfriends (TEAS)

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Having dealt with many of these type of issues, we have found the best antibiotic for dealing with ear infections is Zithromax or Marbocyl In some cases a combination of both has been used. The key to success is dealing with it very quickly and appropriately Could you ask your vet if they would consider either of those antibiotics? If they wanted more information they could always speak with our vet. I will put the link to our vets website below.

www.catandrabbit.co.uk
 

sarahpiggies

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Thank you so much for your replies. The Cat and Rabbit Clinic sounds great for guinea pig care! I think my vet was thinking more down the route of ear drops as there is no evidence that the infection has progressed into the middle/inner ear, so systemic antibiotics might not be as effective as topical drops. They also seem safer to me as there is no risk of upsetting her tummy? But I don't know whether malacetic drops have been used before with success. At the moment I have said I will ring and collect the drops if I decide to go for them, I think I might do but then again I'm not sure. Oh dear! :(
I remember how Lyra's ear was sensitive for a good few weeks after she finished her course of Baytril but now her ear is completely fine, and wondered if a similar thing is happening with Twiglet.
 

furryfriends (TEAS)

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We never use ear drops as you tend to just make the ear rather a soggy mess inside, without it really having any beneficial use. Maybe see if your vet would speak with Simon at The Cat and Rabbit Care Clinic and ask his advice, as Simon sees very many guinea pigs, so has lots of experience of dealing with many different issues.
 

sarahpiggies

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Okay sounds like ear drops aren't that effective? Not sure how I go about asking a vet if he wants to talk to another vet about it, without causing offense :/
She is going to Holly House in Leeds this Saturday which I've had booked for a while to see an exotics vet, perhaps I should mention it to them. I hope they are good and worth the journey. She seems a little less perky this evening :/ Maybe I get the ear drops anyway in the meantime?
 

Abi_nurse

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Hello,

Where a abouts exactly does your vet think the infection is? Inner ear or media ear? If the problem is inner ear then drops will have little to no effect at all and baytril for an inner ear infection is pretty much useless. Sounds like your vet is reasonably on the ball. Personally for inner ear I would potentially X-ray, but if your willing to spend a little bit more (and if your vet thinks it's appropriate) CT scanning will get you a better picture of the inner ear. To be honest, personally I would consider a longer course of a more appropriate antibiotic first. And by long I mean weeks. Marbocyl would be a good option for this, or Zithromax as mentioned.

x
 
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sarahpiggies

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Hi Abi - thank you for your reply :) We don't really know where it is :S I got the Malacetic aural ear drops but they don't seem to be doing anything either. We are off to Holly House in Leeds tomorrow so hopefully they will help, I guess they will know about Marbocyl or Zithromax :) I worry about antibiotics and their effect on the gut but I guess there is no other option. Will update tomorrow :)
 
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