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Nasal Issues

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batata

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The backstory: I bought my two guinea pigs from Pets at Home (due to lack of better knowledge at the time). Unsurprisingly, they are victims of bad breeding.

They are now 5 years old but in very good shape for their age, not yet showing signs of aging at all.

Due to the bad breeding, Loki's snout is much shorter than it should be, even in comparison to her sister's. It's noticibely more rounded and less pointed than a regular guinea pig's face shape would be. - this has been confirmed by multiple vets.

Due to this, she has multiple issues, all of which have always been present and examined by vets.

She has Pea Eye/Fatty Eye- which doesn't intefere with her vision and she isn't bothered by.

Dental issues (her front teeth have a tendancy to overgrow/break despite a healthy diet and many toys to chew on) - her teeth get trimmed down at the vets every few months, as needed.

She also has a tendancy to cough a little if she eats her veggies a little too fast.

As well as nasal issues.

This time last year I noticed her nose was a little runny, the vets (including a rodent and small mammal specialist) took tests as well as an x-ray and concluded that it is just yet another issue caused by the breeding. She went through and completed two full courses of antibiotics just in case, (which made no difference) and it hasn't really progressed much since then.

This week her nose is particularly runny. It's worse at certain times of the day than others, it isn't compmetely constant - the same as it has been before. I assume it worsens around mealtimes when she eats veggies which contain lots of water.
The discharge is not smelly, discolored, nor sticky. She is not breathing oddly, nor sneezing or coughing. Her appetite and behaviour are great as they always have been. and she is not seeming distressed by it at all.

Perhaps it's the time of year that's intensifying it a little, as it is getting gradually cooler..

I will be taking the piggies in for a check up at the vets in the next few days. I am posting this to ask for any knowledge or advice from anyone who may have dealt with issues like this before?

The pair are sisters and have a very close and sweet bond. They are kept inside, away from the window and not directly by a radiatior. They are on megazorb and fleece bedding. I do not bathe them. Their diet consists of unlimited fresh water & timothy hay (their hay is always a dust free kind), lots of veggies, some herbs and fresh grass, and a small amount of Burgess pellets. They come out for floor time & cuddles every other day or so.

(Loki's sister, Juno, doesn't suffer from the same issues. I assume they are from different litters that were mixed into one while at Pets at Home, as their fur is actually completely different from one another. Juno's only issue are little spurs that grow on the pads of her feet. This has also been addressed by vets and most likely a cause of bad breeding or imprpoper care when she was a pup. I clip the spurs as needed - usually whenever I clip her claws. This issue has not affected her at all. Both piggies have always been, and continue to be happy & in great shape despite these issues.)

I really do all that I can to make my piggies happy and comfortable, so I would really appreciate any suggestions or experiences!

Are there certain foods/beddings that may aggrevate or alleviate the problem? Are there any natural remedies?

Any insight would be very, very appreciated, and thank you for reading through all this!
 

Wiebke

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#2
Hi and welcome!

Please have her checked for potential heart issues by a specialist vet; they are not at all easy to diagnose and there are still many general vets around that believe that guinea pigs don't get them. He may also want to VERY carefuly listen for narrowed airways, which can happen in older guinea pigs. You could try a different hay to see whether that is making a difference. Some so called dust extracted brands can still cause issues. Have you considered an allergy to certain veg if the streaming is happening duing eating?
Try and see whether the steaming bowl can provide some relief and if yes, take it from there. Guinea pigs with regular breathing issues may need a nebuliser in the long term.
Coughing during or just after eating is usually just a sign of greedy eating, but it if it happens all the time, it can point to potential heart issues in conjunction with other symptoms. In your case, it could however be connected to fluid being swallowed and going down the wrong way. Certainly something to discuss with your vet.
I am tagging @helen105281 . She has experience with heart piggies.

Your vet also needs to make sure that the premolars are fine as weak front teeth can impact on the whole finely balanced system.

Please don't overdo the veg. About 50g per piggy per day is all they need (about 15%); about 10-20g in pellets for adult/older piggies (ca. 5%), but up to 80% of the daily food intake should be hay.


Guinea pigs in pets@home are usually not related; they do not come from small local breeders but are bred on a large scale basis and are delivered weekly to different branches. Some long-haired breeds like shelties, coronets and perus have noticeably flatter faces. Are you sure that she couldn't be a mix?
That said, guinea pigs from the same litter can look very different indeed depening on their varied ancestry. In these days of indiscriminate mass breeding, crossbreeds are inevitably becoming more frequent. I have adopted Triplet sisters that are a varying mix of three different breeds; one of them is looking very different from her sisters. I have also seen rescue born litters where not even one of four different looking babies in a litter (or only 2 in a litter of seven dolly mixtures) resembled their mum!
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk...ig-picture-guide-to-common-pet-breeds.121399/
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/members-cross-breeds-gallery.121424/
 

batata

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#3
Thank you for your reply!

The amount of veggies & pellets you have reccomended is the amount that I feed, and they go through multiple racks of hay a day. I will make sure to look into wether different veggies or hays are causing some irritation. From what I have been noticing it doesn't seem directly related to what she is eating - although that would make a lot of sense..

As for her breed, I can't see any similarities at all to any of the long haired breeds, although I wouldn't rule out the fact that she is most likely a mix due to the way these breeders work.

I am not too knowledgable in breeds at all. From online research, I would say Loki resembles exactly a shorthaired guinea pig, but does have a much rounder, less protruding snout than the examples shown - as specialist vets have confirmed. From the links you have included, she is definately a dutch, she resembles a panda!
Her sister Juno is surely a mix, she has the crest on her forehead, and abyssinian type swirls of hair over the rest of her body - although not as tight or regular as examples show. I have no doubt they are from mixed litters.

Loki was put under GA for an xray and was examined by vets when the issue first presented itself, at that time they also checked all of her teeth (molars included) which were totally fine.

Thank you so much for also letting me know of the possible heart issues, these have never ever been mentioned to me as a possibility. I will make sure to mention this to the vets. I have never heard of bowl steaming or use of a nubiliser in guinea pigs!
 

helen105281

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#4
When she had the xray do you know if they checked her heart? it would possibly be enlarged if she does have a heart issue.

Other symptoms to look out for are:

Nodding when breathing
Rapid breathing
Hooting (can sometimes end with a cough)
Recurrent URIs
Pea eye ( I see she has this)
Bumblefoot
Blue tinge to extremities like the nose
Abdominal bloating

Once a heart diagnosis has been made it is possible to control it using an ACE inhibator like Benazapril and diuretic if there is fluid on the chest. Some vets also add in Vetmedin. Some vets will also agree to a heart med trial to see if it makes a difference to symptoms.
 

batata

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#5
She did have an xray but nothing about her heart was mentioned to me, so I'm guessing there was nothing abnormal about it.

The only symptoms she has relating to heart issues are the Pea Eye and the runny nose, her breathing otherwise is totally fine, and she's never had an URI.

Can I ask your for opinions on another xray? Is it too risky considering her age to put her under GA again?

Thank you again for your input.
 
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