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Permanent Head tilt?

Jbatts101

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Hello! This is my first post here and its kind of an interesting question. I have a 2 year old hairless guinea pig, who's name is Pig. About 2 weeks ago I noticed he had a head tilt and was much more lethargic than usual, it was almost an overnight shift. I called the vet for the next available appt, took him in, and sure enough he had an ear infection in his right ear.
The vet prescribed 7 days of Otomax drops, 2x a day. I went ahead and picked him up some probiotics because he stopped eating his hay pellets, but would eat anything else under the sun.
7 days went by and his head tilt was still there, but not too noticeable. I told the vet this and she extended his treatment 3 more days. He is eating fine now, healthy poops, and his loud rambunctious personality is back. Only problem is, his head tilt hasn't left at all. I'm starting to suspect he may be blind, but he doesn't have big ol whiskers to do a test on him. He runs fine, he walks fine. But if he gets startled or is trying to find you, he'll look at you with his left side now. Anyone have any suggestions on what they think could be wrong or how to test for blindness? I am looking to get a follow up vet appointment
 

Gem789

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Hello! This is my first post here and its kind of an interesting question. I have a 2 year old hairless guinea pig, who's name is Pig. About 2 weeks ago I noticed he had a head tilt and was much more lethargic than usual, it was almost an overnight shift. I called the vet for the next available appt, took him in, and sure enough he had an ear infection in his right ear.
The vet prescribed 7 days of Otomax drops, 2x a day. I went ahead and picked him up some probiotics because he stopped eating his hay pellets, but would eat anything else under the sun.
7 days went by and his head tilt was still there, but not too noticeable. I told the vet this and she extended his treatment 3 more days. He is eating fine now, healthy poops, and his loud rambunctious personality is back. Only problem is, his head tilt hasn't left at all. I'm starting to suspect he may be blind, but he doesn't have big ol whiskers to do a test on him. He runs fine, he walks fine. But if he gets startled or is trying to find you, he'll look at you with his left side now. Anyone have any suggestions on what they think could be wrong or how to test for blindness? I am looking to get a follow up vet appointment
I'm no expert but I have heard some piggies can be left with a permanent head tilt even after a course of treatment. It's a good idea to get him checked again but I've also heard they can do well with the head tilt. I'll tag @Eriathwen as I think she has/had a piggy with a head tilt but definitely get him checked over again x
 

Jbatts101

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Hey thank you so much! He goes back to the vet in about 2 days. They didn't put him on too aggressive of treatment like I think it was Baytril, because he is pretty little. Apparently skinny pigs stay pretty small compared to normal guineas. I'm thinking he may just have that permanent tilt, but he's adjusting well already
 

Eriathwen

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Hey! Ear infections can take a while to treat, especially stubborn ones and can require upwards of 2-3 weeks of antibiotics so its great hes getting seen by the vet again, although often the damage to the inner ear even when the infection is cured, remains causing a permanent tilt. My head tilt piggies have been tilted due to E.cuniculi, a brain parasite which has left them blind on the left side and permanently tilted. I also have a completely blind piggy who was born with eye deformities and to be honest, all of them have coped extremely well, once they get a sense of their surroundings they manage much like a regular, sighted piggy. Just make sure there isn't any ramps they can fall down or anything that can cause them to be unbalanced and rolled onto their backs. Some also gather dirt and dust in the ear closest to the ground and may need it wiped from time to time.
 

Gem789

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Hey thank you so much! He goes back to the vet in about 2 days. They didn't put him on too aggressive of treatment like I think it was Baytril, because he is pretty little. Apparently skinny pigs stay pretty small compared to normal guineas. I'm thinking he may just have that permanent tilt, but he's adjusting well already
That's good to hear, once you've seen the vet they can tell you if it's permanent or not but if it is I think they adjust to it very well x
 

Jbatts101

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Hey! Ear infections can take a while to treat, especially stubborn ones and can require upwards of 2-3 weeks of antibiotics so its great hes getting seen by the vet again, although often the damage to the inner ear even when the infection is cured, remains causing a permanent tilt. My head tilt piggies have been tilted due to E.cuniculi, a brain parasite which has left them blind on the left side and permanently tilted. I also have a completely blind piggy who was born with eye deformities and to be honest, all of them have coped extremely well, once they get a sense of their surroundings they manage much like a regular, sighted piggy. Just make sure there isn't any ramps they can fall down or anything that can cause them to be unbalanced and rolled onto their backs. Some also gather dirt and dust in the ear closest to the ground and may need it wiped from time to time.
That's good to hear, once you've seen the vet they can tell you if it's permanent or not but if it is I think they adjust to it very well x
Understood! He is completely black so its hard to see the gunk in his ear, but I noticed following the eardrops the eye on the same side has kind of sunk in and hes been squinting it for some time. I'm suspecting the drops may have damaged his eye too. The vet did mention on the phone call that it could happen, so i will keep this updated at least. Its just hard because I dont see any info for guinea pigs being treated with Otomax
 
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