• This weekend was forum pride! We hope you had a great time, the section will remain open to read over the information threads, so dont worry if you missed last night. Visit the section HERE
  • Discussions taking place within this forum are intended for the purpose of assisting you in discussing options with your vet. Any other use of advice given here is done so at your risk, is solely your responsibility and not that of this forum or its owner. Before posting it is your responsibility you abide by this Statement

Please Help - Chronic Lung Problems & Illness And Long-term Medicine Use

Kallasia

Teenage Guinea Pig
Joined
May 30, 2017
Messages
613
Reaction score
1,248
Points
625
Location
Manchester, UK
Hi all,

Binky has been on this round of medication for a month now. I'm just wondering how long I should keep him on it / how long it is safe to do so.

The vets have said until he is better but last time we did that his symptoms were back within days.

He's on the following:
1ml Metacam twice daily
1ml Zithromax once daily
5mg (quarter of 20mg tablet) Ronaxan twice daily
-
10-15 mins using nebuliser with F10 daily
-
He also has about 5-10ml of diluted critical care daily. We tried weaning him off it and he took a turn for the worst again, very suddenly. He seems pretty much reliant on it.


My main concern is side effects & addiction, but also it is getting expensive now, with my local vets charging us £100/fortnight just for the metacam and two antibiotics.

Binky has been unwell for a long time now. We adopted him on 11th February 2017, along with Errol. Tameside Rabbit and Guinea Pig Rescue reported that he was approximately 12 months and in good health.

Binky has been receiving treatment since that date for a lung condition - suspected tumor. He is believed to be about 3-4 years old by the vets. They believe he has recieved no prior treatment because some complications he has indicate that this was not treated before we brought him in.

We cannot get him insured as exotic pet say he must be treatment free for 3 months before they will cover him.


My boy is fed up with being poorly, and I'm fed up of him being poorly. I want him to be happy and healthy.

2017-06-21 07.38.56.jpg
 

Elwickcavies

Teenage Guinea Pig
Joined
Apr 7, 2014
Messages
827
Reaction score
770
Points
585
Location
Hartlepool
Poor Binky. He does seem to be having a very rough time. I think it is time to have a discussion with your vet. If 2 antibiotics and F10 daily is not helping after a month, I would conclude that the treatment is not working and it should be stopped and something else tried. Zithromax is a very strong antibiotic and I'm not sure why Binky is on antobiotics anyway if the problem is thought to be a tumour. Has he been showing signs of a URI? At some point you have to stop and think about the best course of action for Binky. Are you vets experienced with guinea pigs? A second opinion from a knowledgable vet might be a good idea. Hugs to you and the gorgeous Binky. x
 

Kallasia

Teenage Guinea Pig
Joined
May 30, 2017
Messages
613
Reaction score
1,248
Points
625
Location
Manchester, UK
Poor Binky. He does seem to be having a very rough time. I think it is time to have a discussion with your vet. If 2 antibiotics and F10 daily is not helping after a month, I would conclude that the treatment is not working and it should be stopped and something else tried. Zithromax is a very strong antibiotic and I'm not sure why Binky is on antobiotics anyway if the problem is thought to be a tumour. Has he been showing signs of a URI? At some point you have to stop and think about the best course of action for Binky. Are you vets experienced with guinea pigs? A second opinion from a knowledgable vet might be a good idea. Hugs to you and the gorgeous Binky. x
Thank you for your support.
Binky is on antibiotics in case it's actually a lung infection. When he's not on treatment he gets discharge from his nose and eyes and struggles breathing. But the specialist did comment how it is strange that the symptoms return almost instantly when treatment is stopped.
We took him to an exotic pet specialist who said they thought it might be a tumor but we can't afford the MRI scan, unfortunately. She said to continue the drugs and suggested the nebuliser too.

Everyone has said to continue until he is better but that's hard to judge and may never happen.

I am tempted to stop the antibiotics and just keep him on pain relief.
 

Wiebke

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 10, 2009
Messages
73,116
Reaction score
46,987
Points
3,466
Location
Coventry UK
Thank you for your support.
Binky is on antibiotics in case it's actually a lung infection. When he's not on treatment he gets discharge from his nose and eyes and struggles breathing. But the specialist did comment how it is strange that the symptoms return almost instantly when treatment is stopped.
We took him to an exotic pet specialist who said they thought it might be a tumor but we can't afford the MRI scan, unfortunately. She said to continue the drugs and suggested the nebuliser too.

Everyone has said to continue until he is better but that's hard to judge and may never happen.

I am tempted to stop the antibiotics and just keep him on pain relief.
Your vet can give you a prescription, and you can order the medication with it much cheaper from vet suppliers like hyperdrug etc. online. Vet clinics often double the prices for medication sold via the clinic. They still fetch a fee for a prescription, but it still works out quite a bit cheaper.

I know of some guinea pigs at The Excellent Adventure Guinea Pig Sanctuary (TEAS) that have been on long term zithromax, but generally in those case, the zithromax has been given on alternate days if remember correctly.

There comes of course unfortunately the point where you have to weigh up whether the current treatment is affordable and sustainable for the long term once you get into problems that can no longer be cured and just about controlled. Cost can spiral out of control very quickly; it is a very important point that inevitably plays into the balance between quality of life and how far to take any treament. This balance is different for every piggy and every owner.
It is not an easy decision to make, but any good vet will be prepared to give you his honest opinion if you ask them for it.

@furryfriends (TEAS) @Jaycey @Freela
 

furryfriends (TEAS)

Forum Founder
Forum Donator 2019/20
Joined
Jul 30, 2006
Messages
13,434
Reaction score
12,710
Points
2,225
Location
Director at TEAS (East Hunsbury) Northampton
Benji is on daily Zithromax and Marbocyl and that has been for about 4 months now, maybe even longer, without any ill effects.

Maybe see if you can get a prescription, possibly with a couple of repeats on it too. Have a chat with the vet and see what they would be willing to do.
 
D

DM030819

@Kallasia I don't have much experience with Zithromax but have quite a bit with respiratory issues and nebulisers.

Firstly, you have tons of extra time you can use with the F10 and nebuliser. As it's only antibacterial solution then you can use it more often. On a bad day my boar was in his for 30 mins 3 times a day and had no ill effects other than coming out like he was on an episode of Stars in your Eyes.

Secondly, discharge and struggling to breathe suggests respiratory tract damage and so a diuretic is needed. It doesn't have to be a big dose and it can be used daily at small doses and have a massive effect.

Thirdly, and I've only read about this one as I was able to control my boars problem with just the diuretic and F10 nebuliser treatment. You can nebulise antibiotics. As it's breathed in and not ingested it gets to the problems areas more directly. I've heard of a drug called Gentimycin (sic?) that was used really effectively. I can have a research for doses if you want to ask your vet about it.
 

Kallasia

Teenage Guinea Pig
Joined
May 30, 2017
Messages
613
Reaction score
1,248
Points
625
Location
Manchester, UK
Thanks guys. I do think I need to talk this through with the vet. Getting a prescription to buy online seems more affordable.
I think stepping up the nebulise use is a good idea.
I am concerned for his quality of life, not just quantity, but it's hard to judge. He eats hay, trundles about a bit and enjoys cuddles so I think he's moderately happy.

One of the problems with him being on so much medicine is that we don't know what, if any, is helping. It could be one, it could be the combination of everything.

I just want to do what is best for my boy but it's hard to know sometimes.
 

Pound Shilling & Pig

Adult Guinea Pig
Joined
Aug 22, 2012
Messages
1,617
Reaction score
1,408
Points
780
Location
shropshire
Hi, metacam is very safe to give to guinea pigs long term but you say he is on 1ml twice a day , which is very high. Do you mean 0.1ml? Is it cat or dog metacam?

zithromax is a powerful antibiotic and very effective at treating bacterial respiratory infections. While most piggies do not suffer side effects in some it can cause bloat. If Binky has been on it for a month this should be long enough to cure a bacterial infection.

Many respiratory infections can be viral rather than bacterial, in which case they do not respond to antibiotics.

As Jaycey says it sounds as if Binky has damage to his respiratory tract, in which case a diuretic is needed to remove fluid from his lungs. A build up of fluid not only makes it difficult to breath but can result in infection reoccurring

One of my pigs has chronic bronchitis and is on a combination of metacam (to reduce inflammation), furosemide (diuretic) and corvental which is a bronchial dilator, to help increase airflow. The frequency she has these drugs depends on how she is doing, with the corvental being given less often than the other two. She will be on these meds for life as it is a condition that is managed not cured. My vet does not charge much for these drugs and they last a long time.

I have no experience of using F10
 

Freela

Senior Guinea Pig
Joined
Aug 15, 2010
Messages
5,236
Reaction score
3,959
Points
1,350
Location
Canada
One of my pigs was on suppressive antibiotics long-term (and I mean years) due to bladder issues. In her case it was Baytril, not zithromax, though. She had no ill effects from it (fortunately, she tolerated Baytril really well, not all my pigs have.) She was on a low dose those, basically the lowest we could keep her on without her having UTI flare-ups. Has anyone ever taken a culture of Binky's nasal discharge or sputum? Sometimes antibiotics don't totally clear an infection because they are not the correct antibiotic... other antibiotics can sometimes due to trick. Culturing can pinpoint the bacteria so the vet can target it better (though it may be too late now that he has already been on an antibiotic, culturing is more accurate before antibiotics are started.) Hope this helps a bit!
 

Kallasia

Teenage Guinea Pig
Joined
May 30, 2017
Messages
613
Reaction score
1,248
Points
625
Location
Manchester, UK
Hi, metacam is very safe to give to guinea pigs long term but you say he is on 1ml twice a day , which is very high. Do you mean 0.1ml? Is it cat or dog metacam?

zithromax is a powerful antibiotic and very effective at treating bacterial respiratory infections. While most piggies do not suffer side effects in some it can cause bloat. If Binky has been on it for a month this should be long enough to cure a bacterial infection.

Many respiratory infections can be viral rather than bacterial, in which case they do not respond to antibiotics.

As Jaycey says it sounds as if Binky has damage to his respiratory tract, in which case a diuretic is needed to remove fluid from his lungs. A build up of fluid not only makes it difficult to breath but can result in infection reoccurring

One of my pigs has chronic bronchitis and is on a combination of metacam (to reduce inflammation), furosemide (diuretic) and corvental which is a bronchial dilator, to help increase airflow. The frequency she has these drugs depends on how she is doing, with the corvental being given less often than the other two. She will be on these meds for life as it is a condition that is managed not cured. My vet does not charge much for these drugs and they last a long time.

I have no experience of using F10

He's on 1ml twice daily - dog metacam. I'm allowed to give 1.4ml twice daily on a bad day.

Is a diuretic something I can get online or from the vets?
 

Kallasia

Teenage Guinea Pig
Joined
May 30, 2017
Messages
613
Reaction score
1,248
Points
625
Location
Manchester, UK
One of my pigs was on suppressive antibiotics long-term (and I mean years) due to bladder issues. In her case it was Baytril, not zithromax, though. She had no ill effects from it (fortunately, she tolerated Baytril really well, not all my pigs have.) She was on a low dose those, basically the lowest we could keep her on without her having UTI flare-ups. Has anyone ever taken a culture of Binky's nasal discharge or sputum? Sometimes antibiotics don't totally clear an infection because they are not the correct antibiotic... other antibiotics can sometimes due to trick. Culturing can pinpoint the bacteria so the vet can target it better (though it may be too late now that he has already been on an antibiotic, culturing is more accurate before antibiotics are started.) Hope this helps a bit!
Whilst in my care he hasn't had one and it's unlikely his previous owners sought any help.
He's at the vets again tomorrow so I'll about whether there's any point in it now :)
 

Pound Shilling & Pig

Adult Guinea Pig
Joined
Aug 22, 2012
Messages
1,617
Reaction score
1,408
Points
780
Location
shropshire
He's on 1ml twice daily - dog metacam. I'm allowed to give 1.4ml twice daily on a bad day.

Is a diuretic something I can get online or from the vets?
A diuretic has to be prescribed by a vet. They come as tiny tablets which you then have to cut into 5 or 6 pieces. I find the best way to give it to the pig is to pop one of these tiny pieces into a 1ml syringe with the end cut off, drawing the syringe back say a couple of centimetres, then give it as you would liquid meds, making sure it goes into the back of the mouth otherwise the piggy will spit it out! I dont know how it tastes to always pop in the metacam straight away as piggies love the taste of this. Some people prefer to grind up a tablet before dividing it and mixing the powder with a little bit of water and sucking it into a syringe that way.

The metacam dose you are quoting is very high. Dog metacam is stronger than cat metacam and it is very rare that any vet would prescribe more than 0.2ml twice a day (usually less) and I have never heard of anything like 1ml being prescribed. Perhaps you misunderstood the vets instructions or it is possible they have made an error. 0.1 to 0.14 seems a much more likely dose. If you are using a 1ml syringe then 0.1ml is just up to the first 1 marked on the syringe (A whole 1ml is the whole syringe which would be the correct dose for the zithromax for a 1kg pig, but not the metacam). Please check with your vet before giving any more.
 

Kallasia

Teenage Guinea Pig
Joined
May 30, 2017
Messages
613
Reaction score
1,248
Points
625
Location
Manchester, UK
A diuretic has to be prescribed by a vet. They come as tiny tablets which you then have to cut into 5 or 6 pieces. I find the best way to give it to the pig is to pop one of these tiny pieces into a 1ml syringe with the end cut off, drawing the syringe back say a couple of centimetres, then give it as you would liquid meds, making sure it goes into the back of the mouth otherwise the piggy will spit it out! I dont know how it tastes to always pop in the metacam straight away as piggies love the taste of this. Some people prefer to grind up a tablet before dividing it and mixing the powder with a little bit of water and sucking it into a syringe that way.

The metacam dose you are quoting is very high. Dog metacam is stronger than cat metacam and it is very rare that any vet would prescribe more than 0.2ml twice a day (usually less) and I have never heard of anything like 1ml being prescribed. Perhaps you misunderstood the vets instructions or it is possible they have made an error. 0.1 to 0.14 seems a much more likely dose. If you are using a 1ml syringe then 0.1ml is just up to the first 1 marked on the syringe (A whole 1ml is the whole syringe which would be the correct dose for the zithromax for a 1kg pig, but not the metacam). Please check with your vet before giving any more.

I've just spoken to the vets on the telephone after thinking I might be overdosing him. Nope, 1ml twice daily, up to 1.4ml twice daily as necessary of the metacam.
Is that absurdly high? Maybe this is why he seems happy - he's just out of it!
 

Pound Shilling & Pig

Adult Guinea Pig
Joined
Aug 22, 2012
Messages
1,617
Reaction score
1,408
Points
780
Location
shropshire
I have never heard of such a high dose before but I am not a vet! If you trust in your vet and they have had good results from this dose in past cases then it may be best to follow their guidance. You could always seek a second opinion from an other practice. Perhaps other forum members have experience of this dosage.
 

Cavy Kung-Fu

Forum Donator 2019/20
Joined
Nov 9, 2015
Messages
4,902
Reaction score
5,277
Points
1,475
Location
Brighton, UK
How much does he weigh?

My 1kg pigs would have about 0.4kg (If I remember correctly, could have been 0.6?) twice a day for urine infections.

My 600 grams boy has 0.3 twice a day for bad infection/abcsess.
 

Kallasia

Teenage Guinea Pig
Joined
May 30, 2017
Messages
613
Reaction score
1,248
Points
625
Location
Manchester, UK
Hi all, Binky weighed 1.29kg last night. The vet reviewed his dosage when we went for a routine check on his foot spurs last night. He said the dosage of metacam was fine.
We've been told to complete the courses of antibiotics too. The Zithromax course ends tomorrow and the Ronaxan course will last for another 4 weeks, I think, if I remember correctly.
We've been given 32ml of Metacam.
 

Pound Shilling & Pig

Adult Guinea Pig
Joined
Aug 22, 2012
Messages
1,617
Reaction score
1,408
Points
780
Location
shropshire
Hi all, Binky weighed 1.29kg last night. The vet reviewed his dosage when we went for a routine check on his foot spurs last night. He said the dosage of metacam was fine.
We've been told to complete the courses of antibiotics too. The Zithromax course ends tomorrow and the Ronaxan course will last for another 4 weeks, I think, if I remember correctly.
We've been given 32ml of Metacam.
Thanks for the update. hope he gets better soon :)
 
Top