Please Help - Respiratory problem

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Leigh P

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My boar piggie, Pip, is approx 6 months old. He has always sneezed and coughed a bit, but has always been very perky and eats well. Yesterday afternoon he ate his fresh grass, then started to go downhill in the evening. His breathing sounded "wet" but there is no discharge from his nose. His tummy/chest was going in and out at a weird rate. His breathing has calmed down a bit this morning but still isn't right. His older companion, Chip, is fine so I don't think it was anything on the grass.

I am unsure whether to take Pip to the vets - I have an appointment this evening for my cat that I don't need now, but have always found that once a GP gets respiratory problems, they go downhill fast and any help can be too late as they hide it for so long. I don't know whether to leave him warm and watered, and just see what happens, or upset him with an unnecessary car trip when it may not help.

Any advice would be great.

thanks
 

Wiebke

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I would have him seen anyway! Otherwise, you may have to cope with the feeling that you may missed a chance of saving him.

Make sure that until then you feed as much mushed pellets or Critical Care as often as you can, even if he has lost his appetite. Add a pinch of probiotics and 1/8 of a crushed vitamin C tablet. Your determined care may make the difference.
 

Toffeewoffee

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I would take him to the vets, sooner than your appointment if you can. Hope he feels better soon x
 

Pebble

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Do not wait.......Please take him to a cavy-experienced vets today.

There are many accounts on here of guinea pigs with respiratory problems who make a full recovery providing they get vet help and medication without delay. The earlier he gets attention, the better his chances of recovery.

x
 

Cgilchrist

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My piggies have had this a few times (little joe and one of the big boys) Baytril and metacalm for a week-10 days and it clears up fine but get him to the Vet ASAP to get on top of it. i certainly wouldn't assume that they are going down hill and not get them looked at. Wheezing can also indicate heart problems, which again is treatable but more investigative work is required to get the right meds, (I have 2 heart piggies one on vetmedin and the other on frusemide (to get rid of fluid around the lungs) and foretekor.) both my boys are fine and happy, freddy wheezes occasionally but i just give him a little extra frusemide occasionally. so in short keep him warm and get him to your piggie vet! :)
 

Leigh P

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thanks for all your help. I keep seeing Critical Care on posts, but don't know what this is... sorry if I am being dumb!
 

Wiebke

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It is a powder which you make up with water and syringe when a piggy isn't eating. You can ask your vet for it or try getting it on the internet.
http://www.vetuk.co.uk/index.php?ma...bdd9m8qgng65ge159u14s02&keyword=Critical+Care

In a pinch, soaking hay based pellets in water will do the trick as well!

If your boy has always had this, he probably has water on his lungs and it could be heart problems. The sooner you have him seen the better!

Here are tips about hand feeding:
http://www.guinealynx.info/handfeeding.html

http://www.guinealynx.info/uri.html
http://www.guinealynx.info/heart.html
 

Cgilchrist

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Not sure where abouts you are but if your vet is unsure what to do if it is/might be a heart problem my vet is usually happy to consult for other vets as he is a really piggie savy vet. :) PM if you want any more info.
 

Leigh P

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Hi
I think I'm a bit too far away from Kent, but thanks for the info.
I have moved the vets appointment forward to 3.40 so hope this is not too late (a bit better than 4.30). My OH feels that there's nothing much we can do (we have been here many times before... not sure if its a P@H thing, but none of my piggies have lived past about 3 yrs old and all seem to get respiratory problems - have bought them all from P@H). I can't just sit back and watch him go downhill if there is something that may actually help him regain health.
Anyway, wish me luck!
 

Wiebke

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Fingers firmly crossed!

If you have had that many problems, perhaps you may wish to review your setup and see whether you could optimise that? Guinea pigs are particularly susceptible to dampness and drafts, not just cold. Is your hutch well insulated in cold weather, protected from icy drafts and can your piggies snuggle up safely in lots of hay?

PS: Have you ever thought about rehoming from a reputable rescue? All of mine are after my first first shop pair who provided me with surprise babies, cataracts and bladder stones.
 
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Cgilchrist

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no worries good luck. Perhaps if he can't find any respiratory issues then suggest to the vet heart problems. apparently they are much more common in piggies than people think x
 

doglovinpiggylover

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i had a piggy that was treated for respiratory and then pneumonia that seemed to go on for about four weeks, then found out they were just masking underlying heart problems, sadly i lost the little fella but hopefully you wont. My baby ended up struggling to breathe and i had to make the decision to let him go, it was terrible, so really its good that you are going today, and earlier than you were.

x>> good luck again x
 

Leigh P

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Hi
I was thinking about my set up, but can't see where I could be going wrong. We have a good solid hutch which I clean out at least twice a week - always have a good amount of straw in the bedroom... when the piggies are outside the hutch actually sits within a homemade insulated shelter (my OH is as soppy as me when it comes to animals!), but the two I have now haven't been outside since November last year (we lost one to respiratory at that point and kept the hutch inside with the new baby).
We feed them a lot of very fresh food (grow our own in the spring/summer) which comprises of lettuce (mixed leaves), celery, cucumber, tomatoes, carrots, a bit of spinach or chard, the odd bit of parsley... I think they eat better than we do!
I have thought about rescue centres, but my pigs are boars and I was told that unless the boar is under 6 weeks old, they won't mix with any older ones... is this not right? I would love to rescue one if I need to replace again, but didn't think I could, especially if the new one could be a bit older so that I am not always replacing one over and over again when they pass away (my girls have grown up now and aren't really interested, so they are now MY piggies!)
x
 

Leigh P

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An update..
Took Pip to the vet and she couldn't hear any wheezing on his chest but agreed that his breathing was quite "pronounced". She listened to his heart but couldn't hear anything wrong, so has given us ten days course of anti-biotics (baydril) just in case there's an infection.
I suppose that's all we can do now... unless he goes downhill. To be honest, he doesn't seem as bad as last night, and is strong and eating, its just the sneezing that's quite severe when it happens.
thanks for all your posts today... its good to have support when you're feeling down about your piggies!
 

Cgilchrist

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excellent the baytril should be used for at least a week and it is good to give them probiotic too on anti biotics. avipro-plus, fibreplex etc unless they are on burgess nuggets like mine i havenlt needed probiotics with them x
 

Guinea pig slave

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Fingers firmly crossed!

If you have had that many problems, perhaps you may wish to review your setup and see whether you could optimise that? Guinea pigs are particularly susceptible to dampness and drafts, not just cold. Is your hutch well insulated in cold weather, protected from icy drafts and can your piggies snuggle up safely in lots of hay?

PS: Have you ever thought about rehoming from a reputable rescue? All of mine are after my first first shop pair who provided me with surprise babies, cataracts and bladder stones.

My last batch of hay was dusty so changed supplier - sometimes it's a process of elimination of the environment they live in. I have read some bedding, shavings etc. can contribute to a URI even certain washing powders can affect piggies. One of mine inhaled a speck of sawdust ( I had foolishly ?/ put a small amount in the corner where he wee'd etc. ) and had a wheeze overnight. Lesson learned :red
Wishing Pip has a speedy recovery x>>
 

Wiebke

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I am glad that Pip is better and will hopefully recover perfectly well.

It is one the many misconceptions about guinea pigs that older boars can't be bonded! Many reputable rescues actually offer "boar dating" to find a lonely boar a friend he clicks with. They will also only rehome already bonded pairs, unless it is to join another piggy. The key to a successful boar bond is character compatibility. Letting the boars choose who they want to be with goes a long way towards success!

You may find this thread interesting, which we ran for another member not long ago! http://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=62764
 
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