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Pneumonia

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AngieSwenson

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We are relatively new owners to two very sweet piglets. One is very healthy, runs like a champ and is great. We just received notice yesterday that our other one, Peter, has pneumonia. We woke up to him being very lethargic, sneezy, drooling, the works. We immediately took him the vet where she diagnosed him with pneumonia. We are heartbroken. We had already lost one piglet recently who they said was the runt of the litter so we took him in already knowing his chances were slim since we felt he needed a good home for the short time he had left.


Peter barely made it home, after the vet, he was barely breathing and couldn't lift his head. We gave him some "tang" at the suggestion of the vet to raise his blood sugar and started him on his antibiotics and metadam. We stayed up throughout the night feeding him through a syringe every 2 hours and giving him special treats that we know he likes. He's eating fairly well now, eating apples, hay, cucumbers and pellets. We are praying for him around the clock but don't want to get our hopes up too high. He is definitely looking better but would like to know if anyones guinea has made it through having pneumonia.

Thanks!
 

Mother Hubbard

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Hi there and welcome to the forum. sounds like your doing the right thing. I do know that there have been other forum buddies here whom have managed to, with a lot of hard work, get their ill piggy better after diagnosis of pneumonia. I know it's hard going for a full recovery, but we're all piggy mad here and as your going through the night on the feeds etc...I would encourage you to stick with it. It is possible for pigs to recover.
good luck
x
 

AngieSwenson

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Thank you for the encouragement. We don't want to have false hope if there is none, but if there have been survivors we would love to know about it. My daughter is heartbroken as am I. We are nursing around the clock and praying for his little body.
 

Mother Hubbard

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It's important to keep your piggy warm, perhaps use heat pads, especially during the night when the temperature drops and keeping a constant temperature will help them greatly. I normally separate, and keep the piggy on a soft fleece, anything to make them comfortable. I am sure I have seen some more threads about pneumonia. I know it's not easy but it is achievable. Sending you healing vibes.... x
 

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Supportive care such as you are providing is key to their recovery (and many pigs do recover)
However one crucial piece of information you need to be aware of that can affect the outcome is if fluid accumulates in the lungs.

With pneumonia it is becoming more common for vets to also give a diuretic to reduce fluid accumulation in the lungs and assist the breathing process. This can make all the the difference as to whether a piggie recovers or succumbs to the disease.
Not all cases of pneumonia will require diuretics and the main thing is that you have got him abx, have supported him through the acute first 24hours and so therefore there is a good chance he will recover.

However you need to be very observant and if there is no improvement (or his breathing gets worse) over the next 24 hours I would go back to the vet as a matter of urgency to discuss whether there is fluid in the lungs. If the vet confirms this is a possibility then either prescribing oral frussol for a few days or better still (and more effective in an acute situation such as this) - a one off injection of fruseamide first to kick-start the fluid removal process and some liquid frussol to go home with.

HTH and Peter makes a full recovery.

x
 

helen105281

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Did the vet give a diuretic at all? with Pneumonia there is often fluid on the chest and a diuretic is vital to clear the fluid. What antibiotic is he on? have you been given probiotics?

I had one pig that survived Pneumonia, Buzz. Sadly we lost him later to another bout but he did well the first time. He was on diuretics, steam therapy, Bisolvon to clear any mucous and the antibiotic he was on was Zithromax. I suspect your vet has given you Baytril as that is what most vets go for first of all but it would be a good idea to ask about a different antibiotic if he is not improving.

I have lost pigs to Pneumonia sadly, and some were to the type that hits out of the blue and very quickly, known as walking Pneumonia.
 

AngieSwenson

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Yes, he's on Baytril. .1mil twice a day. She did not give him a diurectic, we have been pumping him full of fluids and he's eating quite a bit. He's not urinating as much as I think he should be but I don't know what "should be" really is. He is going #2, and he's become more active today especially eating the Timothy Hay. We have him separated from the other one, in a basket with warm fleece and food and he sits next to me at my desk all day so I can monitor him.
 

AngieSwenson

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Gosh, I'm so thankful for all your information and help. EVERYONE here is such a blessing! We will make another appt with the vet right away to check for fluid in the lungs. I think the vet didn't expect him to make it through the night.. we didn't give up hope though.
 

Pebble

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Can you put your location up please - country and county/state.
For new piggie owners it can take a while to locate a good cavy savvy vet who "understands" the special issues of piggies (including diuretics/pneumonia). I do;t know who your vet is but be prepared for them to be "reticent" about diuretics if they are not cavy-savvy.

It can help sometimes to take in something in your bag to produce for the vet to read in order to persuade them Obviously this needs to be from a reputable source.

The following page on Guinea Lynx (a USA website) talks about common mistakes in treatment and diagnosis - and addresses the use of diuretics and bronchodilators in guinea pigs with the symptoms of "URI's".
(FYI - Pneumonia is actually a Lower Respiratory Tract Infection that has developed from an Upper Respiratory Tract infection)

http://www.guinealynx.info/common_mistakes.html

Good luck with your vets
x
 

Galaxy&nibbles

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Sadly I can't help as I lost my baby to it. (Though we think it was the vet that ended his life) all I can say though is my vet said if they make it through the night and start improving the chances are really good. I really really hope and pray for you and your piggy. You are in my thoughts! Xx
 

AngieSwenson

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So sad to report our little Peter did not make it and passed away last night about 2am. We are heartbroken and his cage mate is starting to withdraw into his cage. They had already been quarantined from each other but it's been over a week since he's seen his buddy and I think its starting to affect him. Thanks everyone for all of your loving advice for our Peter.
 

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AngieSwenson

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I am so sorry. URI can kill; you can only try your best. You are welcome to post a tribute to Peter in our Rainbwo Bridge section anytime that feels right for you.

Here are our tips for what you can do for bereaved guinea pigs: https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/looking-after-a-bereaved-piggy.110463/
Where are you located? We may be able to help you with recommendations.
Thank you so much! We are in Pensacola, Florida. We are so heartbroken, we truly love our little Peter.
 

Wiebke

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Thank you so much! We are in Pensacola, Florida. We are so heartbroken, we truly love our little Peter.
Losing a piggy so quickly can knock you for six. It makes you feel very helpless as there is only so much you can do. Please don't feel guilty or beat yourself up trying to find ways you could have saved Peter. Feelings of guilt are part and parcel for the early stages of the grieving process; all they say is that you are a very loving and caring guinea pig momma and that you have not failed your precious boy.We all have them when we lose a piggy to illness or during an operation.

Thanks for adding your location!
Here is a list of good guinea pig rescues in your state; most are sadly on the other side. http://www.guinealynx.info/rescue_organizations.html#FL
You may also find this thread here helpful. Perhaps you can support some newborn babies in Peter's memory?
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/massive-rescue-effort-in-florida.125223

Please do not hesitate to ask for advice and support with taking care in the long term with Peter's mate and finding him a suitable friend. (What is his name, by the way?).
 

Flutterby

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I'm so sorry to hear you lost him. RIP little one. Sadly things like this can kill quite easily, even with treatment, You did all you could x
 

irene

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So sad to report our little Peter did not make it and passed away last night about 2am. We are heartbroken and his cage mate is starting to withdraw into his cage. They had already been quarantined from each other but it's been over a week since he's seen his buddy and I think its starting to affect him. Thanks everyone for all of your loving advice for our Peter.
 
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