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Possible respiratory problems, related to chill?

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DarwinTesla

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Hi there. Our girls have always stayed in the front room with us since they were born. However we've recently moved and they're not really allowed in the upper areas of the house. We've put them in the downstairs conservatory area but while my other half disagrees I've always been worried that it's too cold for them. Their area is floored with a blanket on top of a plastic sheet on top of a bubble wrap sheet (for insulation) but it's a tiled floor and it has big windows so the heat never really stays in the room. I've also put their carrier in there and a sheepskin style bed with a blanket over them both, though I'm not sure how much help that is.

It was cold last night and when I went down there this morning and they were both really sluggish and making a kind of sluffy, dull nasal ticking sound when they're eating and I'm a bit worried. I've brought them both upstairs, whacked the heating on full and made them a small makeshift area under the radiator in the front room (landlord be damned) and they seem a little happier and they don't seem to be making the noise anymore (at least not as much) but I'm still a bit concerned.

Am I worrying about nothing?
 

DarwinTesla

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Well they're looking a lot happier now they've been watching telly and eaten a huge hill of grass (and all of the fresh herbs I've been growing for cooking:laluot_08: ).

Tesla's curled up in their carrier and Darwin's curled up underneath the radiator.
3XjUo.gif


Other than the occasional sneeze and a bit of shyness they seem a lot more like themselves.
 
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I'm sure someone who noes more will be along after me! but, one of my guineas had some of the things you described, the funny snuffly crackly sound, took him to the vets and got told it was a respiritory infection x
 

DarwinTesla

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I'm sure someone who noes more will be along after me! but, one of my guineas had some of the things you described, the funny snuffly crackly sound, took him to the vets and got told it was a respiritory infection x
Yeah that's a pretty good description of it.
 

Pebble

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It sounds to me like your piggeis do indeed have a URI.

So MOST IMPORTANTLY - they need to see a vet immediately to be given antibioitics. They can;t wait...the sooner you give them anitbiotics, the better chance they have of recovery.

It,s not the low temperature per se that can cause respiratory problems - it;s a sudden VARIATION in temperature that shocks their system and makes them prone to contracting infection. Ideally, piggies should be kept in constant temperature conditions between 15 - 25degrees C but that is quite difficult unless they are in a temperature-conotrllled room so the environment they are placed in should have a variation of no more than about 10 degrees C between daily high and low temperatures.

Your conservatory will still get quite warm during the day if the sun is out - but now we are in October it can get very cold at night - so it sounds to me like the sudden big variation in temperature has caused them to contract a URI.

I would also not bring them into a very warm house from a colder environment and then, once they have recovered, put them back into the cold area again. If you need to keep them in the main house while they are ill in order to give them their meds, then either turn off the heating in the room they are in or keep them inside until the winter is over, otherwise when they go back it is just giving them another temperature shock..

HTH

x
 

DarwinTesla

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Thanks for that. They look fine at the moment (apart from Darwin being a bit sneezy and Tesla being quiet) but I'm not going to take any chances. They're not open today but I'm going to try and get them in the vets tomorrow.
 

Pebble

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That's great - try and get the vet to give you "a bit more than absolutely necessary" (in case the bottle falls over IYSWIM ;);)) so you have a suprlus to start building first aid kit :))

x
 

DarwinTesla

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I'll try that. :) They're booked in for this afternoon so fingers crossed.
 

DarwinTesla

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Well they're back from the vets. He couldn't see anything specifically wrong with them but he's given us an antibiotic (betadryl I think?) and a worming solution. Fingers crossed.
 

Wiebke

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If you are worried about potential UTI, look out for these signs:
http://www.guinealynx.info/uri.html

You may want to inquire about snugglesafes and other methods for guinea pigs to keep warm. A fleece they can crawl under or lots of hay to snuggle in (depending what bedding they are on) are also both good insulations on a cold night.
 

DarwinTesla

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Yeah we could really do with some good houses for them. I'll see what I can find.

Thanks for the Guinea lynx link, that was one of the first things I went to (great site)

Labored breathing, wheezing
Rough or puffed-up coat
Lethargy, hunched posture

Pretty much covers their symptoms.

They've just had their first round of medicine. Holy cow they did not like that.

Tesla actually managed to throw the syringe back into my wifes face. She was not a happy piggy at all.



On the bright side, my wife is now thoroughly de-wormed.
 
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Yeah we could really do with some good houses for them. I'll see what I can find.

Thanks for the Guinea lynx link, that was one of the first things I went to (great site)

Labored breathing, wheezing
Rough or puffed-up coat
Lethargy, hunched posture

Pretty much covers their symptoms.

They've just had their first round of medicine. Holy cow they did not like that.

Tesla actually managed to throw the syringe back into my wifes face. She was not a happy piggy at all.



On the bright side, my wife is now thoroughly de-wormed.


LMAO your poor wife! i was lucky my Basil lovess his anti-boitics ahah! x
 

DarwinTesla

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I couldn't sleep for worrying about them so went down to check on them. We'd filled their pigloos with a thick bedding of their favourite hay but when I went down, Darwin was just sat upright at the mouth of Tesla's igloo all fluffed up and uncomfortable in the dark. :( I've brought them upstairs with me to have some veg, get a warm and watch some TV. They look a little better now, having a proper snooze. I've just ordered them some cozies from cavy couture, hopefully they should be a bit more comfortable.
 

DarwinTesla

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Well they've just had their second round of meds. It took us about an hour to do them both. They absolutely HATE it. Tesla screamed like crazy. :(
 

DarwinTesla

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Well only one more day to go of their medicine, and they're looking a little healthier but I'm still concerned (understatement of the day).

They've been eating their veg on and off but they're refusing to touch their hay, haven't touched it in days and they don't seem to be eating their pellets. We use the excel herbage for hay and the purple bags of Selective (http://imgur.com/e3XTS.jpg) and they normally love it. Have I messed up their diet by giving them too much grass recently?

I left a bunch of carrot, cucumber and banana in there this morning and Darwin had a nibble on the cucumber. Hopefully it'll be gone when I get home.
 

DarwinTesla

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Well only one more day to go of their medicine, and they're looking a little healthier but I'm still concerned (understatement of the day).

They've been eating their veg on and off but they're refusing to touch their hay, haven't touched it in days and they don't seem to be eating their pellets. We use the excel herbage for hay and the purple bags of Selective (http://imgur.com/e3XTS.jpg) and they normally love it. Have I messed up their diet by giving them too much grass recently?

I left a bunch of carrot, cucumber and banana in there this morning and Darwin had a nibble on the cucumber. Hopefully it'll be gone when I get home.
 
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Sorry to hear about your piggies.

I would be very concerned about the fact their eating is not great...it is sooooo important that they keep eating.

URIs can be particularly difficult to treat. You say they have been on baytril? If you are still concerned go back to the vet....they may need a different antibiotic....spetrin or zithromax (think thats its name).

You really don't want the URI to develop further. Do their nostrils flare when they are breathing?

Are they in the house now the whole time? Is the conservatory cold to you? If so it will be to the piggies as they feel the cold similar to us.

Have a look at these http://www.viovet.co.uk/p3602/Snugglesafe_Microwaveable_Heat_Pad_and_Cover/product_info.html
They could keep you piggies warmer when in conservatory.

I hope this helps and I really hope they are ok! x
 

Wiebke

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I made the mistake of licking a bit spilled baytril once from a finger - and it is the most HORRIBLE thing I've ever tasted in my life!

Please take them back to the vet if they are not well yet. They may need another course of baytril. Baytril is usually better with URIs than septrin. Zithromax is a very strong, last ditch antibiotic that should not be given lightly and should only be used in case of a very bad or persistent URI or a very bad abscess.

You can get some Ocean Wave light cranberry juice from any bigger supermarket and mix the baytril with a syringe full of juice in order to mask the taste. The extra vitamin C of the cranberry juice won;t go amiss!

Best of luck!
 

DarwinTesla

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Thanks for the kind words and advice.

I'm not sure about their breathing. Earlier in the week their breathing seemed to be laboured but it's hard to tell as the giving of the medicine has made them quite skittish and not so keen of hugs. Really, they're not really showing any outward signs of illness that I can see other than avoiding their hay and food. Their coats are looking healthy and clean (as opposed to messy, fluffy and dull last week) and they do seem to be happy to do their curiosity laps of the cage when we change things around. They also went off their water for a few days (starting last saturday when they were ill) but that seems to have passed now.

They're actually getting a lot better with taking their medicine now. Tesla still hates it but we managed to get hers done in about 10 minutes last night, which is a massive improvement. Darwin seems relatively happy to take it now as long as she has a cucumber/banana treat inbetween syringes and gets to do another mega wee all over me to get her own back.

Yes they're in the house the whole time, but the room does feel chilly. I make sure the heating is on and off during the night and morning but the room's so large it's hard to tell how much of a difference it makes. I've filled their pigloos with hay for insulation and keep a blanket across one half of their area to hopefully keep some heat in. I've also ordered some big cozy pocket things which I'm picking up from the postal depot tomorrow. We've got some C&C coming too and we're going to re-make their main area and make a portable bedding area that we can move upstairs at night.

Re snugglesafe heater wotsits, they'd be great but unfortunately we don't have a microwave at the moment. We could maybe pick one up relatively cheap for them though, I'll have a look at the weekend. I think I'd probably rest a little easier if we had them.

I think I'll see how much of their veg they've eaten by tonight and get them up on the bed for a few hours after their medicine and check their breathing (and their nostrils, I'd never thought of that). If I notice anything untoward I'll get them to the vets tomorrow.

Having said that though, I'm not sure how much I trust them. Again, I might just be being the annoying over protective parent but.. I used a one that's on the forums recommended list and I asked him to give them both a general check up (as well as mentioning my worry about a URI), and while I was just too stressed to realise at the time, he didn't check their teeth, didn't check their ears, their bums, their feet etc. He just weighed them and listened to their chests with a stethoscope. I'm also pretty sure he didn't give us quite enough worming solution to complete their course tonight (though we're going to have 3/4 of a bottle of the antibiotic left). If we do go back to the vets I'll make sure I write out a list first to make sure everything is done.
 
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