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Possible Uri?

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caitlynn

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So my 1 year old guinea pig, Piper was absolutely fine yesterday. This morning though, I heard sort of a crackling noise from her when she breathes. I was extremely worried and immediately separated my pigs and cleaned their cage. It's been nearly 12 hours since then and Piper is still making that crackling noise on occasion when she breathes, but shows no other symptoms of a URI. No snot, eyes are fine, she's running around and playing, eating, drinking, pooping, peeing. I've only heard her sneeze twice and that was just because she poked her nose with hay. For a while the crackling stopped altogether. It had been about 2 or 3 hours and she was breathing just fine so I thought I was overreacting and put her back in her cage. I checked on her about an hour ago and the crackling had returned. I have her out of the cage with me in my room in the meantime. I'm feeding her plenty of vegetables and vitamin C. She still wheeks for food and gets all excited and popcorns for it. I'm sure it's not an allergy to the bedding or anything like that because it's the same exact bedding I've been using forever. She's not showing any signs of getting worse. Right now she's under the blanket and breathing fine again. I'm definitely going to get her to the vet tomorrow morning. Does this sound like a possible URI or something less scary? Is there anything I can do while waiting to get her to the vet?
 

Wiebke

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Please have her seen by a vet as soon as you can. Sometimes, URI and even pneumonia can hit right out of the blue without any further symptoms and piggies can go downhill very quickly. Loss of appetite (as the need to breathe comes before the need to drink and thirdly the need the need to eat) is setting fairly quickly in these absolute emergency cases.

If you are lucky, it is just a blocked nose from inhaling some hay dust and it will be gone. You can try and listen with your ear to see where the crackling is roughly located.

Until you see a vet, you can try to ease the breathing by placing a bowl of steaming water next to the cage. If you have got some, you can add 2-3 drops of olbas to the water. Please don't use vicks; it contains ingredients that are noxious for guinea pigs.
 

caitlynn

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Please have her seen by a vet as soon as you can. Sometimes, URI and even pneumonia can hit right out of the blue without any further symptoms and piggies can go downhill very quickly. Loss of appetite (as the need to breathe comes before the need to drink and thirdly the need the need to eat) is setting fairly quickly in these absolute emergency cases.

If you are lucky, it is just a blocked nose from inhaling some hay dust and it will be gone. You can try and listen with your ear to see where the crackling is roughly located.

Until you see a vet, you can try to ease the breathing by placing a bowl of steaming water next to the cage. If you have got some, you can add 2-3 drops of olbas to the water. Please don't use vicks; it contains ingredients that are noxious for guinea pigs.
Thank you so much. The crackling noise started yesterday morning and it still has not worsened. It comes and goes. She'll be congested for a little bit and then sound fine for a couple hours. She's still eating and everything else normal. She has an appointment at the vet in about two hours. The vet does not specialize in guinea pigs, but agreed to have a look at her regardless. Unfortunately the closest guinea pig specialist is about two hours away. Hopefully it's nothing too serious and I'll be able to treat it easily. I'll update after the appointment.
 

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Thank you so much. The crackling noise started yesterday morning and it still has not worsened. It comes and goes. She'll be congested for a little bit and then sound fine for a couple hours. She's still eating and everything else normal. She has an appointment at the vet in about two hours. The vet does not specialize in guinea pigs, but agreed to have a look at her regardless. Unfortunately the closest guinea pig specialist is about two hours away. Hopefully it's nothing too serious and I'll be able to treat it easily. I'll update after the appointment.
Your local vet should be perfectly able to find our where the congestion is located and if necessary to prescribe an antibiotic. It is likely to be baytril, so you best ask him whether they have got some herbivore probiotics to help prop up the guts, or otherwise get some from your closest pet shop. Give a pinch 1-2 hours after the antibiotic and make sure that you get a spare 1ml syringe in case the appetite goes off or you need to mix the probiotic with a bit water for syringing.
 

caitlynn

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Your local vet should be perfectly able to find our where the congestion is located and if necessary to prescribe an antibiotic. It is likely to be baytril, so you best ask him whether they have got some herbivore probiotics to help prop up the guts, or otherwise get some from your closest pet shop. Give a pinch 1-2 hours after the antibiotic and make sure that you get a spare 1ml syringe in case the appetite goes off or you need to mix the probiotic with a bit water for syringing.
Once again, thank you. The vet did prescribe baytril. She told me to crush it into yogurt and feed it to her that way. However that method is not working well at all. I've tried shoving it in her mouth and she just spits it out. I think I'm going to have to resort to crushing it up into water and syringe feeding her.
 

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Once again, thank you. The vet did prescribe baytril. She told me to crush it into yogurt and feed it to her that way. However that method is not working well at all. I've tried shoving it in her mouth and she just spits it out. I think I'm going to have to resort to crushing it up into water and syringe feeding her.
Is the baytril in tablet form? Normally it is an oral solution. I would grind and dissolve/mix the baytril in a little bit of ribena and then syringe it; that is a strong enough taste to help cover up the horrible taste of baytril.

Please do not give a weaned guinea pig any dairy - and that includes yoghurt; guinea pigs are lactose intolerant. Best get some probiotics instead of the yoghurt. Your vet had the right idea as to propping up the guts - just the wrong species of animal! ;)
 

caitlynn

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Is the baytril in tablet form? Normally it is an oral solution. I would grind and dissolve/mix the baytril in a little bit of ribena and then syringe it; that is a strong enough taste to help cover up the horrible taste of baytril.

Please do not give a weaned guinea pig any dairy - and that includes yoghurt; guinea pigs are lactose intolerant. Best get some probiotics instead of the yoghurt. Your vet had the right idea as to propping up the guts - just the wrong species of animal! ;)
Yes it is in tablet form. Thank you for the help!
 

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All the best and a good recovery. Please keep us updaed how you are getting on and don't hesitate to ask any questions you may have along the way.

I would also recommend to switch to daily instead of the normal weekly weighing, ideally at the same time of the feeding cycle so you can minimise the variations that come from a fully or emtpy belly and bladder, which can make as much as 30g/1 oz.
 

caitlynn

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All the best and a good recovery. Please keep us updaed how you are getting on and don't hesitate to ask any questions you may have along the way.

I would also recommend to switch to daily instead of the normal weekly weighing, ideally at the same time of the feeding cycle so you can minimise the variations that come from a fully or emtpy belly and bladder, which can make as much as 30g/1 oz.
Thank you so much. One last question - how long should I keep my two pigs separated?
 

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It is a tricky one. If your piggy is not eating fully and still showing acute symptoms, I would leave him separated for the moment until you are sure that the baytril is working and the crackling has gone.

Generally, healthy, well kept guinea pigs can fend off a URI so they don't catch it from their mates. It usually spreads more widely in stressed/ill/neglected/old populations like shop babies, rescues from bad backgrounds, outdoors piggies with not enough protection against drafts and temperatures swings etc. Very occasionally, an aggressive virus can really spread like wildfire and kill very quickly - which is certainly not the case with you.

You can boost the immune system over the next few weeks by giving additional vitamin C, either oxbow tablets or 1/8- 1/4 of a human vitamin C tablet (the latter either gently placed in the mouth well back so they can't spit it out or again, dissolved in 1 ml of water and syringed.
 

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Agree on keeping them separated until symptoms resolve.
Also please keep a hyper-vigilant eye on your other piggie as they may also need anitbiotics to be on the safe side..
Whilst she should be unaffected as per @Wiebke post.....we are seeing more and more cases where a respiratory bug in one pig has spread through a herd/colony that aren;t even living in the same cage space via the air.
Forewarned is forearmed!
x
 
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