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Quustions about ebony's ongoing noisy breathing

tabelmabel

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Ebony is now 11 weeks old and 600g. 3 or 4 weeks ago she had slightly clicky breathing so i took her to the vet. He said her chest was clear, she had a bit of hay up one nostril and he suspected an environmental cause for her clicky breathing.

He advised switching to cardboard bedding (she is in a large c&c with fleece on the large bottom storey but i had had wood shavings on the smaller top hayloft) He also suggested a nebuliser which i didnt have so he said a steamy bathroom would be ok now and again.

I cleared out all the bedding straight away on returning from that vet appt. Initially popping fleece there too whilst i got the cardboard bedding ordered. I also ordered care fresh.

She is housed in the kitchen which has a decent humidity level anyway and she did go to the bathroom a couple of times when someone was showering.


Nothing made a jot of difference but all continued well until the start of this week when her breathing got noisier. I got her to the vet the same day (monday) and now she has a "localised pneumonia" in a lobe of the left lung.

She was prescribed the banana flavoured junior streptin, bisolvin, pro biotic and rheumicon (as there is a loxicom shortage)

She had never stopped eating or started to look ill so she is still lively as ever, eating great, very active just with now very rattly snuffly breathing. The breathing hasnt improved at all, it sounds as bad as it did on monday.


First thing is: i have now got a nebuliser. But I'm not sure what to put in it. Initially i ordered this stuff called "pulmoclear" it is 0.9% sterile sodium chloride inhalation solution and i only landed on that as when i got the nebuliser from amazon, that came up alongside as the suggested stuff for it.

It is suitable for all ages of humans, but not sure about piggies!

I have ordered some f10 antiseptic too after seeing that mentioned here.


Second thing - the vet hasnt taken a swab to find out what bacteria ebony has but he mentioned bordetella. This is interesting as mike that died in december had 2 chest infections in his final 8 months and bordetella was mentioned (but not confirmed) then.

We do have 2 dogs and one cat (no rabbits) but I'm wondering if my other healthy pig, belle, could be an asymptomatic carrier of bordetella?

Is that likely and worth getting tested or is it more likely to have come from the cat or dogs?

Belle remained in perfect health throughout whilst 2 cagemates of hers died last year and now she is still in fine fettle with ebony ill. :hmm:


We have a follow up appt arranged 3rd may for ebony - the vet didnt suggest using the nebuliser at all this time (he didnt say not to, it just wasnt mentioned)

Should i hold off with the nebuliser whilst ebony is receiving thes oral meds or would it help her breathing do you think?


And what to put in the nebuliser? Her breathing isnt effortful and she is running all about the cage quite the thing, but it is rattly and noisy on every breath.


Thanks for any thoughts.


Oh - and i have fleece bedding right through - didnt like the cardboard.
 

Qualcast&Flymo

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Sorry that Ebony has breathing/lung problems. Hope you can get to the bottom of them soon. I can't advise on the medical questions, but it sounds like Pulmoclear is simply a branded saline solution (sodium chloride is salt). As such it would be the basic thing for use in a nebuliser, providing it is in the right concentration, and you could add F10 to it - that's what I had for Zebedee.

Hopefully an expert can help with your other questions soon
Sending Ebony healing vibes! x
 

tabelmabel

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Ah that is great info re the pulmoclear thanks @Qualcast&Flymo. I think the f10 is being delivered today so it is good to know about combining the two. I did see on another thread here about how dilute the f10 needs to be. I might hold off til after the weekend to try it - piggies always seem to need the vet out of hours dont they?!


On a positive note, my other adult sow Belle (who was the main reason we got ebony as a companion) She has never looked better! She is chowing down and twittering away like she is living her best life! Totally unconcerned about Ebony's plight!

Belle's weight dropped to 970g when she was bereaved of mike in december but is now up at 1100g! So no worries about her at least; she is 2yrs old and in her prime i think!
 

tabelmabel

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Well i have given ebony 2 sessions on the nebuliser and it really does seem to have helped massively!

Her breathing is loads quieter. I have messaged my vet to let him know this and if he thinks i should continue with it or not.

Ebony continues really well, eating great, weight good, very active. She's taking her meds really well too. Fingers crossed she can make a good recovery and not be blighted by a weak chest due to this.
 

tabelmabel

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Heard back from vet that it's fine to give Ebony the nebuliser 2x daily for 10 mins a time but just keep to the F10 and not add pulmoclear.


I was reading the stuff on the forum about bordetella and came across the useful info about keeping dogs seperated from pigs if they have had the kennel cough vaccine. Neither of my dogs had that vaccine, nor have my dogs or cat ever shown any signs of coughing etc.

It is all a bit of a mystery.

Good news is Ebony is still very active and eating well. And Belle has kept very well indeed!
 

eileen

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Bordella infection can remain in the airways,and be asymptomatic.The saline can be used to dilute with the F10 antiseptic solution.it will help to kill any bacteria or potential. Virus carried in the airways.I hope Ebony recovers soon.A nasal swab maybe useful to send to the lab.if septrin does not help clear the pneumonia,Zithromycin is a good antibiotic to try.
 

tabelmabel

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Thanks @eileen - do they need to be sedated for the swab? The vet indicated that the reason he didnt swab was because he didnt want to use sedation when breathing was compromised already.

Is zithrimycin ok for baby pigs too (ebony is 12 weeks now i think)

To be an asymptomatic carrier of bordetella, must the animal have actually had symptoms of bordetella at some stage past?

I'm suspecting it might be belle (ebony's cagemate) who is the asymptomatic carrier - but she herself has never shown the slightest hint of any illness ever (now 2yrs old and very well indeed)

We have had our cat in the house and wandering near the pig cage for all the years we have had pigs. She is an outdoor cat so it is quite possible she might be carrying bugs at all times really but she is 15yrs old now, well in herself and we never had unwell baby piggies ever.

The dogs are 8yrs and 4ys - again the whole time they have been about, no ill pigs.

It is only since belle arrived on scene that her cagemates are getting ill and dying, whilst she reigns supreme!

It just seems slightly odd.


Things are looking good for ebony this time i think - apart from the noisy breathing, her behaviour is totally normal. She is on the go constantly, vocalising, eating lots including hay - she must feel pretty good.
 

eileen

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My piggies have not been sedated when swabs are needed.it's uncomfortable for the piggie,but it's done in a flash.
No piggies does not need to have had symptoms of the disease to be a carrier,sometimes stress can bring the infection on.I'm not too sure if Zithromycin can be given to baby piggies.just things to discuss with your vet.I have had piggies with Bordella,Baytril is the antibiotic my vet used for Freya.I do not have dogs,but a cat.sometimes rescue piggies have been previously in contact with the infection from their previous homes.I hope you get to the bottom of it all.xx
 

tabelmabel

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Thanks @eileen - handy to know. The vet i use is piggy savvy but maybe he just didnt want to impose any additional strain on her breathing by collecting a swab.

He knew baytril cant be used in baby pigs, obvs, which is why he has gone for the septrin.

Ebony isnt a rescue - and nor was belle. Both pigs came from breeders though we didnt get belle til she was 4 months old. I have told ebony's breeder what is going on and they are concerned and supportive but not having any probs with their own pigs.

Have had the worst year ever for poorly pigs - since last march, 2 have passed away and now ebony ill so fast. Only belle has remained well.

Prior to that, our pigs lived long and healthy lives. I just hope we can get to the bottom of the cause of this. I just have a gut feeling it isnt simple co incidence . . .

Thanks for your help and info 🙂
 

tabelmabel

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Just an update. All still going well. I am sitting ebony on my knee for the nebuliser. I have the mask attachment on it and was just sort of keeping it below her face so all the nebulised air blew over her but she seems to love it and sticks her face right into the mask!


She also loves the pro biotics (bio lapis) she's practically chomping the syringe out of my hand for those! It is definitely the pro biotic she likes as, when just plain water in the syringe, she doesnt want that!


The vet said rheumicom didnt taste as good as loxicom but that is another one ebony wolfs down!

She is also eating well herself so she is looking pretty good.
 

tabelmabel

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Much the same with ebony - we are back to the vet at 4pm today for a check up. She seems well and lively but she still has the noisy breathing so it will be interesting to see what the vet makes of it later today.

She sure is a worrying pig!
 

tabelmabel

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Back from vets and ebony is on more rheumicon plus doxycyclone now. He said it is now upper respiratory and clearing from the lung. Almost sounds like croup he said.


He said, to swab belle for bordetella (to see if belle is the asymptomatic carrier) she would definitely have to be sedated as he needs to get deep down the throat to collect enough sample for a good culture. And that costs £140.

He also said, even if she is a carrier, she might not be actively shedding all the time so the swab could still be negative even if she were a carrier.

So i have left that for now.


To go back in 2 weeks. He mentioned penicillan injections if this doesnt clear it.
 

tabelmabel

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I was on the guinea lynx site and now I'm a bit concerned that ebony's doxycycline might be too low - she has been prescribed 0.06 ml 2x day - guinea lynx seems to suggest double that to shift a respiratory infection and says lower doses are ineffective.

She weighs 640g and is 12 or 13 weeks old (born 29th jan)


Has anyone any thoughts on this?
 

tabelmabel

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Does anyone know about this doxycycline dose (as mentioned in above post)


I'm very worried because it would be 2 weeks of wasted treatment if ebony's dose is too low - but i dont want to broach it with my vet and risk putting his back up if it's me that is getting it wrong - ideally i was hoping someone could provide reassurance that the vet is right and a reason for the lower dose than guinea lynx advises?

Be really grateful for any insights
 

alpacasqueak

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I haven’t ever used doxycycline with piggies so I’m not much use sorry, I hope you can get her dose sorted and she feels better soon. Maybe @Wiebke could help a bit more as I’m a bit useless (thanks Wiebke!) :)
 

Wiebke

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Back from vets and ebony is on more rheumicon plus doxycyclone now. He said it is now upper respiratory and clearing from the lung. Almost sounds like croup he said.


He said, to swab belle for bordetella (to see if belle is the asymptomatic carrier) she would definitely have to be sedated as he needs to get deep down the throat to collect enough sample for a good culture. And that costs £140.

He also said, even if she is a carrier, she might not be actively shedding all the time so the swab could still be negative even if she were a carrier.

So i have left that for now.


To go back in 2 weeks. He mentioned penicillan injections if this doesnt clear it.
Hi!
Does anyone know about this doxycycline dose (as mentioned in above post)


I'm very worried because it would be 2 weeks of wasted treatment if ebony's dose is too low - but i dont want to broach it with my vet and risk putting his back up if it's me that is getting it wrong - ideally i was hoping someone could provide reassurance that the vet is right and a reason for the lower dose than guinea lynx advises?

Be really grateful for any insights

Sorry, doxycycline is not one of the antibiotics mine have ever been prescribed, so no practical experience with that and whether the dosage is useful or not. My vet prefers zithromax (azithromycin) to doxycycline.
As to their reasons for the dosage, you will have to speak to your treating vet.

Glad that the lungs are clearing.

@furryfriends (TEAS) - I know that piggies of yours have had doxy.
 

tabelmabel

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Thanks - i need to keep off that guinea lynx site as it doesnt seem to rate injecting penicillan either and that was mentioned by the vet as the next course of action.

Normally i have good faith in this vet but I am a bit worried this time, i must admit. In many respects, Ebony is doing so well - still eating herself, gaining weight, running about. I am hopeful she can recover - if the treatment is right.
 

tabelmabel

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Well, i have bitten the bullet and emailed the vet, querying the doxycycline dose! I just cant go through 2 weeks worrying about ineffective treatment.

I havent mentioned my concerns about penicillan injections. Will save that til next time.

I hope he is man enough to explain his reason for the low dose and adjust it if he made a mistake. . . .
 
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