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Severe Pneumonia Help

coco&chanel

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Hello,

My Guinea pig Tommy looked to be struggling with his breathing last November, so I took him to the vets. The vet said he had a sore throat(?!) and gave me Baytril 2.5% to give him 0.4ml twice daily. I did this, and he seemed to improve. Since then his breathing has been getting better/worse and he has been on and off the antibiotics.

Today I noticed that his breathing was significantly worse, and he has been coughing. I took him to the vets and they said he has severe pneumonia and they doubt he will make it through the summer.They have given me more Baytril to give him twice daily, but said he will never recover.

He is behaving completely fine up until now, he has been eating, drinking, popcorning etc. He actually has put on weight since I took him to the vet in November! I am really upset that he has been given such a diagnosis, and am wondering if there is any chance of me saving him?

He is still eating normally and is acting fairly normally, although he occasionally lays down and his abdomen pulses with his short breaths. He is also coughing.

Any tips on what I should going forward would be very much appreciated. I am devastated by this news and will try anything to make him better. What should I do?!
 

Wheekallweek

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I’d get a second opinion from a piggy savvy vet. If he’s still fairly cheerful in himself and eating then I see no reason why he’s been given such a devastating diagnosis!
Another vet may try some different meds or even an oxygen chamber or something.
Meanwhile a bowl of steaming water (somewhere safe of course) near the cage can help with his breathing.
Good luck :)
 

Wiebke

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Hello,

My Guinea pig Tommy looked to be struggling with his breathing last November, so I took him to the vets. The vet said he had a sore throat(?!) and gave me Baytril 2.5% to give him 0.4ml twice daily. I did this, and he seemed to improve. Since then his breathing has been getting better/worse and he has been on and off the antibiotics.

Today I noticed that his breathing was significantly worse, and he has been coughing. I took him to the vets and they said he has severe pneumonia and they doubt he will make it through the summer.They have given me more Baytril to give him twice daily, but said he will never recover.

He is behaving completely fine up until now, he has been eating, drinking, popcorning etc. He actually has put on weight since I took him to the vet in November! I am really upset that he has been given such a diagnosis, and am wondering if there is any chance of me saving him?

He is still eating normally and is acting fairly normally, although he occasionally lays down and his abdomen pulses with his short breaths. He is also coughing.

Any tips on what I should going forward would be very much appreciated. I am devastated by this news and will try anything to make him better. What should I do?!
Please ask your vet for a diuretic to help clear the build up of fluid from the lungs and to ease the breathing as much as possible, if necessary continuously. Have the bacteria lab tested for which antibiotic is the most effective.

If you are not happy with the diagnosis, please see another piggy savvy vet. Ask them to also check the heart carefully. Diaphragmic breathing (or heaving breathing as you describe it) is usually the sign of a fluid build-up in either the lungs or the chest cavity.

Put your boy in a steamed up shower (on a dry towel) as an improvised nebuliser for half an hour several times a day. Place bowls of steaming water next to the cage and keep them refreshed to help ease the breathing as much as possible.

Keep him warm, but not hot and as comfy as possible.

The need to breathe comes before the need to drink and only thirdly the need to eat. Step in with support feeding as soon as your boy is losing over 50g. Weigh daily at the same time in the feeding cycle for the most even result (i.e. before dinner or breakfast). Take into account that over 80% of the daily food intake is hay, which you cannot control otherwise.
Mushed up pellets will do in an emergence as long as you prep the tip of the syringe as shown in our guide to allow fibre to come through.
Not Eating And The Importance Of Syringe Feeding Fibre
Complete Syringe Feeding Guide

Please be aware that severe onset pneumonia can kill and that there are some types of usually deadly pneumonia that are not bacterial. Your round the clock care can make all the difference if there is a chance.

All the best!
 

Guinea Slave

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Poor boy!

Agree with everything Wiebke says but just to add I have had two guineas with respiratory issues, one very nearly died with terrible pneumonia, I had to beg the emergency vet to give her diuretics for overnight treatment, he wanted to pts there and then, before I could take her to a piggy savvy vet the next day.

She survived and lived on for another 2years, all be it as a heart pig but if you can get him through this, then these issues are not a death sentence by any means, just need careful care and a sensible, knowledgeable vet prepared to work with you. She’s the one in my Avatar and was a fantastic character, terribly missed.

Good luck, he sounds like a real,fighter !
 

coco&chanel

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Thank you for your replies!

My vet is not guinea pig savvy at all! I am from Milton Keynes and the best vet that I have found still does not seem to understand that I would do anything to save my piggy. She didn't even mention a diuretic!

My mum has some Bendroflumethiazide 2.5mg tablets. Could I give him some of this?

Had a bath earlier with him in the room and his 'crackling' when he breathes seemed to reduce. I feel so sorry for him and am desperate to do anything I can to help.
 

Guinea Slave

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Thank you for your replies!

My vet is not guinea pig savvy at all! I am from Milton Keynes and the best vet that I have found still does not seem to understand that I would do anything to save my piggy. She didn't even mention a diuretic!

My mum has some Bendroflumethiazide 2.5mg tablets. Could I give him some of this?

Had a bath earlier with him in the room and his 'crackling' when he breathes seemed to reduce. I feel so sorry for him and am desperate to do anything I can to help.
It’s so tough when you don’t have support of a good vet. You really need to take advice from a decent Guinea savvy vet, self medicating could be very dangerous.

Have you looked at the vet locator on the forum? If you could travel then there is Simon Maddock (called the cat and rabbit clinic) in Northampton whom TEAS use who is one of the best in the country. The steaming will help so well done for that, but he needs to see someone very soon.
Guinea Pig Vet Locator
 

Pound Shilling & Pig

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Please dont give him drugs that have been prescribed for people. Milton Keynes is not far from Northampton, I would strongly recommend that you take him to the Cat and Rabbit Care Clinic vets there to see Kim or Simon Maddock
 

Wiebke

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Thank you for your replies!

My vet is not guinea pig savvy at all! I am from Milton Keynes and the best vet that I have found still does not seem to understand that I would do anything to save my piggy. She didn't even mention a diuretic!

My mum has some Bendroflumethiazide 2.5mg tablets. Could I give him some of this?

Had a bath earlier with him in the room and his 'crackling' when he breathes seemed to reduce. I feel so sorry for him and am desperate to do anything I can to help.
If you can, please go to the Cat&Rabbit Care Clinic in Northampton; they are the most piggy savvy vets in the whole area. I'm from Coventry. The Maddocks have saved several of my guinea pigs that my local vets were not able to treat adequately over the years. They are general vets, but specialise in only cats, rabbits, guinea pigs and other small rodents, so they see a lot more of them and are fully up to scratch on them.
The Cat and Rabbit Care Clinic
 

coco&chanel

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Thank you for your replies.

I am not actually from MK as such but a small town nearby, I was unaware that there was a specialist so close! (well 45 minutes away!)

You will be pleased to know that I didn't give him any of my mum's medicine (was panicking a bit last night).

I took Tommy to the Cat & Rabbit Care Clinic this morning and saw Kim who gave me different antibiotics (Zithromax 0.47ml twice daily) to try Tommy on.

She also put him in an oxygen tank and nebulised him for 45 minutes.

I can only hope that I will see improvement with the new medicine, and I have a check up in 2 weeks.

Thanks again for your help.
 

Wiebke

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All the best! It is a similar trip for me (M1 permitting), but if not for Kim and Simon several of my piggies would have had a much shorter life!

Please contact the clinic asap if you see a deteriorating or if your boy hasn't picked up at all within a week.

Zithromax is a VERY strong antibiotic. Most piggies do well on it, but occasionally it can cause total loss of appetite. In that case, you need to step in with syringe feeding asap. A course of fibreplex at the end usually helps right the guts again my own experience. Your home can make a real difference.
This guide includes information on recovery and support products as well as an illustrated step-by-step guide: Complete Syringe Feeding Guide
 

coco&chanel

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Just an update on this: Sadly Tommy passed away shortly after this despite my best efforts.

Thank you for your help.
 

Wiebke

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Just an update on this: Sadly Tommy passed away shortly after this despite my best efforts.

Thank you for your help.
I am very sorry! You have done all you could to give him a chance and have not failed him. We only ever can do our best; no more is asked of us.

Severe pneumonia is a unfortunately killer disease. The outcome is often out of our hands and out of the hands of our vets, too. There are some real nasties out there; if Tommy has caught one of them, then he was very much up against the odds. :(

You may find this link here helpful to cope with your loss and your feelings of guilt, which are normal but which tend to be stronger after a desperate battle to save a beloved pet: Human Bereavement: Grieving, Coping and Support Links for Guinea Pig Owners and Their Children
 

Merab's Slave

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So sorry that you lost Tommy.
It’s hard when you did everything possible for him.
Hold on to the fact that you gave him a great home and a life filled with love.
Be gentle with yourself as you grieve
 
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