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Severe respiratory infection and not eating

Emmamarie123

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Hello,
I had a horrible shock last night when I went in to check on two of my piggies and found that Crumble had bad diarrhoea and was breathing heavily. I got her to the emergency vets within the hour and she was given injections. Apparently her lungs sound like they have water in them and she is very sick. The vet said she wouldn’t have made the night. This morning she is moving around but is refusing to eat. I have mixed up critical care and have been syringe feeding water (and following the advice on syringe feeding on the forum). I was wondering if there is anything I can add to the food to make her want it more. I am supposed to give her meds with food but she isn’t eating enough so should I still give it or would it make her tummy worse?

she is very precious to me and I am very afraid I will lose her. I have been told to seperate from her sister in case it passes on to her so I have her in a seperate cage. She is a small piggy anyway and I am so worried :(.
 

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Piggies&buns

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I’m so sorry to hear this.
You can mix mashed banana into critical care, or use her normal pellets and mush them up to syringe as they will have a more familiar taste. The need to breathe comes before the need to eat so the fact she is struggling to breathe means she will struggle to want to eat as they can’t breathe through their mouths. You need to try to feed her little and often, it may only be a few ml at a time but you need to get as much into her as possible. Weigh her daily so you can monitor how much food she is getting.
She needs her medication so please do give it to her.
I personally wouldn’t have separated them. The others will already have been exposed to any pathogens (doesn’t mean they will become poorly though) and separation is stressful for them.
Have you seen this video Today's instructional video on our Facebook page - Syringe feeding, it may be helpful to you
Sending support and I hope she feels better soon
 

Emmamarie123

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Thank you for your brilliant advice :) I have managed to get 1 ml into her and some water. I am going to feed her every hour and a half. Hoping to increase the amount next time. I have cut the end of my 1ml syringe which has made it a lot easier. I have her wrapped like a burrito when I feed her which seems to be the best way at the moment. Praying I can get her through this. Going to give her, her morning meds now.

I have spoken to my vet again who I’m going to get some more syringes from and a different critical care. She said to just keep going with the critical care and meds.
 

Emmamarie123

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Hi, so the baytril says to give 0.5ml diluted with Ribena once a day. That seems like an awful lot for a 750g piggie. Her metacam is only 0.16ml?
 

Siikibam

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Was it the vet who told you to dilute it? I probably wouldn’t as then I feel it makes it hard to be sure it’s all been invested.
 

Piggies&buns

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And also, diluting it means you’ve got more liquid to try to get into piggy. It’s easier to just give the dose of meds on its own
If you’re unsure of the dose, then double check with the vet
 

Emmamarie123

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Just spoke to the vets and it’s 0.3ml diluted in juice. ( Wish that was clearer) Getting 2.5ml of critical care into her every hour and a bit now
 

Siikibam

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I probably wouldn’t dilute it. Did they say why you should do so?
 

Siikibam

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It does taste horrible and most piggies dislike it. But I feel diluting May make it more difficult to get down her, especially if she already struggles with syringe feeding. If I remember correctly, members on here who have to give baytril will give the piggy a treat afterwards to help get rid of the taste. I’ll tag @Wiebke
 

Piggies&buns

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Yes baytril is bitter and diluting it can make it taste better, but you’ve then got to get even more fluid into her. It’s usually easier to be swift with the meds and then give a treat after
 

Wiebke

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Yes baytril is bitter and diluting it can make it taste better, but you’ve then got to get even more fluid into her. It’s usually easier to be swift with the meds and then give a treat after
Hi!

I agree - guinea pigs have double the amount of taste buds. It is easier to get the lot into your piggy in one fell swoop than doing it twice. Try a little ribena concentrate afterwards to wash out the taste. It also has some vitamin C.

Very sorry; just hang in there and try to get to 5 mls every two hours. it takes lots of cajoling, piggy whispering etc. and it is very draining. Practice and experience do help to some degree. If piggies can feel your determination, they are usually that little bit easier to deal with and you can get a crucial 1-2 ml more in with each session. Have you considered seeing whether she likes mushed up pellets more (you will need to cut off the syringe tip just below where it is widening to allow the fibre through but hold the plunger in); I find that mushed up pellets or a mix of pellets and recovery food can work that bit better than just unfamiliar recovery fare.
Worth trying what works for you girl best if you can get her through the crisis whichever way!

Using social interactive cavy behaviours can also help:
Understanding Prey Animal Instincts, Guinea Pig Whispering And Cuddling Tips
Who is the boss - your guinea pig or you?
 

Emmamarie123

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Thank you everyone, managing to get 3ml into her now. She’s very poorly though and breathing is bad :( taking her back to the vets in the am.
 

Emmamarie123

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I am considering putting her back in with her cage mate as I think it might be comforting for her. Any thoughts?
 

Piggies&buns

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It’s stressful for them to be separated and unfortunately separating them for medical reasons can sometimes mean they won’t go back together if they are separated for too long, so I personally would keep them together
 

Bill & Ted

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Thai king if you both. Hope Crumble gets better soon x
 

Bill & Ted

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Oops sorry that old autocorrect! Thinking of you both x
 

Wiebke

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I am considering putting her back in with her cage mate as I think it might be comforting for her. Any thoughts?
Please do!

Fingers VERY firmly crossed for her!

Can you see whether a bowl of steaming water next to the cage is helping to easy the breathing a little bit?
 

Emmamarie123

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@Wiebke thank you, I have put a bowl of water next to them. Going to feed her every two hours during the night
 
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