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Specialist Sneezing/lost Voice; Fellow Pig Died Last Month After Same Symptoms

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In January I got a new guinea pig, which sneezed. One of my original two (Scooby) began sneezing, it escalated quickly and he died in February.

Now my other original piggie (Morrissey) sneezes, and wheezes instead of squeaking, but unlike Scooby he still eats a lot and is active and interested in things. This has been going on for about a month and he's got no worse. The vet who treated Scooby said to bring other pigs in asap if the same thing arose... but Morrissey doesn't really seem ill beyond the odd sneeze and a one-occasion snotty nose. I don't want to expose him to the trauma of vets, plus any risk of infection, unless definitely necessary. I monitor him closely and apart from sneezing/lost voice he seems his usual self.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 
Hi, welcome to the forum. I'm sorry you lost Scooby, I have a few questions:

- Where was the new pig from and is he still with you? If so, does he sneeze still?
- What are your pigs bedded on?
- Are there any air fresheners in the room or nearby?
- What did the vet suspect was wrong with Scooby, it sounds to me like it could be walking (atypical) Pneumonia which can hit very fast and out of the blue.
 
Hi, welcome to the forum. I'm sorry you lost Scooby, I have a few questions:

- Where was the new pig from and is he still with you? If so, does he sneeze still?
- What are your pigs bedded on?
- Are there any air fresheners in the room or nearby?
- What did the vet suspect was wrong with Scooby, it sounds to me like it could be walking (atypical) Pneumonia which can hit very fast and out of the blue.

Hi, thanks for replying.

We got him from Pets At Home (I know not ideal, but was buying hay and he was so lovely). (Also yes, he's very healthy and lively, but still sneezes a lot)
They're indoor, on fleeces and a small section of woodchips and hay.
No, we don't have air fresheners and we don't spray anything near them.
The vet was kind of vague, but a respiratory infection was agreed on. His breathing was really difficult and loud; there's nothing like that now with Morrissey.
 
The vet did say something that I just can't get my head around: that the new pig is a disease carrier and will be his whole life. I understand if he passed on an illness... but a virus that doesn't affect his own health yet he can transmit for his whole life seems crazy. I've been trying to think of human equivalents, but can't think of any that a sneeze will pass on.
 
That makes sense, Bordatella can be carried by one animal and passed onto another I think. Had he ever been near rabbits?
 
You could try removing the woodchips just in case and see if there is any difference?
 
You could try removing the woodchips just in case and see if there is any difference?
The little one... I think so, I think they have neighbouring pens with rabbits in the shop.

But Morrissey is four years old and has always lived with some amount of woodchips.

I'll look up the condition you mentioned though.
 
It's been a while, and I eventually took Morrissey Bear to the vets, which helped, for a while; I'm guessing he then caught it again from Small Pig (which we've taken to calling the new baby piggie). A week ago, I took them both to a different vet and said 'I think it's Bordetella'. The vet was brilliant, treating them both, even recommending pineapple juice with the antibiotics so it tastes less horrible for them.
Since then, though, after not getting any worse for months, Mozzy Bear has pretty much stopped eating, his eyes have sunken in and you can see into his eye sockets, he's getting diarrhea and he's gone from lively to completely sluggish in a matter of days. I don't know what to do. Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday mean we can't get him to the vet for at least another day, but seeing as after the last appointment he went from active with a big appetite to the sickly little creature he has suddenly become, I'm not even sure I trust the vets any more.
I'm really desperate now. Morrissey can't die; I love him too much. I don't know what to do.
 
So sorry to hear about this, I am suspecting the antibiotics are upsetting him, I would telephone my vet for advice, and I would syringe feed critical care and fluids and probiotics. Please see the vet as soon as possible if his eyes are sunken he is probably dehydrated. Hang in there little piggy.
 
It's been a while, and I eventually took Morrissey Bear to the vets, which helped, for a while; I'm guessing he then caught it again from Small Pig (which we've taken to calling the new baby piggie). A week ago, I took them both to a different vet and said 'I think it's Bordetella'. The vet was brilliant, treating them both, even recommending pineapple juice with the antibiotics so it tastes less horrible for them.
Since then, though, after not getting any worse for months, Mozzy Bear has pretty much stopped eating, his eyes have sunken in and you can see into his eye sockets, he's getting diarrhea and he's gone from lively to completely sluggish in a matter of days. I don't know what to do. Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday mean we can't get him to the vet for at least another day, but seeing as after the last appointment he went from active with a big appetite to the sickly little creature he has suddenly become, I'm not even sure I trust the vets any more.
I'm really desperate now. Morrissey can't die; I love him too much. I don't know what to do.

Can you please:
- contact an out-of-hours vet (number should be on your vet clinic's answering machine) re. adverse reaction to antibiotic
- start hand feeding Morrissey asap: https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/complete-hand-feeding-guide.115359/

I am very sorry and am keeping my fingers firmly crossed, but if you want to be in with a chance you have to act NOW! Guinea pigs can go downhill very quickly.

I am keeping my fingers very firmly crossed!
 
I've been giving him Fibreplex, and now I have some sachets of Recovery liquid feed from the vet, more antibiotics and also painkillers because I was wondering if there might be a problem with his teeth that's stopping him eating. I really wanted to get his teeth checked, but every time the vet put her magnifying/light stick in his mouth, he'd swat it out of her hand with his little paw until she gave up. She did say that he has a lot of unswallowed food lurking in his mouth though.
 
@furryfriends Excellent Adventure Sanctuary

Your vet can clear out any food bits gently with a cotton bud to get a clearer look at the teeth.

Please continue to hand feed as much as he'll take and to weigh him daily at the same time in the feeding cycle.
 
Which antibiotic is he on? I am guessing baytril. Marbocyl has worked incredibly well for any of our piggies who have had respiratory disease. Ideally the injectable form is the best, or at least for the first five days to a week, and then transferring on to the tablets. He sounds very dehydrated, and some subcut fluids would be recommended. I wouldn't be worrying about the teeth at this particular time, as I feel he is too poorly, and his respiratory issues need to be sorted first.
 
Baytril, yep. I'll ask about Marbocyl at his next appointment. He's doing quite well with the nutritional supplements that I'm giving him via a syringe.The reason I'm fussing about his teeth is because he seems eager to eat solid food, up to the point where he bites the food and lets it drop. This may seem a little anthropomorphic but... I've always expected him to be too logical to just stop eating, and I still think he'd be eating a reasonable amount if something painful or awkward wasn't happening in his mouth before he can chew and swallow.
 
Baytril, yep. I'll ask about Marbocyl at his next appointment. He's doing quite well with the nutritional supplements that I'm giving him via a syringe.The reason I'm fussing about his teeth is because he seems eager to eat solid food, up to the point where he bites the food and lets it drop. This may seem a little anthropomorphic but... I've always expected him to be too logical to just stop eating, and I still think he'd be eating a reasonable amount if something painful or awkward wasn't happening in his mouth before he can chew and swallow.
I'm not saying to not get his teeth looked at later, but for now you do need to get the respiratory infection under control first. Attempting to examine teeth, whether under GA or conscious, is going to be risky with a guinea pig with compromised breathing.
 
Thanks so much for your help, everyone. Morrissey died on Monday. He suddenly lost the ability to stand up, and I knew it was nearly the end. We sat in the garden for a bit, because he likes that, and then we had a couple of hours of indoor cuddles and then he passed away in my arms. I'm absolutely heartbroken, but I'm thankful that I had the whole afternoon to bring him his favourite things, kiss his little nose and tell him how much I will always love him.
 
Thanks so much for your help, everyone. Morrissey died on Monday. He suddenly lost the ability to stand up, and I knew it was nearly the end. We sat in the garden for a bit, because he likes that, and then we had a couple of hours of indoor cuddles and then he passed away in my arms. I'm absolutely heartbroken, but I'm thankful that I had the whole afternoon to bring him his favourite things, kiss his little nose and tell him how much I will always love him.
So sorry for your loss. ;.( Having a piggie go downhill is truly devastating. I'm sure he had a great life and it was so lovely the care you gave him in his final moments! Love and hugs xoxox
 
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