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Suddenly sneezing a lot

zoongles

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Hello! I recently became an owner of 2 guinea pigs around 2 months ago. I have a concern and was wondering what I should do.

Recently (about a couple days ago) I opened a new bag of hay for my guinea pigs since they just finished a previous bag. It is the same brand of what they have been eating. I noticed almost immediately that they started to sneeze about once of twice a day (they never sneezed much before, maybe once or twice a week). I thought it was something to do with my rooms air so I checked and found nothing. I continued giving them the hay and thought it was just regular sneezing like us humans. It wasn’t until today where I got extremely worried. When I gave them hay in the morning, one of my guinea pigs (who never sneezed) suddenly started sneezing like crazy. She sneezed about 3 times in a row. Obviously it shocked me and I quickly removed the hay. They continued sneezing though and I started panicking and took them out of their home to see what was causing the sneezing. When I moved their bedding around to see the ground I saw so much hay dust. I removed all their bedding and placed a couple towels instead because I was afraid it might be the bedding as well. Right now they have stopped sneezing as much (there is probably still hay dust there) and I don’t know what to do. It is currently 2 in the morning so I am planning on cleaning their home and my room from top to bottom to make sure nothing is left. Right now I don’t think it is the bedding, just the hay but I could be wrong.

Should I take them to the vet? Also, how do I remove all the dust in their hay so this doesn’t happen again?

If while reading this you see I am doing something wrong with raising my guinea pigs then please let me know! I am still learning everyday new things about raising guinea pigs and I want to make sure I don’t do anything I’m not supposed to as an owner.
 

Piggies&buns

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A vet check is always a good idea for any health concern.

however, if it is the hay, then all I can really suggest is trying a new brand and ensuring it is dust extracted before you buy it - most packaging will say if it is.
 

zoongles

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A vet check is always a good idea for any health concern.

however, if it is the hay, then all I can really suggest is trying a new brand and ensuring it is dust extracted before you buy it - most packaging will say if it is.

Thank you! I will try taking them to the vet sometime this week but I think it was the hay. It’s been about an hour since I removed the hay and replaced the bedding with towels and they have not sneezed once since then. I will look for other hay brands so this doesn’t happen again!
 

Piggies&buns

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Piggies airways are very sensitive and any dust from hay, disposable bedding and things like scented candles, perfumes, sprays and air fresheners can irritate them.
 

zoongles

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Piggies airways are very sensitive and any dust from hay, disposable bedding and things like scented candles, perfumes, sprays and air fresheners can irritate them.

Oh my gosh I thought the only type of bedding you could use was disposable 😲 I will definitely look into bedding that is not disposable! Thank you a lot! Also do not worry about scented candles, perfumes or air fresheners as I also get easily irritated by them.
 

Piggies&buns

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Oh my gosh I thought the only type of bedding you could use was disposable 😲 I will definitely look into bedding that is not disposable! Thank you a lot! Also do not worry about scented candles, perfumes or air fresheners as I also get easily irritated by them.

this is our guide for fleece bedding which a lot of people with indoor piggies use
A Detailed Guide For Fleece Bedding
 

Wiebke

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Thank you! I will try taking them to the vet sometime this week but I think it was the hay. It’s been about an hour since I removed the hay and replaced the bedding with towels and they have not sneezed once since then. I will look for other hay brands so this doesn’t happen again!

Hi

Here is our hay guide, which you may find helpful. Please also be aware that the quality of dust extracted hay can vary from company to company. Some piggies can be more sensitive, but a change in hay is usually the first step.
A Comprehensive Hay Guide for Guinea Pigs (incl. providers in several countries)

Interestingly I have been feeding not dust extracted locally sourced hay for the last 6-7 years and have only ever had one piggy who reacted badly to it. It was one of the piggies already around when I introduced the not extracted hay. She and her companions needed to stay on dust extracted hay in table cage above the other piggies.

Thankfully there is a much wider range of hay around these days!
 

zoongles

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Hi

Here is our hay guide, which you may find helpful. Please also be aware that the quality of dust extracted hay can vary from company to company. Some piggies can be more sensitive, but a change in hay is usually the first step.
A Comprehensive Hay Guide for Guinea Pigs (incl. providers in several countries)

Interestingly I have been feeding not dust extracted locally sourced hay for the last 6-7 years and have only ever had one piggy who reacted badly to it. It was one of the piggies already around when I introduced the not extracted hay. She and her companions needed to stay on dust extracted hay in table cage above the other piggies.

Thankfully there is a much wider range of hay around these days!

Thank you! I have been giving then the same brand of hay and the sneezing only started when I opened a new bag so I’ll see what I can do.
 
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