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The Problems With Steroids And Why They Shouldn't Be Used.

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Adult Guinea Pig
Jun 25, 2010
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Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire.
Hello all,

I wanted to make a quick post on the use of oral steroids in Guinea pigs (and almost all exotic species) and why they should never be used.

Guinea pigs are very sensitive when it comes to the use of steroids and they should always be avoided. The problem with steroids is that it causes immunosuppression and can cause any current illness or underlying illness (even when there are no symptoms) to become worse with often dire and fatal consequences. Most often than not piggies will have underlying respiratory disease even with no symptoms and taking steroids can often be fatal in these situations. Respiratory disease symptoms will become exacerbated and can cause fatal pneumonia very quickly.

If your vet prescribes any oral steroids for your Guinea pig (usually called predinisolone) then I would strongly advise not giving them to your pet and discussing this with your vet before doing so. Piggie savvy and exotic vets will never prescribe steroids unless absolutely necessary.

Eye and skin steroids
There are some topical treatments which have steroids in them and there is some debate on the use of them. Personally my own vet (who's a European exotic specialist) does not prescribe a thing with steroids in, including skin preparations and eye drops (unless absolutely no other options) but I do know of other vets who do with no problems. As an owner you can make your own choice on this one.

Hope this helps with some poorly piggies and stops a few bad outcomes when it comes to using oral steroids.
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