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Emergency Urgent Advice Needed

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Teenage Guinea Pig
Mar 24, 2014
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Albrighton West Mids
Got home from work to find Vader lying on his side with laboured breathing, Refuses to eat and just stretched out- I managed to find an emergency vet (not cavie savvy)
they checked teeth and body and listened to his heart and lungs - nonething could pin point but said could be upper RTI he had some food in his mouth when she looked in side - she doesnt think he will last night - has lost 40g since I weighed him sunday they had no facilities to keep him so gave him metacam injection and another painkiller which would make him sleepy- should he have had baytril? just incase? sorry at my wits end as just lost Brodie on wednesday to an unknown - Vader was fine yesterday as well please help
Oh I'm so sorry. Well done for taking him to the vet so quickly. I dont have advice but wanted to say I'm thinking of you.
@Pebble @Elwickcavies


I am keeping my fingers firmly crossed for poor Vader! You have done all the right things in having him seen by a vet asap.
I'm sorry to hear this - especially since you lost Brodie suddenly two days ago. This could point towards a hard-hitting and very virulent infection that has affected both pigs - whether it be upper or lower respiratory or something elsewhere in the body that is more systemic The other alternative would be something environmental/toxic that has affected both of them. Is there any nasal discharge? If so is it clear of yellow/green/white? How old are they? Were they living together? And do you have any other piggies?

In this situation - I would expect the vet to give Vader an antibiotic injection (acts faster than oral meds) plus a prescription for oral abx for the next 7-10 days to help try fight the bug. If there are signs of infection in his lungs (pneumonia) then a diuretic (fruseamide) to help remove fluid and assist his breathing would also be given. Therefore I don;t understand why he has not only had a metacam injection but also another painkiller to "make him sleepy"? (do you have any idea what it was - your receipt from the vets might say so?)....yet no abx.

I don;t know how you would feel about going to another emergency vets to get abx - one with a 24hr hospital so they can offer inpatient care? - Neil Bolton at Connaught vet Hospital in Wolverhampton keeps guinea pigs...there is also St Georges vet hospital in Wolverhampton offering 24hr care. This is supposing you feel both Vader and your bank account are well enough to withstand another trip - which is a lot to ask given you have already acted promptly and responsibly and seen one emergency vet tonight already. The logistics may not be possible.

The first 24hours in a situation like this where the piggie has collapsed is critical. Supportive care such as hand feeding with mushed pellets and water via syringe is vital. (very small amounts at a time as he probably won;t want to swallow much - but all the while he is prepared to swallow at least a tiny amount there is still hope) You may find he will rally if you syringe feed him water with a bit of honey or sugar in it (provides fast acting sugars for energy) He will need constant attendance/monitoring throughout the night - and if he worsens (ie can;t swallow anything at all or his breathing becomes worse.....or it looks like he has given up) then you may wish to think about going back to the previous emergency vet to help him to The Bridge.

One final point to make - and I apologise if this is distasteful or blunt - but If you have any other piggies I think they should be checked by a vet tomorrow - and if Vader passes away during the night, I think you should give consideration to a post mortem to find out what was wrong in order to protect any of your other piggies against this disease - whatever it is. If you want to pursue this option, then directly after he passes, you will need to put his body in a sealed tupperware container in the fridge and get him into a reputable vets for a PM first thing tomoorrow morning.

It is a sad fact that some infections are so nasty that they can kill a piggie very suddenly within 24hrs of them appearing poorly whilst others are not so nasty and the piggie has a good chance of recovering with the right meds and supportive care. Although it isn;t looking good for Vader tonight - I do hope he makes it through - and you can go back to a 24hr vet hospital tomorrow to get him the additional care and meds he may need.

Sending you hugs
Sorry to hear your piggy is so poorly :(
Thank you Pebbles,he is wrapped in a towel and on my lap and doesn't at the moment seem to distressed- no discharge from his nose ,eyes a bit watery (Brodie had none of these symptoms) They weren't cage mates though could kiss between bars,my other 4 boys are in the same outdoor shed (in cages) and all seemfine- though I am checking often as both Vader and Brodie showed no signs the day before falling ill. Receipt doesnt show what as given, I will phone first thing in morning to check and if he makes it through the night I will phone Neil Bolton as recommended and take a copy of your post with me.
The only new thing they have had since SUnday is a new bale of hay which I shall destroy tomorrow - just in case - although it is from a supplier I have used on a regular basis. Will also disinfect all cages and check over my other boys
Thank you again
I would rather Connaught than St Georges in Wolves going on personal experience. I know MerryPip uses Connaughts. Not heard of Neil Bolton worth adding to recommended vets list @Pebble Connaught may be indeed an excellent chpoice as the do have 24hr care

If Rosie is on in Wombourne this saturday then she is extremely cavy savy also details below, but she works alternative Saturdays but they don't have 24hr care there - they use St Georges for out of hours. Here are details just in case -

Rosie Levene-Barry
56 Rookery Road
Staffordshire, West Midlands WV5 0JQ
01902 324551

Sending you and Vader lots of love Sara x
You poor thing. I will be hoping for the best for you and Vader x
just re rad post Vader is 20months old Brodie wa 4 years i have just syringe fed mshed pellets and water - how often should i do this
thanks for vet update- past experience has put me off st georges, they have a branch in Albrighton and wouldnt see me tonight so had to go to Telford
I am so sorry :( In addition to what the others have said, is there any way that mice or rats can get into your shed? You might need to check for this possibility as well. I hope your boy pulls through x
Well done!
How often you do this depends upon how much he will take in one sitting.
Ideally you need to aim to get a total of 120ml down a pig in a 24hour period - normally split into either 2hourly 10ml doses or 4hourly 20ml doses.
However, with very poorly piggies such as you describe with Vader, it can be a very slow "drip feed" process.
I have had a couple of very poorly piggie situations where I've had to drip-feed 0.1-0.2ml of liquid food every 5-10minutes THROUGHOUT THE NIGHT - because that is all the pig can manage - but this nevertheless made the difference in getting them through the acute 24-48hour phase until the rest of the meds took effect and they made a full reocvery.

I also agree you need a (decent) vet visit tomorrow to get abx....and possibly diuretic uif he has penumonia

Paws all crossed here.
@sport_billy : I googled vets in the area tonight as this was an emergency - and just happened to notice Neil Bolton kept piggies..and they had 24hr hospital care.
I have no experience/case histories to back-up or support recommending this practice but given the situation - it seemed like a good bet
I'm devastated Vader just took his last breath, - No fitting or running, I had just given him a few mls of water and he just gasped and diedoy

Sweet dreams my baby boyIMG_2144.JPG
I'm devastated Vader just took his last breath, - No fitting or running, I had just given him a few mls of water and he just gasped and diedoy

Sweet dreams my baby boyView attachment 24673

Sorry, I posted parallel to your last post - I am ever so sorry for you that you have lost a second precious boy to a mystery illness within a few days.

I am so sorry Sara. Huge hugs to you x x

Sleep well beautiful boy x
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