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URI accompanied by possible stroke

melsey3

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At this moment in time, a URI has gripped nearly half of my guinea pig herd (15/36) I first contacted the vets last Tuesday, and was given co-trimazacole (something like that) as an antibiotic but it hasn't worked on any of them, so re phoned the vet today asking them to put us onto baytril instead as I knew this had worked well for my herd in the past.

My Latest victim "Tilly" is very poorly with it, and I believe she has had a stroke as a side effect, the vets have said that there is nothing more they can really do apart from to try a few more days on the antibiotics and Loxicam incase of the obvious things like pneumonia and inner ear infection. It is very hot in the South at the moment, and a journey to the vets on a bus could likely stress her out even more especially as we can't even be with her at the moment, but will take her there if absolutely necessary (they are generally doing video consultations and phone consultations at the moment) but did say I could take her to them if I wanted to.

Her Symptoms of a stroke include "General weakness on I think her left side, a bit hard to tell, but it is to the left she seems to be circling, stly bulgy eyes, and head tilt and dribbling. She is partially feeding herself but getting water into her is very difficult, we are trying to do this little and often but she is being quite difficult! She is weeing quite a bit, so don't think she is dehydrated at the moment. We are trying to get water into her by offering her the bottle, and using a 1ml syringe (1 for water) the other (with liquid babyfood)

We had to have one of our bunnies put down in June due to a huge stroke, but he had many other health complications going on bless him.

Tilly has been very healthy throughout her 3 years of life until now, avoiding all other URI's in the past, which is why this has come as such a shock to us as she has been very healthy overall, she was very fat, but that has been coming off slowly over the last few months.

I don't want her suffering, but if she still wants to live want to give her that chance , currently as said she is partially feeding herself with hay, and grass, and she is literally biting at everything else she comes across including my fingers and paper. When placed on the floor she wants to explore but is very weak and it takes her longer to get around as she is incredibly un co-ordinated at the moment stumbling often.

Any piggy owners out there who have had this happen? and have looked after a stroke survivor piggy?

Have bought her inside for the time being, and am keeping her quiet in a large pet carrier away from the 2 piggies she was living with, a little concerned about this, but she will be taken out to see them a few times a day.

This is the reply I got from my vets:

If Tilly has had a stroke then sadly there isnt much more we can do for her that you havent already done (ie taken her inside in the cool, ensured food and water intake, given baytril and loxicom). Some will get through it with time but some unfortunately wont. It also may be that the infection is taking its toll on her but again, she is on treatment for that currently already.
I'm afraid I cant give you an definitive prognosis, as these guinea pigs are generally rather fragile, but if you wanted to bring her down for a consultation and check over we are here until 7pm tonight. Give us a ring ASAP if you want to bring her down.


Many Thanks
 

Siikibam

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I’m sorry to hear (most of) your herd is unwell. I would take her in to be checked. Alternatively I’d get a second opinion from another vet. I’m not sure where you’re located but have a check on the vet locator if you’re in U.K./US. I know you say a bus trip could be hot and stressful but she should really be seen. I don’t know what can be done for a stroke so can’t comment on their response.

It’s also best if she has company while inside being cared for. Are the others all outside as well? It’s (been) very hot so I don’t know what the temps in their hutches/sheds are like. Is there any way you could bring them inside?

I’ll tag @Wiebke @VickiA @Piggies&buns @PigglePuggle hopefully they can help you more
 

Wiebke

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At this moment in time, a URI has gripped nearly half of my guinea pig herd (15/36) I first contacted the vets last Tuesday, and was given co-trimazacole (something like that) as an antibiotic but it hasn't worked on any of them, so re phoned the vet today asking them to put us onto baytril instead as I knew this had worked well for my herd in the past.

My Latest victim "Tilly" is very poorly with it, and I believe she has had a stroke as a side effect, the vets have said that there is nothing more they can really do apart from to try a few more days on the antibiotics and Loxicam incase of the obvious things like pneumonia and inner ear infection. It is very hot in the South at the moment, and a journey to the vets on a bus could likely stress her out even more especially as we can't even be with her at the moment, but will take her there if absolutely necessary (they are generally doing video consultations and phone consultations at the moment) but did say I could take her to them if I wanted to.

Her Symptoms of a stroke include "General weakness on I think her left side, a bit hard to tell, but it is to the left she seems to be circling, stly bulgy eyes, and head tilt and dribbling. She is partially feeding herself but getting water into her is very difficult, we are trying to do this little and often but she is being quite difficult! She is weeing quite a bit, so don't think she is dehydrated at the moment. We are trying to get water into her by offering her the bottle, and using a 1ml syringe (1 for water) the other (with liquid babyfood)

We had to have one of our bunnies put down in June due to a huge stroke, but he had many other health complications going on bless him.

Tilly has been very healthy throughout her 3 years of life until now, avoiding all other URI's in the past, which is why this has come as such a shock to us as she has been very healthy overall, she was very fat, but that has been coming off slowly over the last few months.

I don't want her suffering, but if she still wants to live want to give her that chance , currently as said she is partially feeding herself with hay, and grass, and she is literally biting at everything else she comes across including my fingers and paper. When placed on the floor she wants to explore but is very weak and it takes her longer to get around as she is incredibly un co-ordinated at the moment stumbling often.

Any piggy owners out there who have had this happen? and have looked after a stroke survivor piggy?

Have bought her inside for the time being, and am keeping her quiet in a large pet carrier away from the 2 piggies she was living with, a little concerned about this, but she will be taken out to see them a few times a day.

This is the reply I got from my vets:

If Tilly has had a stroke then sadly there isnt much more we can do for her that you havent already done (ie taken her inside in the cool, ensured food and water intake, given baytril and loxicom). Some will get through it with time but some unfortunately wont. It also may be that the infection is taking its toll on her but again, she is on treatment for that currently already.
I'm afraid I cant give you an definitive prognosis, as these guinea pigs are generally rather fragile, but if you wanted to bring her down for a consultation and check over we are here until 7pm tonight. Give us a ring ASAP if you want to bring her down.


Many Thanks
Hi!

I am very sorry for your problems! Please have your piggy vet checked ASAP.

Please be aware that you may not be dealing with a bacterial URI but one of the rarer, often much more transmittable and sadly deadly respiratory illnesses that are caused by other bugs (bordetella/'kennel cough', viruses (NOT Covid-19; there is no evidence of transmission) etc.) We have also seen an increasing and worrying trend in resistance in URI bacteria in recent years.

Co-trimoxazole is one of the brand names that are better known as bactrim (US) or septrin (UK). In the UK it has been officially licensed for guinea pigs not very long ago under the brand name sultrim. The active substances are trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole.

If neither baytril or co-trimoxazole are working, then the next step would be a swab test in the lab to see whether there is an antibiotic that the bug you are dealing with is responding to. There are a number of unlicensed antibiotics that are safe to give to guinea pigs; in severe cases they are sometimes given as a combination (doxycycline, marbocyl, zithromax).

How hot is it where you are? Could your piggy be suffering from heat stroke or a hot weather related stroke? Unfortunately there is no treatment for stroke but things can be done about the heat.
Hot Weather Management, Heat Strokes and Fly Strike

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All the best!
 

melsey3

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Was already under the vets with Tilly anyway, sadly we had to have her put to sleep yesterday morning, as she had, had a stroke as I had expected, but they also found her heart was unwell, they listed a load of treatment for her that they could try, but they said after all of it the prognosis was not good, so we thought it would be kinder to have her put to sleep, as the treatment would have been very aggressive. They actually breathed a sigh of relief when I declined, and said I was doing the kindest thing for her. As usual I was questioning my decision afterwards, but that's a normal part of the grieving process. The vets have decided it will be a good idea to treat my whole herd and the 2 rabbits, not just the piggie's displaying symptoms as a precautionary measure, they explained to me that even though Tilly had been bought inside it was a mixture of the URI, Heat, and Heart murmur that could have led to the stroke. I don't want to take any chances so am agreeing to do that, takes about 2 hours of my time, but it has to be done, they are my very good friends! I have over 14 hutches in the garden, so bringing them all in is not doable unfortunately. We check them every hour or more if neccessary. so they are in very good hands.

Thanks for your replies to my post.
 

Bill & Ted

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So sorry you’ve lost Tilly, you have made a very kind decision, sending hugs x
Sleep tight little Tilly 🌈
 

melsey3

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Am getting a little worried about Tilly's 2 daughters who were living with her since they were born 10 months ago, they are not really showing any interest in their pellets, and only ate a little bit of the fresh grass I gave them, and tackled half a carrot each. They had been given 2 large handfuls of hay at feeding time yesterday (about 8pmish), and they may have eaten about half of it, but there is still a fair bit in their hutch, I also had a lot of leftover food yesterday morning as well (it is 5.16a.m) Their poos seem normal, but maybe a fair bit less than normal (could they be grieving?) I have also noticed that unusually none of my others have finished their pellets either, including my 2 bunnies (Most have eaten the majority of them , but I have at least 6 that don't appear to have touched them (that includes Aribeth and Thumbelina whom I mentioned above, and Ludo the rabbit)! They are now all on baytril (including bunnies) and a powder(Bisolvon) (Today will be their 3rd day on the new meds) . I am going to talk to the vets about this in the morning, but was wondering if the Bisolovon could be putting them off their food, or whether it is due to the very hot weather we have had recently. Out of my remaining 34 guinea pigs I have about 12 who have symptoms (not severe) of the current URI, and maybe 1 of the bunnies (we got Ludo in June as a 12 week old baby, when we lost my bunny Joey, but noticed from quite early on that he sneezes alot) I have been watching him and monitoring him closely for Snuffles (but there is only a slight clear discharge, no yellowy discharge at all, and he is very lively, and eats really well) I had a bunny with snuffles a few years ago who had been treated successfully, so am familiar with the main symptoms.

I am a very experienced Piggy owner, but have never come across the situation where 2 guinea pigs don't show an interest in their food after their companion pig dies, mine have always eaten regardless. Where I live we don't usually have the high temps we have been having this last 2 weeks so am not experienced enough in this area as to whether this is a normal occurance when very high temps are concerned.

Many thanks for any advise given (please note I am in daily correspondance with my vets at the moment) Think they maybe getting fed up with me , as have been getting really paranoid about all of my animals recently. This is due to the fact that we are going away for 3 nights from Monday, and am really worried they will be ill when my friend is looking after them for the 2 days we are away as she can only visit in the evenings (my ex is doing the waters for me in the morning, and if he is around through the course of the day. We will be there to feed them and keep an eye on their waters until lunchtime on the Monday, and will be back around mid - late afternoon on the Thursday, so it literally is only going to be the 2 full days we are going to be away from them (hoping and praying that the temps reduce tenfold by then, otherwise my guinea pig and bunny anxiety is going to go off the page)
 

Piggies&buns

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I’m sorry for your loss.
Heat and grief can cause them to lose their appetite.
Being on antibiotics can also cause a loss of appetite. Giving probiotics can help to settle their tummies. Alongside weighing daily to ensure they are getting enough food. Of course not eating pellets is less of a concern (they should only have one tablespoon per day and pellets only constitutes 5% of their diet, so not eating them doesn’t drop their food intake by much). But it’s a reduction in hay intake, given hay which is their main food, which is the concern. If you are concerned they aren’t eating as much hay, then they need to be weighed daily (at the same time each day) to see if they are losing weight and then be syringe fed.

Not Eating, Weight Loss And The Importance Of Syringe Feeding Fibre
Complete Syringe Feeding Guide
Looking After a Bereaved Guinea Pig
Weight - Monitoring and Management
Hot Weather Management, Heat Strokes and Fly Strike
 
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