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Uri Antibiotics Advice Please

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Wilbur&Otis

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Hi - Otis - one of my lovely pair of 3 year old boars is poorly. He started out just looking puffy and not himself yesterday. I moved him into a separate cage last night so i could keep an eye on his eating / pooping & bought him all his favourite foods - he was eating some but not too interested, pooping normally but looking fed up & very quiet, breathing looked laboured.

Took him to the exotics vet first thing this morning & she has prescribed a short course of antibiotics for a mild URI and said she wasn't too worried, should clear up within a week. The antibiotic she's given me is Engemycin dose 0.3ml daily for 5-7 days.

I gave him the first dose & left him with Wilbur (the other pig) as the vet suggested that would be better / less stressful for him. Home from work this evening & he looks possibly even worse, not interested in food at all, very withdrawn & tired looking. So I've separated him again to check poop situation & come onto the forum to read up on antibiotics & look for some advice on what to do now.

I've not had a poorly pig before & not used to dealing with antibiotics so would appreciate any advice...

How long does it normally take for an antibiotic to kick in & show signs of improvement? How do you know if a piggie has an allergic reaction to an antibiotic - what are the signs?

The vet didn't mention probiotics but i will ring again tomorrow morning & buy some first thing before Otis' second dose of antibiotics. In the mean time tonight should I mush some of Wilburs poo (?) & syringe feed him that or is that only helpful within a couple of hours of the antibiotic? Or mush some pellets to get him eating? Or leave until he has probiotics?

Lastly Is Engemycin commonly prescribed for a URI - I had only really heard of Baytril before now?

Thanks, Nat x
 

Wiebke

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Engemycin is new to me, too, but there are more and more antibiotics used for various complaints although baytril is still the only officially licensed antibiotic for guinea pigs. As it is an exotics vet, I would trust that they know what they are doing.

I would give a pinch of probiotics either on a bit of veg or dissolved in 1 ml of water, as any antibiotic will also kill off "good" gut bacteria. Any brand will do, even the one you can get from a pet shop in a pinch.

Unless there is a bad reaction, I would not worry about support syringe feeding, but it is always good to have things ready just in case. Thankfully, most guinea pigs cope just fine when on antibiotics and do not need any extra measures.

As it is just a mild URI, I would recommend to weigh daily at the same time to monitor the weight/food intake and only step in with syringe feeding in case there is a weight loss of 50g or more. You can place a bowl of steaming water to help ease the breathing, but hopefully that will do the trick. Contact the vet promptly if Otis loses his appetite/weight, becomes lethargic or if the breathing worsens at any point or if the URI is not clearing up within a week.

@Abi_nurse
 

helen105281

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Could it be linked to Zithromax (Azithromycin?), if so that tends to be very effective on URIs or Pneumonia.

Do you know if the vet found any fluid on his chest? if so he may also need a diuretic.
 

Wiebke

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I found it on Guinea Lynx it's under the dangerous medicine. I would contact the vet.
Oxytretracycline (which is the active ingredient in engemycin) is listed under dangerous medicine on Guinea Lynx, thanks, @flintstones. I hadn't got as far as that. It is certainly better to question the vet again as to whether engemycin is safe to use in guinea pigs. There have been occasions where successful new antibiotics have come from groups that are listed as dangerous, like Zithromax, but it is certainly worth making sure that it can be safely used.
Here is the relevant Guinea Lynx link: http://www.guinealynx.info/dangerous_medications.html
 

Wilbur&Otis

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Thankyou everyone. I'll definitely ring first thing and be taking him back there in the morning to question the antibiotic.

He's not eaten & I've not seen him poo all evening he looks terrible. I've just syringed him some water and am considering mushing some pellets to syringe him too or could this do more harm?
 

flintstones

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As you said your little pig isn't interested I would be inclined to syringe to keep his guts moving until you can get him back to the vets. If his breathing is compromised I would be very careful when syringing feeding to avoid aspirating him. He may well need gut stimulants do you have an emergency vets you can call even if it's just for advice - especially given the antibiotic maybe toxic.
 

biscandmatt

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our vets will use engemycin aswell (specialist vets) - i believe it's fine in the dose you have been given. can't remember who had it with my lot because i get them all mixed up but anyway, i know they use it commonly with no problems. of course, individuals may not tolerate certain meds well so if you think this is the case then let them know so they can change it and make a note on file :)

eta: it's also used for rabbits with respiratory problems.
 

biscandmatt

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i just checked back and it was my rabbit matt who had engemycin, although i think i vaguely remember the vet saying they use it for both rabbits and guinea pigs. he always refers to both usually with me as he knows i have both. should have known it was matt who had it as he went through a catalogue of meds it seemed! anyway, it was for his respiratory problems so i know it is used for those issues (and other issues) and alot of the same meds are used for both species, but never any harm in double checking with the vet if you wanted to :)
 

Wilbur&Otis

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Hi all - thanks for the advice last night. I rang the emergency vet last night and he recommended just giving Otis time to rest & not syringe feeding based on yesterdays diagnosis. I left him alone for a while but he was so lethargic & weak I felt that he was deteriorating so ended up syringe feeding him small amounts of mushed up burgess pellets & water throughout the night.

I was back at the vets with him first thing this morning & he's now been admitted. His weight has dropped since yesterday, his lungs are worse & he's dehydrated & weak. :( It was a different vet this time & he suggested straight away changing the antibiotic & feeding him. He's being put in a nebuliser tank, given a diuretic, painkiller & nourishment. Am relieved that he is now getting proper care and know he has the best chance by leaving him there but i so wish i could stay in the cage next to him - not sure how to concentrate on anything else today I'm a mess.

Anyway - the forum is a comfort that I'm not a nutter being so worried about him so thank you.

Sending healing vibes from home & lots of love to my little buddy - keeping everything crossed for him xxxxxx
 

Abi_nurse

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Sending love. Sounds like he's receiving the right care. Engemycin wouldn't have been my first choice of antibiotics. Even Baytil is actually good for respiratory infections. Oxytetracylin and the like can be used with caution and the patient should be carefully monitored if used. I've only used them in injectable forms on my piggies in extreme cases of longstanding respiratory problems.

Nebulizing is great for respiratory issues. Hopefully this will help.

Hope he feels better soon with some fluids, food and antibiotics.

x
 

flintstones

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Sorry your little one is so poorly, sounds like he is in the best possible hands.

Wishing him a speedy recovery.
 

AmyP&M

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I hope he gets better soon, sending love and healing vibes xx
 
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