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Specialist What's wrong with my guinea pig? - Persistent congestion with clear lungs?

Laurenroe

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I just got 2 guinea pigs from a friend of mine who couldn't keep them anymore. 1.5 year old Clyde came to me with what I thought was clearly an uri, so I made sure to keep him away from the 2 piggies I already had. Immediately I took him to the exotic pet care clinic and the doctor told me that it could be allergies but prescribed Clyde Baytril anyway. He took that for a week and at his recheck I let them know that nothing had gotten better, his breathing had even gotten worse to the point where I can hear how congested he is every time he breathes, but he is still eating and drinking normally. They did an inspection on him and found out that he had mites, did an injection for that, and had me start giving him children's Benadryl. It has been 2 more weeks and nothing has changed with him. Yesterday I took him to the vet and they did a lung xray on him and told me that everything came back fine and did not give me any more meds for him. So now he is worsening but has no more antibiotics. Also, his brother Captain was caged with him for 5 months prior and doesn't have any breathing problems, I have an appointment to check him for mites as well as my 2 original pigs. I just want to know if this could be anything other than a uri? Could the mites cause this? I have no idea what conditions they were kept in before I got them. The doctor hasn't been very helpful in finding out what's wrong with him. Also, how can I get rid of his congestion? (I'm currently looking for a new exotic pet vet to take him to as well)
 

Bill & Ted

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Sorry no experience of this but hope he gets better soon x
 

Elthysia

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Hi, it sounds like a very stubborn uri which may need different antibiotics or it could potentially be a heart problem but the lung X-ray may have flagged this if there were fluids around the heart. Fingers crossed for stubborn URI. I don’t think mites cause this but they can lower immune system.

More experienced users may be able to point you to the names of the antibiotics to ask for or in the meantime have a look at the other uri/breathing problems threads.

Good job on all the treatment and investigations so far, you’re clearly a very caring owner. Good shout on treating all pigs for mites as they probably will have them but may not show if their immune system is ok. They’ll just keep hopping back to your sick piggie otherwise.
 

Wiebke

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I just got 2 guinea pigs from a friend of mine who couldn't keep them anymore. 1.5 year old Clyde came to me with what I thought was clearly an uri, so I made sure to keep him away from the 2 piggies I already had. Immediately I took him to the exotic pet care clinic and the doctor told me that it could be allergies but prescribed Clyde Baytril anyway. He took that for a week and at his recheck I let them know that nothing had gotten better, his breathing had even gotten worse to the point where I can hear how congested he is every time he breathes, but he is still eating and drinking normally. They did an inspection on him and found out that he had mites, did an injection for that, and had me start giving him children's Benadryl. It has been 2 more weeks and nothing has changed with him. Yesterday I took him to the vet and they did a lung xray on him and told me that everything came back fine and did not give me any more meds for him. So now he is worsening but has no more antibiotics. Also, his brother Captain was caged with him for 5 months prior and doesn't have any breathing problems, I have an appointment to check him for mites as well as my 2 original pigs. I just want to know if this could be anything other than a uri? Could the mites cause this? I have no idea what conditions they were kept in before I got them. The doctor hasn't been very helpful in finding out what's wrong with him. Also, how can I get rid of his congestion? (I'm currently looking for a new exotic pet vet to take him to as well)
Hi! Have the vets checked the chest cavity for a build-up of fluid there? He may need a diuretic and a scan, and if necessary heart medication.
If the congestion is in the nose/throat, then a pinch of bisolvon powder from the vets will help to thin the mucus in order to drain it.

Alternative problems could be bordetellosis (a chest infection), which is mainly transmitted by dogs with kennel cough. It is generally fatal for guinea pigs. It may be something to consider if your guinea pigs have been in contact with a dog.
Dogs, Kennel Cough And Guinea Pigs - An Important Consideration.

Please also note that not every antibiotic will work with every respiratory issue. lab testing for another antibiotic may in this case be the way forward.

Has your vet also considered an allergy/sensibility to hay dust, pollen, house dust, dry radiator air, air conditioning, air fresheners, scent sticks, perfumed human skin products and laundry detergents?

The mites are not cause but complication - normally mange mite eggs present in the skin are kept under control by a fully working immune system. If that is compromised through illness or stress, then the mites can make an appearance. But you always need to treat all piggies in contact with an effected piggy with three rounds of good quality ivermectin at the product specific interval.
Dogs, Kennel Cough And Guinea Pigs - An Important Consideration.

We have got a recommend UK vets locator on the top bar, but can provide a link to recommended vets in some other countries. We could help you more easily if you please added your country, state/province or UK county to your account details (via clicking on your username on the top bar). This makes your location appear with every post you make and allows us to tailor any recommendations to what is available and relevant where you are straight away instead of keeping the advice as general as possible. We have members and enquiries from all over the world, from very different climates, access to vets and rescues, different brand names and backgrounds. Our default advice is UK based.
Thank you!
 
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