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View Full Version : URI/Upper Respiratory Infection Help! Piggy dying from URI?



piggy_mom
11-28-14, 07:33 pm
Hi, i am new to the forum, i joined just a couple minutes ago and i am FREAKING out.

My male piggie Buster who i had for about a month is very ill. Our piggy vet is closed and i just don't know what to do.

I noticed his symptoms yesterday, but the vet was closed on Thanksgiving. His symptoms are: wheezing, not eating to drinking much (i'm currently syringe feeding him water and pellet mush.) very little feces, Labored breathing, puffed-up fur, and lethargy/hunched posture. i looked it up and it seems he has URI witch needs to be treated by a vet (who is closed until Monday!). Right now he is just very weak, not wanting to do anything or move, laying on his side, and shows very little interest in food. He is also a little cold, and i wrapped him up in a blanket with a warm water bottle beside him. I am very afraid he is going to die before the vet is open after 3 days. I do not have a emergency guinea pig hospital near me. I listened to his lungs and heart with a stethoscope i had, and his breathing and heartbeat is irregular. He is in a 2x4 C&C with a cage mate Alex. I was also wondering is URI contagous? thank you for your help!

P.S. He will be 1 year old on December 13, just in case you needed his age.

prettynyguen
11-28-14, 07:44 pm
hi, I am sorry to hear about your guinea pig. I do not know much about URI's but I found this article and it says that URI's are highly contagious.

http://animals.pawnation.com/uri-contagious-guinea-pig-guinea-pig-1711.html

piggy_mom
11-28-14, 07:45 pm
Edit: he can barely stand on all fours, when i try to get him to stand up, he just flops back down on his side. Please help!

piggy_mom
11-28-14, 07:46 pm
So should i seperate them? the thing is, i don't have an extra cage to put the other guinea pig in. I do have a small box, but it is really tiny.

piggy_mom
11-28-14, 07:51 pm
Never mind, i found a larger box to put the sick piggy in, i will also be washing everything the piggy came in contact with like water bottles, food bowls, etc.

bpatters
11-28-14, 07:56 pm
piggy_mom, there's no need to do all that. prettynyguen is mistaken that URIs are very contagious. They can be transmitted to other animals, but not easily, and there's absolutely no need to freak out about it. Your other pig has already been thoroughly exposed to whatever your sick pig has, so what you need to do now is watch to be sure that he doesn't show any signs of illness.

Your pig needs a vet. There's nothing we can do for him, and he needs to be seen. If you'll post the name of the city/state you're closest to, we'll see if we can help you find a vet that will be open tomorrow.

piggy_mom
11-28-14, 08:00 pm
i don't think he will make it until tomorrow. ;(

bpatters
11-28-14, 08:11 pm
Then post your city/state and we'll see if we can help you find an emergency vet.

piggy_mom
11-28-14, 08:14 pm
Even if you find a emergency vet i have 3 children under the age of 3 who are sleeping and no one is home but me so i can not leave without a adult in the house to watch the kids.

piggy_mom
11-28-14, 08:31 pm
I'm sorry if i sound like i really don't want to take my guinea pig to the vet, honestly i really do love my guinea pig.

piggy_mom
11-28-14, 08:46 pm
11/28/2014 @ 8:30 PM Central Time. Buster Fluffyhead crossed the rainbow bridge in my arms. There are no words to explain how sad i am, i am crying on my keyboard as i type this. Buster, you were my first guinea pig, and even if i only had you for a month, i felt like we had a special connection. I will miss your cute face, and the way you squeaked for treats, and the way you ran up to the front of the cage when you heard the lettuce bag rustling. i will always cherish the moments we spent together during cuddle time. you will always be in my heart forever.

aqh88
11-28-14, 09:53 pm
I'm sorry but it wouldn't have mattered if you found a vet today. He was too far gone. Losing body heat, lack of any response to handling, and no attempt to at least cushion their own weight while falling over again usually means death within hours. Only full supportive care and iv antibiotics like are available for humans would keep them alive long enough for the meds to work. Prey animals hide illnesses very well. You need to be very observant. One suggestion if you aren't already is to weigh them at least weekly. A drop in weight is often the first symptom of an illness. Handle your other pig every day to look for normal alertness, reactions, and breathing. Just watching them in a cage may take them from looking normal to death's door with no warning unless you do a lot of direct watching for normal behavior throughout the day.

Juliebbby
11-28-14, 10:13 pm
So sorry for your loss ):

143sheri
11-28-14, 10:21 pm
I am so very sorry for your loss. I have tears typing this.
What actually causes piggies to get a uri in the first place?

Soecara
11-28-14, 11:12 pm
I am so very sorry for your loss. I have tears typing this.
What actually causes piggies to get a uri in the first place?

When inside of appropriate conditions (like the warm moist environment of an animal, or the warm moist environment provided by our food when not stored properly - this is how food poisoning happens) bacteria multiply. Not all bacteria are bad, but some are. When these bad bacteria get into it's ideal environment they split in half, then the two resulting bacteria also split in half and so on. A single bacteria can bloom into a population of over 500,000 in less then eight hours.

The way the bacteria affects the body is determined by the type of bacteria it is, most bad bacteria release off a toxin which is what causes the symptoms experienced. The toxin is the reason spoilt food can not just simply be cooked to kill off the bacteria, as the toxin is still present even after cooking.

When a bacteria is not in it's ideal conditions it goes into a dormant state (which is why they can be found everywhere), but bacteria can still multiply (much much slower) even when not in 100% ideal conditions, which is why refrigerating food only slows down how fast it spoils but freezing food is much more affective.

143sheri
11-29-14, 12:15 am
So...jeeze...how do you prevent it?

Soecara
11-29-14, 01:12 am
So...jeeze...how do you prevent it?

Practice hygiene. Keep their environment as clean as you can (ie. poop scoop at least once a day, twice if possible. Do a full cage clean at least once a week, especially if using fleece. Wipe down the cage base with a water vinegar mix.) Wash your hands before handling them, ideally before handling their food also. Keeping them inside also helps as their immune systems will work better (just another benefit of keeping them inside), as outside they would be subjected to a wide range of temperature and humidity changes.

Also keep in mind you can never 100% prevent URI from happening, so you need to be prepared to take them into a vet if they start displaying symptoms.

pinky
11-29-14, 04:29 am
You also have to consider the size of cage to the number of guinea pigs. If there's a smell, the cage should be cleaned. The absorbent lining under fleece and regular beddingcan become a breeding ground for bacteria if it's not laundered enough/cleaned out enough. The guinea pigs are exposed to whatever conditions we keep them in. We can walk away from a dirty cage but they can't.

143sheri
11-29-14, 11:09 am
Great! Thanks for the great info. What about trying to smell the pellets. Would their be any funky smell to watch for? Also, i just put together a 2x7, with pellets under two layers of fleece. I havent put them in yet because i just got two peruvian boars. YAY!!!!!!! They are still a little scared, so i didnt want them to be even more freaked by such a large area. I also have a teddy boar. I dont want to put them together yet until i know nobody is sick. Im just so paranoid that one will get sick because ive waited for years to get a peruvian, so i dont want to lose them. Im so in love with them already.

bpatters
11-29-14, 03:30 pm
You don't need two layers of fleece. That just defeats the purpose of fleece. A single layer of fleece should be in contact with an absorbent layer below, and the fleece will wick the moisture through to the absorbent layer while staying dry itself.

If the pellets have a strong pine odor, don't use them. Don't use cedar. The pellets should be kiln-dried unless they're hardwood. If you can't tell from the packaging, email the manufacturer and ask about them.

Lewis3265
11-29-14, 04:33 pm
Please take him to a vet. I had a guinea pig who died last March from that after I had taken her to the vet and got her meds. She suffered with this problem too long. It is hard for them to breathe. Maybe the vet can take care of it early enough to save your piggy.

LoveMyHerd
11-29-14, 06:28 pm
Lewis3265, Buster passed away yesterday evening.

mom4ruby
11-30-14, 01:21 pm
[emoji252][emoji174][emoji22] May you in peace Buster... Say hi to my Cinnamon Roll & my Abby... Both lost to the dreaded URI. I know your pain all too well. *HUG*

piggy_mom
11-30-14, 02:09 pm
Thanks Mom4Ruby, Sorry about your Cinnamon Roll and Abby. *Hug back*.

143sheri
11-30-14, 03:52 pm
You don't need two layers of fleece. That just defeats the purpose of fleece. A single layer of fleece should be in contact with an absorbent layer below, and the fleece will wick the moisture through to the absorbent layer while staying dry itself.

If the pellets have a strong pine odor, don't use them. Don't use cedar. The pellets should be kiln-dried unless they're hardwood. If you can't tell from the packaging, email the manufacturer and ask about them.

Thanks! I will remove the other layers. The bag says hardwood. Ive actually used these years ago when i had texels.