View Full Version : Sick URI help

09-20-17, 03:15 pm
I adopted two young piggies from what I thought was a reputable shelter. We went to the vet today and they both have URl's. I have adopted guinea pigs before and never had any health issues. Now I know how lucky I was. Thankfully, I followed quarantine and my new pigs were kept from my other pigs, so hopefully the illness won't spread. My vet told me that the older one is very sick and may die. The older one received an antibiotic shot because he was so ill. Both piggies are on oral antibiotics, Bactrim, for the next two weeks. What can I do, if anything, to better their chances of fighting this? I am heartbroken. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you.

09-20-17, 03:41 pm
Bactrim for a URI? That's usually given for urinary tract infections, not respiratory ones. Baytril is much more effective for those.

Is this an exotic vet you're using?

09-20-17, 04:05 pm
Yes, I think he went with bactrim because of their ages. They are young pigs, only several months old, approximately.

09-20-17, 04:10 pm
Does steam help? Does a cool mist humidifier help? Or a warm mist humidifier? I am raising a family and have taken care of family members when they were ill. I feel like I should be able to handle a "cold" in a guinea pig, although I am feeling pretty helpless right now.

09-20-17, 04:13 pm
Will the Bactrim upset the flora in his stomach? Should I give him critical care? Or pedialyte? I don't want to sit by and do nothing if I can do something to improve their chances of getting better, however small those chances may be.

09-20-17, 04:29 pm
How many months old?

Baytril isn't usually used with very young pigs, because it stunts their growth. But once they're six months or so, it's no long as much of a concern because their skeleton growth is slowing down a good bit.

Watch to see if they're eating normally, and if they have diarrhea. If they don't eat, you'll need to hand-feed them. If they have diarrhea, you'll have to stop the medicine.

But do give a probiotic 60-90 minutes after every dose of antibiotic.

09-20-17, 04:35 pm
Thank you so much. I will give them the critical care right now. Thank goodness for Abby. I bought critical care as part of my guinea pig supply kit before I adopted my guinea pigs. And, I continue with the critical care for the two weeks that they are on their medication, correct?

09-20-17, 05:09 pm
No, the Critical Care doesn't have anything to do with the medicine itself. It's a food supplement that gets given to pigs when they're not eating their normal amounts.

09-21-17, 10:57 am
So, the boys, Beanie and Bear have both had three doses of antibiotics. I have given them some critical care just in case to make sure they are getting all the nutrition they need. They are so cute and seem fine. I can't believe they are as sick as they are. I have read so many posts talking about how guinea pigs hide their illnesses and now to look at them, you would never know they were fighting for their little lives. Except, for the coughing and sneezing. Can anyone tell me what are the signs that it is either getting better? Or getting worse? Thank you.

09-26-17, 06:26 am
It sounds as if they are fighters. If they are getting worse you will hear crackling/hooting sounds in their breathing, if you are -not- hearing this then that is a good sign.

Things to watch out for: How much are they eating? Are they just laying down/lethargic? Is their breathing very visible (their sides moving in and out rapidly in a very obvious way)?

Signs of healthy pigs: playful, active, eating happily, drinking happily, tolerance of cagemates.

Signs of pigs ill with URI: Lethargy, wheezing, runny nose/crusty eyes, coughing/sneezing, crackles/pops/hoots in breathing, lurching when breathing, flaring nostrils, blue tints around lips, lack of appetite, floppiness when picked up, will not run away when attempting to pick up

The critical care is not a medicine on it's own, it's a tool for guinea pigs that won't eat. It's a specially forumalted food that's very high in fibre, contains vitamin C and is highly palatable so it should, in theory be easy to get into them (not usually the case but if you're lucky they will eat it off a spoon). If they are not eating anything on their own, they need this every three hours, around the clock. if they -are- eating well, then it may not be necessary. Giving it to them certainly won't do any harm, but it can be a stressful experience for all involved. It's always better if a piggy eats for themselves. But if they aren't eating well, then be prepared for constant nursing with Critical Care and syringing fluids.

A probiotic at least an hour after antibiotics can do wonders for their appetites and help maintain a healthy gut while they are on the bactrim. Antibiotics can be rough on a piggy's system so this will really help with their recovery.

Can you tell us a bit more about their current condition? how is their eating/behaviour etc? More detail is always useful.

Try not to panic. URIs are very frightening, but can be successfully treated. Much of the battle is keeping the piggy in optimum condition while the antibiotics are given time to work.

*Edit* Just realised how late my post is on this. I hope they are both better by now.