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reyniamh
03-03-18, 11:28 am
Hi! I'm new to this forum so apologies if I'm posting this in the wrong place. My boar Eddie has started sneezing an awful lot and at times he sounds a little wheezy. I was checking him over yesterday as he was wheezing/rattling quite rapidly and then he sneezed so hard he scared us both, and the sound stopped. I've only had him since November so I'm still quite new to piggies. I'd never heard him sneeze before last week, is it normal for them to do that? Could he be allergic to his hay? I've got him on fleece bedding with hay feeders sitting in different spots throughout his cage and he was fine with the stuff I was buying him before. A couple of weeks ago I swapped it out for a five-a-day hay by the same company and I'm worried maybe it's upsetting his nose or something. Also would they sneeze if they're cold? He's in the living room and normally our house is quite warm but we've just had a snow storm and it's colder than usual in the house.

Sorry for so many questions. If the sneezing gets any worse or if he makes that rattly/wheezing noise again then I'll take him to the vets. I tried calling them already and they told me he's probably fine because he's eating and so he doesn't need to come in, but I'm not convinced.

Guinea Pig Papa
03-03-18, 12:26 pm
A pig can go from first symptoms to dead in as little as 24 hours, so monitoring him is the best thing you can do.

Is there any discharge, either from his eyes, or from his nose? Is the hay you bought very dusty?

reyniamh
03-03-18, 12:29 pm
Oh. Well he's been sneezy for about a week so I hope it doesn't worsen.

No discharge, he's eating normally and is running around like normal, he's quite happy when being handled and is running around on the couch next to me right now. The hay doesn't seem dusty, the only difference that I can see between this hay and they hay I bought him before is that this one is greener and has more dandelions.

Guinea Pig Papa
03-03-18, 12:33 pm
Oh. Well he's been sneezy for about a week so I hope it doesn't worsen.

No discharge, he's eating normally and is running around like normal, he's quite happy when being handled and is running around on the couch next to me right now. The hay doesn't seem dusty, the only difference that I can see between this hay and they hay I bought him before is that this one is greener and has more dandelions.

Do you weigh him weekly? The absolute BEST way to gauge a variety of illnesses in the beginning is that they start to lose weight. Guinea pigs are prey animals, and as such they are hard-wired to hide injury and illness as much as they can, often to the point that it's too late.

If all seems normal, he may just have a reaction to the new hay. Did he start the sneezy behaviour after being switched?

Again, monitoring him closely is the best idea right now.

If he stops eating or drinking, becomes lethargic, begins to lose weight or has a discharge from his eyes and/or nose, get him to a cavy savvy exotic vet ASAP.

(note:guinea pigs do have a whitish discharge from their eyes when they are washing their faces. It is a kind of milky appearing cleaning fluid.)

reyniamh
03-03-18, 12:37 pm
I don't, I wasn't aware that was something I should be doing. (edit: I just realised that I do this weekly for my gerbils so I'm not sure why I wasn't doing it with Eddie). I'll make sure to weigh him today and keep an eye on any drop in his weight.

Yes, the sneezing started a few days after I switched him to the new hay. I'm going to clean out his cage and remove the new hay to see how he is, I've got hay cookies that he's been fine with since I got him. Hopefully the sneezes will stop. I'll take him to the open clinic on Monday to get checked over I think, I'm really worried now.

Guinea Pig Papa
03-03-18, 12:46 pm
I don't, I wasn't aware that was something I should be doing. (edit: I just realised that I do this weekly for my gerbils so I'm not sure why I wasn't doing it with Eddie). I'll make sure to weigh him today and keep an eye on any drop in his weight.

Yes, the sneezing started a few days after I switched him to the new hay. I'm going to clean out his cage and remove the new hay to see how he is, I've got hay cookies that he's been fine with since I got him. Hopefully the sneezes will stop. I'll take him to the open clinic on Monday to get checked over I think, I'm really worried now.

No need to panic just yet. Weighing him weekly, same day of the week and preferably early morning before they eat anything, will give you an accurate snapshot of their weight. All of my boys get weighed around 630-700am on Sunday mornings. I'm up every day at that time anyway, and Sunday is a quiet day for me so I know I can get it done without interruption then.

It could just be that the new hay doesn't agree with him. I don't know about the hay cookies, but the best hay he can get is high quality, 2nd and/or even 3rd cut (if you can get it) western timothy hay.

And lastly, what kind of pellets are you feeding him? Does Eddie have a buddy?

bpatters
03-03-18, 07:51 pm
Here's some recommended reading for new pig owners:

https://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/threads/113176-Information-for-new-guinea-pig-owners
https://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/threads/107827-What-NOT-to-do-for-your-guinea-pigs!