View Full Version : Advice Needed

06-14-08, 12:56 pm
I'm new here. I have a little cavy, Angel ... she's 4 (5 on Oct 28).
Well, my little girl hasn't been feeling too hot the last couple weeks.

On Friday, May 30 - I was doing my weekly cage strip, clean, re-bed and animal health checks (I have a cavy and a chinchilla). I noticed my cavy, Angel was sneezing and had a clear eye discharge/crust. Immediatly I put her in isolation, which ment moving the Chinchilla's cage to another room.
I gave her fresh water, pellets, hay and some apple slices. As I brought the apple slices, I had some for myself - I bit into one and she didn't seem to notice, she just lay there. Usually she sqeaks and demands her food. I started to take notes of her symptoms, water intake and behavior for when I made the Vet appointment. Since it was late (10pm) it had to wait until the morning hours.

Over the weekend, she hardly ate or drank and was dull/lathargic. I made her a Vet appointment ... the exotic Vet wouldn't see her, but I knew a family friend (trusted Vet) was filling it at our usual vet (the one we take our dog to) so I made an appointment with them for Tuesday June 03. I kept record of her food & water intake, as well as behavior and symptoms over the weekend.

By June 03 her appetite had improved somewhat, she was starting to eat little things again like her hay, carrots and apples and she was drinking a bit more. She was still unresponsive to usual sounds (russling bags, biting into carrots/apples, fridge door opening - all of which makes her go nuts in her cage). The vet said she was a big girl weighing in at 2.4lbs and her teeth and temp were good. She said she didn't want to put her on antibiotics at this time because of the risk of that putting her appetite off again. She told me to keep an eye on her and bring her back if she had any weight loss or nasal discharge. Okay, $70 later I'm relieved with unhappy parents.

I continued to watch her, keep her bedding clean and dry and the room a good temperature. I kept a fresh supply of hay, pellets, veggies and weighed her daily.

Over the next 4-5 days I could see an improvemnt in her. She was really perking up, bright eyed and demanding everything from food to attention and seemed back to her normal self. The sneezing had started to decrease and the eye discharge and crust was slowly improving and disappeared for a couple days.

Well, now on June 14 and the last 2 days, there is a slight discharge with a bit of eye crust. She's been sneezing more frequently again and I cannot find anything directly after she sneezes, however I'll pick her up to find a brownish crust on the fur all around her nose. I have yet to weigh her again to see if there has been any weight loss, but she's still quite perky.
I'm currently unemployed ... I'm thinking I should take her back to a Vet and get antibiotics (I think its a Respiratory Infection) but my parents disagree and are fighting me on it, they keep telling me "just keep an eye on her." I've done my research and found a list of safe antibiotics (don't need anything toxic going in her little body!).

What do you guys think I should do? ... this is my baby girl, she means a heck of a lot to me and to loose her would be devistating. I know she's getting older but she's helped me through so many things, I know she has some more years yet. She's more than just a guinea pig to me.

Thansk in advance!

P.S. I'll be weighing her later and I'll edit my post with an update on that. She doesn't seem like she's lost anything.

06-14-08, 02:17 pm
Sounds like a URI Guinea Lynx :: URI (http://www.guinealynx.info/uri.html)
If she doesn't receive treatment then she will more than likely die. Weight loss in guinea pigs is often only a few ounces, which is hard for us to "feel" or see. Best thing to do is print off the URI page and toxic medication page on Guinea Lynx and get her to a vet asap.

06-14-08, 04:07 pm
You're right. You need to get antibiotics for her. The infection will not go away on its own and can quickly develop into pneumonia. Can you argue with the vet who saw her before? Perhaps they will prescribe ABs without having to see her again?

06-15-08, 11:25 am
tiffanyAtt, I have unapproved your post for giving bad advice. In the future, do not post in the medical section on any threads unless you are medically knowledgable about guinea pigs.

06-15-08, 06:57 pm
tiffanyAtt, I have unapproved your post for giving bad advice. In the future, do not post in the medical section on any threads unless you are medically knowledgable about guinea pigs.

I did not mean to give bad advice Im a farm girl and here if you dont have alot of money you give your own med I have saved many animals by doing this and I plan on continuing doing this as long as I can help animals I dont think there is anything wrong with this Im sorry you guys dont think this is aporpeate(sp). I was just try to help!

06-15-08, 07:37 pm
The problem is you can't give guinea pigs just any old antibiotic. When there is a suspected illness, it's not a good idea to self diagnose or self medicate. Your advice could cause the death of a guinea pig and we do not allow advice like that here.

Treating mites at home is one thing. Treating diseases or illness is quite another matter. The advice you gave could end up killing someone's pig. I don't want to see you telling people to go to a feed/farm store and buy antibiotics to give their pigs ever again. I would appreciate it if you'd just not reply to any medical threads from now on if that is the kind of advice you are going to give.

I know you were trying to help but your advice was bad advice.

06-16-08, 06:29 am
My vet got really angry when she found out that I treated for mites at home as a precaution. She told me that the horse paste is not (I can't remember the right word) but it's not the same throughout and you can overdose on that too. She really wasn't happy that I had done that.

06-18-08, 06:43 am
Thank you for the advice.

I would be way to afraid to administer antibiotics to her myself. I know there are a lot of toxic antibiotics and some safe, but I would be way too afraid of over dosing her. Anything that would be given to any other animal I have for something like a respiratory infection would be toxic to her and kill her.

I'm still trying to get her into a vet, the 2 exotis are booked up and don't do emergancy service :/ there are very few of those in the area ... the vet who saw her before travels to different animal hospitals when she's needed. She is sort of family friend and I am trying to see if she'll come look at her and help with the antibiotic thing. That way I can get a proper dosage and get hold of a safe antibiotic. I don't mind giving medications, I know what's safe and what's not ... its just I'd be afraid to calculate a dosage.

I weighed her and she was 2.5lbs so no weight loss. She's still demanding food like normal but one thing that's starting to scare me is the fact she's going through a lot of water in a day and I'm finding a lot of wet bedding around her water bottle, its not leaking, I checked that but I think she's drinking a lot and spilling a fair amount. She's currently in a stable condition, possibly improving just a bit but I'm willing to spend as much money on her as its needed, if only I can get a Vet to see her! Their suppost to call if anything openes up soon, otherwise its not for a couple weeks that anyone can see her (I have to look at my calander again).

07-04-08, 07:36 pm
If anyone recalls my last thread, I had about seeking advice about my cavy, Angel. My 4yr old (almost 5) female Teddy cross.

Well, she did end up back at the vet and they took her in, no appointment needed. I had to settle for a local exotic vet that I wasn't 100% sure about because the other I was trying to get her into would not return calls about booking an appointment, and since its not local I can't just drive there.

This clinic she went to has been amazingly supportive. They took her in, examined her, gave her a shot of antibiotics and started her on a course of oral antibiotics. The only part I didn't like was I couldn't be back in the examination room with her, but I told the staff everything I could and asked very question I could think of (they ran back and forth). Then the next day after starting the course of antibiotics, she went totally off her food and water. She wouldn't touch anything and was unresponsive to my voice & sounds (I make a kissing noise and she squeals). I took her back into this vet and he was great, he immediatly took her off the orals, gave her a nutritonal supplement to replace what she wasn't taking in ... and gave her another injection.

Well its been a couple days now and there is still no real improvement in her. She sits hunched up in a corner of her cage, won't drink, nibbles on some hay and is still unresponsive to sounds. I've been giving her water via syringe every hour, every 3 hours during the night. I've been gringing up pellets and feeding via syringe roughly 3 times a day. Then she gets her supplement twice a day.

I know that half a dropping of a healthy cavy in the water can help rebalance the gut flora ... but I've searched high and low for a healthy pig. Rescues, pet stores and friends. Nothing, no luck. Is there anyone in the Quinte West area, Ontario that can help me out??? ... I know dairy products aren't recommended as they are herbivors but if I have no other options, what are your opinions on that?

Now, I'm running out of options here. I've put so much into vet bills to do everything I can for her, but it feels like I'm getting no where. She's just lifeless, she has her perky moments but it doesn't last long. Euthanizing her has crossed my mind, especially if she's really not improving because being under 18 ... my family just cannot afford hundreds in vet bills for her and not have any change (we're already at $200 in vet bills).

Should I take her back to this exotic vet? or Should I find another vet and see what theyh say or can do? ... or should I really consider euthanizing her.

I feel so lost right now. This is my baby, and I want to do everything I can for her but there are only so much the vets and I can do. I would find the money if I had to, but this is also becoming so hard on me, emotionally and physically (being up every 3 hours in the night to keep her drinking). I'm physically and mentally exhausted.

I'm sorry I can't provide the names of the antibiotics, being as tired as I am its just not coming to mind. Though I can say I had my safe & toxic lists and I was on top of it.

Does anyone have any suggestions for me? I'm out of ideas, but I don't wanna let my baby go just yet. Not unless I have to.

07-04-08, 10:45 pm
What are the symptoms and what did the vet say was wrong with her? Were her teeth examined or was an x ray done?

So she is not on any oral ABs or pain meds right now?

07-04-08, 10:51 pm
I am merging this with your other posts as threads about the same pig and their current medical problems need to be kept together so people don't have to go hunting down previous posts and we can keep everything together. It's a rule to have one thread per pig and to update that thread as necessary.

07-05-08, 07:53 am
She is intolerant of the antibiotics. If you don't have any healthy guinea pigs around, ask the vet for a probiotic gel (the name escapes me at the moment) or give her acidophilus tablets or capsules (available wherever vitamins are sold).

You will have to handfeed her until she eats on her own again, and supplement extensively with the probiotics to try and get her gut back to normal. I don't know how much pellet mash you're getting into her now, but she needs 60-100cc per day. Most people split it up into 4-6 feedings.

P.S. I have to say that it's very nice to see such a mature, responsible, and well-spoken individual your age on the forum. I hope that you will continue to participate and enrich the forum.

07-05-08, 08:14 am
Sorry, I'm still learning to work this laptop of mine and its hard to scroll to find my original post.

07-06-08, 04:11 pm
I have to say, this laptop is becoming very annoying. I did a whole post yesterday to find out today that it did not go through!!! Very frusterating.

First off I would like to thank everyone for their suggestions and support. You've all been amazing and very helpful. I'm not sure what I would have done without it.

Now for an update on Angel.

For the Pellet mash it's been 20cc's (its a 10cc syringe) 4 times a day. The problem with it being ni 6-10 times is how long it takes me to hand crush the pellets and my schedual doesn't always allow for it. I'm doing my best to care for her but I have other animals who also rely on me (a chinnie, a horse and a dog). I feed her in the morning, noon, afternoon/evening and late night. She's getting around 80cc's a day with me.

I've also been making sure she drinks plenty of water. So I also give her water through a syringe every 1-1.5hrs again it depends on my schedual and it may vary because I may not be there on the dot. However I am trying my best and I am making sure she stays hydrated. How much I give her really depends on her, sometimes she won't want much or any at all, while others she wants more (she'll grab the syringe in her mouth and pull on it). so its hard for me to describe an amount, but my goal is keep her from being dehydrated.

I picked up some of those tablets today, stopped at the vet's but they were closed and they are the only local who does exotics. Salana, would I just crush them and add them into the pellet mash when I feed it?? as well, how much should I be giving her of the tablet per day? 1/4, 1/2, a whole?? If that doesn't work I can make a trip to the other exotic vet, their a couple towns over and its a good lengthy drive but it'd be worth it. They are the ones who wouldn't return my calls about booking an app for my girl.
I have yet to weight her again but before her lack of eating she was 2.5lbs I don't think she'd beunder 2lbs if she did loose anything. My mom did something with the scale so I've had to wait.

She's looking much more perky and active today. She's being such a good girl with the syringe feeding. I'm keeping a fresh supply of pellets, hay, grass and Vit C water in her cage. I have noticed her eating the fresh grass and pellets. She has access to both a dish of water, as well as her water bottle and I've been noticing her going to the dish more ... I'm unsure if she's just sniffing it, or if she's acutally drinking but I'll find out tomorrow when I go to change it as I've got a measured amount of what I put in.

Now, I cleaned her cage out as well today and noticed a lot of the poops were very soft and sort of runny. I did noticed some had a clear mucus in them, but they looked older from a couple days ago?? How concerned should I be? I just examined some fresher droppings and their very soft, not much form to them but no mucus stuff. I think this may have been caused by the unbalance of gut flora due to the antibiotics she was on. Still can't think of the name of them though ... shoot... I'll stop in at the clinic and ask them to check for me.

I'm hoping to see more improvement from her. When I waked in (stopped typing to go eat) I did my kissing noise thing and she at least came to the cage to see me and investigate, which is better then when she would just sit there not caring. So I can see my baby is slowly improving.

I really do appreciate everyones advice.

07-06-08, 04:59 pm
She's probably going to the dish more because you have Vit C in her bottle. That does nothing but make the water taste bad to them. The Vit C breaks down too quickly for it to do any good. You really need the tablets or try and feed more veggies that are rich in C.

It is good that she seems to be recovering, but do stop the Vit C in the water immediately.

07-06-08, 07:45 pm
I had Vit C in both, actually. I've definatly taken it to heart though.
Usually I have just plain water and I would just feed her veggies that are rich in Vit C, however when she stopped eating, she wasn't getting that so I was at a bit of a loss. Since none of the stores I visited had any tablets in stock, and not being able to drive that's very few, I had to resort to the drops in hopes that she would get something out of it. Her food does (or it says) has Vit C in it.

I had never had a problem before when I did add them to the water in the past (drops or tablets). I just changed her water, so its plain water now (I change it 2-3 times a day to keep it cool and fresh especially with the heat). I'll try to encourage her to eat some veggies, see how that turns out.

She still seems pretty happy, she's currently snoozing. The little devil pulled her hay/grass down to snooze on it. I started her on the acidophilus caplets, and I'm hoping that will help her improve.

07-07-08, 09:52 am
I have an update for you all...

Last night I decided to let her make it on her own through the night, just because she's been starting to eat and drink on her own, little by little, I really needed the sleep. I did the acidophilus capsule thing before sleeping, along with 20cc's of pellet mash.

I got up this morning and she looked really bright, her cage it right behind my bed so it takes little effort for me to check on her. She gave a big stretch and yawn before doing some jumps around her cage. I changed her water (no more Vit C drops!!) and gave her some fresh pellets and hay. Something in side told me not to do the pellet mash or water by hand - so I took my little pup for his morning walk.

When I got back I got myself something to eat and grabbed some veggies for her, because again, something told me today would be different. YES! I did my kissy noises and bit into one of the veggies and she ran to the cage squeaking. Not as much as she usually would, but we're getting there. She's currently munching on her veggies happily.

I'm still keeping an eye on her droppings, they were really soft yesterday so I want to keep a close eye on that. I'm hoping that it should improve soon. She's definatly getting back to her old self, bright, active and pushy!

07-14-08, 10:06 am
I wanted to post another update. It hasn't been looking so good.

I'm really in a sticky situation with her, and I'm not sure what to do. In a month I leave for college, and because I'm in residence I'm not allowed to take her with me but my parents don't know how, or have the time (their always working) to properly care for a sick cavy.

Angel is eating very very little on her own. She'll nibble on things and then leave them. I don't even know if she's drinking on her own. This has been going on almost 2 months now, and I'm emotionally, physically and financially drained. It just seems as if she's given up, but I'm still fighting for her.

She's getting 60-80g of her pellets (in a pellet mash) as often as I can give it in a day. Usually 4-6 times a day depending on if I'm working or not. She gets 100ml or more of water in a day, all hand fed. I'm still giving her the capulets and the nutritional supplement the vet supplied me with.

I'm going to get her back into the vet so we can discuss options on what to do next. Her symptoms have gotten somewhat worse, the crusty eye is back and she's sneezing more often. So far, no nasal dischage. She has lost weight, I can see it just looking at her. I upped the amount of food she was getting, just to make up for that (I can feel her spine, hips etc! and I feel like such a terrible mommy!). There are little droppings in her cage, but the ones that are there at least its no longer soft/runny, although her behind area is crusty and icky. I'm going to wash that area in a few, try to clean her up a bit.

I have to talk with my mom about it tonight, I'm not legally an adult and I don't get paid for another few days so I'm going to see if she can pay upfront and I pay her back when I get it. The vet will not do a payment plan... so its a sticky situation.

I don't know how much more a vet can do for her. She's even starting to refuse hand feeding (before she would take it no problems). More antibiotics are only going to put her off her food even more, since even the safe ones do have that side effect. I can't afford for her to loose any more weight, she already looks like skin and bones (will get updated weight tonight).
When I take her into the vet I'm going to ask about other forms of treatment (other then your regular antibitocs). So things like; bronchodilators, diuretics, Oxygen therapy kinda thing, that was used on me when I had pneumonia.

I know how my baby girl is feeling. I've been there, I've once had a severe case of pneumonia. The vet says her's is mild, but I'm questioning that. I was the exact way she is now, she hardly moves to greet me at the cage.

IF there is nothing more the vets can do for her, I'm willing to try any form of treatment. If she doesn't improve by the time I have to leave (august 31) then I'm going to consider two possibilties... because I cannot leave her back home with no proper care/educated people.
1. See if the school will take her as a patient, meaning she stays in the Vet Tech wing and continue her treatment using that vet, the VT's and vet assistant's at the school. I can monitor her very closely, and be with her often. I know what's safe and what's not for the cavy's and if she does improve, then I can send her back home under very strict instructions.

2. IF and only if nothing else will work out, I'm going to consider putting her to sleep. It tears me up inside to even think about it, and of course brings me to tears... but I have to think about what's best for her. If she's really not improving after all I can give, I really can't let her suffer.

I feel like a horrible owner for the options I've considered, and for letting her get this sick in the first place. If I had kept a closer eye on her, I could have spotted it sooner...

07-14-08, 10:26 pm
I'm so sorry she is doing so poorly still. It sounds like it's been really tough on you.

You might want to reconsider your decision not to try another antibiotic. Not all ABs have a negative effect on appetite. I had a pig who was resistant (or her infection was) to an AB once so she continued to get worse despite a two-week course. Once the vet figured it out, she prescribed a new med and the pig was fine in no time.

Is the vet sure there is nothing more going on here besides an infection?

Best of luck to you both.

07-16-08, 01:46 pm
We finally have some news.

I took her into the vet yesterday morning (July 15), well, first she went to see the groomer because I had to drop my puppy in for his appointment. Then it was off to the animal hospital.

They took her in again as an emergancy case, however since the Dr was doing a spay, it would be some time before he could look at her. So they administered her and put her in a quiet room. I told them all my concerns, and everything I could think of. I told them she hadn't been drinking on her own, but had been nibbling things (she would willingly eat lettuc). Listed all her symptoms: slight wheezing, sneezing, weight loss and how much lost, lack of appetite, very slight nasal discharge as well as some new ones that had appeared: hunched up position, squeaking during urination, crusty butt area...

I asked them to check her teeth (specifically molars), to give her a thorough examination and to be sure to listen to her lungs. I also mentioned that I would like to know about other options for treating the pneumonia (other AB, bronchodilators, oxygen etc) as long as it means my little girl gets better.

Well, they kept her for the day. They had told me to call around 11:30 and when I did, they asked me to call back around 2:30. This had me worried! They wouldn't tell me anything and I HATED that so much. I don't really like how they do things in there, like I can't go back with her during the examination and the fact they won't tell me whats going on, but its the only "exotic" vet in the area, so do I have much of a choice??

I called back at 2:30 and they told me they had to talk to the vet, and would call me back. Well 3pm starts rolling around, I have to get going for work, and still no news on my guinea pig! So I actually go there... I find out that they had found blood in her urine, and diagnosed her with a bladder infection and gave her AB. I'll go get the name of it in a minute. Well ... I use the Kaytee Soft bedding, and I havn't found ANY blood in her bedding, unless its being absorbed by the bedding. I did look in and notice this morning some urine spots looked odd then a couple others, so I'm guessing yes it was absorbed and thats why I didn't notice?? The vet was on the phone, so the lady at the front desk (a VT) was giving me information, I was hurrying to try not to be late for work - they didn't mention anything about her teeth, or the pneumonia (sp?) ... so I'm guessing that's an "all clear" sign.

Well. She seemed much perkier when I brought her home, she's a very hyper and talkative little thing. She is eating more, but I still have to hand feed her water. I have it calculated out. So, because I worked the night, today AND tomorrow .... I asked my dad to do her AB and Probiotics. I'm staying two steps ahead of this couse of antibiotics lol! Depending on how her appetite goes will depend if I put her back on a pellet mash. She still has some slight wheezing (when she gets real worked up) and sneezing.

When her course of antibiotics are through, I'm going to book her an appointment for a general check-up. Just to make sure she's 100% healthy!

Now, I have some questions.
I read online that crandberry juice (diluted 50/50 with water) can help with UTI's? ... I know this is so in humans, I'm still half alseep so I do not remember the details but I will find the link. I'm skeptical about if it is okay for cavy's as well??

Do you think the vet diagnosed wrong? or that my cavy had both?? Or AB's from treating the URI caused the bladder infection??

07-16-08, 02:32 pm
Sounds very plausible that she could have both types of infection. UTIs don't cause sneezing or eye/nose discharge. Often when there is blood in the urine it isn't visible to the naked eye and only shows up under microscope or with a chemical test- so that could explain why you didn't see anything.

Hopefully the AB will get both infections. What's the name of it?

Good to hear she is eating more on her own. Please keep us updated! I've been following your thread and am really rooting for you both!!

ETA- I wouldn't bother with the cranberry juice. The AB should do the trick. It is safe if it is 100% juice with no sugar added, but in my opinion it's unecessary.

07-17-08, 12:11 pm
I currently feel so irrisonsible!! UGHHH

The AB was Clindamycin hydo something or other. Oh my god I just want to smack myself right now. When I picked her up from the vet I was hurrying so I wouldn't be too late for work, which would look very very bad considering I just started there. I had looked at it briefly but didn't see the "Clindamycin" ... it was in such tiny print. All I saw was the brand name or whatever and just assumed this vet, being an exotic wouldn't perscribe her something that would potentially kill her. Wrong! ... my dad gave her one dose already while I was at work.

"Lincosamides are considered to be contraindicated for use in guinea pigs due to serious gastrointestinal effects, often followed by death. Clindamycin, a semisynthetic derivative of lincomycin, is a common lincosamide used in small animal practice (Plumb (http://www.trentonpethospital.com/library/antibioticsGP.html#Plumb1999), 1999). In a 1980 study, cecal filtrated from guinea pigs inoculated with clindamycin contained Clostridium sordellii toxin or an antigenically related toxin which was lethal to guinea pigs when injected intraperitoneally (Rehg (http://www.trentonpethospital.com/library/antibioticsGP.html#Rehg1980), 1980). In some cases gentamicin may counteract lincomycin-associated enterotoxemia (Harkness and Wagner (http://www.trentonpethospital.com/library/antibioticsGP.html#Harkness%20and%20Wagner1995), 1995)." a referance from the site I use to determine safe/non safe AB's ... Antiobiotc Use in Guinea Pigs (http://www.trentonpethospital.com/library/antibioticsGP.html)

I came home late and already saw a very big, very bad change in her behavior. She did not greet me at the cage as she had been. She did not touch any of her food, and she is not drinking and has since been no improvement. She went downhill very fast and I am very scared right now that I am going to loose my pig, and it would be all my fault for not being more careful.

Of course, she is NOT getting anymore of that antibiotic. After over $200 in vet visits I do not want her dead!! I have lost all respect for this vet, the first time he handed me a toxic AB as well (Cefadroxil but I pointed out it was unsafe and asked for Enrofloxacin but she went downhill with that anyway), last time I was more aware (not rushing to get to work) and asked for a safe AB. Now I'm going back to pay them another little visit because I don't appreciate the perscription of toxic AB's ... they are suppost to be exotic vets and have claimed to have treated cavies before but I'm kind of wondering on that. I'm starting to think otherwise.

I'm going to try to get her an appointment at another exotic vet which I KNOW treats cavies because I use an article on their website for a referance to safe and toxic AB's ... their not local, but I work in that same town (about a half hour drive each way) so I think I could do it. Maybe take her in for a day I have to work, I want to be with ehr when she's examined but it may not work out in my favor that way... I tried to get her in there before but they took too long to call me back. I can stop in there in person tomorrow either before or after work to make the appointment. This is their webpage, do you guys think their cavy savvy?? Trenton Pet Hospital (http://www.trentonpethospital.com)
I don't care how many vets I have to see, but I want this done right. I've lost all respect for the local vet... nice guy, but I'm trying to save my pig, not kill her (I personally think he doesn't know better).

So, I'm going to take another visit back to this local vet and have a polite chat with them. See if they can give me something that's actually safe for her like Bactrim (trimethoprim sulfa; SMZ-TMP; sulfamethoxazole trimethoprim; Tribrissen, Septra). UGH I cannot believe I was so careless.

In the mean time, we're doing the cranberry juice (100% juice, no sugar).
60-100ml water per day, 60-80g of pellet mash per day, and being supplemented excessivly with acidophilus caplets (added to the water). Although I've run out of Vit C, I'm picking up more tablets tonight.

Though , I've got a question ... I have used natural/herbal remedies on horses and on my dog. If I did some research, what is the forms opinions on using a herbal/holistic approach to treating a UTI in a guinea pig?
Now of course, I would go through and thoroughly make sure its not a dangerous plant to guinea pigs but what would your opinions be on this??
I'm not having much luck with vets and perscribed AB's ... there is a cat/dog vet who just opened a practise who uses natural remedies who may be able to help steer me in the right direction, her husband is my equine vet (how I've gotten proper use for natural remedies in horses).
I'm going to do some research on this and see what I find...

Also, what can I do for my piggy because she has gotten a small dose of the toxic AB? well, other then stopping it and supplementing excessivly??

Please keep her in your thoughts... I can't believe I let this happen.

07-17-08, 12:36 pm
I would not use any of the herbal/natural remedies mainly because I would be too worried that they contained something more harmful. I am rooting for you and your piggie. I would bring her to the new vet ASAP. I would also bring a list of the "safe antibiotics" with you. Ask ALOT of questions so you know that the vet knows about guinea pigs.

I hope your piggie recovers. It sounds like you have been fighting hard for her. Please keep us updated.

07-17-08, 01:00 pm
I did a bit of research on it, and the things I keep finding I know are harmful to guinea pigs (I've really studied harmful plants because turns out my front yeard is full of them). The only one I can find, that I have read about used in GP's would be the cranberry juice and that one I also use for myself.

I'm going to try to get her into this other vet as soon as I can. Until then she's under 24/7 close watch and careful feeding and excessive supplement.
I'll keep the updates coming!

I really appreciate the help and support, I get nothing from friends/family on this end of the computer because to them she's just a $20 guinea pig that isn't worth the money in vet bills. My mother and I had quite a few arguments over that one. Thanks guys!

07-17-08, 06:36 pm
*Reads through papered instructions in the Antirobe (Clindamycin hydrochloride) box*

Ahem ... Do vets really learn anything in Vet school? Really, do they??
Under Cautions, number 3

"Because of potential adverse gastrointestional effects, do NOT administer to rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, horses, chinchilla's or ruminating animals."

I mean come on. This is an antibiotic commonly used for dogs and cats, you'd think vets would be educated about the cautions correct? What the heck are they learning in vet school?

Oh they'll be getting a very lovely (not so happy owner) visit from me tomorrow morning, fallowed by antibiotics in hand, with that section highlighted as well as articles printed online about what IS and ISN'T safe for guinea pigs.
I'm also going to be asking for Bactrim and if they do not want to give it to me I will be going else where to get it. I don't care if I have to go to your average cat/dog vet ... I have the diagnosis, her weight and the known antibiotic I need to treat her UTI (bladder infection). I am so upset about this vet, I mean I would rather hear from a vet "I have never treated a guinea pig before" and possibly be referred to another exotic then have them perscribe me something that could be fatal to my baby. You know? What has this world come to...

This has not been a good experience for me, but I have also come out a lot more educated then I went in.

07-17-08, 07:18 pm
You and your baby Angel are in my thoughts. I am so glad you've chosen to educate yourself so well, and realized almost instantly that the drug prescribed would have been fatal.

Keep us updated.

07-17-08, 07:27 pm
Geez unbelievable! It's pretty bad when it even says it on the box! I would be on their doorstep first thing in the AM requesting a safe AB and informing them they will no longer receive my business. Good thing you are so watchful!

07-17-08, 07:55 pm
Argh that's awful! :(

07-17-08, 10:55 pm
I'd take the medication back to the vet and make him/her give you your money back.

There are no herbal/natural remedies that will cure either a URI or UTI in guinea pigs. Need AB's. Cranberry juice can help flush the kidneys though.

07-18-08, 08:51 am
As soon as I get the car (within the next hour) I'm making a visit to this animal hospital. We'll see if they'll swap antibiotics.

I've been getting fluids into her, as well as the supplementing, a pellet mash and blended apple/carrots/Vit C. She's looking a little better this morning. I could hear her moving around her cage this morning, and after coming back form my shower she greeted me (run to the cage and squeak). She had eatten the small bit of lettuce I left in her cage last night, and I added some more fresh veggies this morning. She won't touch any hay, she ends up using it as a bed and soiling it. So I've only put very little amounts in at a time. She also has a small dish of diluted cranberry juice, it probably won't clear the infection itself but it may help.

She will NOT be going back to this vet ever. She is still wheezing and sneezing a tad so I'm going to try to locate a reliable, cavy savvy vet to look at her for that. My guess is that infection was never 100% cleared up. I don't care how far I have to go.

So now I'm locating some good cavy savvy vets. There is one a city over but last time they did not return my call very fast. Does anyone know of very good cavy vets in Kingston, Ontario??

Its about an hour off, but I can get there since close family live there and I will be in college there in the fall. I have to go up soon to drop documents off.

07-18-08, 10:34 am
As soon as I get the car (within the next hour) I'm making a visit to this animal hospital. We'll see if they'll swap antibiotics.

I've been getting fluids into her, as well as the supplementing, a pellet mash and blended apple/carrots/Vit C. She's looking a little better this morning. I could hear her moving around her cage this morning, and after coming back form my shower she greeted me (run to the cage and squeak). She had eatten the small bit of lettuce I left in her cage last night, and I added some more fresh veggies this morning. She won't touch any hay, she ends up using it as a bed and soiling it. So I've only put very little amounts in at a time. She also has a small dish of diluted cranberry juice, it probably won't clear the infection itself but it may help.

She will NOT be going back to this vet ever. She is still wheezing and sneezing a tad so I'm going to try to locate a reliable, cavy savvy vet to look at her for that. My guess is that infection was never 100% cleared up. I don't care how far I have to go.

So now I'm locating some good cavy savvy vets. There is one a city over but last time they did not return my call very fast. Does anyone know of very good cavy vets in Kingston, Ontario??

Its about an hour off, but I can get there since close family live there and I will be in college there in the fall. I have to go up soon to drop documents off.

Since it won't let me edit that post .... This is how it went down.

I just got back from the vet's office. The very nice VT was at the desk, so I explained that my guinea pig Angel had been in on the 15th and diagnosed with a bladder infection and had recieved 2 doses of the clindamycin and has since gone downhill (not eating, unresponsive to surroundings and diarrhea). Then I added I had done some reserch, and read the information sheet with the AB and all the sources came to the same conclusion of its dangerous and should not be administered to guinea pigs and a variety of other species. Then I showed her the highlighted section of that information sheet (I highlighted it so I could find it again).

She told me that yes they had seen that, but when they looked in "their book" it said otherwise and was safe to administer to guinea pigs. I had a look of "Yeah right..." on my face and asked if she could be switched to a different antibiotic, preferably Bactrim. Then she went to get the vet for me to have a little chat with....

So in one of the examiniation rooms, about 10 minutes later walks in this really older looking gentlemen. Now I've been to many animal hospitals and I have never seen a veterinarian dress so ... casually. Anyway, we had a little discussion and he went on to say that clindamycin was one of the most safest recommended antibiotics for guinea pigs, and I should try giving it to her with a couple drops of yogurt. Though if I wanted to they could switch her to another antibiotic but he didn't recommend it seeing as there are so many safe ones out there for them, and that she was probably just very sensitive to the clindamycin. [Okay at this point I'm thinking ... yeah right bud, about 15 sources online, from Veterinary clinics with dozens of referances AND THE INFORMATION SHEET IN THE BOX - ALL say otherwise].

I kept calm, and polite. I just said "I would feel more comfortable switching her to a different antibiotic, like Bactrim." He then asked me if she had ever had Bactrim before, and I replied, "No, she's never been sick a day in her life until recently. However I've been told its quite safe for guinea pigs by others I know who have used it." SOOOO .... their ordering some in for me. The Vet said it wouldn't be in until Tuesday, the Vet Tech said tomorrow. Hm. Not sure who to believe but I'll call tomorrow just incase... I want to get her on this ASAP. He did say he could give me a perscription to go get some myself, but yeah ... I really know how to properly dose a guinea pig, though I'm not so sure he does either.

I sure hope I do not have to pay for this tomorrow, and it can just be a swap. If I have to then fine, just because to get it anywhere else I'm going to have to pay anyway. Though I am NOT going to be happy, and they will not be getting any further visits from me, and I will not be recommending them to anyone either.

Now I did put in a resume and cover letter to this veterinary clinic a while back to volunteer and learn under before I go to school for a Veterinary Technician ... yeaaah sooo not going to happen. If I'm going to study under anyone, I think I'll go talk to my equine vet.

I am exhausted, and very upset. I feel like I've been going around in circles. I also feel as if I am out $200 at this point, its how much I've put into vet bills so far and they all turn out to be ... well I don't think its appropriate to say on this forum but I am very unhappy about the service I end up getting.
I will be very happy when I can finally call my baby healthy.
I am going to stop into the exotic animal hospital in the town over (I work in that area) and see about doing some weekend voluenteer hours in with them. They have information on their site about spay/neutering and AB use in guinea pigs listed on their website, and they seem pretty knowledgable as far as I can tell from their website Trenton Pet Hospital (http://trentonpethospital.com/index.html)

I appreciate everyone's support and advice through this whole situation.
I'm determined to get her better, she was there for me when I was very ill (always laid with me, licked my nose and was great company, gave me something to fight for) and I'm going to do the same thing for her, no matter how much it costs me.

07-18-08, 10:51 am
Can't they just call the Bactim into a pharmacy?...ANY pharmacy is going to have Bactrim. You should not wait. I would call them back and have them call the prescription into a pharmacy. Then you can start your girl on it today!!!

Have them also call in a couple 1cc syringes so you can dose her. (you just pop the needle off...it's really easy...the pharmacist could even do it for you if the needle makes you nervous.

07-18-08, 11:21 am
The fact that they told you to dose it with a couple drops of yogurt... Hello, lactose intolerant! I don't have info on vets in your area, but I would definitely seek out someone better.

07-18-08, 12:51 pm
Oh I don't plan to take her back there ever.
I'm getting the Bactrim from them tomorrow morning and that's that. I will never step foot into that office again. The Vet Tech is amazingly friendly and supportive, but the vets are just idiots.

I would call them back, but I'm just so tired of dealing with them. I feel like I could loose it at any second and it'd be better for me to just walk away, cool down and wait until tomorrow. If I feel calm enough I'll do it in a little bit.
I know I should start her today, or at least the sooner the better (they tell me I have to wait until Tuesday I'll flip my lid).

I do have good news though. Guess what I woke up to the sound of?? Angel drinking from her water bottle! She's currently going back and forth between her pellets and her water. She's quite attentive, everytime I walk into the room she's there greeting me with happy sqeaks. I think its safe to say I don't have to syringe feed her about 100ml water/day! ... I'll still do the cranberry juice solution, and Vit C fed and some pellet mash by syringe but I definatly think she's on the mend. She seems to have really boucned back from the dose she got of that AB, which I'm very happy about.

I'm going to book her an app. with a different vet to get her a general check up, and to specifically have her teeth looked at. The reason being she's excited about her hay, but she's not really eating it, she's dropping pellets and I hear a odd grinding noise when she eats certain foods ... something I've never heard before in the 4 years of owning her. I think there is a molar problem.

07-18-08, 01:00 pm
I'm so glad she is giving you happy wheeks and is drinking water! I hope your Angel is on the mend.

You should keep weighing her everyday and watch the water level to make sure she is drinking enough.

07-22-08, 12:57 pm
Sorry I didn't post an update sooner!

I had gotten called into work right after I posted my last update, so I was un able to get the AB the same day. However Angel is finally on an antibiotic (Bactrim)! Now I still think its too early to see much of an improvement in her, but I'm hoping this will put her on the mend.

Angel is still not drinking frequently on her own, she's drinking and nibbling on food but not nearly enough so she still needs the extra assistance. I'm making up only what she's not taking in on her own (calculated it out). I have to buy a new kitchen scale but so far it does not appear as she's lost or gained anything, which is good yet bad since she has weight to gain back.

The Vet's office told me to administer her 2-3 drops into her drinking water, or directly into her mouth every 24hrs. Hm... I'm not sure what to think of this as they've never administered Bactrim to a guinea pig before.

I went onto Guinea Lynx to their doage calculator. I know Angel's weight is 1.8437lbs and the antibiotic at hand (in CC's) and their recommended dose was 0.5227cc (30 mg/kg) every 12 hours by mouth. OR if calculated by mg's its 25.08mg every 12 hours.

Think I should go by what I calculated on guinea lynx?? That site seems to be more educated then the darn vets are.

07-22-08, 01:14 pm
I would go by Guine Lynx. If you put it in the water, you can't be sure she is geting all of the AB.

07-22-08, 08:04 pm
Post in the medical forum on Guinea lynx. They're dosing geniuses. Putting it in the water is nuts.

08-02-08, 08:54 am
Its taken a turn for the worse, again.

Now that Angel has been off the Bactrim for a few days, her URI symptoms are really starting to show. Crusty nose, crusty eyes, wheezing/crackling lungs ... her sqeak sounds like a carn horn underwatter. She is not eating or drinking and I'm 90% sure her teeth are overgrown now, so that would probably be why. Things seemed better while she was on it, still noticable through the wheezing but not as bad.

I ordered her some Critical Care because she was not eating or anything on her own. I don't know what happened with my Critical Care situation, that SHOULD be here by now. Its not and my cavy NEEDS is.

She feels so limp in my arms, so lifeless... and I feel so helpless. I'm so afraid to wake up and find her dead...

I cannot even get out of bed to make her a pellet mash, I had a severe fall from a horse a couple day ago thats left me with a very sore and stiff my upper back, neck, and a concussion. No one in my family will hand-feed her... she won't let them, she'll fight, bite and run around like there is no tomorrow.

I'm trying to get them to book her in at the new vet's but m y parents don't think she's even ill! and I cannot get out of bed to do it myself. All I have is a laptop sitting infront of me and my ill little guinea pig in her cage at my bedside.

What do I do? I have officially broke down. I think her little system is just too weak to fight anything off anymore, these problems have been going on for almost 3 months now!! I've tried so hard and I don't know what else to do ... I'm running out of money, and that's suppost to be being used to help pay for college so I don't have to take out as much of a student loan. Well that's the money I've been using to pay for all these vet appointments...

I've considered euthanizing.... I don't want her to suffer anymore, its slowly eating away at me to watch her sit there and suffer.

08-02-08, 09:41 am
Do whatever you feel is best Angelgal. I know how hard it is to have a sick piggie that just won't get better. It's very tiring on your part and if you feel she's suffering too much, euthanizing may be the best choice. I'd consult the vet one last time, and unless he was very sure he could nick whatever problem she has in the bud, I'd probably opt for euthanizing as well.

08-02-08, 01:12 pm
It might be worth a shot at a vet who really does know what he/she is talking about since your old vet was clearly quite incompetent. You never really did get a knowledgable opinion.

As far as putting her down, ultimately only you will know what is the right thing to do and when.

08-02-08, 06:44 pm
Oh dear...I feel so bad for you...I'm glad to hear she's feeling better. Good luck to you both. As for the quuestion I just don't know...you'd be better off getting advice from the more experienced members of the forum.

08-03-08, 09:13 am
I decided to give it one more shot and try the vet up in Trenton. She wasn't in Saturday, and their closed today and tomorrow (holiday weekend) but they managed to squeeze her in on Tuesday, surgery day. I'm quite greatful for that. The receptionist suggested Critical Care, which I was very greatful they carried since my order had not yet arrived, if it ever will.

Sadly though I'm fearing the worst righth now. I'm managing to get out of bed to do her hand feedings since my family is quite unhelpful. Its not in any way enjoyable but I'm not quite ready to give up on her.

Angel will not swallow the Critical Care very well, her teeth are overgrown so I think thats why she will not eat or drink on her own. This morning when I woke up she was curled up under her water bottle, I picked her up and she felt very limp. She is not lively at all, I can't even get a noise out of her. She even let me lay her on her back, which is not a good sign IMO since she's usually a fighter about it.

There was no eye crust or nose crust this morning, but I did notice the odd sneeze. I listened to her lungs and could not hear a thing, where yesterday I heard wheezing/crackling and saw the other symptoms. Her breathing is very quick and shallow, and she is not producing any droppings or urine and she is being hand fed Critcal Care and fresh water with the supplement caplets and Vit C tablets 4-6 times a day (more for the water).

I think she may have an impaction somewhere in her little system, but I do not know what to do. I think the only emergancy vet we may have in the area is your regular cat/dog vet. Even the incompetent exotic vet is closed.

I remember this is similar to how my old cavy was shortly before she passed away. So as much as I pray she hangs in there until Tuesday, I'm keeping her by my side so that if she does happen to pass on before then ... she's by her mommy so she knows she is loved very much.
I'm not sure what else I can do for her at this point....

08-03-08, 11:05 am
The last update I have....
I had my mom watch her as I took a shower, and just as I came back she was starting to jerk (seizure) and make odd squeaky noises while spitting out some of the Critical Care.I don't know how long this went on for.... I was getting ready to take her to the local not-so-great exotic vet when she passed on.

At 1pm August 03 Angel passed away, laying on a pair of my pajama pants laying on my couch with me kneeling beside her telling her how its going to be okay and how much I love her.

I thank everyone for your advice and support through this difficult time. Its been very much appreciated. I know deep down I tried so hard.

08-03-08, 11:29 am
I'm so sorry.

08-03-08, 11:30 am
I'm so sorry for your loss. I know you fought long and hard for her to make it. I'm so glad you were with her when she passed. I am sure she knew she was loved and you being there comforted her.

RIP Angel

08-03-08, 11:47 am
I'm very sorry, you tried your hardest to help your piggy get better.

08-03-08, 11:56 am
I'm so sorry. I'm sure she was glad to see you in her last moments. She knows she was loved very much and I'm positive she appreciated all the hard work you did to try and make her better. You were a great piggie owner. There are so many people who would have given up a long time ago, or not even bothered going to the vet.

08-03-08, 02:17 pm
I am so sorry. And sad...because I was really rooting for her too. You did so much for her in trying to save her. Sometimes when there are multiple issues these fragile little bodies just can't take it all. And perhaps it's better for her to have passed now rather than suffer any longer.

Hope your heart heals quickly. You were so good to her.

08-03-08, 08:01 pm
I'm so sorry about little Angel.

After you heal up, body and mind, I hope that you will open your home to more piggies that need homes.

08-04-08, 07:39 am
Thank you everyone for your kind words :) its really been hard and I will be making a special little post for her in the memorial section shortly.

She was very special to me, it was jus it so hard for me to believe one day she was her alert and pushy, squeaky self and the next ... nothing. I cannot get the little cry she made out of my head, it was like nothing I had heard before.

I may take a week off from the forum, just to help get myself together. Its going to be a very difficult time for my Chinchilla as well since he was very attached to her. I think he knows but I need to watch him closly but cannot keep him in my room as I am alergic to him.

I do plan to open up my home and heart to more cavies in the future when I'm ready. I cannot keep away from their adorable little faces and personalities for long.