View Full Version : URI/Upper Respiratory Infection Preventing URIs?

06-11-13, 06:06 pm
Hello everyone!

I know this question is a bit mainstream, but I was wondering if anyone knew of preventative measures that can be taken to avoid URI? I have done a lot of research on the subject (as it is the most common cause of death in guinea pigs) and so far I have found that the best ways to prevent URI are as follows:

-Changing bedding frequently (1-2 times per week)
-Moving hideys and pigloos around daily so they dont sleep in areas where they urinate
-Quarantine new guinea pigs for at least 2 weeks (ideally 3-4)
-Provide plenty of Vitamin C mostly through veggies, high quality pellets, hay, and supplementing Vitamin C dosage with pills, oral syrups, etc.
-Reducing stress in guinea pigs when possible
-Washing hands when sick or after handling sick pigs/other animals
-Keeping them away from drafts and maintaining room temp between 65-75 degrees F

I basically need to know if there are any other means of preventing URI aside from what I listed. Thanks so much!

06-11-13, 10:27 pm
Looks good to me.

06-11-13, 11:38 pm
Duly noted! I spent a lot of dough on my girl recently. Unfortunately for my pocketbook, my gp doesn't fair well with antibiotics and there's not a lot of choices in antibiotics for URI in gps. She got GI stasis while on it for a week and had to be handfed every 2 hours for 10 days until she got better. I tried doing it myself one night and found I got 0 sleep so I sent her to her doc's house to do. $150/day for handfeeding and stay. So I sure hope this was the last time! Ikes!

06-12-13, 02:38 am
Some other things:
-Avoid the use of perfumes in or around their cage (non-scented laundry soap if using fleece, no air freshener things, keep them out of the laundry room where there are perfumes and possible frequent changes of temp/humidity)
-Do not burn things around them (incense, wood fireplace or keep them in the kitchen where they're exposed to strong scents or burnt products and other aerosols.
-If you have other pets make sure you keep them up to date with their vaccinations, particularly bordetella/kennel cough since bordetella from dogs can cause a URI in GPs. Even if your dog is non-symptomatic it could still be contagious and pass to the GP. Its also hard on the dog. I'm not sure if human bordetella/whooping cough is transmissible to GPs but you might as well make sure you've got your shots for that anyway (you should have gotten it since its a common vaccine, but recently some people haven't been getting it, despite it being a serious disease in humans, particularly for kids).
-Avoid the use of cedar shaving and potentially pine shavings

One alteration to your list, a GP getting a good quality pellet and proper fresh food doesn't need vitamin supplements, in fact you're probably better off not doing that. Adding it to water can cause them to drink less because it tastes yucky (bad) and the vit C degrades quickly anyway so its loose-loose. Its also an unneeded stress to try to force it on your GPs. Vitamin C isn't stored in the body and so excess vitamin C is just excreted so there is no point in overloading them (though it also makes it a safer vitamin). While on the topic of vitamins, other than vitamins B and C (which are water soluble) the others are fat soluble and WILL stay in a GP (or your) system and should NOT be given/taken in excess because they can cause health issues.

06-12-13, 06:05 am
As mentioned above, Upper Respiratory Infections are most commonly caused by the coccobacillus Bordetella Bronchiseptica. Rabbits, dogs and cats can be carriers of Bordetella, it is known to commonly colonize the respiratory tracts of a range of different species of animals.
Please also note that human bacterial infections can be passed on to cavies.

A few other things that can help prevent URI's are..:
-Using an open cage (Like a C&C).
-Using a hay bag. (All the dust falls to the bottom of the bag, leaving the good stuff on top).
-Using a non-dusty bedding (Like fleece).
-Do not spray any aerosol cans/strong fragrances around your pigs.
-Using good quality non-dusty hay.