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Thread: Vet has no idea what's wrong. coughing-no fluid in lungs, otherwise healhty

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    Cavy Slave ciaraelise's Avatar
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    Question Vet has no idea what's wrong. coughing-no fluid in lungs, otherwise healhty

    Chester has gone to the vet twice now in the last month. The first visit he was diagnosed with an uri and was given hi-vite drops (which he absolutely hated and made his fur sticky and eventually he torn off the sticky fur- OUCH!) and an antibiotic for his uri- sulfamethoxazole & trimethiprim. I gave him the antibiotics for 16days, two doses a day (9am and 9pm) of .3mL via syringe.
    Throughout his medicine cycle he has become more active and lively again. But he will have fits of lethargic behavior. chester is VERY active so when he doesn't care able food or floor time its a huge red flag. I vroguth him to the vet again and she promised me the uri was gone and he had no fluid in his lungs. He seemed healthy and clear of symptoms to her but he is still aggressively coughing and sneezing. Unfortunately he didn't cough when the vet was around for her to hear it. She said his urine, eyes, nose, coat, and temperament seemed great but that a consistent cough could mean a few things...
    -something in his lungs
    -allergies
    -or residual effects from a particularly bad uri.

    I'm very worried. Chester has on and off wet and mushy stool(but that cool be from extra wet lettuce on the occasion). And a cough that just won't stop. He coughs at least a few times each night. I just witnessed another fit and it was horrible however it seemed much less labored than when he was diagnosed with a uri.
    My very decided to treat him like he has allergies and to go about day to day life as if I have a very sensitive pig. I was out his bottles and bowls at least once a day and throw out any food that sits between feels(pellets) And remove and sort of dust that could be agitating him. I also have to take cage cleaning to an extreme and as I'm still using aspen bedding in my smaller cage before I finish my C&C with fleece, I am supposed to take out any areas he pees in. We have children's benydryl on hand and give him .2 ml as needed(per day) without exceeded three days at a time. He also had a water bottle with a Gatorade dilute. He absolutely loves it and drinks far more now.
    I am hoping to finish his c&c cage this week and move him into it with only fleece bedding.

    What could I be doing wrong?
    What other needs should I attend to?? He has fresh veggies daily with oxbow pellets and unlimited clean timothy hay with one water bottle and another Gatorade dilute bottle. Along with a hidey, clean cage, and lap/floor time.
    Am I seeing an adequate vet?

    I am completely out of ideas for my baby. I wanted to adopt a friend for him and move him into his bigger cage sooner but his vet bills just keep rising. Our vet said the next thing to do is get x rays to see what's going on inside him but being that they are 230/xray I won't be able to afford that for another months or more after his other vet bills.

    Please help, any words of advice are welcome. I've tried to pack all of my information in here but if I've missed anything please comment!!!

    Chester is a store pig, assuming he is just over 6montjs old. He has gained .17 Kg in three weeks and now weighs .61Kg (1.34lbs). He coughs frequently but without fluid in lungs and is otherwise very healthty????

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    Cavy Slave 4cavies's Avatar
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    Re: Vet has no idea what's wrong. coughing-no fluid in lungs, otherwise healhty

    Maybe it is the timothy hay. Is it very dusty? I had a pig that would sneeze every time he went anywhere near his hay rack, with an occasional cough, until I swapped the timothy for Orchard grass from smallpetselect.com. It is definitely not as dusty as the timothy was and he has had no problems since.

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    Cavy Slave 4cavies's Avatar
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    Re: Vet has no idea what's wrong. coughing-no fluid in lungs, otherwise healhty

    Oh, also, is he being seen by an exotic/small animal vet? Your usual run of the mill vets typically don't know very much about pigs.

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    Cavy Slave ciaraelise's Avatar
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    Re: Vet has no idea what's wrong. coughing-no fluid in lungs, otherwise healhty

    Quote Originally Posted by 4cavies View Post
    Oh, also, is he being seen by an exotic/small animal vet? Your usual run of the mill vets typically don't know very much about pigs.
    Yes I made sure she was able to take small animals and she does have other guinea pig patients too.

    I'll swap put his hay today and see if that's it!

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Vet has no idea what's wrong. coughing-no fluid in lungs, otherwise healhty

    It's more likely residual infection from the URI. What she gave him is bactrim, which is much better suited for a urinary tract infection, but is rarely used for respiratory infections because it isn't as effective against those organisms. Sometimes a vet will put a young pup on bactrim because baytril can stunt growth, but at six months, he's plenty old enough for baytril.

    Just because a vet says they see guinea pigs doesn't mean they're qualified to treat them, unfortunately. If I were you, I'd look for an exotic vet. That's different from a small animal vet -- small animal means they see dogs and cats as opposed to horses and cows.

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    Cavy Slave ciaraelise's Avatar
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    Re: Vet has no idea what's wrong. coughing-no fluid in lungs, otherwise healhty

    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post
    It's more likely residual infection from the URI. What she gave him is bactrim, which is much better suited for a urinary tract infection, but is rarely used for respiratory infections because it isn't as effective against those organisms. Sometimes a vet will put a young pup on bactrim because baytril can stunt growth, but at six months, he's plenty old enough for baytril.

    Just because a vet says they see guinea pigs doesn't mean they're qualified to treat them, unfortunately. If I were you, I'd look for an exotic vet. That's different from a small animal vet -- small animal means they see dogs and cats as opposed to horses and cows.
    I've been looking around for decent exotic vets but there doesn't seem to be any reasonable one around me and the weather is subzeroe right now-poor little guy had both of his emergency vet appointments one days we had over 12inches of snow falling. Do you think when I get in contact with an exotic animals vet I should see him immediately or is he okay for another few weeks. He doesn't have any nasal discharge and isn't sneezing so much. Still coughing though.

    I also moved him to my c&c today with fleece liners instead of paper bedding or aspen shavings. I am hoping that will help keep him warm and free off dust.

    Thank you so much for this post, I feel more comfortable that I'm not being a neurotic pet owner

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Vet has no idea what's wrong. coughing-no fluid in lungs, otherwise healhty

    If you google "exotic vets cleveland ohio" (without the quotes), you'll get several hits for exotic vet clinics.

    They'll be more expensive, but your pig should get better care, and you won't be wasting money on a vet and medicine that's inadequate to do the job. But if he's coughing regularly, I surely wouldn't wait several weeks. Guinea pigs can go downhill in a big hurry.

    I hope the fleece helps.

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    Cavy Slave ciaraelise's Avatar
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    Re: Vet has no idea what's wrong. coughing-no fluid in lungs, otherwise healhty

    Thanks guys I really appreciate your replies!

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