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Thread: My new guinea pig is sneezing a lot, do I need to see a vet?

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    Cavy Slave
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    Question My new guinea pig is sneezing a lot, do I need to see a vet?

    Hello! I hope you can give me some insight to what is going on with my guinea pig.

    So, I have had this guinea pig, Angelica, for a month or so and she has been fine (I got her checked when I first got her because she was sneezing a lot at first). Now, I have a new guinea pig named Eliza because I didn't want Angelica to be lonely.

    Eliza has been sneezing a lot and I just don't know what to think of it. Back when I took Angelica to the vet, the vet told me sometimes when they are coming into a new home the change gives them a small harmless "cold" and sure enough, a few days later, she was done sneezing and now she sneezes about as much as any healthy guinea pig does. Could it be the same thing with Eliza or should I be worried?

    She hasn't shown any other signs of a URI, but I had gotten a guinea pig a while ago who was sick and died three days later, so I am a little paranoid about it. The other thing that makes me nervous is how she isn't nearly as active as Angelica was when I first got her, and she is even younger than Angelica (Eliza is a few months old).

    My mom tells me that she doesn't think I have to worry about it, but with how much she sneezes and then rubs her nose, it makes me uncomfortable.

    Could it just be an allergy or a URI? What do you think?
    (an example of how much she sneezes: today while I was holding her she sneezed four times within five minutes)

    Please help! I would hate to have another dead piggy on my hands, I don't want to lose her. Thank you.

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner MrCavyMadness's Avatar
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    Re: My new guinea pig is sneezing a lot, do I need to see a vet?

    Does she have any discharge coming from her eyes or nose? It never hurts to see a vet, in my opinion.

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    Re: My new guinea pig is sneezing a lot, do I need to see a vet?

    Firstly, what kind of bedding are you using? Sometimes especially dusty ones can irritate little noses. That's not the main concern, though, so -

    I would start weighing Eliza daily, to make sure she's gaining weight at a normal rate for a young pig. Also keep a close eye on her food and water intake, and how much she poops. The main concern with URIs in early stages is the loss of appetite that can come with them.

    It's hard to know her baseline energy level since she's new- I had the same issue when my Theo had a URI as a baby. Does "not as active" mean that she's not constantly zooming around and popcorning? Or does it mean that she lays down a lot and seems very tired? The second is concerning, the first could just be part of her personality. Anything in between is hard to say, but typically young pigs are very energetic, so if she's not, I would count that as a symptom.

    I would (and did) take my pig to the vet at the point Eliza is at, but if she's still eating and drinking fine, she'll probably be okay if you wait a little while while she adjusts to confirm she's actually sick. In my experience, vets are used to people not noticing their guinea pigs are sick until they're on death's door. As long as she doesn't drastically worsen, you could take her in in a week and the vet will be impressed you caught it early.

    You do have an exotics vet, right? I've never heard of the stress of moving giving them a cold, stuff like that is typically stress compromising the immune system, and guinea pigs don't really get colds, just URIs. Angelica's sniffles could have just been her getting used to the air in her new environment, or, again, dust.

    Anyway, good luck! Sorry this is kind of rambly.


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    Re: My new guinea pig is sneezing a lot, do I need to see a vet?

    I was checking for discharge, I didn't see any on the eyes and I don't think there is any on the nose, I couldn't quite tell though. I know sometimes when she sneezes she rubs her nose right after though.

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    Re: My new guinea pig is sneezing a lot, do I need to see a vet?

    I am using this SoPhresh crumbled paper bedding. I'm thinking of possibly changing to fleece if that could be a problem.

    She seems to eat pretty well, I don't see her drink as much, but I have seen her drink some and I think she is getting enough food and water. I will make sure to weigh her every day though.

    When I was saying she wasn't as active, it was the fact that I could really easily get her out of her cage and pet her without her running around like Angelica did (and still does). I mainly got concerned about it because my first guinea pig that died would let me pick him up. I am less concerned about how much she is moving now though because it may have just been the size of the cage. I had put them in a cage from a pet store the first two days after I got Eliza, but yesterday I got the supplies and made a c&c cage, when I put them in it they were both popcorning and making circles around the cage, so I think that is a good sign.

    The vet I went to is not the one I plan to continue going to because I couldn't find on the website anywhere (after I found out about the type of vet you need) what kind of vet he was and I have a feeling he isn't an exotic one. He gave me straw for bedding and someone told me that straw can cause bumblefoot and he also told me my cage I got from a pet store was big enough for one guinea pig (it was not and even I knew that). So I really want to find a good one, but I'm not sure how to find exotic vets in my area.

    Thank you!

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