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Thread: Not sure if I should trust what my vet diagnosed...

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    Not sure if I should trust what my vet diagnosed...

    Hello!

    I adopted my female guinea pigs Winnie and Panda, about a month and a half ago from a pet store before I had realized there were places to adopt foster piggies..

    About three days ago (Saturday), I noticed Winnie started making an air-puffing noise and making a whistling noise while she breathed, which I couldn't tell if it was a sneeze or not, and then I noticed Panda started doing the same the next day (Sunday). I will note though, I am kind of wondering if Winnie has always made this noise while she breathes, I just hadn't noticed until I paid special attention to her because of her air-puffing sounds.

    After doing my research and learning that guinea pigs can easily contract URI's, I took them to the vet yesterday (Monday). She did a check up, listened to their lungs, checked their mouths and noses, etc. She told me that everything looked okay, and made sure I was giving them the proper amounts of vitamin c rich veggies, which I am.

    However, today I can still hear Winnie breathing loudly, if not even a little bit louder, and they're both still a bit sneezy. My vet claimed to have experience with guinea pigs, but I'm worried, and seeing as to how they are very dangerous for them, I'm anxious that they could possibly have URI's and they were just not diagnosed.

    Does anyone have any advice or possible explanations as to what these noises could be if they aren't sick?? I can't tell if I'm just paranoid because I don't want to lose them and I am new to this or if I am right about their illness!

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Not sure if I should trust what my vet diagnosed...

    Those are all signs of a URI, which wouldn't necessarily produce any changes in the lung sounds.

    Is the hay dusty? If you're buying it at a pet store in small bag, it may well be.

    Was this an exotic vet? Small animal (dog and cat) vets aren't trained in the care of exotic pets.

  3. "Thank you, bpatters, for this useful post," says:


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    Re: Not sure if I should trust what my vet diagnosed...

    The hay is from a pet store small bag, and it is near the bottom of the bag, which I noticed was pretty dusty. I ended up throwing that away last night and getting a fresh bag to avoid all of the dust collected at the bottom.

    Yes, she was an exotic animal vet! She had told me she had seen two guinea pigs the day before who both had URIs, that's why I am not sure what to think.
    I want to believe what she has said, but I don't want to risk my piggies' health.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Not sure if I should trust what my vet diagnosed...

    Buying hay in small bags from a pet store is by far the most expensive way to get it, as well as being the worst hay.

    The cheapest way is if you can find a local farmer with long strand grass hay (timothy, blue, orchard, meadow, brome). You can usually get a whole bale for around $10, and even if you wind up having to donate or throw part of it away, it's still way cheaper than a pet store.

    If you don't have a farmer nearby, your next best bet is online from some place like Small Pet Select, American Pet Diner, Oxbow, KMS Hayloft, etc. Even with shipping, the cost will be 1/3 to 1/2 of what you'd pay in a pet store, and you'll get far better hay.

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    Re: Not sure if I should trust what my vet diagnosed...

    Weird new development!
    All of a sudden this evening my younger pig, Panda, stopped sneezing but developed a strong head tilt and began walking in a circle. I was terrified that she was dying, so I ran her up to the emergency vet who gave her a fluid IV because, although she was trying to get up and get water, her head tilt was clearly making it painful.
    The vet concluded that it could have been an inner ear infection, and prescribed oral Baytril.
    Will these clear the inner ear infection? I have heard elsewhere that they need ear drops. Would you by any chance know anything about this? Should just the oral Baytril medication work?

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Not sure if I should trust what my vet diagnosed...

    It's ear drops that won't cure an inner ear infection -- they never get through the ear drum into the inner ear.

    Oral Baytril is the drug of choice for ear infections. Since you got treatment promptly, it's likely to clear up totally, with no residual head tilt. Some pigs will have the head tilt even after the infection is gone, but it doesn't usually bother them.

    However, the Baytril is very likely to affect her appetite, and she's GOT to keep eating. Either get some Bene-Bac and give it to her an hour after every dose of Baytril, or give her poop soup from a healthy pig. If she stops eating, you'll have to hand feed her either Critical Care or a pellet slurry. She won't like it, and you'll both think you're killing her, but you'll have to do it to save her life.

    Here's some recommended reading for you:

    https://www.guineapigcages.com/forum...nea-pig-owners
    https://www.guineapigcages.com/forum...ur-guinea-pigs!

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    Re: Not sure if I should trust what my vet diagnosed...

    Okay, it is a relief to hear that it was the correct treatment, the vet acted like she was unsure about what to do! I'm guessing this was because she was an emergency vet, and although she had experience with pigs, was not an exotic vet.

    This morning her head tilting was almost nowhere to be seen! I'm hoping this is because of her first antibiotics dose last night. Now the struggle is just trying to get her to take it this morning, attempted twice and at the last second as soon as I try to actually deliver the medicine, both attempts she jerked away very quickly, leaving a drop of medicine on my arm each time. I'm hoping that's because she is tasting it, and she at least got some into her mouth. Any recommendations on actually delivering the dosage?

    Thankfully she she still has an appetite, and was excited for her lettuce and a cilantro treat. I will definitely pick up Bene-Bac today anyways and start giving it to her to be cautious. Thanks for your help!

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    Re: Not sure if I should trust what my vet diagnosed...

    Every time I see the word Baytril it makes me shiver. I know it's a wonderful drug, but PLEASE as bpatters has already told you, make sure you give her that probiotic an hour or so after each dose. You can even get the human Acidophilus capsules, if you can't find Bene-Bac locally, ( you usually have to order it online) break them open and sprinkle the powder on some lettuce or other wet veg. Good luck to you and your piggy, I hope she recovers quickly <3. Also, get the Critical Care NOW, it's always good to have on hand just in case, and should be a part of every pigs medical kit IMO.

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    Re: Not sure if I should trust what my vet diagnosed...

    What concerns me about the acidophilus capsules is the dosage, do you have any recommendations?

    She seems to have a normal appetite this morning, but I'm going on the hunt for probiotics in just a few minutes! Hopefully I can find the Bene-Bac somewhere! I will also pick up Critical Care, thanks so much!

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    Re: Not sure if I should trust what my vet diagnosed...

    You need to firmly hold the pig in the crook of your arm, and her head with your hand, so she can't jerk away.

    Baytril doesn't bother some pigs. We'll hope that's the case with yours.

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    Re: Not sure if I should trust what my vet diagnosed...

    the Acidophilus capsules will be easy to find in any pharmacy such as CVS or Rite Aid. Just break the capsule in half and sprinkle about half the amount on a piece of wet veg. Bene-Bac and Critical Care may have to be ordered online. I know I had a heck of a time finding them, so I ended up ordering the Bene-Bac from the Foster Smith site, and the Critical Care I found at a store here called The Hungry Puppy. If you can't find it locally, then you should be able to get it from your vet. If you get the Acidophilus capsules now, you can start with them right away, versus having to wait for a Bene-Bac delivery. I truly hope with all my heart your little piggy isn't adversely affected by the Baytril. I just want you to be prepared, as in our case my Luigi was fine on the Baytril for the first few days, then he stopped eating.

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    Re: Not sure if I should trust what my vet diagnosed...

    Thankfully my local pet store had Bene-Bac! Now I'm just confused as to how I should deliver it. One the back it says to sprinkle on food once a week? I was under the impression it was supposed to be mixed with water or something.

    Would you by chance know?

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    Re: Not sure if I should trust what my vet diagnosed...

    Either way. Whatever's easier.

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    Re: Not sure if I should trust what my vet diagnosed...

    Quote Originally Posted by lauraspiggies96 View Post
    Thankfully my local pet store had Bene-Bac! Now I'm just confused as to how I should deliver it. One the back it says to sprinkle on food once a week? I was under the impression it was supposed to be mixed with water or something.

    Would you by chance know?
    If you're giving antibiotics you should give the Bene-Bac an hour or so after every dose, not once a week. Like pbatters says, it doesn't matter how you get it into him, as long as it ends up inside him. The Bene-Bac I had was in a tube that had pre-measured doses of it in a gel like form, I just used to pop it in his mouth and squeeze out the dose. I think if you put the powdered form on a piece of lettuce you will be able to watch him eat it and know it's all gone in there.

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    Re: Not sure if I should trust what my vet diagnosed...

    Another quick question! This morning as I was delivering the Baytril, I noticed her nose is running now... it's very slight, but I still noticed it during her health check.

    Should I be even more concerned? Or just stick to the Baytril?

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    Re: Not sure if I should trust what my vet diagnosed...

    Every single dose? Even if she has a perfectly normal appetite?

    I'm concerned about giving her too much, I was going to follow what the package said and give it on days 1,3,5, & 7. I put it on her veggies last night and she gobbled it right up!

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    Re: Not sure if I should trust what my vet diagnosed...

    Yes after every single dose its a preventative.

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    Re: Not sure if I should trust what my vet diagnosed...

    She eats her veggies with her housemate, and that's how I've been giving her the pro-biotic (sprinkling it over the veggies while they're wet). Would you by chance know if this is okay for my healthy pig? I didn't think about it until a moment ago, but that means she has been getting pro-biotic just as often as my sick pig.

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    Re: Not sure if I should trust what my vet diagnosed...

    Quote Originally Posted by lauraspiggies96 View Post
    Would you by chance know if this is okay for my healthy pig?
    I can only imagine that it is quite safe. Many healthy humans (myself included) regularly take probiotics for optimal gut health.

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    Re: Not sure if I should trust what my vet diagnosed...

    Ditto @spy9doc.

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