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Thread: Constantly sick guinea pig

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    Cavy Slave
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    Constantly sick guinea pig

    My guinea pig has been to the vet so many times in the two years I've had him. Mostly bladder infections. Meanwhile my other guinea pig has been healthy the entire time. Anyway, he's been on bactrim for a while now because he had a bladder infection that kept coming back as soon as I took him off the medicine. I ran out and he got sick again, this time with diarrhea and he's not eating, and the vet gave him Orbax. I gave him that dose today but he's not looking any better and I'm worried he's going to die at this rate. I've been trying to give him critical care and I've given him a little bit, but after he eats some the initial time I stick the syringe in his mouth, he turns his face and struggles hard to get away and not let the food into his mouth. I've also been giving him water with a syringe, since he won't come out of his pigloo to drink.

    Any advice? I'm really worried about him.

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    Cavy Slave linsdunnaway's Avatar
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    Re: Constantly sick guinea pig

    Have you given him any probiotics with his antibiotics!??


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    Re: Constantly sick guinea pig

    I haven't. The vet never mentioned that. What kind of probiotic can I give a guinea pig?

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    Re: Constantly sick guinea pig

    Also, if the problem is no probiotic should I not give him the Orbax? The doctor prescribed the new antibiotic to stop the diarrhea, but if it's being caused by no probiotics is it a good idea to keep giving it to him? I don't want to make him sicker.

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    Cavy Slave LittleSqueakers's Avatar
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    Re: Constantly sick guinea pig

    I always liked to use BeneBac probiotic; it's one that's made specifically for animals. You can find it at any petstore or get it off Amazon. Comes in a powder form and also as a gel in a dosing syringe (I always felt like the gel in the syringe was easier to use). Just make sure you get the one that is for herbivores (it has "for guinea pigs" listed on the label). Another option is to give a plain, human acidophilus probiotic. And the absolute best probiotic -- if your other pig is healthy and not currently on antibiotics -- is to take half of a fresh stool from the healthy animal, mix it with water, and give to the sick pig with an oral syringe.

    Probiotics should be given about an hour or two after each antibiotic dose.

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    Cavy Slave linsdunnaway's Avatar
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    Re: Constantly sick guinea pig

    Definitely use a probiotic!!! Antibiotics can cause pigs to die due to them being strong. I got mine from Petco.


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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Constantly sick guinea pig

    The strength of the antibiotics isn't the reason guinea pigs have problems with them. Some antibiotics are worse than others, sometimes because they're toxic to the pig, sometimes because they totally kill the appetite, sometimes because they kill too much of the gut bacteria, sometimes a combination of all of the above.

    The main problem is that all antibiotics kill a lot of the normal gut bacteria. Guinea pigs have very sensitive digestive tracts, and the loss of that bacteria can upset things to the point that the pig develops GI stasis, and/or bloat, or dies from lack of eating because the antibiotic kills the appetite. The probiotics can help replace that, but using probiotics is guesswork, not science, and sometimes we don't guess right.

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    Re: Constantly sick guinea pig

    So should I stop using the antibiotic I was given? I don't want to make the problem worse. He was already on another kind of antibiotic before which may have caused the diarrhea to begin with. So if antibiotics caused the diarrhea then maybe he doesn't need an antibiotic to get over it and i should just give him some probiotic?

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Constantly sick guinea pig

    What kind of symptoms does he have?

    Did the diarrhea start after the Orbax, or before?

    Did he ever start eating?

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    Re: Constantly sick guinea pig

    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post
    What kind of symptoms does he have?

    Did the diarrhea start after the Orbax, or before?

    Did he ever start eating?
    He's not eating. He sometimes shows interest in eating, like if I put lettuce in the cage. He comes out to look at it and nibbles it a tiny bit (to the point I'm not sure if he actually ate any) but then he hides. The major symptom he's having is that he's having diarrhea and also whimpers every so often.

    Before he was on orbax, he was on another type of antibiotic (bactrim) for his UTI. His diarrhea started up when he was around day 8 of taking the bactrim. The vet said it may have lost effectiveness and also said he would need the orbax to help with the diarrhea. Initially I thought he was acting this way because of the UTI, but I don't think it is anymore.

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    Re: Constantly sick guinea pig

    I think I'd stop the Orbax. He may be having diarrhea because he's not eating enough.

    He's GOT to eat, or he'll die. Guinea pigs secrete stomach acid all the time, not like humans, who just secrete it when they're hungry. That acid will eat painful, possibly fatal, holes in his stomach and intestines, and cause GI stasis and bloat.

    He won't like being syringe fed, and it's called "force feeding" for a reason. But it's necessary, and you'll possibly be saving his life. You're a large human, he's a three-pound pig, and you're equipped to win this battle. See https://www.guineapigcages.com/forum...g-a-guinea-pig for suggestions, and post back here if you have questions.

    Has he been seeing an exotic vet?

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    Re: Constantly sick guinea pig

    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post
    I think I'd stop the Orbax. He may be having diarrhea because he's not eating enough.

    He's GOT to eat, or he'll die. Guinea pigs secrete stomach acid all the time, not like humans, who just secrete it when they're hungry. That acid will eat painful, possibly fatal, holes in his stomach and intestines, and cause GI stasis and bloat.

    He won't like being syringe fed, and it's called "force feeding" for a reason. But it's necessary, and you'll possibly be saving his life. You're a large human, he's a three-pound pig, and you're equipped to win this battle. See https://www.guineapigcages.com/forum...g-a-guinea-pig for suggestions, and post back here if you have questions.

    Has he been seeing an exotic vet?

    He's seen the only vet in my area that sees guinea pigs. They don't really specialize in guinea pigs, but I've called every vet within miles of here and that's the only vet I've found that even accepts guinea pigs unfortunately.

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    Re: Constantly sick guinea pig

    Well some good news - he showed more interest in the critical care this time (I just gave him some more.) Instead of turning his head like he's been doing he cooperated and I was able to give it to him easily. Also when I put him back in the cage he ate a small piece of hay by himself.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Constantly sick guinea pig

    Good! Maybe he's turned a corner.

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    Re: Constantly sick guinea pig

    I have another question. How often should I be giving him the CC? He's starting to look sicker again, I don't want to overfeed him if he's not ready for it but I want to make sure he has food obviously.

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    Re: Constantly sick guinea pig

    The rule of thumb is that a guinea pig that's eating nothing else needs 100+ cc. of Critical Care or pellet slurry for every kilogram it weighs, every day, spread into 6-8 feedings around the clock. Adjust up or down according to the pig's weight, and down if it's eating something on its own.

    If you've got a 1 kg pig, that means 6-8 feedings of 12-15 cc. at a time. I always aim for 20, and am happy to settle for 15.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Constantly sick guinea pig

    I think we made a break through today. He was standing on top of his igloo waiting for veggies, he hasn't been strong enough to climb up there in a while. When I offered the veggies he turned away like usual, so I cut up a very very tiny piece of apple and offered it to him. He ate it, and then I tore the lettuce into tiny shreds and hand fed him for a while. Then he started picking up lettuce by himself and eating it. He's not eating hay or pellets yet though which is still concerning. I hope he'll start eating some today so I can stop syringe feeding him.

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    Re: Constantly sick guinea pig

    Wish I had better news but after the great progress yesterday he took a turn for the worse. Stopped eating again and was shaking hard and straining to urinate. I took my guinea pig back to the vet today. The vet told me to continue giving him orbax. I showed him that I was giving him probiotic too after the orbax and he said to stop giving it to him because it was taxing his system and they didn't need it with orbax. What do you think? I'm really concerned.

    He's also lost a lot of weight since Monday. He went from 2lbs to 1.14 lbs. I've been feeding him critical care every 3 hours (except when I sleep) but it doesn't seem to be helping him retain weight. The vet took an ultrasound today and said his bladder walls were thick from an infection. Anyone else have that issue with their guinea pigs?

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Constantly sick guinea pig

    I think that a probiotic doesn't tax a guinea pig's system, but an antibiotic certainly taxes the digestive tract.

    Has he been x-rayed to see if he has a stone?

    How much critical care are you getting in him at each feeding? And, sorry to tell you, but you need to be feeding him at least once during the night, if not twice.

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    Re: Constantly sick guinea pig

    I try to give him about 5 ml every feeding. But he probably only gets 4 to 3 1/2 in. I go to bed at around 2 and get up at 6 or 7 to feed him then I go back to bed. Is that too long to wait?

    Also he just got an ultrasound and they said he had no stones.
    Last edited by Sakano; 05-03-19 at 05:48 pm.

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