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Thread: URIs and Weight Loss in Senior Guinea Pigs - When is it time to give up?

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    Cavy Slave
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    URIs and Weight Loss in Senior Guinea Pigs - When is it time to give up?

    Sorry, this is a long one. Background - Pumpkin and Crabapple are about 6 years old. They had been classroom pets their whole lives. They were in too small of a cage, on very dusty aspen bedding, and absolutely hated each other and were always fighting. When the teacher said she had to get rid of them at the beginning of this month, I gladly stepped up and took them in with the intention of finding them new good homes.

    They are now in separate cages and on fleece. They're noses and eyes were running heavily and they were always sneezing, but once separated and on fleece they improved. I took them to the vet, who prescribed 2-3 drops baytril for 10 days. This didn't seem to help much, they still coughes and sneezed and Crabapple still had a runny nose.
    I took them back into the vet. Pumpkin weighed 100 grams less, and I had noticed he felt like skin and bones. We took an xray, nothing strange there. The vet said he didn't want to give any more antibiotics due to possibly that it could hurt the guinea pigs gut, and that I should just keep their cage as clean as they can.

    I'm not sure what to do... I could go to an emergency specialty clinic that would probably be able to diagnose them better, but that would be very expensive. They already old guys... And I'm not sure if I should really spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars when they might just live a few more months regardless. Does it make me a bad guinea pig owner to think that way?

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    Cavy Slave Smileandnod's Avatar
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    Re: URIs and Weight Loss in Senior Guinea Pigs - When is it time to give up?

    It was very kind of you @rustiscool to take in Pumpkin and Crabapple and try to improve their living conditions right away.

    Did you take them to a Cavy Savvy exotics vet?

    This is important because most small animal vets do not have the knowledge to assist guinea pigs effectively and around me you would be wasting your money on the emergency vet clinic because there aren't any exotic vets on staff there.

    There are other antibiotics to use if Baytril did not do the trick the first time around for an URI. I would insist on another antibiotic or perhaps a longer course of the Baytril. Also use a probiotic (such as Bene-Bac) when using an antibiotic to help ease the gut issues that sometimes come along with antibiotic use.

    There are effective treatments for an URI that will not cost you an arm & a leg, so don't get discouraged, but please give it another try with a knowledgeable exotics vet who is cavy savvy.

    Good luck to you, Pumpkin and Crabapple!! Please let us know how things go.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: URIs and Weight Loss in Senior Guinea Pigs - When is it time to give up?

    They have been switched onto Doxycycline by a more cavy savvy vet. Pumpkin has made an amazing recovery, but Crabapple has made a turn for the worst. His breathing is now very heavy and labored, and he sounds like he's in pain as he breathes �� I think I'm going to have to euthanize him, and I feel awful. I feel like a failed him.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: URIs and Weight Loss in Senior Guinea Pigs - When is it time to give up?

    Could the vet prescribe some nebulized meds? They can tolerate much stronger antibiotics through nebulization than they can orally. I've had mine on gentamycin several times, and a couple of times on gentamycin and a steroid.

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