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Thread: Is my guinea pig sick or am I just over reacting?

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    Cavy Slave LithiumRiot's Avatar
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    Is my guinea pig sick or am I just over reacting?

    My little piggy has been sneezing a lot lately. She spends a majority of her day in her pigloo, but she's eating and drinking normally.

    She's been sneezing a lot though. I held her for an hour today, and she sneezed around 4 times and this has been going on for a few days. I looked at her nose and it looked clear, so I dont know why she's sneezing so much. I dont think it's allergies, I've been buying the same hay, bedding, and food consistently for a few weeks now.

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    Cavy Slave Zuidy's Avatar
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    Re: Is my guinea pig sick or am I just over reacting?

    Anytime you have to ask "is my Guinea Pig sick" then there is a high chance that they are.

    If she is sneezing a lot, and being lethargic like you described, get her to a vet. Sneezing is tricky to take seriously sometimes-- It is one of those things that happens with every living thing almost. But lethargy is NOT normal in Guinea Pigs.

    Get the Pig to a vet just to be safe. ;)

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner ellisa's Avatar
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    Re: Is my guinea pig sick or am I just over reacting?

    Have you been keeping track of her weight?

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    Cavy Slave LithiumRiot's Avatar
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    Re: Is my guinea pig sick or am I just over reacting?

    I will talk to my mom about bringing her to the vet. I just need to make a really strong case for it, so i need to know the chance of her actually being sick

    And yes, i've been weighing her weekly, and because I've been worried that she's sick, i've been doing it more often. She hasn't been losing any weight.

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    Re: Is my guinea pig sick or am I just over reacting?

    Does your pig have a companion? If not, maybe she's just staying in her house because she's bored or lonely. If you have been weighing her and she's not losing weight, and she seems fine in other aspects, just keep an eye on her.

    I did have a pig that sneezed every time I picked him up!

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    Re: Is my guinea pig sick or am I just over reacting?

    In addition to what everyone else has been saying, keep your ears open for any weird breathing sounds. Pops, clicks, wheezing, gurgling, coughing. All of those are major red flags, meaning you've got to go to the vet right away.

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    Cavy Slave iamsnape's Avatar
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    Re: Is my guinea pig sick or am I just over reacting?

    Quote Originally Posted by LithiumRiot View Post
    I will talk to my mom about bringing her to the vet. I just need to make a really strong case for it, so i need to know the chance of her actually being sick

    And yes, i've been weighing her weekly, and because I've been worried that she's sick, i've been doing it more often. She hasn't been losing any weight.
    My Noah had the same symptoms and he's now on antibiotics.

    I don't mean to sound funny but why do you need to make a strong case before you get take your guinea to a vet? If you suspect they're ill it's important they go in ASAP. Noah was diagnosed with a URI and he was only showing one symptom of it, but apparently his lungs are sounding very harsh. So I have learnt that even though not all the symptoms are there, it's likely the illness is.

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    Cavy Slave LithiumRiot's Avatar
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    Re: Is my guinea pig sick or am I just over reacting?

    I don't mean to sound funny but why do you need to make a strong case before you get take your guinea to a vet? If you suspect they're ill it's important they go in ASAP. Noah was diagnosed with a URI and he was only showing one symptom of it, but apparently his lungs are sounding very harsh. So I have learnt that even though not all the symptoms are there, it's likely the illness is.[/QUOTE]

    It's difficult to convince my mom that someone/an animal is actually sick and needs medical attention. I dunno why. But I should be able to convince my mom to take Sweetie Belle to the vet if she's still like this in a few days

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    Cavy Slave iamsnape's Avatar
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    Re: Is my guinea pig sick or am I just over reacting?

    Quote Originally Posted by LithiumRiot View Post
    I don't mean to sound funny but why do you need to make a strong case before you get take your guinea to a vet? If you suspect they're ill it's important they go in ASAP. Noah was diagnosed with a URI and he was only showing one symptom of it, but apparently his lungs are sounding very harsh. So I have learnt that even though not all the symptoms are there, it's likely the illness is.
    It's difficult to convince my mom that someone/an animal is actually sick and needs medical attention. I dunno why. But I should be able to convince my mom to take Sweetie Belle to the vet if she's still like this in a few days[/QUOTE]

    Ok. It might also be a good idea to explain to your Mum that as guineas are prey animals naturally, they are pretty good at covering up illnesses as in the wild they would not want to appear weak, because the weak ones get picked off by predators first. Hopefully you can get her in soon, the sooner the better really.

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    Cavy Slave iamsnape's Avatar
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    Re: Is my guinea pig sick or am I just over reacting?

    Oh also, I only picked up on Noah's illness cos I listened to his chest and there was a lot of clicking going on - have you had a listen? :)

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    Re: Is my guinea pig sick or am I just over reacting?

    My piggy had this when she was very young. She started out with a horrible URI which was cured by antibiotics. But a few months later I could hear her sneezing again so I rushed her back to the vets and again more antibiotics just to be safe. This happened a few times, now she does sneeze a lot and Ive stopped taking her to the vet for it, I changed her bedding to carefresh which worked well, and try and get hay that isn't at all dusty. She still sneezes and has sneezing fits but she isnt sick so to speak.
    But I ONLY know this because of the 3 or 4 times I did go to the vets and get antibiotics, if this is the first time you should definitely go and get a course of antibiotics, its not too expensive, and at least you'll have some piece of mind after that! URI's can be really nasty, we little spent 3 days up all night nursing her when she was 6 weeks old through it. Having to force feed her antibiotics and food every few hours. Much simpler to deal with it as early on as possible just encase!

    Hope that helped!

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    Cavy Slave LithiumRiot's Avatar
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    Re: Is my guinea pig sick or am I just over reacting?

    Thanks everyone :)

    I listened to her chest and she's breathing normally, but she's still sneezing. I put her out for floor time to see if she'd run around (I was getting worried that all she was doing was laying down in her pigloo) and she just ran around for a bit and then snuggled with a fleece blanket when I put her down for floor time.

    Im a bit concerned again, because when I picked her up to put her back in her cage, she squeaked like she was in pain and then bit me (I was holding her properly) and did this again when I took her out later

    I dunno if she's sick....or injured...I have no idea what's going on and it's freaking me out :/ Maybe im just a paranoid piggy momma. I dunno.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Is my guinea pig sick or am I just over reacting?

    Best thing to do is to take her to the vets, she sounds like she might have a URI. If respiratory infections get bad they turn into pneumonia and there's not really any cure for that!

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    Re: Is my guinea pig sick or am I just over reacting?

    If she's biting you when you handle her, she probably has mites. If you're taking her to the vet for the sneezing, you could have them treat her, but don't let them do a skin scraping for mites. It's very painful for the pig, and returns a 50% negative rate even when the pig does have mites. It's easier just to treat them.

    If she's sneezing that much, you need to get her to the vet to be checked out. Waiting around a few days with a guinea pig that's showing signs of illness can result in a dead pig -- they can hide illnesses until it's too late to help them recover.

    I'd also take out the pigloo and replace it with something with better air circulation. Step stools from the dollar store work well, and have good cross ventilation.

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    Cavy Slave LithiumRiot's Avatar
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    Re: Is my guinea pig sick or am I just over reacting?

    Will the treatment of mites be harmful to my pig if she doesn't have them? And, could I do it myself instead of having the vet do it? (Im taking her to the vet, im just curious in case she gets them in the future)

    My mom said we could take her to the vet on Wednesday, just two days away. I'll keep a really close eye on her until then.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Is my guinea pig sick or am I just over reacting?

    No, treating the pig for mites isn't harmful if she doesn't have them, but she has to weigh more than 350 grams to be treated with ivermectin. You can treat for mites yourself, but you have to be very careful not to overdose the pig. See http://www.guinealynx.info/mites.html and follow the ivermectin links. You can buy pour-on ivermectin, which I think is easier for newbies to use, from This Little Piggie Marketplace, along with the needleless syringes you need to measure it.

    However, your pig still needs to go to the vet for the sneezing. If I had a pig that had been sneezing as much as yours has, I'd have already taken it to the vet, not be waiting another two days.

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    Cavy Slave LithiumRiot's Avatar
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    Re: Is my guinea pig sick or am I just over reacting?

    I would have already taken her to the vet, but it's difficult trying to convince my mother to let me, and because I cant drive and dont have money, I have to wait until she can bring me, and wednesday is the soonest she can. Unless I can get a friend bring me and somehow get money, there's nothing I can do until then but watch her.

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    Re: Is my guinea pig sick or am I just over reacting?

    Update on how Sweetie Belle's doing:

    She's been a lot more active, running around in her cage and during floor time. She hasn't made any noises like she's in pain or biting, and she still havent lost weight, she's actually gained weight (she's still growing)

    She's still sneezing though, and I'm still bringing her to the vet tomorrow to have that checked out and to have her treated for mites. but out of curiosity, should I still be as concerned seeing as her other symptoms cleared up?

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    Cavy Slave Zuidy's Avatar
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    Re: Is my guinea pig sick or am I just over reacting?

    Quote Originally Posted by LithiumRiot View Post
    Update on how Sweetie Belle's doing:

    She's been a lot more active, running around in her cage and during floor time. She hasn't made any noises like she's in pain or biting, and she still havent lost weight, she's actually gained weight (she's still growing)

    She's still sneezing though, and I'm still bringing her to the vet tomorrow to have that checked out and to have her treated for mites. but out of curiosity, should I still be as concerned seeing as her other symptoms cleared up?
    Good that your Mom brought her to the Vets. :)

    I would just keep a close eye on her for any changes in behavior/personality and keep weighing her weekly.

    If anything changes, head right back to the vet ASAP.

    Good luck!

    ;)

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