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Sick Head tilt & balance issues

Kiyisha

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The past few days my husband and I have noticed something wrong with our Nibbles, he seemed to get a poke in the eye and his eye was red and irritated. The next day his eye was a little watery, but no longer pink and as irritated looking, and yesterday it looked perfect, reflective, normal as ever. Today however I had noticed him squinting it, and when I went to check on them and give them their pellets he was standing with a tilt to his left, immediately I went into panic mode and started to freak out, I know how dangerous it is for a guinea pig to get sick.

Trying to cut this short, I have 2 questions. One, should I quarantine? and Two, seeing as it's a holiday weekend it is pretty well impossible to get a vet appointment, I called my exotics vet (who has proven herself AMAZING over the years!) and asked for help, but what I forgot to ask (though I assume if it was of that level seriousness she would let me know that) was if it was something that could actually *wait* until Monday?

I set the first possible appointment at 8:30am, they are open saturdays and sunday's but they are booked this weekend, I could take him somewhere else, but exotic vets are hard enough to find as it is, let alone one I've never met or heard of.

My question to you guys is - with the symptoms he is showing, is it too much of a push to make it until Monday? Even if I don't have a choice, be honest with me, can it escalate quickly? Am I chancing something as dangerous as losing him? I feel at such a loss here. This is the worst new years gift ever.

Short Version:

1. Should I quarantine?

2. Will he be ok until the vet can see him Monday?
 

bpatters

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No, don't quarantine. It just stresses the pig out, and the others have already been exposed.

A dog-and-cat vet can treat eyes pretty well, and it might be easier to get into one of those on Saturday. Just don't let them give him any antibiotics that aren't approved for guinea pigs (no -cillins or -cillin derivatives).
 

Kiyisha

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The problem is I don't want to just take him to a dog and cat vet, we have a very good exotics vet and we don't know what it is, if it's his eye, his ear, some other infection, so I don't want anyone treating him except someone who knows how to treat him.

Thank you for the quarantine advice, I would rather not stress him out further, I am keeping a much closer eye on him today than normal and he seems to be acting fine with the other pigs, though he has fallen over twice. Is waiting until 8:30am Monday impossible? I can try for Sunday, I can call in Saturday when they re-open and try to see if there is any openings on Sunday, but I don't really trust any other vets, I've had some very ignorant vets to deal with in my past ... and my piggies and my bunnies are my family, my children, my friends...They have more living space than I do, I just want to make sure he's ok, and I can't really afford two vet visits because the first one couldn't figure out his problem
 

bpatters

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I can't say whether he can wait until Monday or not. His condition might not change at all between now and then, or he may get much worse tonight. You'll just have to go by how he behaves and how he seems to be feeling.
 

Kiyisha

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Ugh, this is so tough. All vets are closed tomorrow, my husband has to work at 8am on Saturday I just found out, and I can't drive because of physical problems. no matter what I do the earliest I can get him in to a vet is Sunday :( with no vehicle even if I could drive it I just have no way there until Sunday.... I'm trying really hard not to panic
 

Kiyisha

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I literally feel sick I'm so worried :(
 

Saylavi

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If the eye has started to heal, and your vet didn't freak out that you need a sooner appointment when you made the Monday appointment, then he can probably stick it out until then. Keep watch on him, make sure he is eating and drinking, take his weight daily.
 

bpatters

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If the eye has started to heal, and your vet didn't freak out that you need a sooner appointment when you made the Monday appointment

That's assuming that she talked to a vet to make the appointment. That would be very rare -- usually it's the office staff, and they're not equipped to decide how soon a pig needs to be seen.
 

foggycreekcavy

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In cases of head tilt, immediate medical attention is needed.

How is he?
 

SquigglyPigs

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My pig, Nim, had a similar issue this summer. I came home from a 3 day vacation and she had a head tilt. That night, she had a seizure and didn't want to eat and her balance was horrible. I brought her to the vet the next day after calling about 6 offices to see if they treat exotics and are open on Sunday. The vet prescribed antibiotics and said it was most likely an inner ear infection. The next day, her lack of balance caused her to run into something and poke her eye. We went back to the vet after waiting 2 days to see if it improved. Then we got eye drops, more antibiotics, and an additional medication in case she was resistant to Baytril. After about 1.5 months of meds twice a day and force feeding, she was healthy again. Her head tilt is permanent but her balance is back and she's a happy little pig.

I also had the option to wait until Monday since it all began on a weekend, but I'm glad I called around and found a vet open on Sunday. There are more open than you would expect there to be. Head tilts can escalate very quickly in little animals so I recommend doing your best to go to the vet asap.
 

Kiyisha

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I took Nibbles to the vet just a couple days after I made this post, it turned out he has a inner ear infection, and as of last night (talk about a panic attack) it has spread to his eye which is now cloudy and blue, very squinted, the meds they gave me didn't appear to work so he goes back to the vet tomorrow morning to see what is going on, unfortunately that's the earliest we could get him in, I was hoping to fit him today but my husband had to work and I can't drive :(

In any case, we have just recently seperated him from the group, his two brothers were picking on him a lot and he has a lot of scabs on him from bites, the vet said it's normal for him to be picked on, but since he is also showing signs of diarrhea I needed to seperate him to monitor him. I have a great vet so I'm not afraid of her not being able to help, but I'm afraid with the fight his cold/virus whatever it is is putting up to the meds...I just hope and pray the meds and vet visits are enough, I would be lying if I didn't admit that Nibbles was by far my favorite piggy, he's the only one even *remotely* interested in people and snuggles, the other two are happier to be left alone (sad! but I guess some piggies are like that..) but nibbles...he's Momma's little snuggle bug, i love that piggy, I want him to get better :(
 

Kiyisha

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Also ~ All of the advice and information I have posted about talking to the vet was to the actual guinea pig vet that we've been seeing for 2 years, she's a wonderful vet and I trust her with all of my small animals, she did a great job with my buns and every time she took care of the pigs (though none had gotten sick until now) she did a great job, she seems to really know her job and what she's talking about. I don't trust the receptionists to give me the proper advice, so you are correct in assuming I spoke to the actual vet :) as I did today about the eye. This symptom was as new as last night, we discovered around midnight, keeping in mind Nibbles is handled many many times daily it was noticed very quickly. The unfortunate thing is that I couldn't get him in today, but tomorrow morning he will be going in once again to find out what is going on. I honestly think he got a hay poke, I'm pretty generous with the hay, I use orchard grass and Timothy together, but timothy is much tougher and more likely to poke in the eye...and ofc timothy is what Nibbles chose to burrow in lol

I will admit I was sobbing, terrified and shaking last night, after talking to my vet this morning and being assured that it's normal for piggies to get worse before they get better... *facedesk* (ofc the most sensitive animals ever get worse before they get better! and can stay sick for months!!! ahh..can't help lovin them tho...) I'm less freaking out (still worried) but he see's her tomorrow, and I just wanted to let you guys know how he was doing
 
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