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URI/Upper Respiratory Infection One of my pigs appears to have a URI and we cannot take her to the vet

Zinniapig

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I own four guinea pigs, two boars and two girls. One of the girls has been showing symptoms of an upper respiratory infection in the recent days. She's still eating, drinking and pooping regularly however her eyes and nose are runny and her breathing sounds odd. The vet we had initially taken our animals to closed about 4 months ago and we have yet to go to a new one. We called a few of the vets in our town and they all said they were limiting new patients due to covid19 concerns. We live in a small town so our options are quite limited. Are there any home remedies for it? OTC medication I can buy online?
 

Guinea Pig Papa

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Unfortunately with an URI there are no home remedies. There are things you can do to ease his symptoms, but if it IS a URI it's critical he sees a vet ASAP. Pigs are prey animals and hide their symptoms, oftentimes until it's too late. By the time you notice something is wrong quite often a pig is already critically ill.

Definitely find a vet who is experienced with exotics. Small animal vet does NOT mean they're qualified to treat guinea pigs and can quite often be dead wrong, pardon the expression. Explain to the vet that you suspect it's a URI and that it's an emergency. They should understand that and make a concession for you.
 

Zinniapig

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I live in a rather small town, there are three vets here with only one that even does anything in relation to guinea pigs, or even small animals in general. The last medical emergency I had was GI stasis with my rabbit and I had to get him through it with no medical expertise at all. I called two of the vets and they both recommended heading to the emergency clinic nearly three hours away. I don't drive nor do I have anyone wanting to take risks for their own health so I had to cut out that option.


There may be no home remedies but would there be antibiotics or something of the sort available for purchase from a veterinary website?
 

Smileandnod

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There may be no home remedies but would there be antibiotics or something of the sort available for purchase from a veterinary website?

You cannot buy antibiotics without a vet/Dr prescription.

But what you could do if you have an established vet is to call them with the symptoms and tell them you would appreciate an antibiotic to pick up if they can't get your guinea pig in now. (It is preferable if they see your guinea pig...which most vet's are still doing despite COVID-19. You wait in car while they take your pet inside for exam without you)

You will need an ACCURATE weight of your pig to get to pick up an antibiotic so they can give you an accurate dosage. A cheap kitchen scale is what I use to weigh mine regularly.

Make sure if you do get an antibiotic to have a probiotic such as Benebac on hand as well to prevent GI issues from developing.

Good luck and keep us updated.
 

Zinniapig

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The piggy entirely stopped eating by April 15th so we ended up making the three hour drive to an emergency vet in a nearby city on April 16th, they said it was in fact a URI and got her on an antibiotic. They also had benebac shipped to us by April 21st, she seemed to be getting better over the days and during a call with the vet he said she should make nearly a full recovery within the next month or so. She was drinking again and had been eating critical care plus small amounts of her regular pellets/veggies.

Despite the recovery she seemed to be making, she suddenly passed during the night of May 4th. It hurts to know that we maybe could have had a better chance if she was brought to the vet when we first noticed her symptoms but I just hope she had enjoyed her 6 years of life.
 

spy9doc

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So sorry for your loss! Times are tough right now and the circumstances sometimes don't permit us to be as proactive as we otherwise might be. Don't blame yourself........these little creatures are fragile and sometimes despite our best intentions and the care that we give me, they just don't make.
 

SSLee

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Thank you for your update and I'm very sorry with all you did, your piggy did not make it.
 

bpatters

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I'm very sorry you lost your piggy.
 
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