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Lethargy Out of ideas on what could be wrong...

MildredandMoo

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My elder guinea pig displayed upper respiratory infection symptoms Thursday night. It was very sudden, she had been out for floor time and snacking the night before. Suddenly she was lethargic, not eating and I could hear stuff in her lungs. We took her to the 24 hour vet and they gave her electrolytes and some antibiotics. Although this has kept her alive for the past couple days, she is not rebounding. Her lungs sound good today but she still doesn't want to eat or drink much. I have been giving her her meds every 12 hours and giving her plain electrolytes through an eye dropper frequently as of last night. I also give her critical care, but she is very resistant. She ate a small bit of tomato this morning, but not in the traditional "I haven't eaten in days" furious guinea pig fashion.

It almost seems like she is giving up on life. Does anyone else know what could be wrong with her and what I could trouble shoot? I spent a fortune at the vet ER so if there is anything I can try at home would be best...so frustrating and sad to watch!
 

pigmommy89

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What antibiotic did they give you? Loss of appetite is common with antibiotics. You absolutely have to force feed her the Critical Care if she's not eating on her on.
 

bpatters

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Ditto [MENTION=31451]pigmommy89[/MENTION]. You HAVE to feed her if you don't want her to die. She'll think you're killing her, but you're not, you're saving her life. She needs 100 cc. or so of Critical Care every day for every kilogram she weighs, divided into 6-8 feedings around the clock.

Guinea pigs are wired to need food moving through their gut at all times, and they'll develop painful, possibly fatal, stomach ulcers if they don't, as well as GI stasis/bloat. See http://www.guinealynx.info/handfeeding.html for how to do it.
 

MildredandMoo

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Thanks! I just gave her more CC now. I forgot to add that it seems she just won't swallow the CC. But if I keep putting some in her mouth hopefully she will just swallow it. I also can't remember the name of the antibiotic but it is the one that seems to be given to us any time a pig needs it: its pink. The other thing the vet suggested was that it was congestive heart failure? Has anyone else heard of this in pigs before?
 

bpatters

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You're not getting it close enough to her back teeth if she's not swallowing it. Put the syringe in the side of her mouth, behind her front teeth and in front of her back teeth. Turn the syringe so it points at her throat, and push it slightly into her mouth so the end of the syringe is right at the edge of her molars. Then give her about 1/4-1/3 cc of Critical Care. If she's chewing, she's swallowing.
 

MildredandMoo

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Ok thanks for being so responsive! I was just afraid of getting it down her lungs if I was too aggressive. In the past my pigs were never this stubborn when having to feed through a syringe! I have been feeding her CC just about every 1.5 hours all day today and I think she is getting a little better. When I went to pick her up, she seemed like she was supporting her body, whereas before she was just going limp. Her lungs still sound clear and her nose isn't crusty, so that is a good sign.
 
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