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Sick Sick Piggy? Vet appointment Thursday...... too long to wait?


Cavy Slave
Jan 24, 2012
I have a 3.5 year old piggy who is showing a few signs of a URI, heavy breathing w/little click & dull eyes. He is eating, drinking, pooping & moving around. I just noticed his "dull" eyes yesterday & today noticed the breathing & clicking. I have an appointment for him first thing Thursday (today it Tuesday) morning w/my exotic vet. Is that too long to wait?? I have read horror stories of people's piggies dying overnight from URIs. The vet isn't in the office on Wednesday, should I hunt down another vet who could possibly see him tomorrow?
If you can find an emergency vet that sees exotics. I wouldn't wait on this one.
If you don't have a 24 hour emergency vet near you that can see your piggy, then yes try and find one that can see him tomorrow.
Yes, it's too long. Is there an emergency vet near you that you could take him to tonight? Even if they don't know anything about guinea pigs, you could print off the "banned drugs" list from Guinea Lynx, as well as the pages on care of URIs, and take those with you. The usual treatment is Baytril.

If you'll post the name of the city you're closest to, we might be able to help you find someone.
I live in Knoxville, TN.

If I weren't interactive with him everyday, you wouldn't even notice anything was wrong with him. He is acting so normal. It's just when you look them in their little eyes everyday, you can see a difference. And when you watch real close, he's breathing is faster then normal.
I would google emergency vets in Knoxville, TN, call one and find out if they see Guinea Pigs, if not see if they would be willing to if you provide the info bpatters recommended, if they still won't see if they know of another emergency clinic that would and call them. Honestly, I went through this twice, don't wait.
I used to live in Knoxville. I can't remember the vet I took my pig, Joy, to while I was there but I do remember that the Guinea Pig Rescue in Knoxville recommended him. If the rescue is still there (I think it is), contact them. They should be able to recommend someone.
Good luck!
That rescue is still in Knoxville, that is where I got my Marty actually :)

I LOVE my vet. He is great with exotic small pets. I would really prefer to see him (has all my records etc.) But calling the rescue lady tomorrow is a really good idea. See if I can get him in with that vet tomorrow.
Please keep us updated! Crossing fingers and toes and sending good thoughts.
I got him in first thing this morning. He has pneumonia & was dehydrated. His temp was normal (could be a good sign) still eating, still getting around. He got a fluid treatment & antibiotics, the nnext 48 hours are critical. Say a little pet prayer from him please.
Glad you were able to get him in. Sending prayers!

Does anyone know the causes of pneumonia in these guys by the way?
It seems pneumonia is caused by a handful of things. Drafts in the room, stress, environment. My only guess with Marty is stress?? I'm really bot sure. He is still responsive this morning, not eating or drinking as much as I would like. If by this afternoon he's going back for a fluid treatment tomorrow.
Pneumonia is only caused by viruses or bacteria, not drafts, stress, etc. Pigs who already have the virus or bacteria may actually develop the disease because their immune systems are compromised for some reason (drafts, stress, etc), or simply because they have enough of a viral or bacterial load that the immune system can't ward the disease off. Given that many viruses and some bacteria are airborne, it's a wonder more pigs don't get sick.
Ah that makes sense. So he may have had the virus/bacteria all along, & his immune system may have lowered allowing it to bring on the pneumonia? The vet was telling me so much I was just trying to file away the most important info. I'm just really hoping he pulls through this. As long as he stays somewhat active & eats some I'm keeping my hopes up.
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