Where People & Piggies Thrive

Newbie or Guinea Guru? Popcorn in!

Register for free to enjoy the full benefits.
Find out more about the NEW, drastically improved site and forum!

Register
  • ONE THREAD per pig please!
    We really want your pig's history all in one place to help you. Please don't start a new thread for a new issue. Just reply to your old one. We can edit the title for you if needed.

Sneezing Sneezing: Allergies or something sinister?

mgrey

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Apr 1, 2012
Messages
43
We have had our two guinea pigs for about a week. One is around 3 months old (Lucy), the other much smaller at 2 months (Luna).

Luna has had occasional sneezing since we brought her home. She shows no other signs of URI (no wheezing, congestion, eye goo, etc). She eats plenty, drinks plenty, and generally shows no other sign of illness.

My initial feeling is that these are allergies. We happen to live in a part of the country where allergies are year around and terrible. We at first used Carefresh bedding, but have switched to fleece in hopes that her sneezing would stop. It seems to be less frequent, but it is hard to tell.

I have another 7 days to decide if she needs to go to the vet (during which time Petsmart will pay for it). My only concern is having her away for a few days might affect the other piggy. Any suggestions?

Also, while I am posting, she has become a biter. Until today, she would nip lightly, as if testing, but would never full-blown bite or try to claw her way out of our hands, but she has become very against being held. She will bite at our hands or the fleece cloth we are using to hold her. And I mean full-blown bite. So now I am worried that she has something else wrong with her, which is causing her to be very aggressive. Our other guinea pig, a month older, is much more tame when being held. She tries to avoid the initial pick-up, but once you have her, she is content to be held.
 
Please watch her very, very carefully. My baby Mufasa died 15 days after I brought him home, and his only symptoms were infrequent sneezing and a runny nose, but the nose was only slightly runny. I never would have noticed it if he didn't get little bits of hay stuck on it when it dried. Other than the sneezes, which were few and far between, and the bit of nose gunk, he showed no signs of illness and ate like a horse, played and acted fine. Then he developed a click in his breathing and was dead in a little over 12 hours after that. Believe it when you read that piggies go down FAST.

Good luck and I hope your piggy is fine. Since Petsmart would pay, I'd probably go to the vet just to be safe. If I could turn back the clock, I'd have taken Mufasa at the first sneeze.
 
I definately would take her in since she is a pet store pig it is highly likely that she is sick. Also have you double and tripple checked the sex? Pet stores often mis sex them and the males and females are often transported in large plastic buckets together so if they are female the chances of them being pregnant are high as well. NEVER buy when shelter animals die!

Also do NOT take her back to the pet store. They will put her in the back and chances are not get her treated. There are MANY horror stories on here of petco/petstupid where people took them back to the store and they offered to "fix" the guinea pig and then they never hear back or they go back and they say the piggy died or they have gone back and they actually did get the piggy treated but they sold the piggy from under you. They won't pay the bills for a vet they will give you a refund and you will get a different pig. They usually won't treat your pig and give it back to you. Thats too expensive. They will take the pig and leave it in the back room to die.

PetSmart Cruelty
 
I've heard it's extremely rare for a pig to have allergies to hay, pollen, etc. I'm not one-hundred percent sure, though.

My pigs used to sneeze so much when I first got them. I took them to the vet 4-5 times in the first month it worried me so much! Seems like the culprit was dust. I started fluffing their hay outside and using an air purifier. Now they only sneeze once or twice a day that I can hear.

I also recommend, along with keeping a close eye on her symptoms until you're positive, to weigh her regularly. I'm a worry wart all the time about my piggies, and weighing really helps me feel like a confident pig owner. https://www.guinealynx.info/weigh.html

You normally weigh weekly, but weigh daily if you suspect a problem.

I hope her sneezing is not anything serious, and good on you for being observant of her!
 
I definately would take her in since she is a pet store pig it is highly likely that she is sick. Also have you double and tripple checked the sex? Pet stores often mis sex them and the males and females are often transported in large plastic buckets together so if they are female the chances of them being pregnant are high as well. NEVER buy when shelter animals die!

Also do NOT take her back to the pet store. They will put her in the back and chances are not get her treated. There are MANY horror stories on here of petco/petstupid where people took them back to the store and they offered to "fix" the guinea pig and then they never hear back or they go back and they say the piggy died or they have gone back and they actually did get the piggy treated but they sold the piggy from under you. They won't pay the bills for a vet they will give you a refund and you will get a different pig. They usually won't treat your pig and give it back to you. Thats too expensive. They will take the pig and leave it in the back room to die.

PetSmart Cruelty

If I wanted a snarky reply based on my choice to get our pets from Petsmart, I would have made a thread specifically for that. There are NO guinea pig rescue shelters anywhere near us. There are no listings for guinea pigs needing homes within 50 miles of where I live. Would have been better to leave the pigs living in a pet store?

Most of the people on this forum seem very nice and willing to help, but then someone like you comes along and tries to make other owners feel guilty because we made different choices.

I have no doubt that there are pet stores, big and small, that mistreat their animals. However, I don't condemn every Petsmart store because Peta, or other animal rights groups, say I should. This particular petsmart is very nice. The people who work there are knowledgeable and show a lot of care when taking care of the pets (I have seen it). Every time I go in there, people from the humane society are there with dogs and cats that are up for adoption. If there were other animals in the store that are being mistreated, I'm certain that the humane society would notice pretty quickly.

Fact is, I just spent 200 dollars just getting them all the stuff they need to be happy and healthy. I don't have the $$$ to pay a vet already. If they are willing to pay a vet bill, I am not going to complain. I don't believe that the guinea-pig owner who works there would happily take Luna and throw her in the back in "guinea pig solitary" for a couple of days while she is supposedly at the vet.

If you believe that, then good for you. If you think I am a bad person for getting my piggies from Petsmart, you are welcome to that opinion. However, I don't need these sort of replies.

Petsmart is legally bound to send my pig to the vet. It is in their best interest to follow through with that, otherwise risk legal repercussions. Could the store manager secretly be refusing vet-care to pets to save money? Sure. But that is a paranoid assumption, based on no actual evidence. I can't walk through life assuming that everyone is out to kill me or my pets, based solely on what someone writes on the internet.
 
Wow chill out. I was not in anyway snarky. It is not my fault you bought your pet from a pet store. You did NOT need to have a guinea pig right now! If you had come on here before you purchased I'm sure there would have been many of us very willing to help you find a shelter/rescue guinea pig close to your area.

I have over a decade of experience and have heard so many horror stories (even very recently) of people adopting from a petsmart and petco where their guinea pig has gotten sick and they have taken it back. Then a week later when they call to find out how the guinea pig is doing they don't know, or it died before the vet was able to look at the guinea pig or the guinea pig was fine and they adopted it out to someone else. I just didn't want to see you have to go through all that heartache. I was being compasionate towards your love for your new guinea pig.

It is NOT my word alone it the the experiences of many thousands of posts here all the time. It happens way more than people want to admit. Petstupid has your money now and they could care less about what happens to your guinea pig. Its a sad fact of life. Some petsmarts are worse than others. Maybe you will get lucky and your will be better with a young manager who actually still cares about the "merchandise".

But don't expect some people here to hold your hand because you bought a guinea pig. This site is pro rescue and many people here take in too many animals because of the impulse buys. We just want to help you. Weather you take that as being snarky, well that is not my intent! I am just trying to get you the cold hard facts...
 
I told you, there ARE no rescues in my area. Is it so hard to understand that I could do that research on my own? I did a thorough search, both on the net and via telephone calls to local shelters. Unless your idea of a rescue is some person who has fifty guinea pigs in their basement, in which case I'm sorry. I wouldn't adopt an adult pig from someone who has hoarded a bunch of them under the guise of being a "rescue."

You don't agree with my labeling you as snarky? Sorry. But you assumed that I am an idiot who doesn't know how to take care of an animal based solely on your unreasonable opinion that I did a horrible thing by adopting my pigs from petsmart (or petstupid, as you put it). I understand that this is a "pro-rescue" forum, and that is a good thing. But not everyone has that option.

If I am going to get replies like yours every time I ask a question on this forum, then maybe I should find another community to join.

Miss Jean and Mufasa's replies were very kind and actually answered my concerns without talking down to me. I appreciate their input very much.
 
My 2 cents @Onetwo Your reply was a tad snarky "NEVER buy when shelter animals die!" & "But don't expect some people here to hold your hand because you bought a guinea pig" this comment is very snarky. While I agree with adopting/rehoming some
people just do not know about pet stores and reading your posts it was like an attack on the OP.

@mgrey Please do take your piggie in, just in case. If they are willing to pay it wont hurt to see what they say (better safe than sorry) and if you are not satisfied you can reassess and weigh your options.
 
just to be on the safe side i to got my baby from a store .. i live on an island and yes i did not knwo better at that time to check local rescue .. but i have learned and went one just liek everyone else .. we all have the freedom to chose where to get our pets .. and that should not be the issue .. i thuoght this forum was about helping one another .. i hope it stays in that road ..

but anyways enough of the babble .. if the store says they will pay the bill do like i did get there vet info where he or she is located .. tell them to call the vet let teh vet know they have a customer coming to bring the little one in and they will pay whatever the bill is .. i would nto hand my baby back over to teh store .. and when i got my baby i made sure to let the sales person and the manager know exsactly what i would do if wilber gets sick before time .. but he has been good .. he sneeses but i think he is allergic to the cat...lol ..hehe ..is the only time he sneeses .. when she comes close .. or is he trying to scare her away ...lol
 
Thank you, Kananaka and Lawcatt.

I called PetSmart today. I asked them a lot of questions. The store manager thought they might be able to let me take her to their vet myself, but the PetCare manager that I spoke with said they can't do that because if she is sick, they have to administer treatment.

Obviously, I would have preferred to take her to the vet myself. But I asked several other questions (such as the living situation while they are in their care) and I was satisfied with the answers I received.

I did check up on the vet that they use, and according to what I read she is a reputable doctor who has lots of experience treating exotics.

I'm not happy entrusting her care with strangers, but it is necessary to ensure she gets the care she needs sooner rather than later.

I'll keep this thread updated with details.
 
Take her to the vet! Our first pig Lilly. Was from a petstore (We didnt know any better) and turned out to be pregnant this sounds a lot like when we first got her.
 
Thank you, Kananaka and Lawcatt.

I called PetSmart today. I asked them a lot of questions. The store manager thought they might be able to let me take her to their vet myself, but the PetCare manager that I spoke with said they can't do that because if she is sick, they have to administer treatment.

Obviously, I would have preferred to take her to the vet myself. But I asked several other questions (such as the living situation while they are in their care) and I was satisfied with the answers I received.

I did check up on the vet that they use, and according to what I read she is a reputable doctor who has lots of experience treating exotics.

I'm not happy entrusting her care with strangers, but it is necessary to ensure she gets the care she needs sooner rather than later.

I'll keep this thread updated with details.
Thats what petco said to. So we took her to the vet ourself and made petco pay the $50
 
I would not trust a pet store to adequately take care of a sick animal. I am sorry you spent so much that you can't afford a vet visit, but if that is the case, then perhaps you ought to re-think your decision to have a pet. Any pet will most likely require vet attention at some point in it's life, and it's always a good idea to factor that in before making the decision to have a pet.

At any rate, what's done is done. Unfortunately many pigs from pet stores end up having upper respiratory infections, and/or mites. Many pigs have mites and this is no big deal to treat, but the URI can get worse very quickly and cause death if not treated immediately with the correct antibiotics. Many regular vets don't have experience with exotics like guinea pigs. It's good that you researched the vet the pet store will be taking the pig to. You might want to make sure the pig is being prescribed a guinea pig safe antibiotic.

I believe that part of the reason that pet store pigs are so often sick is because of the stress. They are bred in overcrowded conditions, then shipped in plastic carriers long distances. Stressed pigs have lowered immune systems, leaving them open for respiratory infections and parasites.

It would be best if you could find your own exotic vet and have Petsmart pay the bill. They sold you a sick pig, and by all rights should pay the bill. I know that Petco will do this.

Where do you live? Perhaps members here can assist you in finding a shelter or rescue in your area. I guarantee that if there are stores in your area that sell guinea pigs, then there are guinea pigs in your area that need rescuing. Have you tried Craigslist or other classified sites?

I did not consider Onetwo's response snarky. "Never buy while shelter animals die" is a well know slogan for shelters and rescues.

"If I am going to get replies like yours every time I ask a question on this forum, then maybe I should find another community to join."

You are certainly welcome to do so. May I suggest www.guinealynx.info ?
 
I checked this site's listings for guinea pigs. I checked craig's list. I called the city ASPCA and the local humane society. There are no registered shelters for guinea pigs. I really don't understand why this is so hard to grasp.

As for my rethinking buying a pet: I only can't afford the vet RIGHT THIS MINUTE because 7 days ago I spent 200 getting all the proper supplies and habitat. If it were a couple weeks from now, then there would be no money issue.
 
This isn't meant to demean you in any way, but I really recommend setting up a vet fund for future issues. Obviously right now you're broke because you spent oodles on supplies, but some health issues may end up costing more than 200 dollars in the future. X -rays, for example, are quite costly where I go.

I always like to be prepared for the worst. I've been a bit curious about pet insurance, but I'm not sure if it's better than my vet fund at this moment in time.

Be sure to update on her health!
 
Lawcatt509 could you please use proper punctuation, capitalization and spellings? Its a bit hard to read your posts.

Please mgray post your city and we would love to help you find some place to adopt next time. We are hear to help but many of us here pay out of pocket to take in impulse guinea pigs that have become sick, abused, neglected, unloved so it can be frustrating to see someone say that they choose to buy an animal (and supplies) from a petstore. There are always options and many rescue knowledgable people choose to wait for a guinea pig to become available. I personally have always wanted a skinny guinea pig (hairless) they are a very breed specific animal and are very rarely available for adoption only from breeders. Altho I have been tempted to buy from a breeder because I REALLY REALLY wanted one I have held out for 3 years with my names on various rescue/shelter lists. Every penny we give these companies like Petco, petsmart, etc... purpetuates the cycle of abuse. There are 1 million+ animals euthanized every year because they were not fixed, impulse buys, abandoned and what not for various reasons. We are a nation of sloth and greed we want it now and the pet industry feeds into that desire not for the benefit of the species but for profit.

I hope you continue to stay here and read all the great info and the good people. I may not be the fluffiest person here but I know my stuff and I did answer your questions. I am sorry you did not like the answers. They are the truth and I would definately take your guinea pig to someone. Saving up for an emergency vet fund is one of the first things you should do when you decide to get a pet. I recommend $500 per pet because after hour emergencies can be very costly. Please be sure to do your research on local vets. Generally for animals like guinea pigs you want a vet that has specialized in both small animals and exotics. Here is some great info:

https://www.guinealynx.info/vet.html

https://www.guinealynx.info/vetlist.html

Also please keep an accurate weight on the girls and if they gain too much weight be prepaired for a possible pregnancy. These are very common things we see with pet store guinea pigs. We just want you to be aware of possible outcomes. I hope everything does turn out for the better. But just incase I would like your eyes and mind to be open to the possibilities and not have these things come as a surprise.
 
You continue try to label me negatively. These were not "impulse buys." We had been considering a pet for a while, and after deciding against a dog and a cat, we started researching guinea pigs. We didn't buy them willy nilly, as you suggest.

Also, let me get this straight. It is okay for you to take in a guinea pig from a petstore, so long as it was adopted by people who neglected it or got tired of it, but someone like me, who genuinely cares for these two, is the one who is in the wrong? I believe I am the one who saved them from living in a petstore.

I live in Southern Indiana, no where near the vets on that list. It may shock you to know that I am a person capable of doing his own research. Before I took her in, I checked up on the vet they use. She has a lot of experience treating exotic animals, more than anyone else in the area. But of course, that isn't good enough for you. Because you didn't recommend this vet, she obviously must be an evil pet-abuser who can barely treat a dog let alone a guinea pig.

Anyway, enough of replying to you. Your knowledge of guinea pigs may be vast, but you're a judgmental jerk.

For the rest of you nice people:

I took her in. She is now on guinea-pig safe antibiotics. In the morning she is going to the vet, where she will stay in quarantine while they diagnose and treat her.
 
For the rest of you nice people:

I took her in. She is now on guinea-pig safe antibiotics. In the morning she is going to the vet, where she will stay in quarantine while they diagnose and treat her.



I wish you luck with her treatment you sound like a great guinea pig owner. Our pigs came from a pet store as their were no rescues near us. Soon after we got out pigs an SPCA was built about 5 months later. I take great care of them and I am sure you do too! :)
 
Normally a vet bill wouldn't be an issue, even a large one. It was just so close to putting all the money down. But I definitely agree that we need to be prepared in the future.
 
Good luck i hope she gets better real soon .. I am sure it must be hard for you being a new gunie pig owner .. As i am a new skinny pig owner well not that new now but still learning .. i do hope that little one is back home with speedy recovery.

@Onetwo .. you could have imed me in private about my gramer and spelling..Sorry i am not perfect.Others understood me just fine.But alas life gose on and we all take the cloud with a silver lining ..
 
Status
This thread has been closed due to inactivity. You can create a new thread to discuss this topic.

Similar threads

Gugaga pigas
Replies
6
Views
705
Gugaga pigas
Gugaga pigas
timothyhayy
Replies
2
Views
360
timothyhayy
timothyhayy
M
Replies
10
Views
868
bpatters
bpatters
M
Replies
11
Views
662
Anawilliam850
A
Top