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Wheezing URGENT: Worried about heavy breathing and half open eye

HugoLynx

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I got 2 male guinea pigs about 5 weeks old. I got them about 34 hours ago. One of them has deep breathing. By deep I mean you can hear the breathing from a good distance and it's body moves every time he takes a breath. His breathing rate is very quick! Every now and again he would choke on a bit of hay I am really scared he will choke to death!

my other piggie has a weird eye, it is half open and it's other eye is normal. I don't know if this is temp thing or long term?

Is there anything I can do about these things before I go back to the pet shop to get them re-checked?
 

Colorado Cavies

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They both need to see a vet. The first most likely has a URI which can easily become deadly if untreated and eye problems can get bad fast so the other pig should go as well.
 

HugoLynx

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How long can the last without treatment I am unsure how quickly I can get to a vet at the moment. Certainly by Tuesday afternoon I will be able to get there, will I have waited too long?
 

Colorado Cavies

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It's very possible. URIs are VERY serious and can kill in pig in hours of their owner noticing something is wrong. They are prey animals so they hide the signs of illness until they are very sick. If you are seeing so many obvious signs of distress then he could easily die before tuesday.
 

Hhbean

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I agree, they need to be seen by a vet. The heavy breathing worries me, not the choking while eating(several of my piggies eat way to fast and will gag every once in a while). I'm not sure what could be causing the eye problem in the other one, is it crusty or watery? They both need to go to the vet ASAP. I wish I could be of more help but those issues are better left to a vet.
 

HugoLynx

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Oh my goodness! Is there anything I can do to ease the breathing for now, I will be going for an emergency appointment tomorrow morning.

Will he infect my other guinea pig?
 

Piggies_4_Life

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take them to the vet ASAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

Xinaa

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It seems like the other pig already has an URI if his eyes are half shut. I would keep them together so that theres not extra stress.
 

Colorado Cavies

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There really isn't anything you can do. Just make sure they are eating and drinking, you may have to force water if they stop drinking. I am torn on the seperation thing. Normally I could say yes but it sounds like you got them from the same place at the same time so if one has it the other has more then likely already been exposed/caught it. So I would leave them.
 

HugoLynx

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They are ok at the moment, could they have got it from being handled too much? My brother has been handling them quite a bit since we got them I just don't want it to be something that we caused.
 

Hhbean

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When one of my piggies had a URI my vet did suggest using a warm mist humidifier or sitting in a steamy bathroom to help ease his breathing. But in no way was it a cure for a URI, just something to help.
 

madelineelaine

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Can you get them in today? Is there an emergency vet around? Depending how old they are, typical treatment for a URI is bactrim or baytril, bactrim for young pigs. If any vet can give it to you, that's better then none. The pig that possibly has a URI needs it like asap. I'm not so sure about the one with the eye but that isn't good either.

Are they eating?
 

HugoLynx

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There isn't one around at the moment its too late all of them are closed around me, I am hoping to go back to the pet store and vet tomorrow. The one with breathing problems is eating normal like nothing is happening the one with the eye problem isn't eating. It might just be because he is a shy pig and not used to human interaction but I am going to keep an eye on them both.
 

bguardguy

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I agree. They def. need to get to the vet asap! You might have to drive a while to get them there, but honestly it will be worth it in the end.
 

bpatters

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I wouldn't take them back to the pet shop. Depending on the shop, they may or may not be treated, and who knows what kind of treatment they'll get. What city are you near? We may be able to help you find a vet. They do need to be seen today rather than tomorrow if you can possibly manage it.

Sick and mis-sexed pigs are two important reasons never to buy a pig from a pet shop, never mind the horrible conditions they're bred in. I'm so sorry you ran into this with your first pigs -- they're such great animals, and you and they deserve a better introduction to each other. If you ever need/want another one, please look for local rescues or shelters, or even newspaper ads.

Edited to add: Their problems have absolutely nothing to do with your brother handling them, but it's generally better to let pigs settle into a new place before handling them a lot.
 

HugoLynx

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I am going to find a 24 hour one now. I can't believe the shop failed to notice the problems. He did a quick check on them before he took them out. 15 minutes later I noticed the problems I thought they would go away but they where worse then I first thought :(

Edit to add: I had pigs before about 5 years ago but it took me so long to get new ones because I found their 5 year life expectancy too short. I had no trouble with those piggs, they lived a healthy 5 years until one developed a tumour and one died of old age) The pet store I got mine from claims to have RSPCAs around to their suppliers, and apparently they have regular health checks as well. Who knows how much the bills will be, the pet shop did offer a 10 day guarantee on their pigs so if the vet bills seems too much I might just wait another 8 hours for the shop to open and see what they make of it.
 
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foggycreekcavy

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In an emergency situation like this, the pet store should certainly pay the bills since you've only had the pigs a few days. You will have to take it up with them.

The average life span is said to be 5 to 7 years, but I'm finding that pigs are living longer then they used to. I have several seniors in the rescue--three are 8 years old!
 

HugoLynx

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The shop told me that they won't pay for the bill. They are both eating fine. My parents do not agree with seeing a vet since its the shop fault so I think I will be taking them back :(
 

Colorado Cavies

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I am sorry that you might be forced to take them back but I have to say that if you are unable to take them to the vet (no matter the reason, money, your parents or anything else) you should reconsider having guinea pigs. Animals rely on us to make sure they get proper care and if it can not be provided it is not a good idea to have that animal. If they got sick while they were living with you (not the stores fault) would the have allowed you to take him? If you have any doubt that they would then it is not a good idea to get any more guinea pigs. Guinea pigs aren't extremely fragile but they aren't hardy either. They require an exotics vet, a dog or cat vet might not know a single thing about treating a guinea pig. Since they require an exotics vet the vet bill can be fairly pricey.

If you do return them please do not just buy more, look for a local rescue or check places like craigslist.
 

Piggies_4_Life

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Well make sure they eat and drink thats the best you can do foe them. Good thing you're taking them to the vet
 
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