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URI-Need help


Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Apr 8, 2005
On June 22, I awoke to a odd sounding breathing coming from my girls cage. My husband and I figured out which one it was and got her out. While I was holding her for a while she soundind like she was really congested. But there was nothing coming from her eyes or her nose. After about 5 minutes of holding her she let out a healthy sneeze. It was so loud I screamed and nearly dropped her on my lap (I was holding her up at the time examining her eyes and nose for discharge). As soon as she sneezed she sounded fine.

I continued to hold her for a little bit and she sounded 'normal' again--no congestion sound. We then weighed her and she did lose about 26 grams from the day before (good thing we had just weighed her the day before since we only do that about every 4 days). I made the decision to keep an eye on her since she no longer sounded congested. She ate just fine throughout the day and by evening had put on about 10 grams from the morning weight. The babies must have been in heat because she was even humping them and running after them.

All throughout the weekend, all was fine. She ate alot and put on all of the weight plus a little by Monday when we weighed them all again. Yesterday she was eating, drinking, playing with the others just fine. Then about 430 pm I heard this strange squeaking sound. I just knew from the sound it was coming from one of them breathing. So I immediately thought of her again and got her out after supper to give things another look. Wouldn't ya know it was the same one.

So I called the vet and they squeezed us in between other visits. The vet was unable to really hear anything too unusual with the stethescope but she was able to hear that her breathing was a bit raspy sounding for lack of a better term. She said that she was probably getting a URI but it was too early to tell. Then she sneezed twice while we were there. So she said we would go ahead and get her on antibiotics rather than wait and take the chance on it being too late. She advised me to seperate her from the others which we did last night about 930.

Ok...so I think I did the right thing but I have major concerns this morning. While I was catching up here, my son informed me that she hardly ate any of her veggies last night or her hay we gave her. So I went down to check on her and all she ate was the Cilantra off of the top. No peppers, not lettuce, not fruit even. And she is usually an excellent eater. Last night we did give her some hay and she did nibble on it. So I quickly weighed her and she has lost 26 grams again since Monday and 18 of it was just overnight. She did pee overnight in her litter box, but not one little poop out of her.

She does however sound great. Not raspy breathing or no congestion sounding. No sneezing. Could the antibiotics have created this change this quickly or did I catch that something was wrong before she really started to feel badly. I do have critical care already on hand to feed if the weight continues to decline throughout the day.

Any other suggestions or advice?? I am also really worried that she could have already infected my other pigs and three of them are babies -- only 7 weeks old. Am I worrying too much? Did I do the right things? Is there anything more I can do? Sorry this is so long.
I would say the antibiotics probably did the change. She'll be back to normal soon, I would just let her get used to the antibiotics. But you should, if she doesn't eat hardly anything, force feed her a little bit- though I don't know if that's necessary right now.

I am not sure if your babies could have been infected already, but you should ask your vet if you should bring them all in. Better safe than sorry. For some ODD reason, my guinea pig did not catch URI from his cage mate, and his cage mate had a big case of it. But Chubby was never affected, but URI's ARE contagious so just talk to your vet and see into it. She might of not have been far along enough to infect anyone.

You did the right things, taking her to the vet and putting her on the meds. Good for you for catching it so early!
The antibiotic she is on may be too harsh for her gut flora. Make a probiotic like healthy poop from another pig or there are probiotic powders.

If it is working, I wouldn't switch, but your vet may know more.
And if she isn't eating hardly anything still, you need to get some additional food into her so that her digestive system won't shut down.
Ruby, I did ask the vet about the others being infected and she thought it would be too early to know. she said that I should just keep a closer eye on them and that if they are going to get it, I will probably know within a few days.

I did see her out earlier eating some of her pellets and it appears that she has eaten a little bit more of her hay. I also noticed a few more spots of pee in her litter box and about 12 poos which looked perfectly normal. I am thinking that maybe the antibiotic has just upset her tummy a bit but am still watching her closely. I should have not problem getting a healthy poop from the others.

I normally give them a huge plate of veggies in the evening which are normally gone by morning. I think with her I will give a smaller plate this evening and then in the morning if it's gone I can give her more. At least that way I won't be wasting alot as feeding 5 gets a bit expensive. I would rather feed her smaller amounts more often than end up throwing most of the plate full away. Does that sound like it would be an ok thing to do or will she get to hungry? Also, I don't know about messing with their normal routine.

Ly, I am definately monitoring her closely and definately will get some critical care into her if need be. I will weigh her tonight after bible school and try to get some into her then and then again before I go to bed. Thanks!!!

I can definately tell she is lonely and missing her buddies. She just lays around looking bored and sad. Poor girl.
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