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Uri

  • Thread starter Love_my_piggies
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Love_my_piggies

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Hi all,

I was wondering if anyone knew what causes a URI ? As some of you may know, I had a little girl piggy pass away right before Christmas and she had a URI. At the time, I had one other girl and she was perfectly fine. I have three guinea pigs now and thought that one of them (I adopted her almost two months ago) was pregnant...she gained weight steadily, had the pear shape and I could hear and feel what I thought were babies. I took her to the vet this morning because she hadn't eaten since yesterday morning, and was having labored breathing while sitting in the same place for a few days. Over the phone, they thought it was her just getting ready for birth. The vet told me that she was not pregnant. She said she had a URI and that something else was making her stomach become extremely enlarged. Here is a thread with pictures of her (broken link removed) ....(scroll down to the middle for pictures) can you belive she's not pregnant? I can't imagine whats going on. The other two girls are perfectly fine. I don't know what I would do if I lost another one. I couldn't take it again. Anyway, I just wanted to know if there was something in my apartment that could be causing it? Or could it just be the girls are coming to me sick? I am beating myself up because I am afraid that it is something I did, but I don't know what?!?! Like I said, the other two are fine and are healthy. Please help me figure this out.
 

suzy_99

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I know that guinea pigs are very susceptable to URI's, but I mostly heard of them getting them from bad bedding, such as cedar and pine that isn't kiln dried. Also, I believe that a URI could be caused from harsh detergents or disinfectants, that is why I only use vinegar to clean their cage. Other than that I am not sure of anything else, besides the obvious things like smoke and mildew.
It is very likely that your guinea already had the URI when you got her as guinea pigs are very good at hiding the fact that they are sick. I would just keep an eye on your other two to make sure that they don't start to show any symptoms.
 

Love_my_piggies

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Thank you Suzy. I switched to Fleece bedding almost a month ago and I only have kiln-dried pine or aspen in the little 1x2 area I use for their litterbox and hay area. We don't smoke in the apartment and there's no mildew in here either. It just makes me wonder why two of them got URIs and the other two havent. I will keep a close eye on them as well. Thanks again
 

critterlover

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I'm so sorry to hear that. New pigs can be under a lot of stress and more susceptible to illness so it's not necessarily something you're doing. Many pigs have hidden birth defects as well.

Still, let us know what you feed yours pigs. Maybe they are not getting enough vitamin C? Also, what is the temperature of the room they are in? Do they sleep on wet bedding? Do they have cozies to keep them warm? Is there a draft in their room?

URIs are treatable. It is important to take your pig to the vet or animal hospital immediately if she shows any sign of sickness. A one day difference can make the difference between life and death.

Labored breathing is a sign of a URI that has progressed to pneumonia (serious). It is extremely important to feed a sick pig and keep her hydrated, don't just let her not eat. 16 hours without food leaves their bodies permanently damaged. Weigh her several times a day with an accurate scale and forcefeed her Critical Care or a pellet slurry every 3 hours if she's that sick. Hopefully your vet gave you antibiotics for your pig. Let us know how your vet is treating her. She also looks like she has bloat.

Also *very important* pneumonia is very contagious, which means your other 2 pigs are at risk. Your sick pig needs to be separated from your other 2 pigs. I know this because I just had one pig die of a URI, only to have the other one get sick too. It would be good to watch your other pigs very carefully, including weighing them twice a day for the next week and taking them to the vet at the first sign of illness.
 

Love_my_piggies

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Wow, thank you so much for all of that critterlover. I'll try to answer your questions too....

I am feeding my pigs pellets from the local feed store, unlimited timothy hay (Kaytee-with expiration dates) and I feed them twice daily a variety of veggies including Kale (only in the mornings-I know about the calcium thing) red and green leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, bell peppers, cucumbers, carrots...and others but that is the usual. And once a day I feed them some fruit, including oranges, tomatoes, sometimes bananas, melon and honeydew. I've been trying to feed lots of Vitamin C rich foods because I lost one of my girls in December due in part to a URI, she was very sick with possibly cancer the vet said. Please let me know if there is anything else I can be feeding.

They are in a breeze-free room and it stays a fairly steady temp in my apartment, around 60 or 70 degrees I think. They have a litterbox that they mostly use to potty in and the rest of their cage is fleece. I have a 1x2 area filled with shavings for hay and such but that is always aspen or kiln-dried pine. They have a hammock and a cozy but no one ever uses the cozy. They also have a pigloo and waffle house to sleep in and one corner has extra fleece for them to snuggle in.

I also have been giving them plenty of floor time because I thought Ruby was pregnant and I know how important it is to prevent toxemia. And going by the thought that she was pregnant, I thought she was very close so I had been keeping a very watchful eye on her. I had been on the phones with vets for the past week just checking in and asking all kinds of questions. She had labored breathing for a day or two and then I could just tell by the look in her eye that something was really wrong... I had seen that look before and knew what it meant. She had also stopped eating the day before and I knew that was also very serious, so I was on the phone with the vet that very morning.

I called the vet last night and they wanted to keep her overnight. They said that she wasn't eating unless they put it into her mouth with a syringe (sp) and they weren't sure if the antibiotics had taken any effect. I will be calling her here in a few to check in and see how things are. I have already made a separate cage for her to get well in and I am also keeping a VERY close eye on the other two.

Once again, I thank you so much for your help. These piggies are my kids and I only want whats best for them.
 

critterlover

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Sounds like you are a wonderful owner, Love_my_piggies. It seems like you look after them so well, I can't imagine they're getting sick because of anything you're doing. Pigs are fragile animals. Some people also give their pigs extra vitamin C in the form of a chewable tablet, but with the variety of veggies you give them, I can't see that would be necessary. Chickweed and dandelions are also good for vitamin C.

I sure hope your girl pulls through. Sounds like she's getting the best care. Sometimes it takes 2 or 3 days for the antibiotics to take effect. She probably will need handfeeding every 3 or 4 hours until she gets her appetite back. I had to handfeed my pig for a week when he was sick. Just keep weighing your other pigs with an accurate scale. I've got a digital postal scale that was not that expensive. Often they will lose weight before they look sick. My vet had me wash my cage with a mixture of 1:40 bleach to water plus a little dish detergent and then rinse with water very thoroughly to kill all the pneumonia bacteria. This might help prevent your other pigs from getting sick. Good luck, let us know how it goes. We are thinking of you.
 

Love_my_piggies

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Thank you so much for everything. I brought her home last night and she just looks so fragile and worn out. I have to hand feed her every few hours like you said. I put lots of warm blankets in her cage and today I am going to clean the other girls' cage well like you said. I also have a postal scale that my mom gave me and I will use that to weigh all the girls today. Thank you again for all of your help and support, it means a lot to me. I'll keep you posted.
 

critterlover

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I'm sure you're doing the very best for her. Hand feeding can be hard at first, let us know if you're having any problems. I fed my pig Critical Care according to the instructions on Guinealynx (1 CC syringe with the end cut off). I'm not sure what you're feeding her, Critical Care contains acidophalus and vitamin C. If you're using a pellet slurry, you can add the acidophalus and vitamin C from a chewable tablet yourself. I noticed a big difference in my pig when I starting giving him 25mg of vitamin C twice a day. I'm not sure if that is too high a dose, though.

The least stressful way for my pig was to have him in his cozy in a vertical position, then fold the cozy back with just his head sticking out. I would hold his head with my left hand and squirt 1/3 CC in his mouth at a time with my right hand, with a little rest in between squirts. You might need to do it slower depending on your pig.

My vet told me to get about 50CC of Critical Care into him a day because he is about 1 kg. We never got that much in. My pig took about 5 CC at one feeding (maximum) and I did this every 3 hours so he got about 40 CC a day. My vet said that pigs can take up to 12 CC (??) at a time, but of course every pig is different. When my pig really started to struggle around the 4 or 5 CC mark, I knew he had enough. Blankets and towels are a great idea, they really help to keep them warm. I sure hope your pig's doing all right, I know it's tough, but you're doing more than most people would. I hope things go all right, take care and let us know how it goes.
 

Love_my_piggies

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Well yesterday I had a very hard time getting her to keep any food down at all. She just spit it all up and she seemed to be slipping away. She passed away in my arms last night. I can't believe she is gone, I really thought she would make it through this. It feels like only yesterday I lost pipsqueak, and now Ruby. Its so hard. I just wanted to thank you for all of your help, I really do appreciate it. I will have to take it one day at a time and spend lots of time with my other girls. Thank you for all of your help.
 

lindsey's boys

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I'm sorry for your loss. I lost my Shaggy to a URI, so I know how you feel.
 

Love_my_piggies

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Thank you lindsey
 

Ly&Pigs

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I am sorry for your loss.

She had also stopped eating the day before
Any time any of you notice that your pig is not eating, you have to start handfeeding immediately if you want your pig to make it. Their digestive systems shut down after a few hours of not eating and liver damage starts to occur as well. The best thing we can all do is have 1cc syringes on hand if handfeeding is needed. Also have Critical Care on hand and if you don't have CC then make a pellet mash and syringe feed that. A small amount of vegetable baby food can be added to the pellet mash to make it more palatable. It's also good to keep some plain pedialyte on hand in case the pig is dehydrated.
 

lindsey's boys

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critterlover

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I'm so sorry to hear that, Love_my_piggies. I know you did the best you could, sometimes the antibiotics just don't start working in time. Guinea pigs make such difficult patients. Take care and give your other pigs *hugs* from me.
 

Love_my_piggies

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Thanks again everyone. Its so hard to believe she is gone. I miss her so much already. I am just trying to take it a day at a time and I'm giving the other two girls lots of love. I just pray that they both did not catch anything. I will be watching them like hawks for a while.

Ly,
I know how serious it is when they stop eating. I was on the phone with the vet before she stopped eating because I knew she didn't look quite right. As soon as she stopped eating and being interested in any food I had, I did call the vet.
 
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