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URI/Upper Respiratory Infection What to Do Until An Appointment Can Be Made/Source of Infection

Roo99

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
245
Alright, so I have a couple of questions about my piggy Griffin who (I am almost positive) has a URI. Today I went in to pet his nose (which he loves), and I noticed a slight discharge. Then, I shooed him into a sack to get a closer look and check for other URI symptoms. I noticed some eye crust, so I got on Guinea Lynx to do some more research about URIs. Toni had a URI once, but it was mild and easily treated as I caught it early.

I called the vet today, but as I didn't notice his symptoms until around 6:15, it was the best that I could do to leave a message to explain the situation and ask for a call back. Tomorrow, I will call again and try to schedule an appointment with the vet.

Anyway, on Sunday I went to PetSmart and bought the piggies some new goodies. I put a bed and a twig tunnel in the cage, and the piggies loved it! However, I think that it might be possible that Griffin got sick from one of the new goodies. Here is my theory:

Say that an employee of PetSmart was filling up the hay or pellets for some of the pigs. Then, they touched a pig that had a URI. They proceeded to go and restock the piggy aisle without washing their hands, therefore infecting the bed and tunnel that I proceeded to buy. I didn't wash the items (which I realize now would've been a good idea). However, as the tunnel was made out of twigs I don't know what I would've done to clean it.

Is that a plausible theory? I don't know if that is how it could've happened, but Griffin didn't have any symptoms until I brought home the new goodies.

Alright, second question. The other time that I had experience with a URI, I was able to get my pig to the vet right away. However, since I have to wait overnight and possibly through tomorrow, what it be okay to temporarily divide the cage in half with grids? That way I could monitor Griffin's eating, drinking, pooping, etc. and make sure that Toni doesn't take his food. He seems to be eating okay, but I have noticed that since I gave the pigs fresh water yesterday hardly a drop is gone.

Thank you so much! As of right now, Griffin's only symptoms seem to be nasal discharge and eye crust. He doesn't seem lethargic, and his cage mate has no symptoms that I am aware of. I'll keep a close eye on both of them, and get them to the vet as soon as I can.
 
I don't know what to do in the mean time but tomorrow don't take no for an answer. Get him into a vet as soon as you can.
 
Do you have a 24/7 vet that you can go to? URI can get very bad very fast.
 
I have a fantastic, cavy savvy vet that is an owner herself and great with my pigs. I know that she will fit them in as soon as possible. However, if there is no time slot for them tomorrow and I have to wait for Wednesday, I will let her know what I'm thinking. Her Wednesday working hours are only until 12 PM, and if she has appointments that day then it might be hard to fit my pigs in. However, the last time that I needed an appointment there were 2 time slots for me on a very short notice (About an hour before closing). Hopefully I can fit them in tomorrow, fingers crossed!
 
Do you have a 24/7 vet that you can go to? URI can get very bad very fast.

There is an emergency vet in my area, but I have no experience with them. As Griffin is eating very well, I think that I'll wait until I can get an appointment tomorrow. If I cannot get an appointment tomorrow, then I will seriously consider the pet ER.
 
I wouldn't wait if I were you, guinea pigs also try and hide sickness, so he is most likely worse than it looks. Does the emergency vet take guinea pigs or have experience with them?
 
I do not think that the ER vet has any experience with guinea pigs; the rescue where I got my pigs is only a few miles from my house, and from what I understand my vet is the only cavy savvy one in the area. There are 3 or 4 other vets in the area, but none that are exotics specialists.
 
Alright, I am going to separate the cage in half with grids very temporarily. That way I can monitor Griffin's eating, drinking, and pooping. Please let me know if this is a bad idea, as I can un-divide the cage immediately. I would just have a bit of peace-of-mind if I knew that Griffin was functioning properly until his vet visit. I'll also remove the new goodies, just in case they are causing any problems.

I will keep a close eye on him, and check on him a few times during the night to make sure that he is eating. Thanks for the advice! I will update this thread as soon as I have any new information. A vet appt. will be scheduled ASAP!
 
Sounds like a good plan.

URIs do tend to work fast, but as long as he is still eating and drinking anything he can most likely wait until tomorrow. If your vet can't see him right away see if they will at least prescribe some antibiotics for you to pick up.
 
He seems to be doing okay this morning. It's been about 13 hours since I noticed his symptoms, but he looks to be fine. I gave him some fresh pellets this morning. He popcorned around his little half of the cage, and then got a drink. He didn't seem interested in the pellets, but he foraged around in his hay pile from some breakfast. His poops seem normal and he seems to be drinking, so all is well until we can get him to the vet. The vet's office opens in about 30 minutes or so; I'll call them close to opening so that I can schedule the appointment.
 
Alright, I scheduled an appointment for Griffin at 1 PM. I'll take Toni as well, of course. Hopefully we can diagnose him and get something to help him out. After our visit, I'll update this thread. Like I said, right now he seems to be doing fine other than some nasal discharge and eye crust. Toni isn't too happy about their separation; she keeps biting the bars of the grids to get to him. I'm so sad for her. However, I hope it'll only be for a bit longer.
 
Alright! We are back from the vet with a diagnosis.

Griffin has Conjunctivitis, and was prescribed an ophthalmic ointment for his right eye, as his left was only mildly irritated. If his left does become more irritated, the vet told me not to hesitate to use the ointment on it as well. If Toni develops any symptoms of conjunctivitis, then she will be treated with the ointment. Also, the vet said that since he had symptoms of URI and had the eye infection, that it would be a good idea to put him on antibiotics.

So, he is on Terramycin (eye ointment), twice daily for 1 week and then as needed, and Bactrim (antibiotic) twice daily for 2 weeks. If there are any further problems, the vet told me to give her a call. The staff are so wonderful; I don't know what I'd do without them. No one else in my family agrees with taking "rodents like guinea pigs" to the vet. They told me that I was overreacting. But I don't mind; I made a commitment to these animals when I adopted them, and it was financial as well as emotional. Why would I allow them to be sick when I can help them?

Alright, here is what everything cost:

Exam: $44.00
Terramycin: $36.00
Bactrim: $9.50
Total: $89.50
 
Why would I allow them to be sick when I can help them?

Yes! :) It sounds like such an obvious thing to me too.

He probably just has the conjuctivitis (it's definitely good to be on the safe side though), not that I know where you get that, but the goodies were probably just a coincidence.

Glad to hear you were able to get everything figured out/started today.
 
Alright! We are back from the vet with a diagnosis.

Griffin has Conjunctivitis, and was prescribed an ophthalmic ointment for his right eye, as his left was only mildly irritated. If his left does become more irritated, the vet told me not to hesitate to use the ointment on it as well. If Toni develops any symptoms of conjunctivitis, then she will be treated with the ointment. Also, the vet said that since he had symptoms of URI and had the eye infection, that it would be a good idea to put him on antibiotics.

So, he is on Terramycin (eye ointment), twice daily for 1 week and then as needed, and Bactrim (antibiotic) twice daily for 2 weeks. If there are any further problems, the vet told me to give her a call. The staff are so wonderful; I don't know what I'd do without them. No one else in my family agrees with taking "rodents like guinea pigs" to the vet. They told me that I was overreacting. But I don't mind; I made a commitment to these animals when I adopted them, and it was financial as well as emotional. Why would I allow them to be sick when I can help them?

Alright, here is what everything cost:

Exam: $44.00
Terramycin: $36.00
Bactrim: $9.50
Total: $89.50

I think the charges are very reasonable for two guinea pigs.
 
I think the charges are very reasonable for two guinea pigs.

I do too. I know that some non-exotics vets cost upwards of $200 for examination and treatment of something simple like Conjunctivitis. I haven't been to one (thank goodness!) but I know people who have.

It bothers me when people are willing to spend hundreds of dollars on their dog or cat, but hardly a penny on a guinea pig. They are just as loving, intelligent, sweet, and deserving of great veterinary care as a larger animal. Why wouldn't you take care of them?

I'm not naming any names, but one former guinea pig owner that I know had 2 pet store pigs. They were in a very, very small cage (almost 1.5'x1'), cleaned out only once weekly (yet they were on fleece), given hay only when the cage was cleaned out, and given only the occasional 1 baby carrot per month. They had unlimited, very low quality pellets and weren't given any lap time because they bit. When the pigs developed mites, this person allowed them to suffer for 1 month before surrendering the animal to a shelter. They don't even believe in taking a pregnant dog to the vet-- they are a dog breeder.

While this is a great person, it makes me angry to think that they knew what proper cage size could be, knew proper nutrition, and yet continued to mistreat the animals. They have most likely been euthanized due to this person's irresponsibility. They had begged their family for months upon months for guinea pigs, and when given the animals they just allowed them to suffer. It makes me ill to think about those poor animals. I met them once, and one of them had what seemed to be neurological problems.

That was a bit off topic, but whenever I think about people neglecting to take a sick animal to the vet it makes me upset. I hope that something like this will make people realize why I am willing to spend my hard-earned money on the best for my pigs.
 
I'm right with you. I've taken hamsters to the vet. I mean all animals suffer and it's easy to correct most of it.

People like that make me so mad!
 
I've taken hamsters to the vet.

Wow; I'm not sure if even my vet has ever seen a hamster. I've never kept them as pets, or met one in person other than in the store. They seem like, if you adopted the right little guy or gal, a nice species to keep as a pet. However, I think that the pets that I'll have for the rest of my life will be guinea pigs. I find so much joy in caring for them, like no other pet that I've had before.

I administered Griffin's medication this evening. I (might) be getting a YouTube channel to make informational videos about pigs. If I do, then I'll make some videos about administering eye ointment and oral antibiotics for anyone who is curious. This is my second experience with oral antibiotics, and they can be kind of daunting at first. However, my vet makes the medicine taste sweet so that the pigs want to take it.
 
I would weigh him daily while he's on antibiotics to make sure it's not affecting his appetite.
 
@foggycreekcavy- I did not see your post until 2 days into the antibiotics treatment. However, I will begin weighing him today. Thank you!
 
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