A Medical and Care Guide for Guinea Pigs


Home > Medications > Antibiotics > Antibiotic Advice

What You Need To Know About Antibiotics

What Is Antibiotic Intolerance?

For a few guinea pigs, safe antibiotics (like Baytril) affect the appetite and they may stop eating.

If your guinea pig develops any of these signs, call your vet! And if your pet is not eating and losing weight, you must hand feed (see Hand Feeding advice). Weighing your pig daily while on antibiotics will help alert you to any problems.

Pinta's article on Antibiotic Intolerance provides more information and describes her experiences and those of other people's pigs who have been intolerant of medications.

Is It The Right Antibiotic?

Ideally, bacteria should be cultured to ensure that the correct antibiotic is being used.

This can be especially helpful with an abscess or infection where more than one bacteria may be present, requiring treatment with multiple antibiotics. With a respiratory bacterial infection, there may be no time for a culture and an antibiotic must be prescribed for treatment in the hope it will be effective. Go Up

How Do I Know If It's Working?

Ask your vet how soon you should see results. In general, once the pig is on medication, you should be able to see an improvement within 2 or 3 days (especially important if your pet has a respiratory infection).

If your pig is not responding, have the vet SWITCH TO ANOTHER DRUG.
Do not take no for an answer!
In treating pigs, time is of the essence. Often the vet will have to take an educated guess at which drug to prescribe and just as often the infection can turn out to be resistant to the drug selected.

How Long Do I Give Antibiotics?

Most vets will provide you with sufficient medication for a course of treatment and ask that you give the full amount. Baytril is typically prescribed for no less than a week at a time. When treating a urinary tract infection, antibiotics may need to be given for 2 or more weeks while the infection heals. If signs recur after completing a course of treatment, contact your vet immediately. In some instances, an antibiotic like baytril may even be prescribed for two consecutive days a week for an extended period of time to prevent a problem like a urinary tract infection from developing. Go Up

What Are Probiotics?

Probiotics are substances which contain live microorganisms that are thought to restore the balance of microflora in the digestive tract.

Guinea Pigs are for Life