GUINEA LYNX

A Medical and Care Guide for Guinea Pigs

Calculating Doses

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Dose Calculation Explained!

HOW MUCH MEDICATION AM I GIVING?

Veterinarians frequently prescribe medication in a liquid suspension to be given using a 1 cc syringe. Your vet decides how often and how many cc's to give your guinea pig based on its weight, the concentration of the drug in the suspension, and the dosage the vet chooses to use.

To figure out the dosage your vet has prescribed, you need three pieces of information:

CALCULATE DOSAGE

Enter the dose, weight, and concentration to calculate the dosage in mg/kg.

Dose in cc's cc
Weight in Kilograms kg
Concentration in mg/ml mg/ml
ANSWER => DOSAGE in mg/kg: mg/kg

Example:

Say you are giving your 1 kilogram guinea pig 0.625 cc of the standard pediatric suspension of trimethoprim sulfa (Bactrim) twice a day.


..... The dose in cc is 0.625 cc of trimethoprim sulfa.
..... The weight of the guinea pig is exactly 1 kilogram (2.2 lbs).
..... The concentration of the suspension is the standard of 48 mg/ml (your vet conveniently wrote it on the label).

Enter these numbers in the calculator above.

Click on the page and (if you have javascript enabled) you will see that this guinea pig is getting the standard dosage of Bactrim, 30 mg/kg. If you check the medications page in the guide, you will also find Bactrim is usually given twice a day. This dosage is written as 30 mg/kg q12h.

WARNING: Draw only one dose at a time! NEVER draw multiple doses into one syringe and attempt to treat multiple pigs from that same syringe.

CALCULATE DOSAGE MANUALLY

First multiply the dose (in cc) times the concentration (in mg/ml) to yeild the dose in mg. (note: 1 ml = 1 cc)

Example:


       0.625 cc X 48 mg/ml = 0.625 cc X 48 mg/cc = 30 mg
       Then divide by the weight in kilograms.
       30 mg/1kg = 30 mg/kg (dosage)

If this guinea pig weighed only half a kilogram and was being given the same 0.625 cc, he would have been receiving twice the recommended dose because the wrong dosage was being used.


               30 mg/0.5 kg = 60 mg/kg (dosage)

So remember: telling someone your guinea pig is getting 0.5 cc of baytril is not helpful unless you provide all of the following information:

Check how the dosage you calculated for your own guinea pig's medication compares with the dosage listed in the guide.   Go Up

COMMON MEDICATION DOSAGES

Antibiotics:

Antiparasitics:

DOSE TIPS
Typically, drugs are administered using a 1 cc needleless syringe. To remove the air in the syringe, draw a little extra medicine, tilt the tip upward, and push the plunger until you have the right dose. Find helpful techniques for giving drugs on the Giving Medications Page.

Draw only one dose at a time! NEVER draw multiple doses into one syringe and attempt to treat multiple pigs with medication.

1 cc syringe

syringe

The arrows in the picture below point to 1 cc, 0.5 cc, and 0.1 cc amounts.

1 cc syringe
See: Larger Image

The picture below shows a very small amount, 0.05cc, which is only a few drops.

0.05 cc measure

Always check carefully to ensure you are giving the correct dose.   Go Up

CONCENTRATION TIPS

The concentration of the drug should be written on the drug container. If not, call your vet and ask for the concentration in mg/ml.

If the concentration is not listed in mg/ml but in a different amount, say mg/5 ml, you must divide the mg by the appropriate amount (in this case, 5) to determine the correct suspension in mg/ml.

Examples:

If the concentration is listed as a percent (say, 1%), multiply the percent by 10 to calculate the mg/ml.

Examples:


HOW MUCH SHOULD I GIVE?

DOSE IN CC

To figure out how much of a particular drug in a liquid suspension your guinea pig should be given, you need three pieces of information:

This handy calculator can help determine how much of a liquid medication to give your guinea pig. Be sure to use the correct dosage (sometimes expressed as a range), the correct guinea pig weight in kilograms, and the concentration of the drug in mg/ml. Double check your answer using a calculator (dosage times weight divided by concentration).

CALCULATE DOSE IN CC
Enter the dosage, weight, and concentration of the drug to calculate the dose in cc you would give your guinea pig. Check the medical guide for more information.
Dosage in mg/kg mg/kg
Weight in Kilograms kg
Concentration in mg/ml mg/ml
ANSWER => Dose in cc: cc

CALCULATE DOSE IN CC MANUALLY

First determine the dose in mg:

Dosage X Weight = Dose in mg

(the precise amount of the drug that the guinea pig should receive)

Example:

        A guinea pig of 0.8 kg will be given ivermectin topically at 0.5 mg/kg
        0.8 kg X 0.5 mg/kg = 0.4 mg ivermectin

Then determine the dose in cc:

Dose in mg divided by Suspension = Dose in cc
(the precise amount of the suspension containing the correct amount of the drug in mg)

Example:

        Ivermectin 1% solution has 10 mg/ml (i.e. 10 mg/cc).
        Calculate dose in cc for the above pig needing 0.4 mg ivermectin
        Dose divided by suspension is 0.4 mg divided by 10 mg/cc = 0.04 cc

Note: there are ivermectin dosing charts on the site. See how your calculations compare with the charts.
Topical Ivermectin Treatment OR Oral Ivermectin Treatment   Go Up


HOW OFTEN SHOULD I GIVE MY GUINEA PIG THIS MEDICATION?

FREQUENCY The most accurate and easy to understand terminology for describing when to administer drugs is q24h, q12h, q8h etc, where a dose is given and the next dose is given "X" hours later (24 hours, 12 hours, 8 hours, etc.).

Since older terminology may mislead the lay person into the belief that doses need not be spaced evenly over a given period of time, avoid the old terminology:

And instead use:

A dosage that is written as "ORAL 30 mg/kg q12h" means that a dosage of 30 mg/kg is given every 12 hours by mouth, for a total of 60 mg/kg in 24 hours.   Go Up


GLOSSARY FOR THIS PAGE:

Many drugs are administered in a liquid suspension:

EXAMPLE:

        5 mg ivermectin/ml means each ml contains 5 mg of ivermectin

The dose is quantity of a drug to give your guinea pig at one time.

The dosage is the amount (by weight), frequency, and number of doses to give your guinea pig.

EXAMPLE:

        0.5 mg ivermectin/kg means the dosage for ivermectin is 0.5 mg for every kilogram of pig


1 unit (insulin syringe) = 0.01 cc

One teaspoon = 5ml (or, more accurately, 4.9290 milliliters)

One "drop" is roughly 0.034 cc (3 drops are about 0.1cc).
- - - It is recommended to use more accurate methods of measurement than drops.

Guinea Pigs are for Life