Turbo started first, having labored breathing, increasing sneezing and yellow snot when sneezing. Went to the vet, was prescribed Baytril. He was on Baytril for three weeks and improved a lot, but just wasn't finishing the URI, still had sneezing, snot and some labored breathing, although the sneezing did descrease quite a bit. He then went on Bactrim for two weeks, which helped a bit more, but still not completely well. Now he is on Doxycycline (Pinta's recommended dose of 5mg/kg) and although i didn't really see any improvemnt the first week, i had tried so many A/B's already that i didn't want to jump around before giving it a chance, plus he wasn't getting worse. He's finishing two weeks tomorrow (3-30-12) and is still having labored breathing, sneezing and yellow snot when sneezing, again not really any improvement. The breathing is sometimes better, sometimes worse. I have also tried running a humidifier and taking him in a hot, steamy bathroom, per my vet's suggestion, neither of which has seemed to help a ton, but did get some sneezing snot out, which i felt was beneficial.
Diesel was put on the Baytril as well, as he was hunching and having puffed fur, and had a BAD reaction to it. He lost two ounces in two days and would not eat and had to be handfed and had diarrhea. He went to a different vet, mine was gone on a Saturday, and was put on Bactrim for two weeks, i believe for a possible UTI. I had to completely withhold veggies for over a week to get rid of the diarrhea and then started adding things back slowly, no more diarrhea now for quite a while. Toward the end of those two weeks he started having crusty eyes, just a little, a crusty nose, sneezing and snot when sneezing. He has been on the Doxy with Turbo for the same period and still has a crusty nose, some snot and is sneezing still, although the eyes cleared up within one/two days of the Doxy.
Both boys have been eating, drinking, peeing and pooping well this whole time, are steadily gaining weight (I weigh them twice a day when they get their meds). I guess my question, after all of that, is where do i go next? My guess would be a nuebulizer or a combo of Baytril/Doxy, or for Diesel i guess that would be Bactrim/Doxy, but i've heard that's harsh for them and i'll need to handfeed. Before i do any of that, should i just let them go off the A/B's and see what happens? I don't feel comfortable doing that, really, some people have suggested an allergy and i am going to switch their detergent (they have fleece bedding), but even if that's part of it, i don't feel it's all of it. Why would Diesel have started with this so long after being on the fleece?
I have read many, many, many threads here and on guineapigcages.com and still need some good advice on what's next. My doctor is very nice and is reasonably cavy savvy, but i like to have suggestions and options to bring to him so that i know what he's talking about and i can discuss it competently with him. He's also been very good at listening to me, such as asking him to switch the Doxy dose from 2.5mg/kg to the 5mg/kg, which he did. Sorry for the long post, i tried to get it all out there at once!! Thank you!
- Contributor in 2014
Changing detergents is a good idea. Even if they are not allergic, they could be sensitive to the scent which could cause irritation. Make sure the new detergent is fragrance free and consider running their stuff through an extra rinse cycle.
Edit to add:I believe that they are both not as active as they should be, but this all started so quickly after getting them that i had no time to see what was normal for them, so i don't know, but as baby boys, i would expect much more activity than just sitting in a hidey or in the hay most of a given day.
- Contributor in 2014
Vinegar has a strong smell, you may want to experiment with leaving it out of the rinse.
Ive just been through this as well and not advice but just to let you know what we did/went through/etc.
We have both of our piggies on Doxycycline-hyclaat (but 10mg/kg as per the dosage on the medication though) and had cultures taken to determine the exact bacterial cause.
Also, have you discussed probiotics? All antibiotics affect the gut, so this might be aggrevating the problem. There's a link on this website for these issues (thanks guys, you've made my life so much easier these weeks!)
Also, what I did for the cage was I bought 10 really cheap towels at the supermarket and put them down for the lining of their cage to keep any dust to a minimum. That way I could also easily wash the towels every evening.
Hopefully that helps a bit? Good luck with it!!!!
- Contributor in 2014
- You can quote me
Bingo. That's what you need to do in my opinion.
A culture should show you if you absolutely unconditionally have to use one of the hazardous AB's and have no other choice. Some of those (maybe all, I'm not sure) can be nebulized, bypassing the GI and thus their harmful effects.
The rescue community has had success using a Baytril/Doxy combo on set-in, persistent pneumonias and URI's. For reasons unknown to me the whole seems to work better than the sum of the parts.
Baytril may or may not cause inappetance, lethargy and diarrhea. Granted, many times it does and it is also a poor choice for young pigs; it should be used only if it's absolutely necessary. But the combo seems to work. Definitely ask about a Bactrim/Doxy combo for Diesel.
Allergies/sensitivity reactions are not impossible but if your sister got these from a petstore it's virtually certain this is a well-set-in URI and not an allergy. Having said that, IMO it's definitely worth trying the suggestions you've received, but my money is on a well-established pneumonia.
This may or may not be the vet you're already seeing. If not, you may want to consider calling them:
High Desert Animal Hospital
Patricia Feeser DVM
Trish has become a remarkable guinea pig vet, certainly the best one in this area. She has gone out of her way to obtain the correct surgical instruments, EKG and ultrasound equipment and has learned the latest surgical techniques such as flank hysterectomies and complex jaw surgery. She stays constantly up to date with piggie medicine and is willing to use the latest medications to treat their illnesses. She treats the piggies as aggressively as she treats the larger animals and has definitely prolonged the lifespan of our herd.
Contributed by: Steve Sehr, Melvin's Place Rescue 3/12/2008
Steve is a member here and I would trust his recommendation.
He okay'd the Baytril/Doxy and Bactrim/Doxy combo and said to do it this weekend and let me know how it goes, but to stop if they stop eating and we'll do the neubulizer route instead.
I'm really hoping this does the trick and we can be done with this, Turbo's breathing sounded just awful at the vet's office. Will update again later.