I have a vet appointment for 8:30 tomorrow (the soonest they could fit me in), and if he gets worse I´ll make them come in for an emergency visit. It won´t be my regular vet, she´s away from work with an illness.
Squinting, nasal discharge and quieter than usual is not good.
If you caught it right at the start of a URI, tomorrow AM is probably fine for him to see a vet. Give him extra C and keep him warm in the meantime. If he sounds congested, a steam humidifier could be helpful - or a sojourn in a warm steamy bathroom. Just make sure he is warm and dry when he is out of the bathroom.
Print off stuff from GuineaLynx to give the vet if you´re worried about his/her experience level.
I just went and got some new syringes in case he stops eating, some extra tempting fresh veggies, and some more chewable vitamin C. He´s not happy at the moment because I removed him from the usual big cage (with Gavin) and put him in a small cage in a warmer room. Which brings up another question: if it is a URI should Gavin be given antibiotics also?
I would cut out all fresh food and syringe down unflavoured Pedialyte. Keep up with the handfeeding. Stress can cause diarrhea as well, so being separated from Gavin might be contributing to the problem.
It is kind of a judgement call. If they have been in close contact, Gavin has probably already been exposed and sometimes pigs do much better when they are ill, with company. When Willie was extremely ill he did much better surrounded by pigs. And his cagemates seemed to know he was ill and cuddled up to him protectively. He was much calmer and more relaxed.
I´ve got him in with Gavin, and Sweetheart´s pigloo is covered with towels to keep more heat in. He´s getting handfed (or force fed depending on the mood) a pellet mash with yogurt and a healthy poop from Gavin. He´s getting vitamin C supplements. I´m going to get some unflavored Pedialyte at the store today, in the mean time I´ve been giving him plain water through a syringe.
I feel so horrible about this, like I should have picked up on something sooner. He was fine at 7:00 yesterday morning, at 3:40 I picked him up for another cuddle and found white crusties around his eyes. At about 7:00 yesterday night he started to have diarrhea. Even knowing how quickly pigs can go downhill I´m still surprised, it´s one thing to hear people talk about a sick pig... quite another to actually have a sick pig. This is my first illness with a guinea pig, I´ve only had to deal with fungus and mites before.
Watch carefully. It´s a great antibiotic but I´ve had more pigs have trouble tolerating it than any other antibiotic. If he gets worse - that´s a signal to switch drugs. So far, I´ve found Doxycycline to be tolerated the easiest by our pigs. Bactrim and Baytril are pretty good but there does seem to be weight loss on Baytril with some of our pigs.
Doxycycline is in the tetracycline family so if he´s still having diarrhea - it might not be that advisable.
Bismuth - 1 cc every 4 hours or so can help with diarrhea too.
Is there any way to force him to chew? If I put the syringe right against his back molars he will chew briefly, then stop. He won´t continue to chew, or swallow the food. My regular vet is ill and the vet on call didn´t seem overly concerned. I´m going to try calling the other vets in town, to see if any of them are willing to do an emergency visit for a possible change of antibiotic. He´s had two doses of the Cholorpalm and seems to have gone downhill.
Doxycycline is great for URIs but if his tummy is upset - it might not be a good idea. I also don´t know if it comes in an injectable form.
I really would consider a visit to an emergency clinic for a subcue. Oxygen can help too.
I´m going to lodge a complaint with my vet, the emergency vet suggested sugar water and nothing else.. despite my insistence that this was serious. I don´t know what to do, Sweetheart was not quite two years old.
The two most recent ones I lost that quickly turned out to have heart disease and chronic pneumonia as well as liver problems. One also had kidney problems. The vet said it was a miracle they were functioning at all. Neither of them showed any signs of problems until the first URI synptoms and then they were gone within a day. The URI was just enough to crash their compromised systems.
At least if you have an autopsy done- you´ll know what happened.
I am so sorry. I´ve been where you are many times and know how much it hurts.
I think there was something more going on. And sometimes there are no earlier symptoms for you to catch. All you can do is what you did. The speed of the decline signifies something more than a URI. It is more indicative of an organ shutdown. But only an autopsy will tell you if that´s the case.
So please don´t beat yourself up. You did everything right.
I´m definitely going to put Gavin on a preventative course of antibiotics. Does anyone know if a URI, or something to that effect, could be passed on to any other rodents or to the bunny?
I am so sorry you lost Sweetheart. This was so very quick. You noticed something was wrong right away and tried to get him treatment. I´m so very sorry you lost him.