I took her to the vet about a month ago and was prescribed bactrim. She took that for 9 days but nothing changed, still intermittent stuffiness. Then she was put on baytril for a little over a week. Still not much difference. I didn't want to keep her on the antibiotics for too long, even though I was supplementing with bene bac because I know antibiotics can be rough on them.
I have another female pig in the same cage and she has showed no signs of illness. I don't think this is a URI because of the intermittent nature of the stuffy nose and the fact that there are no other symptoms.
I am worried because I know piggies can't effectively breathe out of their mouths, so if she has a stuffed nose she must be struggling to breathe.
Does anyone have any idea what could be wrong with her if it's not a URI? Any suggestions as to what I should do?
- And got the T-shirt
The vet and the radiologist he consulted with on the CT scan say it may be a low-grade rhinitis that occasionally gets worse. She's not on any medication, though when she's very congested and her lungs are sounding wet and she's struggling to breathe, I do give her a dose of Lasix and that clears things up for several days.
I am so worried as we lost our first piggy to something similar (remained undiagnosed). He is eating, weight is stable and does run about when in his run. Some people have suggested he breathes in vicks but I would think that is too much for him?
Any further help and advice would be great. I hope your piggy is recovering, it's so upsetting not being able to do anything for our precious little ones!
Here's a better one https://youtu.be/34wWx2TmyoQ
I am concerned that this is a symptom of a heart condition. In addition, she is a small pig, weighing about 800grams. I don't know if she is lethargic, she is only the second pig I've had. Her and her companion both rest a lot but also play and run sometimes during floor time. She has a good appetite. I am making an appointment to see a vet hopefully tomorrow but was hoping for any advice before then. Or advice on what to ask the vet.
2/24 The vet said that if there is no discharge from the nose and she is still eating, there is nothing to worry about. She said she had never heard of the connection between "hooting" and a heart condition. She said it would be more trouble than its worth to put her under to do an x-ray to check the heart or skull. She believes it's just a unique but normal noise that she is making. I still feel uneasy, though. Any advice?
Here's another video, I think this one is better. You still have to turn the audio up all the way because the sound she's making isn't loud, but it's definitely noticeable in person. You can also see her jerky/spasmy breathing. https://youtu.be/PJb-GSDP6TQ
Champion's "stuffy" sounding nose has seemed to be worse over the last few days. It is intermittent; mostly at night. It definitely sounds as though there is mucous or congestion in her nasal passage. Her breathing is also a bit labored; I can see her abdomen contract forcefully when she is breathing. I decided to take her for another opinion, so I called a few vets in my area (North East Ohio) and all seemed to recommend one clinic: Avon Lake Animal Clinic.
Since I am somewhat convinced this is a heart/lung issue (due to the only symptoms being this chronic congestion/stuffy nose and maybe some mild lethargy), I printed out the GL heart page and a few specific cases from heart pigs posted in this forum. I also tried to video Champion's stuffy sound and labored breathing. When I went to the vet this morning, I explained that Champion had already been treated with a round of Bactrim and then Baytril and there was no change, so I am thinking it is heart related. I tried to show her what I printed out but she was not interested in reading it or in looking at the videos I recorded. She listened to Champion's heart/lungs and said they sounded fine.
She completely dismissed my concerns about a potential heart/lung issue and instead suggested we try another round of antibiotics for a potential "deep seated URI" that she has been living with since the symptoms started (8 or so months now). However, she seemed very uncertain that this is even the issue. She also suggested an xray but said it was unlikely to show anything. She then prescribed SMZ-TMP. When she went to get the meds, I looked it up and found that SMZ-TMP is Bactrim. I told her this when she returned and asked why she would prescribe the same meds when I already explained they did nothing. She apologized and then suggested we try Orbax. I had never heard of this antibiotic but she explained it is a more powerful form of baytril essentially. She also gave me metacam which she described as an anti-inflammatory which could help if the issue is chronic rhinitis. She suggested that if the meds don't work, we should consider sedation, xray, and full dental examination (even though she looked at her teeth today and found no signs of anything abnormal). I was so frustrated with the whole situation, so I just accepted the meds and left (minus $130).
I am wondering if I should go ahead with the round of Orbax/metacam. I am worried because I have seen mixed reviews of Orbax in the little research I've done since I got home. I am also worried about dosing because even though I was referred to this specific vet, she seemed very unsure of what she was suggesting.
I have Orbax (30mg/mL) and directions to give .6mL orally daily. And metacam (1.5 mg/mL) and directions to give .6mL orally daily for 7 days.
Any suggestions would be helpful.
An xray could show fluid around the heart or an enlarged heart. I am sorry this vet was not receptive to your concerns and suggestions. That she did not read what you brought or listen to your recordings tells me she is not responsive at all. She could still have read and listened and made up her own mind. Is there anyone else at that clinic you could deal with?
There is a well reviewed and reputable exotic vet in Barberton, Ohio. That's an hour away but I think I will call today to ask if their vet has experience with guinea pig heart issues or if he would be willing to at least consider the possibility that is what Champion has.
I am just so convinced it's not a URI. It's been months and the only symtpoms are stuffy/rattly sounding nose and some mild lethargy. (No weight loss.)
However, this morning Champion's cage mate, Stormy, has been breathing very rapidly. She didn't eat her vegetables this morning but she did eat some pellets. She looks very odd to me and her breathing is definitely too fast. I still have a bottle of Baytril from when we tried it for Champion. I am considering giving that to Stormy in case this is the beginning of a URI for her. (Champion is normal today; eating tons and looks lively, but still has her sniffly nose).
So I took him back today. I explained to her, my other pig doesn't share any of the same symptoms (stuffy nose, labored breathing, sneezing, discharge around the nose) so we were not sure at this point if it was a URI. she prescribed him now enrofloxacin (antibiotic) and meloxicam (anti-inflammatory). She also told me I could pick up a children's Benadryl and she would give me the dosage information tomorrow. And I asked her if maybe saline drops could help? And she said I could give him a drop in each nose twice a day. Oh, she also said I could bring him in the bathroom with me when I shower to use it as sort of a humidifier. After listening to his lungs she said his upper and lower Tracy seem to be affected?
Poor Chewy, I feel bad for him because I'm doing whatever I can and nothing seems to be working. We talked about bedding, hay, diet, the doctor told me that I provide them with the best possible diet that she could recommend and that it sounds like everything at home is as good as can be.
I just wanted to share my experience with a piggie with a chronic stuffy nose and I will follow the thread to read other responses. I'm scared it will get to the point where he can't breathe at all and I won't be able to do anything about it. He's a great piggie. Such a sweetheart.
Thanks for sharing your experiences! At least I now know I'm not alone with chronic stuffy boa mysteries!