The Never-Ending URI

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MyckiCade

Post   » Thu Aug 10, 2017 12:22 am


Hey, there. I'm a cavy Mama to four ladies, of varying ages, Munchie, Kiwi, Rosie, and Gypsy. Rosie and Gypsy are housed together, until I feel that it is safe to put them with Munchie. (Kiwi is solitary, as she does not play well, with others). Everyone is now on fleece bedding, to cut back on some of that dust. Pellets, hay, veggies, all given to them. Ample water supply.

My questions surround Gypsy. She is about nine months old, give or take a few weeks. Roughly six weeks ago, Gypsy was seen at the emergency vet, after some white discharge came out, with a sneeze. It was one time, and only from the left nostril. (By this point, someone had been sneezing, for a time, but, we couldn't tell who... I just happened to be lucky enough to catch That One). She was eating and drinking, just fine. Nice and lively. She was prescribed Bactrim, a standard dosage, for ten days. Things seemed to be improving... But, two days after her course ended, she started sneezing, again. So, back on the Bactrim, she went. The exotic vet (new to us, but, he knew his stuff) said she sounded a little congested, and tacked on another week, and a four-day course of anti-inflammatory, for good measure. All seemed to be going okay. She finished the fourth week, and, for the last couple of weeks, it has been minimal, normal sneezing.

Or, so, I thought.

Jumping to this evening, as I was checking in on Kiwi, Gypsy let loose a sneeze. Dry. Then, shortly after, another. Clear discharge. Right after that, came the white discharge sneeze. Again, just from the left nostril. Her right one is completely dry. A few minutes later, she let loose another, and it dripped right out. Since then? I have heard one, maybe two sneezes, as she has put her nose in the food bowl. (Dust, dust, dust).

Now, I am somewhat baffled. I read horror stories about the little fluffs, and URIs, not eating, or drinking. Gypsy is still eating, and drinking (despite what my paranoia says). She has even gained an ounce, this last week. Her lungs don't sound any different, to my ears, and she isn't having trouble breathing, that I can tell. Her eyes are definitely watery, though, but, no crusting. At last peek, she was lounging in her cage, with Rosie, and nibbling on her hay blocks.

Here's what else makes me wonder... We didn't end up separating Rosie (nearing two years of age) from Gypsy, since we figured we would end up treating her, too. But... Rosie has shown no signs of what Gypsy is going through (thank goodness). I grew up with cats, and, URIs always spread, like wildfire. Now, am I looney? Is this normal, that a cage mate doesn't catch it? I mean, these two are always in each other's personal space, so, that's why I'm pretty surprised.

I will be dialing the vet, as soon as they open up, in the morning. (She will go back to emergency, of course, if need be). I give this long story, to ask if anyone has any opinions that I might share with the vet? As mentioned, he is an exotic vet, but, I am a big believer in the experiences of others. Does Gypsy's ailment sound similar to anyone else's babies, maybe? A lingering URI? Allergies?

(My apologies, if I sound like a lunatic. I'm very jittery, about this situation).

Thank you, so much, in advance,
Mycki

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:47 am


When you mentioned dust in the food bowl, what kind of food are you feeding them? You can remove the dust by putting in a strainer and shaking. Are there any sources of potential mold in the house? Is it old?

MyckiCade

Post   » Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:19 am


We feed them Blue Seal pellets, with added Vitamin C. We do try to keep the dust out, as much as we can. (The bowl is vacuumed, and cleaned, when we tidy up the cage). I'll definitely grab a sifter, from here on, though. Thank you!!

As for mold... It is entirely possible... This house is from the 1960s, at least, and isn't kept up with, the best. We rent, and, we keep a clean apartment, but, my fiance has had some lung issues crop up, since we've been here. Never even thought about that. I'll bring that up, at the appointment, as well. Thank you, once more!!

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Thu Aug 10, 2017 10:28 am


Bactrim is not the first drug of choice for a URI -- it's much more suited to urinary tract infections than respiratory ones. It's sometimes given to very young pigs because Baytril stunts their growth, but that's not an issue with her.

It may not be a bacterial infection, either. It could be fungal, in which case no antibiotic will help.

I'd ask the vet if he can take a nasal swab and see if the lab can identify the organism causing it.

ETA: Blue Seal pellets have a LOT of calcium in them. I'd be afraid of urinary tract stones. The two best pellets on the US market are KMS Hayloft and Oxbow.

MyckiCade

Post   » Fri Aug 11, 2017 6:27 am


On the first relapse, the exotic vet said he wanted to keep with the Bactrim, as there was response, before swapping to something stronger. So, hopefully, a better-suited medication will get this out of her, for good. I will definitely ask for a culture, this morning, as well.

We're bringing Rosie (Gypsy's cage mate) with us, as well, so the vet can see that she appears to be fine... And, also, to get her checked-out, too. Everyone is going to have their turn, at the office, in the coming week.

And, wow, I had no idea, about the food. Cripes. We'll be getting them on something better, in short order! Thank you, so much!

babs_me72

Post   » Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:59 pm


Hello. I was wondering if you had the vet swab and if the results had come back? I read your post and it is very similar to what I just went through with Teddy. He was the only one of my two that had any illness, sneezing, sniffling, and discharge. He had always been a little bit sniffly and I made some changes like bedding and increased their vitamin C intake...but in the end after trying ABs nothing helped. Had them both 3 years in June.

The vet originally diagnosed a URI. After a few days of Baytril he stopped eating. I was hand feeding him. To make a long story short he never came back from being given Baytril. I won't ever give it again to any cavy as I had issues when I first got them with my other boy...luckily he came back just fine.

He doesn't have any symptoms of having a URI and I know that if one gets it they all could get it so now I am thinking that isn't what Teddy had at all. So was curious as to what you have found out about Gypsy? Babs

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:07 pm


I know that if one gets it they all could get it
URIs are actually not that contagious. I've never had another pig catch a URI from a pig that had one, and I've never separated a pig with a URI.

babs_me72

Post   » Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:14 pm


Oh, that's interesting. Most sites and vets say that it is to a point. Highly contagious for younger cavys or ones with weakened immune systems already. Not for ones that are happy and healthy. So it all depends on the health of everyone in the cage over all from what I have read and heard. Good to know.

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:03 pm


I think there are some bacterial infections that are very contagious, like cervical lymphadenitis.

babs_me72

Post   » Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:24 pm


Anyway. MyckiCade please let us know what you find out if they did a swab. Thank you. Babs

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:43 pm


I agree about CL, but this was about URI's.

MyckiCade

Post   » Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:26 am


Good morning,

So very sorry! I had meant to come back, and round this out, but, after the two-week treatment, it slipped my mind.

On our last visit, which was shortly after my last post, we got to see the Doctor who heads the clinic (exotic vet, for quite some many years). She did a nice, thorough check, and, after concluding that Gypsy's lungs sounded fine... And, her appetite, weight, and energy were all good... Dr. M investigated the nose. With a syringe, she placed a drop of saline in each nostril, to induce a sneeze. Sure enough, Gypsy sneezed out the same white gunk, from before. Dr. M said, from looking at the discharge, she didn't think that Gypsy had a URI, at all. She suspected that Gypsy had something stuck in her nose, and she was fighting to get it out. Apparently, she had seen similar cases, before.

In the end, Dr. M sent us home with sterile saline, and a syringe, and told us to repeat the process from the office, twice a day, for two weeks. (Anyone ever had to do that? Oh, such fun... :) ). But, like a charm, after two weeks of treatment, Gypsy stopped sneezing. She's still her same, excited little self. She's even gained a few ounces! (But, no surprise, there, as she'd never stopped eating, to begin with).

Thank you, everyone, for your helpful replies! I did go over each suggestion, and concern, with Dr. M, during the visit. We even checked into the possibility of mold. Thankfully, it wasn't anything more dire. But, I do appreciate your help, immensely! Especially where it came to keeping me calm! (I really do go all to pieces, over my babies, and, I'll admit it).

Much love,
MyckiCade

MyckiCade

Post   » Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:39 am


Hello. I was wondering if you had the vet swab and if the results had come back? I read your post and it is very similar to what I just went through with Teddy. He was the only one of my two that had any illness, sneezing, sniffling, and discharge. He had always been a little bit sniffly and I made some changes like bedding and increased their vitamin C intake...but in the end after trying ABs nothing helped. Had them both 3 years in June.
I am sorry to read this. ;^; Poor Darlin'. We went through the shifting of things, too... We went from paper bedding, to fleece. We shook the hay out, better. Tried to get as much dust from the pellets, as possible. You try to go through process of elimination, and get left beating your head against a rock, trying to work it out... *BIG HUGS!!*

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:46 am


That is quite interesting!

Please do keep us in mind and periodically post updates so we know if this was a definitive cure.

It is also possible it was something else that finally resolved.

MyckiCade

Post   » Wed Sep 20, 2017 3:20 pm


Most definitely! So far, so good, a month out. The only sneezes we've heard were from burying their faces in the food dishes. It's music, to my ears, one sneeze, every once in a great while, as opposed to five or six every twenty minutes! But, we keep the saline handy, just in case. :)

We discussed, too, that there could have been a URI, at one point, and the gunk just managed to get stuck in her nose. Or, goodness knows what managed to get at her. Hopefully, that was the end of it. But, should it crop back up, we've got the vet on speed dial.

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