Sick guinea pig

hipxop

Post   » Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:33 am


Sorry for the long post.
One of my guinea pigs recently died and I was wondering if you guys know what she had. She was almost 6 years old and she had no previous illnesses or showed any signs of anything. I know this is no excuse but I was truly busy with college for 4 days and I didn’t notice she was loosing weight. I also don’t know how she was losing weight because when I feed them I wait around for a minute or two and she was always eating and she would always come to the cage’s gate for food. Last Friday I noticed she was eating slower so I decided to take her out that’s when I noticed she lost weight. So I decided to start syringe feeding her. Saturday nothing major happened I put her on my bed and she was acting fine. Although she was more interested in eating my pillows than the critical care. Sunday morning I woke up and she was facing a corner. She passed away on Sunday. She couldn’t swallow anymore and slowly she wasn’t able to move any part of her body until she passed away. Meanwhile my vet was closed so I was trying to get another vet but all places I called wouldn’t take guinea pigs and I kept saying it’s an emergency. All the weight loss happened in 4 days because the last time I held her was Sunday the 24th and I didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary. I should have taken her to the vet on Saturday or Friday, I don’t know what made me wait. Maybe I could’ve saved her, I know I made a huge mistake. I wanted to take her on Monday but she never made it to Monday...

I was scared that whatever she had was contagious so I took my other 5 year old guinea pig to the vet as soon as he opened. He found out she had blood in her urine so he did an X-ray and thankfully found no stones anywhere. He said her other organs were fine too. He took a sample of her urine so we’re waiting for the results for that and the blood work. I just recently noticed she started sneezing, do you think it’s an uri that causes the sneezing? Could my other guinea pig have died from the same thing? I know without tests it is nearly impossible to tell. I didn’t notice any breathing difficulty in the guinea pig that died until her final hours. Saturday she was skinny but otherwise fine and then she deteriorated so fast from Saturday to Sunday.

Thank you everyone in advance.

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:42 am


I am so sorry for your loss.

You would need a necropsy to get answers to your question concerning why she died. A vet would do a gross necropsy (physical look at) your guinea pig, check teeth for entrapment, overgrowth, check for tumors, stones) and if they found nothing, would make other guesses to have tissue sampled for suspected disease.

It sounds like taking your other guinea pig to a vet was a good idea. Now that you know she's ill, I would also weigh daily and make sure she is eating enough, besides following the vet's protocol.
www.guinealynx.info/handfeeding.html

You might want to read this over too:
www.guinealynx.info/alone.html

If there are no stones in your remaining guinea pig, consider interstitial cystitis, UTI, or pyometra (infection of the uterus).
http://www.guinealynx.info/records/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=21
www.guinealynx.info/uti.html

hipxop

Post   » Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:00 am


Thank you,
Sadly I can’t get the vet to do a necropsy because as soon as my mom found out she died she took her to be cremated...

I didn’t expect this one to be sick either because she shows no symptoms as of now. She’s eating a lot although she got scared of a celery stick in the morning so she stopped eating them when I last checked. There are no signs of pain as she isn’t squeaking when urinating or when doing anything else.

Thank you I will read those links

hipxop

Post   » Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:19 am


I just read the links above. I will weigh her once I get home from college. She was 1.6 pounds yesterday at the vet, but she’s a smaller pig so she is actually quite chubby for her weight. The two that I had at best tolerated each other, so for now she seems like she’s fine alone. I might get another one but I am not ready to get another one yet. I am still getting over the loss of the first one... I will spend more time with her outside of her cage and give her more floor time.

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:51 am


Consider this thread your medical thread for your 5 year old guinea pig. If you can post all her medical questions on it, it would be very helpful to us.

hipxop

Post   » Tue Oct 03, 2017 1:00 pm


Alright, thank you.
I do have a few questions,

First if she has one of the infections you mentioned above are they treated with the same antibiotic?

Also if the sneezing was due to an uri would the antibiotics used for the infections mentioned above treat that too? I don’t want to have her on two different antibiotics. Besides the sneezing she shows no other symptoms of uri.

So far it seems like she’s eating enough but would it hurt to give her some critical care just in case? If not is there something specific I should feed her like a veggie that might help her?

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Tue Oct 03, 2017 1:27 pm


Critical Care isn't really something that you use to treat an illness. It's a complete nutrition used for pigs that aren't eating, or aren't eating enough. What you should be doing is weighing her daily during any illness to make sure she's maintaining her weight. Best time to weigh is mornings, before breakfast -- you'll be weighing the least amount of food and poop inside her at that point. If she is losing, then yes, give some Critical Care. If not, don't.

What you could do if you want is supplement her with some plain vitamin C. Aim for about 30-50 mg. per day for a week, but don't go over that amount or longer than that time. Excess vitamin C can cause pseudo-scurvy when it's stopped, so you don't want to overdo it.

It would depend on the antibiotic given as to whether it's appropriate for a URI as well as a UTI. Bactrim is usually given for urinary tract problems, where as Baytril is normally given for respiratory illnesses. They each have specific advantages for those illnesses, and don't work as well for the other one.

hipxop

Post   » Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:53 pm


No I know but I meant give it to her just in case, I see her eating but what if she’s not eating enough. I know it doesn’t treat anything but I thought the other guinea pig was eating normally. I would see her eating veggies and see her near the food bowl picking up food and eating it but obviously she wasn’t eating enough.

Could the vitamin c be given as a smoothie made from bell pepper and strawberries?

Right but it wouldn’t be safe to have her on both of them at the same time right?

Thank you

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:39 pm


The only way you'll know if she's eating enough is if you're weighing her regularly and monitoring her weight. If you think she's ill, weigh twice daily.

You could give extra bell pepper. I wouldn't do much with the strawberries -- they have vitamin C but also a lot of sugar, which pigs don't need.

And no, I wouldn't put her on both antibiotics at the same time. There are combinations that you can give, but it's not usually those two.

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:51 pm


I used to have sources that discussed pseudo scurvy but the links are dead. From memory, it had to do with extremely high doses of vitamin C and then dropping the amount given dramatically. Once the guinea pig was used to the super high doses, it came to depend on them and could not process low or only food source doses properly. I believe these were doses in excess of 1000 mg/kg which is very high. The guide here notes that guinea pigs require 10-30mg/kg daily (with sources).

bpatters, if you have any scientific studies or references you can find to clarify pseudo scurvy, I would be indebted to you. I have nothing but my so-so memory!

hipxop

Post   » Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:13 am


I got the blood results back and her white blood cells count is low. The vet said that could be either due to infection or she may have a disorder where she doesn’t produce enough white blood cells.

My question is could she have inflammation of the lymph nodes? I just read online that it causes blood in the urine too.

Also where are lymph nodes located exactly? I know they are spread throughout the body but I would like to check if they’re swollen. Is there by any chance one located behind the eye?

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:04 am


I do not believe any lymph nodes are located behind the eye. I think an infection would be the most likely. I think of them located in "arm pit" and "groin" areas, kind of like humans.

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:03 am


They're also under the chin and in the neck, as well. In humans, at least. I assume so in guinea pigs.

hipxop

Post   » Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:19 am


Thank you, I brought it up to the vet and he doesn’t think it’s anything related to her lymph nodes. I saw her blood work and her white blood cell count is extremely low. If it’s an infection then it’s an extremely bag one, but if it was so bad wouldn’t she have more symptoms like pain, loss of appetite or a hunched over position?

I’ve been keeping an eye on her and I noticed something new. She is no longer eating in her cage or moving around in her cage. However, as soon as I take her out she eats a lot of vegetables and is curious about her environment again. Do you think she is becoming depressed over the loss of her cagemate? Before she would almost jump out of my arms to go back in her cage but now she’s not interested in going back to her cage anymore. I am considering getting her a new cagemate, but not for now because she is still sick and I don’t know if it’s contagious.

She doesn’t seem to like eating pellets anymore so I started feeding her critical care which she likes to eat. Could I switch her to a diet of just vegetables and hay, or is that dangerous?

hipxop

Post   » Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:55 am


I tried to edit my previous post and couldn’t. I just read the diet section of this website so nevermind about the pellets. I’ll just research their daily recommended value of vitamins, minerals, proteins and fats and create a new diet for her.

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Thu Oct 05, 2017 11:17 am


I missed this bit the first time you posted it, but a low white cell count is not a sign of infection. Leukocytes (white cells) increase in infections, not decrease. And infections don't necessarily cause pain.

hipxop

Post   » Thu Oct 05, 2017 12:16 pm


The vet said the blood count may be low because all the white blood cells may be at the infection site fighting off the infection and therefore not circulating throughout the body or she may have a bone marrow disease. However, what he said is that she is very susceptible to infections right now. What can I do if she has a bone marrow disease? Keep an eye out for signs of infection and rush to the vet for more antibiotics? I am gonna clean her cage more often to prevent the formation of bacteria.

Also I don’t know if she’s lethargic. She runs around on the floor when I take her out to feed her, but in the cage she just sleeps either in her igloo or the upper level.

hipxop

Post   » Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:50 am


Recently she started breathing as if she has a stuffy nose and still sneezes too. Which leads me to believe she does indeed have an URI. I just don’t understand why the antibiotic isn’t working she seems to be getting worse rather than better. Is there anything I can do for her? I am giving her extra vitamin c. She’s also not eating as much anymore so the critical care was a good idea, not sure if this is a side effect of the antibiotic. I also noticed she sleeps a lot too, do older guides pigs sleep more or is this a sign she’s not feeling well.

I am starting to think she does have a blood disease where she doesn’t make enough white blood cells hence why she seems to have so many infections. If she does I really don’t know what to do about it.

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:11 am


The antibiotic she's taking probably isn't effective against whatever organism is causing the URI. Short of getting a culture done, which is nigh on to impossible to do in a guinea pig, there's no way to really know. They could try a different antibiotic, or a combination, or "pulse" them, where they give one, then another, then the first again, etc.

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:40 pm


I encourage you to read over:
www.guinealynx.info/heart.html

She may have heart issues that are complicating things and contributing to recurring illnesses.

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