We have a sicky piggie. He has had trouble breathing after eating hay or veggies. He had made a hooting sound and also had slight eye discharge. The vet perscribed bactrim and he seemed to be getting better. But then his breathing troubles persisted even after 10 days on the antibiotics and it had become independent from eating. The vet then perscribed azithromycin for 21 days. After 4 days on that and off bactrim so far he is getting worse (not moving as much, eating/drinking, stays in house). Seems like this is not a uri...could it be heart problems causing these symptoms?
thanks a lot!!
- And got the T-shirt
How old is he?
It's VERY important that you feed him and syringe water to him. Guinea pigs MUST eat all the time. Unlike humans, they constantly secrete stomach acid which can eat painful, even fatal, holes in the stomach, and can cause GI stasis and or bloat. If he's not eating anything at all, he needs 100+ cc of Critical Care or pellet slurry for every kilogram he weighs, every day, divided into 6-8 feedings per day around the clock. Increase or decrease that amount based on his weight, and decrease it if he's eating some on his own. He won't like it, but it must be done if you're going to have a chance to save him. See http://www.guinealynx.info/handfeeding.html for some more info.
Also syringe him some fluids. I aim for 10-15 cc during each feeding when I've got a sick pig. You can try Pedialyte (or its generic). Most pigs love it, and will readily take it without fussing.
Do you have another pig? If so, give him some poop soup, or mix a fresh pellet from another pig in with the stuff you're hand-feeding him. If you don't, then get some Bene-Bac, or some plain human acidophilus or kyodophilus.
It also wouldn't hurt to get some infant gas drops (simethicone) to give him to stave off any bloating.
As far as it being a heart problem, that's sometimes not an easy diagnosis to make. An x-ray of the upper body will show whether the heart is enlarged. But often it's diagnosed simply because the vet will do a trial of heart medications, and if they work, then the diagnosis is heart disease. There just aren't a lot of good options for diagnosing heart disease in guinea pigs. That said, we've had a number of pigs with that diagnosis who have done well for years on heart medications. It would certainly be worth asking about.
He is 4.5 years old and is the only one in the house. He is eating and drinking way less than usual but still eats. After reading about heart disease we believe he might have it. Last time we brought him to the vet he didn't want to run x-ray, but now it is time. Thanks for all the advice!