Stubborn, ongoing, pneumonia

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Post   » Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:19 am

Hi all,

I am writing for some medical advice about my pig Cookie. I got her about a year ago and she had what I thought was a URI. I took her to the vet and she gave her a course of Baytril.

Cookie was on several courses of Baytril, where the symptoms seemed to go away or mostly go away, but then would recur shortly after taking her off the antibiotics. The vet would then prescribe another course after a few days of waiting for an appt with her. Before Christmas, she was given TMS, which initially had results, but when she completed that round of medication, it came back. Then, towards the beginning of this month, we were able to get an x-ray, which did not reveal an enlarged heart (although I had been worried about this), but signs of pneumonia in the lungs.

She was then given Bactrim again for about 6-7 days with some very slow improvement, if there was any. Since the progress was so slow and I didn't notice much improvement, I booked another appointment and the vet said she would think about a different course of medication. We had the appointment and the vet said that she did seem to show some improvement with her breathing after listening with a stethoscope, but since she was still having congested breathing and sneezing and it's been going on for so long, we would try a different medication. We switched to Doxy, and was prescribed that for 3 weeks, and this was last Friday, so she's been on it for 4 days so far.

It is hard to say whether or not she is improving much from the Doxy (I don't know the dosage, I'll call in tomorrow to find out- maybe it's too low). Her breathing seems to worsen at night time, and the raspy cracking sounds have always been more pronounced while she's eating. I think the Doxy made her breathing a little quieter the first 2 or 3 days, although today it seemed a little louder again right before the dosing time.

I am guessing I'll probably need to wait a few more days with the Doxy to see if it will kick in, but she hasn't shown much improvement yet and I am worried it is another course of something that won't do the trick.

The vet and I talked about putting her on a combo of Baytril and Doxy initially this time, but in the end since she has lost some weight in the past while on the Baytril, she thought it might be best to try just the Doxy. I think this will be the next thing we should try. I've also been reading around, and I'll see if the vet is able to do a culture as well. However, she doesn't have any visible nasal discharge- will they still be able to do it? If that doesn't work, I was thinking about trying a nebulizer, but I don't know what type of medication to try, and the dosage. Can the a/b be purchased over the counter in the US for pets, or is it something I'll have to get the vet to prescribe?

In total she's been trying to kick this on and off for around a year now. Aside from some dips in her weight initially, she's been doing quite well otherwise. She's been eating lots, begging for treats as usual, and popcorning a lot. Since getting off the Baytril she's gained a lot more weight.
Does anyone have any input or suggestions?

Thanks so much!

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:00 am

Is this an exotic vet? They usually have a lot more drugs in their arsenal than the three you mentioned, especially for something that's been going on for over a year.

I'd want to try something nebulized in addition to the doxy -- maybe gentamycin with a steroid added. Also, sometime "pulsing" the drugs works -- two weeks on Baytril, two weeks on Doxy, two weeks on Baytril, etc. will work. Bactrim is more effective against UTIs than URIs, and generally isn't prescribed for adult pigs for respiratory problems.

You can buy a nebulizer, but my vet has loaners that are given out whenever he prescribes something that requires it. And yes, you'll have to get the medicine from the vet.

For the Love of Pigs

Post   » Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:33 am

Ditto on the nebulizer.


Post   » Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:18 pm

Thanks! That's very helpful. Yes, this is an exotic vet at a small clinic. They don't seem to have a lot of options. I don't think they have a nebulizer and don't seem to have tried that treatment route before. I'll talk to them or somewhere else about this.

Would pulsing the antibiotics be better than taking both the Baytril and Doxy at once? Just wondering what to try first.

A little concerned about gentamicin since it sounds like pigs can have a bad reaction to that, but maybe it'll be necessary.

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:32 pm

My pigs have never had a reaction to nebulized gentamycin. It would, although, probably be terrible on their gut if taken orally.


Post   » Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:36 pm

Ah, good to know that it's safe when nebulized. Yeah, I definitely don't think I'd try administering it orally.

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Post   » Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:01 pm

Look over this thread:

Clint The Cuy

Post   » Sat Jan 27, 2018 11:49 pm

I bought my nebulizer on eBay. It’s in great condition. Just required some searching.

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