and tell me what you think...
it sounds to me like she's in pain and i've been hypothesizing that she's passing small kidney stones or is feeling bloated because of something she ate. she usually breathes (quite heavily) in rhythm with the sounds but without any wheezing/coughing/sneezing. she stops after just 2-3 minutes and then she seems perfectly normal. this "condition" doesn't happen often at all (sometimes not for months) and since it's so unpredictable and seems to not have had any considerable adverse effect on her health i haven't taken her to a vet (most vets around here don't know much about guinea pigs anyway).
i've looked through the threads here on "hooting pigs" and i just can't believe that it in my case could be a heart problem or URI since it never lasts more than a few minutes and doesn't come again for long periods of time, and i see/hear no other mysterious symptoms.
(the pig is about 3 years old, keeping her weight well and is healthy but doesn't exaclty burst with energy. i don't either, at my age.) :-)
Also, I went back and forth with Pai for about a year where she would be alright, and then she'd start making these sounds, she'd quiet down, and then she'd start up again. If it is her heart (which in my non-expert opinion, I'm convinced of after watching your video), the problem isn't going to just go away. Please keep us posted. Best wishes!
- I GAVE, dammit!
I'll eat my hat if that isn't a 'heart' pig.
Get the vet to do a good xray of the heart and lungs, and you'll probably see a small amount of fluid in the lungs and an enlarged heart.
I have a number of heart pigs, all of whom are dosed with human lotensin 1mg twice a day. Those that hoot occasionally need a small amount of lasix until the heart meds kick in - which usually takes a couple of weeks.
Pigs can live very long, normal lives on heart medication. Without this the chances of them having a heart attack are high.
We listened to the video you posted, and it does sound like what Tom does occasionally. He might go days or a week or more without us hearing him do it, but then he does it for a while (usually not more than fifteen minutes to an hour that I have noticed).
Heart certainly sounds like a distinct possibility, but at the least, it could be some form of pneumonia or other lung issues.
fatso lived (quite well) another 1½ years after i posted this and was euthanized after an ultrasound revealed a mass in her bladder, inflammation of the uterus and several ovarian cysts. the ultrasound didn't show any evidence of heart disease and hooting was not part of the symptoms during the illness that eventually brought her demise.
I apologize if it's bad form to bring up an old thread like this, or to post on another pig's health thread, but this one contains the video that I want to reference (9/19/2006).
My alpha, Percy, just was making that exact same hooting sound that Fatso was making. Otherwise he appears to be healthy and robust, not losing any weight (steady at 2lb., 15oz.). The boys were at the vet about a month ago and given a clean bill of health (including listening to the heart and lungs).
Obviously, this is a sudden concern of mine. If it's congenital, separating the boys will not accomplish anything and may give him even more distress. Should I leave them together until I can get him checked out again?
Percy has the real 'alpha' spunky personality, though- very bossy (in a lovable way, of course) and always investigating. Aside from those sounds I heard today, nothing seems off about him at all. 'Hooting' is the best way to describe it.