The male made a slight crackling noise when breathing yesterday. I haven't heard him make this noise before. He was loudest when in his cage, I went straight over and got him out, as he was on my knee the noise become quieter and quieter until there was no noise at all. He is a long hair guinea pig so I gave him a groom after this and then cleaned out his cage. This was last night and he has not made any noise similar since. He is happy interacting with his cage mate, eating and drinking, and running about.
I have been reading other threads about URI's and heart problems, and I am going to ring my vets asap tomorrow morning to see what they think. my vet is quite knowledgeable on cavies. The same pig has had problems before, after being neutered but this was months ago and skin related. I am wondering if he may have allergies and if this may be the cause of the noise, does anyone know much about cavy allorgies?
Up until maybe 2-3 months ago I kept both pigs on carefresh and hay. About 1 1/2 months ago my female appeared to have a skin problem, she went straight to the vets, had two injections and this has since cleared up. My vet recommended only keeping them on burgess or timothy hay, which I now do. I do however keep my pigs on shavings, as about 3 months ago I built them a huge indoor cage and carefresh was costing me too much to use. I have heard about using fleece, but I can really only clean them out once/twice a week and they aren't quite litter trained. I am worried that using the shavings might have irritated my males nose though. He has always done the occasional sneeze and there haven't been many more than normal, but could he be allergic to the shavings?
After the crackling stopped and I had cut his hair a little, I cleaned out their cage as usual and replaced the hay and shavings. He has since not made the noise again, his breathing isn't any more visible or rapid, as I have read about this being quite serious, so I keep checking.
Sorry this is such a long description, I'm just a little worried about him. He seems completely fine in himself now, but I know that pigs can hide their illnesses well.
Any help would be much appreciated, I am new to the forum and only came across it through another great guinea pig information website :)
C. Cole-Chakotay can I ask how often you change the fleece? I have seen that a lot of people use fleece instead, but I can only really clean the cage twice a week at the moment.
My vets said that I should keep an eye on him and if the noise or any other symptoms appear I should call them straight away. He seems perfectly fine today. He has always been the "problem" pig out of the two though so I am keeping a close eye on him.
Thanks for all your help :)
The fleece remains dry and clean even up to 3 days. I put a thick bath towel underneath the fleece to soak up any urine they might have accidentally leaked onto the fleece and so far it has been working well. And yes, they enjoyed running around on the fleece to the point that if I put them on any other material now, they refused to run and sit down anymore, they will just 'stand' as if they can't stand the feel of it >.< Talk about spoilt princesses!
- Supporter in 2014
My Fozzy was quite a sensitive guy, and I couldn't use the hay from Pets At Home. I asked them if it was dust extracted and they claimed it was. He was fine when I swapped over to Megazorb and only gave him Timothy Hay.
Tulip is in a 2 x 5 C&C cage with a 1 x 2 kitchen area. Buffy and Ginger are in a 2 x 5 C&C cage and their litter pan takes up about 1 x 1 grid. I'm thinking of making their kitchen larger by building my own coroplast pan.
I am still keeping him on shavings for now, with a view of changing once I have used up this last batch, so thanks for all the help and information about fleece. I have a 3x4 C&C cage and Carefresh is just not an option as it is so expensive.
I do keep him with a cage mate and I asked the vet if URIs are contagious. He said that it is unsure how they are caught, is this true? I will be keeping a close eye on my other pig, but if URIs are transmittable between guinea pigs I would rather separate her so she stands a chance of not catching it too.
Thanks again for all your help!