On that particular Sunday she was listless, couldn't walk, wouldn't eat and honestly looked as though we wouldn't even make it to see the vet to help her out her misery.
While we were at the vets, and as Daphne drew the needle ready to relieve her, Flo shook her head, looked up in disbelief, and started to wriggle on the table! A huge, almost solid dollop followed by a load of gunk oozed out her left ear! The vet suggested we persevere with the Bayrtil which we had started the week before.
Monday saw some improvement but on Tuesday we were back at the listless stage, back at 'death's door'. On Wednesday the vet tried to drain her ear to help relieve the obvious pressure all the goo was causing under anaesthetic.
The drain didn't happen. It seems the minute Daphne gave her a whiff of gas, Flo stopped breathing and it took all their expertise to bring her back from the brink. She came home that evening and we all thought that would be that, there was little hope she would survive the night.
But survive she did! I spent all Thursday morning trawling the internet to see what we could do for her. I came across several cases where guineas had been treated with the anti biotic Zithromax (azithromycin).
We went straight to the vet, they didn't stock it but obtained it for us the next day.
And, guess what? It WORKED! There was an improvement after the second dose and just a few days later Flo was very much back to normal!
And THIS Sunday she is in perfect health (apart from now being totally deaf due to the infection damaging her ear drums). She is as bossy as ever, and as greedy as . . . well, as a hungry piggy can be!
There were NO side effects and the improvement was noticeable after the second daily dose.
The dose was 1ml per kilo per day. This was from a solution prepared by the vet. It has to be kept in the fridge and we could only get a 4 or 5 days supply (as it has to be prepared fresh, I think).
I think the vet said it took 200mg/ 5ml - powder to prepare 15 mls.
- You can quote me
It definitely is in the dangerous group. That said, like many of the dangerous meds it can address infections that the cavy-safe ABs cannot. I want to say nebulization is the safest way to use it, but as MildredM points out, in some cases nebulization won't get it where it needs to go.
My gut hunch would be to make some kind of addendum to the dangerous (or safe) meds page that specifies that it can be used effectively but MUST be used with extreme caution.
I'll be very interested to see what others' experiences are. It would be absolutely wonderful to be able to add it to a list of usable ABs, if not a list of "safe" ABs.
Mildred -- I'm so thankful for Flo's sake that goo fell out when it did!
- Supporter in '11
Our piggy had no digestive upsets with any of the ABs. The head tilt still remains to this day.
Our vet doesn't like to use Azithromycin much though.
Yes, the guineas I came across were prescribed Azithromicin for iei's.
And the vet did offer to x-Ray, in fact she was going to do that while she was under anaesthetic for the ear to be drained, but due to Flo's adverse reaction the vet took the decision it was more important to bring Flo round rather than keep her under for the procedures. She couldn't stress to me enough how near they were to loosing her.
Talisman - you and me both! In hindsight my experience with Flo WAS different to a guinea with teeth problems. Even though I had to hand/syringe feed her Critical Care for almost 3 weeks she accepted it readily and over that time only lost 70g in weight which isn't much considering she wasn't eating anything at all for herself including hay.
I meant to add earlier, Flo has also been having a daily dose of Probiotics.
The time she was in the hospital and now this time she is on Chlorophenical as well as the Xithro (which she loves! Cherry flavored). We are culturing the infection and hope to hear soon what the situation of that is.
But the Xithro really made the difference, I think. She is on .5 once a day.
- Supporter in '11
I live in California, I have an excellent exotics vet. After many visits to the vets, tests, xrays etc. we still could not figure out what was wrong with Chooch. His eye was very red and constantly draining. The vet discovered a lot of extra calcification in his ears probably due to pneumonia untreated as a baby when I got him. He lost half his body weight, his balance was terrible, he would fall down to usually one side every foot he tried to walk, things were grim. Chooch is Baytril intolerate and nothing was working. He has always been a sensitive piggy. I contacted two friends who had used the Zythromax, called a vet in Europe and contacted an eye specialist in the UK. The eye specialist said that he had treated and saved about 5,000 piggies with the Zythro and to start at a low dose and slowly increase if needed. I spoke to my vet, he advised me of all the concerns of using Zythro, but Chooch was obviously dying. I decided to go for it, and low and behold the Zythro beat it, one morning after about 12 days I woke up and Chooch had a pea size ooz of dark intense yellow under his eye... well Chooch recovered.. that said, it really did a number on his intestinal system and I was diligent with using a live acidophilus. It took about 6 to 8 months for Chooch to get his flora back and his stools have never quite been the same and he didn't put all his weight back on. I would up using 3rd cut Timothy hay and that really helped him getting up to a reasonable weight. I am thankful the Zythro saved my baby... I also think that if I had kept him on it too long the Zythro would have killed him. Tough call, but I am very glad I tried it. After doing a bunch of research my guess is the extra calcification in Romeo's ears is a breeding ground for bacteria and this problem may come back. My guess is that he had some had ball of infection pushing up against his temporal lobe. If the problem comes back, which it could, I would be very conservative in using the Zythro again, but I am glad I did.. he is still alive today because of it. I do have two piggy friends who have had success with the Zythro when it comes to stubborn infections.
Ambam had it for a bowel abscess after the vet couldn't remove all of it during surgery. She took it for four weeks. There was weight loss despite giving her plenty of fibreplex.
Both of these were over two years ago so I don't have any records of dosage, just that we had to go to a chemist as the vets didn't stock it and it used to treat STD's in humans which could have been embarrassing!
About two weeks after adopting my two pigs (early January), Willie came down with what seemed to be a mild URI. The vet immediately prescribed 0.2 mL of azithro 2x daily for both Willie (sick pig) and Chester (healthy pig). Not knowing much, and only researching far enough to see that azithro was not on any danger or warning lists, I administered the medication to both.
Willie tolerated the azithromycin. In fact, he was able to take it for the full week. Chester on the other hand, was intolerant. He stopped eating and pooping, developed bloat, and I've spent the past two months trying to restore his health. He is still having some poop issues.
Following removal of a mammary tumour, Itsy (2yrs at time) developed teeth problems and suddenly a massive abscess popped up under her chin (on side). After surgery to open and drain the process of flushing daily started but the drug of choice was zithromax. She was on 0.9ml once a day she weighed 850gr). She stayed on the zithromax for 2 weeks but a month later the abscess returned. She went for surgery again and this time vet decided on zithromax for 1 month. Very frustrating but the abscess returned and on 3rd time, vet decided to try and remove the whole capsule (not attempted before because abscess was deep). This time vet decided to put her on the zitromax for longer (2 months) and, touch wood, its been 5 months since and no signs of it.
Itsy absolutely hated it (its very gooey and sweet smelling) but her appetite, poops and behaviour was never affected by it, even when she was on it for longer.
From what I know, he tends to use Zithromax mainly for stubborn abscesses or wounds sites that are at huge risk of developing infection or those who have previously been Septrin and not worked.