Baytril and appetite

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Post   » Mon Apr 01, 2019 6:33 am

Hi guys,

So my female pig, Philly (5y/o) has what looks like a UTI and has been on .35mL of Baytril for the last 6 days. She's lost most of her appetite and I am currently emailing my vet to see what we can do. I fed her about 5mLs of pellet slurry last night (she refuses to take much more at a time, but I may try again this morning) and she ate a little grass. She also eats a bit of grass in the morning and still eats lettuce, but doesn't drink much water or eat pellets or enough hay. I am thinking the Baytril is messing with her tummy and am going to pick up some critical care from the vet today.

My main question is, what do you think I should do? Should I stop the Baytril? Switch antibiotics? Add a probiotic? Should I just keep going with the Baytril for 4 more days and hope she gets an appetite back soon?

Also, I read on here to give her 60g of pellet slurry a day? Is that the case? It seems like so much and she can only eat like 5mL (so prob 8 grams ish) at a time...

She also hasn't lost any weight yet. She's about 2.2lbs.

Thanks guys, and please keep Philly in your thoughts.

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Post   » Mon Apr 01, 2019 6:59 am

2 lbs. 2 oz. is a small pig. Has she always been that small? It definitely sounds like the Baytril is causing her to lose her appetite, which is a common side effect of that drug. How did the vet diagnose UTI? What were her symptoms? Was a culture done? X-rays to rule out a bladder stone? Bactrim is generally a better medication choice for urinary tract infections, and most guinea pigs tolerate it fairly well. I would definitely ask the vet this morning about switching. It's always a good idea to use a probiotic with any antibiotic. See:

You will need to keep handfeeding until she's eating well on her own. It's critical to keep her weight up and her gut moving. It sounds like you already read the handfeeding page, which I believe does mention breaking the feedings into smaller amounts throughout the day. Forcefeeding is just that -- forcing an ill guinea pig to eat when he or she can't or won't. It can literally save a sick animal's life. She may like the taste of Critical Care better than pellet slurry. I've sometimes had better luck using unflavored Pedialyte with it instead of water.

Good luck, and keep us posted.


Post   » Mon Apr 01, 2019 7:18 am

Hi sef,

No bladder stones on x-ray, no culture but they did an ultrasound and it looks like a UTI to the vet. She had lost a little appetite but was still eating and I heard her squeak while peeing once or twice. She also had some white discharge, which made me think sludge or stones, but none on the xray. She has always been around 2lbs, but I thought 700-900g was average for females? She's like 1000 grams ish? Vet said her weight is good.

No weight loss either. Just less eating with meds.

I have been talking to the vet about switching meds. I can ask about the Bactrim and a probitic. I am calling him once he gets in this morning, but I'd just like some more opinions other than what I've read already.

Any idea on how much pellet slurry is ok to give in one sitting? I don't want to overdo it. And is 60g of pellets about right? It just seems like so much. I've also seen some people mix it with baby food for taste? Is that ok or is it too sugary?

Thanks for the help

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Post   » Mon Apr 01, 2019 8:40 am

I think the hand feeding page gives some answers to how much to feed at a time. I would also increase fluids to help flush out the white discharge (does it dry into a powdery paste?). Was there an odor at her butt before antibiotics were started? And yes, see what your vet says about stopping the Baytril. Bactrim seems to work much better for a UTI and is better tolerated.

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Post   » Mon Apr 01, 2019 10:03 am

I'd ask about switching to Bactrim.

But it is critically important that you hand-feed her if she's not eating. Guinea pigs are wired to need food moving through their systems at all times, and can develop painful/fatal stomach ulcers and/or bloat if they don't.

If she's eating nothing else, she needs 100+ cc of Critical Care or a slurry every day, split into 6-8 feedings around the clock. If she is eating some things, you can decrease that accordingly.

It's not a question of her wanting to eat the stuff. She's a two-pound guinea pig, you're an adult human, and you're well-fixed to win this battle. She MUST eat, or she'll die. If you're having trouble getting it in her, post back here with how you're doing it and we can offer tips for improving the process.

Good luck to you both.


Post   » Wed Apr 03, 2019 2:54 pm

Hi guys,

Just thought I’d give an update. Vet said to stop the baytril (she’s been on it about a week), so we did. Have been hand feeding her critical care. It was a nightmare to get her to take it until I added some stage 2 carrot baby food (less than a teaspoon to 15ml). She takes it easier now and looks to be on an upward trend. More (normal) poops which is good!

I have saline solution to give her today (she got some at the vet two days ago and they showed me how to administer it at home). Probably going to hold off on giving it to her until tomorrow as we are moving her and her sister into my new apartment today. I want to limit the stress I put her through as much as possible.

Still talking to the vet about what to do going forward. The priority right now is getting her to eat. Luckily she eats hay between syringes of critical care, so it’s definitely stimulating her appetite. We have a long way to go, but I think we are on the upswing.

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