Eye Discharge, Localized Hair Loss, and Antibiotic Treatment

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Ketus15
Love is a Guinea Pig

Post   » Sun Apr 03, 2005 2:30 pm


Good Morning!

I have a follow up visit with my small animal/exotics vet tomorrow at 9am. I would also like to solicite some advice from this forum.

18 days ago, my guinea pig Deuce began have clear, watery discharge from his left eye only. It was intermitent for several days. No lethargy, normal eating and passing, no labored breathing. I consulted this forum and the medical guide and decided to give it several days to clear up on its own.

14 days ago, he developed a crust around his nostrils. Clear and flakey. Also, both eyes now had a thick, sticky, but clear discharge. He went to an emergency vet visit. He was diagnosed, based on a physical exam and my description, with a mild bacterial infection that had not moved into his lungs. Chest and breathing were clear. Physical exam was otherwise A+. To be treated with a dose of anitbiotics twice daily for at least 10 days.

Crust around nostrils cleared within two days. Eyes still have discharge, and it is not clearing up occasionally any more. Discharge forms a hard crust in the corner of the eye. The hair in the corner of his eye has begun to fall out, leaving a small bald patch on both sides of his face. Eating, drinking, and passing normally. Average activity level and behavior. No labored breathing.

Today is day 12 of antibiotic treatment. I have continued the dosage because his symptoms have not ceased.

I also read here that scurvy can be hidden by secondary infections. Although their diet is only recently improving as I learn more, they have always had fortified pellets, and plenty of parsley. (I now know that parsley is too high in calcium to be fed daily, but also that it is very high in vitamin C). Also, based on the physical exam, his skeletal system seemed in excellent shape.

The guinea pigs have not been in contact with any new animals. Same bedding and pellets. They are in a new Cubes & Linoleum cage sized 2x4 cubes (www.cavycages.com) as of four weeks ago. Deuce is 3 years old and has been living with his cagemate since shortly after birth. His cagemate, Smack, is showing no signs of illness.

I apologize for the long post, but wanted to provide as much information as possible. (My vet loves having a detailed illness history, so I'm in the habit.)

Thank you in advance for all of your help,
Ketus

P.S. A picture of the discharge can be found here:
http://www.froghyde.com/gallery/view_photo.php?set_albumName=pigs&id=IM000961

It is the smooth coated, black pig. Thank you.

User avatar
mooser

Post   » Sun Apr 03, 2005 3:06 pm


Do the pigs get hay? You only mentioned pellets. Also..there are many other veggies w/ lots of vitamin C. I like to feed red bell pepper. Do they only get parsley? A variety of leafy greens is best..red leaf, romaine, kale, endive..etc.

What was the antibiotic given to you?

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Ketus15
Love is a Guinea Pig

Post   » Sun Apr 03, 2005 3:12 pm


The guinea pigs have an unlimited supply of Kaytee Timothy Hay. I am slowly adjusting the guinea pigs diet, as I have spent about 3 years in ignorance. In the past they have gotten a small variety of vegetables, but the only consistently fed and high vitamin C item was parsley.

Currently, I am slowly introducing the following, and each is not on a daily basis:

Fruits:
Oranges
Apples
Kiwis
Banana

Vegetables:
Green, orange, and red peppers
Kale
Red Swiss Chard
Mustard Greens
Cilantro
Carrots
Red leaf lettuce
Green leaf lettuce
Spinach

Any advice on diet is also appreciated, especially if it seems from my description that scurvy could be the culprit of this illness. Thank you.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sun Apr 03, 2005 3:28 pm


The vet examined the eye for injury? From the description of a snotty nose, it certainly sounds like it was a bacterial respiratory infection (most common). We need to know the antibiotic. Culturing the bacteria will help determine precisely what antibiotic will be most effective.

When you said you "I consulted this forum and the medical guide and decided to give it several days to clear up on its own" I hope you realize, the medical guide and forum would never have advised you to just sit it out and wait. I don't know how you came to the conclusion from reading either of them.

Be sure to weigh daily. Talk to your vet about switching antibiotics if it is not clearing up.

Good luck.

User avatar
mooser

Post   » Sun Apr 03, 2005 3:35 pm


Keep the carrots to a minimum- 1 baby carrot every other day max. Same w/ the spinach..it's high in oxalic acid. I'm not sure about the chard or mustard greens. Remember, keep fruits a small portion of the diet..I only give them as a treat..mine had some strawberries last night, but they hadn't had fruit in weeks before that. I stick to a variety of veggies.

The name of the antibiotic would help.. also the dosage and concentration. Maybe it's too low of a dose..or you need a different AB.

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sun Apr 03, 2005 3:38 pm



User avatar
Ketus15
Love is a Guinea Pig

Post   » Sun Apr 03, 2005 3:51 pm


I will post the name of the anitbiotic as soon as I can get ahold of my fiance at home. I am currently at work. I will also post concentration. Dosage is .8CC for 2.51lb pig.

About waiting a few days: Forgot to mention that the vet did not have any available apointments for the next several days, and did not classify it as an emergency need. As soon as the crust around the nostril formed it moved into emergency and I was able to get an appointment. I apologize for the confusion. Also, this thread seemed to be the most relevant at the time, before other symptoms appeared: http://www.guinealynx.info/forums/viewtopic.php?t=20254

Thank you for all the advice. Any ideas on the hair loss? Also, does the previously defecent diet set off any warning ligts as far as possible causes?

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Ketus15
Love is a Guinea Pig

Post   » Sun Apr 03, 2005 3:53 pm


P.S. The vet did examine the eye and said it looked clear, bright, and healthy. She did not do a stain for scratches. I can request this on Monday.

HollyT
Get on your bike.

Post   » Sun Apr 03, 2005 4:04 pm


There could be more than one bacteria going on. My first pig Wooly had a URI that was the devil to get rid of. In addition to a couple different ab's we also used a triple ab eye ointment to help with the discharge that wouldn't clear up although her URI did.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sun Apr 03, 2005 4:13 pm


Weeping eyes can cause hair loss. I see why you waited (hoping it was something that would clear up on its own). Holly's suggestion of an eye ointment might help. It is possible the tear duct is blocked, responsible for the weeping (hey, do I have this backwards? -- I think but don't remember for sure -- that there is tearing to moisturize the eye and it kind of gets reabsorbed - someone tell me if I'm wrong).

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Ketus15
Love is a Guinea Pig

Post   » Sun Apr 03, 2005 4:31 pm


I just checked the threads about which scales to use. Usually, we weigh ourselves, and then hold a pig and weigh again. I don't think this is sensitive enough, however, after reading what I should have. We'll get one ASAP.

I will ask the vet about eye ointment. Since the nose is clear, (and assuming that the chest is still clear because there is no wheezing or sneezing), do I need to continue with oral antibiotics while using an antibiotic cream on the eyes?

I'm glad to hear that the hair loss can be part of the same problem. They both had mange mites when they came to us as babies, and my heart is still broken about it. No hair loss on other parts of the body, though, and no sensitivity to touch or scratching.

Thanks again, everyone, for all of the help. The advice about diet is going into action, and I know my cavies thank you also! I am trying to change the diet slowly, adding a new veggie about every three days. I know they like routine. Is this too fast/slow? The first thing I am focusing on is getting calcium down and vitamin C up. I have a print out of the GuineaLynx veggie chart stapled to my grocery list! Thank you!

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Ketus15
Love is a Guinea Pig

Post   » Sun Apr 03, 2005 4:42 pm


Correction: I previously stated that my guinea pigs have not been exposed to any other animals. On second thought, the guinea pig may have been exposed to the dog across the way through contact with my clothes. (I always wash my hands) The vet suggested that dogs carry bacteria that guinea pigs may be able to catch. Doesn't seem that it will make a difference in the treatment at this stage, but I wanted to put that out there in the case it does.
Thank you!

User avatar
Ketus15
Love is a Guinea Pig

Post   » Sun Apr 03, 2005 7:21 pm


"What was the antibiotic given to you?"

This is the label on the bottle:
SMZ-TMP, susp. 48mg/mL

Dosage: .8CC twice daily (We are currently dosing at 11am and 11pm. Today is day 12)

Our paperwork lists Bactrim. I believe the above is an abbreviation for labeling, and Bactrim is the common name she provided for my reference.

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sun Apr 03, 2005 8:15 pm


Bactrim is a frequently prescribed well tolerated antibiotic. Let us know if things clear up.

It's always possible that there may be something fungal going on around the eyes too, due to the wetness. Hopefully when the eyes have cleared up, the hair will grow back.

Keep in mind mites can sometimes be difficult to get rid of. Be prepared to retreat if you see additional signs.

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Becky

Post   » Sun Apr 03, 2005 11:43 pm


I see you're in California. There are lots of us here. Where abouts are you?

On your diet, try to make the "base" of their daily salad mostly greens such as endive or escarole. The only lettuce I see on your list is leaf lettuce. It's good, too. Then add smaller amounts of the other veggies/greens.

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Ketus15
Love is a Guinea Pig

Post   » Mon Apr 04, 2005 7:44 pm


Becky: We're in San Diego. Glad to hear about the local following! The pigs are seeing Dr. Cote at the Cote Animal Hospital, if anyone has any first hand experience or advice about her. She's a bit pricey, but seems much more familiar with Cavies than our previous vet.

I will pick up some endive and escarole from the market. Hopefully we like to eat it too, the large bunches of greens tend to go bad if we don't like them in our salad. Even at two full cups a day, the pigs can't eat those giant bundles by themselves!

Also, here is the news from the re-check:

Deuce is still fighting a bacterial infection, but his lungs have remained clear. He regained some weight, also. We were given AB drops for his eyes: one drop each eye, twice a day. Gentocin Opthalmic Solution. The vet feels the hair loss around the eyes is due to the discharge and we're to continue cleaning the area daily with contact solution (sterile saline).
Also, he's to remain on the Bactrim for two more weeks, making it a month total.

His cagemate, Smack, has yet to show us any symptoms at home. However, while being examined, the vet heard a 'clicking' in his breathing. She said this could be due to his quickened, nervous breathing as a result of being handled by a stranger, or it could be the beginning of an illness. She placed him on the same antibiotic, same dosage, for two weeks. No eye drops.

User avatar
Becky

Post   » Mon Apr 04, 2005 8:24 pm


Endive and escarole are a bit bitter, but we like some of it mixed with our other salad greens. I don't think I'd eat it alone.

Actually, since we've had pigs, we're much more diverse in our own eating habits.

Ah, San Diego! Awfully nice down there.

Good luck with your pigs. Hope the eye/bacteria situation clears up soon.

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snowflakey
E's Moriarity

Post   » Mon Apr 04, 2005 8:57 pm


My boar gets periodic weepy eye (we don't know why, no injury, and he's been checked twice). When it happens, he has clear discharge, but it makes his fur fall out and he looks awful. Opthamolic antibiotic ointment clears it up in about a day. Hope everyone's crusties and breathing get better.

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Ketus15
Love is a Guinea Pig

Post   » Mon Apr 04, 2005 11:16 pm


Oh, wow. That would be a blessing if it cleared up that soon! He does look frightful, especially since his eye, skin, and fur are so dark. The dampness and hair loss makes him look like he's melting for the corners out!

I'm fairly sure that Smack's breathing was from nervousness, he's never been as comfortable being handled as Deuce. Even by us. But I have no problem being safe instead of sorry.

We've definately increased our greens intake because of the piggies. Since we have to have it for them... well, the rest is history.

San Diego does have potential, as long as we don't float/mudslide away this winter!!

Thanks to everyone for your help. It's been very informative and more than a little comforting.

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Ketus15
Love is a Guinea Pig

Post   » Tue Apr 05, 2005 2:09 pm


Same piggy, new question.

Deuce has a thick fat pad under his neck. He also has fat distributed around his belly side. He weighs 1155 grams and is 3 years old. He has looked this way his entire adult life. It doesn't seem to impair his ability to move around, but he does look as if he has no legs.

Our vet says this is an unusual body type for a guinea pig. He has always been the weaker of our pair (they are not littermates). She suggested Deuce may have some sort of congenital condition.

My question is: Does anyone have a guinea pig with this same body type that has lived a long, healthy life? Has anyone heard of a congenital/genetic problem that causes this? I tried searching the internet, but only found breeders with "guarantees" to "replace" your pig in case of a genetic problem. Disgusting. Anyway...All help is appreciated. Thank you.

Here are some pictures of both guinea pigs.
http://www.froghyde.com/gallery/view_album.php?set_albumName=pigs
Deuce is the black american/mix. Let me know if you'll need more detailed pictures, and what you would like to see in them.


Thank you.

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