I have a 2 year old male guinea pig. He is currently sick. We thought he had a respiratory infection and took him to the vet. He was put on cefa drops. Before the drops he was not as active, not eating as much and seemed a little stuffed in his nose. But after the drops (2 days in) his condition got worse. We noticed he seemed lethargic and in pain. I took him back to the vet, they took xrays and blood work. The xrays revealed a lot of gas. The blood work showed high WBC count, high BUN, total protein and globulin as well as high creatinine. The doctor is not sure if the kidney issue is from the gas being so large compressing the kidney causing urine to back up or a separate issue. He is not urinating or passing stool like he normally did. We are hand feeding him critical care 4 times a day, giving simethecone drops 3xday, reglan for the past two days, and a pain medication. He has also had 2 rounds of fluids by dr. I have also been massaging his abdomen to see if I can help with his GI motility issues. He seems to be more alert, eating pellet food and oranges in addition to critical care. However he is still not pooping. I don't know what else to do. Any suggestions? Sorry this is so long.
I don't know anything about the blood work, but when my piggy had excess gas in his cecum (per an x-ray) the reglan, simethicone, and gentle belly massages did the trick.
He did have a bit of diarrhea before all was said and done (but it was not black and liquidy), sometimes it seemed to be a result of the massages, but it must have gotten things moving!
Sorry I can't be of more assistance. Good luck with him.
He is urinating, though? When is the last time he's had any droppings? Are you sure there's no sort of blockage?
I don't know anything about any of the blood work either (nor the cefa drops)...but a past piggy of mine had a diseased kidney & excess gas, & he was on Cisapride in addition to the Reglan & Simethicone.
Oh no...do a search of "cefa drops" on this site! It's apparently one of the dangerous antibiotics that's not supposed to be given to piggies...???
Is your vet cavy savvy? Your pig could be having a bad reaction to the medication.
Look under "dangerous medications" on this site!
Cefa drops are otherwise known as Cephalexin - See here:
* Regarding cephalexin--mentioned above--(derivative: cefadroxil), a pet owner at CaviesGalore reported her guinea pig had a serious reaction to this drug, eventually resulting in its death. Other sources claim it is very harsh on cavies. Do not administer this drug orally. Because there are so many other safe and effective medications, cephalexin is best avoided.
It's not a penicillin-based AB, but it is considered very harsh on cavies. Get back to your vet as soon as you can. How is his respiratory infection, by the way? Does it seem improved? If so, I would recommend stopping the AB - if appropriate, he can be put onto Baytril or a similar cavy-safe AB.
Additionally, how much Critical Care are you giving per feed?
*edited to change information a little!
Edited by anthropolyte on 1/28/2011, 9:30 am
Cefa drops are deadly.
Pay close attention to the part discussing antibiotic induced diarrhea. The result of giving dangerous meds does not always end up with diarrhea but it can completely disrupt the digestive system. Print out that page and bring it to your vet along with the dangerous medications page.
Anthropolyte, they said their pig got worse after two days on the drops.
They list their location as New Hampshire. Can anyone in that area recommend a cavy savvy vet for them, as this one most certainly isn't?
They say their condition got worse - not necessarily the URI, hence my distinction. I was just wondering, as the AB, regardless of how lethal it could potentially be to the cavy, should have cleared the stuffy nose if it was being caused by a bacterial infection.
Sorry - having re-read my post, I actually meant to put "either way" rather than "if so". The AB should definitely be stopped.
Scary that a vet would choose that antibiotic first... And is it just me, or does anyone else find it odd that the doctor resorted to blood work? I have an extremely cavy savvy vet, & she's never resorted to blood work on any of my pigs.
Sadly it seems to be relatively common for vets to prescribe the wrong ABs - we have a total of one cavy-savvy vet in Bristol (a fairly large city) and we wouldn't trust anyone else. We're extremely lucky to have even one - there is a serious lack of good exotic vets in the UK in particular.
As for blood work, it is a little odd, and I'd say it was possibly a sign of a vet not used to dealing with cavies. It's usually a tool used later in diagnosis in my experience.
I wonder how they took the blood. My memory might be failing me, but a younger doctor that used to work at the same practice as my current vet once mentioned the possibility of blood work...but was against it, as it would be quite painful for the pig (& possibly mentioned having to sedate her). I almost feel like she mentioned getting it from the neck?
I think my current vet has mentioned how helpful blood work would be...but that there's just no good way/veins are too small on a pig? I don't recall her exact reasoning...but she knows her stuff, so I don't question (unless it's for my own understanding).