- Little Jo Wheek
Steroids are usually the first course to get them under control. Dexamethasone is the usual drug since it has long and short-acting properties. Bronchial dilators such as terbutaline or allbuterol can also be used. Aminophylline can also be used, but it has more cardiac effects. I used terbutaline 0.5 mg BID on my 900 gram, seven-year old sow. Her eating picked up, attitude improved (acted like a young pig again), and the noise went away completely.
If asthma was suspected, I would certainly switch to a low-allergen/low- dust bedding such as towels/polarfleece or a paper bedding such as Carefresh. Then, I would treat symptomatically as long as x-rays looked normal and a heart problem was not suspected. I also like to do bloodwork just to make sure everything else is working properly, but there are varying views on the diagnostic ability of general bloodwork in cavies.
Cavies are more similar to horses than cats or dogs. I´m not sure what your vet meant about cavy asthma being different than human asthma or other animals´ asthma. As far as I know they are more similar than people would like to admit. The treatments are certainly similar (in fact both bronchodilators I´ve seen used in cavies are human-approved drugs).