seizure--very ill pig!!!


Post   » Thu Nov 06, 2003 8:43 am

We brought our guinea pig home from the pet shop 1 month ago--and he has been very ill ever since. We noticed that he was very small and thin--but we thought that he would grow and be healthy with proper care and vitamins--about 2 weeks ago we decided to take him to the vet--she said he had pneumonia and put him on baytril--he had a seizure right after the first injection--I did cpr (im a nurse and wasnt even sure u could do that to a pig but....) it worked--he came bac--i continued the bayril--and he had more seizures--not as serious thank god--at this point he was being hand fed--very sick piggy to say the least--i then read on your site that med can cause seizures--so i stopped giving it to him--that was 5 days ago--he is still very sick--hand fed and not much mobility--i need to know what med he should be getting for the seizures--he still has them and his little body cant take much more--i cant find seizure meds and dosing anywere on the web--please help

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I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Thu Nov 06, 2003 8:54 am

Ok. First thing, a very young pig should not get getting Baytril except in the most extreme set of circumstances. There is research to prove that Baytrl in young pigs causes problems later in life. However, if your vet is cavy-knowledgable there MIGHT have been a reason that he felt that your pig's illness was so serious that it was worth the risk.

Second thing - A pig from a pet store usually has skin parasites like mice or lice. Severe mite cases are so painful that they can cause seizures. You can treat for this condition at home. Read these links:

Ivermectin is safe to give a pig at home to treat for severe mites cases. However, you may want to take your pig back to the vet to get some shots. Painkillers and steroids might help him start feeling better more immediately, and this can only be done by a competant, cavy-knowledgable vet.

You need to get a scale and weigh your pet weekly. Keep a chart of his weights so you can tell if he is gaining or losing weight. Losing weight can be a sign of a more serious illness, and with a pneumonia pig it is CRITICAL to weigh him every day.

You will also have to handfeed him to make sure he is getting enough food and water. A pig this sick will probably not eat on his own, and you need to supplement him or he will die. Read:

I would recommend doing all of these things if you want your pig to get better.

Take him to a vet NOW, begin treatments for his mites, ask about switching to another antibiotic (he NEEDS one for the pneumonia, or he will die, although it might not be Baytril that is the best for his particular situation - You need a vet to tell you this), weigh him daily until he gets better and weekly after that, handfeed him with Critical Care or a pellet slurry (or he will die).

Good luck with your pig.

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Post   » Thu Nov 06, 2003 9:56 am

Baytril should not be given in any animal as multiple injections. It damages tissue and would be given as an oral med after the first injection.

Read over for general advice on diet.

I don't remember anything about baytril causing seisures. Where did you read that?


Post   » Thu Nov 06, 2003 11:08 am

I am not a vet or have any special training in dealing with guinea pigs. However, Fred, my 18 month old guinea pig went through seizures. They were very severe. It turned that Fred had a very bad ear infection. He is currently taking Bactrim. He has been on Bactrim since October 14. The vet did switch him to Baytril for a few days. While Fred was on Baytril, he refused to eat. The Baytril was stopped and I had to syringe feed Fred critical care several times a day.

During one of Fred’s seizures, his eye was injured (we think he rolled into his hay, which poked his eye). Within a day of the eye injury, the seizures were coming every few minutes. Fred was rushed to the vet, where they gave him a shot of steroids to reduce the swelling around his eye and a shot of valium, to calm him down. It was then that she put him on Bactrim. Since then, Fred has gone for an x-ray and the x-ray showed that his inner ears are filled with something…probably puss. We have continued the antibiotics and currently the vet is checking into options for clearing his ears.

I can’t help but stress the importance of getting your guinea pig to good guinea pig vet. An x-ray can show you if there is something causing the seizures (such as a tumor, or in Fred’s case the ears full of fluid).

I would highly recommend keeping your guinea pig on towels. Roll the edges to make bumpers to help protect your guinea pig while he is having a seizure. Make sure that there aren’t any sharp objects in the cage with him. (I would put hay on top of the towel bumpers, that way he could still get to it, but less likely to poke him in the eye during a seizure.) Also, using towels (especially white ones) it is easy to monitor your guinea pigs output. (Make sure that there is no blood in the urine and to keep track of its poops – make sure that he is producing output, the size, firmness and smell.) Towels are a pain, especially with a seizing guinea pig. They have to be changed very often. (Fred would sometimes roll into his feces and urine.)

You might find some useful ideas in the thread Seizures – with almost no scratching. I don’t know if this is of any help to you, but I know that those days were some of the worst of my life. The seizures are very heart breaking.

Your guinea pig is very sick and is going to need a lot of love and care and vet visits to make it better. You really want to control these seizures. I hope that you will be able to do it without resorting to anti-seizure medication. Please feel free to email me (check my profile) if there is any way I can help.

Good luck!

Seizures - with almost no scratching


Post   » Thu Nov 06, 2003 12:29 pm

he has been to the vet more times than i can count in the past two weeks--he doesnt have mites--but i have seen dead worms in his poop--that would explain his small bone structure and thinness--when i took him to the vet originally--i didnt think he had pneumonia--i thought it was epilepsy--he was having signs of seizure at that time--b4 the baytril--i read on this site-or 1 that had a link for dangerous meds that baytril causes seizure///the vet is looking up anti -siezure meds 4 me right now--i think this pig had a predisposition to epilepsy --and the baytril made it worse---has anyone ever given their pig anti-seizure meds??--what r they and what were the Side effects?? thanks

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I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Thu Nov 06, 2003 12:37 pm

I have never really heard of an epileptic pig. I suppose it could be possible, but how do you know he doesn't have mites? They are invisible. Skin scrapings (usually what a vet suggests) are inconclusive, and very very painful. When a pig has mites or lice, their skin feels like they have a very bad sunburn. The pain can make them have seizures repeatedly. Does your pig have any bald spots? Does he scratch? Does he jump and fuss when you try to pet him?

Mites and serious respiratory illness are the only things I have personally seen cause a seizure. I have never seen a pig seize as a reaction to Baytril. The bad side effects of giving Baytril to a young pig that I mentioned I believe have to do with soft tissue damage to a growing animal (ie, he never attains full body size later in life).

I would treat for mites and lice before trying any sort of anti-seizure medication. Valium helps control seizures and is an appetite stimulant, but you don't want to give your pig Valium all the time. The mite and lice treatment won't hurt your animal and it will help to rule out a very serious illness that COULD VERY WELL be causing the seizures.

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Post   » Thu Nov 06, 2003 12:39 pm

Please. Do us a favor. Separate your sentences by periods and capital letters, not "---" all the time. Makes your post harder to read.

he doesnt have mites

And you know this how? Sorry to be harsh, but you need a microscope, and most of the time, you wouldn't get lucky enough to see them anyway. Treat with the Ivomec anyway. Even if there aren't you really want to bet that there aren't?

but i have seen dead worms in his poop--that would explain his small bone structure and thinness

Does the vet know this? And just what do they look like?

the vet is looking up anti -siezure meds 4 me right now

Umm, methinks your vet needs to look harder for the cause of the seizures, rather than just chalking it up to epilepsy and chucking the pig on medication. Maybe someone here that lives near Philadelphia can recommend a much better vet.

So, since Baytril is a problem with your pig, has your vet changed his antibiotic to something like Bactrim? Or is this pig potentially going to die from possible antibiotic intolerance instead?

I can't say this enough: IVERMECTIN IVERMECTIN IVERMECTIN IVERMECTIN. I hope by now you have learned like so many others that buying a pig from a pet store is a REALLY bad idea. Speaking of which, have you even bothered contacting the store to let them know that they should be covering your vet bills since they sold you a sick pig? And whatever you do, do NOT take that pig back to the store. They'll just let it suffer and die.


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I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Thu Nov 06, 2003 12:53 pm

Listen, I'm not trying to sound harsh here. Let me take a minute to explain.

I am a guinea pig rescuer. I have seen hundreds of animals. I am not a vet, but I am pretty experienced with many types of guinea pig problems.

95% of the people that call me with a sick animal got their pig from a petstore.


Very severe cases of mites and lice CAUSE SEIZURES. The animal is in so much pain he simply cannot do anything without it sending shocks of pain throughout his entire system, causing seizures.

If your vet refuses to treat for a possible mite or lice infestation BEFORE putting your pig in anti-seizure drugs, HE'S UNINFORMED. The treatment is cheap, not harmful to the animal, and WILL HELP YOUR PIG NO MATTER WHAT.

You need to start at the beginning with this animal.

1) The pig has been diagnosed with pneumonia.
- a) You need a new antibiotic, to be given orally twice daily. Bactrim, Doxy, and Chloramphenicol are possible AB candidates.

- b) You need to keep handfeeding your pig and giving him Pedialyte orally so that he does not get dehydrated.

- c) In some cases, the pig will need a dose of a diuretic like Lasix to help clear fluid from the lungs. This goes along with a hydration subcue to make sure the pig does not get dehydrated.

2) The pig is having seizures.
- a) The first thing to do is to RULE OUT MITES AND LICE. Treat the pig with Ivermectin to kill the mites and lice and stop the infestation. A steroid shot can help, as well as a shot of a painkiller like Torb or Meloxicam. You ABSOLUTELY need to do this.

- b) The second thing to do is to RULE OUT RESPIRATORY DISTRESS. Make sure it's not lack of oxygen causing your pig to have seizures. When they can't breathe, they seize. I've seen it before. You may need to put your pig on oxygen as well, depending on the amount of respiratory distress he is in.

-c) Only after those two things have been ruled out should you consider a potentially harmful drug like an anti-seizure medication without first treating the other two ailments. Valium or other medication can have the effect of slowing down the breathing, which could KILL your pig!


Post   » Thu Nov 06, 2003 4:39 pm

A steroid shot can help, as well as a shot of a
painkiller like Torb or Meloxicam.

NO NO NO. You cannot give a steroid as well as an NSAID(Meloxicam or Rimadyl). The combo will cause ulceration of the stomach. Para - you really need to know what you are talking about before recommending a med regimen. Even if you phrased it poorly, it's what comes across that counts. You have to be careful or you could inadvertently advise something that will cause significant damage.

The bad side effects of giving
Baytril to a young pig that I mentioned I believe have to do with soft tissue damage to a
growing animal (ie, he never attains full body size later in life).

I believe it primarily affects cartilage development and maybe bone development - but you'd have to search the references on that thread where I detailed it. I don't think soft tissues are affected.

rachmcg13 - Ask your vet to try Chloramphenicol.

tracie113 - Save your vet receipts and demand reimbursement and don't give the pig back. Complain to head office. Complain to the management loudly while in the store. The only way to stop pet stores from selling sick animals is to take away the profit line.

What vitamins are you giving? They only need C supplemented(if not enough in food source). Other vitamins can cause problems.

I agree that it most likely is mites. There doesn't even have to be hair loss or sores for the seizuring to set in. Stress and illness can cause an outbreak of mites that have been "dormant".

You need to get that pig on an AB immediately and Ivermectin via injection - I wouldn't bother trying to do it at home, you need it done right and done fast and there is probably enough on your plate right now without adding that(but you can do it at home if you have the Ivermectin). I'm not sure if the Ivermectin will kill worms - Lynx would know.

Doxycycline isn't the best choice for young animals but you don't have time to screw around testing ABs. It is very effective for URIs and well tolerated by most pigs. It would be my choice. The vet should take an xray and if there is fluid in the lungs and the pig is struggling to breathe, consider Lasix. Subcue hydration treatments with vitamin B added in would be helpful regardless. THE PIG WILL FEEL BETTER AND STONGER IF PROPERLY HYDRATED. caps lock. Syringe down unflavoured pedialyte while waiting to get a subcue done. You can do these at home if the vet gives you the syringes, needles, solution, and shows you how.

1) - ABs ASAP
2) - Ivermectin ASAP
3) - hydration ASAP
4) - handfeed, ongoing
5) - Keep warm with a towel wrapped hot water bottle in the cage or a thermapad.

Ask your vet about pain relief. most likely Rimadyl or Meloxicam are the way to go since Steroids compromise the immune system. However if the pig is really badly off, Dexamethasone(sp?) could be helpful. It's a last resort drug for very sick pigs. Makes them feel good and boosts the appetite and sometimes makes it easier to breathe.

Steroids and NSAIDs can't be mixed and NSAIDs can't be mixed with other NSAIDs.
Last edited by pinta on Thu Nov 06, 2003 4:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Thu Nov 06, 2003 4:41 pm

Sorry, I meant it as an "either/or" option, it was bad phrasing on my part.

Little Jo Wheek

Post   » Thu Nov 06, 2003 11:57 pm

You can also give Valium (diazepam) to help with pain and itching. It's also a narcotic, like Torb. and can be given concurrently with steroids, if needed.


Post   » Fri Nov 07, 2003 11:51 pm

Thanks for all your help and advice, but my pig died shortly after my last post.

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Post   » Sat Nov 08, 2003 12:18 am

Oh dear. I'm sorry.

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Scrapbook Addict

Post   » Sat Nov 08, 2003 12:19 am

I'm sorry about your loss. Hopefully this will also illustrate the dangers of purchasing a pig from a pet store. I hope that if you decide to keep pigs in your life, please adopt from a shelter or rescue next time.

Knee Deep

Post   » Sat Nov 08, 2003 12:20 am

I'm sorry to hear that your pig didn't make it, he was lucky to have someone who tried to save him.

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GL is Just Peachy

Post   » Sat Nov 08, 2003 1:13 am

Poor little guy. I would not recommend ever buying anything from that pet store again, if you can avoid it. There are many guinea pigs in shelters and rescues that want good, loving homes like yours.


Post   » Sat Nov 08, 2003 1:28 am

Do not let your piggy have died in vain. MAKE the pet store pay for your vet bills. He came to you as a sick pig. Take your sadness and do something for the other pigs there who are also undoubtedly sick -- cause a ruckus.

And adopt a pig from a rescue. There are still many pigs who need a loving home.

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Post   » Sat Nov 08, 2003 1:47 am

I am sorry for your loss.

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Post   » Sat Nov 08, 2003 2:26 am

I'm so sorry.


Post   » Sat Nov 08, 2003 2:45 am

I'm so sorry. This wasn't fair to you or him. I know it's the last thing you want to deal with but for his sake and the sake of other pigs, please don't let the pet store get away with this.

It happens all too frequently and won't stop until it is no longer profitable to sell sick animals.

This petition was started because of another pig like yours.

Please also honour his memory by adopting a pig(or two) from a rescue or shelter. If you don't know where to look I am sure people on this site can help you.

Again, I am so sorry you both had to go thru this.

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