Inner Ear Infection/Pneumonia

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Post   » Fri Apr 29, 2016 12:55 am

I have recently adopted a young pig, cant be more then four months. He was fine for the first week and then a few days ago started looking disorientated and would swagger when he walked and spun in circles.
I luckily managed to track down a reputable exotic vet and he was dianosed with a serious inner ear infection in both ears that affected the bone, as well as pneumonia which we only caught because we did xrays for the ear infection.

He is currently on Orbax (.13cc once/day) and metacam (.13cc twice/day) and a medicine to help with motion sickness and a probiotic. I give these until gone, prob a week or two. Thanks for bearing with me on the back story here is my question. He was also prescibed Chloramphenicol palm. (.15cc twice/day) for an indefinante amount of time. The vet said the pneumonia will clear up but she isnt as hopeful the infection in his inner ear will entirly go away but we can manage it. So he will be on the Chlora. for a very long time and probably most of his life if his exrays dont improve over the next few months. Has anyone else herd of a guinea pig being on antibiotics this long? I know im no vet, but im still wondering if this sounds reasonable. Another vet at the office agreed with this protocol.

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Post   » Fri Apr 29, 2016 4:48 am

You'll get mixed responses on that. Some folks think that extended antibiotic courses contribute to the development of antibiotic resistance, or at the very least aren't good for the pig.

On a case-by-case basis, I disagree. We've had a couple of pigs on long, or even 'pulsed', antibiotic therapy with good results.

Chloramphenicol penetrates the best of any antibiotic that guinea pigs can take. It penetrates bone, pus, the blood-brain barrier, everything. An extended course of chlor is in my opinion (only, I am not a vet) the best way of getting to a serious inner ear infection. I agree with this vet.

Ideally you'd eventually be able to stop the chlor, even if he retains a slight head tilt or tendency to walk in circles after the infection is gone. Ideally, that is. For right now if it were me I'd keep him on it as long as needed, and that could be quite a while to forever.

That said, both chlor and orbifloxacin can cause GI upset. That's why they gave you the probiotic. Give this to him about an hour to an hour and a half after each AB administration. On both of those, if you can, give him a little more probiotic here and there throughout the day. It won't hurt him and may help.

Watch for intolerance with these two ABs:

Hopefully he can tolerate them both and get well. They're the best choices for the job.

My very best to him and to you. Kudos to you for getting him to a knowledgeable vet, and please let us know how he's doing.


Post   » Fri Apr 29, 2016 10:36 am

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond, I agree with you on the long term antibiotic use, i am just glad to hear it isnt as off the wall as I originally thought. I will keep you guys posted! Also he loves the bene bac gel so it really wont be too hard to give him more throughout the day! :)

You can quote me

Post   » Sat Apr 30, 2016 4:28 am

You can get that online, btw, for probably a lot less than your vet charged you. If your pig will need it for an extended period, Amazon has it, as does Drs. Foster and Smith:

All the bene-bacs for mammals are essentially the same. If ordering online, just be sure to get a mammal one, not the bird one.

Please keep us posted on how he's doing.

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