Emergency please help: Duck's URI gasping for breath

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bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sat Jul 01, 2023 3:29 pm


If the nasal discharge is clear, there's not likely to be a bacterial infection. It could be viral, or it could be an allergy. If either of those, then you have to worry more about the drainage into the lungs causing problems than about an actual URI.

beefyduck

Post   » Sat Jul 01, 2023 5:31 pm


I will try to get rid of as much dust in her hay as possible. Is sulfatrim effective against viral infections? Whatever is bothering her seems to be affecting her breathing so that her whole body rocks as she breathes. It very noticeable when she's sleeping.

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sat Jul 01, 2023 6:22 pm


No, no antibiotics work against viruses, unfortunately.

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ItsaZoo
Supporter in 2023

Post   » Sun Jul 02, 2023 2:00 am


Sulfatrim is quite effective for URIs, and is more easily tolerated than Baytril in my experience. It is possible to get hay or seeds in the sinuses or windpipe, since they like to nose around in the hay. I hope this is not serious and will clear up with treatment.

beefyduck

Post   » Mon Sep 04, 2023 12:12 pm


Hello everyone, this post isn't related to the title of this topic but it does have a lot of Duck's medical history so I thought it best to post here. Apologies if I should have started a new topic.

This may be long, but in summary, Duck experienced some twitches and behavior that looked like she was passing over the rainbow bridge but snapped out of it. I am wondering if this is normal, if she is in pain, and how much longer we can expect to have her with us? Or did I completely misread what I saw?

Duck has been doing pretty well the last few weeks, but yesterday she gave us all a fright. The entire day she was laying down in her house, flatter and looking more limp than usual, eyes sunken in. I noticed that occasionally she would awake from a nap and appear to have labored breathing (mouth slightly open, sides heaving). She would come out very occasionally for hay and if we lured her out with vitamin c biscuits, but she looked kind of dazed and not really in herself when she would walk. She also looked extremely weak and wouldn't adjust her back feet during the walk until they were stretched out so far behind her that they couldn't support her. When eating she would be on her side with her back legs out from under her and propped up on her front feet for a few bites before collapsing her head down. Almost instantly, her ears would start flapping and her eyes looked like she was in REM sleep.

At night her body starting jolting at random times. She would be sitting up and have a jolt. Then her head would slowly go down to the ground so she was laying down in an uncomfortable looking way and she would have more twitches. Her ears flapped too and her back feet would also twitch. Overall, this behavior seemed very similar to when our other pig Beef passed. But after one particular twitch, she lifted her head up and started eating her poops. I gave her some tomato, cilantro, and banana because I wanted her to have a tasty treat to remember us by. Then she came out of her house for some hay, but her demeanor was entirely different. She had a pep in her step and it looked like Duck was back. This morning, Duck is eating and acting normal. Does what happened to Duck yesterday sound like a step of the death process for pigs? Or could it just have been a sudden drop in vitamin c/calcium? Is it normal for pigs to "snap out of it" when this time comes? Am I looking at extra days with her or months? Yesterday was an absolute emotional rollercoaster and as always, I appreciate your help in making this less confusing.

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Mon Sep 04, 2023 1:19 pm


Thanks for the update. Posting on this topic was the best choice (glad you did).

I don't have a medical background so I can only throw things out based on what I have read here over the years.

1) Sometimes a guinea pig has a "last hurrah", where they seem to improve, only to go downhill. The problems you experienced, IMO, are infrequent.

2) I understand guinea pigs can have epilepsy. I do not know that this is what you saw.

3) Neurological issues like what you saw can indeed precede death.

4) Heart issues - guinea pigs can have strokes and other problems, just like we humans do.

Or could it just have been a sudden drop in vitamin c/calcium? It is more likely low blood sugar than low calcium.

Hopefully she will continue her improvement. More reading:
https://www.guinealynx.info/pain.html
https://www.guinealynx.info/heart.html

I look forward to comments from other members who may have different experiences and advice!

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Sef
I dissent.

Post   » Mon Sep 04, 2023 7:50 pm


I'm so sorry that Duck is doing poorly. Lynx has offered some good ideas. When you said, "eyes sunken in," I immediately thought of dehydration. Dehydration could be a sign of advanced kidney disease. Some of the other issues you're seeing could point to kidney failure as well (weakness; lethargy; difficulty breathing). I couldn't find anything specific to guinea pigs and CKD online, but one website lists very similar symptoms in cats (emphasis mine): "Symptoms of end stage kidney failure in cats include general symptoms listed above, as well as dull, sunken eyes, inability to walk, body odor, incontinence in bladder or bowels, seizures, confusion, refusal to eat or drink, twitching, blindness, pacing and restlessness, withdrawing, hiding and running away." [Source: LakeCross Veterinary Hospital].

Obviously, these symptoms could be many other things as well, but just tossing it out there as another possibility.

beefyduck

Post   » Tue Sep 05, 2023 12:20 am


Thank you both for the input. She was on a lot of medicine back in April and her urine was very dark color for quite some time. I wonder if that was the start of possible kidney failure. What can I do to make her more comfortable if she is going through this? Are there certain veggies to avoid/offer more of? I will do anything I can for her as long as she shows an interest in staying with us.

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Sef
I dissent.

Post   » Tue Sep 05, 2023 8:28 am


I would discuss this with your veterinarian. Generally speaking, fluid therapy can help with dehydration and can help flush toxins (uremia) out of the system. What I wouldn't want to do, though, is push extra fluids if this is something else such as heart failure. If your vet feels that this is kidney-related, they can give you fluids that you can administer at home via subcutaneous injection. That tends to be more effective than oral fluids alone. See:
https://www.guinealynx.info/subcue.html

beefyduck

Post   » Thu Sep 21, 2023 10:36 pm


We took her to the vet for her scare and also for her chronic sneezing. The vet said if we don't do a CT scan we won't know what is causing either of these issues but she said we can try Bactrim and see if it helps with her sneezing. Is this antibiotic particularly hard on the kidneys? I'm thinking it might be worth a shot since duck hasn't reacted badly to Bactrim before, but wary of her kidneys. I asked the vet but she said possible kidney issues couldn't be confirmed without a CT.

Also her sneezing has been pretty severe for the last 3 weeks. It wakes her from her sleep and is quite loud and sometimes discharge sprays from her nose. Today I found that around her left nostril, which is the one that experiences discharge, there were some bloody spots. Does anyone know what this could mean?

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Fri Sep 22, 2023 8:21 am


Thanks for the update. I am guessing the Bactrim will be okay if there is no existing severe liver disease. If your vet prescribed it, I expect this has been taken into account. As far as humans go, here is some info on this drug:
https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supple ... 071899?p=1

Does she show signs of mouth breathing? Is the sneezing partly to open her nasal passages?

The bloody spots from sneezing: I expect that like us, there are blood vessels easily injured causing bleeding from the nasal passages.

beefyduck

Post   » Fri Sep 22, 2023 8:12 pm


I don't think she is mouth breathing. Sometimes she sits with her lips parted but I think that's normal for her. When she had pneumonia she was mouth breathing and that was very noticeable.

It is possible that she is sneezing partially to clear her nasal passages. She wipes at her nose a lot and sometimes does sharp exhales that often precede a sneeze. I forgot to mention yesterday that while we had her out to weigh her, we found something that looked like a very small grain of rice on the towel she was sitting on. We squeezed it and it popped with a milky white pus-like fluid. I have no idea what it was, but I wonder if she had dislodged it from her nose during a sneeze. I've been looking at her frequently throughout the day today and her nose seems to be more dry than it has been in the past 3 weeks. Any discharge seems to be clear rather than milky. I read a thread on here that someone's pig had chronic sinusitis and their vet said they would only have to treat their pig if the infection was acute (milky discharge). I hope we've seen the last of the milky discharge

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