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Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 2477
Experience:  DVM from Iowa State University in 1994; actively engaged in private regular and emergency practice since that time.
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we have a guinea pig that is two years old, she has very noisy

Customer Question

we have a guinea pig that is two years old, she has very noisy breathing, and a runny nose, she has lost some weight but is now stable at 800gms, this has been going on for about a month. She has had a ten day course of baytril and metacam. we have given a probiotic for fourteen days.. She is active and eating and drinking normally. she has some patchy hair loss and some sensitivity to touch we have applied ivermectin topically. None of our other guinea pigs are showing any symptoms. any ideas!
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 3 years ago.

Dr. Jo :

Hello,

Dr. Jo :

My name isXXXXX and I will do my best to help you with your questions about Erowyn (love the name!). I'm sorry she's got you worried but glad you are looking for information to help.

Dr. Jo :

If you return online and wish to join the conversation, please type in what you want to say and click REPLY.

Dr. Jo :

Based on the symptoms you are describing and the fact that she hasn't responded to the treatment with baytril and metacam, I'd be concerned about the accuracy of your diagnosis.

Dr. Jo :

Perhaps this isn't a bacterial disease (that's what the Baytril was for).

Dr. Jo :

Perhaps this isn't an inflammatory disease (that's what the Metacam was for).

Dr. Jo :

It's also of particular interest that none of your other guinea pigs are sick. That makes things like dietary, environmental, and parasitic problems a little less likely. They're still possible, though, and Erowyn is just the first one to show symptoms.

Dr. Jo :

If I were examining a guinea pig showing these symptoms who'd already had the treatment Erowyn has received, I'd take a very hard look at her diet.

Dr. Jo :

Guinea pigs have a hard time getting enough Vitamin C in their diet. The guinea pig pellets you use have to be very fresh and be supplemented with Vitamin C (rabbit pellets are not).

Dr. Jo :

A lack of Vitamin C in the diet can contribute to respiratory symptoms and nearly always causes some patchy hairloss.

Dr. Jo :

I'm glad you are using topical Ivermectin. That will help cover the possibility of parasitic disease, but it will take some time for a response. Keep it up.

Dr. Jo :

So my suggestions are to:

Dr. Jo :

1. Make sure she was given the appropriate dose of Bayril and really received a full course of it.

Dr. Jo :

2. Continue the ivermectin treatments (at an appropriate dose and frequency).

Dr. Jo :

3. Address any concerns about a potential lack of Vitamin C in their diet.

Dr. Jo :

4. Be sure to keep your vet posted on her progress or lack thereof. Lots of times when we work with these little guys we have to try a few different things in order to get a solution.

Dr. Jo :

I see you are still offline.

Dr. Jo :

I apologize it took so long for an expert with guinea pig experience to come online to address your question. Regardless, I want to be as helpful as I can.

Dr. Jo :

Please understand that if you return to this chat and I am offline, you can still join the conversation by typing in what you want to say and clicking REPLY.

Dr. Jo :

I'll be notified of your response via email and will get back to you as soon as I am online again.

Dr. Jo :

Thank you for using our website.

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