New here.. help.. my baby pigs URI won't clear


Post   » Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:27 am

Hi everyone

I am new here. I have 3 piggies. I have had Mr. Pigglie and Loki for just over a year.. They were babies when I got them at PetCo.. they're happy fat healthy critters.

We recently upgrades their cage to a C&C cage that is 4 x 3 .. so they're quite happy.

We decided to get another baby pig since we have lots of room.. so we got another pig at PetCo.. his name is Thor. We have had him just over a month now. He is in a cage alone (And sad I think.. tho he gets lots of attention from my brood)

He hasn't been formally introduced to Mr Pigglie and Loki.. as I noticed the day we brought him home that his eye was watery.. but I am not super well versed in guinea pigs. These are my first 3 (but thanks to Thor I have learned tons more!!).. so I thought maybe he got his eye poked with hay or something and didn't think much of it... after about 5 days it wasn't getting better and was still runny and he was sneezy. I asked petco and they said it may be a URI and they guarantee their animals for 30 days so authorized a vet visit they paid for. (Loki often sneezes but isn't sick so I didn't think much of sneezes)

The vet remembered him (half of his little ears are missing).. and checked her records and she had seen him twice already for this. He had already been on antibiotics twice. But since we are his Family, she figured his dosing schedule would be better and he should improve. And he had crispy ears so she gave us cream for his skin.

He was given eye drops gentamicin and antibiotics Enroflaxcin 22.7mg at a dose of 0.1 ml twice per day with food for 10 days.

I took him back on his 10th day as there was no improvement and his discharge from his eye was white. He saw a diff vet (both are exotic vets)

He checked his records and put him on terramycin for his eye 3x day.. and doxycycline 50mg/ml at dose of 0.05ml twice a day. And ear drops as his ears seemed to bother him too.. baytril ear drops 2x day.. all for 14 days..

He finished his 14th day the day before yesterday. In the middle of the antibiotics it seemed that his sneezing improved. But toward the end it seemed to return... yesterday was his first day with no antibiotics and eye meds since I have had him pretty much.. tonight when I was sweeping his cage I spend time cuddling him etc.. well his eye is all white goop again and he's sneezy 😦

He has been eating well and gaining weight this whole time. He's quite picky but he does eat a ton of hay and his leaf lettuce. I keep trying to get him to eat bell peppers.. not much luck no matter the color. Trying to get vitamin c in him!

I bought vitamin c chew things. He isn't so interested. So I bought vitamin c powder and put on a small amount on some cucumber and gave him that.

He's drinking water, pooping and peeing fine. No weight loss.

He doesn't really sound wheezy to me... nor is his nose super runny. But he is sneezy and his eye! Yeesh! He's also been fairly grumpasaurus the last week or so.

I don't know what to do.

His warranty with petco is expired by a couple days.. I'm going yo see if they will pay another visit anyways since he has been sick since I bought him... but either way it doesn't matter. He's going to the vet.. it's just gonna be spendy if I have to go every 2 weeks at about $200 each time!!!

Is there anything else I can do? Is there anything I am missing?? I think he's lonely but we can't start introductions until he's better. He's in a cage next to theirs with blocks so they can't see eachother but they can hear eachother..

I really appreciate any insight and help. So much. And thank you for reading this novel!!!

(Also since I've adopted them all I've heard not to get them from petstores etc.. but it's too late and we don't have rescues here) also my 10 year old is super super attached to him

Thank you again

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Post   » Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:34 am

Poor little guy! What kind of bedding do you use? You've read over ? You might ask the vet if nebulizing a drug like gentamycin would help (he might try that if there was an indication that his lungs/chest were congested).

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Fri Apr 20, 2018 10:23 am

Ditto Lynx. It's also possible that it's a fungal infection rather than bacterial.

And I hate to be a wet blanket, but I need to tell you that a trio of boars will fail about 95+% of the time. A pair can make it, a whole herd can make it, but if you try to put three boars together, you may wind up with three solo pigs, none of which will live with another pig.


Post   » Fri Apr 20, 2018 11:15 am

bpatters: Oh really about a trio of boars? So I need 4 or more Pigs? I mean the cage is large enough to accommodate that many but I didn't realize a trio wouldn't work. What is the suggestion for this? My other cage is much too small.. even for 1 pig really. I could split the 3 x 4 into two 3 x 2 I suppose. I do appreciate the information. I'm still learning and am committed to my piggies and trying to do the best I can for them so I appreciate and value the info you've given.

I was using carefresh bedding for him. But switched to fleece this week. The big guys have been fleece since their new cage was created. Fleece with puppy pads and wood pellets underneath.

Baby pig just has fleece.

Thank you Lynx, yes, I read that post about the URI.. I have tried to do a lot of research ... His lungs don't seem overtly congested, I listened to them and he doesn't seem wheezy (I have a kid who has Chronic Asthma - well he's an adult kid now.. but I am no stranger to wheezing). He doesn't actually sound wheezy.. He has the sneeze and eye water. Otherwise he is eating just fine, pooping and peeing just fine. Not lethargic. He is gaining weight. His eyes don't seem dull or receded - just the one that waters is a white goopy.. his coat is soft and not rough.

Really his only symptoms are the eye and sneezing.. but since this is his 4th time being treated and I started his treatment shortly after I got him, it could just have never gotten quite that bad since I have had him.

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:06 pm

A 3x4 isn't large enough for four boars, and a 3x2 isn't large enough for 2.


Post   » Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:35 pm

I'm sorry, my mistake - I meant 4 x 2 or 3 x 3 (I have more grates). But now that they have this giant home I don't want to take that away. They are quite happy in their home, which I think I mistakenly said was 3 x 4.. it is not it is 4 x 5..

it is 5' long and 4' wide.. it takes 2 full yards of fleece to line the cage

Well, darn, I am now not quite sure what to do with my 3rd piggy.

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:52 pm

A 5x4 should be large enough.

If it were me, I'd get another pig and have them in two cages. Maybe when they're all out of puberty you could try them in one cage.


Post   » Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:07 pm

I will look into that once Thor isn't sick.. I don't want him to get any other piggies sickly =/

I just have to figure out how to get this baby well!

when are pigs out of puberty?

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:26 pm

Depends on the pigs. Some settle down at around a year old, others more like two.


Post   » Fri Apr 20, 2018 4:36 pm

Very good to know. My older pigs are usually pretty chill. I gave them their first bath (I am not sure why I didn't realize they needed baths until I was researching more).. they smelled way better.. changed to fresh fleece.. they immediately were stinky again :( Darn scent glands LOL. Ah well.

Now I just have to focus on the baby to try and get him well.. some vitamin C and I have a call in to the vet's office


Post   » Fri Apr 20, 2018 5:28 pm

I phoned Petco since I got the piggy there and they have covered his vet bills so far. They asked me if I wanted to bring him back and they would try and get him well or if I wanted to continue with the Dr route. I told them we love little Thor and really just want to see him healthy and inquired on if they will still pay his vet bill since his illness is still the same and is just continuing, but we're outside of our 30 days.

Petco said it is fine that we are outside of our 30 days, they will continue to cover his care for this illness until he improves! So that is great news! I'd be taking him anyways, but it is a relief that they will continue to cover the costs.

Hopefully he gets better!!! They said they had another pig who was very sick and required a very aggressive round of antibiotics... but he got better, and he was adopted by one of their employees and is doing fine now. So I hope that is Thor's results!

The only problem is that one of the exotic animal vet is on emergency shift overnight - at 9pm. I will have to call Petco back to see if this is OK (though his first visit was at the emergency hours also) .. otherwise their regular exotic vet is there Monday.

I don't think I should wait until Monday. I have enough meds I could probably keep him on. Though it's not making him better, it's not making him worse..

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Post   » Fri Apr 20, 2018 10:26 pm

Petco is being pretty good about this. I sure hope this clears up for him.


Post   » Sat Apr 21, 2018 2:39 am

Lynx yes they are really being great about it

Just got back from the Vet.. Thor needs to go back on Sunday to see the primary exotic vet as he may require surgery .. But he needs further evaluation from the other vet..

Thor is holding his head to the left.. which is the same side his eye and ear problem are on.. Now that she has mentioned it I can't stop seeing It! He completely tilts his head left. He wasn't doing that a couple of weeks ago when she and the other Dr saw him

He is gaining weight and getting bigger. Otherwise seeming healthy. Eating and going pee and poo ok.

So she suspects that the infection has taken residence in his inner ear.. And it's surrounded by cartilage and the pus can't really escape so solidifies. This may be why his ear seemed to bother him so.

It also could explain why he seems to be a grumpalumpagus... He's probably in some pain.

So the other vet is in on Sunday we will go back. She's also not charging for this visit (even tho petco is paying. They really are being great about it so I'm glad she isn't charging them)

So if he does need surgery we will have to get added clearance from petco. They may be able to get a culture.. but any antibiotics he needs is beyond what they carry in house so I'll have to get it from the pharmacy they use. For now he will stay on his ear drops eye gel and antibiotics. It's at least keeping it from drastically getting worse

I greatly value your advice and input.

He also ate his red peppers! Yay! So he got some vitamin c in. He has more tonight

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Post   » Sat Apr 21, 2018 9:39 am

Yes, ear infections are very painful. Perhaps a new antibiotic is needed if it does not clear up. Keep in mind that even if it clears up, he may have a slight permanent head tilt but this should not be a problem.

A pus penetrating oral antibiotic is what is usually given.


Post   » Sat Apr 21, 2018 1:41 pm

Ok good. They will have to get that from the pharmacy Monday. Poor buddy.

Thank you so much for your input


Post   » Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:45 pm

Thank you all

We saw the other vet yesterday, and he confirmed the inner ear issue and explained it. Thor now has ear drops that have an anti inflammatory medication in them. He was also prescribed an antibiotic that can treat this kind of infection, but is not guaranteed - but that has to be mixed at the pharmacy. It will be available to pick up today.

He did mention the possibility of the permanent head tilt. He said if antibiotics don't clear it then surgery would be the last resort option and would be around $2,000. I cannot afford $2K.

He is still gaining weight, still peeing and pooping OK. He is still active and plays well during floor time etc. He talks a lot and seems otherwise OK. He is a bit of a grumple - probably due to the ear thing, but otherwise seems OK.

So hoping the antibiotics clear this infection and he is feeling better very soon.

THank you all SO much for your valuable input and advice, I truly appreciate it more than I can say

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Post   » Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:53 pm

What are the antibiotics in the drops? What is the oral antibiotic you were prescribed? Chloramphenicol?


Post   » Tue Apr 24, 2018 5:12 pm

Oh, and I don't have the meds yet.. but I apparently must wear latex or similar gloves when administering it as it is harmful for humans...

But it won't harm guinea pigs?

It is chloramphenicol

He does squeak when eating, but it doesn't stop his eating process.. I guess he likes food. Poor little guy, though :( He is on baytril with an anti-inflammatory med mixed in for ear drops


Post   » Tue Apr 24, 2018 5:14 pm

Gah. I just got word from the pharmacy, they do not fill this medication anymore.. so my vet will have to order it elsewhere I guess.. they're calling the vet and we'll have to figure out who will fill it

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Post   » Tue Apr 24, 2018 8:13 pm

Chloramphenicol is a good choice. I hope you are able to get it somewhere soon.

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