Guinea pig with head on one side

(53 Posts)

Took him to the vets on Xmas eve and he said he had a middle ear infection. He gave Steve 2 injections and some antibiotics which DH & I have been giving him orally.....hes getting worse though, not better. Head still on one side and he is just lying in his bed sad

He just came into the living area where his friend Nibbles was chomping happily on greens, took one look and then staggered back into the bed area. They have a lovely snuggley bed.

I havent got him out today as dont want to stress him even more.
Hes only 10 mths old sad

any advice as we're new to pigs

I have ground parsley with a little water and fed him green goo. Seemed to like it. Will go and get grass. He didn't eat the green pepper but I think he has pooed.

DD (8) coming back from her dads today. Decided not to tell her until tomorrow as think he still needs quietness and not smothering.

Thanks ladies x you've been a real help.

guineapiglet Sun 30-Dec-12 11:16:53

Hi just thought would check in to see how the patient is doing today - hope he had a better night and is starting to eat again? Let us know how he is doing. X

I am still feeding him including probiotics. He came out his bed several times yesterday (sun) and attempted to eat some greens.

Not sure what to do. Don't have confidence in the vet at all.

Have got more advice from this thread and the guinea pig forum re looking after him. As I said he's better but still nowhere near his usual self.

guineapiglet Mon 31-Dec-12 13:14:25

You are doing well to keep going with this, the probiotics will be slowly getting to work. Has he eaten anything at all? Did you try the grass option, which may tempt him further. If you feel he is improving, that is a good sign, may take a bit of time before he feels right - is there another vet you could try if you have no confidence in this one? Try local rescue centres who may be able to recommend one who is more guinea aware than the one you have tried. It is hard when the professional you relied on does not inspire confidence in you - glad some of the help and info on here is useful, but you ideally need a vet you can trust..... in the meantime, more of the same I'm afraid, intensive care therapy. It is a very good sign that he is up and about and trying - he is young and strong and this is definitely in his favour... all the best, hope he is getting stronger by the day.

guineapiglet Mon 31-Dec-12 13:16:33

PS I know you didnt want to distress your daughter, but she is a good age to be involved as a 'nurse' in a way, my daughter was the same age when we got our first batch of girls, and it is good for them to be involved, if you feel it wouldnt upset her too much, just see how he is doing.

I told my daughter yesterday and she has been helping me feed him. I cut the end off one syringe to feed him mashed up pellets so he is eating but only if I nurse him.

I've just taken dog for a walk and picked dandelion leaves to tempt him. Yes I tried the grass but to no avail. He tried the dandelion for a couple of minutes but has gone back to bed.

Going to try to find a different vet. Realistically though how far can I travel with sick guinea pig? I think there might be a small animal vet 20miles away.

FernieB Mon 31-Dec-12 16:28:30

Good luck with Steve - hope you manage to find a good vet. Makes me realise how lucky I am with ours.

One of my boys (Smoothpig) had an ear infection as a youngster which gave him a head tilt. That's the reason he (and Scruffy) were left at a local animal rescue. Smooth was treated by their vets and then him and Scruffy were put in rehoming section of P@H which is where we saw them. When I first saw them he still had a head tilt, but within 3 weeks of adoption this was gone. Just thought I'd let you know it can end well. Hopefully this will be the case with Steve.

Re the vets- it's a bit worrying when they say they "don't know how much to give them"
All drugs have a dose per weight, so even if they'd said "I'll look it up online and weigh your pig to work out the dose" that would give you more confidence.
I wouldn't expect a vet to know all the doseages for every medicine for every animal they could treat. But I would expect them to check.

When I was looking for a vet for our hogs, I went online and they give a list of their clinics and their vets specialities.
There is one much nearer to the vet I go to that has a GP fan vet. But he's also one of three vets who specialises in Opthalmic Surgery. So knowing my luck he'd be out of town when I needed him.

I found one that runs GP clinics. It's a bit of a trek, but I know that my boars will be seen by a Cavy Savvy vet.

Progress grin
steve's head is almost upright and he is currently in the run eating some grass. Not a lot but massive step on from last few days.
I did give him mite cream as suggested too.
Still feeding him myself with syringe as I guess he is still weak.

Just wanted to say big thank you for support and advice.

grin Good News.
You probably won't find out what was wrong with your pig but keep a check on his ears to see if there's anything leaking out (if it was an abscess there might be some crusting or oozing if it burst. Not to mention the smell) But hopefully the antibiotics will have done their work.

I routinely worm and treat my boys for mites as a preventitive.
Mine go out on the lawn and you don't know what has wandered about and poohed there.
Mites can come from hay too, so IMHO it's best to keep them protected.

You can get Ivermectin online (I use Xeno 450 drops on their necks).

And if you can, get yourself a Guinea-Pig First Aid Box (I did a post about this ages ago, if you scan back)

Critical Care Fine Grind
Syringes to feed
Mite treatment
De-Wormer
Nail clippers
Tweezers-because my GP1 gets grass stuck between his teeth and goes all narky hmm
Blunt end scissors to trim fur
Salt (for salt water solution) and non-fluffy sterile gauze to bathe wounds

I've got Gorgeous Guinea shampoo , a hairdryer and some Vit C tablets in mine too (just checked the contents)

Keep a check on use by dates, and you're prepared! smile

Good News for 2013 that your boar is feeling better.

Thanks 70
I have most of the things you've suggested but will get the rest.

To top it all, just had my other guinea pig out for a cuddle and he has been licking my chin. Funniest feeling out grin

mercibucket Tue 01-Jan-13 22:16:40

great news

mercibucketgrin

guineapiglet Wed 02-Jan-13 11:27:38

Really pleased to hear he is doing so much better, keep on with the feeding and hydration and hopefully he will be back to 100% in a few days - sounds as if you have done a good job with him, hes a lucky little chap.

guineapiglet Wed 02-Jan-13 11:28:34

PS guineas do like to get salt from human skin, it is a weird sensation, but quite inoffensive, unless they have sprout breathsmile !

Steve died 2 hours ago. Went to him this morning and he had laboured breathing and was on his side. Died 30mins later sad
DD is devastated as you can imagine as he was doing so well yesterday.

Thanks for all your help.

Bit worried about other one now but seems very healthy. He was sitting by steve when he died.

KRITIQ Thu 03-Jan-13 11:35:15

Oh no, I am so, so sorry to hear about Steve. You tried so very hard and did absolutely everything you could for the little fella. Pigs can decline so very quickly, even when you are watching closely. RIP Steve and hugs big time for you and DD.

Do keep an eye on your other pig and perhaps scope out a cavy savvy fet from the GP Forum or the internet to take them for a wee check over. I agree with 70 - it seems so very wrong that a vet will say, "I don't know the dosage for a small animal," as that hardly gives you confidence in them. The information is out there for vets who genuinely want to learn (but sadly, I think there are alot who genuinely don't care, and don't see small furries as enough of a "money spinner" to be worth their while.)

I know it's early days, but if you are thinking of finding a new companion for your pig, perhaps a local rescue might help and might also be able to recommend a good vet. You take care.

Thanks KRITIQ
DD is swapping from crying to asking about a new companion.
I am going to try to find a rescue place nearby. I have found a place that looks after guinea pigs while on holiday so am going to ring her.
I was thinking myself about getting other one looked over. He seems perfectly fine.

guineapiglet Thu 03-Jan-13 13:15:48

Oh Mistress, I am so sorry to hear about Steve, really thought he would pull through, bless him, but you did your best. Some guineas have congenital problems, and just go on the decline and we never really know what was wrong with them - but he had lots of care and attention til the end, - but still very sad for you and yours. Do consider a companion from a rescue, sounds like you have a good contact, and hope they can find someone suitable for Nibbles, who will also be bewildered and sad. Rotten for you all. Integrating a new companion may take some time tho', you will have to keep them separate for a while until they get used to each other. Try freecycle or gumtree for spare cage/run etc whilst you do this. Sending you all kind thoughts.

PS you are right to keep your eye on his friend, but he may be perfectly well, so give it a few days before you decide on a new companion to join him. X

oh sad just read this.
They can go as quick as that, and it's heartbreaking when they pull out all the stops and seem to improve- then take a turn for the worse.
Impossible to say what it was. If he had an infection that was deep seated, he might have gone into 'shock' (the laboured breathing would point to that too).

You did your best for him, you can at least take comfort from that.

Boars are hard to pair up when they've had a long term boar partner.
But if you contact a rescue they should be able to help you there. And their pigs will have had a check-up, so yes, you could find a new vet from them.

mercibucket Thu 03-Jan-13 20:02:42

sad sad
really thought he'd pull through
you did everything you could for him.

his buddy will like some company when you feel up to looking. a rescuebshould help match him up, or you could neuter him and get a female

Nibbles is a little jumpy. Is that expected? Have had him out for a cuddle but he is very jumpy.

Have emailed local person who has recommended vet and rescue place so will give them a go.

DD only just managed to go to sleep as crying so much sad Even DH seems little chocked by steve's demise....

mercibucket Thu 03-Jan-13 22:44:49

it's harder when you've been caring for them and nursing them for a while sad sad

his friend could well be quite depressed for a while - lots of cuddles

Your GP will be missing his cage mate (my GP1 gets very stressed if he's away from his little brother.I'd have thought it would be the little boy, but he's meh. GP1 really shrieks if I leave him in the run alone).
They are prey animals who like routine (like when's the next dinnertime)
It's all changed in the matter of hours, so he'll be stressed.
Keep an eye on him if he goes intoverted and quiet.He might not be fussed about eating, might hide away.

Lots of cuddle time while you're scouting out a new friend .

Nibbles has been doing this Dance and low growling at steve for last 10 days and wonder if he knew.... He Is not behaving as friendly as usual but have had him out for cuddles.

DD (8) told me no one is as upset as her....but I'm the one who has been feeding and nursing him for 10 days so I'm very sad.

Just want to do best for remaining one.

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