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Guinea pig with head on one side

(53 Posts)
mistressmiggins Fri 28-Dec-12 17:31:12

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

70isaLimitNotaTarget Fri 28-Dec-12 20:09:25

Poor Steve sad

No personal experience of head tilt but a quick Google (various GP sites) suggest ear infection as most likely culprit.


The anti-biotics are your first line treatment which your vet has done (Did they give you ProBiotics to go with them? Their gut flora can be affected by antibiotics)

If he's not getting better after this time then he really should go back (I work with humans and I'd expect an antibiotic to start having effect within 48 hours) so there's maybe something else going on.

Respiratory problems can affect ears
Teeth problems (the eyes and ears can be affected by dental problems)

There might be a ripenening abcess in there- if it bursts (poor piggie) it will ooze out.

You need to keep him eating and drinking though. Mash up some of his pellets with warm water to make a sloppy paste and spoon it into him.

Muminwestlondon Fri 28-Dec-12 20:16:00

I had a rabbit with wry neck some years ago. I believe it was assumed to be a brain parasite and she was treated with a preparation that is normally used as a large animal wormer. This was some years ago.

Our vet didn't expect the rabbit to survive but she did get better even though she still had a head tilt. She did lose the use of her back legs a couple of years later and eventually was put to sleep after becoming paralysed.

mercibucket Fri 28-Dec-12 20:19:29

Have you used ivermectin as well? Could be ear mite infestation. You can buy it online - either for small birds (500g v small g pig) or for rabbits (normal size g pigs). Or get the vet to prescribe it. You need to give it 3 times over a period of 3 weeks.

mercibucket Fri 28-Dec-12 20:19:31

Have you used ivermectin as well? Could be ear mite infestation. You can buy it online - either for small birds (500g v small g pig) or for rabbits (normal size g pigs). Or get the vet to prescribe it. You need to give it 3 times over a period of 3 weeks.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Fri 28-Dec-12 20:23:27

Head tilt is more common in rabbits than guineas though isn't it?

shriekingnora Fri 28-Dec-12 20:24:46

Try googling images of wry neck in guinea pigs and see if it looks similar. Hope he gets better soon.

Muminwestlondon Fri 28-Dec-12 20:27:32

We had a guinea pig put to sleep on the vets advice after being found one morning in his cage, paralysed, he was fairly young. This was fairly soon after the bunny developed wry neck. We were infested with mice at the time and I always wondered whether they spread some sort of virus or infection?

mistressmiggins Fri 28-Dec-12 21:31:02

Thanks for responses. Have cuddled him tonight and he seemed relaxed making little noises. Just not eating though and spending all time in bed. I think antibiotics done no good. Bought some probiotics / vitamin supplement but again, he's not drinking so far as I can see. Trying to give him fluids using syringe vet gave us for antibiotics.

mercibucket Fri 28-Dec-12 21:48:30

not eating is serious. can you take him back to vets tomorrow?get him ivermectin as well as whatever the vet suggests

mistressmiggins Fri 28-Dec-12 21:52:35

I am hoping to take him to vets tomorrow as he has gone down hill in last 2 days. Will get him ivermectin too.

mistressmiggins Fri 28-Dec-12 21:53:00

Vet didn't seem to have much idea sad

mercibucket Fri 28-Dec-12 22:10:56

is vet an exotic animal or small furries specialist?maybe try a second opinion. also buy from vets a sachet of critical care or similar to syringe feed gp
hopefully it is mites
one of mine had this and hsd a twisted neck and completely recoveref. hope for similar for your furry

mistressmiggins Fri 28-Dec-12 22:12:28

mercibucket vet is neither. Will do as you suggest. Thanks x

70isaLimitNotaTarget Fri 28-Dec-12 22:32:57

Mistressmiggins you can get Critical Care from your vet or online (I have some in my Guinea-First-Aid-Box) but you'd need to allow for delivery.

You need to get some food down him- did you know GPs can get liver failure if they don't eat for 7 hours?
And their guts can go into stasis?
They are meant to constantly eat (and pooh).

Have you got some nice hay he'll munch at. His favourite veg? Parsley?
Do try softened pellets- it'll give him fluid and food.

Guinea-pigs can be complex little creatures. And they are quick to go.

WRT your vet- is there a vet at your practice who specialises in small animals (not easy at this time of year. I'm guessing alot of them would be reduced opening hours/holidays)

KRITIQ Sat 29-Dec-12 00:25:24

Good advice from 70. What some vets know about treating guinea pigs sadly could fit on a postage stamp. They spend most of their time studying cats, dogs and larger livestock. It's only those with a special interest who take the time to learn about guinea pigs for themselves that know their onions.

You may have to join the forum to see the page, but there is a long list of recommended guinea pig vets from all over the UK here. .

As 70 says, it's crucial that a guinea pig continues to eat and have water, whether or not they can do it for themselves, or their chances of survival are slim. Lots of information on how to do it here

Good luck!

mistressmiggins Sat 29-Dec-12 08:22:13

It's all been so quick. He was eating fine but just had lopsided head. Now in last couple of days he's taken to his bed. I wasn't sure whether the antibiotics were making him feel worse especially as vet said wasn't sure how much to give him [hmmm]

I've just been into them and steve was in the outside area. He came up to me at the bars and let me stroke his nose but when I offered him parsley leaf and then some other fresh greens, he just sniffed and ran off.

Will feed him with syringe as you've suggested.
Thanks for your good advice.

guineapiglet Sat 29-Dec-12 11:06:55

Im so sorry to hear your guinea has been so unwell, it shows how poorly they feel when they take to their bed and dont eat, so as everyone else says, you must try and get food and drink down him as often as you can, some intensive care therapy indoors under your watchful eye - if you can line a biggish cardboard box with paper and hay and bring him in for some tlc. -If he is going downhill quickly, it would be best to bring him in and really look after him, once he starts to eat again you will know he is going to rally. Try things like grass, dandelions and cucumber, anything to tempt him and get his innards working again.....really hope he rallies, he is so young to be this ill. Keep him warm.
Good luck, will be thinking of you.

mistressmiggins Sat 29-Dec-12 11:26:40

right. Bought some probiotic and managed to get some mashed up pellets & fluid into him. He was making little squeaks after this when I was just holding him. He was also grinding his teeth - well thats what it sounded like. Taken to bed again. Going to feed him little but often as the other forum suggests.

guineapiglet - if I put him in a cardboard box, he will get more stressed wont he? They are indoors anyway in the utlility room so I can see him all the time. Should I just leave him in his fluffy bed apart from feeding? I just want to cuddle him but DH says leave him alone.

guineapiglet Sat 29-Dec-12 12:06:03

Hi again, sorry for some reason I took that he was outside, so if he is in and in familiar surroundings, do leave him in his fluffy bed, he will be most comfortable there and not stressed about being somewhere new. Is he still floppy? You are doing well to get food into him, it is hard going, but keep persevering, the little squeaks show he is trying hard. He needs to do it his way really, but you may have to prepare yourself if he doesnt start eating and drinking independently within a few hours or so, he needs to get his strength to do this, so try and keep on with the feeding, poor little soul. TBH, I would be tempted to cuddle him a bit too, just for reassurance. You could get an old towel, swaddle him in it a bit, and sit with him on your lap in a quiet warm room, stroke him gentle and coo to him - you will get a feel for how it is going - will check back in a while so good luck. IS he managing to poo normally the other end after this food has gone in?

mistressmiggins Sat 29-Dec-12 12:34:53

I have done the swaddling last night and a little this morning. Have just popped my head round door and given other guinea pig some green pepper. Steve popped his head out the bed and took a tiny piece off me. Don't know if he has eaten it but that's a huge change from this morning. Maybe the little fluid I have managed to get into him has helped a little.
Will just keep on doing my nursing and see.

Not sure about the poo. Will check his bed as other guinea pig not been in there since he's been I'll and hogging it.

mercibucket Sat 29-Dec-12 13:02:14

Awwww poor piggy. Get those ivermectin drops today. You can also buy mite drops at pets at home but they're quite expensive for one dose and you need enough for 3 doses overall. Hope he's ok.

mercibucket Sat 29-Dec-12 13:02:14

Awwww poor piggy. Get those ivermectin drops today. You can also buy mite drops at pets at home but they're quite expensive for one dose and you need enough for 3 doses overall. Hope he's ok.

guineapiglet Sat 29-Dec-12 13:32:40

It sounds like you are working very hard for him - and very positive to hear he is coming out to see you - keep going with the fluids and chopped up pellets, they contain vitamins so these will help. You could try a handful of fresh grass if you have any, as they can be tempted by this to start eating again - the magic food for mine was always cucumber, spinach and banana skins (!), I hope he is picking up a bit.( Might be a good idea to keep Nibbles completely separate for a while if you can, if it is a viral thing he might pick it up as well). Sounds like you are doing everything you can do. X

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sat 29-Dec-12 13:40:27

YY to grass guineapiglet.
Mine aren't going onto the lawn (haven't grazed since Hallowe'en time).
I cut them a handful of fresh grass and they swoop on it.
Even the parsley gets put on the back burner for fresh grass.

Worth a try MisstressMiggins ?

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