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Guinea pig has weepy eyes and nose

(12 Posts)
CheesyBadger Wed 05-Feb-14 00:59:21

Only happened today so will pop them to the vets ASAP, but wondered if anyone has any advice on what to use in the cage? I am worried they are being irritated by the sawdust or hay...

Also, can I do anything to help? The top dog pig is lethargic and I have been taking his water bottle to him. He eats and drinks when given it but is dopey.

fortifiedwithtea Wed 05-Feb-14 01:36:08

Sorry this sounds bad sad The lethargy IMHO is not just saw dust allergy. I thinks its an URI.

Take them off saw dust and replace with towels. It important to keep them warm. Where are they now? If outside can they be brought in to the house? Don't put them near a radiator, guinea pigs can not regulate their temperature very well. Keep them out of draughts.

Put a tiny dab of vick on top of their noses if you have it to keep the air ways clear.
When it gets light try and pick them some dandelion leaves. They could use eating something that is a diuretic to help keep fluid off the lungs.

And get the earliest vet apt you can. Good luck

thwinka Wed 05-Feb-14 06:36:15

Sorry to hear your piggie is ill sad Agree with what fortified has said though, definitely sounds like an upper respiratory infection. Piggies can go down hill very fast with these so definitely get him to the vets ASAP for some anti-biotics. An anti-inflammatory such as Metacam is a very good idea as well to help relieve any pain/swelling in throat etc?

They need to come indoors where it is warmer whilst recovering. Do you weigh them? I would weigh them twice a day whilst they are ill to ensure they are maintaining weight and eating enough? If they are not, then it is very important to supplement them with syringe feeding to keep their food/water intake up?

With regards to the sawdust, I would remove them off that if you can? It can cause no end of health/respiratory problems in piggies? It annoys the hell out of me that pet shops sell it for them tbh. Newspaper and lots of hay is fine? Or you can line the bottom of their cage with fleece, and then hay? Megazorb is another common bedding or shredded paper perhaps smile Good luck with them and please let us know how you get on smile

thwinka Wed 05-Feb-14 06:39:11

Also, if your piggy has developed fluid on lungs, then your vet should give him a shot of Frusemide to relieve this? You may have to argue your case here sadly though. If a piggy has fluid, and it is not dealt with, it can be difficult for them to recover properly.xx

guineapiglet Wed 05-Feb-14 08:27:06

Agree with all of the above,get guinea to vet ASAP today. I never used sawdust for this very reason, it makes some guineas very poorly and I don't really see any advantage of using it?

Keep guineas on towels,newspaper etcetera with good quality hay and keep them warm. Hope all goes well.

CheesyBadger Wed 05-Feb-14 08:41:04

Thanks all, calling vet now. Only had them a week hmm

CheesyBadger Wed 05-Feb-14 08:57:27

Going downstairs now to remove sawdust. Cannot believe they sold it to me if it causes these issues. Poor things x

CheesyBadger Wed 05-Feb-14 08:57:50

Apologies for un Mumsnet kiss... Thought I was texting shock

70isaLimitNotaTarget Wed 05-Feb-14 09:11:56

Badger have you cleansed his eyes to see if he has a foreign body in there? Maybe a hay piece? (Boiled, cooled salty water and gauze is ideal)

There are loads of things that do irritate guinea-pigs respiratory systems - dusty hay, sawdust, the detergent that you wash their bedding in for example.

Take them back to basics with their bedding. I don't use sawdust , just newspaper and hay to sleep in and soft barley straw round the sides of their Pighouse to insulate (but mine are adults and the straw is much softer than the hay)
They have soft bathmats indoors and hay in a trug, I use Ecover to wash their bedding.
I've noticed the hay has been really bad in the past couple of years. Dry, sometimes a bit coarse, thistles, (and the odd bird wing for good measure hmm ). I bought some lovely fresh smelling animal hay for my boys but GP1 unfortunately got a huge hay seed in his eye.

GP1 occasionaly gets a clear nose drip if he has fresh grass- we asked at his Rodentologist appointment . Some GPs do have a 'hayfever' , unfortunate for a grass eating animal but he doesn't have any ill effects from it.

The lethargy is a worry though, GPs are lazy blighters but not lethargic. How old are your guineas?
It might be that your guinea-pig doesn't want water. Does he drink it when you move the water bottle?

Where did you get your piggies from? If they had a vet before can you take them to the same vet ? It's difficult to find a guinea-pig vet, but hopefully you've got one near you.

My older boy is a bit middleaged now, he's going a bit 'old man' now - bit saggy, bit jowly, still eats tons, poohs loads.
When his brother was ill last year , the first thing I noticed was his eyes. They were sunken and weepy. He was very lethargic and sat in a little tucked in stance, just 'nodding' back and forth. And he felt all meh and lethargic when he was lifted. Usually he'd skip away and give us a runaround when we tried to catch him.
Our vet couldn't find anything definitive wrong with him (teeth, temperature, weight all checked) He had a hay piece in his eye that we removed with warm salt water (boiled) and non fluffy gauze.
He went downhill and died within 48 hours even with us syringing Critical Care into him.

Hopefully your pig will rally round, but do try the changing of your bedding.
It might be your pig is allergic to something. Possibly something he's not used to , having changed house.
If you can, pick up a sachet of Critical Care from your vet for emergencies for your GP First Aid box. (Or for non-eating GP emergencies, mashed up pellets)

70isaLimitNotaTarget Wed 05-Feb-14 09:19:10

Sawdust and Wood Shavings (grrr) they've been used for guinea-pigs unfortunately, for years.
But GPs noses are right in their bedding so they breath it in.
When you smell sawdust/shavings, they do smell lovely, but all the wood resins are in there.( But some places sell lemon or lavender scent. Eh? Why? )

Megazorb is an equine bedding (or there's Auboise which is hemp) but don't use anything with Citronella (good to keep flies from horses but not for guineas). I bought a Megazorb bag (it's huge) when I got my boys but they didn't actually pee on it hmm .
Small animal safe litter ( some woodbased catlitter is safe. Check on the packaging)

Sawdust Wed 05-Feb-14 21:06:41

I hope everything went well at the vets today. I second what everyone's said about urgency and also having some critical care stuff in case to syringe just in case.

Fleece can be a good alternative to sawdust. Good luck!

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sun 09-Feb-14 21:12:23

Any update with the piggie Badger?

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