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Guinea Pigs/Guinea pig URI


Hi, not real happy with the vet. a month ago took in a 3+ month old Guinea pig in and she had a URI. They gave Bytril & another med & a powder for like bene-bac. After a few days took her back in as she stopped pooping almost noting at all. So they gave a new med trimethoprim-sulfa and a med to help the lower GI work. Again took he in a few more days as she still did not go poop, so they gave an addition to help the upper GI. At this point I also got Bene-bac in a gel and gave her that. Ans she started pooping, and the sneezing did get better. But it has been 3 weeks after stating the Trimeth, on the 2nd 2 week dosage and she is still sneezing some, seems to have hit a point where it is not getting better. She seems fine, eating drinking and all. I am wondering should I get her back on the bytril and use the GI & bene-bac if needed. Or is there something else I can add the the Trimeth that will help. She is pooping with the Trimeth, not a much as she should but its not bad.

Your vet prescribed the appropriate antibiotics, but sometimes longterm meds cause as many problems as they fix. Three weeks is a long time to be on any antibiotic. Too much too long causes more GI issues, and even though you're giving her the probiotics (Bene-bac) it may be just time to back off of all of them and allow her to recover on her own.

Sneezing in itself is not an indicator of a URI. Her system may be just overloaded with medication already. The standard course of treatment for just about anything is 10 days to 2 weeks.

Antibiotics only work on bacterial infections. They do nothing for viruses, but most humans feel like they should be pro-active and take an antibiotic everytime they sneeze, cough or don't move their bowels two days in a row. That's one of the reasons we have so many resisitant infections. Sometimes our vets do the same thing just so the customer feels they got their money's worth.

I think that your little girl may just need to recuperate now on her own. Keep the Benebac going for a few more days to help her gut get back to normal, but I wouldn't continue the Baytril. The fear is the medication compromising her immunity system and doing the opposite of what we intended it to do.  

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Pat VanAllen


As is sometimes the case, people in urgent need of information have a higher degree of expectation than those of us as experts are able to give. The experts on this site do their best to give the most accurate and responsible answers possible. We ask that you remember that it is not our intention nor place to criticize the professional advice given by your veterinarian, nor is it appropriate for us to comment on the correctness of a diagnosis made by a licensed physician. Our knowledge is experience based. Although many years of breeding and showing cavies gives me a wealth of experience it cannot change the fact that we as experts are not veterinarians and therefore may occasionally have to reject questions that appear to be asking us to criticize advice given by the licensed professional. Having raised and exhibited cavies for many years I have extensive experience in cavy care and husbandry. I currently have an active breeding program for pedigreed show animals but do not encourage backyard breeding for inexperienced owners. Although I don't encourage breeding for fun I'm always happy to answer any questions from an owner who is in sincere need of help. Pet owners wanting to breed should understand that even experienced breeders have litter losses. The mortality rate is high in cavies. The chance for losing both sow and pups is always present, even with experience. Although this is a site for experts to assist owners, there is no expert in any field who has all the answers. The wisest thing a good expert can know is their limitations. Not having an answer does not diminish one's ability or knowledge. It simply shows that we recognize our limitations and operate within them.


Raised and shown cavies for many years, having aquired my first cavies in the early 1970's as pets. My caviary currently handles 65 + animals in two different breeds and several varieties. Having been in the health care industry as a licensed nurse for 35 years I have hands on experience with care and needs in both humans and cavies. Member of American Rabbit Breeders Association and American Cavy Breeders Association.

Awarded Lifetime Membership in of one of the oldest cavy clubs in the United States, on whose Board I served as Sec/Treas for six years and currently serving as President. Also editor/publisher of the club's quarterly newsletter. We are strong supporters of our youth exhibitors, most of whom are 4H members who are working on cavy projects. Through these projects they become good responsible citizens. We deal with all aspects of showing, breeding, caring for and sharing experiences in the fancy. The cavy fancy is not a new one but in some areas is still relatively unknown. Our goal is to inspire interest in high quality, responsible breeding to improve the species, not just the reproduction of guinea pigs. Our job is to educate owners to help them make the right decisions and choices in the care of their cavies.

Graduate in nursing. Certified in emergency medicine.

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