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Guinea Pigs/2 very sick pigs


Hi, so back in September 2013 I adopted 2 two (ish) year old guinea pigs from a previous home. They came to me both with an eye infection and were taken to the vet the next day and it cleared up great. They have now recently shown signs of being unwell. They are both handled and cleaned out and given floor time and loved very very much.
The past few weeks I've noticed several things from each pig, Pig 1 has been very itchy and sensitive in places, she sounds in pain when she pees and I see signs of the eye infection returning and I noticed very slight discharge from her vagina. Behavior other than this is normal.
Pig 2 is very very reserved, hardly makes any noise and has very sunken eyes, looking depressed and has a full on return of the eye infection. I went to check her over as I usually do and noticed she has clear, gooey looking discharge from her vagina, similar to Pig 1 but much thicker and almost rubbery looking. Both are eating and moving around as normal though.
Now the problem is, my mum is putting off taking them to the vets, I mentioned they should go at the first sign I saw something wrong and she has done everything she can to put off spending money on them (which I know is wrong) and I'm still pestering her to take them but for the time being is there anything I can do for my pigs at home/low cost?

Sorry its so long, thank you in advance :)

This is a difficult situation. But let me do my best to see if I can figure out what could possibly be the problem. First: pain with urination in a guinea pig very often means a stone they are trying to pass. However, it's very difficult to diagnose at the very least. If the vet can collect a urine specimen he may be able to determine if there is just a urinary tract infection. If that's the case, some Bactrim will help get rid of it. Sometimes a tiny stone can be passed without help.

As for the discharge I am not sure what that might be. Sometimes when a sow is in heat she will have a very small amount of discharge, but this is not typical. If the girls are showing evidence of redness around the vent they may both have a yeast infection. That's easier to treat at home.

What you need to do is what we call sitz baths. It sounds more technical and complicated than it is. You simply put a bit of warm water in a small sink or container, add some Betadine solution and allow the pig to sit in it for about ten minutes. What that does is help to kill the bacterial fungi that is causing the yeast infection. It may take a week of doing this before it resolves, but you must be diligent in doing the sitz baths or it won't heal on its own. You can get some type of antifungal cream from your drug store such as Lotrimin. Any cream that is made for a yeast infection will work.

Athlete's foot is a yeast infection, so if you can at least get some cream for that you can dab a bit on each girl's vent after the soaking. Do this regularly once a day. If you can do it twice daily it would be better.

As for the eye infection you may be able to nip it in the bud by just using a cotton ball and warm water. Wipe each eye twice daily to clean any discharge and hopefully that will take care of that.  

I hope this helps. Please keep me posted as to what is happening and how you are getting along.

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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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