9) Laboured breathing – this can be caused by a bacterial infection, environmental issue, woodshavings, sawdust, amonia sensitivity or a systemic fungal infection.
What to do about laboured breathing?
We would always give a one off dose of dieuretic for any respiratory abnormality and monitor closely with a stethescope. You can use up to 10mg, twice daily depending on severity. It will deplete the potassium levels, so supplement with 0.4mls metatone, weekly from the chemist.
Bacterial infection: a stethescope check with the vet, a short course of diuretics, a prescription-only medicine (Baytril) from the vet @ 0.4mls daily along with a pain killer/anti inflammatory, usually metacam and a dab of vick on the nose. If the antibiotics cause diarrhoea, use a probiotic alongside the antibiotic.
Which bedding do you use? Woodshavings or sawdust can cause respiratory
abnormalities, so stop now. We use hay on thick newspaper.
Could the problem be environmental? Is the guinea pig next to the gas boiler, do you use room sprays, is its enclosure backing onto farmland.? Children’s Piriton can be used at 0.2mls twice daily.
Could he have ammonia sensitivity from urine? Clean out more often.
Fugal induced laboured breathing – the guinea pig will be wheezing. Usually caused through a systemic fungal infection. Give 0.5mls of itrafungol, from the vet, twice daily for 10 days, then a 3 day gap, then for another 10 days.
If all else fails another prescription-only medicine. from the vet is an anti inflammatory steroid, prednisalone @ half mg, twice daily for 2 weeks reducing, if recovery is good.
Rehydration is recommended for respiratory problems with diarolyte from the chemist and 0.4mls of vitamin b weekly in the form of feroglobin from the chemist.
Prognosis for laboured breathing – variable depending on severity.
Prevention – keep his enclosure clean. He should not be in the cage when being cleaned. Use disinfectant sprays when cleaning. Make sure his indoor location is airy but not drafty. Do not use woodshavings or sawdust. Do not keep him next to a gas boiler. Do not use room sprays in the same room as the guinea pigs. Monitor farmland usages. Are the crops being sprayed. Is the wind direction carrying something detrimental towards their grass run? Get him into a secure grass run for regular exercise.