Willow's Medical Thread

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amanda_mcd

Post   » Sun May 30, 2021 1:02 pm


Hi everyone. I've used the website and read forum posts for many years but this is my first post looking for advice:

Our youngest Guinea Pig, Willow, is 6 months old. We got her from a breeder but my others are rescues. She has been on fine form for the first three months with lots of energy etc until last Monday when I noticed a slight head tilt and lethargy. I took her to the vets where it appeared she had an ear infection and she started antibiotics, metacam and gut medicine as her gut was pretty quiet.

By the Wednesday she seemed to be improving and we went back to the vet for a check up and they were pleased with how she was doing.

On Thursday the head tilt was back, her head was going right then pulled back left like a typewriter and her balance was off, causing her to stumble and fall on her side. Back to the vet we went and she also saw that the nystagmus was also in her eyes. She remembered seeing something similar in another GP she treated and on reading those notes decided to swap metacam for steroids.

She is eating and pooping well now but still has the balance issues, head tilt etc. I spoke with the vet on the phone yesterday and she's now reviving two doses of the antibiotics a day and we've double the steroids dose. I'm back on Tuesday this week to see the vet. The next step they've suggested would be a referral to the exotics hospital for a CT scan.

So I guess I'm wondering if anyone has experienced something similar? If so what medications were given? What was the outcome? Is there anything we can try over and above what we are? Also how long they should she be on the meds? To clarify she is around 730g and is now on 0.5ml twice daily of co-trimoxazole and 2x1mg prednisolone once a day.

The CT scan appears to be around £700 and while I would pay it, I wonder what benefit it will give her ie will she always be a pig with special needs? This I don't mind, I will care for her as needed and love her the same. Don't want to put her through more than necessary if she can enjoy a happy life.

Sorry this is such a long read and I really hope someone is able to offer some personal advice on this.

Also we are based in the central belt of Scotland and have been seeing Laura/Eileen at Taylor Vets.

Thanks,
Amanda

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Sun May 30, 2021 5:02 pm


I hope the antibiotics clear up the issue and it is indeed an ear infection (the most likely). From what I understand, sometimes a head tilt can persist even after the infection is gone but she should still do fine if this is the outcome. The tilting one way and the other is unusual. It could indicate a neurological issue.

Xrays are sometimes useful for visualizing the extent of the infection.

I have not had a guinea pig with a similar problem.

Is she with you? Are you the one administering the medications?

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amanda_mcd

Post   » Sun May 30, 2021 5:21 pm


Hi, thanks for the reply. Yes she is with us and I am administering her medication.

The 'typewriter' type movement was only on Thursday and we have not noticed it since, thankfully. Perhaps the steroids are helping with this?

On Tuesday when back at the vet, I will ask about an x-ray and also why they suggested a referral for a CT over this.

Having had a good search and read through the forum, someone mentioned medication for dizziness so I am going to ask about this as well.

She lives indoors in a C&C cage with her two cage mates, on fleece liners. She's been with me for 3 months. The vet pointed out that her big, floppy ears could keep moisture in and cause an ear infection.

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Sun May 30, 2021 11:55 pm


By the way, sometimes antibiotics are actually administered as drops in the ear. I trust the vet checked the ears thoroughly for parasites.

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amanda_mcd

Post   » Mon May 31, 2021 3:42 am


Hi, yes both ears were checked by two different vets. However I will ask for a third check when I'm there tomorrow too.

Thank you.

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amanda_mcd

Post   » Sun Jun 06, 2021 1:56 pm


Hi all,

With vet sickness, we ended up back for a check up on progress on Thursday. The vet gave her a thorough check and said she saw no gunk in her ears anymore. Weight starting to increase again. She put her on the floor to see her walking and felt she was doing well. I suggested trying panacur just in case she was exposed to a rabbit before we got her. So she's on a 28 day course for this. Continuing with the twice a day 0.5ml co-trimoxazole and we're weaning off the steroids over a two weeks period.

So far the drop of steroids has went well. I think she seems steadier on her feet while wandering around the cage.

Unless anything changes, I'm back at the vets on 15th for next progress check up.

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ItsaZoo
Supporter in 2022

Post   » Sun Jun 06, 2021 8:24 pm


I'm hoping she continues to improve and puts a little weight on. It sounds like you have a vet that is pretty thorough.

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amanda_mcd

Post   » Thu Jun 10, 2021 1:06 pm


Hi,

She was back over 800g this morning. She's down to one steroid tablet ever other day for s week then that's her off them.

Her balance within her cage is a lot better. She still a bit all over the place when on us for cuddles but we're definitely not flat 😁 So we give her some extra support.

Our check up with the vet is Tuesday coming.

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amanda_mcd

Post   » Sat Jan 15, 2022 3:59 am


Hi,
I know this thread is several months old but thought I'd write to say that Willow has been doing well. So far no recurrence of an ear infection or worsening balance issue.
Within the cage, you'd hardly notice an issue with her as she moves around fine. When out with us she can still be a little off balance and when in different surroundings she has a bobbing head as she smells around (we are pretty sure she is dead). Rather than zoomies she circles. However so please she is living a normal, happy life with us.
My vet keeps a close eye on her but she definitely has adjusted well.
At the start of the year (2022) she finally broke the 1000g for weight. I think she's almost reached her adult weight now. Very pleased all round as we were so worried back in May/June as it was very unknown as to how she would do.

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Sat Jan 15, 2022 9:06 am


Thanks for the update. Glad to hear she is basically doing well. What do you mean by this:
When out with us she can still be a little off balance and when in different surroundings she has a bobbing head as she smells around (we are pretty sure she is dead).

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sat Jan 15, 2022 9:37 am


Deaf, not dead, Lynx.

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Waddles
Party Poop-er

Post   » Sat Jan 15, 2022 9:55 am


:-)

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Sat Jan 15, 2022 11:03 am


Ah, thanks. Mystery solved!

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Sef
I dissent.

Post   » Sun Jan 16, 2022 4:56 pm


;)

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