Colds, Pneumonia, and Respiratory Infections

Signs/symptoms: Discharge from eyes, nose, or both, sneezing, coughing, difficulty breathing ( you may hear or feel a rattle in chest), backbone may appear to stick out, dehydration (lift loose skin to see if it stands up instead of falling flat and tight on the body)

Causes: Drafts, viral or bacterial infection, stress, poor ventilation that allows buildup of harmful ammonia levels

Treatment: Isolate animal. If at any time your guinea pig’s condition appears to worsen, consult a veterinarian

1. Give Albon liquid, 240 milligrams per teaspoon, 5 milliliter per pound of weight, twice daily. (A 2-pound guinea pig would take 1 milliliter) Treat for 5 days. If there is no improvement, see veterinarian for a stronger antibiotic

2. If your guinea pig is shivering or seems cold, heat half of the cage with a lightbulb or put half of the cage on a heating pad set to low

3. Increase vitamin C to a maximum of 50 milligrams per day (several small doses over the day, so as not to overwork the kidneys)

4. Force fluids by mouth with eyedropper or syringe without needle every half hour. See “Fluids for treatment of Colds,” below

5. Force-feed between fluids every hour. See “Feeds for Treatment of Colds,” below. Continue until guinea pig is able to eat on its own

6. Put a decongestant rub (such a Vicks Vaporub) around nose and under chin to help open airways and make breathing easier. Do not put in nostrils

7. Place 3 to 5 drops of a mild decongestant (such as Neo-Synephrine Nose Drops 1/4%) in clogged nose as needed. (The farther apart the doses of the decongestant, the better.)


Fluids for Treatment of Colds :

Force 1 to 3 of these fluids every half hour. Give as much as you can get the animal to take by eyedropper or syringe without needle

– Vitamin C water (regular drinking water)

– A mixture of 1 part vegetable juice drink, 1 part water, 1 part light corn syrup

– Orange juice

– Puppy or kitten milk replacer

– Sugar water (1 tablespoon light corn syrup in 4 ounces water)

– Acidophilus water (1/4 to 1/2 acidophilus capsule in 8 ounces water)

Unused fluids should be discarded every 24 hours and made up fresh as needed


Feeds for Treatment of Colds :

Mix together 1 jar carrot baby food, 2 jars vegetable-chicken or vegetable-turket combination of baby foods, 2 tablespoons light corn syrup, 3 tablespoons high-protein baby cereal, 1 jar baby orange juice, and 1 capsule acidophilus. Or mix together 1 part kitten milk replacement, 2 parts water, and 1 part vegetable-chicken or vegetable-turkey baby foods combination. Add enough water so mixture can be given with an eyedropper or siringe without needle

Both of mixtures should be stored in the refrigerator while in use and warmed slightly so as to be room temperature or slightly warmer before feeding. Feed as much as you can get the animal to take each hour.

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