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 Post subject: guinea pig vet visit advice?
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 3:21 pm 
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Seagull of the PPK
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My peeg, Zap, has a very swollen ear (not inside, the outside "lobey" part) that is crusty and bleeds when cleaned. some months ago this same ear looked scurfy, i brought him to a clinic (that treats my dogs, but doesn't do small animals) and the vet gave me fungus spray (Thuliol), which cleared the problem. He was outside in his run (roofed, multi level, quite cool) for a week and not handled so much and when we brought him back in his ear was swollen and crusty. After a week of cleaning and vaseline it's not looking any better.
After extensive searching, I managed to get an appt with the one "exotic" vet in the state. They deal with zoo animals. When I called to find out if they deal with guinea pigs the receptionist took 5 minutes to go ask, so I imagine they aren't super common there. This consult costs 3x what I pay for my dogs' visits!! I can't wait to see what this place is going to be like.

Any suggestions of questions I should ask? Things to suspect?
I am just afraid I am going to get 5min with the doctor and lose my wits, or be told to just leave him there for extensive testing.
I am wondering if I should just go to the dog vet. After all, this fancy place's experience is probably with birds, not peegs, so i wonder what the point is. I haven't even been yet and I'm terrified. Poor piggie!

(i should add i have done all sorts of image searches and not found anything that looks like his ear. all the ear stuff seems to be internal, and his is most certainly external)

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 Post subject: Re: guinea pig vet visit advice?
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 3:32 pm 
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hi, i have never had any ear issues with my piggies so not sure if i can be of any help.
it does sound like something fungal or an infection.

i go to a guinea pig forum so i copied what you wrote and posted it in the health section and asked if anyone had any thoughts.

normally the advice for any weird issues is FIND AN EXOTICS VET and not to take your peeg to a regular vet since cavy health is pretty specialized but i see you are kind of stuck on that issue.

i will report back if i get any replies, the forum does tend to be a bit slow sometimes but there are many knowledgable people.

in case you havent come across this link yet here is a page about peeg fungus. i believe this website also has a forum somewhere so maybe you can ask there. i have never posted on that forum.
http://www.guinealynx.info/fungus.html

by the way you describe your "exotics" vet i would almost say to skip it if its 3x the price and they dont really treat guinea pigs though maybe just the person on the phone didnt know??

ugh. i wish i had a better answer for you. :-/
i will report back if i find anything out.

good luck to you and your peeg!!!

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 Post subject: Re: guinea pig vet visit advice?
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 3:34 pm 
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p.s. i forgot this part. no matter where you take your peeg if they give you any antibiotics make sure to check that they are guinea pig safe. many antibiotics give to dogs/cats can be fatal if given to peegs.
somewhere on that link i posted they have an antibiotics section

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 Post subject: Re: guinea pig vet visit advice?
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 3:56 pm 
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I was just about to recommend Guinea Lynx. They can be really, really snarky though so watch your step if you post on the forum!

Is there any sort of discharge or pus coming from his ear? Is it painful to him?

Don't let the vet give Zap any penicillin derivatives whatsoever. They kill the good bacteria in the piggy's intestinal tract and can be fatal pretty quickly. The safe antibiotics are listed here:
http://www.guinealynx.info/antibiotics.html

Wishing Zap a speedy and stress-free recovery!


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 Post subject: Re: guinea pig vet visit advice?
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 4:48 pm 
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Seagull of the PPK
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THANK YOU GUYS SO MUCH, this is the kind of thing that I need to know and I am afraid that it's going to get overlooked.
There is no discharge from inside his ear whatsoever. It doesn't look like he is in pain, but I also know from the dogs that it can be really hard to gauge when they are in pain, and I don't want to assume that just because he's not flinching or whining that he's not hurting. Or, even worse, leave it until he IS in pain.
We are going to go to the appt, it could just be that the receptionist is a dope. I've heard that they're amazing with birds. FWIW. (at least now we have a bird vet....) i will be bringing the antibiotics list, and if it doesn't go well i will go back to my dog vet with the antibiotics list and any other specific stuff i can find- the dog vet is awesome and honest, and together we should be able to at least deal with skin stuff.

The fungus pic, BTW, looks exactly what Zap's fungus was a few months ago- flaky, on his ear and a patch on his nose. treated it, and the hair grew back, you'd never know where it was.

this current infection, the only thing i can compare it to is a documentary i saw about subq leashmaniasis (for the love of god don't image search). lumpy and crusty.
i will keep you guys posted, again THANKS SO MUCH.

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 Post subject: Re: guinea pig vet visit advice?
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 4:59 pm 
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Just a thought (I used to have many guinea pigs), but since it looks fungal, and it responded to fungicide in the past, could it be ringworm? I know it can be pretty common in gpigs.


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 Post subject: Re: guinea pig vet visit advice?
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 7:23 am 
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[quote="8ball"]I was just about to recommend Guinea Lynx. They can be really, really snarky though so watch your step if you post on the forum!
quote]

THIS!

i have heard this too but i couldnt remember if it was GL or another forum. i do not have any personal experience but i have heard several times over they can be nasty to people.

i believe the hot button issues are they are super duper militantly pro-rescue. i am also pro-rescue but i dont believe in making people feel like dirt because they bought a guinea pig at a breeder or petco. i know in my area even though i live in MA i still have to drive at least an hour to find a shelter that has peegs.
also i believe they have been really mean to people who have had "ooops" pregnancies.

so not trying to scare you from posting there as i believe the people are very knowledgable just watch your steps! ;-)

good luck and please let us know how your vet visit goes!

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 Post subject: Re: guinea pig vet visit advice?
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 12:28 pm 
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They're pro-rescue, anti breeding and pro-indoors housing with at least 7.5 square feet of floorspace for each pair of piggies.

So long as you read the care guide and the information they have available on the main site, then search the forum for similar threads before asking your question you should be ok. The medical information is invaluable there. I'd never have known about Bruce's heart problem without the GL resources.


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 Post subject: Re: guinea pig vet visit advice?
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 9:53 am 
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Seagull of the PPK
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The vet turned out to be amazing and wonderful and if my bird needs anything, we are definitely going there.

The problem is that Zap did, of all the forking irony in the world, have leishmaniasis.

The drugs (antimony based) cause the parasite to become drug resistant, so treament of non-humans is prohibited. If someone can "get hold of some" they treat animals. They are unsure about this possibility. Because the organ systems get involved, they typically euthanize animals with this disease to avoid them getting to this point.
I surrendered Zap to the clinic in the hopes that they are able to treat him, keep him comfortable, and eventually stop him from suffering if he is unable to get treated. I know it was the right thing to do, but it doesn't make it any less terrible.

Adding to the shittiness of this day, we know know all of the animals in my family, non-human and human, have all been exposed. The vet said most likely Zap was bitten some time ago, maybe before coming to us, and it only manifested when he had the fungal infection, which lowered his immunity and then the parasite took advantage of it.

finally, a last kick in the gut- the vet intimated that a lot was known about this but natural infection was rare, that most of the knowledge was gathered in attempts to protect human populations from the parasite. a google search made me realize how many poor piggies in labs were infected with this and made sick.

hug your piggies, please.

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 Post subject: Re: guinea pig vet visit advice?
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 11:41 am 
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Oh man. That's pretty awful. :( I hope they can do something for him.

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 Post subject: Re: guinea pig vet visit advice?
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 12:46 pm 
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so, so sorry torque. hugs <3

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 Post subject: Re: guinea pig vet visit advice?
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 12:50 pm 
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I am sorry torque.

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 Post subject: Re: guinea pig vet visit advice?
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 2:25 pm 
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omg. i am SO SO sorry.
this is terrible!!

poor Zap! poor you!!
i am so sad.

i am so sorry you had to go through that. :-(

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 Post subject: Re: guinea pig vet visit advice?
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 2:40 pm 
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I'm so sorry Torque :(

I'd never heard of this condition in piggies before. I hope they can keep him comfortable and get him treated.


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