My latest guinea pig medical issue is affecting my little Kokiri. He was brought to the vet recently because his eyes were constantly watering and getting crusty, and his breathing looked a bit labored. He also had some spots on his piggy tush and tummy where the fur was looking a bit sparse. The doctor examined him and listened to his lungs. Thankfully Kokiri didn't have a URI, he was exhibiting the symptoms of allergies. The balding spots were the result of over-grooming, probably due to itchiness. He also saw that Kokiri was a bit lumpy, and was concerned that he may have tumors. We bought a new bale of blue grass hay, and I completely scrubbed Kokiri's cage and accessories clean and gave him a bath before giving him the new relatively dust-free hay. Despite these efforts my little peeg was still showing signs of allergies.
We took him for a biopsy a few days ago. Luckily, the mass in Kokiri's neck wasn't a tumor, but a large abscess. The vet removed the abscess and stitched him up, and sent a sample of the pus to a lab to find out what kind of bacteria it is. The poor peeg still has smaller abscesses. He apparently has guinea pig strangles. We're going to try to get rid of the infection with antibiotics, and he was put on a regimen of acidophilus, reglan, and baytril for 3 weeks and metacam for a week or so.
My poor peeg! His neck is shaved and the stitches look terrible. He's eating well, and even seems a bit perky. Before the surgery he looked like he wasn't feeling well at all, sitting around all puffy. Now his eyes are a tad brighter and he appears to be feeling better. I removed his brick and litter tray so he wouldn't have to jump or accidently scrape his neck on anything. I put a big pile of hay down for him to nom on. I've been sitting with him and he even does his tiny little mousie squeaks while I pet him. Kokiri seems like he's doing ok, and I think he'll make a full recovery. I'm still concerned for my little squeaker though.
Here's a picture of Kokiri well before he became ill. Doesn't he look so cute and comfy? If I was smaller I'd climb into his cage and use him as a pillow. I'd post a recent photo.... but maybe I'll wait til he feels and looks a little better.