Guinea Pig Antibiotics

Guinea Pig Antibiotics

Guinea Pig Antibiotics may be prescribed by your veterinarian to treat a number of conditions and can be anything from UTI’s, URI’s or your guinea pig may have even undergone surgery and your vet is protecting against infection.

What you need to know about Antibiotics!

  • What is meant by Antibiotic Intolerance
  • Is It The Right Antibiotic?
  • How do I know it is working?
  • How long do I give it for the Antibiotic to work?
  • What are Probiotics?
  • What are the possible Antibiotics that will be prescribed?

What is Antibiotic Intolerance (Sensitivity)?

For a few Guinea Pigs, safe antibiotics (like baytril) affect the appetite and may cause them to stop eating. It is estimated however that 1 in 10 Guinea Pigs is actually intolerant to Baytril. Signs of Intolerance can be anything from Loss of Weight, Lose Of Appetite, Diarrhoea, Lethargy. If any of these signs are present in your Guinea Pig STOP the medication straight away and contact your vet. It is possible for your pet to die if ignored. If your Guinea Pig has become Anorexic then Hand Feeding must commence immediately! (See Hand Feeding)


Penicillin Based Antibiotics Are Toxic to Guinea Pigs and even the smallest amount could prove fatal

See our Dangerous Medicines Page for more details.

Is It The Right Antibiotic?

Ideally, bacteria should be cultured to ensure that the correct Antibiotic is prescribed.

Cultures can be especially useful with an Abscess or infection where more than one bacteria may be present., Requiring more than one antibiotic treatment. With a Respiratory Infection there may be no time for a culture to be completed therefore an Antibiotic may be prescribed in the hopes that it will be effective.

How do I know if the Antibiotic is working?

Ask your vet how soon you should see a positive result from antibiotic use. In general once the Guinea Pig is on medication within 2-3 days you should see an improvement which is especially important if your Guinea Pig is suffering from a Respiratory Infection. You may even see an improvement within 12 hours. If your Guinea Pig is not responding to treatment then speak to your vet and demand a change in Antibiotic.

Remember Your Guinea Pig is relying on you. Don’t take NO for an answer!!

How long do I give Antibiotics for?

Most vets will provide you with enough antibiotic for a course of treatment and they will normally ask you to complete the course. Baytril is normally only prescribed for no longer then a week at a time. However when a Urinary Tract Infection is suspected/found antibiotics may be prescribed for two or more weeks. This is so that the infection is destroyed and the body has time to heal (I.e. Bladder Wall). If after a course of Antibiotics is completed and stopped signs start to recur contact your vet immediately.

What are Pro-biotic’s?

Pro-biotic’s are substances which contain Live Micro Organisms that are thought to restore the balance of Micro-flora in the digestive tract. It is normally recommended that when a Guinea Pig is given an Antibiotic treatment then a Pro-biotic should be administered to ensure that the Gut Flora that is destroyed by the Antibiotic can be restored.

What are the possible Antibiotics that will be prescribed?

The following antibiotics may be prescribed by your vet :-

Bactrim (Septrin, Septra, Trimethoprim Sulfa, Sulfamethoxazole trimethoprim), Oral Dose 30mg/kg 12h (ie 30mg/kg is given every 12 hours.Bactrim is a commonly used Human and Veterinarian Antibiotic and normaly comes in a standard suspension.

If the antibiotic consists of 200mg Sulfamethoxzole and 40mg Trimethoprim in a 5ml dosage. It would therefore be a calculation of 0.625ml for a Guinea Pig Weighing a Kilo for a 30mg dosage.

Baytril (Enrofloxacin), Oral Dosage 12h. Baytril can be administered by Oral, Subcutaneous or Intra muscular routes.Baytril is generally considered to be one of the “big guns”, frequently used to treat Guinea Pigs with bacterial infections. Baytril can affect the appetite more likely when given orally. Ideally should be given to older Guinea Pigs as it is believed to interfere with proper growth.

Bactrim is better prescribed for younger Guinea Pigs. Kills E.coli, K.pneumoniae, P.mirabilis, S.aureus

Chloramphenicol Oral Dose 50mg/kg 12hKills H. Influenzae, S. Typhi, Rickettsia, Neisseria, Mycoplasma which cause Lung Infections.
Doxycycline Oral Dosage 5mg/kg 12hIs an advanced antibiotic which contains Gram+ & Gram- bacteria and has been known to kill many Infections including Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, E. Coli, Pasteurella. Avoid using in the last three months of pregnancy or in new borns first month.