Guinea Pig Upper Respiratory Infection

Guinea Pig Upper Respiratory Infection

Guinea Pig Upper Respiratory Infection are common in Pet Store Pigs. Guinea Pigs can also catch upper respiratory infections in cold, damp environments. Winter Months can also contribute to this condition if inadequate bedding and shelter is not provided.

Winter Months

I would recommend bringing your Guinea Pigs Indoors if the Temperature is going to drop below 15°c

New Pet Owners are unaware of how quickly Guinea Pigs can go down hill and how vital Prompt Veterinary Care is to the health of there new pet.

URI’s Are A Deadly Bacterial Infections that can result in Death if left untreated

Did you know your Guinea Pig can Die within 4 days of contracting an URI - They Drown

Untreated URI’s are almost fatal. Cavies do not get cold viruses.  Allergies/Asthma are very rare, though they may produce similar signs.

Signs of a URI :

  • Refusal to Eat or Drink (Anorexia)
  • No Faeces (as a result of not eating)
  • Laboured Breathing, Wheezing
  • Sneezing, Coughing
  • Crusty Eyes, Eyes that are almost sealed shut
  • Discharge From Eyes (See Normal Eyes)
  • Dull and/or receding Eyes.
  • Rough or Puffed-up coat
  • Lethargy, Hunched Posture

See a vet if you see any of the above signs. Because URI’s are fast moving and deadly. It is imperative that your Vet Rules out a URI before diagnosing a Allergy.

What will my Vet do?

  • The Vet will check for Hydration
  • A stethoscope can be used to listen to the lungs and heart.
  • An x-ray may be taken to check for fluid in the lungs.
  • The Vet may culture the Bacteria  to help determine which Antibiotics are most effective.


A vet will normally prescribe an Antibiotic like Septrin or Doxycycline which are used to treat these kind of infections. Baytril may also be used.

Unknowledgeable vets may prescribe medications like Amoxicillin (Clavamox) or Amoxicillin Based Medication which are Toxic and Fatal to Guinea Pigs

(See Dangerous Medications List)

Ask your Veterinarian for 2 days of Lasix Injectable for Oral Use Dosage Rate 0.02-0.03ml, As Guinea Pigs do not collect Mucus in their lungs but in fact fluid. This gives your Guinea Pig a fighting chance of survival keeping fluid retention down until the Antibiotics kicks In

And make sure if your Guinea Pig is not eating then it is Vital that you hand feed your Guinea Pig to keep it alive until the Antibiotics kicks in. Get a set of scale and follow the Guidelines on the Hand Feeding Page

Be sure to ask your Vet how long the Antibiotics should take to kick in and if by the time specified time has elapsed there is no improvements you must call your vet.

Recurrent URI’s may be a sign of Heart Problems.