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Medical Guide -
Why has my Guinea Pig suddenly started tilting its head?
A Guinea Pig with a head tilt is not a normal thing. Most common causes for a head tilt in Guinea Pigs are normally caused due to an infection of sorts. This could be a Bacterial Inner Ear infection or could be being caused by an infestation by Mites and in some cases a combination of the two ailments.
If left untreated will possibly lead to a more serious problem to the health of your Guinea Pig, and if left constantly untreated may even lead to death.
What are the common signs of an Ear Infection or Inner Ear Infestation?
The following is a list of possible signs of an ear infection but are not conclusive
Head Tilt (Usually To One Side)
Scratching Head/Ear Excessively
(If left untreated may lead to Anorexia)
(Not Playing/Active as usual self)
Hiding In Sleeping Compartment / Iglu
What will my Vet do to Investigate the reason for my Guinea Pigs Head Tilt?
Your vet will normally use a Otoscope to look in to your Guinea Pigs Ear for signs of infection. Normally a vet will use a cotton swab to clean out any excessive wax and debris so a view of the inner ear can be seen. If it is not possible to see down to the inner ear your vet may try a triple treatment which normally consists of an ear drop and an oral antibiotic and Ivermectin incase your Guinea Pig is suffering from Mites and an Ear Infection.
If your vet does prescribe an Antibiotic then please make sure you read the Dangerous Medication list before starting treatment so you are aware of dangerous antibiotics for Guinea Pigs and also view Diarrhoea section incase your Vet prescribes Baytril and its the first time your cavy has had the need to use it just incase it has an intolerance towards it.
Is there anything else I can do to help the recovery of my Guinea Pig?
You can never do enough to help your Guinea Pig when its ill.
If a Mite infestation is found then remember to clean your cage out completely and if any wooden products are in the cage then dispose of them and start with fresh toys.
If your Vet advises you that your Guinea Pigs ear is full of Wax/Gunk then you may want to try and change your Guinea Pig on to paper bedding for a couple of days to stop the risk of wood shavings dust entering the ear area and hindering the healing process. Your vet will normally get you to treat your guinea pig for around 7 days then once you know your Guinea Pig is back to its usual self change back to the Wood Shavings.
If your Vet prescribes Antibiotics then you can also help your Guinea Pig by purchasing
If you guinea pig is not eating then hand feeding may be needed to insure the health of your guinea pig.
Remember Your Guinea Pig is Depending on you. Whilst on any treatment keep a check on your loved pet for any
Sudden changes in Activity/Eating/Drinking/Urine/Stools. If in doubt seek advise from your Vetanarian.
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