How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. Gary Your Own Question

Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 17356
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
15010675
Type Your Pet Question Here...
Dr. Gary is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My lovely guinea pig has died and I am devastated. He died

Resolved Question:

My lovely guinea pig has died and I am devastated. He died 3 days ago. About just under 3 months ago he sounded a little snuffly not all the time just occasionally. Apart from that there was no problem and the snuffles subsided over two weeks, however he developed over time a horseness when he was weeking for food and attention, occasionally he would make choking noises or cough when he was eating. Again this was not all the time and he seemed well. He was very active, great diet, kept inside plenty of exercise, lots of love and not quite 3 years old. There was no discharge from his eyes or nose.
As time went on I took him to see the vet. she said his heart and lungs were clear listening via stethoscope. She couldn't see anything in his mouth/throat, prescribed an antimucolytic and sent him home. Two weeks later I noticed he was losing a lot of weight and had become very thin. He was still well but thin and his poo had become very small and sometimes very soft.
We went back and he was prescribed Baytril 2.5% 0.4 mls twice a day and critical care food. Vet thought he may have a chronic infection. the next couple of days he ate loads himself fresh and dried food and looked to be putting on weight so he didn't get much of the prescribed food. He seemed more like his old self. The only worry was one eye looked smaller that the other. The following day I went down to him in the morning and he looked terrible, his fur was fluffed up, he was cold and although he responded to me when he tried to walk he kept going to the side and his back legs were failing. I wrapped him up in my dressing gown and softly stoked and kissed him. He wouldn't eat. He became very floppy and had no tone at all within two hours he had a fit made some noise as if he were choking and died in my arms very shortly after. Do you have any ideas of why he died and what caused it please? Looking back there were signs that he hadn't been well for a little while. his fur didn't seem as glossy, he had slightly less energy, stools were slightly smelly and he liked to be cuddled which wasn't normally his preferred thing. The night before he died I also thought his breath had a funny smell. He has a cage made who is well.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 1 year ago.
Hello.

I'm sorry to hear of your loss.

It sounds like he had an infection that went to his brain. We call this encephalitis. As for what the infection was, that could be one of many things. My guess is that it was some type of fungal disease. These are commonly going to be only partially responsive to antibiotics and then they can progress.

These are very difficult to diagnose in guinea pigs- we really need a CT scan and CSF tap. It's also difficult to treat as we need months on an anti-fungal and sometimes steroids. These little guys just don't tolerate much stress or disease.

I'm sorry again for your loss, I know you did all you could for him.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Would you have any idea how he might have picked up a fungal infection as he lived with a mate who is well and Lived inside and had cage cleaned two to three times a week? . Could he have picked it up from a human? Also do you think the antibiotics could have been detrimental as I'm worrying they may have caused toxicity?
Thanks
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 1 year ago.
We don't typically know where the infection came from. It may have been a fungal organism in the environment or a fungal organism that normally lives on or in the body that over-multiplied.

The antibiotic is what I would have used as well, Baytril. It is not toxic at all, and it's the most common first line treatment for many bacterial infections in guinea pigs.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX get my other Guinea pig checked over at the vets is there any way of telling if he might become unwell with the same thing?Lastly do you think encephalitis would have caused him to suffer a stroke which maybe what eventually killed him. You have been most helpful. Thank you.
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 1 year ago.
No, I don't think you need to get the other one checked. Unless they're showing signs, you're not going to pick this up.

I don't think it was a stroke in the end, but the inflammation around and in the brain throws off normal brain activity leading to death.
Dr. Gary, Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 17356
Experience: DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
Dr. Gary and 3 other Pet Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I must tell you I found this site by accident and was amazed when I asked a question of the Veteranians online. I wish I could have found it sooner it could have made such a difference in the outcome of my pet's surgery. However, I am passing along the information to my sister-in-law (a cat-rescue person who is also a nurse), and perhaps it will help someone else who may experience the same problem. The doctor who answered my question was amazing, and while it didn't come it time to change the outcome of my situation, it is reassuring to know the caliber of Vets/Doctors that you have at JustAnswer. Thank you for being there. Alice H. Jacksonville, Fl.
< Last | Next >
  • I must tell you I found this site by accident and was amazed when I asked a question of the Veteranians online. I wish I could have found it sooner it could have made such a difference in the outcome of my pet's surgery. However, I am passing along the information to my sister-in-law (a cat-rescue person who is also a nurse), and perhaps it will help someone else who may experience the same problem. The doctor who answered my question was amazing, and while it didn't come it time to change the outcome of my situation, it is reassuring to know the caliber of Vets/Doctors that you have at JustAnswer. Thank you for being there. Alice H. Jacksonville, Fl.
  • You are a light at the end of scary tunnel when $ are tight, but people need professional help to turn to for help with their dear pets! Linh Charleston, WV
  • $1,000 spent at his vet, and I finally get the correct diagnosis from Nancy Holmes for $15 Carol Cedar Hill, MO
  • I think this is the greatest web site in the world. Thanks to all! Judy New Haven, CT
  • I have referred several friends to your web site. I'm impressed with how easy it is to use your site, the Experts available and the quickness of answers. Nina USA
  • I am completely pleased with the quick response that I received in our time of need for our dog, Jasmine. I couldn't believe how quick the response was and I thank you. It's good to know you're there!! Jasmine's Mom USA
  • Please let everyone involved with your site know that your Expert, Dr. Lucy, has saved my dog's life. I will recommend your site to all my pet loving friends. Thank you again for simply being there! Sonya G Easley, SC
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    522
    2003 Graduate
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/vetforyou/2012-6-20_33122_PearlPhoto.64x64.jpg Dr. Andy's Avatar

    Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    522
    2003 Graduate
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/Jav917/2012-2-20_54059_201221802254JoananddavidArchuleta3.64x64.jpg Joan's Avatar

    Joan

    Vet Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    2337
    Vet Tech for 30+yrs. Small Animals and Fish
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RY/rydergar/2012-6-6_192240_IMG0328.64x64.JPG Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    273
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/1I/1ISUDVM/2011-3-1_22028_Honeymoon2005075294928803490646858.64x64.jpg Dr. Bruce's Avatar

    Dr. Bruce

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    157
    12 years of experience in emergency, surgery and medicine
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MS/MsAM/2012-6-9_16426_anna.64x64.jpeg Anna's Avatar

    Anna

    Pet Expert/Biologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2916
    40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BA/babybloo/2011-3-10_62613_DavidandI.64x64.jpg Theresa's Avatar

    Theresa

    Voice for your pet

    Satisfied Customers:

    1132
    Veterinary Technician for 15 years
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/jadedangel57/2011-11-8_193134_janenewsm.64x64.jpg Jane Lefler's Avatar

    Jane Lefler

    Behaviorist, Breeder, See Qual.

    Satisfied Customers:

    884
    15 years Breeding Experience, Former vol. Vet Assistant, Dog Behaviorist
 
 
 
Chat Now With A Pet Specialist
Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary
Emergency Veterinarian
300 Satisfied Customers
DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ