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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16320
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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Guinea pig has congested air way.sounds like flem in his e

Customer Question

guinea pig has congested air way.sounds like flem in his esophagas
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I'm sorry to hear about your fellow's congested airways and I'd like to help. Guinea pigs have very sensitive respiratory tracts. They can become irritated very easily by dusty hay or bedding, a cage that isn't cleaned well routinely (increased urine smell irritates the nose and wet bedding promotes mold growth and spores) but they can also get respiratory infections easily. Finally while heart disease isn't seen commonly with guinea pigs heart failure is possible and can lead to respiratory difficulties. If he is eating and drinking well and fairly active, producing a normal amount of urine and stool and his gums and tongue are a nice bubble gum pink color we can try some things at home. But if his appetite is off at all, he's lethargic or his gums are pale/white/blue-gray then he needs to see an experienced guinea pig veterinarian as soon as possible. If he's normal otherwise first I would thoroughly clean his cage with very hot soapy water then rinse it well with very hot water and dry it well. If his cage smells at all of urine it is time to replace it or try rewashing it as that is a respiratory irritant. Cages should be completely washed out at least once a week and soiled bedding removed daily. As far as bedding use recycled paper pulp bedding (Carefresh is one brand) that is nonscented and not colored. You can also use plain newspaper but it must be changed daily. Do not use any sort of wood chips. Woods chips, especially cedar bedding, have irritating oils (thus their use to protect clothes from insects), and are dusty as well as possible vehicles for bacteria and mold. Make sure to check his hay. He should have constant access to timothy or mixed grass hay. Do not feed alfalfa, which is too high in calcium and fat for adults. If his hay smells musty, it should not be fed as it is likely carrying mold spores. You can take him into the bathroom with you when you take a hot bath or shower. The steam will soothe irritated airways and thin mucous making it easier for him to breathe. Make sure he is getting vitamin C supplemented daily. Vitamin C is essential for immune system, skin and blood vessels health. Vitamin-C enriched pellets are not enough as once the bag is open the air and light degrades vitamin C quickly. Supplement 50mgs to 150mgs per day depending upon age and stress levels/ If he isn't himself here is a link to a list to help you find a good guinea pig veterinarian: http://www.guinealynx.info/vetlist.htmlBest of luck with your fellow and let me know if you have any further questions.