[Gpdd] Health: Floyd's URI

pat schuett bunzella at yahoo.ca
Mon Nov 21 12:35:41 EST 2016

Hi everyone,
I am hoping to pick the brains of everyone out there who has dealt with a piggy upper respiratory infection, because my Floyd has one at the moment that is driving us both batty.
He first started snuffling almost three months ago.  The vet listened to his chest and air passages, and did a lung x-ray; she said there appeared to be pockets of infection in both lungs, one worse than the other.  She prescribed two weeks of Sulfatrim (also called Bactrim). That appeared to clear it right up, but less than a week after finishing the drugs, the noisy breathing started again.  She put him back on the Sulfatrim, for six weeks this time.
This time the noisy breathing was back before he even finished the six weeks, while he was still on the antibiotics.  Now we switched to Baytril, which again seemed to quiet his breathing, but after a few days, he stopped eating.  The vet decided to keep on with the Baytril, but to give it by nebulizer rather than by mouth.
At this point, I did lots of research on nebulizing piggies and bought a smallish plastic box (just big enough for Floyd to stand comfortably and turn around) with a snug-fitting lid; I cut a slot where the hose of the nebulizer can be poked in without letting much of the vapour out.  (Fortunately Floyd is a calm good-natured boy who does not seem to mind the nebulizing process much at all.)
After two weeks on the nebulizer, the gurgly breathing came back.  The vet decided to keep on with nebulizing the Baytril but to add an oral dose of Doxycyline.  Once again, the noisy breathing disappeared within a day of the new antibiotic starting, but now, a week later, it is beginning to come back AGAIN.
I have a call in to the vet but haven't spoken to her yet, so I don't know what she might want to try next.  I am baffled --- why would all of these antibiotics seem to work so well to begin with, and then stop?  Like a lot of vets, mine tends to prescribe at the low end of the dosage rate, but I always do my own research on effective doses for piggies and generally sneak in a higher dose if that is indicated.  (I should also say that while my vet has generally done very well with my piggies and is the best vet for piggies that I have been able to find locally, she would never present herself as an experienced piggy vet.  I know she has been consulting various vet databases about this, and basing her strategy on the findings of more experienced exotics vets.)
Fortunately, while Floyd is not eating as well as he does when healthy, he is maintaining his weight (I am also syringing in as much Critical Care as he will take once a day --- sometimes this is not much, sometimes 15-20ml).  He is active and perky and even when his breathing sounds awful to me, it doesn't seem to affect his behavior much at all.
Has anyone else dealt with such a stubborn URI and if so, did you ever find something that really finished it off?  I am at my wits end and very concerned about the long-term effects of Floyd being on course after course of antibiotics for such a long time.  I know we can't let the URI go untreated, but I wish we could give him a break from all this --- he has been a trooper so far, but he is 6 and not as spry as he once was...
Please help if you can --- all suggestions gratefully received!
Pat and the Prairie Pigs

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