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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I used Aspen bedding for my first guinea pig. It was recommended to me by people on the internet. After a short while of using it, my guinea pig started sneezing. Within a couple of months, she started coughing. At that point, I took her to the vet. The vet gave her anti-biotics and pro-biotics, and in a week, I took her back to the vet for a recheck. The vet said her lungs sounded good and gave her the all-clear. A week later, I came home from shopping and found my guinea pig dead. I came to the conclusion that the Aspen bedding was at fault.

I have a new guinea pig, and I now use Sunseed Fresh World Bedding which is made from recycled newspaper and magazines. My guinea pig has had no problems with it so far. Another change that I have made is to switch from liquid vitamin C drops to Oxbow vitamin C chewables. The liquid vitamin C was making the water bitter, and bacteria was growing in it even though I changed it daily.

I want to caution people about the Aspen bedding, because it is dusty. I don't want other people to go through the loss of their guinea pigs.
 

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is a little "special"
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Ive always used aspen, and had no problems with it. What brand were you using? With any bedding you buy, some brands are alot dustier than others. The new paper based bedding that you are using is a great choice though.


Vitamin C drops should never be used, because of the bacteria and bad taste. Some one please correct me if Im wrong, but Im pretty sure that tablets shouldnt really be given either- They have WAY more vit C than the piggies need. Fresh veggies, like parsley, are the best source of vit C.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My vet told me to continue to give the liquid vitamin C, but after what I'd read about it, I decided against it. I will investigate the chewables to make sure that they're safe.

I've used just about every brand of Aspen bedding and found it all to be pretty dusty. I'm glad that your guinea pig is doing well with it. Maybe mine was just allergic to it or something.

My new guinea pig is doing very well. He's full of energy and has a big appetite.

Thank you for the information that you gave me. I'm using Oxbow Timothy Hay and have used Sunatural Select Sweet Grass Timothy Hay. I'm also using OxBow Cavy Cuisine pellets for adult guinea pigs. I'd like your opinion on these. I'm trying to do the best for my guinea pig and appreciate advice from people who have raised guinea pigs.
 

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is a little "special"
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My oldest piggy is 5 1/2 yrs old, and Ive never given her additional vitamin C products- Only fresh veggies daily :) Ive used a few different brands of aspen, and personally Ive never found it to be too dusty.


Everything your using sounds great though. I love Oxbow products, they are by far my favorite. How old is your pig, and are you giving fresh veggies every day?


BTW Im glad that he is so healthy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The produce that I feed my guinea pig are romaine lettuce, cherry tomatos, bell pepper, apple slices, bananas, carrots, blue berries, etc. I don't feed him all of this at one time. These are just the fruits and vegetables that I give him at different times.

I use the chewable vitamin C, because it is OxBow brand, and I wanted to make sure that he gets enough vitamin C to protect him from getting sick.
 

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Betta Bomb
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Sometimes there are products available in the stores that contain upsetting ingredients. Unfortunately, even the best companies are still mostly in it to turn a profit and the vitamin C tablets might be just a cash grab. I think Jess is right and veggies are probably a better source (Though, don't get me wrong I've NEVER had a gp and only held my sisters old gp once so I'm only going on what I've heard)
On the other hand, I think the brand of aspen might have been a negative since I've discovered in the way of bunny hay, at least, that some are just garbage. :/ Oxbow food and hay is the best though :)
 

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Rodentologist
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So, the two main questions on this thread:

Aspen: Aspen is safe to use and what you're describing is not consistent with a pig who's having allergy problems. I would guess what happened is that your vet gave you antibiotics, but not for long enough (you should always give antibiotics for a minimum of two weeks, and often longer, depending on the condition). So, with essentially a half-run of antibiotics, your pig got better and then the bacteria left from the URI rebounded and probably took him down pretty quickly.

Vitamin C Drops/Chewables:
The drops are not ok. Vitamin C is extremely sensitive to temperature and light. Whenever these drops sit in your water bottle in the direct light, they eventually become weird tasting orange water. Oftentimes the pigs then won't DRINK the water which additionally can cause problems with dehydration.

The chewables by Oxbow are ok. They're measured out to be the correct daily requirement of C for piggies. I prefer to feed veggies because it adds enrichment and obviously makes them happy, but I do keep the chewables around for whenever they're sick (I crush them up and syringe them to them for extra C).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My vet prescribed Baytril and Probiocin for my guinea pig. She listened to my guinea pig's lungs very carefully on both visits. It's true that the vet prescribed medicine for only a week, but she thought that it was completely healed. The vet also has owned her own guinea pigs and seemed very knowledgable. If I had to do it again, I would have gotten my guinea an x-ray to make sure her lungs were completely healed.

Thank you all for the helpful information. If my current guinea pig gets sick, I will ask the vet about giving it anti-biotics for at least two weeks and an x-ray.
 

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Rodentologist
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Baytril is definitely commonly prescribed, and there's nothing wrong with it for URIs. It's a lot like with humans -- they tell you to take antibiotics even after you feel better and symptoms go away so that you make sure to kill off all of the bacteria, not just enough for you to feel better. :)

X-rays are not typically very useful for minor URIs. You're not really going to see anything on the rads until there's significant damage which you'd certainly hear beforehand. We nearly never get them done for URIs unless we're also concerned there's a concurrnet heart condition causing repeated URIs. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
How often should I bathe my Guinea pig, and what kind of shampoo should I use? Is it necessary to bathe a Guinea pig?
 

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is a little "special"
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Actually, Ive heard its good for their skin to bathe them every once in a while. :) I bathe my piggers about once a week, and you can get special small animal shampoo for them at the pet store.
I dry my girls off with a hair dryer set on low, and the love it! Its so cute!
 

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Rodentologist
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Once a week is WAY too often. They shouldn't be bathed more than once a month, and once every few months is better.
 

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is a little "special"
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Oops, typo... I meant once a month, or less! :rolleyes: Your right, once a week is a bad idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
What is the best shampoo to use for my guinea pig's bath? I don't want to use anything that might be toxic or bad for him. Petsmart has a brand of shampoo called Superpet for small animals. Has anyone used this brand? If anyone has a suggestion for me, I would appreciate it. Thank you.

I wanted to ask about the Marshall brand for small animals with URIs. Is this useful to treat animals that might be getting sick?
 

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is a little "special"
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I just grabbed a strawberry smelling one, LOL. IDK if any brands are better than others. As long as its meant for small animals, it should be fine.
A shampoo for URIs? Sound suspicious to me.
 

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Rodentologist
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I would definitely not bathe an ill pig with a URI, that seems like a bad idea! :)

I typically use either Bunny Bath or I buy a brand called "Earthbath" that's designed for dogs but is organic (and has oatmeal and aloe to help with their skin. I would just make sure there are no pesticides in it (so no flea shampoos) and that you get a gentle formula without a lot of perfumes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thank you for all the suggestions. I'm going to take my time and look around since I've never bought any shampoo for a guinea pig. I'll make sure that I don't get anything with any chemicals, pesticides, perfumes or any other additives. I appreciate all the good advice that everyone has taken time to give me, because I want my guinea pig to have the best possible care that I can provide for him.


I'm sorry for the confusion that I caused. My current guinea pig is not sick, and I'm not shopping for any medication for him. I saw the Marshall brand medicine for URIs when I was looking for shampoo on the Petco website, and I was just curious about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
My guinea pig runs up my arm whenever I put my hand in the cage. Is this a sign of dominance? my guinea pig doesn't like to be picked up, so I don't think he wants to be held.
 
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