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Respiratory Bacterial Disease in Guinea Pigs

Bordetella Bronchisepta Infection in Guinea Pigs

Respiratory infections are quite common in guinea pigs, and often they are a result of a bacterial infection. One such bacteria is Bordetella bronchisepta, which mainly affects the respiratory tract. It is most commonly transmitted from one guinea pig to another when droplets are sprayed into the air by sneezing or coughing. There is also a genital form of B. bronchisepta, by which the infection is transmitted by sexual contact.

In some cases, guinea pigs may just be carriers of B. bronchisepta infection without actually exhibiting any symptoms of the infection, but there are also cases of outbreaks among groups of guinea pigs, during which all of the infected animals will get sick and die before treatment can be applied.

Symptoms and Types

Although some guinea pigs infected with B. bronchisepta may not display any signs of illness, this is not always the case. Signs to look out for include:

  • Fever
  • Dull or depressed appearance
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Respiratory distress (dyspnea)
  • Nasal discharge
  • Infertility (in females)
  • Miscarriages
  • Calcium deficiency (in pregnant and nursing guinea pigs)

Causes

Infection can be transmitted from one guinea pig to another through aerosol transmission (airborne) or by sexual contact

Diagnosis

Your veterinarian will perform a thorough physical exam on your guinea pig, taking into account the background history of symptoms and possible incidents that might have led to this condition, such as recent breeding, recent illnesses, or the introduction of new guinea pigs into the group. To confirm the diagnosis, however, your veterinarian will probably need to examine blood samples from the animal.

 
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