It's now been one week since the day Chance was brought home. Click here to read how his story became with me. A lot has changed in a week, and I'm documenting his first week's progress here.
4/12 & 4/13 Chance started out very weak, I realize now. He commonly laid on his side in my arms, his head tilted, and his nose a little crusty. His eyes were watery and often stared blankly, unblinking. He would brighten up sometimes, but other times he would sit hunched in the corner of his cage breathing heavy with his fur fluffed up. He has sores in his fur but none appear infected, most are almost fully healed. When he becomes stressed or excited, he darts around in circles, losing balance and bumping into things. He was diagnosed with an Upper Respiratory Infection that the vet believes has been there for awhile, and is causing all of these symptoms. It appears like he's dizzy or suffering from vertigo. Although he feels a little bony, his weight looked good at 1 lb 14 oz. The vet prescribed him with Baytril to be taken daily. Despite this URI, Chance maintained a good appetite from the moment he arrived to his new home. At moments he's very inquisitive and showing spunk.
4/14 Chance is adapting to being handled more often. He's very cuddly, and his head tilt is not always noticeable. He is taking his medicine very well each day. I find myself double checking that it really went into his mouth because he takes it so well. If you've ever smelled Baytril you know, it can't taste good. He's becoming talkative and comes up to the front of the cage to greet me. His sores appear to continue to be healing well.
4/16 Chance is so sweet! He's taken 3 of 7 doses of his antibiotics. He still sniffles and sneezes sometimes, but it is less often. There isn't much new discharge on his nose. Chance is starting to run from me when it's time to give him his medicine. He's going to hide in his house. I attempted to trim his overgrown nails, which scared him, so I'm holding off on that for now. His appetite is great, and he's getting so excited for his daily veggies. He's continuing to itch a lot, which I noticed from the time I brought him home, so I treated him with topical Ivermectin to ensure he does not have mites. He still has the head tilt, head bobbing, and circling sometimes when he's scared, and moving him in and out of the cage triggers these moments. This all may or may not resolve over time. Since he can hold his head upright when he's calm, I'm hopeful he'll make a complete recovery. He enjoys removing every piece of hay from his holder to decorate his cage with to graze on later.
4/18 Things are continuing to do really well, but we may need to extend his antibiotics. He still has a bit of a runny nose and sneeze. Progress has not slowed though, today he started squealing his little lungs out! I pinned a towel as a tent in the corner of his cage, which he did not approve of - you know how guinea pigs hate cage changes! I put pieces of carrot in the towel to encourage him to go in it, and after he found and ate one piece of carrot, he didn't want to go back in. He looked back at me and let out the biggest belly squeals and started kicking around. It was so cute! We're creating a monster here! He has continued to wheek for anything he thinks he wants.
4/19 Chance's medication has been extended for another 7 days due to some symptoms still showing. Overall, he's continuing to make great progress! Today I didn't see his nose run at all. He also is reacting less when moved in and out of the cage, which makes me think he may be less dizzy. He's also learned to lay his head down, cuddle, and remain calm when I first pick him up, and then he'll perk back up which I think is what's helping him adapt. It was a nice warm day outside today, so he went out in the grass for the first time. He enjoyed it very much. He also enjoyed an "Easter basket" full of guinea pig candy - which is sliced carrot, strawberry, apple, blueberries, and orange bell pepper. This isn't a healthy mix for everyday feeding, but we felt it was a good day for some spoiling. :) He still has some scabs in his fur, but those are also continuing to heal, and he doesn't appear to be itching much. We're hopeful that he can be integrated in with the other boys after his health has been completely restored.