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Bordetella bronchiseptica is the most common bacterial respiratory infection in guinea pigs or cavies. Symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, loss of appetite, depression, weight loss and in severe cases death.  Bordatella bronchiseptica is commonly found in the respiratory tract of rabbits and yet rarely causes respiratory infection.  Because of this, rabbits are able to infect guinea pigs with Bordatella even though they are not infected themselves.

In guinea pigs treatment must be started early which is why it is important to consult your vet at the first signs of illness.

In August 2021 I received an important email from guinea pig keeper Marti Masters in Finland, with some important information about her experience with Bordetella Brochiseptica, a severe form of pneumonia in guinea pigs, that led me to revise the outdated information on my site.

This email demonstrates the importance of early veterinary intervention and contains information you may want to share with your vet for their independent appraisal.

According to Provet, “Use of pig B.bronchiseptica vaccine and the use of an autogenous vaccine have both been tried in guinea pigs – with success.”   Unfortunately vaccinated animals also become carriers of the infection.

Supportive complementary measures such as feeding Annimune Powder and RT Syrup, adding Garlic Juice to the water, syringe feeding with NutriPowder in the case of anorexic animals and Herbal Tincture Blend I (Immune Support) for recovering animals may help.

Herbetom Pulm, made by Spanish company Bioserum, is available mail order and can be fed to guinea pigs with respiratory problems at the rate of 0.25ml – 0.5ml  3 times per day depending on severity.

As with all antibiotic treatment, you should feed a good probiotic/prebiotic to help maintain the beneficial gut flora.