Posted: June 27, 2008, 10 a.m. EDT
Q: My guinea pig, Hansome, may have pneumonia. Can he survive this? When should I consider putting him to sleep?
A: If your guinea pig has pneumonia, then he potentially is very sick. Without treatment, he will suffer and he may also die. Pneumonia means an infection in the lungs. The infection can be bacterial, fungal or viral. The presence of infection causes cells to accumulate in the air spaces and then fluid comes in and takes up more space. This is called inflammation. It is unlikely he’ll survive this without medical care. Even with the best medical care, he may not fully recover from this infection and may be prone to further infections. If you can afford it, visit a veterinarian with expertise in guinea pig medicine so Hansome can get the best care possible. This will give you an idea of how best to help Hansome.