ISSN 2398-2985      

Sinusitis

6guinea pig
Contributor(s):

Agata Witkowska

Kim Le

Synonym(s): Coryza, Rhinitis, Snuffles


Introduction

  • Cause:
    • Bacterial infection such as Pseudomonas spp, Mycoplasma spp, Bordetella bronchiseptica infections are often caught from asymptomatic rabbits when kept together with guinea pigs.
    • Trauma.
    • Odontogenic disease.
    • Nasal foreign bodies such as grass seeds are relatively common and present with unilateral nasal discharge.
    • Adenovirus.
  • Signs: nasal discharge, bubbling at the nose, open mouth breathing, dyspnea, lethargy, inappetence, weakness, sudden death.
  • Diagnosis: thorough husbandry review including nutrition, culture and sensitivity swabbing, PCR testing, diagnostic imaging, bronchial/bronchoalveolar lavage, cytology, blood cultures.
  • Treatment: based on causative agents, systemic antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, nebulizing therapy.
  • Prognosis: good to guarded depending on the time of presentation. Guinea pigs are obligate nasal breathers and respiratory disease may quickly become life threatening.
Print off the Owner factsheet on Sinusitis to give to your clients.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Bacterial infection such as Bordetella bronchiseptica infection Bordetella bronchiseptica infectionStreptococcus zooepidemicus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Streptobacillus moniliformis, Mycoplasma spp, Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, Haemophilus spp, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Pasturella multocida, Salmonella spp, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pyogenes, Citrobacter spp, Chlamydophila caviae Chlamydiosis. Many of these animals will become chronic carriers.
  • Viral infections including adenovirus and influenza Parainfluenza 3 virus infection.
  • Odontogenic disease secondary to inappropriate husbandry: maxillary tooth roots may elongate and encroach into the nasal passages; tooth root abscessation
  • Poor housing conditions and ventilation with high ammonia.
  • Vitamin C deficiency Vitamin C deficiency will predispose to low immunity and increase the risk of opportunistic infections.

Predisposing factors

General

  • Underlying disease such as hepatic lipidosis Hepatic lipidosis.
  • Vitamin C deficiency Vitamin C deficiency.
  • Sub-optimal husbandry, including high stocking densities, poor ventilation, poor hygiene, use of organic substrate/bedding

Specific

  • Brachycephalism, eg the self black guinea pig is a breed often presented to the author for respiratory disease

Pathophysiology

  • Hypovitaminosis A may lead to immunocompromise, periorbital swelling and predispose to secondary bacterial infections. Deficiencies of this vitamin affect the glandular mucous membrane epithelium.
  • Chronic stress of life in captivity may predispose reptiles to secondary infections with mycobacteria and fungal agents; this is often linked to poor husbandry and dirty conditions.
  • Dental disease Dental disease may be associated with brachycephalism and predispose to respiratory disease. This is a species with continuously growing teeth and dental disease must be excluded as a primary or contributing factor to disease.
  • Guinea pigs do not produce their own vitamin C Vitamin C deficiency and lack of dietary intake will lead to immunocompromise and predispose to respiratory infections.
  • Guinea pigs can act as a carrier of several species of Mycoplasma, Chlamydia Chlamydiosis and Streptococcus. Chlamydophila caviae usually causes a self-limiting conjunctivitis Conjunctivitis but may progress to sinusitis in suppressed individuals.

Timecourse

  • Days to months.
  • Herpes virus and Mycoplasma infections may resurface even after initial improvement. Recurrent cases of disease should be investigated for underlying immunosuppression.

Epidemiology

  • High mammal stocking densities with poor ventilation. This can include pet store shipments.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Garcia M A, Barcelo A M, Nadeu C B et al (2021) Respiratory diseases in guinea pigs, chinchillas and degus. Vet Clin North Am Exotic Anim Pract 24 (2), 419-457 PubMed.
  • Minarikova A, Hauptman K, Jeklova E et al (2015) Diseases in pet guinea pigs: a retrospective study in 1000 animals. Vet Rec 177 (8), 200 PubMed.
  • Yarto-Jaramillo E (2011) Respiratory system anatomy, physiology, and disease: Guinea pigs and disease. Vet Clin North Am Exotic Anim Pract 14 (2), 339-355 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Pignon C & Mayer J (2020) Guinea Pigs. In: Ferrets, Rabbits, and Rodents Clinical Medicine and Surgery. 4th edn. Eds: Quesenberry K E, Orcutt C J, Mans C & Carpenter J W. Elsevier, USA. pp 281-282.
  • Goodman G (2009) Rodents: Respiratory and Cardiovascular System Disorders. In: BSAVA Manual of Rodents. Eds: Keeble E & Meredith A. BSAVA, UK. pp 142-166.

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