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Guinea Pig's Dedicated Owner Nurses Him Back to Health

​Pumpkin, says his owner, 16-year-old Kylee Dillon, is very spoiled. And Kylee doesn’t mind one bit. After all, not many guinea pigs are delivered the almost-certainly fatal diagnosis of bronchopneumonia and live to squeak the tale.

Pumpkin’s story started when Kylee bought him and his “brother” Muffin from a local pet store. Kylee discovered that Pumpkin had lice, and Muffin came home with an upper respiratory infection, which was highly contagious and soon caught by Pumpkin. In Pumpkin, though, the disease progressed to bronchopneumonia, and Kylee had one very sick guinea pig on her hands.

CSU Team Helps Teen Help Guinea Pig

Kylee called veterinary clinics all around Colorado and got the same response – take Pumpkin to Colorado State University. The team at the Avian, Exotic, and Zoological Medicine Service, experienced in guinea pig medicine, admitted Pumpkin to the hospital, where he stayed for four days. When Kylee took him home, she had to continue treatment with two shots a day in the back of Pumpkin’s neck, and syringe feeding since he wouldn’t eat.

But Pumpkin wasn’t getting better. Dr. Julia Katzenbach, a zoological medicine intern, didn’t have many options left for Pumpkin – just a powerful antibiotic that could either help or harm Pumpkin. “After everything we’d already gone through, we decided to try the new antibiotics,” said Kylee. “We did two rounds, and, sure enough, Pumpkin’s lungs cleared up. He started to gain weight, and today he is doing great!”

Back to Eating Green Bell Peppers

Thanks to Kylee’s dedicated care and the team at CSU’s Avian, Exotic, and Zoological Medicine Service, Pumpkin is happy, healthy, and spoiled. He prefers snuggling with Kylee and being tucked into his cage after he’s fallen asleep. He squeaks if his water isn’t 100 percent fresh or his food is low. He turns his nose up at red bell peppers, eating only green (Muffin prefers red). Kylee still worries about Pumpkin, but he seems to be in the clear, and Kylee is happy with her family’s choice to have Pumpkin treated. “Pumpkin is definitely worth it,” said Kylee.