Medicine Chest

Emergency Care Supplies…

While breeding for strong immune systems remains a top aspiration for responsible breeders, keeping a few medications on hand can make a tremendous difference in the recovery of a cavy in need of emergency care. In addition, maintaining a good relationship with a qualified veterinarian, such as an exotic specialist, is extremely important. The combination, however, of having helpful medications on hand and having a veterinarian to provide professional emergency care instructions and/or assistance has helped save the lives of many cavies in need of immediate assistance. If you don’t already have a cavy savvy vet, we encourage you to obtain one as soon as possible so you can begin getting to know them. If you’re having a difficult time finding a good cavy vet, please contact your nearest ARBA Club Representative for further assistance.

Below you will find a list of some of the items that we keep on hand for emergency purposes. Like all information on the web, the following medication list is NOT intended to be a suggestion, replacement, or partial substitution for professional veterinary care, but rather it’s a list of medications that you and your veterinarian may want to discuss. As always, it’s important to consult with a qualified veterinarian regarding your cavy’s health care and emergency needs.

***NEVER give a cavy any form of penicillin – it is fatal for cavies***


  • FluidsLactated Ringer Fluids – to prevent and treat dehydration and improve GI tract motility.  Administer: sub-q (under the skin) at a rate of 20cc/1 lb cavy or 30cc/2-3 lb cavy, 1-2x day depending on severity (2x for cavies not drinking at all).  In severe cases, administer 25cc/1 lb cavy or 35cc/2-3 lb 2x daily.






  • VIt-BLiquid Vitamin B Complex – to stimulate appetite and help reduce stress during illness or prior to travel.  Administer .1cc, sub-q, 1x daily.






  • Nurti-CalNutra-Cal – a high calorie gel supplement for cavies that are ill, not eating well, or off feed.  Administer orally @ 2cc every 6-12 hours.






  • Nutra-DropsNutra-Drops – a rapidly absorbed nutritional supplement for the treatment of ill cavies. Administer orally according to directions.






  • QuestranQuestran (Cholestyramine) (Rx) – an extremely effective treatment for GI issues, like diarrhea, gastrointestinal stasis, and mucoid enteritis, and an effectual prophylactic measure used at half dose before travel.  Questran works by sequestering life-threatening toxins, like clostridium, that result from an over-growth of undesirable bacteria in the hind gut, and by supporting the repopulation of beneficial gut flora.  In turn, the reduction of harmful bacteria also buys critical time for gut motility drugs and other treatments to begin working.  Since Questran has a strong ability to adsorb substances in the gut lumen, always administer other medications at least 1 hour prior to Questran and no sooner than 4-6 hours afterward Questran or it may interfere with the absorption and/or effectiveness of the other drugs.  Due to Questran’s hydrophilic properties, dehydration of intestinal contents can occur if it’s given with insufficient water.  Questran is an orange-flavored treatment that most cavies find very palatable.  Syringe 1 gram (approximately 1/2 tsp.)  in 10-12 cc of water and give orally, twice a day for 5 days, to adults.  Treat kits using half-dose (1/4 tsp. in 5 cc water). Provide unlimited hay and exercise.


  • Tobramycin (.3% solution, Rx) – used to treat bacterial infections of the tobramycineye, a concentration of protein that appears as a cloudy area on the iris (colored part of the eye). Apply two drops into the affected eye twice daily for 7 – 10 days.







  • ReglanReglan (Metoclopramide Hcl) (10 mg tablets, Rx) – used to help improve gut motility during times when droppings are small, declining, or absent. For adults, syringe 1/4 tablet or 2.5 mg, crushed, and mixed in water 2x daily until droppings return to normal.  Provide exercise and hay during treatment also.





  • Baytril-InjectionBaytril (Rx) – antibiotic used to treat infections. Administer 0.2ml/kg under the skin twice a day for five days to adults. Provide unlimited fiber and avoid stress.





  •  LA200LA200 – another antibiotic commonly used by cavy breeders to treat severe infections. Administer 0.2cc for minor infections and colds, or 0.5cc for severe/life-threatening infections, under the skin.  LA200 is a long-acting drug and you shouldn’t have to repeat the shot for 2 or 3 days.  Provide unlimited fiber and avoid stress.





  • 91oPL9IsQ8L._SY355_Critical Care – a supplement that acts as a replacement for pellets and provides nutrients.  Used for cavies who have stopped eating and need “critical care”.  Administer orally according to directions.







  • liquid-vitamin-c-16-oz-twinlabLiquid Vitamin C – used as a precaution for cavies under stress and soon-to-be cavy mothers.  Administer 3cc orally once a day.  For cavies in severe health circumstances, administer 2cc orally twice a day.





  • Sucralfate (1 gm tablet, Rx) – to aid in the healing of suspected ulcers when a cavy is off feed or not eating well for long durations of time.  Crush and dissolve 1/4 tablet in 2cc water and give orally, twice a day, for five days to adults.  Provide unlimited fiber and avoid stress.
  • Tribrissen (SMZ-TMP/Rx) – broad spectrum antibiotic, i.e., upper respiratory infections, toxicity, UTI’s, etc.. Administer 0.3cc per pound, orally, given twice daily for 7-10 days.
  • Revolution (Selamectin) – for the treatment and prevention of fur mites.  Apply 6mg/kg or 0.025 cc per pound of the 120 mg/mL solution topically behind the ear (on the furless area), every 2-4 weeks for 3 treatments.  Quarantine all infected animals for 30 days to prevent cross contamination.  It’s a good idea to follow this protocol for all new cavies as well as those cavies returning from a show.  Additionally, preventively treating cavies prior to a show is an excellent measure of safety.  As a second choice, Ivomectin 1% injectable solution can also be used in the treatment of mites  by administering the solution “orally” at an approximate rate of 0.2-0.5 mg/kg or 0.09 – 0.22 cc per pound every 7-10 days for 3-4 weeks.


Other medications may be added soon!