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Thread: my guinea pig isn't drinking/eating

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    Cavy Slave
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    my guinea pig isn't drinking/eating

    my 2year old female guinea pig isn't eating or drinking - her water bottle (200ml) normally lasts 24hours but she isn't drinking any of it. i have put down a bowl for her and her chin is wet but i don't know if she is drinking. She is also not eating well - she first stoped eating her pellets and squeaking for green veg but now it seems she is only nibbling on that. I have made "mash" out of some foods - pellts, bread, lettuce - and she looked interested and seemed to be enjoying it but it only lasted 5 minutes. She is stilling peeing and pooping a little bit. she has also started curling up in a ball in the back corner of the cage.
    I am very worried.
    I have read the other posts and they all mention going to a vet but i live in a small town in south africa and can't find anyone who works with guinea pigs nearby.
    I know its not the best idea but can someone please suggest possible treatments that i could try - i hate the idea of "experimenting" but i can't just let her die. I am a doctor so i can get hold of medicine but i don't know what would be safe and how much to give...
    Alot of posts mention looking at the molars and trimming them - any chance an unqualified person would be able to do anything about that?
    Please help!

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    Cavy Slave Razzle's Avatar
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    Re: my guinea pig isn't drinking/eating

    Some people have used canned pumpkin when they don't have Critical Care Feeding Formula. I have soaked pellets with water and baby food, peas/carrots,squash and syringe fed that way. I also ground the pellets up before adding to the water/veggie mix. So sorry. Thoughts with you. She needs water syringe fed. She needs frequent feedings.

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    Cavy Slave Razzle's Avatar
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    Re: my guinea pig isn't drinking/eating

    "Guinea Lynx" is full of medical advice. Please check this site.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: my guinea pig isn't drinking/eating

    I don't think it's a good idea to give your piggie bread, even if it's in a paste. Try and get a hold of some Critical Care. If not, try pumpkin puree. My vet had me syringe baby food veggies (like carrots and sweet potato).

    Are there any other symptoms? Watery eyes, runny nose, wheezing when breathing?

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    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: my guinea pig isn't drinking/eating

    Quote Originally Posted by Casijane View Post
    I am a doctor so i can get hold of medicine but i don't know what would be safe and how much to give...
    It's a tough call to know what to tell you. I'm in the same boat with you.......I'm a physician as well, but limited with animal care. My cavy knowledge primarily comes from my experience with my own cavies and my very experienced vet being willing to share her knowledge and enable me to keep a stash of meds on hand. Alas, vet databases are difficult to access without the proper credentials. You and I are accustomed to easy access of human databases.

    Before you attempt to diagnose and treat her yourself, why not Skype with a cavy savvy vet? Surely you have colleagues or connections to help you find such an individual? Using a web cam and following the vet's instructions for examination might save you lots of anxiety and result in an accurate Tx/Dx. Have you listened to her lungs? Checked for bowel sounds?

    Does your girl show any signs of gas or constipation? An excellent OTC remedy for gas is simethecone drops......marketed as childrens' gas drops and widely available. You can give her an entire dropper twice a day until normal function returns. They have saved me a vet trip more than once. Your girl's belly will be distended and will have a hollow ring when lightly thumped. She will stop eating and drinking and will cry when picked up because she is uncomfortable. Bloat is a different entity and potentially more serious.

    OTHER COMMON MEDS & DOSAGES:
    Enrofloxacin 20mg/Ml - 0.5 ml b.i.d. (antibiotic)
    Metacam Oral 1.5mg/ml - 0.13 ml orally q.d. for 5-7 days (antiflammatory/pain)
    Metoclopramide 5mg/5ml - .18ml b.i.d 5-7 days (g.i. motility/constipation)

    Keep in mind that for the three Rx listed above, the dosage is based on the individual cavy's weight. I believe that these dosages were based on Chester's weight when he was about 1130 gms, so they would probably be safe for your 2 y.o. girl.

    All the best! PM me if I can help with anything else.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: my guinea pig isn't drinking/eating

    No bread.

    If she's pooping, you can hand feed, force feed her if necessary. If she's not pooping, you don't want to do that because she may have a blockage.

    Either way, not eating is a medical emergency. They're built to have food continually moving through their systems, and the saying that "a guinea pig that's not eating is a guinea pig that's dying" has some truth in it.

    Take a look over at http://www.guinealynx.info -- there's a ton of medical information about guinea pigs over there. With your background in medicine, you should be able to adapt some of the protocols for use where you are.

    You also could PM the user GizzyandMe on this forum and ask about vets that you might consult with by phone. She's in SA, and has had guinea pigs for a number of years.

    Good luck with your pig, and let us know how you come out.

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    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: my guinea pig isn't drinking/eating

    It's the middle of the night for her, BP. Should be interesting to read her response(s) in the morning. Hopefully, we have been of some help. ;-)

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: my guinea pig isn't drinking/eating

    Thank you all for the advice.
    She hasn't pooped during the night so i've just been syringing water.
    I gave her some metaclop so i hope that may help.
    I mashed up some of the other suggested veg for her too.
    She doesn't have any other symptoms - her stomache is tender but nothing else.
    When watching her it looks like she is battling to eat/swallow.
    Sadly i have to work today but i will come home in my lunch break to see wht else i can do for her

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner MochaAndMoo's Avatar
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    Re: my guinea pig isn't drinking/eating

    Quote Originally Posted by Casijane View Post
    Thank you all for the advice.
    She hasn't pooped during the night so i've just been syringing water.
    I gave her some metaclop so i hope that may help.
    I mashed up some of the other suggested veg for her too.
    She doesn't have any other symptoms - her stomache is tender but nothing else.
    When watching her it looks like she is battling to eat/swallow.
    Sadly i have to work today but i will come home in my lunch break to see wht else i can do for her
    I know there are a few members of this forum who are from SA, maybe you could message them asking. Because this pig definitely needs to see a vet. I understand it must be very hard to find one and you seem like you are trying your best. Please keep us updated.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: my guinea pig isn't drinking/eating

    I'm home for lunch ahd she still looks like she is doing ok but the food hasn't been eaten however she has pooped a little. She is now refusing the syringe - pulls and moves away when i try to give her something.

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    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: my guinea pig isn't drinking/eating

    Quote Originally Posted by Casijane View Post
    She is now refusing the syringe - pulls and moves away when i try to give her something.
    How are you administering the contents of the syringe? Try not to use a full frontal approach.....meaning straight into her mouth because it seems to evoke the gag reflex and frightens them. Best to approach slightly from the side behind her front teeth, allow her to bite down on the syringe if she wishes, and administer a bit at a time so that she has time to swallow and doesn't feel as though she is going to choke.

    At this point, you have to force feed her with liquids and either some mash made out of pellets or some baby food such as pumpkin, squash, applesauce, etc. Can you put her somewhere in the office so that you can feed her frequently? If all you can manage is a closet with the door left ajar, then that's better than nothing. Otherwise, you need to administer fluids subQ.

    Sounds as though you really need to get her to a vet, whether they normally treat cavies or not.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: my guinea pig isn't drinking/eating

    It's called force feeding for a reason -- you have to force the pig to do it. See http://www.guinealynx.info/handfeeding.html for information on how to do it.

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    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: my guinea pig isn't drinking/eating

    Your comment just brought up something I see a lot. Certainly not referring to the OP, but it amazes me when folks say that their cavy "won't allow them to do something". Let's see.....I'm 5'8" and weigh about 130 lb. My largest cavy is just under three pounds and is about 12" long. Who do you think is going to win in a war of wills? It's called "tough love" for a reason.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: my guinea pig isn't drinking/eating

    Hi all. sorry for no news I have had no internet. Sadly Princess died yesterday.
    I found a vet an hour away and it was her teeth and he did trim them but he said she also had an infection and so we gave her antibiotics but she did not get better.
    Vet says the teeth problems was because i did not feed her hay - had guinea pigs all my life and hay is one of the suggested foods but i've never been able to find any to buy (even the vet i went to that said she needs hay doesn't sell it) and none of my previous pigs had any problems with their teeth.
    Thank you for the help and advice given.

    Oh and by the way those of you who decided to be nasty - if you don't have helpful advice just stay out of it. I'm not an idiot - i carried on syringe feeding her - it was just sad that she was not interested in the food anymore (before she wanted feeding and even sucked on the syringe)

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: my guinea pig isn't drinking/eating

    I'm so sorry you lost your girl :(
    When you mentioned a wet chin, I immediately thought it was her teeth as a piggy dribbles due to malocclusion but I've only just logged in as I'm in the UK and our time difference is so vast.
    Run free little Princess x

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