View Full Version : Sick Health Concerns

10-30-14, 12:05 pm

I got two guinea pigs from a pet store (they were in poor condition and I had to help them). The one had mites. I took her to the vet and got them both treated, just in case. The mites cleared up quite fast. Now I have noticed that Ross (the one who had mites), started dragging her two left feet. She was still eating, drinking, pooping and playing. She seems to have recovered, it was a day she was like that for. Now the other pig (Túnshǔ) has started to do the same thing.

They are both still eating and drinking, get all excited at cage clean time, and are happy when they get their veggies. So it doesn't seem to be life threatening. Túnshǔ is a bit more lethargic than Ross at the moment, but thinking back, Ross wasn't very active when she had the same thing. I have checked their feet and legs for anything out of the ordinary, but I haven't seen anything unusual. They don't squeal if you gently move the joint either.

Any advice would be appreciated.


10-30-14, 12:24 pm
They may not have had enough vitamin C and have developed scurvy. It's not common in guinea pigs who have been adequately cared for, but if these were in poor condition when you got them, their diet may have been lacking.

You can get a plain human vitamin C tablet (no multivitamins), crush it, and sprinkle it over their vegetables, or you can buy it specially made for pets. Oasis Vita-Drops has a vitamin C bottle. They'll need about 50 mg. per day for about a week, and you should see pretty dramatic improvement in that time if the problem is indeed scurvy. Once they're back on their feet again, they need about 30 mg. per day, which you can give as a supplement or in their vegetables. Bell peppers are high in vitamin C, and most pigs do well on a diet than includes about 1/4 of a pepper per day. You can also check http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/threads/22156-READ-ME-Cavy-Nutrition-Charts-amp-Poisonous-Plants-List to see which veggies are high in vitamin C, as well as what else is good to feed them.

Just don't put the vitamin C in the water unless you're going to syringe it to them immediately, or you've got a completely opaque water bottle for them (not a good idea, because you can't see what kind of algae grows in it). Liquid vitamin C degrades very quickly when exposed to light, so you need to get it in the pig as soon as you've put the drops in the syringe or on the food.

10-30-14, 12:26 pm
It's possible they're suffering from a vitamin deficiency, particularly if they came from a pet store where I doubt they got the correct diet to provide Vitamin C. Do you feed them plenty of green bell pepper in their veggies? It also wouldn't hurt to add in a Vit C tablet once a day either. You can get a pet-specific one like Oxbow Daily C, or just a childrens chewable (vitamin C only, no multivitamins). Most of those are fruit flavoured so some pigs wolf them right down voluntarily and consider them a treat!

10-30-14, 12:45 pm
Will pick up some vitamin C chewables tomorrow. Thanks so much. Poor Túnshǔ is lying on her side, legs in the air. Seems moving is a mission for her. I give them orange and peel to help supplement the vitamin C, along with other fruits and veggies, and I will be sure to stock up on green bell pepper. I feel like leaving hate mail under the pet shop door.

Is protexin a good idea to add to their food?

Thank you so much for the advice

10-30-14, 12:55 pm
I'd advise you to minimise the orange and peel, it's very high in sugar and can cause digestive upset as guinea pigs do not process sugar well. Take at http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/threads/22156-READ-ME-Cavy-Nutrition-Charts-amp-Poisonous-Plants-List to help you plan a suitable menu, and make sure lettuce and green bell pepper are daily vegetables from now on. All fruits should be limited to a small amount once a week, for example one slice of apple per pig as opposed to a half of one.

I totally understand how you feel though, it's quite a sad realisation really that somewhere that sells animals cares so little about them. Most of the members here try to either shop online or go to supply only pet stores for our bedding and food etc, it saves us the emotional trauma of whether or not to "rescue" the pet store animals and it also takes profit away from those kind of stores, which is always a bonus.

10-30-14, 01:05 pm
I don't give them a lot of fruit, as I know it is high in sugar.

Most people here don't even know what a guinea pig is. Even their gerbils had sores on them. But I really cannot afford to adopt a handful of gerbils too! I managed to find a site that caters for guinea pigs locally, so I will be shopping online for their stuff from now on. First on my list is a new cage. i see they sell supplementary food with added vitamin C, so I will get that too.

10-30-14, 01:10 pm
Neither orange nor peel is a good source of vitamin C. Bell peppers are much better, or a plain supplement.