View Full Version : Conditions Question about obesity and scratching

06-27-15, 07:23 pm
Question 1: I'm a bit concerned about my 2-year-old guinea pig, Cloud. Basically, she has a much rounder belly than she used to, particularly noticeable when she's lying down, and a whole lot more waddle to her walk. I have never weighed my pigs and don't often take Cloud out for lap time, so while I feel like it's been a gradual change, I can't say for sure. She is eating, drinking, peeing, pooping, and otherwise acting normally. While she is both skittish about being touched or held and prone to rumble-strutting and being moody with her cagemate, she has been that way since she was a baby, and is actually much better than she was a few months ago. She doesn't seem to do much running in her cage (a 2x5 c and c), unless she's fleeing from being picked up, and is very food-motivated (wheeks when I walk into the kitchen, open the refrigerator, use a cutting board, rustle anything plastic, speak, breathe...), but has a pretty sound diet (unlimited bluegrass, 1/4 cup kms pellets, 1-2 leaves redleaf lettuce, 1/4 green pepper 1 baby carrot per day and occasional pieces of colored pepper, cuke, zucchini, apple peel, or fresh grass throughout the week, all of which is shared fairly evenly with cagemate). I'm assuming it's just regular old overweight, but want to make sure I shouldn't be worried that it's bloat, cysts, stones, or something else requiring medical attention. I've never had her sex confirmed by a vet, but she and cagemate are both to my knowledge female and have been together for over a year and a half, so I'm not particularly worried about pregnancy. If she is just obese, I'd love suggestions on how to encourage more activity, and if not, what should I be on the lookout for, symptom-wise?

Question 2: How much scratching is too much? Neither pig has hair loss or flakey skin, and only Cloud seems unwilling to be touched. They only scratch for a few seconds at a time, but they do seem to do it more frequent than usual. Should I treat for mites preemptively, or is it nothing to worry about?

Best pics I could get of my round girl and her roundness.

06-27-15, 07:31 pm
Are you positive both pigs are females? You've turned them over and compared the pertinent parts? See www.cavyspirit.com/sexing.htm (http://www.cavyspirit.com/sexing.htm) and http://www.pet-informed-veterinary-advice-online.com/sexing-guinea-pigs.html for pictures for comparison.

You need to weigh her on a regular basis. Weight loss is often the first symptom of illness in guinea pigs, and catching an illness early can not only save you money on vet bills, it can mean the difference between life and death for your pig.

Most guinea pigs are not obese. It's hard for an herbivore to become obese, unless they're very sedentary and are over-fed on pellets. She could have cysts, or, depending on your other pig, she could be pregnant.

You can treat her yourself for mites, or take her to the vet. If you go to the vet, don't let them do a skin scraping. It's painful for the pig, expensive for you, wrong because it misses mites half the time, and the end result is the same -- treat the pig for mites. Let us know if you want to do it yourself, and we'll give you instructions on how to get the ivermectin and administer it.

06-27-15, 08:23 pm
Nope, not positive. I have checked, and they both appear to match and be y-shaped, but I'm definitely not an expert. They both came from a store that "only sells females," which I realize now means nothing. I'm just assuming, having been together for nearly two years, if one of them had been missexed, a pregnancy would already have happened?

What kind of scale do I need to get to weigh them, and do you think I need to see a vet re: cysts? I would like to do the ivermectim at home. I'll post weights for dossage as soon as I get a scale.

Thanks so much for the help!

06-27-15, 08:32 pm
You need a kitchen scale that weighs up to about five pounds, and it's most convenient if it shows weights in both grams and ounces. You can find them a lot of places for $15 or so.

This is the easiest ivermectin to use: http://www.amazon.com/Ivermectin-Pour--Cattle-250-mL/dp/B00JAL3AAW/ref=sr_1_2.

06-27-15, 09:48 pm
If you are curious about ovarian cysts read this link (warning it does contain images of removed ovarian tumours) http://www.guinealynx.info/ovarian_cysts.html

If she has more then one symptom then you should certainly consider a visit to a good exotics vet to have that checked out.

06-27-15, 10:09 pm
Ditto Soecara. If she were mine, I'd definitely get her to a good exotic vet for an ultrasound.

07-14-15, 02:22 pm
I got the ivermectin from the link. Regular pig and round pig weigh 1 lb 14 oz and 2 lbs 7 oz, respectively. Can you help me with doses?