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View Full Version : Sick Pig Sick! Fluffy-ness, loss of interest in food, etc!



Newpiter
08-04-16, 05:55 pm
I posted a thread regarding my guinea pig, Jupiter, several months ago. If anyone read it, I took him to the vet that morning and found the source of the problem. His teeth were so long in the back the little guy had trouble eating, thus, eventually not eating enough. He was doing great for several months.
Until now.

I'm noticing similar symptoms as before, including: fluffy-ness, possible weight loss, and not a lot of movement/goes somewhat limp when I carry him (he doesn't seem totally weak though, he can sit up perfectly fine). I checked on him 5 minutes ago and he hasn't really moved from his spot (sitting hunched up?) since the last time I went downstairs to see him, which was almost half an hour ago. Other symptoms include: continuously laying on his side, and refusing to eat pellets/a loss of some interest in food (I was feeding him some veggies 2 hours ago and he ate most of them though, but again, didn't seem all too excited or interested). I am not sure if constantly laying on his side is a symptom, but it is unusual from his usual behavior. When I was feeding Jupiter the veggies, he wanted to lay on his side and kept adjusting on my lap as he ate as if he was trying to get comfortable. He was doing this in his cage as well.

I am thinking this is malnutrition, but I could be wrong; however, Jupiter's roomie, Newton, is the more dominate one. It's possible he could be preventing Jupiter from eating, but if this is the case, wouldn't Jupiter be very hungry and want to eat the pellets I laid out for him by his feet?

I am very concerned. Please reply right away! I'd like to find the source of the problem. If I need to give out more information let me know!

bpatters
08-04-16, 06:12 pm
If you weigh your pigs regularly (at least once a week), you'll quickly pick up on any weight loss that could indicate illness or bullying by a cage mate.

I think you're right, in this case, that if Newton were keeping him from eating, he'd eat when he had the chance.

I'd get him to a vet tomorrow, and in the meantime I'd hand feed him. If he'll eat hay from your hand, that's great. You may need to grind up some pellets into a slurry and hand feed him with a syringe. See http://www.guinealynx.info/handfeeding.html for how to do that.

The most important thing you can do for him tonight is to make sure he eats. Guinea pigs MUST have food moving through their gut at all times. A guinea pig that's not eating is a guinea pig that's dying. They secrete stomach acid constantly, and if there's no food in the stomach, the acid eats holes in the lining of the stomach, and sometimes all the way through the stomach wall. So whatever you do, get food in him tonight, and to the vet tomorrow.

Newpiter
08-04-16, 06:34 pm
If you weigh your pigs regularly (at least once a week), you'll quickly pick up on any weight loss that could indicate illness or bullying by a cage mate.

I think you're right, in this case, that if Newton were keeping him from eating, he'd eat when he had the chance.

I'd get him to a vet tomorrow, and in the meantime I'd hand feed him. If he'll eat hay from your hand, that's great. You may need to grind up some pellets into a slurry and hand feed him with a syringe. See http://www.guinealynx.info/handfeeding.html for how to do that.

The most important thing you can do for him tonight is to make sure he eats. Guinea pigs MUST have food moving through their gut at all times. A guinea pig that's not eating is a guinea pig that's dying. They secrete stomach acid constantly, and if there's no food in the stomach, the acid eats holes in the lining of the stomach, and sometimes all the way through the stomach wall. So whatever you do, get food in him tonight, and to the vet tomorrow.

Thank you! He wouldn't eat the hay from my hand, but I shall try syringe feeding him as he is refusing to eat his pellets all together.

bpatters
08-04-16, 06:36 pm
Make sure you get some in him. He won't like it, and will fight tooth and nail to keep from taking it. But you've got to give it to him. Contrary to what he thinks (you're torturing him to death), you're actually saving his life.

Newpiter
08-04-16, 06:54 pm
Make sure you get some in him. He won't like it, and will fight tooth and nail to keep from taking it. But you've got to give it to him. Contrary to what he thinks (you're torturing him to death), you're actually saving his life.

I'm trying to hold him in place but he gets out every time. Is there an easy method to use while trying to syringe feed a guinea pig?

bpatters
08-04-16, 07:06 pm
Sit at a table that's a comfortable height. Put your non-dominant arm on the table and throw a small towel over it.

Put the pig on the towel in the crook of your arm and burrito him with the towel. With your non-dominant hand, grip his head between your thumb and forefinger, behind the jaw. You want to hold his skull, not his haw.

With your dominant hand, insert the syringe into his mouth behind his front teeth and in front of his back teeth. Turn the syringe so it points toward his throat, and give him about 1/4 cc at a time. If he spits it out, you're not getting it far enough back into his mouth. It should get to his molars, and if he's chewing, he's swallowing.

Just be careful not to push too hard on the plunger. CC or a pellet slurry will sometimes clump up and the syringe clogs. If you push too hard, and whole bunch will come out at once. That can choke the pig.

Good luck!

Newpiter
08-04-16, 07:27 pm
Sit at a table that's a comfortable height. Put your non-dominant arm on the table and throw a small towel over it.

Put the pig on the towel in the crook of your arm and burrito him with the towel. With your non-dominant hand, grip his head between your thumb and forefinger, behind the jaw. You want to hold his skull, not his haw.

With your dominant hand, insert the syringe into his mouth behind his front teeth and in front of his back teeth. Turn the syringe so it points toward his throat, and give him about 1/4 cc at a time. If he spits it out, you're not getting it far enough back into his mouth. It should get to his molars, and if he's chewing, he's swallowing.

Just be careful not to push too hard on the plunger. CC or a pellet slurry will sometimes clump up and the syringe clogs. If you push too hard, and whole bunch will come out at once. That can choke the pig.

Good luck!

Thanks so much for the advice! I managed to get a little bit in his mouth and he swallowed. During that time though, he pooped three times, the first poop looking a lot like diarrhea. At least he can poop though! I put him back in his cage and laid hay everywhere. I saw him eating some of it on his own. Pray that he recovers after a visit to the vet tomorrow. <3

bpatters
08-04-16, 07:33 pm
He needs more than a little bit.

The rule of thumb is that a pig that's eating nothing else needs 100+ cc's of CC/pellet slurry for every kilogram it weighs, every day, split into 6-8 feedings through the day and night. If the pig is eating some on its own, you can decrease that amount accordingly. So if he's only eating half what he usually eats, he needs 50+ cc's per day.

Keep a close eye on his intake. And keep giving him the slurry.

Newpiter
08-04-16, 07:39 pm
He needs more than a little bit.

The rule of thumb is that a pig that's eating nothing else needs 100+ cc's of CC/pellet slurry for every kilogram it weighs, every day, split into 6-8 feedings through the day and night. If the pig is eating some on its own, you can decrease that amount accordingly. So if he's only eating half what he usually eats, he needs 50+ cc's per day.

Keep a close eye on his intake. And keep giving him the slurry.

I know! Sorry if I wasn't clear. I was able to get some in him before you replied. I'll try your method once he's no longer eating at some of his hay. I want to make sure he gets to eat it.

Newpiter
08-06-16, 10:00 am
UPDATE!
( I wasn't sure if I was suppose to make a new thread or not, but it's still about the same pig so I thought otherwise. If I need to make a new thread let me know ).

So I took my little Jupiter to the vet yesterday morning. The problem was that he had a lot of gas in him, plus a small fever (the doctor is unsure if it was because Jupiter was just very nervous, or actually had a fever). The doctor gave us some antibiotics to give to Jupiter at home and Critical Care until my guinea pig resumes normal appetite. It has only been one day though, and, based on my observation, it looks like Jupiter is eating and drinking normally again. I'll probably continue with the medicine though for another day just in case, unless I should stop giving them to him all together.

Also, I was kind of skeptical when my doctor told me to remove bell peppers from my guinea pig's diet completely due to the fact that they can cause a lot of gas. Should I roll with his advice? I've been giving my guinea pigs bell peppers everyday for almost 3 years, and never had a problem until now. I'm thinking I'll still have bell peppers in their diet, but instead of giving them to the guinea pigs everyday, I was thinking every other day or two. Just let me know what you think! I don't give my guinea pigs spinach, broccoli (they don't like it), and any other common causing gas vegetables very often. ( But, if the peppers are the source of the problem, I'll lay off of them ).

bpatters
08-06-16, 03:34 pm
The top of the medical forum says "ONE thread per pig," so no, you don't need to make a new thread. It makes it very difficult to follow what's going on with a pig if we have to chase threads all over the forum to get the information.

I doubt seriously that the peppers are the problem, but occasionally we do run into a pig that has problems with them. What I'd do is wait until he's been off the medicine for several days and see if the gas clears up. If it does, then the peppers are likely not the problem. If it doesn't, then I'd stop the peppers for 48 hours and see if it clears up. If it doesn't the peppers probably aren't problem, but if it does, they probably are.

But why is your vet giving him antibiotics for gas? Is this an exotic vet? If not, you need to find one, because small animal (dog and cat) vets are untrained in exotic care.

Newpiter
10-27-16, 03:00 pm
The top of the medical forum says "ONE thread per pig," so no, you don't need to make a new thread. It makes it very difficult to follow what's going on with a pig if we have to chase threads all over the forum to get the information.

I doubt seriously that the peppers are the problem, but occasionally we do run into a pig that has problems with them. What I'd do is wait until he's been off the medicine for several days and see if the gas clears up. If it does, then the peppers are likely not the problem. If it doesn't, then I'd stop the peppers for 48 hours and see if it clears up. If it doesn't the peppers probably aren't problem, but if it does, they probably are.

But why is your vet giving him antibiotics for gas? Is this an exotic vet? If not, you need to find one, because small animal (dog and cat) vets are untrained in exotic care.

I know this is like, almost 3 months late of a reply, but I haven't been on here at all recently and just decided to check back. I read your reply awhile back, but thought I'd clarify. Jupiter also had a lot of different bacteria in him, which is why the doctor prescribed antibiotics to get rid of them. And yes, he is an exotic vet, so don't worry! c: After Jupiter was done with his meds, he recovered fully, and so far, I haven't run into any major problems with either guinea pigs. I'm happy to say they're doing well! Let's hope this lasts for awhile, haha. Thank you for your input! Again, I apologize for replying late. I just wanted to let you know how things were going!