View Full Version : Weight Loss Normal weight fluctuation?

12-07-16, 03:15 pm

I have had my 4-5 year old male guinea pig for about a month. I only bought a scale about two weeks ago, and messed up and got one that just does pounds and ounces instead of grams. When I first weighed him he was two pounds even. Then a week later he had dropped to 1 lb 14.5 ounces. Today, 4 days later, it says 1 lb 11.5 ounces. I can feel nothing abnormal, his eyes are clear, no sneezing or itching. He does sometimes sit "bunched up". This seems to be a pretty drastic drop in weight, right? I can make him a vet appointment, but the only exotic vet in my area has limited hours, so I'd like some advice about what could be going on in case it takes a few days to get him in.

What can weight loss be an early indicator of?

Is a fluctuation of this size serious enough that I should be hand feeding? He seems to be eating hay and veggies normally, but has slowed on the pellets. I thought this was because I was feeding more veggies than his previous owner.

I also am unsure of how much I should trust these weights, as he's still a new pig and I'm really new to weighing them..

12-07-16, 03:45 pm
Try to make sure you're weighing him at the same time every day, preferably early in the morning before breakfast. Otherwise, a different amount of his weight will be food every time. That does seem to be a lot of weight loss, though, and on the small side to start with for a boar. Until you have more accurate measurements, I'd try to feed him as much as possible.

Weight loss can be an early indicator of just about anything that can make it harder for a guinea pig to eat or cause them to lose their appetite. Illnesses, especially URIs, and malocclusion are probably the most common reasons.

12-07-16, 04:52 pm
He is neutered, not sure if that makes his weight a bit lower than the average boar. I will weigh him every morning for the next few days. Perhaps the first time I weighed him he had just eaten quite a bit, which is why I wasn't worried until it was lower still the third time. Thanks!

12-07-16, 08:07 pm
I just took a look at his teeth. They're very slanted, but they line up. Is this normal? I've attached a picture. My other pig's teeth are not like this; her's are the same length. So I'm guessing this is not normal? 81069

12-07-16, 08:26 pm
I would definitely be making a vet appointment to have a good look in his mouth.

Weight loss and slanted incisors is indicative of an issue going on with the molars.

Make sure it's an experienced vet, don't let them just trim the incisors and think that's sufficient. There is an almost 100% chance that something is going on with the molars.

12-07-16, 08:36 pm
I'll call the vet first thing in the morning. My local guinea pig rescue (where I got this pig from just a month ago) recommended 2 vets in my area. One for routine things and one for things that could require advanced treatment. I'll go ahead and call the more specialized one. I do know she has pretty limited hours. Is there anything I should be doing in the mean time in case it takes a few days to get in?

12-07-16, 09:02 pm
You can try offering or syringing critical care or a pellet mash to help keep his weight up and ensure he is eating enough.

12-08-16, 05:54 am
I kept him in a carrier overnight so I could tell if he ate anything and because his cagemate is quite bossy, so I figured he could use the rest. No poops at all this morning and he's quite lethargic. I did get him to eat a few bites of pellet mush last night, but he's comepletly uninterested in it this morning. He is trying to eat some lettuce, but is having to eat very slowly and is obviously in pain.

I have my last final early today, but I'm going to see if it's at all possible the vet can get him in sometime today.

I already feel like a failure for not noticing something was up sooner. It's just so hard to tell who's eating what when you have more than one pig. And I've been having exams, so it's likely his behavior has been off for a few days and I didn't notice. But it's really evident to me now. So glad I did get advice to weigh him, as that was something I couldn't ignore and took very little time.

12-08-16, 06:51 am
Dont beat yourself up too much. Since they are prey animals they are very good at hiding health issues. I hope the vet can get him in asap.

12-08-16, 08:24 am
Good luck with the vet.

Your story of him is a good example of why it's so important to weigh guinea pigs regularly, particularly where there's more than one pig in the cage. It's the best way to know if they're eating enough.

12-08-16, 09:05 am
Good luck on your final and hopefully you can get him into the vet today. Let us know how everything goes with the little guy.

12-08-16, 04:33 pm
I was able to get him to the vet this afternoon. She was great and very honest with me. His teeth were in bad shape and she didn't think surgery would ultimately help with his quality of life in the long run. He was euthanized and is no longer in pain.

Thank you for all the advice. He would still be suffering had it not been for the information I got here.

12-08-16, 04:49 pm
I'm very sorry for your loss.

Teeth issues are troubling and can stem from difficult to treat ailments (elongated roots, enlarged heart, poor genetics). It's expensive to deal with and usually trimmings will be needed every 4-8 weeks for the rest of their lives.

Euthanasia is always a difficult choice to make and I'm sorry that was the best option for you guys.

12-08-16, 04:56 pm
I'm so sorry you lost him.

12-08-16, 06:28 pm
I'm so sorry for your loss.

12-08-16, 10:47 pm
I'm sorry for your loss as well. He was lucky to have someone so attentive and caring.

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Guinea Pig Papa
12-09-16, 06:38 am
I'm so sorry you lost him. It's unfortunate that his previous caregivers didn't seem to do much caregiving, but it seems to me that you did your best and ultimately did what was best for him. Rest in peace, little fella.

12-11-16, 12:56 pm
I'm so sorry you lost him, It must have been heartbreaking, but you made the right decision. Run free at the bridge, little fella <3