View Full Version : Impaction Possible Impaction - Boar not pooing normally

12-29-17, 08:18 pm
Hello all,

Need advice again from more experienced Guinea Pig lovers.

Last couple of days one of our boars started pooping very dry caramel color looking poops.
Some of them were completely dry, and some of them one side looking normal, while other side dry.
Poops did not dry out in the cage, they come out of him dry.
Today for the first time, we noticed bunch of tear-shaped half poops in the cage with tails.

For the last 2 hours we are watching them. They are both eating hay and veggies non stop.
Problem is that our other guinea pig pooped like 20 pops (nice shaped, black), while he pooped only 1 small half dry?!

Is he maybe impacted? Would those above be symptoms?
When we are looking at him, it looks like sometimes he is trying to poop, but nothing comes out...
We have mineral oil at home, should we perform Anal Sack cleaning? Does that make sense?

We are under extreme weather warning up north in Canada for the last couple of days.
It is -35 Celsius outside and the heat in the house is at maximum, so the air is very dry.
We connected his poops to the weather, so we gave him more water to drink + extra cucumber.

Problem is that we are not home most of the day, so he is getting extra water in the evenings/mornings.
He is not big drinker, he usually gets only a sip or two during the day, while the other guinea pig drinks all the time.
If we hold him the water bottle over his head, then he will drink like there is no tomorrow.

He is getting us concerned.
He eats mostly normally. Lots of hay and veggies, but stopped eating pellets (we got a new bag recently ?!).
He lost a bit of weight, but he is at his low average for the last 3 days (1080 grams).
For the last 6 months he varies between 1080 - 1120 grams.

12-29-17, 08:31 pm
How old is he?

Is he neutered?

Are you regularly checking his anal sac?

12-29-17, 08:36 pm
He is 1.5 years old.

He is not neutered.
We are thinking about it, as we had a topic here about him ejaculating all over his cage mate, but he didn't do it over a month.

Honestly, we don't check it probably as often as we should.
Last time it was checked couple of months ago while he was at vet's exam.

12-29-17, 08:39 pm
Now he pooped couple of normal, black poops.
But we gave him lots of water to drink and some wet veggies.
He is peeing a lot now as well, it looks almost red pee, but he was eating lots of red lettuce.(hope that's the cause)

12-29-17, 08:51 pm
You need to check him weekly, but only clean as necessary. You'll be able to tell if he's impacted by looking in the sac.

Try putting another couple of bottles of water in the cage, in different places, and at different heights. That may encourage him to drink.

12-29-17, 09:31 pm
OK we checked his sack, and cleaned a bit with mineral oil.

Didn't really look too bad, a bit of hair and hay inside.
I guess we did alright for the first time doing it.

Yes we will try with more water bottles.
They have 2 atm.

01-03-18, 10:30 pm
Our guinea pig still pooping half dry/ half wet poops. It seemed to be better when I forced him to drink, but now again some dry some wet poops.

I just weighted him and he lost weight. He is at 1049 grams , while for the last couple of weeks he was around 1080 grams, he never went under that.
Max he had in the past was 1120 grams.

This is now getting me really worried.
Now he is eating hay, but why that weight loss? He seems to be eating normally. He only stopped eating pellets.

I don't know, I am planning to get him to emergency vet tomorrow morning after I weight him.
If I make appointment, I will have to wait for days.

Is this 30 grams weight loss + dry poops a good enough reason to rush him to vet?


01-03-18, 10:35 pm
Not really. A teaspoon of water weighs about five grams, so thirty grams isn't much -- a lot of it can be accounted by when he's last eaten/peed/pooped.

Most emergency vets aren't equipped to treat guinea pigs, and the better ones will just refuse to see them. Your pig isn't critically ill, so I'd get an appointment with a good exotic vet.

Have you tried giving him probiotics? Have his teeth been checked by a good exotic vet?

01-03-18, 10:43 pm
Thanks for quick reply.

We haven't tried with probiotics. Is that something I can buy at a regular pharmacy or drug store or do I have to go through the vet?

His teeth were last checked couple of months ago by exotics vet and she said they were looking good.
We are up north in Canada, and there isn't lots of vets that specialize in guinea pigs and similar.
The ones that kind of do, we weren't really impressed.

01-03-18, 11:00 pm
Bene-Bac for small animals is good, and is available from Amazon. Or you can use plain human acidophilus or kyodophilus.

01-03-18, 11:03 pm
Thanks. Appreciate your advice as always

01-04-18, 09:51 am
Bene-Bac for small animals is good, and is available from Amazon

With regard to Bene Bac, don't buy the little tubes as they are almost impossible to administer and virtually useless. Buy the larger 15gm syringe which is infinitely easier to administer and has guidelines for measured doses. You can buy a single tube......or order a three pack. They are eligible for Amazon Prime shipping.



01-05-18, 11:54 am
Thanks for the tip, but I already ordered small tubes :(

Our piggy is not doing better.
We tried giving him acidophilus, cleaning his anal sack again and monitored him closely.

He is losing 10 - 15 grams per day.
Also every couple of minutes he stops, and looks like he is trying to poop and nothing comes out.
He basically poops couple of pellets per day only now.
He has appetite and is active like usual.

We decided to take him to the vet.
Went through emergency, but arranged for an exotics vet to see him.

After thorough exam, she suspects possible bladder stones.
That is her 1st possibility. She said could be the infection as well or something in his tummy.
Lately he eats his ejaculate after mounting other guinea pig, I mentioned that as well. Maybe that got him impacted :(

His teeth look great, anal sack is clean, temp is good.

So we are doing x-ray, if it shows nothing then they will do blood work.

01-05-18, 02:05 pm
Just got a call from Vet hospital, Cupko has bladder stones.

We are going to pick him up later today and we are seeing the vet to talk .
Then I will get all the information :(

I will definitely start researching everything about that and recovery process.
Yeeezz, we are really trying hard to make sure they drink only filtrated water, we mostly feed them non high calcium veggies...
Lately we are giving both of them green/yellow pepper treats through the day, to make sure they are high on vitamin C, just because they were both sneezing and had mild discharge from nose. And it seemed to help with that problem. I hope we didn't do this to him...

01-05-18, 02:56 pm
Stone issues are mostly genetic. I had two GP sisters from the same litter, both fed the exact same diet, one had two episodes of stones, the other lived to be over six and never had them.

You do want to avoid high calcium stuff -- only Oxbow or KMS Hayloft pellets, no or very limited kale/spinach, only very occasional small bits of herbs as a treat, etc. The best thing you can do is keep them up and moving so the calcium in the bladder is suspended and expelled when the pig pees.

01-05-18, 10:18 pm
We used to have them running almost every day in their play pan, but now both wife and me come home late in the evening, so we had them running maybe once - twice per week.
Cupko is the piggy that's always active, walks around the cage and can't stand still. And he got the stones. While Misko, the other piggie, is a lazy one. Cupko makes him move, otherwise Misko prefers chilling :)

We booked in a surgery next Thursday.
Until then Cupko was sent home with following:

Metacam 0.5ml twice daily (which comes to 1.5mg in 24h)
Tramadol 0.2ml twice daily (comes to 20mg in 24h)
CriticalCare 2-3 times daily to prevent further weight loss

Tramadol dosage seems as per GuineaLynx guide.
Metacam dosage is much higher than recommended there (0.2mg/kg).
But again, I don't want him being in pain until the surgery. Not sure what to do here.

I will also build him a small C&C cage to make sure he pees and poops.
I was told in case he stops peeing, the stone can get stuck and than it is an emergency.

Here is the stone:


01-05-18, 10:39 pm
There's a range of dosing for Metacam, so it doesn't sound like too much to me. But, both tramadol and metacam are given for pain, so I'm not sure I'd start him off with the full doses of both. You don't want to zonk him out. You could call the vet and ask about that. But I'd start him on one or the other and see how he does, and then add small amounts of the other one if it's needed.

01-05-18, 11:02 pm
OK Thanks...We will give him some Metacam and small dosage of Tramadol.
Vet said we can play with dosage on Tramadol, since than one could make him sleep.

He is not making problems. We just put the dosage on the cucumber and he eats everything.
We'll see how it will go with critical care.

01-06-18, 01:13 pm
We are having so hard time feeding Critical Care.

Last night we were able to put it on his favorite veggies, and he ate all.
This morning it didn't work that way. We are trying to syringe feed him, and were able to give maybe 5ml all together in couple of hours.
He is eating veggies by himself, but hay not really that much. He eats a bit only, so I know we need to force him with Critical Care.

But there is absolutely no way we can put 50ml into his mouth per day.
He fights, and struggles, and bites, etc...
It's not like on videos I watched where piggies comply after some time.

I don't know, if we try mixing it with just a bit of water, than it will be much less quantity, but it won't get sucked into the syringe...

Guinea Pig Papa
01-06-18, 03:50 pm
Try mixing the critical care with some baby food. Pumpkin, or some other veggie that pigs like. He may like that better.

01-06-18, 04:03 pm
You're likely not holding him properly. Put a towel on a table that's at a comfortable arm height for you. Put him in the crook of your arm, and snuggle him to you. Hold his head FIRMLY between your thumb and forefinger, just about the level of his jaw. Slide your hand over his face until his eyes are covered.

Put the syringe into his mouth from the side, behind his front teeth, in front of his back teeth. Turn the syringe toward his throat, and insert it a little less than half an inch. Squirt about 1/4 cc. of Critical Care into his mouth. If he's chewing, he's swallowing, and it's probably not necessary to withdraw the syringe.

01-06-18, 10:18 pm
Thank you both for the advice.

After all day battle, we finally figured out a way to do it.
My wife is holding him wrapped up in a towel and covers his eyes, and I open his mouth and inject the syringe between his front and rear teeth, just like you said.
Works pretty good. We just did around 15 small syringes without even making a mess.

We will do it again in the night and then again in the morning.
He eats by himself a bit of hay and lots of veggies. So I guess we don't have to go with the full dosage like it says on the package.
We weight him couple of times per day, and the weight seems to be stable for now.

01-07-18, 08:21 am
We just did around 15 small syringes without even making a mess.

You are going to drive yourself crazy doing it that way!

Go to almost any pet store and ask for a "small pet feeding syringe"........should be about 30ml. I promise you it is not too large for a cavy. When your CC is still somewhat thin, pour it into the syringe and it will continue to thicken there. That's SO much better than trying to draw up 15 syringes! By pouring it in the syringe, that enables you to also mix some tasty baby food with it to provide variety. Beechnut makes an organic line that I particularly like......as do my cavies. They have some rather strange mixtures so I generally buy those that are just a single flavor like carrot, pumpkin, squash, etc.

When my Chester wasn't eating after his multiple teeth planings, he would sometimes consume two 30ml. syringes at each feeding.

01-07-18, 06:50 pm
Yes, I will have to find a bigger syringe, but again with nice small tip so I can get it in his mouth.

We got a 50ml syringe as well, but can't put it in his mouth.

Baby food with taste sounds like great idea. I will try finding carrot taste. It would be awesome if he would enjoy his feeding time.
He hates CC with banana taste. I tried spraying some over his veggies this morning, he just turned away and started teeth chattering.
As soon as I rewashed the veggies, he ate all :)

01-07-18, 09:43 pm
We got a 50ml syringe as well, but can't put it in his mouth.

I suspect that a 50ml syringe may well be too large. I find that the 30ml is just about right no matter the size of the cavy.

I'm not surprised about the banana spray. None of my cavies have ever liked banana.

Guinea Pig Papa
01-08-18, 05:33 am
I'm not surprised about the banana spray. None of my cavies have ever liked banana.

I've heard other members say the same. Neither of my younger boars really like banana, but Sly goes absolutely NUTS for it. He gets a small piece from time to time, and he'll only eat the apple banana CC.

01-08-18, 07:50 am
Neither of my younger boars really like banana, but Sly goes absolutely NUTS for it. He gets a small piece from time to time, and he'll only eat the apple banana CC.

Just goes to show you......cavies are as individual as we humans are!

Guinea Pig Papa
01-08-18, 07:51 am
Most definitely, wouldn't have it any other way!

01-12-18, 01:51 pm

Here is the update.

Cupko finally came back from hospital.
I think vets there did a pretty good job.

Strangest thing happened. And I am so happy it did.
They got him ready for a bladder stone surgery, shaved him and just before starting they did one more x-ray.
And there was no stone anymore.
So they did ultrasound to confirm it. All they found was bunch of small crystals or pieces, I'm not really sure.
They catheterized him and flushed his bladder several times. There was no need to operate.

We picked him up today, but unfortunately the vet got sick so didn't come to work so we couldn't talk to her in person.
I spoke to her yesterday over the phone. She was very surprised as well, as the stone was too big for him to pass it !?
So it probably split in half, or shattered, I have no idea.

For now he is on metacam, as I can see he is in pain while peeing, which is probably normal after all that.

Also his urine was sent for analysis, and we are waiting for results. If there is UTI he will get antibiotics.

He lost almost a 100g since we left him 2 days ago, but we will get him up there soon. He seems to have appetite.

01-12-18, 01:55 pm
Sounds like improvement to me! Yay for no surgery!

01-12-18, 02:23 pm
Yes :))

Also we will try to keep him on 0.4% Calcium diet.

We will stop feeding him:

Parsley (he had it maybe once a week)
Cilantro (he had it several times a week)
Romaine Lettuce (several times a week)
Oxbow Vitamin C tabs ( he would get just a small piece daily as a treat to keep him high on Vit C, as he had problems with runny nose and sneezing and it helped)

I was thinking of ordering KMS pellets instead of Oxbox pellets, as I've read there is no calcium carbonate as calcium source.
Also I will be buying Reverse Osmosis Water and still run it through our Brita filter, that should hopefully get us calcium free water.
We will syringe him extra water couple of times per day + let him run around each day for at least half hour.

How does this sound?
He will mostly eat lots of peppers(green, yellow, rarely red), green and red leaf lettuce, cucumbers, baby carrot few times a week.
And of course timothy hay and kms pellets.

Also I was able to find Demineralized Reverse Osmosis Water with added Ozone in Walmart.
Would that Ozone be potentially bad? I couldn't find any info on that. I know it is used to keep bacteria and viruses from bottled water.

01-12-18, 02:52 pm
There's no calcium carbonate in either Oxbow or KMS -- Oxbow recently changed their formulation to take it out.

I don't know anything about demineralized reverse osmosis water. Sounds like a marketing ploy to me, but then I'm a cynic.

01-21-18, 01:18 pm

Cupko is doing really good after he came back from the hospital.
He is back to eating normally and lots.

Only concern we have is that he is not gaining weight.

Like I mentioned before, before his illness he was always around 1080g - 1120g.

He came back from hospital at 1020g. And now 10 days later he ranges between 1020g - 1050g.
We didn`t hand feed him with CC since he came back, because he really eats and poops all the time like he should.

What would you advise?
Is this now his "new normal" weight or should we hand feed him a bit to get him up?
He looks a bit skinny.


01-21-18, 01:39 pm
It takes a long time for an adult pig to gain weight. As long as he's not losing, I wouldn't worry about it. You could throw a few more pellets in his bowl if you want, but don't overdo it. He should slowly inch back up toward his normal weight, but it may take months.

01-21-18, 02:46 pm
OK thanks, we will keep watching him and go from there.

Just 1 more question.
Boys were not separated for 2 weeks, each in his own cage.

Do we now need to do introduction like in the beginning or do you think they know each other?
They lived 1 year together, but never really got along.
We will also combine old 5x2 cage with new 3x2, so they will have much more space.

01-21-18, 03:11 pm
Any time they've been separated for longer than a day or so, you need to do full reintroductions.

01-21-18, 03:42 pm
Ohhh ok.. not to happy to hear that :))

We will have to do it on a day we are both off work I guess...