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Thread: Lethargic piggy?

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    Cavy Slave Mortiaryfaerie's Avatar
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    Lethargic piggy?

    We have 4 female guinea pigs. Bayonetta and Caterina we got from petsmart in June. Erza and misty we got from petco in January (yes I know you should adopt, but where we live that wasn't an option). Bayonetta seems really...odd today. Like she moved around a bit, still ran away while I was vaccuming, and crawled all over me this morning. But she seems kind of lethargic once I put her in the cage. She has no other symptoms (no sneezing/weezing/labored breathing, still eating like before).
    Is it possible that she's just having an off day?

    I'm calling around to vets in the morning if something still seems off. I just want a second opinion for now

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    Cavy Slave Soecara's Avatar
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    Re: Lethargic piggy?

    If something seems off with a guinea pig it almost always is. Guinea pigs are prey animals so they are very good at hiding symptoms, so that odd feeling that something isn't quite right should be taken seriously. Do get her into the vet for a full check-over as soon as you can, but in the mean time keep a close eye on her.

    For now you can check her output. Make sure sure is still urinating and that her urine is of a normal colour, that her poops are still normal (check consistency - are they softer then usual, shape - are they a smooth sausage shape or do they have pits in them/are they chained together, size - are they any smaller then usual), and gently feel her abdomen for any bloating.

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    Cavy Star Fay's Avatar
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    Re: Lethargic piggy?

    If she was mine I'd get her checked out. She might have a URI and you caught the infection early which is a good thing. Guinea pigs don't normally have off days where they are noticeably more lethargic. I mean it could be that she's just bored but you want to rule out illness first because a URI is lethal if left untreated or it could be something else.

    Keep a close eye on her and do some research so you're prepared. Do get her checked by a cavy savvy exotic vet if she still hasn't perked up by now (Normal cat & dog 'small animal' vets don't usually have the training to adequately treat guinea pigs).

    http://www.guinealynx.info/medical_guide.html
    Last edited by Fay; 02-04-16 at 05:38 am.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Lethargic piggy?

    Ditto @Soecara and @Fay. Lethargy is almost always a sign of a sick guinea pig, and they can go from mildly sick to dead in 24 hours. Please get her to a good exotic vet and get her checked out.

    Keep us posted on how she does.

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    Cavy Slave Mortiaryfaerie's Avatar
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    Re: Lethargic piggy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fay View Post
    If she was mine I'd get her checked out. She might have a URI and you caught the infection early which is a good thing. Guinea pigs don't normally have off days where they are noticeably more lethargic. I mean it could be that she's just bored but you want to rule out illness first because a URI is lethal if left untreated or it could be something else.

    Keep a close eye on her and do some research so you're prepared. Do get her checked by a cavy savvy exotic vet if she still hasn't perked up by now (Normal cat & dog 'small animal' vets don't usually have the training to adequately treat guinea pigs).

    http://www.guinealynx.info/medical_guide.html
    I just checked her again and its definately a URI, she's now all crusty. She as an appointment for 2:30. Should I bring my other 3 piggies as well/ask them to prescribe the other 3 medication too? I'm new to having guinea pigs so I'm just going off of what I had to do for my rats

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    Cavy Slave Mortiaryfaerie's Avatar
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    Re: Lethargic piggy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Soecara View Post
    If something seems off with a guinea pig it almost always is. Guinea pigs are prey animals so they are very good at hiding symptoms, so that odd feeling that something isn't quite right should be taken seriously. Do get her into the vet for a full check-over as soon as you can, but in the mean time keep a close eye on her.

    For now you can check her output. Make sure sure is still urinating and that her urine is of a normal colour, that her poops are still normal (check consistency - are they softer then usual, shape - are they a smooth sausage shape or do they have pits in them/are they chained together, size - are they any smaller then usual), and gently feel her abdomen for any bloating.
    I just had her out for about a half hour and she dint pee or poo on the bed, but its hard to tell if that's a blockage or just becuase its Earl in the morning. We did offer her some peppers and she ate it so that's good atleast. I 'inspected' around the care a bit and all poop looks normal

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    Cavy Slave Mortiaryfaerie's Avatar
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    Re: Lethargic piggy?

    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post
    Ditto @Soecara and @Fay. Lethargy is almost always a sign of a sick guinea pig, and they can go from mildly sick to dead in 24 hours. Please get her to a good exotic vet and get her checked out.

    Keep us posted on how she does.
    We took her to the vet about two hours ago, he gave her.2ml of an antibiotic (I can't remember the name of it now, it started with a B and the lable says sulfatrim) and 3/4 of a teaspoon of something called nutrical. She was fine the whole 30 minute ride home walking around in her box and chattering then as we were pulling into the apartment parking lot sh started choking and drooling out the nutrical. I tried using one of the oral syringes to suck it out of her mouth and flush her mouth with water but I guess I was too late becausestopped breathing completely. I'm totally heart broken and I feel like I screwed up big time by not taking her to the vet yesterday when I noticed her slowing down

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Lethargic piggy?

    I'm so sorry you lost her. It sounds like she either had some kind of blockage in her throat, or possibly a heart condition. While it's true that they do need to go to the vet quickly, don't beat yourself up over it. It sounds like she wouldn't have made it anyway.

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    Cavy Slave Soecara's Avatar
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    Re: Lethargic piggy?

    My condolences for your loss. Do keep an eye on her cage mates, while URI's are contagious most of the time the cage mates don't catch it unless they have a compromised/weaker immune system or the bacteria is a particularly nasty one.

    Just for reference sake Sulfatrim is also know as Bactrim.

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    Cavy Slave Mortiaryfaerie's Avatar
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    Re: Lethargic piggy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Soecara View Post
    My condolences for your loss. Do keep an eye on her cage mates, while URI's are contagious most of the time the cage mates don't catch it unless they have a compromised/weaker immune system or the bacteria is a particularly nasty one.

    Just for reference sake Sulfatrim is also know as Bactrim.
    Thank you. The vet mentioned that she may have had a compromised immune system. Her fever was only 99.8 which he said is on the low end even for a healthy piggy and makes it seem like her immune system wasn't working to fight it off. Which I guess also explains how she went from a little laggy to dead in less than 24 hours.

    Luckily as of now noone else seems sick. We called the vet for dosages of the medicine for the smaller piggies incase anything goes down hill and were scrubbing the cage and toys to get rid of as much germs as possible.

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    Cavy Star Fay's Avatar
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    Re: Lethargic piggy?

    I'm so sorry for your loss. You did everything you could; I don't think anything could've helped her. While it sounds like she may have had an infection it doesn't sound like that was the main cause of her death. At least, that's my guess because of the choking.

    I would check their entire cage, toys, and play area to make sure that she didn't ingest something that could've caused a blockage because one of the other pigs could get a hold of it. But it could be a whole range of other things or combination of smaller things. Either way, I'm really sorry :(

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    Cavy Slave Mortiaryfaerie's Avatar
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    Re: Lethargic piggy?

    We checked and cleaned their entire cage and cleaned/inspected all their toys and hides just incase.
    Luckily as of now everyone else seems okay, no changes in appetite. They do seem sort of upset. Especially Caterina, she seems like she's looking for her sister.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Lethargic piggy?

    I just read your GL post, and for information for anyone who may be reading the thread here, I'm adding this information.

    The vet poured .75 teaspoon of Nutrical (a thick, gooey substance) down her pig's throat, which may have contributed to its death. Nutrical is never recommended for guinea pigs, and is no substitute for Critical Care. What guinea pigs need when they're sick is fiber moving through their digestive tracts, and Nutrical doesn't have it. It's also intended for dogs and cats, and its main ingredient is corn syrup, which has way too much sugar for guinea pigs.
    @Mortiaryfaerie, you do need a new vet. The one that treated your pig isn't well-versed in guinea pig care.

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    Cavy Slave Mortiaryfaerie's Avatar
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    Re: Lethargic piggy?

    Is it possible for guinea pigs to grieve? They don't seem lethargic in the same way as bayonetta was, they're not showing any other symptoms of illness, and they're still eating and drinking. They're moving around a little but they mostly seem to just walk around the perimeter of the cage once or twice while screaming, then just go back into their igloo for a couple hours, then repeat. Should I err on the safe side and assume theyre sick and start them on antibiotics now or wait and see if anything happens

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Lethargic piggy?

    I don't know if an animal behaviorist would call it grief, but many do act differently after a cage mate has died.

    And we almost never recommend giving antibiotics unless there's really an infection. Guinea pigs don't do well with antibiotics, although they're sometimes necessary. But they often cause pigs to stop eating, and can actually cause bloat, which can be fatal. Unless they've stopped eating/drinking/pooping/peeing, or unless they're hunched up in pain or sitting with their noses to the wall, or are losing weight, then just watch them. If you see actual signs of illness, then get them to a vet. But don't give antibiotics just because you think they might be sick.

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