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Thread: GI Stasis, Won't Eat Hay, Cannot Determine Cause of Pain

  1. #1
    Cavy Slave Tschannen14's Avatar
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    GI Stasis, Won't Eat Hay, Cannot Determine Cause of Pain

    My 3 1/2 year old male, Vincent, was diagnosed with GI stasis a couple days ago. We initially took him to the vet when we noticed some weight loss, lethargy, and decrease in hay/veggie consumption. At the vet he received a physical exam, full dental exam, and full body and head x-rays. The x-rays revealed that his stomach was empty and he had a couple of gas pockets in his intestines. Other than that, the vet couldn't find anything wrong with him to explain his pain or what may have caused the GI stasis in the first place. He said his teeth looked normal, x-ray didn't show elongated roots, heart/lungs looked good, no stones/sludge, etc. The vet that saw him was not his normal vet, but he was an exotic pet vet with experience with guinea pigs. Vincent is currently on pain meds (Metacam) and 3 tbsp (dry) of Critical Care per day for the GI stasis.

    I wanted to post his symptoms here and see if anyone has had a similar experience. I plan on taking Vincent to his regular vet (who wasn't available at the time) to see what he thinks. I want to get an idea of what I should be asking my vet to try to get to the root of my pig's pain.

    Symptoms:
    - Refusal to eat hay. Has tried a couple of times, but usually gives up. The times he has been successful, he takes way longer to chew/swallow the hay than normal.
    - Doesn't eat veggies as fast. Eats his peppers, cucumber, and cilantro pretty readily, but doesn't show much interest in lettuce. He seems to have the same trouble with lettuce as he does with hay.
    - Regardless of what he's eating, he will exhibit a gagging motion and opens his mouth fairly wide. Almost like he can't get the food positioned properly in the back of his mouth.
    - Decrease in stool size/output (improved with Critical Care force feeding)
    - Lethargy, signs of pain. Scrunches up and puffs his hair out.

    His weight seems stable for now and he isn't having trouble urinating. He had a bladder stone removed about 9 months ago, but like I said, x-ray showed no bladder issues and he isn't crying when he goes to the bathroom. Should I consider getting a second opinion on the dental exam?

    Let me know if anyone has any idea or suggestions. I'm happy to answer questions or post pictures. Thank you!

  2. #2
    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner ThePigAlchemist's Avatar
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    Re: GI Stasis, Won't Eat Hay, Cannot Determine Cause of Pain

    That really sounds like a tooth issue to me. When my Fuery had tooth issues, it started out as slow eating but then turned into refusal. He would try to eat tempting veggies sometimes, but would give up. I'd try for a second opinion on the dental exam.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: GI Stasis, Won't Eat Hay, Cannot Determine Cause of Pain

    Ditto @ThePigAlchemist. It's good that they did x-rays of his teeth, but they really need to do an adequate oral exam. For most vets, that means "whiffing" them under with anesthetic and taking a good look at the molars, which most vets can't really do if the pig is awake. He may have one or more spurs on his teeth that irritate his tongue or cheek, and they could cause the pain. Asking for a better oral exam would be my next move if it were my pig.

    GI stasis also involves some pain, but it's usually the result of the original problem, not the primary cause.

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