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Thread: One guinea pig skinnier than the other?

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    One guinea pig skinnier than the other?

    Not sure what to do, or if it's a cause for concern. I put their food in two different bowls, and I have hay scattered all throughout the cage. In theory, they both should be able to eat without being bothered by the other. Sugar, the heavier one, tends to sit around a bit more than Spice, but I'm worried Spice might not be getting enough to eat.
    Last edited by Sakano; 12-12-17 at 09:33 pm.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: One guinea pig skinnier than the other?

    Guinea pigs are no more the same weight than people are the same weight. Unless one of them is really skinny and undernourished, the difference in weight isn't something to worry about.

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    Cavy Slave Soecara's Avatar
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    Re: One guinea pig skinnier than the other?

    By skinnier do you mean one weighs less than the other, or that one feels more boney than the other?

    Guinea pigs come in a range of shapes and sizes. Some guinea pigs are longer than others (just like some people are taller than others), some guinea pigs are more pear shaped than others, and their healthy weight can vary greatly depending on their size and shape.

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    Re: One guinea pig skinnier than the other?

    That's good to know. I guess I won't worry too much then, they both seem like they're eating and drinking and in good health.

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    Re: One guinea pig skinnier than the other?

    Quote Originally Posted by Soecara View Post
    By skinnier do you mean one weighs less than the other, or that one feels more boney than the other?

    Guinea pigs come in a range of shapes and sizes. Some guinea pigs are longer than others (just like some people are taller than others), some guinea pigs are more pear shaped than others, and their healthy weight can vary greatly depending on their size and shape.
    I've been wondering about this a lot! My guinea pig Hazel is active, bright-eyed, and seems healthy, but most of her weight seems to be concentrated around her belly. The rest of her feels a little boney to the touch. Is this normal?

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    Cavy Slave Soecara's Avatar
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    Re: One guinea pig skinnier than the other?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hazelmuffin View Post
    I've been wondering about this a lot! My guinea pig Hazel is active, bright-eyed, and seems healthy, but most of her weight seems to be concentrated around her belly. The rest of her feels a little boney to the touch. Is this normal?
    A little boney is normally okay. What I mean by this is in a guinea pig that is a healthy weight you should be able to feel the bones of the spine, shoulder blades and ribs (in guinea pigs the ribs are the easiest to feel, depending on their build it can be very hard to make out the shoulder blades), but there should be a healthy layer of padding between the skin and bones (so you can feel the bones are there, but couldn't make out every single ridge of the spine, or you can feel where the shoulder blades start but not where they end).

    If an animal is underweight there will be very little padding between the skin and bones so it will almost feel like you are directly touching bone when you feel them down, you can make out each and every rib, but they may still have a little bit of padding between the ribs. Severely underweight guinea pigs will distinctly feel like nothing but bone and skin around the spine and ribs and shoulder blades, the skin will sink into the gaps between the ribs, and the shoulder blades will sharply protrude.

    This also depends on the age of the animal, guinea pigs do lose muscle mass as they age leading to a more boney feel. Also female guinea pigs suffering from ovarian cysts can, along with other symptoms, have a redistribution of weight causing bony shoulders and a round abdomen (see http://www.guinealynx.info/ovarian_cysts.html ).
    Last edited by Soecara; 02-14-18 at 01:29 am.

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    Re: One guinea pig skinnier than the other?

    Quote Originally Posted by Soecara View Post
    A little boney is normally okay. What I mean by this is in a guinea pig that is a healthy weight you should be able to feel the bones of the spine, shoulder blades and ribs (in guinea pigs the ribs are the easiest to feel, depending on their build it can be very hard to make out the shoulder blades), but there should be a healthy layer of padding between the skin and bones (so you can feel the bones are there, but couldn't make out every single ridge of the spine, or you can feel where the shoulder blades start but not where they end).

    If an animal is underweight there will be very little padding between the skin and bones so it will almost feel like you are directly touching bone when you feel them down, you can make out each and every rib, but they may still have a little bit of padding between the ribs. Severely underweight guinea pigs will distinctly feel like nothing but bone and skin around the spine and ribs and shoulder blades, the skin will sink into the gaps between the ribs, and the shoulder blades will sharply protrude.

    This also depends on the age of the animal, guinea pigs do lose muscle mass as they age leading to a more boney feel. Also female guinea pigs suffering from ovarian cysts can, along with other symptoms, have a redistribution of weight causing bony shoulders and a round abdomen (see http://www.guinealynx.info/ovarian_cysts.html ).
    Gosh, the news about the cysts is scary. I'm hoping that isn't the case because her coat and appetite seem fine, but I'll try and consult a vet anyway.

    Thank you so much for this information, Soecara. I really appreciate it.

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    Cavy Slave Soecara's Avatar
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    Re: One guinea pig skinnier than the other?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hazelmuffin View Post
    Gosh, the news about the cysts is scary. I'm hoping that isn't the case because her coat and appetite seem fine, but I'll try and consult a vet anyway.

    Thank you so much for this information, Soecara. I really appreciate it.
    Ovarian cysts are typically only found in sows over 3 years of age, so if your sow is younger than that the chances that she could have cysts are very low. I hope your sow doesn't have cysts and instead just has a naturally slimmer upper body.

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