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Thread: Hand feeding 3 day old pup with congenital deformities- need some feeding advice

  1. #1

    Hand feeding 3 day old pup with congenital deformities- need some feeding advice

    Back story: My daughter's class pig, Cinnamon, delivered three pups the morning of 2/14, Wednesday. Two of the pups are fine, running, popping, trying lettuce and pellets. The third little pup, the runt, has some issues. Her front paws are turned in and she walks/hops on the back or sides of them. I think her back legs are a bit wonky, too. She doesn't move a lot. Her eyes are smaller; not sure about her vision. I have been working with the teacher on helping this sweet thing survive. We tried putting her and mom into a separate cage so she could nurse without competition, but it seemed like that wasn't working and mom was rejecting her.

    So I volunteered to take the whole family to the vet on 2/16, Friday. He said I should hand feed her Critical Care. The first feeding she showed some interest. Since then she has not wanted the Critical Care at all and I basically have to force it on her. Her weight went down between the Friday afternoon vet visit and the next morning, Saturday, from 97 grans to 91 grams. (Her siblings are around 124 grams.)

    I have been feeding her every 3 hours but her disinterest in the Critical Care has been challenging. I've tried various consistencies, thicker, thinner, to no avail. I don't want her to aspirate so I have been using my finger rather than the syringe which is not terribly effective and I hate that her earliest interactions with people involves force. Late last night I started feeling desperate and worried that she had no appetite. So I tried some other things- slice of apple? She tasted it but that was all. Pureed pumpkin? Sniffed and turned away. Mashed pellet? Nope. Spinach? Lettuce? Kale? Parsley? Hay? Alfalfa? Mashed carrot? Nope, nope, nope. On a whim, I tried a drop of cream on my finger.

    I know, I know. No. Milk! But... SHE WENT NUTS. Licked it up and wheeked for more. I'd never seen her so excited. So I thought, Aha! and tried mixing it with the Critical Care but she turned her nose up at that. All she wants is straight cream. I gave in and gave her about 1/8 tsp using the syringe (she drank off it like a water bottle) and still forced some of the Critical Care mash into her. This morning she was moving around, making noises, so much happier.

    So now, my dilemma. Milk is bad. But it's what she will eat. She obviously wants some kind of milk. I've pictured myself milking mama guinea pig and that not only looks rather ridiculous but the logistics are mind boggling. Is there any kind of milk that I can give her, in addition to the Critical Care, that isn't terrible?

    Fyi, she was at 93 grams this morning and I have been offering her just water after feedings.

    Thank you!

  2. #2

    Re: Hand feeding 3 day old pup with congenital deformities- need some feeding advice

    Quote Originally Posted by TalentdMom View Post
    I've pictured myself milking mama guinea pig and that not only looks rather ridiculous but the logistics are mind boggling. Is there any kind of milk that I can give her, in addition to the Critical Care, that isn't terrible?
    Love your sense of humor! Having grown up around farmers in my childhood, I can just visualize your trying to milk the mother.

    What did the Vet say about the feet/leg issue? Was there any discussion about syringing some Vit. C? Insofar as milk is concerned, my knee-jerk reaction would be to try soy, almond, cashew, or hemp milk. There are likely others here who may be more knowledgeable about the milk issue.

    Sounds like a challenge........keep up the good work!

  3. #3
    Cavy Slave pigmommy89's Avatar
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    Re: Hand feeding 3 day old pup with congenital deformities- need some feeding advice

    I've heard of using goat's milk for guinea pig pups, but I've never tried it. There just isn't a good substitute for guinea pig milk. Good luck with your baby, and let us know how she does.

  4. #4

    Hand feeding 3 day old pup with congenital deformities- need some feeding advice

    Thank you for trying to help the baby! Well there's this goats milk substitute, hopefully someone who knows more about this can weigh in on weather this is safe for guinea pigs (I'd also see if your nearest pet store has it rather than waiting for delivery): https://www.chewy.com/petag-goats-mi...E&gclsrc=aw.ds

  5. #5

    Re: Hand feeding 3 day old pup with congenital deformities- need some feeding advice

    Quote Originally Posted by spy9doc View Post
    Love your sense of humor! Having grown up around farmers in my childhood, I can just visualize your trying to milk the mother.

    What did the Vet say about the feet/leg issue? Was there any discussion about syringing some Vit. C? Insofar as milk is concerned, my knee-jerk reaction would be to try soy, almond, cashew, or hemp milk. There are likely others here who may be more knowledgeable about the milk issue.

    Sounds like a challenge........keep up the good work!
    The vet said the feet are a congenital deformity and nothing to really do for it. It's kind of the guinea pig version of club foot. Apparently it's not uncommon and she can go on to lead a fairly normal, if slightly less active, life. She doesn't know anything is wrong with her so she will get around the best she can. We, or whoever will be her human, will need to keep an eye on her paws. She should develop calluses but if she doesn't, any lacerations on her skin could become infected. He also said there may be other internal problems but without doing an x-ray or MRI, we won't know. And being that she is not actually my pet and I have already dropped $124.50 on this endeavor, I was not in a hurry to do any kind of imaging.

    She is getting Vitamin C from the Critical Care. I thought about soy, etc. My daughter and I drink almond milk but what we have in the house is chocolate so I couldn't try it with baby. I am running out to the store after this next feeding and will check some labels. I also left a message for a friend who I know used to drink goat milk to see if she had any on hand. I don't want to purchase it if she rejects it.

    As to the milking, ikr?! That visual! I just kept thinking, "Do I have a thimble I can use for a bucket? Can I even get a bucket under her?" Lol!

  6. #6

    Re: Hand feeding 3 day old pup with congenital deformities- need some feeding advice

    Goat's milk is really the only acceptable substitute.

    What color is the pig?

    Turned-in feet can be due to overheating of the sow at a particular stage of pregnancy.

  7. #7

    Re: Hand feeding 3 day old pup with congenital deformities- need some feeding advice

    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post
    Goat's milk is really the only acceptable substitute.

    What color is the pig?

    Turned-in feet can be due to overheating of the sow at a particular stage of pregnancy.
    Do you think just plain ole goat milk or a goat milk based formula?

    I would call her color auburn but I don't know if that is the correct term. I am trying to attach photos below.

    I've read about overheating causing birth defects. They are in a pretty big cage in a large classroom in the winter. It has not gotten super cold this year here in Oregon, but the classroom tends to stay at a "just warm enough" temperature. Unless you are on a ladder hanging party decorations from the ceiling. It's like 20* hotter toward the ceiling!

    Mom did have another litter early December, two pups in good shape. The teacher thought she had two females but then Cinnamon just got rounder and rounder. Unfortunately, she did not get the male out of there soon enough. So two litters in just a couple months and Cinnamon has a yeast infection going on. Maybe all that was enough to cause a problem.

    And don't be too cross with the teacher. She was out with the flu mid-December and then her mom went into the hospital. The woman who was going to take the dad and the boy pup lagged.

  8. #8

    Re: Hand feeding 3 day old pup with congenital deformities- need some feeding advice

    I think it's called goat's milk replacer.

  9. #9

    Re: Hand feeding 3 day old pup with congenital deformities- need some feeding advice

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    So she was doing much better tonight. Walking, wheeking and squeaking AND... she tried some lettuce!! Yay! I won't feel like we are out of the woods until she is about 2 weeks.

    Pictures! Sorry they are kinda blurry. She was feisty tonight!
    First pic shows the little bit of white she got from dad. Otherwise she looks just like mom.
    Second pic is her other side and she is stretched out a bit more.
    The third and fourth pic I was trying to show her front paws, how they are turned in and she is walking on the backs of them.
    Last pic- she makes me think of a baby otter.

  10. #10
    Cavy Slave
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    Orange park, FL
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    Re: Hand feeding 3 day old pup with congenital deformities- need some feeding advice

    She is very cute. From the start of all of this that has been going on with her, you seem to be doing an amazing job taking care of her. From your posts she seems to be getting stronger daily. I'm glad she has someone who can help her out. Like everyone else said goats milk is the next best to momma. How is she doing taking the critical care for you now? I know a lot of piggies don't like the taste of it or the smell for that matter. If she is still having issues taking it try masking it with something else she has shown interest. Also do you have her in the same cage as momma and siblings?

    Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk

  11. #11

    Re: Hand feeding 3 day old pup with congenital deformities- need some feeding advice

    Quote Originally Posted by C.cons5 View Post
    She is very cute. From the start of all of this that has been going on with her, you seem to be doing an amazing job taking care of her. From your posts she seems to be getting stronger daily. I'm glad she has someone who can help her out. Like everyone else said goats milk is the next best to momma. How is she doing taking the critical care for you now? I know a lot of piggies don't like the taste of it or the smell for that matter. If she is still having issues taking it try masking it with something else she has shown interest. Also do you have her in the same cage as momma and siblings?

    Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
    She is up to 107 grams now. I took her back in to the vet on Wednesday because her breathing seemed off to me. He gave me an antibiotic for her though he could not say for sure what was happening and did not want to stress her out with tests. He said I could mix the critical care with juice (cane sugar okay but no artificial sweeteners) and she was still kinda thin. I added some of the juice from my kids mandarin cups and she likes it a little better. I also might try apple sauce as she has been nibbling on thinly sliced apples a bit. I also started adding a bit of pumpkin puree to the goats milk to thicken the consistency so she is less likely to snort it out her nose, ie aspirate.

    I have her in a cage with her older sister. Going back and forth to the school every 3 hours was a hassle and I could not take the whole huge cage with all 5 pigs to my house. Couldn't lift it, get it in my car or have any place to put it at home. Plus she was getting bowled over by the others every time something exciting happened. So the other two pups are with mom and this little girl has her big sis to keep her company in a modified pet carrier.

  12. #12
    Cavy Slave pigmommy89's Avatar
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    Re: Hand feeding 3 day old pup with congenital deformities- need some feeding advice

    Baby food is a good choice to mix with the Critical Care too. I've used carrots, peas, and bananas before. Just depends on what the pig likes.

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