Hello everyone,

I am a new guinea pig owner. I have been wanting guinea pigs for quite some time and been researching on them...so I thought. Last Sunday afternoon (almost a week ago), I got two female guinea pigs from an ad on craigslist. I did not want to get any from a petstore and there are none for adoption (from what I could find online) around me. The family who gave them to me seemed to really care about them and gave them and their tiny cage, food (pellet and hay), leftover bedding, and hut to me for free. They said they had them for 2 and 1/2 years and that they did not have time for them and felt bad for them. They still wanted updates about them if that was okay.

They used carefresh paper bedding for them but I had wanted to switch them over to mainly fleece bedding. I moved them into my bigger cage and got accessories like wood chews, corner litter pan, and straw tunnel.

The family had told me they fed them veggies like bell paper and lettuce so i assumed this was on the regular. Should have specified. I fed veggies from what I saw on I think guinealynx to be safe and not gassy.

Sunday night, and then Monday morning and evening I fed them sliced (yellow and or red) bell peppers, butter lettuce (had some red leaf in it), cucumber, and literally one half of a cherry tomatoe to each guinea pig (ONE time only). About a cup in morning and a cup in evening. They loved it and acted like yeah I thought it was time to be fed.

The pellet food they had been getting was from wild harvest and had all kinds of seeds and colorful bits to it. Yes I know this was not a good pellet to feed them but I also thought I would wait it out to switch over pellets to oxbow later since there was so much food left (about 1/2 cup a day because on package it said about 1/4 a cup per guinea pig and yes they did leave a lot of the plain pellets). They also had Timothy hay from Kaytee brand which I supply as much as they want all the time.

I noticed Peppa (who eats constantly and drinks a lot of water) getting bigger, which at first I assumed was fat but then it just looked odd to me and I researched bloat online and was really worried. The other one Pippa (eats but is very skittish and not nearly as food crazed) was a tad bit bigger but not like Peppa. I stopped with the veggies completely and saw on a lot of forums to give gripe water or gas drops/ simethicone. Some were iffy about simethicone because of blockage so I went with gripe water at first starting either Tuesday evening or Wednesday afternoon timeframe of giving .5ml of it to Peppa every few hours minus 8 hrs at night. She still seemed to get bigger so I got the gas drops and did .3ml of it on Thursday a few times throughout that day. I was very worried so had been looking for a decent exotic vet.

Friday evening I got an appointment at 830pm and brought both in but only had Peppa seen. She ended up getting ultrasound and they did find gas (the vet felt at first before ultrasound that she felt a lot of fat...but then Peppa would squeak :( every time she poked her on the side). She sedated her so she could aspirate with a needle and said she got most of it out and she looks a lot better but still she said there is still some left but gave me metoclopramide .5ml 2x a day for a week to help with motility and to give her .5ml of olive oil 2 days a day (she said olive oil will help break up the gas and to do for 3 days and anytime she starts getting bloated again). She said gripe water wouldnt hurt and to keep doing it throughout if I wanted to. She will check up on her again in about 5 days.

The vet said to slowly switch her pellet food because I told her it has that stuff in it and I wanted to feed them oxbow and she said to slowly introduce in quarters for about a week and then 1/2 amount and so forth. Also I got a large timothy hay bag from oxbow today as well. Still have some kaytee brand left but thought it may be higher quality? (do I need to switch over in a special way?)

Sorry for so much to read and thank you if you did but my questions are:

Does this treatment plan sound right? I did not see olive oil in many forums about bloat (maybe one time).

What recommendations to prevent bloat from coming again? Food/diet (what veggies and when to introduce slowly), medications?

Thank you again!