Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: Vet prohibited pellets, what can I feed my inappetent pig?

  1. #1
    Cavy Newbie Rudy R.'s Avatar
    Joined
    Jul 31, 2018
    Location
    Monterrey, Mexico
    Posts
    9
    Thanks
    1
    Thanks
    0 Rec'd/0 Posts
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    0 Post(s)

    Vet prohibited pellets, what can I feed my inappetent pig?

    Hello, everyone.

    This is my first post on the forum. So basically, my 5 and 1/2 year old Peruvian pig gave my family and I a scare on Monday when we found blood on his cage's bedding in the morning. However, I'd checked on him several times the night before and he looked fine, his urine about as normal. Of course,we took him to the local exotics vet who ordered x-rays be taken.

    Long story short, she found gas build-up and a bladder stone in Miyu's x-ray and prescribed dimethicone to help with the bloating, meloxicam to help him out with the pain, and enrofloxacin in hopes that he'll be able to pass the stone and fight any possible UTIs.

    However, she restricted his pellet consumption to 0 due to the pellets having a high mineral content. However, Miyu is losing his appetite fast and not even cucumber, which used to be his favorite veggie, will look appetizing to him now. I'm scared that he won't make it until the next appointment on Thursday so, has anyone got ideas on what I can do to keep food moving through his body? He's also rejecting his hay, but he's somewhat okay with syringe-fed water and diluted cranberry juice.

    Thank you for your time. I'll try to keep him as comfortable as possible.

  2. #2
    Moderator CavyMama's Avatar
    Joined
    Jun 19, 2009
    Location
    Somewhere Over the Rainbow
    Posts
    5,788
    Thanks
    352
    Thanks
    1,440 Rec'd/991 Posts
    Mentioned
    292 Post(s)
    Quoted
    697 Post(s)

    Re: Vet prohibited pellets, what can I feed my inappetent pig?

    Pellets are actually the lowest in necessity for a guinea pig diet. On any given day, they should really only be getting 1/8 of a cup daily. As long as they are getting nutrients and the fiber in other ways, they can live on a zero pellet diet. Hay should be the #1 component of their diet. They should be getting unlimited access to a good quality hay. This will give them the fiber they need to keep their digestive tract moving and it will also keep their molars worn down.

  3. #3
    Cavy Newbie Rudy R.'s Avatar
    Joined
    Jul 31, 2018
    Location
    Monterrey, Mexico
    Posts
    9
    Thanks
    1
    Thanks
    0 Rec'd/0 Posts
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    0 Post(s)

    Re: Vet prohibited pellets, what can I feed my inappetent pig?

    That's part of the problem though. I can't get him to touch his hay at all. Earlier today he seemed fine and ate anything but I think it's been about four or five hours since he touched anything edible in his cage, including his hay.

  4. #4
    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
    Joined
    Sep 23, 2009
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    28,654
    Thanks
    175
    Thanks
    7,242 Rec'd/5,769 Posts
    Mentioned
    2030 Post(s)
    Quoted
    3810 Post(s)

    Re: Vet prohibited pellets, what can I feed my inappetent pig?

    Enrofloxacin (Baytril) just absolutely kills most pigs' appetites. She should have given you Critical Care and syringe feeding equipment for you to hand feed him. And you should be giving him a probiotic 60-90 minutes after every dose of the antibiotic. And, IMO, he should have been given Bactrim rather than Baytril, because it's more effective against the bacteria in the intestinal tract than Baytril.

    Cranberry juice will do nothing for an established infection. In humans, some people think it will acidify the urine enough to keep an infection from developing, but it won't cure one that's there. In guinea pigs, however, the urine is basic, not acidic, and it would take a ton of cranberry juice to make the urine acidic enough to prevent an infection.

    But, you've got to make him eat. There's a saying that a guinea pig that's not eating is a guinea pig that's dying, and that's very largely true. They secrete stomach acid continually, not at relatively regular intervals like we do. If there's no food in the stomach and gut, the acids digest the lining of the intestinal tract and cause painful, even fatal ulcers. Additionally, if the gut stops moving because there's no food going through, the remaining stuff in the intestine causes gas and bloat, which is a medical emergency all on its own.

    The rule of thumb for hand feeding a guinea pig is that it needs 100+ cc of Critical Care or a pellet slurry for every kilogram it weighs, every day, broken up into 6-8 feedings through the day and night. You adjust up or down according to the weight of the pig, and down if it's eating anything on its own. Water and cranberry juice won't keep him alive.

    See https://www.guineapigcages.com/forum...g-a-guinea-pig for instructions on hand feeding, and post back here if you have questions.

    The pellets may not have been the problem. What brand were you feeding, and how many? Which veggies was he getting, and how many of each? And what kind of hay?

    Some pigs will form stones no matter how little calcium you feed them. Others will never get them no matter how much calcium-rich food they eat. Nobody know why this is so, but it is.

    Keep us posted on how he's doing.

  5. #5
    Cavy Newbie Rudy R.'s Avatar
    Joined
    Jul 31, 2018
    Location
    Monterrey, Mexico
    Posts
    9
    Thanks
    1
    Thanks
    0 Rec'd/0 Posts
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    0 Post(s)

    Re: Vet prohibited pellets, what can I feed my inappetent pig?

    I will look into it! I'll be making the pellet mash pronto.

    Regarding his diet, my Miyu would have two vegetable servings. One in the morning and one at night. The menu would include any lettuce (no icebergs), cucumber, carrots, red pepper (when he felt like actually eating them), celery, or cilantro/parsley. Regarding the hay, he's always had Carefresh Timothy Hay for small mammals, and we recently swapped his pellets from Kaytee Fortidiet to Cunipic Complete Food at his vet's recommendation. Both the pellets and the hay would be unlimited.

    As of right now, Miyu has only gone through half a slice of orange. Nothing else. He's looking pretty down so I'm going to try to hurry up with his mash.

    Edit: Looked through Amazon for a bag of Crit, but the only option won't get to Mexico quickly enough. Also, could you please recommend any good probiotics?
    Last edited by Rudy R.; 07-31-18 at 09:22 pm.

  6. #6
    Cavy Newbie Rudy R.'s Avatar
    Joined
    Jul 31, 2018
    Location
    Monterrey, Mexico
    Posts
    9
    Thanks
    1
    Thanks
    0 Rec'd/0 Posts
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    0 Post(s)

    Re: Vet prohibited pellets, what can I feed my inappetent pig?

    Sorry, forgot to mention that each serving of veggies was 1/8 of a cup.

  7. #7
    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
    Joined
    Sep 23, 2009
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    28,654
    Thanks
    175
    Thanks
    7,242 Rec'd/5,769 Posts
    Mentioned
    2030 Post(s)
    Quoted
    3810 Post(s)

    Re: Vet prohibited pellets, what can I feed my inappetent pig?

    Bene-Bac is a very good probiotic, but if you can't find it, you can use plain human acidophilus or kyodophilus.

    And in spite of your vet banning pellets, you need to get food in him. Soak the pellets in water, or better yet, pedialyte. Flavor them with anything that makes it more palatable to him. Make the slurry pretty thin -- it's easier to manage in the syringes.

    Can you get Oxbow pellets? The Cunipic has alfalfa in it, and that's high in calcium. And Kaytee pellets are absolute crap. If you can get Oxbow, they're pretty low in calcium, have fortified vitamin C in them, and are made of timothy hay.

    I also think it will probably be possible for you to continue to feed 1/8 cup of pellets. You were free-feeding a pellet that's high in calcium, and celery, cilantro and parsley are also no-no's for guinea pigs with urinary sludge/stone problems.

    Don't let the peppers be optional. They're the best source of vitamin C you can find. If you have trouble getting him to eat them, try some of these tricks: https://www.guineapigcages.com/forum...eat-vegetables

    He probably won't like your feeding him, but you're not killing him, in spite of what he thinks. You're saving his life, as he certainly won't live if you can't get the food in him.

    Good luck. Let us know what happens.

  8. "Thank you, bpatters, for this useful post," says:


  9. #8
    Cavy Newbie Rudy R.'s Avatar
    Joined
    Jul 31, 2018
    Location
    Monterrey, Mexico
    Posts
    9
    Thanks
    1
    Thanks
    0 Rec'd/0 Posts
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    0 Post(s)

    Re: Vet prohibited pellets, what can I feed my inappetent pig?

    It's awful that the local Petco doesn't carry Oxbow products. Cunipic seems like the best option I have without importing US products myself (the customs office in Mexico is painfully slow). For shame, really. Oxbow looks like it's the ultimate option for piggies. Although, I did some research and it seems like the flake things that come mixed in the Cunipic bag are the only alfalfa-based bits. The good news is that these pellets have some vitamin C added as well so they'll help a bit. Maybe I'll just go a bit under the 1/8 cup during the upcoming feedings.

    But the update: Miyyu accepted the mash. I mixed the pellets with some of his hay and added some cucumber for good measure. It took a few tries but my sister managed to get him to eat the mash off a tiny plastic spoon. I'll try again in the morning with modified syringes (I'll have to buy a few backups in case I ruin the one I have right now). I'll also try some of those tips to introduce and get picky piggies used to stuff they're not fond of.

    Thank you all for your help. I really appreciate you taking the time to help a fellow piggy owner.

    I'll come back to give you more updates tomorrow.

  10. #9
    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
    Joined
    Sep 23, 2009
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    28,654
    Thanks
    175
    Thanks
    7,242 Rec'd/5,769 Posts
    Mentioned
    2030 Post(s)
    Quoted
    3810 Post(s)

    Re: Vet prohibited pellets, what can I feed my inappetent pig?

    If he'll eat off the spoon, take that as a big win. It's way easier for both of you.

    I give my pigs a big glop of Critical Care every so often just so they'll remember the taste. Several have been willing to eat it that way even when they're sick.

  11. #10
    Cavy Newbie Rudy R.'s Avatar
    Joined
    Jul 31, 2018
    Location
    Monterrey, Mexico
    Posts
    9
    Thanks
    1
    Thanks
    0 Rec'd/0 Posts
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    0 Post(s)

    Re: Vet prohibited pellets, what can I feed my inappetent pig?

    Quick update: the vet prescribed him cisapride (0.5 ml every 8 hours). She says it will open up his appetite and aid him with his digestive process.

    As of now, I haven't been able to trick him into eating anything else besides lettuce. He won't take either cucumber and bell pepper, though the pellet mash is still working. He won't take more than 3cc at once, which worries me a bit. Don't want to overdo the feeding if it stresses him out.

  12. #11
    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
    Joined
    Sep 23, 2009
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    28,654
    Thanks
    175
    Thanks
    7,242 Rec'd/5,769 Posts
    Mentioned
    2030 Post(s)
    Quoted
    3810 Post(s)

    Re: Vet prohibited pellets, what can I feed my inappetent pig?

    The feeding is more important than the stress. You've GOT to get food in him, and 3 cc at a time isn't nearly enough. Don't worry about tricking him with other kinds of food, just force feed him the pellet mash. The cisapride may help, but it may take a while.

    One trick for feeding him is to put your non-dominant arm on a table that's covered by a towel. Put the pig in the crook of your arm, on the towel so his feet feel secure. Hold his head FIRMLY, shading his eyes with your hand.

    With your other hand, insert the syringe into the side of his mouth about 1/4-1/3 of an inch, behind his front teeth and in front of his back teeth. Turn the syringe toward his throat, and give him 1/4-1/2 cc at a time. If you get it back to his molars, he'll chew and swallow. And shading his eyes will calm him down.

  13. #12
    Cavy Newbie Rudy R.'s Avatar
    Joined
    Jul 31, 2018
    Location
    Monterrey, Mexico
    Posts
    9
    Thanks
    1
    Thanks
    0 Rec'd/0 Posts
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    0 Post(s)

    Re: Vet prohibited pellets, what can I feed my inappetent pig?

    Hello. I'm back with another update.

    Yesterday, the vet took another x-ray. We found that the stone kinda shrunk down, but it still isn't nowehere near the exit of Miyu's body. However, the vet was optimistic about Miyu's case, saying that he would end up pushing the stone out in time. She also reduced the enrofloxacine to only 0.12 ml and prescribed him metoclopromide, butylhyoscine, and more cisapride. She also told us that he could take more meloxicam if we saw him in too much pain. Lastly, she mentioned a really "remote" scenario in which Miyu would get depressed due to his inability to cope with the pain, which would require surgery to remove the stone.

    However, I kinda felt another decline between yesterday and today. Miyu becomes exasperated too quickly during his feeding sessions and moves his head around, trying to push the syringe away with his front feet, etc. He also will rarely nibble away at fresh veggies when we offer them. Lastly, he spends a lot of time slumped down on my lap, on the couch, in his cage... He's struggling too much and I still can't get him to eat more per feeding session (still averages between 2 and 3 cc per session with both my sister and I).

    Is he just in too much pain to cope anymore? We've given him a dose of meloxicam to see if he perks up but all our efforts have been futile. I'm really worried that he won't make it. Is there anything else we can do to help our piggy?

  14. #13
    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
    Joined
    Oct 09, 2011
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    5,579
    Thanks
    74
    Thanks
    1,560 Rec'd/1,284 Posts
    Mentioned
    598 Post(s)
    Quoted
    1154 Post(s)

    Re: Vet prohibited pellets, what can I feed my inappetent pig?

    Unfortunately, It isn't likely that he will pass the stone on his own. In the meantime, he is suffering with the pain. How long are you going to permit this to continue? I question the Vet's opinion. It is common practice to sometimes do "watchful waiting" for a condition, but in this case you may just lose your cavy.

    Males have a long narrow urethra and have an extremely difficult time passing a stone. Females are a different story. They have a relatively short, wider urethra and can possibly pass it on their own. I had a sow who had a stone that became lodged in the wall of the urethra where it stayed until her death. Other than an occasional UTI, she didn't seem to have any problem with it.

    Meloxicam is an anti-inflammatory but not really a pain medication. At least get the Vet to prescribe Tramadol for his pain. It will make him a bit lethargic and "high", but it certainly will reduce his pain. Also, in addition to feeding him Critical Care or a pellet mash, you need to be syringing copious amounts of Pedialyte to flush out the bladder. Buy the unflavored generic Pedialyte at any Target, grocery or drug store. My cavies have all liked the taste and took it willingly.

    And, finally, you ask "Is there anything else we can do to help our piggy?" Yes, find a different vet!

  15. #14
    Cavy Newbie Rudy R.'s Avatar
    Joined
    Jul 31, 2018
    Location
    Monterrey, Mexico
    Posts
    9
    Thanks
    1
    Thanks
    0 Rec'd/0 Posts
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    0 Post(s)

    Re: Vet prohibited pellets, what can I feed my inappetent pig?

    Will he take the Pedialyte straight out of the bottle, or should I dillute it?

  16. #15
    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
    Joined
    Sep 23, 2009
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    28,654
    Thanks
    175
    Thanks
    7,242 Rec'd/5,769 Posts
    Mentioned
    2030 Post(s)
    Quoted
    3810 Post(s)

    Re: Vet prohibited pellets, what can I feed my inappetent pig?

    Either way. I usually dilute it half and half. Most pigs love the unflavored stuff.

  17. #16
    Cavy Newbie Rudy R.'s Avatar
    Joined
    Jul 31, 2018
    Location
    Monterrey, Mexico
    Posts
    9
    Thanks
    1
    Thanks
    0 Rec'd/0 Posts
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    0 Post(s)

    Re: Vet prohibited pellets, what can I feed my inappetent pig?

    I'm back from a quick shopping run. I couldn't find any flavorless Pedialyte but I'm getting better at putting food and water in Miyu's belly so I think that's what I'm going to be doing for the next few hours. The little man is holding his ground though! I'm really glad he's a fighter.

User Tag List

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •