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Thread: Piggy not eating hay but eating Veggies

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    Piggy not eating hay but eating Veggies

    Hello everyone,
    I'm new to this forum and I'm curious if anyone can help me out. My senior pig Stoffel is about 4 years old. Recently he has stopped eating his hay. My partner and I noticed that he was chilling in one corner of his cage, acting not like himself. We have a younger pig name Klaus who lives next to him separated by a fence because no matter what we have done, they dont want to share their space and neither will be the less dominant one. Stoffel is known to stand by the fence separating them and rumble strut his 4 year old butt off. He would also drink a lot of his water and constantly eat his hay.
    I figured something wasnt right when his poops were squishing to his feet and he barely touched his ultimate hay tube. After a couple of days giving him only hay, pellets, water, and some of Klaus's poop, he did seem to poop better but he still chilled in the same corner. I caved and started giving him green peppers and romaine lettuce because that was something he would seem to eat. I also took him the the vet and they think it might be his back molars that are causing his change in temperament and mood. I've been giving him 9 to 10 ml of critical care every 6 to 8 hours and pain meds once every 24 hours.
    Stoffel is supposed to get his back molars shaven down this friday. The vet showed me his front teeth and said they looks a bit off but since I brought him in a week of his sudden mood change, she thinks I caught the start of something that could be worse. Though she thinks his discomfort is from his mouth, I wonder why he'll still eat his veggies in the morning and at night. Is that normal? I've had Stoffel longer than Klaus and I've never owned a pig before Stoffel. Anyone else noticed their pig had an appetite for veggies even if they stopped eating their hay?
    Thanks for the imput,
    Kelly

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    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: Piggy not eating hay but eating Veggies

    Welcome to the forum, @Pruppets .

    Hopefully, you'll find some information useful in my medical thread about my boar, Sly. He'd had dental issues similar to what you're about to go through.

    https://www.guineapigcages.com/forum...ly%27s+medical

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    Moderator CavyMama's Avatar
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    Re: Piggy not eating hay but eating Veggies

    It's vital that pigs get hay into and through their system. For one, it keeps their digestive tract moving (i.e. keeps them regular). Also, it keeps their molars worn down.

    One thing you can try is Critical Care. It is a way to get that fiber and nutrients into him. Most vets sell it but you can also look for it on Amazon. You would syringe feed it to him or if you are lucky, he might eat it right off of a spoon.

    Another option is to make a pellet slurry. Put a good amount of pellets into warm water to soften them. Then put them into a ziplock bag to mash them into a slurry. The consistency should be that of something like baby food or applesauce. You would syringe feed it.

    The important thing is to make sure he is getting that fiber and those nutrients that he would be getting if he was eating hay normally.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Piggy not eating hay but eating Veggies

    Quote Originally Posted by Guinea Pig Papa View Post
    Welcome to the forum, @Pruppets .

    Hopefully, you'll find some information useful in my medical thread about my boar, Sly. He'd had dental issues similar to what you're about to go through.

    https://www.guineapigcages.com/forum...ly%27s+medical
    Your poor Sly had a lot of teeth problems and its worrying me my Stoffel could end up just like him. I have notice him being more up and about since the critical care and I think he's eating his hay. I hope Stoffel's teeth treatment is this one and only problem and he will pass with natural causes as an old man. I'm starting to get worried that I might be going through a series of treatments with him not being the same man I knew. He ate a lot of critical care before my boyfriend went to bed last night and he had more before I left for work. I'm happy to see he's not fighting being fed it. I also added some critical care to the stems of the romaine lettuce too and he seemed to have eating it up no problem. My heart hurts reading your story. I hope my boy has this one problem and that's that.

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    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: Piggy not eating hay but eating Veggies

    Quote Originally Posted by Pruppets View Post
    Your poor Sly had a lot of teeth problems and its worrying me my Stoffel could end up just like him. I have notice him being more up and about since the critical care and I think he's eating his hay. I hope Stoffel's teeth treatment is this one and only problem and he will pass with natural causes as an old man. I'm starting to get worried that I might be going through a series of treatments with him not being the same man I knew. He ate a lot of critical care before my boyfriend went to bed last night and he had more before I left for work. I'm happy to see he's not fighting being fed it. I also added some critical care to the stems of the romaine lettuce too and he seemed to have eating it up no problem. My heart hurts reading your story. I hope my boy has this one problem and that's that.
    I truly hope your boy has this one problem and that's all, too. But you do need to be prepared if it isn't. Sly went 5 months between his first molar planing and the second, but they got more and more frequent the longer time went on. You'll need to be vigilant and watch his eating habits to see if the problem returns.

    If Stoffel ends up with dental issues that need constant care, remember this: It is usually a problem easily managed with care, both from a competent cavy savvy vet and his piggie parents. Sly went through 11 molar surgeries, all told. He was actually scheduled to have number 12 today. His quality of life was excellent, and after a few days following the surgery and supplementing with Critical Care he was back to his usual self. This does NOT have to be the end of a great life for your boy. Granted, Sly was one tough little pig, and we miss him dearly. But Stoffel CAN go through this and have a great life, even if it has to be done more than once.

    Make sure your vet does radiographs to see if the problem isn't underlying, such as overgrown roots or an abscess. It could very well be that Stoffel got a hay poke in his gums and made it painful to chew on one side, making his teeth grow awry.

    You can do this.

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    Re: Piggy not eating hay but eating Veggies

    I just wanted to follow up on your piggy after his molar planing yesterday.

    How is Stoffel doing today?

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    Re: Piggy not eating hay but eating Veggies

    Hello!
    Stoffel got his dental surgery on Friday as planned. Dr. Lee called me before they started to let me know how he was over night. They let my drop him off the night before since I wouldn't have time to the morning of his surgery. She said she would call me if his x rays were more serious than she thought, which meant more money. I didnt hear from her for a couple hours and when she did get back to me she said everything went great. His roots were fine and he had no cuts inside his mouth; just his bottom teeth were starting to growing a little too long. She took a picture of the inside of his mouth before and after she shaved them down.
    He seems to be doing well since I've brought him home. I bought him some alfalfa hay just for him and hes been eating it. He still have Timothy hay on his hay holder. He ate his little veggie plate when he got home from the vet. Hes more stubborn when it comes to his critical care but I added some watered down pellets with it and hes been licking it in his condo.

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    Re: Piggy not eating hay but eating Veggies

    Good to hear!

    I'm sure he's on pain meds, but you WILL need to watch him to ensure that he continues to eat well. Do you have a digital kitchen scale? You'll need to weigh him periodically to make sure his weight at least stays stable, and hopefully even gain some.

    The fastest and easiest way to determine if something is wrong with your piggie other than obvious symptoms, is weight loss. When your pigs DON'T have an issue, weighing them at least weekly early in the morning before they've eaten is the best way to determine if there's any significant weight loss, and thus indicating an issue.

    Please, keep us updated on how Stoffel is doing!

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    Re: Piggy not eating hay but eating Veggies

    Hello,
    Yes he's still on pain meds. I'm hoping he'll start eating hay like he used to. He doesn't like to be hand fed the critical care. I've been squirting it in his romaine lettuce and only giving him that till he finishes it and then I'll give him some other veggies. He seems to eat more of the critical care that way then when I was trying by hand.

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    Re: Piggy not eating hay but eating Veggies

    After a few days you should see his eating habits return closer to normal.

    How is his weight? Have you weighed him at all?

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    Re: Piggy not eating hay but eating Veggies

    He is the same weight. Hasn't lost anything. Hes around 989 grams. I found if I cover his eyes I can get the syringe in his mouth and I have no problem getting the critical care in him. He is weeking more and is moving around. But he still is laying in the same corner for long periods of time.

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    Re: Piggy not eating hay but eating Veggies

    He's not going to be as mobile as long as he's on pain medication. Once he's off that, you should see a marked improvement in activity within 24 hours.

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    Re: Piggy not eating hay but eating Veggies

    When did you notice your piggy eating hay again? I weighed him this morning and he was 10 grams less than he was when he was at the vet. He eats his veggies in the morning and at night and seems to go for the pellets. I feed him critical care 3 times a day around 10 to 15 ml but he doesnt seem to eat the hay still. Does it take some time for him to eat the hay? I bought two brand new bags of Timothy hay at the mspca farm that my vet approved of. My baby has been eating it.

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    Re: Piggy not eating hay but eating Veggies

    If your boy isn't eating hay, he still needs some long-strand fiber to keep his gut moving. In the meantime, buy some ears of corn, strip off the outer husks (where pesticides linger) and then tear the lighter green tender inner husks into narrow stips. Most cavies love them and that will at least add some fiber to his diet until he's back to his hay. Corn husks are no substitute for hay, but they're a good adjunct until he's eating the real thing.

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    Re: Piggy not eating hay but eating Veggies

    Update: I have an appointment for stoffel today. He stopped eating and drinking. He only took 8ml cc of critical care. He lost ten grams yesterday and today too.

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    Re: Piggy not eating hay but eating Veggies

    Quote Originally Posted by Pruppets View Post
    Update: I have an appointment for stoffel today. He stopped eating and drinking. He only took 8ml cc of critical care. He lost ten grams yesterday and today too.
    Please keep us updated on Stoffel's condition. Hoping for the best for you both.

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    Re: Piggy not eating hay but eating Veggies

    Stoffel update:
    I got home from work and saw he still didnt eat his veggies. He was still underneath a big pile of fresh hay. I took him to the vet and they said he seems fine. I had the wrong weight for him and he only lost 3 grams and not 20 grams like I thought. His had no infection in his mouth and he didnt seem dehydrated. They gave him a shot of fluid anyways in hopes that if any organs were a little dehydrated they wouldn't be. The doctor fed him critical care and checked out how he chewed. She seemed to think the right side of his jaw was sore since that side had longer growth than the other. She suggested to massage the right side of his jaw while syringe feeding him. He also pooped and it seemed pretty well formed. I'm giving him medicam till Monday, when he sees his primary doctor. The doctor who helped us today said I should leave all options of food in his cage (hay, pellets, veggies) just so he can eat something. My poor Stoffel boy. Klaus has been such a comfort. He gave me lots of kisses while we watched Netflix on the couch.

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    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: Piggy not eating hay but eating Veggies

    Quote Originally Posted by Pruppets View Post
    Stoffel update:
    I got home from work and saw he still didnt eat his veggies. He was still underneath a big pile of fresh hay. I took him to the vet and they said he seems fine. I had the wrong weight for him and he only lost 3 grams and not 20 grams like I thought. His had no infection in his mouth and he didnt seem dehydrated. They gave him a shot of fluid anyways in hopes that if any organs were a little dehydrated they wouldn't be. The doctor fed him critical care and checked out how he chewed. She seemed to think the right side of his jaw was sore since that side had longer growth than the other. She suggested to massage the right side of his jaw while syringe feeding him. He also pooped and it seemed pretty well formed. I'm giving him medicam till Monday, when he sees his primary doctor. The doctor who helped us today said I should leave all options of food in his cage (hay, pellets, veggies) just so he can eat something. My poor Stoffel boy. Klaus has been such a comfort. He gave me lots of kisses while we watched Netflix on the couch.
    Well, it seems good news that they feel there's nothing wrong, but that definitely doesn't mean to stop monitoring him. As I have been told in the past, even the BEST vet can nick the gums and cause mouth pain during the procedure which will make him not want to eat. You really need to stick with the Critical Care if he's not eating enough on his own, and if he's unwilling to eat tasty veggies then you may want to step it up a bit.

    Is he drinking a lot of water, by chance? Binge drinking can be a sign of mouth pain, and Sly sometimes did a bunch of it, both before and after surgeries.

    3 grams is basically nothing for weight loss. That's well within acceptable parameters for a guinea pig to lose, as it's likely less than the weight of a pee.

    This wasn't his regular vet? Does this vet know anything about cavies, or just a regular small animal vet?

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    Re: Piggy not eating hay but eating Veggies

    The vets that I go to have three exotic animal vets that are trained to deal with guinea pigs. He hasn't drank any water which she said is normal when they are forced fed critical care. This morning he was up 7 pounds and his hay pile he lays in seemed to be thinner. He also ate all his food from last night and was munching away at his breakfast after his critical care session. I'm wondering if his organs were dehydrated and he needed more than what I was giving him with the critical care? He seemed so much better this morning.

    He still has his follow up with his actual doctor on Monday and Klaus is getting a check up too.

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    Re: Piggy not eating hay but eating Veggies

    You definitely need a different vet than the one who told you guinea pigs don't need water when they're force fed Critical Care. We always recommend that people syringe water or Pedialyte to them in between syringes of Critical Care -- it helps keep them hydrated.

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