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Thread: Guinea pig acting strangely

  1. #1

    Guinea pig acting strangely

    My almost 7 year old boar has been acting odd the last couple of days. He has arthritis for which he gets medication, and a recently enlarged tescticle, which doesn't bother him at the moment. It isn't a tumor, it's not growing and it's not causing any pain, it could be varicocele, and we have an appointment for an ultrasound.
    Two days ago we came he from a check-up, everything was fine, clean bill of health despite his age and conditions. Later in the evening I was picking up poop from the fleece while he sat in one of his hideys and he got a fright and ran to the other hidey. He didn't run into anything and didn't injure himself but he got so spooked that he didn't leave that corner for a full 24 hours, he still ate and came out to me for his medicine and treats, but just wouldn't go near the other side of the cage where he got the fright. Well yesterday evening he was back to normal and I found him in the "scary" part of the cage when I came home. He ate well, took his medicine and probiotics. But this morning I found his bowl hadn't been emptied overnight, although he did eat pepper, and he wouldn't eat his oxbow biscuits this morning, he nibbled on some fennel and had a handful of grass, and he's been chewing his cardboard box. He's eating hay, drinking, pooping smaller pellets and and in smaller amounts. Please help, is he just still getting over the scare ??

  2. #2

    Re: Guinea pig acting strangely

    I would take him back to the vet right away as it sounds like something is bothering him enough to make him not want to eat. I had a boar who had bladder stones and a sow who passed suddenly from an abdominal tumor and both of them chewed on cardboard incessantly when they were in pain. It could possibly be that his enlarged testicle wasn't bothering him before but it's starting to bother him now.

    In any case, if he isn't eating and he's not producing enough/normal stools, you should start hand feeding right away with Critical Care or a pellet slurry. Guinea pigs MUST have adequate amounts of food moving through their gut continuously or they can bloat and/or develop GI stasis. This link is an excellent guide on hand feeding:

  3. #3

    Re: Guinea pig acting strangely

    If he doesn't normally chew his cardboard box, the chewing could be a sign of pain. I'd want to at least try him on some pain medication and see if that helps.

    I doubt it's a result of the scare. Guinea pigs do get weirded out about the weirdest things, but if he's back to running all over the cage, he's likely over that.

  4. #4

    Re: Guinea pig acting strangely

    I'll see how he's been eating when I get home from work, I'm always ready to go to vet with him, it's practically his second home by now. I tried critical care this morning, he wasn't too impressed with it, but as he did eat a small piece of fennel, maybe three coriander leaves, grass and a tiny bit of pomelo( I was trying to get more bit C into him), I didn't force him. He did also eat hay and drank nearly a shot glass of water with probiotic and glucosamine, I syringe it to him twice a day after his medicine. If it is pain, so far it's making him very picky about what he eats,but I do have metacam for his bad arthritis days, so I will try that this evening. He's gone off certain vegetables before and would sometimes not finish the pellets, but he's never refused an oxbow biscuit, so I'm definitely concerned

  5. #5

    Re: Guinea pig acting strangely

    Try the metacam daily for a while. It's the kind of medicine that needs to build up to a steady blood level to be effective, so just giving it occasionally doesn't do as much good.

    If he's not eating enough, don't just offer the Critical Care, force it on him. It's called force feeding for a reason, and he'll think you're killing him. You're not. Keeping food moving through his system is THE most important thing you can do for him.

  6. #6

    Re: Guinea pig acting strangely

    I'll try to force him, I just thought since he was eating so much hay and had some vitamins that it would be enough :( Regarding the metacam, he was on it daily for arthritis for a couple of months, but since the vet couldn't get a blood sample, we were concerned about long term effects on his organs, so right now he's on tramadol and zantac, so I just keep the metacam because occasionally tramadol isn't enough. But of course I'll give it to him today at least until I get him to the vet if the problem continues. He still seemed to be a happy pig this morning, very responsive, and not at all lethargic, but definitely acting funny since coming back from the vet two days ago and the fright he got that evening. And it wasn't a stressful visit, he had a nail trim, she felt his testicles and checked his teeth and weight and knees, same as every monthly visit, he wasn't unusually bothered by any of it. Even his weight was up since losing some of it before his diagnosis months ago.

  7. #7

    Re: Guinea pig acting strangely

    At seven, I'd worry more about him being in pain than about any long term effects. I've got a sow in the exact same condition, and I plan on giving her metacam until it no longer works or she dies, even if it shortens her life a little.

    And you're right, you don't necessarily have to hand feed if he's eating. But I'd weigh daily, and if you notice a downward trend, then I'd start supplementing him with Critical Care, even if he's not happy about it.

  8. #8

    Re: Guinea pig acting strangely

    I absolutely agree with easing the pain at this age rather than prolonging the life span, but most days he does so well on tramadol and zantac since his arthritis isn't too bad. I've just gotten home and he ate some of the vegetables, but not the most important bell pepper and he hasn't touched the pellets :( he just got his metacam and zantac and he's eating hay. Still not lethargic, and I picked up so many healthy poops, but not begging for treats either, though he did eat a slice of cucumber which is a useless food of course :( definitely not normal for him

  9. #9

    Re: Guinea pig acting strangely

    I'm thinking perhaps it's his teeth, I've broken all the pellets into little pieces and he seems to be eating them now. I also gave him a bowl of mushed pellets but he's gone for the hard ones. He also enthusiastically ate parsley for the first time in months as we're watching our calcium. If it is teeth them shouldn't the hay be an issue as well? And if that is the case,why so sudden, his teeth were fine just the other day. As I'm writing this,he's still eating the broken pellets as well as coming over to me for his water and probiotic or the hay rack

  10. #10
    Cavy Slave
    Sep 27, 2018
    British Columbia

    Re: Guinea pig acting strangely

    If you're gonna visit a vet again, then please tell him/her about these things that you've noticed so s/he can run a further analysis.

  11. #11

    Re: Guinea pig acting strangely

    I thought about bringing him to the vet on Saturday but as they don't do any procedures on weekends, I'll wait until next week.

    He's still eating lots of hay, still pooping normally, last night he ate a whole biscuit by himself. This morning he ate fennel, but not pepper. He normally gets a mix of oxbow and excel pellets, but he's boycotted oxbow and is going crazy for a fresh bag of excel, so I'm not sure if excel recommendation is more than 1/8 of a cup, I'll need to look into it. He's still not acting sick, squeaking for food, jumping for his medicine and probiotic, just so very picky about what he eats and he can't just eat herbs and fennel, so I guess I'll have to be creative in the mean time.

    This pig has been known to give me a scare or two in the past, one time he had a bad case of bloat when I thought he wouldn't make it till the morning and by the time I woke up he was back to normal and the vet didn't feel anything.

    Well he's not getting away with it this time either, the vet is hearing all about this little weirdo.



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