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Thread: Long Term Bloating and Diarrhea - advice?

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    Exclamation Long Term Bloating and Diarrhea - advice?

    Hello everyone - I came here to post because I'm at my wit's end trying to figure out what's wrong with my 4 year old guinea pig, Poppy. We've been to several vets and no one quite knows what's wrong with her. Here's the chain of events:

    April 2018: Poppy is rushed to the first vet (M) after being housed with a new guinea pig, Acorn. Acorn had bullied her so badly that Poppy had stopped eating and had gone into stasis. Poppy was given fluids and I was told to feed critical care and Pedialyte until she was better. I was also told to use simeticone as needed. Poppy refused to eat anything but grass and Critical Care for several weeks. Her droppings are very mushy at this time after being normal her entire life.

    May 2018: Poppy starts to eat pellets and hay again, however every time she eats grass she bloats and I have to repeat the Critical Care/Simeticone/Pedialyte triangle. We end up banning her from eating all greens. Her poops firm up but never go back to a normal state. She is also now housed alone since the other pig bullied her so badly. She still likes to run around at floor time and be active, but she starts to look very skinny and bony.

    Summer 2018: Poppy is active but drinking lots of water. Poops are still mushy. I take her to vet M and is told her fecal samples are clean. She ends up having to be housed outside temporarily because of my parents selling our house. The temperatures do not dip below 60F at night, but it's still colder than I'd like her to be in.

    Fall-Winter 2018-19: My parents and I move up north temporarily and bring the pigs with us. The house we're in now has cold drafts and is heated with a coal stove. Every time the temp dips below a certain level, Poppy has a bloat attack and I have to repeat the medicine triangle again. We also start to supplement her diet with liquid vitamin C once a day. Her poops get mushier and then slightly firmer every other week or so. I also find out that she has to be fed strict timothy hay or she bloats as well. At one point, we suspect a URI and take her to a second vet (N). N says that Poppy's stool sample is clean, but gives them a dewormer and an antibiotic to clear up the URI.

    Spring 2019: Poppy seems to be stable for a couple months now. Her poops are malformed but her appetite is good. I end up leaving both my pigs and a handwritten instruction manual in the care of my parents while I move down south and find an apartment.

    July 2019: I finally get into an apartment and get my pigs back. To my horror, Poppy has stains all over her underside and is slightly balding on her belly. Her poops are much mushier than before. She's still active, but often bloats for seemingly no reason now. She's still able to be housed on fleece.

    August 2019: We bathe Poppy every week now because of the amount of poop she's making. She eats twice the amount (and poops twice the amount) of my two other guinea pigs. Her appetite is good and she still loves to run at floor time, however we now house her on aspen shavings because of the amount of feces she makes. However, she spends much of her time hunched in a corner, bloaty and uncomfortable.

    September 2019: Poppy is very sick now and spend 80% of her time hunched in a corner of a cage. Some days are better than others, but she's clearly miserable. Her poop is basically a sludge now and smells terrible. We bathe her underside every other day. Her appetite is more voracious than ever, but soon as it goes in, it comes out the other end.

    Has anyone else ever had this sort of problem with their piggies before? I've never been able to get this pig back on track after spending hundreds of dollars at the vets and was wondering how common this was or if anyone had any other advice? Thanks in advance!

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Long Term Bloating and Diarrhea - advice?

    Have you tried a probiotic? Bene-Bac seems to work well. Or you can use poop soup from a healthy guinea pig.

    Also, I'd want to try a course of flagyl and see if that would help. It's very frequently given for stubborn GI problems.

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    Re: Long Term Bloating and Diarrhea - advice?

    Oh yes I forgot to mention, we've tried both the yummy poop soup and Benebac multiple times. I actually haven't heard of flagyl, but after looking through the old vet papers it appears during the first incident Poppy was put on a course of Baytril.

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    Re: Long Term Bloating and Diarrhea - advice?

    Baytril and flagyl are two different drugs. Flagyl is generally more effective against GI organisms, and much less harsh on the pig.

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    Re: Long Term Bloating and Diarrhea - advice?

    Hello. did you solve this problem? I ask because i am in a similar situation.

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    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: Long Term Bloating and Diarrhea - advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post
    Baytril and flagyl are two different drugs. Flagyl is generally more effective against GI organisms, and much less harsh on the pig.
    I once had a similar situation with a cavy and Flagyl was the medication that ultimately seemed to help his digestive issues.

    Are you still feeding her grass? I rarely ever feed a cavy grass because it just doesn't seem to sit well with them. In any appreciable amount it seems to cause diarrhea and mushy poops AND, you have to be very careful where the grass comes from! It must be absolutely clean with no pesticides, no animal waste (as in dog poop), and free of things like oil from a lawnmower, excessive dirt, etc.

    In my boy's case, we learned that he had an "abdominal mass" that probably contributed to the issues and ultimately caused his death. It sounds as though Poppy has little quality of life. It might be kinder to let her make her journey across the Rainbow Bridge.

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    Re: Long Term Bloating and Diarrhea - advice?

    Update: It's been a couple weeks and Poppy has actually improved! We have unfortunately have had a tight month and have not been able to get her to the vet. I am planning on going to one in two weeks. We've cut all the pellet out of her diet and it's helped tremendously. Poppy is no longer puffed in one corner and has much more energy. She's on a strict diet of only hay and Vitamin C supplements. Her poo is still a but mushy but no longer as bad as it was, and doesn't smell as bad. @spy9doc we have not fed her grass since the vet visits since it seemed to cause more problems.
    Here's a couple pics of her sticking her nose through the bars of the cage and screaming at me because she knows I'm the food-bearer.
    Click image for larger version. 

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