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Thread: Sick Little Piggy (Need Advice)

  1. #1
    Cavy Slave
    Oct 17, 2019
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    Sick Little Piggy (Need Advice)

    Hi Everyone,

    My wife and I are new to the boards and can use some advice and possible pointers for our guinea pig, Clamps (male) weíre very concerned and could kindly use your help.
    Today we noticed that Clamps was not his usual self and showed signs of lethargy, frequent gagging(?), and drooling. It appears as though he is not eating (it looked like he tried to eat a part of a bell pepper but stopped shortly after and Iím sure if he took anything in), it doesnít look like he drank much water from what we can observe in the the last few hours of monitoring him either. Usually during feeding he and our two other male guinea pigs (Nibbler & Yancy) would freak out over fresh pellets, hay and veggies - but Clamps was the only one who remained unphased. Other observations weíve noticed was that he looked like a porcupine at one point with his hairs raised, not like he was trying to puff up as if he was getting bullied but this time it just looked different. He seems to be hobbling a little bit and generally remaining in his corner section. It looked like he was trying to sleep at one point but couldnít because of a twitch (like the gagging or stomach movement they show when they kind of cough or sneeze). I tried hand feeding him water from a spoon around 7:30pm and he appeared to have a little even biting the spoon at that point but I tried later around 10:30pm and he turned away and hobbled to his corner. Right now I have a portable heater a few away from their enclosure to try to increase temps a bit just in case that has something to do with it. It was very windy today in NYC and rained a bit yesterday so Iím trying to make it a little more comfortable for him/them. All the guinea pigs had a check up within the last 6-8 months and were generally healthy. They were treated for guinea pig lice as well. Lastly, we do not know or could estimate his age as we adopted him from a Petco about 3 years ago. He seems older than the other two and the smallest. Iíve attached a photo from a video we took of him of that gagging motion where his stomach sucks in and returns to normal.

    Iím sorry if my post is all over the place but we really love the little fella and want him to pull through.
    We are going to be looking toward bring him to the vet tomorrow to try to diagnose the problem. If anybody knows of any good guinea pig vets in NYC/Brooklyn (preferably) please let me know.

    Thank you you all in advance for your help!
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  2. #2
    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
    Sep 23, 2009
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    Re: Sick Little Piggy (Need Advice)

    He may have overgrown molars that are trapping his tongue and he can't chew and swallow. He MUST eat, however, or he'll die -- GPs are wired to need food moving through their gut at all times, and feeding him is the most important thing you can do. Critical Care is best, but you can make a slurry out of pellets to syringe to him.

    The general rule of thumb is that a pig that's eating nothing else needs 100+ cc of Critical Care or slurry for every kilogram it weighs, every day, spread out into 6-8 feedings around the clock. Adjust up or down according to the weight of the pig, and down if the pig is able to eat some on its own. Here's a link on how to handfeed:

    The pig's not going to like this process, and you'll think you're killing it. But you're not -- you're doing the only thing that will save its life. You're equipped to win this battle, so don't give up.

    If you google "exotic vets brooklyn ny" without the quotes, you'll find some hits. Look at the biographies of the vets -- at the very least, you want a vet with interest in exotics. At best, you want a certified exotic vet with rodent dental experience. Do get him in to the vet tomorrow as soon as you can if he makes it through the night -- this is an emergency. In fact, getting him in tonight would be better, but ONLY if you find a 24-hour hospital with an exotic vet on staff. Small animal (dog and cat) vets are not trained to treat pocket pets.

    Good luck, and let us know how you get along.

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