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Thread: Small Pellet Shaped Poops & Not Drinking (Piggie on Meds)

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    Small Pellet Shaped Poops & Not Drinking (Piggie on Meds)

    Hi Everyone,

    On Tuesday, Nibbler (4.5-5yr old boar - about 2.3lbs) was suddenly lethargic and mostly disinterested in hay, pellets and water (a total 180 from the day before). He would sink his head down (like a sad dog) and often lay on his side. So we decided to bring him to the vet that afternoon.
    (He had eaten some small bell pepper slices and a baby carrot so I knew he was taking something in.)

    Unsure of what the issue is, Nibbler was prescribed Baytril #5 (1/2 pill) for 10 days and Metacam for 3 days.
    We opted to get bloodwork done in order to help diagnose the issue and should have the results today. He was hand fed some mashed/blended pellets (Higgins Sunburst Gourmet) and some water via a syringe. At times he would also look to be eating some of his Timothy hay but man only from inside his plastic house (as if frightened to leave). I also noticed he had been pooping infrequently but the size was maybe slightly smaller. We also gave him Metacam at night before bed.

    On Wednesday, upon me waking, he appeared to be in better form and alert. Fed him his 1st dose of Baytril with about 1cc of water. He was eating hay, some pellets (the green pieces mostly), some of his crunchy treats (nibble rings and a veggie stick) and wet veggies such as kale, arugula, and small bell pepper slices, but has not cared for his water bottle. I continued to hand feed him water about 2ccs a feeding (every 1.5 hrs). His poop/pee was again infrequent and slightly smaller than the day before. Working from home has been a blessing as I can monitor him, but itís been challenging with syringe feeding/watering. When my wife comes home from work, sheís able to feed him mash better than me (which he seems to take) - I canít wait for the help. Lol.

    So, today (Thursday) - took his 2nd dose off Baytril with about 1cc of water and had a cucumber slice to help with the hydration. Heís been eating similarly to yesterday, and still water feeding from the syringe. Heís about to get his 2nd watering. His poop however looks even smaller than yesterday, and no longer pill or tear shaped - appears to look like crumbled up or fused pellets (photo attached). I understand it could be dehydration due to the medication and his lack of/or no drinking from the water bottle so Iím looking for some additional guidance?

    I gave him some floor time with his boar-buddy Yancy and was following him, eating some veggies, rumbling and shaking his behind like usual (and now heís resting). I ordered Critical Care which just came in so Iím excited to feed him this as I heard good things. I also bought a new water bottle (same style as before), and a multivitamin drop from Petco.

    As far as me seeing anything wrong with Nibbler to help diagnose the issue:
    I donít see anything stuck in his butt or discomfort or sounds while pooping
    He isnít drooling
    The vet said his teeth/mouth look good
    He isnít wheezing or sneezing
    Iím unsure if bloated (I donít feel his stomach bubbling when we hold him).

    If anyone has any advice, please let me know! Iíve been browsing the forums and websites trying to see what the issue could be (especially with him no longer drinking water) - itís been hard. Should I request probiotics from the vet?

    Heís currently in a large enclosure with his boar brother Yancy.
    We use SoPhresh Alpine bedding from Petco.
    Average room temps is 75-79 during the day, and a little cooler at night.

    Thanks for listening!
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  2. #2
    Cavy Slave Smileandnod's Avatar
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    Re: Small Pellet Shaped Poops & Not Drinking (Piggie on Meds)

    Sorry your little guy is feeling unwell. Good for you getting him to a vet to have him checked out.

    I would recommend using a probiotic called Bene-bac while using the Baytril antibiotic. Give him a pea size amount of Benebac about an hour after each dose of Baytril. I generally get the big 15g syringe of Bene-bac rather than the small tubes.

    I would also recommend changing his pellets to a more nutritious brand. Oxbow and KMS make the best pellets for guinea pigs.

    Make sure you aren't adding any supplements (including Vitamin C) to his water bottle even though many say to do so.

    I can empathize with you since I have a guinea pig who has me at my wits end trying to get her poop back on track. She had a tough URI which required 3 courses of 2 different antibiotics (one which was Baytril), sub-q fluids and force feedings in March- May. I finally got her doing better from that and she just had an eye injury due to hay! Ugh! And with her current meds she is on now she got horrible mushy & wet poop. Wish me luck!

    Good luck to you & Nibbler and keep us updated on how he is doing!

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    Re: Small Pellet Shaped Poops & Not Drinking (Piggie on Meds)

    Thanks Smileandnod, I will definitely look into upgrading the pellets and getting BeneBac. It seems though my local Petco doesn’t carry it on the shelves so I may need to order it. Anything I should do in the meantime you think? I poured a few drops of the Oasis Vitadrops in the water midday yesterday - Nibbler didn’t touch it but Yancy drank it. I’m using regular water today.

    I’m going to be giving Nibbler his first Critical Care feeding in a few minutes. I hope he takes a liking to it. I will
    keep updating this (hopefully with good news).

    Good luck to your little piggie as well!

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    Cavy Slave Smileandnod's Avatar
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    Re: Small Pellet Shaped Poops & Not Drinking (Piggie on Meds)

    Whenever mine are doing poorly, for whatever the reason, I give them extra vitamin C via a 1cc syringe. I measure the dose based on how many mg are in the vitamin C product. Oasis makes a good liquid Vitamin C or you can use human children's liquid ....just avoid products that use extra sugars or corn syrup. And as said before, don't add it to the water because it both degrades quickly, making it useless, as well as some guinea pigs who don't like the taste will avoid drinking their water.

    Oxbow pellets are available at most pet stores or you can order from online retailers such as PetSmart, Chewy, Walmart or Amazon. These places also sell the Bene-Bac probiotic.

    KMS pellets are only available via their online site. KMS hayloft.

    Good luck with the critical care feeding. I always have a syringe of water or unflavored Pedialyte to help wash it down and give them a drink in between each critical care "bite" out of the syringe. And don't worry if there is a lot of mess and wiggling during the feeding. I have only had one guinea pig who would literally grasp the syringe and try to suck it out...every one else has been a bit of a battle. Just get a towel, go slow, get comfy, and be patient with them and yourself!

    Keep us updated!...and thank you for the well wishes for my little girl.

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    Re: Small Pellet Shaped Poops & Not Drinking (Piggie on Meds)

    To update all, we received the blood work report on Nibbler and the only thing the vet mentioned that was really high was his Alk Phosphatase levels - which is 167 (HIGH) and the range is supposed to be 15-45. I’m curious as to how it could be incredibly higher than normal but was advised it could be due to his diet at the time. Does anyone have any experience with this liver issue or blood report? I don’t believe I got much information from the vet regarding the elevated levels unfortunately.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Small Pellet Shaped Poops & Not Drinking (Piggie on Meds)

    In humans, high alkaline phosphatase levels are usually associated with liver or gall bladder problems. I assume the same is true for guinea pigs, but I don't have any information about it.

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    Re: Small Pellet Shaped Poops & Not Drinking (Piggie on Meds)

    Thanks for the info bpatters. We’re taking our other piggie Yancy to the vet for a check up on Saturday and hope to talk to the vet a little more about what we can do to to promote a healthy liver for Nibbler. Doctor recommended I take them both outside for a little for some natural vitamin d. I also plan on buying some broccoli as it can help promote liver function. I’m really concerned about the number being 4x higher than it should.

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    Re: Small Pellet Shaped Poops & Not Drinking (Piggie on Meds)

    As of today, things appear pretty much the same. I’ve been trying to promote more floor time to get his energy levels up which I think was pretty successful. He was following his brother Yancy around the whole room.

    I’m not sure about this, but it seems like he takes a liking to the syringe watering as he’ll reach out for it and nibble on the tip and allow me squirt a little. Sometimes it looks like he’ll try to grab it and swing it with his mouth which makes me think he hates it. Lol. Does anyone think maybe I should find a smaller water bottle/spout to try to get him to drink on his own again?

    To backtrack a little, he ate about half of his full serving (3 scoops) of Critical Care yesterday (or that was as much I tried to get in him).

    I’m about to start a feeding now and see if I can do it solo. He has been eating some hay and veggies and a few little crunchy snacks so I know he’s taking food in. I was actually shocked to see him bite/play with the toilet paper rolls I put in the house. He seemed disinterested in them the last few days.

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    Re: Small Pellet Shaped Poops & Not Drinking (Piggie on Meds)

    Looks as though Nibbler still has an appetite for hay and veggies although I haven’t seen him eat any pellets. He has been taking some Critical Care, so I’m assuming that may be why. Also, I have a feeling he’s been eating his poop I’m not 100% sure but I do see him curl around and look as though he’s making some recurring head movements toward his butt area.

    His poops are still infrequent and look to be more like a diarrhea at this time (photo attached). We kind of laid off the vegetables for the remainder of the afternoon and night except for a small 1.5” broccoli head and stalk. I’ve attached 3 photos: 1) of his messy butt which we wiped and 2) a wet mushy albeit compact poop we suspect came from him, and 3) of our big boy Nibbler.

    Does anyone think this is because of the veggies? I gave them a very small mix of wet baby kale (like 8 leave), and 1/2 a cucumber slice, along with the broccoli I mentioned above later in the afternoon. Or could this be more of an antibiotic/dehydration thing?

    We’re really trying to nurse this little guy back to form!

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    Re: Small Pellet Shaped Poops & Not Drinking (Piggie on Meds)

    Well, if I were going to give vegetables to a pig that was taking antibiotics, they wouldn't be broccoli, cucumber and kale. I'd take him off veggies until his poop firms up, and then I'd start him back, slowly, on things like lettuce and bell peppers.

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    Re: Small Pellet Shaped Poops & Not Drinking (Piggie on Meds)

    Seems as though we were on the right track with bell peppers but maybe we got a lot anxious to get him some other wet veggies in there. We’ll take the advice and cut it out until we see improvement. Thanks!

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    Re: Small Pellet Shaped Poops & Not Drinking (Piggie on Meds)

    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post
    I'd take him off veggies until his poop firms up, and then I'd start him back, slowly, on things like lettuce and bell peppers.
    I wholeheartedly agree. I would suspect broccoli as the offender as it is a "gassy" vegetable. What @bpatters is suggesting is an elimination diet in which you add one veggie at a time back into his diet in an effort to pinpoint the causative vegetable if it is indeed the issue. Humans use this approach all the time in an effort to isolate the provocative substance in food allergies or intolerance.

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    Re: Small Pellet Shaped Poops & Not Drinking (Piggie on Meds)

    It appears today has been a positive step forward for Nibbler and I’m hoping we’re truly making progress with his health!
    We just got back from taking his brother Yancy to the vet for a check-up and when we returned home he had been trading off eating bits of hay and drinking from his water bottle! It looked like he was getting a good amount of water intake on his own (I filmed the whole thing and the eating and drinking was going on for about 2 minutes - like he just figured out how to do it again).

    We also made some dietary changes and haven’t provided any veggies until we could further see changes in the stool, and use the elimination method.

    We also upgraded the pellets to Oxbow Garden Select and bought a small bag of Oxbow Hay Blends (Western Timothy & Orchard Grass) to use tonight.

  14. "Thank you, PetFamilyBK, for this useful post," says:


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    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: Small Pellet Shaped Poops & Not Drinking (Piggie on Meds)

    Quote Originally Posted by PetFamilyBK View Post
    We just got back from taking his brother Yancy to the vet for a check-up and when we returned home he had been trading off eating bits of hay and drinking from his water bottle! It looked like he was getting a good amount of water intake on his own (I filmed the whole thing and the eating and drinking was going on for about 2 minutes - like he just figured out how to do it again).

    Boy, do I remember those days. I have several of those precious, heart swelling, "Look, I just figured out how to be a piggie again!) videos.

    So happy things are looking better.

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    Re: Small Pellet Shaped Poops & Not Drinking (Piggie on Meds)

    Today is day 6 of 10 on Baytril. Looks like the last 2 days have been pretty good. His activity levels are up and heís leaving his hideaway more frequently. Back to doing his slow rumble and butt swaying around his brother. Lol. Iíve set up a camera to record his/their interactions when nobody is around and still see that heís doing quite a bit of drinking and eating on his own (and a good amount too). Iím trying to monitor his stool by placing fresh towels in their hideaways twice a day. It looks like his poop is starting to get back into form although still smaller in size (photo attached). I havenít given either of the piggies vegetables in the last few days but might break it with a small slice of green bell pepper for a treat.

    Itís really nice to see them foraging their new hay and catching them eating their new pellets.

    . Click image for larger version. 

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    Re: Small Pellet Shaped Poops & Not Drinking (Piggie on Meds)

    Apparently, you are making progress. That's great!

    Keep in mind that this is "tough love". Don't be in such a hurry to add any vegetables back into their diet. They will be more inclined to eat pellets and more hay. Let everything get totally back to normal and then perhaps reintroduce the green pepper. Remember to add in only one veggie at a time in order to determine what the offending substance is.

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