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Thread: Underweight pig/may be dying

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    Underweight pig/may be dying

    Hello. One of my guinea pigs Hermione, is around five years old. We got her in March 2016 she was maybe six months to a year old,so around that age. She’s had chronic bumblefoot for a few months now, she’s been to the vet for that and it flares up constantly,I do regular Epsom salt soaks, she has had meds for it, the vet said that it’s probably just something she’ll have for life, she’s had it a few times in the past as well. I picked her up today to check her feet, I noticed she was having a bit of a flareup so I did a soak as usual. before I soaked her feet I had put her back in the cage to get everything ready and noticed she really wasn’t moving around a lot as in sat in the same spot and didn’t move an inch for several minutes until I physically moved her and I think her poops are looking a bit off, misshapen and a little soft. When I was holding her after the foot soak to get her dried off I noticed that her backend is a very very bony, as in like skin and bone she is definitely lighter feeling than she usually. is I weighed her and she’s only 664g. I left a voicemail for the vet they’re obviously not open right now since it’s Christmas, they will be open tomorrow so they’ll give me a call. I’m just wondering if there’s anything I can do in the meantime to help her. I’ve heard of people feeding oats to guinea pigs to put weight on them but I see mixed results about that on the Internet so I’m just wondering what the opinion is in here. thank you.

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    Re: Underweight pig/may be dying

    I wanted to add that when I went back to look in on her, she came running to the side of the cage with her cagemate like usual, happily took and ate a treat, and when I gave them their veggies she started right in on those as well.

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    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: Underweight pig/may be dying

    I have posted to that thread and I will render the same opinion here.

    Keep in mind that you can see just about anything on the Internet.......and a lot of it isn't accurate. Unless someone can provide reliable references to the contrary, I see no reason why cavies can't be fed oats. It is an excellent way to put some weight on them and provide nutrition in the process. Use just plain old rolled oats mixed with her pellets. Older pigs often have a problem putting on weight and keeping it on. I have used oats on more than one occasion when in the same situation. I just noted that she has cagemates. Feed her separately or all of them will gain weight!

    I would recommend that you immediately start her on Critical Care by Oxbow. Alas, CC is difficult to obtain at present due to a shortage virtually everywhere. You might find a Vet who sells it, but it may take some sleuthing. Our esteemed Moderator @bpatters just posted and recommends Critter Be Better from American Pet Diner as being virtually equivalent to CC.

    https://americanpet.com/product/crit...covery-powder/

    If all else fails, grind up some pellets and syringe those to her. Ask for a small-pet feeding syringe at a pet store.....preferably 20-30gm. Crush the pellets to a fine grind and mix with unflavored Pedialyte to a consistency that you can push the mixture through the syringe. Just about any generic pedialyte will do and it will add some much needed electrolytes to the mixture. Most cavies love the pedialyte.

    Sounds as though your Hermione has had more than her share of problems. I would also add a little Vit C to her diet. I prefer Oasis Vita Drops and syringe them to her. Do not put them in her drinking water! They can make the water taste funny and you won't get enough to her in this fashion. Just as we humans don't make our required Vit. C, our cavy friends don't make it either.

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    All the best in getting her on the road to recovery!
    Last edited by spy9doc; 12-25-20 at 09:08 pm.

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    Re: Underweight pig/may be dying

    I just learned that there is another product that is a possible alternative to Critical Care. And that is Sherwood Recovery Food. I haven't had time to thoroughly research it as well as the Critter Be Better one and the ingredients, so use your own judgment as to the quality and suitability.

    If you do decide to try either one, please report back to us. One can never have too much information!

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Underweight pig/may be dying

    @spy9doc, there's no credible research about Sherwood products. But there are a bunch of unsupported claims from the manufacturer about effectiveness and safety. They also supply people and rescues with their food in exchange for glowing endorsements.

    I don't know anything specific about the Recovery Food, but their pellets are extraordinarily high in calcium. I have not generally been recommending that people use Sherwood products.

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    Re: Underweight pig/may be dying

    Thanks for the replies. As far as her spirits, she seems perfectly normal, as active as she normally is, has an appetite for hay, treats, and veggies, and as friendly as she normally is. Her and her casement get a measured serving of pellets each day, but for as many years as I’ve had them, they’ve both been finicky about the pellets, and usually leave a mostly full bowl, but she will eat them from my hand if offered. Her breathing sounds fine, so aside from her feet and weight, she doesn’t seem to be as bad as I had originally thought (I can be a bit dramatic when faced with a crisis at first, haha.) I tried to order critical care on Amazon but there’s none available until January 16th, which would just be a waste. I’m going to pick up some alfalfa hay or oat hay for her to try getting some weight on her the next couple days, until I can get the vet on the phone. I’ve called twice and emailed, my vet is out of a wildlife center and apparently closed for the holiday weekend. If anything changes I’ll take her to the emergency vet, but as she’s eating, drinking and going to the bathroom as normal, I’m going to wait. She gets plenty of vitamin c, she has an oxbow vitamin c treat every morning, and veggies including bell pepper every night.

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    Re: Underweight pig/may be dying

    @bpatters, thanks for your input! I was thinking that Sherwood was possibly the same company that you are describing. Now I know why it seemed familiar. As I said, I simply haven't had time to do any in-depth research into either one.

    I couldn't find a listing of the ingredients in Critter Be Better in order to compare. Do you happen to have it or can provide a link?

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    Re: Underweight pig/may be dying

    Quote Originally Posted by megamazing View Post
    I tried to order critical care on Amazon but there’s none available until January 16th, which would just be a waste.
    I dunno......you might want to rethink that, especially if you plan to continue to keep cavies. I always have some Critical Care available even if I don't always need it. It just seems to happen that when one really needs it, you can't find it. It's part of my "piggy medicine chest" just as items like simethicone drops, Bene-bac, Ivermectin, etc. You just never know when you may need it.

  9. "Thank you, spy9doc, for this useful post," says:


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    Re: Underweight pig/may be dying

    If she is eating her pellets by hand, I would take her out and give her an extra portion. Pellets can help add weight.

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