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Thread: Sort of lethargic guinea pig?

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    Sort of lethargic guinea pig?

    This is my first time posting anything on here so I’m sorry if it is confusing to read.

    Two days ago I noticed my guinea pig Muffin (3 years old) wasn’t coming out of her hide for a treat which made me very concerned. She also didn’t seem to be moving much, seemed a bit fluffed out, and would only eat treats if I put them right in front of her. I convinced my parents to let me take her to the vet that day (I thought it might be urgent and the vet we usually go to wasn’t available that day so we went with a different one) but the vet didn’t notice anything wrong but didn’t do any tests. She just said to keep an eye out for blood in her urine in case she has bladder stones or some sort of crystal thing. To be honest I don’t really think she has much experience at all with guinea pigs:/, at least compared to our usual vet. That night I did a lot of research about bladder stones and found out that the guinea pig pellets I had contained a considerable amount of calcium carbonate, so I immediately switched it with another bag I had that contained a different form of calcium. I also looked into the vegetables that have high levels of calcium but I wasn’t feeding them any of those lately so if she has bladder stones it would probably be from the pellets. Yesterday I also noticed that when she peed not much would actually come out, and she never squeaked that day either. Then I realized she wasn’t drinking any water at all so I made sure to give her more watery vegetables like cucumber and bell pepper. I also bought 2 1 ml eye droppers to use to get her to drink but she hates it when I take her out of the cage to try and get her to drink out of it. I tried using the other eye dropper to feed her mushed pellets but it didn’t work. I did notice that she was out of her hide more often that day which was good. She ate quite a bit of hay, but still wouldn’t touch the water bottle. I found really good reviews for Sherwood urinary support with some people claiming it got rid of their guinea pigs bladder stones. Unfortunately I live in Canada and I could only order it online so I did and it should arrive in around 3 days I think.

    last night I couldn’t sleep. A few months ago one of my guinea pigs died within 24 ours of me noticing the slightest thing was wrong. I didn’t think she needed to see an emergency vet since they are usually inexperienced with guinea pigs so I booked an appointment at a better vet for the next day. She ended up getting so much worse and didn’t even make it to the vet which was why I am so scared for this guinea pig now. (I really hope I am just paranoid but I know how well they hide their illnesses.) I kept having the same nightmare about me not being able to save her and then all of my other guinea pigs die too. Luckily today she is looking a bit better. She still seems lethargic but will eat more often. She still doesn’t eat as much as she used to but she hasn’t lost any significant amount of weight yet. I did notice her pee was a bit more normal but her behaviour still isn’t and she isn’t squeaking unless rumblestrutting counts. I have a vet appointment booked with the same vet we saw two days ago for tomorrow afternoon just in case things get worse but I have a few questions:

    1. Is there any other health problem she could have that isn’t bladder stones/sludge?
    2. how much water should I feed her per day in ml and how often?
    3. Should I take her to the vet tomorrow and ask for an x-ray or cancel the appointment because she isn’t losing weight and nothing is obviously wrong?
    4. Would the Sherwood urinary support help her?
    5. Will whatever problem she has go away on its own without a vet visit?
    6. At what point should I buy her critical care?
    7. What are the best vegetables to be feeding them?

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Sort of lethargic guinea pig?

    Please DON'T feed the Sherwood pellets. They're based on junk science, and should never be given to pigs with suspected calcium problems. Anecdotal reports of stones disappearing while eating Sherwood pellets are unsupported, and very suspect.

    Why didn't feeding her with the eye dropper work?

    Critical Care is a recovery food, given after illness or when a pig is losing weight. You need to be weighing your pig at least weekly, and more often if it's sick. Record the weights so you can see any patterns developing.

    If you suspect stones, give her as much water as she'll take. It may help to get some unflavored pedialyte, dilute it with three parts water to one part pedialyte, and offer that to her. Pigs usually love it. Don't mix up more than you need, and store it in the refrigerator. That stuff molds very quickly if left out on the counter.

    We have no idea if the problem will go away without a vet, because we don't know what's wrong with her.

    Why did you suspect stones in the first place? Usually a pig will squeak when peeing or (especially) pooping if they have a stone.

    For veggies, give her some red or green leaf lettuce (not romaine or iceberg), and some bell pepper. For other things she can have, see https://www.guineapigcages.com/forum...us-Plants-List and https://www.guineapigcages.com/forum...cussion-Thread.

  3. #3
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Sort of lethargic guinea pig?

    She seems to be getting better slowly. I have been weighing her twice a day and her weight has been around 1180 grams which is pretty good. The only reason itís hard to feed her water out of the eye dropper is because after I give her about 2 ml of water, she starts to try and get me to put her back in to her cage by biting and pulling my shirt sleeve, and by buying the side of the eye dropper to try and break it I think. She comes out of her hide often now and even went up to me to get a vitamin c treat but she only ate half of it and then ignored it.

    The only reason I suspected stones in the first place was just because the vet I took her to didnít notice anything wrong but told me to watch her carefully because she could have that. The vet didnít suggest any other problems that she could have which is why I have been trying to lower the amount of calcium in their diet.

    Because she has been improving, I donít think I will take her in to see that vet today. I donít think thereís anything the vet will do about it especially since she is getting better. I think I will go to a different vet more experienced with guinea pigs sometime this week if she is still quite sleepy. She does seem a lot better than a few days ago so I am not too worried about it.

    When I put her in her cage after giving her water and weighing her, she started popcorning quite a bit and then rumblestrutted and ate hay so I donít know if that is a good sign or not.

  4. #4
    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: Sort of lethargic guinea pig?

    Popcorning and rumblestrutting are good signs, yes. I'm glad she seems to be improving but she does bear some watching over the next few days.

    Question. What is the temperature like in and near her cage? Has it been overly warm?

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Sort of lethargic guinea pig?

    The temperature is 22 degrees Celsius (71.6 degrees Fahrenheit) and I don’t think is has changed much if any over the past few weeks. The only time it got too warm was in July with a heat wave when the temperature got up to 33 degrees Celsius (91.4 degrees Fahrenheit.) My house doesn’t have air conditioning so I couldn’t do anything about the heat then.

    Random question but how much grass should guinea pigs be allowed to eat when I let them outside for a bit? They really seem to like it but I don’t know how much would be bad for them.

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    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: Sort of lethargic guinea pig?

    That temperature is right where I like to keep my pigs.

    As far as grass goes, start them off slow to avoid any GI upset. Once they've had it for awhile they can have more. Grass is basically fresh hay, and it's fine as long as you're sure there are no contaminants or pesticides on the grass.

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    Re: Sort of lethargic guinea pig?

    Last night I was finally not that worried about her until I looked at her stomach. I donít really know how to describe this, but her nipples were sort of wrinkled, which could be a sign of ovarian cysts:( I have a picture but Iím not sure how to add it. It doesnít look super bad, but I think I will try to convince my parents to take her to the vet we usually go to on Tuesday. I also noticed she has lost around 40 grams since the last vet visit:(

    Should I be really concerned about this?

    She is still not as energetic as usual but does eat, just doesnít drink. I think she might not be drinking because I am giving her water out of an eye dropper but Iím not sure. I havenít noticed anything else wrong with her yet, so I hope seeing a vet in two days will be okay.

    Also, because the vet I went to didnít feel anything wrong, If she does have ovarian cysts, I think they would have to be pretty small, right?!

    She also rumblestrutts quite often which I guess might be a sign of ovarian cysts too. She is the boss of the herd so maybe thatís just normal?

    (I think I figured out how to add a picture)
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    Re: Sort of lethargic guinea pig?

    40 grams in 4 days isn't ideal. I would definitely try to get her in to her regular vet. Ovarian cysts could possibly cause her aggression with other pigs.

    I've never had sows so I'm afraid I'm not going to be of much help on this one. I can say that while she isn't in the danger territory for weight loss yet, she seems to be heading that way.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Sort of lethargic guinea pig?

    I have been keeping a close eye on her and weighing her twice a day for the past week, and she is getting much better!!! Here is what she weighed over the past week: (It is in grams)
    August 26, 10pm: 1187
    August 27, 10am: 1184
    August 27, 10pm: 1192
    August 28, 11am: 1170
    August 28, 11pm: 1166
    August 29, 11am: 1145
    August 29, 10pm: 1185
    August 30, 11am: 1182
    August 30, 10pm: 1153
    August 31, 8am: 1145
    August 31, 10pm: 2221 (just ate)
    September 1, 8am: 1171

    I was really worried when she first reached 1145 grams, but I think that it was just her bladder being empty and the higher weights were her still digesting vegetables and having a full bladder. I’m not sure though so please tell me if I should be concerned about it.

    Her behaviour is also almost back to normal:) she has even been standing up and even climbing on my hand for veggies! I still don’t think she is 100% herself yet but she’s getting there I think.

    Unfortunately, I did also notice that she seemed VERY itchy and acted exactly the same as when she has mites before. I don’t really think the mites went away entirely from the first two times, because I have a guinea pig that never got treated for mites that still interacts with the other piggies who probably had mites the whole time. I’m pretty sure the other guinea pigs got mites from her the past two times. I also noticed that the other piggy living with Muffin seemed extra itchy as well. Muffin also usually has quite a bit of dandruff (or at least I thought it was dandruff) so I kinda thought I could be paranoid. Just in case I wasn’t crazy, I got a piece of tape to pick up some of the white specks to look under a microscope and I think they definitely could be mites. I only looked at the super dead ones that were at the ends of her fur but they looked pretty mite-shaped to me based off the pictures I looked at.

    My family is also apparently super busy this week and doesn’t have time at all to take her to the vet so I asked my mom to request the same mite treatment we used to treat them the other two times and the vet actually is letting her pick it up without looking for mites himself! (The other two times they had mites the vet couldn’t see them anyway so I really don’t think it would’ve made a difference if we had an appointment.) This time I will definitely be treating the other guinea pig as well to hopefully permanently get rid of the mites.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Sort of lethargic guinea pig?

    The vet thought that the mites probably actually came from the grass in the yard… we don’t put pesticides in it so that would make sense I think.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Sort of lethargic guinea pig?

    I doubt seriously that the mites came from the yard. Every living thing in the world is covered in mites, including you and me. Occasionally there will be a breakout, but the mites were usually there to begin with.

    It is important that you treat all the pigs for mites. If you only treat one, they're guaranteed to keep coming back.

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    Re: Sort of lethargic guinea pig?

    Ugh she was doing really well until today. Since I last posted, her behaviour went back to normal and she was drinking normally until now. Her behaviour is still normal but I noticed she wasn’t really drinking much if at all yesterday so I made her drink a bit of water, and I also noticed she was trying to pee but not much would come out and it was very white coloured. I wasn’t super worried because I thought I could just give her more water, but now her pee is red. I am super worried and I just took one of my other piggies to the vet and my parents get very annoyed whenever I suggest that one of them needs to see the vet. Is this something I can fix on my own? Should I try using the Sherwood urinary support tablets? Do I need to get her to see the vet again? Also what would be the treatment if I saw a vet?

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Sort of lethargic guinea pig?

    Please do NOT use the Sherwood pellets. Their information is based on junk science, and the high calcium content of their pellets is apt to make things worse.

    But bleeding from the urinary tract is not anything you can fix, and it certainly needs a vet visit. In the meantime, syringe 5-10 cc. of water or diluted pedialyte every 3-4 hours.

    Treatment would depend on what is wrong. The most likely thing would be a prescription for an antibiotic, but the vet might recommend other things.

    You need to find some way to build up a vet fund. Medical care is just as much a part of responsible pet ownership as good food and adequate housing. Your pigs depend on you for everything, and it's not fair to them to suffer, possibly in pain, because you can't afford to take them to the vet. The question is never "Will my pigs ever need to go to the vet?" It's always "WHEN will my pigs need to go the vet?" You need to be prepared for that at all times.

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    Re: Sort of lethargic guinea pig?

    For some reason, money isn’t even the main problem to my parents, they just don’t usually have time to see a vet during their normal hours and there aren’t any good guinea pig emergency vets. Also is 1cc equal to 10ml? That seems like a LOT of water. I’ll try my best to get Muffin a vet appointment for tomorrow if possible.

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    Re: Sort of lethargic guinea pig?

    Okay, I just booked an appointment with the vet for 4:30 tomorrow. My mom got really mad because she will have to leave early for work again… she also got really mad when I said that it was a possibility that Muffin could need surgery and she said that there was no way she will allow that… I really home she changes her mind if that’s the case. Also, Muffin’s pee was more of a pink colour than red if that makes any difference. She is also still acting pretty normal. Oh, and can strawberry’s cause pink urine? I only gave her 1/2 of one. So I kinda doubt it could be that.

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    Cavy Slave Soecara's Avatar
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    Re: Sort of lethargic guinea pig?

    1cc is 1ml.

    Some foods can cause pink urine, but strawberries aren't one of them.

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    Re: Sort of lethargic guinea pig?

    I just took Muffin in to the vet to get an x-ray, and it turns out she doesnít have any stones!!! (Or any other problems he could see on an x-ray) The vet thinks it could either be a uti or some sort of reproductive issue, so he is prescribing some pain medication, and I think antibiotics or something to treat a uti. He did also try to get a urine sample but he couldnít get her to pee. He also said to come back if it she doesnít get better after the treatment or if the treatment doesnít work. I will keep giving her water until she drinks on her own again and hopefully things will improve:)

  18. #18
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Sort of lethargic guinea pig?

    The exact medication she is getting is 0.15ml of M-eloxin every 24 hours for 5 days, and 0.4ml of Enrofloxacin every 12 hours for a week.

  19. #19
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    Re: Sort of lethargic guinea pig?

    I was just giving Muffin some water when I think she inhaled some and started coughing. Now her breathing is crackly and I don’t know what I can do. I think I fed it to her too fast. Will this for sure give her pneumonia?!? Will she cough all of it out? I don’t think it was that much water and her voice is only a little crackly, but she isn’t coughing any more. This happened one minute ago so maybe it will go away in a few minutes?!

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    Cavy Slave Kelsie's Avatar
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    Re: Sort of lethargic guinea pig?

    @Guineapiggie06, how is Muffin doing now? It probably isn't likely that a small amount of water would give her pneumonia. She probably just took it too fast and it made her choke.

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