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Thread: Snowball's medical thread

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    Snowball's medical thread

    Hi! I'm Taylor. I own a 7 year old female guinea pig named Snowball, pictured below!
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    I can't wait to check out posts and threads here. :D

    Now onto my question, I can not find a rules post. Is there one? Also, I am neurodivergent and have horrid reading skills and may not find this rule, so another question is can we post a post asking for help with vet trip bills and medical questions? I have a go fund me for my guinea pig's bills and I just wanted to know if a post asking for help with that and also with questions for over the counter medicines and what may work best?

    I made a post like that on the guinea pig forums page and immediately got banned with no say as to why. I read the rules but never saw anything about vet bill help. I can't even contact a moderator to appeal to the ban. Really unfriendly place. Just kicked out because I had a question for herbs and also happened to ask for help... hopefully you guys here are nicer... if anyone here is also part of guinea pig forums, could you help me with asking to appeal for the ban? I did nothing wrong, I just wanted to ask for help to know what herbs are good for digestion and maybe if anyone had a dollar to donate to save my dying pig....

    If the post I am typing right now is unwanted, PLEASE tell me and I can remove it. Don't just ban me without warning and not allow any contact for me to understand why. I have very hard times with understanding things and comprehension so please make this easier for me, THANK YOU! :D

  2. #2
    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: Hello! I do have some questions! Brand new here :)

    Unfortunately, posting GoFund me links and such or asking for monetary donations are also not allowed here. I am unsure as to the reasons why, but they aren't permitted.

    I am sorry your little girl isn't doing well. At 7 years old she's doing quite well longevity-wise. What's wrong with her? She's absolutely adorable.

    As far as aiding digestion, the best things you can use are:

    A) If it's available, making "poop soup" from the droppings from a healthy pig are best. Or:

    B) A probiotic. Benebac Pet Gel is one of the better ones used.

    You can ask all the medical questions you want. Just create ONE thread for your pig and keep all the questions there. It helps keep her history together so it's not scattered everywhere for someone trying to help. There are a LOT of members here with medical experience but some frequent the forum more than others.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Hello! I do have some questions! Brand new here :)

    Thanks for the help! And for not having me banned lol! I can get the probiotic when I get payed from my job. And did you just say... p-poop soup...

    I have already saved lots of hopefully good medicines on chewy. The photo I posted was from a year ago. Unfortunately in just one year, she has developed these issues:

    -Diarrhea constantly however, I have noticed some days she has normal pellet poop.
    -Back legs are no longer mobile/usable (drags them)
    -Extreme weight loss
    -2 large painful lumps around lower abdomen
    -Missing fur on underbelly and back
    -Fungal infection under chin however I have a great spray that is fixing it up nicely and it is healing really well
    -Crust around eyes and missing fur. I remove the crust daily
    -Feet sores (Her cage is cleaned on a weekly basis and spot cleaned every other day so she isn't living in urine and feces, but her feet still get sores. I apply ointment and bandage them every other day and it seems to be helping a lot. He feet have gone back to a normal pink and the sores have healed up, but new ones form all the time

    Basically, she needs to see a vet immediately. But when I got her an x-ray last year, it was over $400. Until I can get money to pay the vet bills, I am trying natural medicines and readily accessible medicines.


    Do you know of any good herbs that may help? Marigold helps her stomach a little, but anything else? Like chamomile?


    Thanks so much for the help!

    :eek::eek:

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Hello! I do have some questions! Brand new here :)

    Welcome!

    We don't have a general rules post, although it might be a good idea to make one! But there aren't many rules -- no profanity, no political or religious statements, no starting or participating in arguments with other posters, and unfortunately for you, no fund raising. We don't have any way to verify that a fund is legitimate, and there are people who put them up as scams. So the safest thing to do is just not to allow them.

    You can ask all the questions you like about guinea pig care, medical or otherwise. As @Guinea Pig Papa says, just keep the posts to one medical thread so anyone answering you doesn't have to chase all over the forum for info posted somewhere else.

    You say your pig is dying. What kind of symptoms does she have? Is she losing weight? Eating? Pooping?

    Seven is a really good age for a guinea pig, but some can and do live quite a bit longer than that. I had one that lived to eight and a half, and could have gone on longer except that she was in excruciating pain from knee degeneration and I had her euthanized.

    Edited to add:

    I just saw your response to @Guinea Pig Papa, so I'll respond to that here.

    The first line of treatment for diarrhea is to stop all vegetables until the poop firms up. Then add them back one veggie at a time, 2-3 days between each new one, until you find one that is causing the problem. That's if the problem is caused by veggies in the first place, of course. If not, only a vet can help, and she probably needs a prescription medicine rather than an herbal one.

    Weakness in the back legs and loss of hair are both symptoms of vitamin deficiency as well as other things, but I'd start with the vitamins first. Kaytee Vita Drops makes a liquid vitamin C that you can dilute and syringe to her. Do NOT put it in the water bottle as they suggest -- it degrades very quickly in the presence of light, and soon all you've got is yucky tasting water that the pig won't drink.

    Is the crust around the eyes white? If so, it's likely cleaning fluid, and is building up because the tear ducts are blocked. You can take a damp cloth and very very VERY gently massage under the eyes, moving from the outside toward the nose. That may help.

    But if the crust is yellowish, it's probably fungal, and you'll unfortunately need prescription eye drops to treat it. There's nothing available over the counter for guinea pig eyes.

    What kind of bedding is she on? And does her cage have a wire bottom? Cold pressed virgin coconut oil is good for the feet, and has both antibacterial and antifungal properties. It's available at most grocery stores and pharmacies. "Cold" is the operative word here -- processing with heat destroys the medical properties.

    Where on the lower abdomen are the lumps? Are they soft and squishy and moveable? Or hard and fixed in place?
    Last edited by bpatters; 08-29-21 at 03:11 pm.

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    Re: Hello! I do have some questions! Brand new here :)

    The diarrhea is a serious problem. The very first thing you can do for that is cut out vegetables and greens for a few days and see if her stomach evens itself out.

    The problem with her back legs MAY be a vitamin C deficiency. You can supplement her vitamin C with something like vitamin C drops from Oasis. If you can supplement that way, a generous slice of red, orange or yellow pepper should be fed daily. She sounds terribly ill so I would opt for the drops fed via syringe or dropper.

    Her feet sores sound like bumblefoot. There is a treatment guide here : http://www.guinealynx.info/pododermatitis.html

    The fungal infection on her chin is likely around her eyes as well, and is almost certainly responsible for the missing fur. It is also difficult to treat, but not impossible. This link may help: https://www.guinealynx.info/fungus.html

    How much is extreme weight loss? Have you been weighing her daily? Do you use a digital kitchen scale that measures in grams?

    The painful lumps in the abdomen worry me the most and yes, she needs a vet immediately for those. In all honesty it's probably going to be the one thing that ends up being the worst.

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    Re: Hello! I do have some questions! Brand new here :)

    I have Vitamin C drops that I used to use, but I drop in on her pellets and she basically stopped eating them if she smelled the drops. She doesn't even like oranges which are good for vitamin C. I can try just putting it in a syringe and feeding it to her. The crust around her eyes is yellow. She is on the brown fluffy bedding. It is from CareFresh and isn't paper. It's like a cotton soft bedding. I am saving up to by guinea dad liners or this other brand I found that I like. The bagged bedding has just gotten way to expensive and I think fleece will be so much better for her. She tends to fall over a lot. He cage btw, is not wired bottom. It is a tub bottom to be filled with loose bedding.

    I have a bottle of coconut oil in my pantry. It looks similar to this but different brand and bottle shape: https://www.google.com/search?q=coco...mcojreOhUDII9M

    Do you mean the liquid version or the solid scrub like version?

    Some people say if I can't afford the animal, then don't have it. Well, I have had guinea pigs since I was 10, 18 now, and my family had a stable job and plenty of money for vet trips and anything the piggies needed. Unfortunately after my parents divorce, my mom is super poor and we can not afford anything for my animals. I buy the cheapest stuff but still make sure it is good quality. I have almost persuaded my mom to let me buy fleece liners for Snowball as I bet it will be cheaper and they are reusable. (My mom regulates all my purchases, even though I am 18, I am not allowed to get anything without her permission, can't move out either) I am doing my absolute best with the few bucks I got in my wallet. That's why I am trying herbal medicines, my mom lets me get any plants I want for our garden so my garden is nothing but plants for Snowball. I do have chewy though, and have found tons of probiotics and medicines available on there.

    Back to her health, the lumps are squishy and soft, but not moveable. The are fixed in place, so kinda both of what you asked. Soft and squishy, but fixed in place. And they hurt her when touched. She can't squeak anymore, so I go off of body movement and air sounds. Her squeaks are like whispers.

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    Re: Hello! I do have some questions! Brand new here :)

    I have no scale in our house, wait actually, I found an old scale in my grandpas barn (Over 50 years old and is covered in cobwebs, but it is guinea pig sized and measure in grams I think) (I'll go find it), but I can now feel all her bones and when I bathed her to remove dried feces, she was incredibly skinny. I have a photo from her last bath, please do not judge me for her state of health. I have been harassed before when people want to help and then see her, then start to call me horrible names and call me an abuser. I used to have money to care for her every need, but after unfortunate events, not anymore. I am trying my absolute best here...

    If it is fungus around her eyes, which seems like the most probable cause, could I use the anti fungal spray there? It is working great for her chin but it says to keep out of eyes. I could put a drop on my finger and smear it under her eye on the skin?

    Thank you for the guides! You have been very helpful!

    As I said, please do not judge me for letting it get like this. Also, if you can see her back foot. For her right foot as seen in the picture, that is how it is 24/7, no weight is put on the heel anymore. She only walks on the toes. Her other foot is the opposite. Weight on heel with toes in the air. I have actually done some small physical therapy on her backs legs and she seems to be able to use them well for like an hour after I do the therapy on them.
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    Re: Hello! I do have some questions! Brand new here :)

    No, do not use the antifungal spray on her face, even around her eyes. She wipes her eyes with her paws when she gets the cleaning fluid from them, and she'll wipe that spray into her eyes. She really needs a ophthalmic prescription med for that area.

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    Re: Hello! I do have some questions! Brand new here :)

    I am not going to judge you, @Wolfiemix. I understand people's circumstances change, and makes it incredibly difficult to manage things like this.

    The Vitamin C drops can be measured with a few drops in a syringe and mixed with water, and fed to her that way.


    I truly hate making recommendations like this, but it may be a good idea for you to seek a shelter than can take her in, and provide needed medical care for her. I know it may not seem that bad to you but she is not in good shape and at the current rate, I don't feel she has much time left. Her weight seems shockingly thin to me compared to a year ago. I do understand, believe me. I have had 6 pigs in 11 years and have lost two to severe illness, one to a prolonged illness coupled with old age (He was almost as old as Snowball when I lost him.) And one to simple old age.

    As I said, I do not make recommendations like that lightly. Anyone who knows me knows that anyone suggesting I give up my pig would tear my heart in two. The simple fact is that natural remedies are not going to save her. It looks as though that back right leg has arthritis in it, and could explain the sores and lack of movement and mobility.

    If she isn't eating enough pellets or hay on her own, you CAN make a mash of her pellets with water and syringe feed her that way.

    Please don't feel like I'm beating up on you, or insinuating that you're a bad piggie parent because I'm not. I do feel that she is not in good shape and needs medical attention.
    Last edited by Guinea Pig Papa; 08-29-21 at 03:59 pm.

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    Re: Hello! I do have some questions! Brand new here :)

    No no, it's perfectly fine! I have already looked into other owners who are willing to take a sickly guinea pig and be able to accommodate for her. However, my mom will not allow me to rehome her or give her to a shelter. My mom is not the kind of person who believes animals need care or a good life. I wouldn't say she hates animals, but she doesn't believe Snowball is another breathing and living being. Well, actually, she kinda does hate animals. She has even kicked our dog once...

    Snowball actually eats great! Eats all her hay when given twice a day and good pellets too. She also grazes for an hour and a half every day or every other day if I'm busy. It's Texas, so it's sometimes to hot for her to be outside. 100 degree weather ain't very good for pigs. lol

    She does not have complete access to hay 24/7 This is because she eats so much that her stomach enlarges and compresses her lungs to the point she can not breathe. That's why I spent over $400 on an x-ray... and she keeps doing it if she has lots of hay. She will suffocate herself just for food so the vet said to regulate her food intake. My mom was so mad when she found out I took her to the vet, but oh well... (Her husband drove me without my mom knowing)

    I also make her homemade treats with fiber rich ingredients and fresh veggies from my garden. Plus blended hay and hay pellets for the dough base and I buy her those oxbow joint and digestive support tabs. I may start getting the skin health ones, but it's like $12 for just 60. Sounds like a lot, but they go fast and $12 is a lot for me to spend. The tabs help her poops.

    I actually JUST emailed a vet about exam pricing. And I found the pet hospital that gives free first exams. I will be contacting them about that and then will probably beg my mom to drive me there. (I don't have a license yet but getting it soon)

    Jim, my step dad, is an animal lover and the dog my mom kicked is his, he will most likely drive me to the vet as he has already done in the past, but I have to pay for everything myself. He will not help with any cost.

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    Re: Hello! I do have some questions! Brand new here :)

    I wonder if it isn't gut stasis that causes her to stuff herself to the point of being unable to breathe. If her stomach isn't moving then that can certainly happen, but pigs should definitely have 24/7 access to clean fresh water, and clean fresh hay.

    I hate to say it, but parents like your mother are the reason so many pigs around the world suffer. They are pocket pets, but that doesn't mean they are disposable and don't deserve care. I always wonder what kind of example they are setting for their children, teaching them that it's ok to neglect an animal that needs help. Infuriating.

    Is it possible to give her hay at timed intervals, such as every couple of hours? To give her stomach a chance to move the hay she's eaten? If she isn't eating enough hay and eating too many veggies that will certain cause digestive upset and diarrhea, and can also cause the stasis you need to get a handle on.

    I'm not a vet by any stretch. But like a lot of the members here I've been through a lot with my pigs, especially in the last three years. I've gone through the digestive upsets. There are pig parents here whose pigs have had far worse problems than I have dealt with and know far more than I do. Hoping they can chime in here as well and provide some more insight.

    You will need a vet with exotic experience. A regular small animal vet (which means dog and cat) have little to no expertise when it comes to guinea pigs and can even be dangerous to them.

    What kind of pellets are you feeding her? What brand?

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    Re: Hello! I do have some questions! Brand new here :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfiemix View Post
    And I found the pet hospital that gives free first exams. I will be contacting them about that and then will probably beg my mom to drive me there. (I don't have a license yet but getting it soon)
    If this is Banfield Pet Hospital, unless they have an vet who actually cares for exotics, you need to reconsider. I say this, because I work at Banfield and I would never in a million years bring my pigs to Banfield. My vets don't even want to see my guinea pigs or hamsters. You'll need to ask if they even see pigs or if there is a Banfield with an exotics vet. Banfield is definitely a cat and dog place. If you live in DFW, you can take the pig to Dr Heard at the Banfield on Heritage Trace Pkwy in Ft Worth/Keller.

    You mentioned living in Texas, there's a few different pig rescues in the area you may consider surrendering to. It is much kinder to surrender an animal to someone/where that can get her vet treatment than to let her go without it. No one will think less of you for it. We've had a few people surrender their pets to us at work when they couldn't take afford the vet bills (parvo puppys for example). I respect a person who can do this because it is a hard choice but it shows they have the best interest of their pets in mind.

    You can try posting your Gofundme on some reddit groups and facebook. Reddit really helped me out, along with my coworkers donating. Just be sure to follow the rules of the group and explain your situation, so people don't attack or misunderstand you.

  13. "Thank you, 4boipigs, for this useful post," says:


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    Re: Hello! I do have some questions! Brand new here :)

    She gets a large pile of hay morning and before I go to bed so around 10pm to 11pm. Sometimes when I come to her cage like around 3pm or something, there is still hay left and she somewhat grazes on it. This is usually when I take her outside to graze on fresh grass. She doesn't get a lot of veggies. A bell pepper once a week from the garden, a sliced small seedless cucumber here and there. Carrots from our garden. She gets veggies, but not everyday. Maybe every 3 days? It's kinda random, just whenever I have veggies and fruits available. She also gets banana and apple rarely, but she doesn't like either of those much. She does like strawberries and blueberries, but not a lot.

    I can give her more hay. I just want to make sure she doesn't have breathing issues again. The vets said it was because there was so much hay in her stomach that it was compressing her lungs. I don't know how true that is of course, as it was just a dog and cat hospital.

    Yea, my mom is really nice to humans, just not animals. She became more like this after the divorce. She was reluctant to take my pigs to vets, but she still did because we were financially stable when my parents where together. Now that we struggle for just daily things, she will not do anything for my animals and only sees them as money shredders. Of course, she has never really wanted pets in the first place. Sold our pure bred great dane to the first person she got on craigslist while everyone was out of the house except her and opposed to me getting guinea pigs in the first place when I was ten. My dad was the one who got us pets and took care of them. He is the reason I care for animals so much. He would show me as a young child how to care and properly hold fragile creatures and respect their boundaries. He was the one who cared for strays and took them in when no one else wanted them. We lived in Florida at the time and people just let their pets go all the time. My friend brought us a domestic black and white spotted rabbit she found in the neighborhood. We tried to find who it belonged to, but no one came forward to claim it. We gave it a great home. Lots of good food and toys. We let it free roam during the day and put it in large makeshift bin at night. Eventually my mom could not stand having the rabbit anymore and made us give it to some rabbit rescue called blue pearl or something. Of course, that may have been a good thing, but we were ready to give the rabbit our home and my dad knew rabbit care as he lived on a farm like property as a kid with rabbits and ducks, and all kinds of animals.

    Funny story about the rabbit, he would pop the lid to the bin (It had huge air holes all over it, it was temporary until we were 100% sure we wanted to keep the rabbit and get it a proper night cage) at night and run upstairs to my room. My room had the guinea pig cage. Now my guinea pigs were known to push hay out from the second level to my floor. The rabbit would eat the hay, poop in my closets corner, and run back downstairs and get back in the bin until morning. He had plenty of hay and veggies, but wanted my guinea pig's hay instead... it was literally from the same bag... anyway, he was also litter trained. We put a tray with newspaper in a corner in our living room that he would run over to, to use the bathroom in and them go back to playing, but at night, liked my closet. I actually found a rabbit poop in my closet when we were moving out... I thought I cleaned it all out 2 years before that! Lol!

    Anyway, I am waiting till the animal hospital gets back to me about pricing for exams. They have someone who specializes in exotic animals so that's good.

  15. "Thank you, Wolfiemix, for this useful post," says:


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    Re: Hello! I do have some questions! Brand new here :)

    Thanks for the help! Yes, it is Banfield... luckily I found a different pet hospital with a specialist for exotic animals and they mention guinea pigs. I'll look more on the Banfield's website though. I may just contact them to ask if they'll see my guinea pig.

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    Cavy Slave 4boipigs's Avatar
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    Re: Hello! I do have some questions! Brand new here :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfiemix View Post
    Thanks for the help! Yes, it is Banfield... luckily I found a different pet hospital with a specialist for exotic animals and they mention guinea pigs. I'll look more on the Banfield's website though. I may just contact them to ask if they'll see my guinea pig.
    Best thing is to call and ask if that Banfield sees pigs, or if they can direct you to one that does. Honestly Banfield is really expensive. Even my exotics vet where I take my pigs is cheaper. An exam at Banfield (varies by location) will be $50, which is actually a pretty decent price (my exotics vets range from $65 to $105 for exam). If she needs bloodwork, it'll be between like 70 to 200 depending on how extensive it is (CBC vs superchem). Xrays are $250ish. Unfortunately there is no such thing as low cost option for exotics.

  18. #16
    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Hello! I do have some questions! Brand new here :)

    What part of Texas are you in? Several of us on here are from Texas, and we might be able to recommend a good vet.

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    Re: Hello! I do have some questions! Brand new here :)

    I am in Austin, Texas :)

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    Re: Hello! I do have some questions! Brand new here :)

    I realize this is an introduction thread, @Wolfiemix. At this point I would encourage you to create a veterinary thread for Snowball.

    That way all of the information about her ailments, and suggestions from other forum members can all be kept in the same place. Kind of like a Snowball encyclopedia :)

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Hello! I do have some questions! Brand new here :)

    @Wolfiemix, if you like, I can just change the name of this thread to Snowball's medical thread. That way you won't have to copy all the information over again.

    Also, Austin Guinea Pig Rescue is in Round Rock. They might be able to recommend a good vet for you.

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    Re: Hello! I do have some questions! Brand new here :)

    That would be great! Thanks! Is there something I have to do to put this thread into a medical discussion thread?

    Oh Austin Guinea pig Rescue! I volunteered there last year and helped with cleaning cages. I even got to hold baby pigs! Wonderful place :D

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