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Thread: Treatment of G.I. Stasis

  1. #1
    Cavy Slave Gigabyte's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Treatment of G.I. Stasis

    This article is not a substitute or replacement for the advice of a qualified veterinarian! If you think your guinea pig is suffering from gastric stasis, GET TO YOUR VET! Do NOT wait! Even a few short hours of not eating or pooping can KILL a guinea pig.

    Signs of Gastric Stasis:

    - Hunched up posture, sometimes with fur puffed out.

    - No interest in food, may sometimes eat treats.

    - Shivering - keep your guinea pig at 75 degrees to 80 degrees when he is sick! You can sit him on your lap with a hot water bottle covered in a towel - be careful that it is not too hot!

    -Bloating - your guinea pig's stomach seems to hang down and his spine seems to stick out. GET TO THE VET!

    -Drooling - guinea pigs cannot vomit, they drool because of nausea, pain, malocclusion, or many other conditions.

    -Stops drinking or drinks too much - excess drinking can be a sign of pain.

    -Sunken, dull eyes, and lethargy - your guinea pig is in pain, sick, and feeling the effects of dehydration.

    -No droppings/small droppings

    Additional information on not eating (anorexia): http://www.guinealynx.info/anorexia.html

    What you need:

    - A vet that treats exotics - you don't want an inexperienced vet, ask specifically if they have experience with guinea pigs.

    - The number and directions to an ER Vet Hospital that treats exotics - they saved my guinea pig's life.

    - An appointment with your regular vet, or if your vet can't see you, call the ER vet and rush there, remember if your guinea pig hasn't eaten, pooped, or drank in 4 hours, GO! Do not wait.

    When you see the vet

    - Don't forget to ask what may be causing GI Stasis - there may be underlying issues like malocclusion or illness.

    -You will be given a bag of Oxbow Animal Health | Critical Care, you will syringe feed it every 2-5 hours. Don't feed too much at one time!

    -You will be given medicine for nausea and a laxative (in our case, it was Reglan and Cisapride).

    -Ask for pain medication! BUT - only in extreme cases, it is a last ditch effort. It makes all the difference, our guinea pig did not improve until he had pain medication. Be VERY careful and do not overdo the pain medication and ASK questions! You cannot give more pain meds or give them more often unless your vet says so.

    -Ask for extra syringes to give the guinea pig his medications and food. You will want at least six 1mL syringes (they break very fast), two 3mL syringes for food and water, three 6mL syringes (you can mix and store extra food for those 3am feedings!), don't hesitate to call for more syringes if they break.

    -You can request SubQ fluids if your guinea pig has not been drinking well. GuineaLynx has an excellent article on giving SubQ fluids - http://www.guinealynx.info/subcue.html

    -Ask for a hot water bottle if you need one - they are usually an IV bag of electrolytes and are pretty useful for hot water bottles.

    -Schedule a follow up appointment!

    After you leave the vet

    -Keep the pig calm, warm, and content on the way home.

    -Make sure his cage is newly cleaned so you know if he has gone potty. Watch for signs of blood in feces and urine or white sludge in urine. Call the vet ASAP if you see blood or white, gritty urine stains.

    -Follow the feeding and medicine schedule as best as you can! Guinea pigs are very delicate creatures.

    -Call your vet with changes in condition.

    Feeding

    -You will want to mix up some Critical Care and offer it to the guinea pig, if he doesn't eat it, then syringe feed it.

    - If you have no access to Critical Care, you can make a pellet mash, or use Critter Be Better: American Pet Diner: Critter Be Better Digestive Health.

    -Gently open his mouth and get the syringe in his cheek pocket, and put about half a mL squirt in.

    -Take the syringe away and let him eat it. Sometimes they will spit out the Critical Care and drool, that means they are very nauseous. If you can't get 3-5mL in him now, offer more in an hour or two. Make sure you get the full amount in and don't underfeed.

    -If he doesn't like plain CC, you can mix no sugar added diluted cranberry juice, carrot juice, orange juice (I like Simply Orange Juice) or pedialyte - but ask your vet first!

    -You want to make sure your guinea pig is drinking. If not, syringe feed water carefully and slowly. You want to get at least 10mL of water in a dehyrated pig. Syringe feed the water between or before feedings.

    -You guinea pig may be low on vitamin C, you want to crush up a tablet into a very fine powder and put about 1.5mL of water in to dissolve it. You then syringe feed it like water, daily. I used Nature Made Chewable 500 mg tablets, you want to use a quarter of the tablet.

    - You need to get a lot of fiber in your pig -- just veggies won't do.

    Additional information on feeding: http://www.guinealynx.info/handfeeding.html

    After EACH feeding


    - Gently massage the guinea pig's stomach for 5-10minutes - if he is bloated, this will help. Do this on a towel, because if he is constipated, he will release what's inside. Which is good! This is one of your most important tools!

    - Belly massage alternatives to relieve gas include putting your pig on a vibrating pillow, wrapping an electric tooth brush in a towel to help massage the tummy, or even a pillow on top of the dryer. But if you have a demented dryer like mine (it likes to throw things off of it, practically), watch your pig super carefully.

    - Let your guinea pig go back to his cage and relax. Offer food as usual. You want him to start eating hay and drinking on his own. Offer romaine lettuce pieces, kale, or carrots. But not too much! If he is bloated, keep massaging!

    - If the area around his cage is less than 75 degrees, put a space heater near it. Put your arm in front of the cage for a few minutes, if you feel uncomfortable, then move it further away and put it on low. Monitor your piggy as often as possible. You want an electric space heater with an auto shut off feature for safety. Ours shuts off when the room reaches a decent temperature and kicks on when needed.
    This is what we have: Lasko 6221 Flat Panel Ceramic Space Heater - Adjustable Thermostat - 8

    Recovery

    -Your pig may take 2-3 weeks to recover, or longer, depending on his or her condition. Be patient, keep up your feedings and spend time with your pig. Let him know you love him and tell him he can make it through this. All he has is you, so love him. Postive attitudes and attention can do a lot for a sick animal.

    -Keep up communication with your vet and make sure they are informed of anything bad, such as gas that won't quit - guinea pigs can't pass gas well, it is very painful for them.

    This article comes from personal experience, don't give up!


    Edited by bpatters: Added information from Gigabyte's later post.
    Last edited by bpatters; 02-19-12 at 04:43 pm. Reason: Adding information.

  2. "Thank you, Gigabyte, for this useful post," say these 7 members:


  3. #2
    Cavy Slave Gigabyte's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Re: Treatment of G.I. Stasis

    Additional Notes - Big thanks to @bpatters for these awesome tidbits!

    - Belly massage alernatives to relieve gas include putting your pig on a vibrating pillow, wrapping an electric tooth brush in a towel to help massage the tummy, or even a pillow on top of the dryer. But if you have a demented dryer like mine (it likes to throw things off of it, practically), watch your pig super carefully.

    - If you have no access to Critical Care, you can make a pellet mash, or use Critter Be Better: http://www.americanpetdiner.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=americanpetdin er&Product_Code=CBB&Category_Code=Guinea_Pigs.

    - You need to get a lot of fiber in your pig - just veggies won't do!
    Last edited by Gigabyte; 02-19-12 at 04:31 pm. Reason: mention

  4. #3
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Treatment of G.I. Stasis

    Wow. This is really clear and concise. Can I recommend that it be a sticky?

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  6. #4
    Cavy Slave Gigabyte's Avatar
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    Re: Treatment of G.I. Stasis

    I have talked to bpatters and it may be a sticky if I got all my facts right! I've treated a lot of GI stasis and am entering vet tech school in fall to specialize in warm blooded exotics - guinea pigs, because there just are not enough vets and techs for them!

    I will probably use this for an essay one day. :D

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  8. #5
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Treatment of G.I. Stasis

    Good for you (and for all us)! We need more of you around.

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  10. #6
    Cavy Slave Gigabyte's Avatar
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    Re: Treatment of G.I. Stasis

    Thanks Cavylicious!
    It's officially a sticky! Yay!

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  12. #7
    Cavy Slave Kieri's Avatar
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    Re: Treatment of G.I. Stasis

    This is very helpful and wonderful information. Thank you :)

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