Where People & Piggies Thrive

Newbie or Guinea Guru? Popcorn in!

Register for free to enjoy the full benefits.
Find out more about the NEW, drastically improved site and forum!

Register
  • ONE THREAD per pig please!
    We really want your pig's history all in one place to help you. Please don't start a new thread for a new issue. Just reply to your old one. We can edit the title for you if needed.

Lethargy A rescue pig,

Caine

Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
8
Hey guys,

I've received a rescue guinea pig yesterday evening and I have some questions about his health and overall behavior. My sister found him at a park yesterday afternoon, apparently someone had abandoned the poor baby and he was hiding in the bushes. I'd say it was about 60F yesterday and rainy, and I assume he hadn't been out long. He doesn't have a runny nose, and he isn't coughing or wheezing and his eyes look fine. However, he's extremely lethargic.

The only thing that I haven't seen since he's been under my care is him pooping. I'm not sure how big or what shape they're supposed to be, but I may be missing it due to the hay that I've put in his enclosure. I've seen traces of urine, though. He seems to be eating relatively well, I've been able to feed him a little bit of a carrot and he's ate from his food bowl once. I'm going to try to get some timothy hay into him to see how he'll respond to that.

He also.. oinked at me. That's the only sound I can think of that matches the sound he was making, the oinking of a pig, that low grunt. He did it for about twenty seconds until I gave him a pet and assured him that I was there, and that's when he stopped.

The enclosure that I've made consists of a plastic clothes basket, a towel on the floor of the basket, and hay sprinkled sparingly on one side of the basket. I've also placed a paper bag in the enclosure as sort of a improvised "hide away".

Right now, and through the night he's been having his nose in a corner of the enclosure and it almost as if he's trying to tuck his head under his stomach. It may be just from the angle that I'm looking at him (his back is to the room and his nose is in a corner), but I'm not sure.

So, I'm stumped. I'm thinking that it could be stress related and that he's trying to come to terms with what has happened, but I'm really not sure. I've removed all the stressors I can, I've placed him in my room (which I'm ALWAYS in), and I've kept the noise I've made down to a bare minimum. Right now, we're sitting in silence other than the clacking on my laptop keyboard.

What do you guys think? Is it a health problem or is he just stressed?
 
Lethargy is never normal in a guinea pig, but on the other hand, guinea pigs in new places tend to hide and not move much.

There are several things you should consider/watch for.

One, he may be dehydrated. You don't know how long he's been out there, so make sure he has water. A water bottle is way preferable to a bowl, which he'll only pee and poop in, but he may not know how to use one. I'd definitely rig one up for him, though.

Second, that tuck-his-head-under-his-stomach movement means he's eating his poops. Eating the cecal ones is normal -- they all do that. Eating the fecal ones isn't usually done, but sometimes stressed pigs do it, sometimes ill pigs do it. But that could be why you're not seeing poop in the cage.

Give him some lettuce, and try him with a little bell pepper. Don't be alarmed if he doesn't eat it -- sometimes pigs have never been introduced to vegetables and will turn their noses up at them. But if he does eat them, they'll be good for him.

You don't have to worry about normal house noise. In fact, my pigs contribute considerably to the noise level in our house. Other than the barking dog, they're about the loudest things in it.

Try taking the paper bag out and just drape a towel over part of the top of the clothes basket. He'll feel safe enough, and you should be able to observe him better.

I'd also get him some hay. He needs a lot of hay, all the time, and he may eat that when he doesn't eat anything else.

Since it's the weekend, I'd probably just watch him carefully rather than trying to get him to an emergency vet. Put his food close to him so he doesn't have to venture too far for it. Keep looking for poops, or for a definite sighting of him eating them -- they'll be a good sign. Signs of pain and sickness include sitting hunched up with the hair puffed out, sunken-in eyes, sneezing, discharge from the eyes or nose, and refusal to eat. (But as noted, pigs in new situations sometimes don't eat, so that'll be a hard one to figure out.)

I probably would take him (do you know it's a him, by the way? See (broken link removed) for pictures on how to tell) to the vet tomorrow for a general checkover, but do look for an exotic vet. Most dog-and-cat vets know little or nothing about guinea pigs, with sometimes disastrous results. If you don't know of one near you, look on Guinea Pig Cages, Care, Shelters, Veterinarians - Guinea Pig Zone, where you can search for one in your area.

Do you plan to keep him? If so, we've got lots of other advice! :) But thank you for taking this little one in. Good luck, and keep us posted!
 
I would recommend doing what bpatters said. Lots of Timonthy Hay would be great. Do you have any pictures of the piggy?
 
Thanks for the reply, I REALLY appreciate it. I'm really worried about my new baby. :(

I've went out and purchased a water bottle yesterday and it's been hanging in his enclosure overnight, although I haven't seen him drink from it yet. I'm going to be watching him close today, and if I don't see him drink from it, would it be wise to give him a small bit of water via a syringe later tonight?

I've considered that he had been eating his own poop, but the strange thing is that it seems like he's always looking right at the ground. It could be just my impression of him, I'm not sure. He also seems to kind of waddle. I very well could be jumping at the slightest of things though, I have absolutely no experience with piggies and I'm taking a crash course online.

Thanks for the advice with the lettuce and bell pepper. :) He refused to eat the timothy hay when I tried to feed him by hand (I also placed a good bit in his food bowl), so maybe he'll respond better to lettuce. I've also got a towel over the basket and I have a good bit of bedding hay in there now. :)

Since there's hardly any noise in my room right now outside of me typing, would it be wiser to put on a little bit of soft music in the background? I'm just trying to stress the poor baby out any more than he already is. :(

I'm going to take your advice and just watch him today, and see how he's doing tomorrow. On closer inspection, he seems to have a small booger in his right nostril and I think I'm mistaking his staring at the ground for a hunched posture. As time goes on, the more it looks to me like a URI but a vet visit wasn't in my immediate future. Are there any home remedies to help alleviate the symptoms?

As for the gender, I'm just taking a random guess. I don't want to put any more stress on him than I already am, but I've two names picked out already.

I have every intention of keeping him, and it's why I'm doing all I can to help keep him (or her) in great health, so all the advice is more than welcome. :)

Also, I've attached a photo of when my sister first found him. I'd take a photo of his current set up right now, but it's her camera and, well, she has it, lol.
 

Attachments

533990_313807128692962_100001910310633_749962_1596901310_n.jpg
Update:

As soon as I put a towel over about a half of the cage, my baby immediately scurried towards the darkness and that's where he is now. I've put a lot more hay in there (much to his surprise) and I'm getting vocal sounds out of him now which is a major difference than yesterday. He's refused to eat the lettuce though, he snarled up his nose at me and he's not too keen on carrots either. I tried to give him some timothy hay to eat as well, but he didn't eat it, he just took it from my hand and held it between his teeth. I think he may have developed a bit of an attachment issue as well, since he's refusing to let go of me (to the point of gripping my shirt and socks and hiding his face in the creases of my clothing) which I find rather cute.

I also looked around a bit in his cage as well, and I haven't found any evidence of poop anywhere which worries me. It could be nerves though, I'm not sure.

I'm doing all I can to get him to a vet ASAP, but it may not be until Wednesday at the latest that I can come up with the money to do so. If it /is/ a URI, are there any home remedies to help ease the symptoms until then?
 
I would definitely take him to the vet tomorrow. An URI can turn deadly very fast, and the vet can alert you to any other health issues you might not be noticing. I would be very surprised if he's not sick, being out in the cold and damp, and the fact that someone dumped him. Remember to quarantine him, and wash your hands and change your shirt after you handle him. When you get to the vet, make sure to ask for Baytril-the doctor can put a note on your chart that you can have it if you need it, so you won't have to pay for a second visit. Take the pig over to the water bottle, and tap the end with your finger so he sees the water come out. That should give him the idea of what it's for. You can also wet down any veggies you give him. Soft instrumental music can be soothing, but I think that keeping him (her) in a quiet place for the first couple of days is best so he can settle in.Take the pig over to the water bottle, and tap the end with your finger so he sees the water come out. That should give him the idea of what it's foTake the pig over to the water bottle, and tap the end with your finger so he sees the water come out. That should give him the idea of what it's for.
 
it /is/ a URI, are there any home remedies to help ease the symptoms until then?
No, and Wed is too late. Can your sisiter or parents help you until you can pay them back? Offer to do extra house work? Make sure to put his food next to him, so he can eat without moving too far.
 
No, and Wed is too late. Can your sisiter or parents help you until you can pay them back? Offer to do extra house work? Make sure to put his food next to him, so he can eat without moving too far.

I'm going to speak to my sister when she gets off work this evening, and if she can't help, I'm going to a pawn shop tomorrow to trade in some collateral. Come Hell or high water, this baby is going to get to feeling better.
 
I'm going to speak to my sister when she gets off work this evening, and if she can't help, I'm going to a pawn shop tomorrow to trade in some collateral. Come Hell or high water, this baby is going to get to feeling better.

That's the spirit! Do make sure he's warm enough-being on the floor is colder than up on a table. Do you have other pigs?
 
i have a pig with chronic impaction problems, if it doesn't stress him out too much, if you pick him up and feel around by his butt, if you feel something hard, but moveable - if u can see something that looks like a lump of poo poking out of his butt, he may be impacted. what i do with my pig is to gentle squeeze above the lump, like milking a cow i guess, and help push the poo out. i don't like giving medical advise like this. all i'm saying is if you're worried about his poos, you COULD check to see is the poo is just stuck and then help ease it out if it is if he's not impacted, then the poo thing is something else. moderators, if this is an inappropriate post, please feel free to delete it
 
Every time I flip my boys over to check them, poop falls out. I have noticed with my cats that fear seems to make them constipated, tho'. You should check the sex anyway, then you can see if it's a boy and he's impacted.
 
Did you get him to the vet? How is he?
 
Did you get him to the vet? How is he?

I couldn't, unfortunately. :( He passed Sunday afternoon, he went into a coughing fit and passed rather peacefully. I was literally right beside him when he died, so I really hope that provided a bit of comfort for him as he passed over.
 
how lucky for him, and how sweet of you, that his last breaths here were someplace safe and warm, without fear of predators, and with someone who loved him!
 
Oh, I'm so sorry for your loss! How sad. I'm sure you did the best you could.
 
i don't want to hijack this thread, and i wanted this to be separate from my previous reply. the thing is, i've never, ever in my life heard of guinea pigs being found outside, running loose. does that tend to happen in certain parts of the country, or in countries other than USA? i find it pretty bizarre that anyone would just let a pig loose into he streets - but apparently it does happen. people never cease to amaze me.. .
 
i don't want to hijack this thread, and i wanted this to be separate from my previous reply. the thing is, i've never, ever in my life heard of guinea pigs being found outside, running loose. does that tend to happen in certain parts of the country, or in countries other than USA? i find it pretty bizarre that anyone would just let a pig loose into he streets - but apparently it does happen. people never cease to amaze me.. .

You'd be surprised how often it happens with all different breeds of animals.
 
Our first, Jumble, was dumped in the woods at 10 days old. Another pig at the rescue we're adopting from was found in a park after a hawk almost grabbed her. Another two were found in the parking lots of apartment buildings (separate occasions). Those are the lucky ones, who don't get thrown out in a metal dumpster in 105 degree weather at noon in July.

Sort of the guinea pig version of dumping "unwanted" dogs and cats in the countryside.
 
I couldn't, unfortunately. :( He passed Sunday afternoon, he went into a coughing fit and passed rather peacefully. I was literally right beside him when he died, so I really hope that provided a bit of comfort for him as he passed over.

I am so sorry for your loss -- and I am grateful that you took him in, and that he knew love before passing over the bridge. He brought your love with him, you know -- and he's popcorning with joy for it!
 
I know people who keep their guinea pigs outside during night in hutches and they wake up to find the screen doors open.
 
Status
This thread has been closed due to inactivity. You can create a new thread to discuss this topic.

Similar threads

Lavendergirl99
Replies
2
Views
325
bpatters
bpatters
L
Replies
4
Views
272
gpihgos
gpihgos
megamazing
Replies
5
Views
485
SSLee
SSLee
D
Replies
1
Views
512
bpatters
bpatters
M
Replies
2
Views
706
ManxMargie
M
Top