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Conditions Anyone have advice on what might be going on.


Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Jun 27, 2006
Oliver is our 6 (almost 7) week old boar. Soon after he came home to us he had a URI and then a week later he injured his right front leg. We're not sure how it happened and have since removed every single thing he could get caught or stuck in from the cage, including the hay rack. We took him to the vet and had him x-rays done and nothing was broken. Our vet, who is amazing, said that he may have pulled it or gotten it caught on something and to keep an eye on him. Within 2 days he was fine and using the leg again with no pain or limping.

Yesterday morning the pigs all had their veggies, we have 2 sows as well but they are in a separate cage and Oliver is alone at the moment. That was at about 10a. At noon I went to take the litter tray from his cage to clean out and noticed he was limping and not putting weight on his front left foot. No one had picked him up, he'd been fine at 10a, and now as limping. I called the vet immediately and she suggested keeping an eye on him for swelling and see if it takes care of itself like the other leg did. If he's not better by tomorrow he'll go and be checked out.

My question is has anyone had this happen before? There is literally nothing he can be injured on in his cage and no one had handled him previous to the limping. Can guinea pigs be prone to dislocating elbows like some kids can with nursemaid's elbow? Or could this be a sign of something else going on? I checked Guinea Lynx but didn't find any info that pertained to what was going on. If anyone has any input I'd appreciate it.
Did you examine him closely to make sure he hasn't been bitten, maybe by a spider? Spider bites usually make small holes where the tissue is necrotic, but not always.

If you softly pinch his leg, can you tell whether it's his foot, his ankle, or his leg that is hurting?

Does he have very shiny hair?
It may be a calcium deficiency or fractured bone.

Did he get good nutrition as a pup?

Is he at his ideal weight? Being overweight can cause a stress fracture.
bpatters- it's his elbow that is swollen, and that seems to be where he's in pain. He's not putting any weight on that leg at all but the elbow seems to be the site where it's sore. No sign of spiders anywhere in the house and I did look him over just in case he got bit by something I didn't see. His fur/hair is shiny and he's eating and drinking normally, just not using that leg and seems to be resting a bit more than normal because it's sore.

Gigabyte- I know he was in a bad situation before we got him at about 5 weeks old. I don't know anything about his Mom or the nutrition/health condition she was in when she had him. I know he was only fed cheap food with seeds and such in it, and got a carrot "once in a while" and I'm not sure on the hay. Since we've had him he's put on weight, eats everything we give him and came through a URI with antibiotics fairly quickly. He's playful and seems happy minus the sore elbow. As far as weight goes, he's probably right on track for his age if not a few grams under ideal weight, definitely not overweight though.
The reason I was asking about the shiny hair is because satin pigs, which are very shiny, almost always have osteodystophy. But I missed reading his age when I read your post, and even if he is a satin, he's almost certainly too young to have problems yet.

I know it isn't funny, but I had to laugh when I read your post. It reminds me so much of my great-great-niece, who lived with us for about six years. She's the world's biggest hypochondriac, and exaggerates every ache and pain. One day when she was about eight she called me from school to tell me she'd hurt her leg, and the nurse had put a bandage on her ankle. I met her at the school bus that afternoon, and she got off hopping on one leg. It wasn't until she'd hopped halfway home that I realize that the foot she's putting on the ground is the bandaged leg! When I pointed that out, she said, "Oh!," and started hopping on the other one!
I don't really know what type he is bpatters but I don't think he's a satin. He isn't super shiny just average shiny.

My son is a hypochondriac like that, once when he was 6 he climbed down from his top bunk bed and walked down the hallway to tell me he couldn't sleep because his legs didn't work.

He's still limping tonight and the swelling is visable in the elbow joint area so I'll be making a call to the vet again in the morning. We did have several doses of the pain medication they gave us last week for the opposite leg that we didn't have to use and were told to let him take that if he seemed uncomfortable.

Poor guy, it's just very odd to have the same thing happening on the opposite side almost a week later with no known cause. I hope we figure it out and this isn't some underlying joint problem he'll have to live with his whole life.
Is he getting enough Vitamin C? About a month after getting my girls at 5 weeks old, I noticed Zoe seemed kind of lame and didn't want to move around as much as her sister. They had been getting Vit. C before I got them and I was feeding them a good diet but no extra C. I started them on Oxbow Vit C tablets and within a few days she was way more active and all her stiffness was gone. It might of been a coincidence, but I haven't seen any problems since. Maybe Vit. C would help him heal faster. I would prefer to see my guinea pigs get their quota of Vit. C from food, but they are just not big pepper eaters and some of the other high Vit. C foods are also high in calcium.
Extra vitamin C certainly wouldn't hurt him, and might help. You can use the chewable kids' tablets -- just give him about 1/4 of one sprinkled over his veggies, or get the drops and syringe them to him.
Osteodystrophy shows up very clearly on an xray as mottling of the bones so I doubt that would be the cause. It also usually starts with the hind legs and mimics scurvy, at first.
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