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Behavior Eating too fast and what to do about it?

ThePiggieLover

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Hi hi! I have a guinea pig and she has a habit of eating really fast and coughing during and i'm just a little concerned about her every time she does it that she might start to choke. It seems pretty normal as she eats WAY to fast compared to my other piggy. My question is what can I do about her fast eating and how can I make sure she doesn't choke? I've heard of people putting marbles in the dish to make the piggy eat around them but I think she'll just try to eat the marbles and it doesn't seem very safe.
 

bpatters

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Are you talking about vegetables? If so, what size chunks do you cut them in? I think they're much more likely to eat too fast with small bits than with big chunks.

If you decide to put marbles in the dish, just make sure they're the really big ones so she can't get them in her mouth.
 

ThePiggieLover

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well today she did it with everything. Meaning she did the coughing thing with her pellets her hay and some lettuce. It's just a little odd for her because she usually doesn't do this multiple times a day but she is acting fine and breathing normally.

All veggies and hay is not cut and is at its full size. Like today I was feeding her a romaine leaf and she started to cough after she ate it.
 

Candalalala

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I noticed one of my piggies was coughing during their veggie dinner. She also had an abscess on her neck that may have been making her have a tough time (or could be unrelated... But she hasn't really choked since). Check to see if he neck is okay? My advice may be really out there though lol
 

bpatters

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The only other thing I can think of is that she may just be really hungry. Does she always have hay in the cage?
 

ThePiggieLover

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The only other thing I can think of is that she may just be really hungry. Does she always have hay in the cage?

She has access to unlimited timothy hay and pellets all morning, then I take out the pellets and give her salad she eats that up and I give her back the remaining pellets from her 1/8 cup that she didn't finish in the morning.
I think she just really likes food. She's okay today just a little grumpy that I keep checking on her :D
 

ThePiggieLover

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Just for future reference does anyone know what to do if a guinea pig chokes? I haven't really been able to find anything solid online and I think it would be good knowledge to have just in case.
 

spy9doc

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Do you know what the Heimlich Maneuver is for choking humans? A modified version (modified for a much smaller creature) worked for me on one occasion.

Fortunately, I was in the room next to the cage when one of the boys began choking. When a cavy chokes, it is best to allow them to cough and hopefully cough it up. I could tell that this little one wasn't able to dislodge the offending piece of food, and I reached into the cage, picked him up by his back half and back legs, hung him upside down, and with the other hand used my thumb to forcefully and quickly (and gently) squeeze his belly......and the offending piece of food shot out.

Who knows if the piggy Heimlich did the job or merely holding him upside down was enough?
 

ItsaZoo

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Do you think she's eating fast because she doesn't want the other pig to get all the food? Maybe if she was separated or there was something in the cage to block her view of her cagemate, I don't know.
 

ThePiggieLover

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[MENTION=42766]ItsaZoo[/MENTION] , It could very much be like that but its more likely that she is just really excited to get her salad that she wants to gobble it down as fast as possible. I will try separating them today and hopefully they will both eat their salad in peace
 

ThePiggieLover

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Joined
Feb 9, 2020
Messages
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Do you know what the Heimlich Maneuver is for choking humans? A modified version (modified for a much smaller creature) worked for me on one occasion.

Fortunately, I was in the room next to the cage when one of the boys began choking. When a cavy chokes, it is best to allow them to cough and hopefully cough it up. I could tell that this little one wasn't able to dislodge the offending piece of food, and I reached into the cage, picked him up by his back half and back legs, hung him upside down, and with the other hand used my thumb to forcefully and quickly (and gently) squeeze his belly......and the offending piece of food shot out.

Who knows if the piggy Heimlich did the job or merely holding him upside down was enough?

Thank you! This is amazing knowledge to have even if a piggy never chokes it is great to be prepared
 

spy9doc

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Thanks for the acknowledgment.

As I said, this was based on a one-time incident. As many of you know, I'm a healthcare professional (not currently in practice) and frequently teach for the Red Cross as well. After teaching First Aid & Rescue for several years, it was just my natural instinct to modify what one would do for a small human in trouble and apply it to a pet.......in this case, a cavy. I have never taught pet first aid and can't verify that this is an approved maneuver for them. Fortunately, it worked.
 
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