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Sick guinea pig loss of balance??

africandreams

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Just brought home a baby guinea pig today. Not sure of age but probably 8 weeks or so. I thought she was just really sweet since she didn't try to run when I picked her up from under the hidey. After getting her home and watching her in the cage I realize she didn't run because she can't. Every time she tries to walk is like her back half falls over. She is not moving a whole lot. Keeps laying on her side and even rolling over a few times like she couldn't get up. She is not eating anything. I tried to feed her some timothy hay and carrots but she wouldn't take them. It's lije she can't get her back legs up behind her but she does kick them when you pick her up. She also feels skinny and kind of cold. We did purchase her from petco (please don't bash me from buying from a pet store. I looked for a baby to adopt because I was scared to get an older one because I have kids). Petco told me to bring her back in the am and they would take her to the vet. Im not sure she will make it to through the night. I called back and asked if they had a vet she could go to tonight because I didn't think she would make it and they just said no. Any advice As to what this couled be? Can aN ear infection make them be that off balance and sort of lay side ways, roll over and kind of drag their back legs?


20150413 195940 LLS

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Soecara

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I know this is hard to hear but it sounds like she is dying. All you can do for her is make her comfortable and try and keep her warm. If she improves you can try force feeding her (http://www.guinealynx.info/handfeeding.html ), but if her body is shutting down force feeding will do more harm then good.
 

africandreams

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Thanks for your reply. That's what I'm afraid of. .....but any ideas why? What could cause this? She looks healthy otherwise.....no skin problems, nasal drainage, haven't seen any diarrhea etc......
 

Soecara

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Any number of issues could be the cause, malnutrition, infection, neurological issues, internal issues, poisoning, the list goes on. If she seems somewhat alert, is defecating, and has the strength to chew then you can attempt to force feed her.
 

3littlepigz

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Oh no! I'm so sorry. I just went through the same thing. My little girl had the same symptoms. Then she began shaking. Sadly she died yesterday morning as I was getting ready to take her to the emergency exotics vet. I'm sorry you are going through this. I agree with Soecara about trying to keep her as comfortable as possible.
 

bpatters

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It could also be a neurological problem, such as a stroke, or vestibular disease.

I'd hold her and offer her something to eat -- preferably a strong smelling vegetable that she likes and will tempt her to eat. If she's hungry and will eat, that's a good sign. I had a similar thing happen to one of my sows a year or so ago. She couldn't walk straight, and kept falling over. But she was hungry, so I held her and fed her, and she laid on her side and ate quite a bit. When I went to bed, I put her in a pile of hay right by her water bottle. By the next morning, she was walking nearly normally. I took her to the vet, who confirmed my not-a-stroke diagnosis, and he decided it must be vestibular disease (inner ear problem). A day later, she was fully recovered, and hasn't had any problem since.

If your pig isn't hungry, then things don't look nearly as good. As Soecara said, keep her warm and comfortable. If she wants water or food, give it to her, but don't force it.

Do keep us posted on how she's doing.
 

africandreams

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Thanks so much for the replies Unfortunately, she is gone. I wrapped her in a towel and was giving her tiny drops of water. She only swallowed a little. She just kept acting like she wanted to turn on her back or maybe she just couldn't tell which way she was. Breathing heavy and every few breaths she would kind of open her mouth. She made a couple of weird Grunt noises and died in my arms at 10:35. I just don't understand how she could decline so fast. I didn't see her walk in the pet store, the lady lifted the hidey and I picked her up. She kicked her back legs a little but didn't fight. She definitely didn't seem sick. I put her in the cage when we got home and she just sit there. I thought she was just scared. I'm so upset I just don't know what went wrong. 9 hours later and she is dead.
 

bpatters

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I'm sorry you lost her. Unfortunately, pet store pigs are often sick, missexed, pregnant, or have parasites because they're bred and raised in such horrible conditions. Your pig may have had genetic problems due to inbreeding, or have had an undiagnosed illness. Stories such as yours are one main reason why we recommend that people never buy from pet stores, but rather for pigs in shelters or rescues.
 

Soecara

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My condolences for your loss. I don't know if it would be worth contacting the store and asking if they want their vet to perform an autopsy to determine cause of death.
 

3littlepigz

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I'm so sorry for your loss. It's heartbreaking to lose your fur baby.
 

mdodge

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I'm sorry for your loss at least she wasn't alone when went and she knew you cared.
 

stray hares

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Oh no. I'm sorry for the loss of your little pig. Because they are prey animals, guinea pigs are incredibly skilled at hiding symptoms of being sick, so often by the time it's really obvious that they are sick, it's quite critical. Unfortunately, when you adopt or buy a piggy that's already sick you often don't have the same concept of what's normal for that piggy in terms of healthy behaviour so it can seem like they go downhill really quickly just because it's harder to pick up on the early warning signs. Heck, sometimes they seem to go downhill really quickly even if you've known your pig for years and pick up on subtle piggy things easily.

Your little girl looks bloated in that first image and it's very likely she was in gut stasis, which kills very quickly if not treated. Though that probably doesn't explain the paralysis/difficulty walking.

I also just wanted to add also that older piggies are probably best for kids because they're typically easier to handle and not as squirmy or flighty. Healthy baby pigs can be little firecrackers. Please don't be afraid to adopt adult piggies.
 

africandreams

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Oh no. I'm sorry for the loss of your little pig. Because they are prey animals, guinea pigs are incredibly skilled at hiding symptoms of being sick, so often by the time it's really obvious that they are sick, it's quite critical. Unfortunately, when you adopt or buy a piggy that's already sick you often don't have the same concept of what's normal for that piggy in terms of healthy behaviour so it can seem like they go downhill really quickly just because it's harder to pick up on the early warning signs. Heck, sometimes they seem to go downhill really quickly even if you've known your pig for years and pick up on subtle piggy things easily.

Your little girl looks bloated in that first image and it's very likely she was in gut stasis, which kills very quickly if not treated. Though that probably doesn't explain the paralysis/difficulty walking.

I also just wanted to add also that older piggies are probably best for kids because they're typically easier to handle and not as squirmy or flighty. Healthy baby pigs can be little firecrackers. Please don't be afraid to adopt adult piggies.

Yes she did look bloated in that pic but she was actually pretty skinny. I'm going back to the store today, I doubt they will do an autopsy. Don't think they care very much.
 

Beatrix187

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I am so sorry for your loss. RIP sweetie. I am praying for you and your family.
 

mamaduck71

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Sorry for your loss. If you go back to the store. Demand a refund and then take that $$ to a shelter, and adopt a piggy there. The Shelter needs the funds more then a pet store.
 

CavyMama

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I'm not sure where you are located but if you tell us your zip code, we can help you find a shelter or rescue in your area that has guinea pigs. Like others have said, this is one of many reasons that we do not support pet stores here. They get their "stock" from breeding mills. Many pigs they sell are missexed, ill or pregnant.
 

mickeyroczey

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I bought a guinea pig from petco and he had scurvy and a broken hind leg they in return blamed it on me and then banned me from buying any animals at that petco. I didnt even have the sweet little fella for a month I even for me out 300+ in vet bills and he died the next day id just make sure she is warm and loved if and when she passes I know its not easy to hear Like the first comment said just stay strong :(
 

dawntash

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So sorry for your loss. Rest In Paradise little one.
 

africandreams

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Thanks for all the responses. I did go back to the store and got a refund. They were "nice" about it but didn't seemed to concerned. Said they would call the regional distributer. I doubt they will.

I will never buy another one from petco. We bought one from petsmart and one from petco on the same day. Both baby females. That was almost a month ago. The one we bought from petco turned out to be covered in ringworm. I took her to the vet because of a spot on her face. She had another under her leg and a huge one on her back that her longer hair covered. I didn't even see it. I returned her to the store. I disenfected the cage and was bathing the other one in a medicated shampoo from the vet to hopefully keep her from getting it. Reluctantly that's when we bought the second one from a different petco and she died 9 hours later.

I didn't want our other little girl to be alone so we found another baby for "adoption" online. She is a teddy I believe. She was being kept in a small storage container. She does have one eye smaller than the other. I think maybe blind it. The lady said she bought her that way and couldn't take her to the vet. We just brought her home last night. Will make a vet appt today just to make sure she is ok other wise. Will start a new thread on her for opinions on her eye.
 
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