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 Lethargy, soft stools, sludge in urine?

Cherryblossom

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Mar 16, 2011
Messages
150
While cleaning my pigs' cage, I noticed their stool was softer than normal. Pretty sure I was feeding too many veggies, I decreased their daily veggies and increased their hay. By the next day, their stool was back to normal. I also noticed sludge in their urine, but it didn't smell very strongly and I'd say it was more powdery than gritty... So I think it was okay.

My normal routine is to do laptime with each of my guinea pigs separately and then let them have floortime/free-range time. They can climb up and down stairs with ease, so they have the staircase and the whole hallway, sometimes my room too (which is guinea pig proofed). As soon as I put my piggy down she usually rushes upstairs right away. But today, she was just sitting there until I put my other piggy up, and only went up when her friend did.

I also weigh my guinea pigs every week, and this is the data of the last few weeks.
5/8/12- 41.47 oz.
5/14/12- 42.95 oz.
5/21/12- 43.08 oz.
5/30/12- 41.65 oz.

I know guinea pigs are usually weighed in grams but on the guinea lynx site, the weight fluctuation was measured in ounces so i measured in ounces. As you can see, there was 1.43 oz. of weight decrease. 1 ounce is okay and 2 is 'go on alert' so it's a little iffy.

My other guinea pig seems fine, weight and lethargy-wise...

Should I be worried? Do you think she'll be okay?
 
You said you "Increased their hay" Hay should be give in unlimited quantities 24/7 plus only about 1 cup of veggies, and 1/8 a cup of pellets, is this what she is getting? If not that may be the problem. Also what kind of veggies are you feeding her?
 
I give them a LOT of hay- hay in the morning, when I get home, around dinner, at night. Whenever I can. I will give them unlimited hay from now on though. However, her diet hasn't suddenly changed...
I give them romaine lettuce, green leaf lettuce, zuchhini, baby tomatoes (?), bell peppers, carrots, the occasional fruit. I also throw in a little bit of any vegetable we may have handy, but romaine lettuce and zuchhini i give almost every day. Obviously I don't give all of this in one day though, and alternate all these veggies. The past week I've been giving them romaine lettuce, green leaf lettuce, and zuchhini. I also fed them a few strawberry tops (not every day), and a couple blackberries (also just a few a week). I feed each pig a cup of veggies a day and 1/4 cup pellets total (2 pigs).
I also plan to weigh them tomorrow.
 
I have been having an issue with soft stool with one of my girls. May I ask what pellets you are feeding?

Also my girls weight fluctuates a little because they move around in the weighing box and it is hard to get an accurate weight.
 
I have been having an issue with soft stool with one of my girls. May I ask what pellets you are feeding?
I feed my guinea pigs Timothy choice pellets from KleenMama's hayloft.
Also my girls weight fluctuates a little because they move around in the weighing box and it is hard to get an accurate weight.
I don't think that's the case for my guinea pigs... They stay still when they're weighed.
 
It is interesting you feed KMs pellets. I have had 4 bouts of loose stool since starting Timothy Choice KMs pellets March 12th this year. I never had a problem with my girl before that. She just can't take any change in diet, such as new hay and can't seem to tolerate any excess in veggies at all.

The bouts of loose stool, usually lasts 8 - 12 hours and she strains and cries when passing her stool. They get very soft and misshapened and the last bout two days ago was the worst. Soon as she starts passing loose stool I cut way back on the veggies or grass or any new hay, etc. and she returns to normal.

I have an appointment with the vet Thursday to talk over a game plan and have taken her off the KMs pellets for now and put her back on the ones I used to use. Zoe is just over a year and has never had an issue with food before March 12th.

The bout of loose stool on Friday was pretty bad. It started Friday afternoon. She was actually passing blood in her stool. By late Saturday night the stools were free of blood and they were totally back to her normal shape and size. I noticed the blood on the bedding and when I squished the stool between toilet paper I could see some red. I have been squishing poop for two days and since Saturday night I see nothing but lovely, normal poop, which tells me it must be diet related for her to recover so quickly. Throughout this she still ate, drank and moved around.

It will be interesting to see what her vet says on Thursday.

I have cut out all grass and are keeping the veggies to a minimum until I talk to her vet.
 
It must be different for each pig, because I've fed them KM pellets for over a year without any problem. As for soft stools, my pigs didn't have it nearly as bad as you described. They were fine but it was just a slight bit softer, which I hope isn't anything but too many veggies. I guess I'll find out when I weigh them tomorrow...
 
It must be different for each pig, because I've fed them KM pellets for over a year without any problem. As for soft stools, my pigs didn't have it nearly as bad as you described. They were fine but it was just a slight bit softer, which I hope isn't anything but too many veggies. I guess I'll find out when I weigh them tomorrow...

I am glad to hear you haven't had a problem before. I really was hoping KMs pellets would work for my girls and they still might. There is a chance it is just a coincidence that the problem started at the same time I started the new pellets. Maybe her digestive system is just getting more sensitive as she gets older. I keep a daily journal on what I feed them and how they react so I can see if any patterns are forming.

I hope it works out well for you and your piggy.
 
I really was hoping KMs pellets would work for my girls and they still might.
Did you try changing the food gradually?
1st week- 25% new food 75% old
2nd week- 50% new food 50% old
3rd week- 75% new food 25% old
4th week- 100% new food 0% old

I hope it works out well for you and your piggy.
Thank you, I really hope it's nothing serious.
 
@Delaine, apparent pain when pooping is often a sign of a urinary tract stone -- I'd take her for an x-ray to rule that out.

It's very doubtful that the pellets would cause that kind of problem. She may well have an intestinal organism causing some problem. Those are usually treated with flagyl, which guinea pigs tolerate very well. One of mine even likes the taste of it.

Also, if she has ongoing problems with this, I'd cut the veggies out altogether for two or three days, and then add them back one at a time, waiting 2-3 days before adding another. It's not at all unheard of for guinea pigs to be intolerant of some vegetable.

For the powdery urine, try changing from romaine to either red or green leaf lettuce. Some pigs excrete powder in their urine when they eat romaine, others don't. Nobody knows why, but plenty of pigs, including my two, can't tolerate it.
 
@Delaine
For the powdery urine, try changing from romaine to either red or green leaf lettuce. Some pigs excrete powder in their urine when they eat romaine, others don't. Nobody knows why, but plenty of pigs, including my two, can't tolerate it.
Hmmm... I've always fed my pigs romaine lettuce and they had no problem with it...
 
So I weighed my piggies again... her weight decreased again. So it'd be:
5/8/12- 41.47 oz.
5/14/12- 42.95 oz.
5/21/12- 43.08 oz.
5/30/12- 41.65 oz.
6/4/12- 40.87 oz.

My other pig only decreased one ounce, and before that only about... 0.15 of an ounce so she is fine.

There are no signs of lethargy any more though, which leaves me puzzled. And as I said earlier, the soft feces went away, the sludge is gone in the urine... So what should I do? Should I make an appointment with the vet...?
 
bpatters

I will talk to the vet on Thursday about urinary tract stones. Thank you. Do they also get soft stool and blood in the stool with an urinary tract stone?

She has never had barley before and that is one different ingredient in KMs pellets. I agree it could just be a coincidence, but I need to start eliminating maybe causes and this started 10 days after starting KMs pellets. Do intestinal organisms run in cycles and maybe flare up every two to three weeks. She has totally normal stool in between.

Her breeder suggested cutting out all the grass for now. She feels mushy poops is a reflection of her greens diet.

The problem is it is random and only lasts 8 - 12 hours and then clears up. She then goes another two or three weeks before another bout. I haven't ruled out stress. She had two episodes after I was away overnight and had a sitter take care of them, but it happened two days after I got back one time and four days after I got back the second time. I would think it should have happened sooner if it was related to me being away.

The last time this happened I gave her some leaf lettuce from the garden so I am going to wait until after the vet visit to try anything new.

Thanks so much for the suggestions.
 
I'd start keeping a food diary and notes on when she has the problems -- maybe you can spot a pattern.
 
I'd start keeping a food diary and notes on when she has the problems -- maybe you can spot a pattern.

Thanks, bpatter. I have been keeping daily notes since February 25, 2012 and I can see some patterns forming for sure. I believe it is not just one thing but a combination of things and when you put them all together they have overwhelmed her system. I believe she is getting too much of the good stuff. I have been thinking of grass as hay but because of the extra nutrients and moisture content it really needs to be limited.

I was getting low on hay so picked up a bale of 2nd cut Timothy and a half bale of a local grass hay from the coast of B.C. and one of the bouts started after introducing her to the new hay. My sister has a horse that is very sensitive to anything new and she may be able to give her one flake of new hay, but two flakes will give her loose stools, until her system adjusts.

So it will be a balancing act. Last year she had no trouble with grass, garden veggies, etc. I was probably giving them double what they get now, because at the time I was unaware of the appropriate amount to feed and them were always wanting more.

It will be interesting to see what the vet advises on Thursday. I am still going to discuss stones with her.
 
So does anybody know if I should schedule a vet appointment?
 
She's only down half an ounce in a month, and you say she doesn't have any other symptoms. I'd keep weighing her regularly, and if it continues to decrease over the next few weeks, or if she starts losing a lot, then I'd take her in.
 
I'd do it at least once a week, and if you're still worried, do it more often.
 
Okay thanks for the advice!
 
Status
This thread has been closed due to inactivity. You can create a new thread to discuss this topic.

Similar threads

flowerpaw
UTI/Urinary Tract Infection Is this blood in her urine?
Replies
3
Views
229
flowerpaw
flowerpaw
JustMe_Soso
Replies
5
Views
556
4boipigs
4boipigs
Top