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Pregnancy My Apple is pregnant


Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Jul 4, 2014
Adopted her from a free ad, in crappy conditions, she was with a boy (who I also adopted). I figured she was already pregnant, but confirmed it a couple days ago with the vet. I took her into the vet because her cage mate developed a URI, and she was starting to show signs, plus I was pretty sure when I was holding her, I felt a kick. Dr. confirmed both URI and pregnancy. He took an Xray and only saw 1 baby. He estimated she is due in 2-3 weeks. I have added some alfalfa hay, and alfalfa pellets, but the problem is she is barely eating anything, probably due to the URI, and also maybe a little sadness/loneliness from missing her mate? (I had to separate him in a different room before I even knew she was pregnant because of his URI.) She is on antibiotics, liquid Vitamin C, and Critical Care. She hates taking all of it, and really struggles and I'm so afraid I'll hurt the baby. Anyway, any advice on guinea pregnancy (I've looked at lots of links, but still feel pretty lost!), and ideas on how to best care for my sick, pregnant piggy are appreciated!
You shouldn't feed her two sources of calcium, she only needs one. You can try a couple of sprigs of parsley a day instead of the alfalfa products as it might tempt her to eat it more since it's a herb and smells more palatable.

Is she also on a pro-biotic? Antibiotics can really put guinea pigs off their food, and a pro-biotic can combat that.

It's tough having to force feed a pregnant pig, I can't even imagine how overwhelmed you must feel. Wrap her up in a soft blanket or towel (fajita style, tucking under as well so her back legs can't wriggle too much) just firm enough that you can keep hold of her. Insert the syringe just behind her front teeth and aim it toward the back. Make sure you only syringe small amounts at a time so as she can chew and swallow before you give her more. If she's completely off her food, you'll need to syringe feed at 2 hour intervals (I think) 24 hours a day, but @bpatters can give better advice about that.

Is she drinking? If not, you'll also need to syringe her water.

Did your vet say she needs the liquid C, or are you just not feeding vegetables yet? Pigs get all the C they need from green bell pepper. She may be more inclined to eat yummy smelling vegetables.

As for the pregnancy, the usual advice would be to minimise handling, but obviously you're having to force feed and can't. Just be as gentle and calm as you can while still keeping her wrapped up for the syringe, the more she gets to squirm about the more stressful it is for her. She can have a totally normal diet of long stem grass hay, pellets, and veg, and so can the babies as soon as they're born, you also need to supplement them with extra calcium (either alfalfa hay, alfalfa pellets, or two sprigs of parsley per pup per day) I personally prefer the parsley route because you can hand feed it during lap time to bond.

Lastly, how old is your sow?
1. Ok I will take away the alfalfa hay and try the parsley instead. She does eat her veggies at least, so maybe she'll eat that.

2. She is not on a probiotic. Where would I get one? Would love to try that!

3. Thanks for the advice on hand feeding. I call it a "guinea pig burrito." :)

4. She is drinking, thank goodness!

5. Yes the vet prescribed the liquid C. I'm getting such mixed advice on C supplementation. Most forums and my local GP rescue say to feed veggies daily and supplement w a C vitamin every 1-2 weeks, but the vet tech (not the vet himself) told me I need to give C daily. That was the first time I'd ever heard that. Anyway, she's only supposed to be on the liquid C for 2 weeks, while she recovers from the URI. The place that I got them from had never given hay or veggies, so he was worried that she would be pretty deficient.

6. Thanks for the pregnancy advice too. I wish I did not have to handle her, but yep, she does need to eat!

7. Not completely sure, but the people I got her from said about 3 months, and that was almost a month ago, so maybe 3.5-4 months.

Thank you!
I wouldn't take away the alfalfa hay and pellets if she is at all interested in them. They have more protein and calories than timothy. Pregnancy increases the demand for protein and calories.
When piggies are not eating here, we'll offer them a few different types of pellets and hay just to see if there is one that might get them eating. It's important that she eats.
Glad to hear the pig burrito is working for you. This link should give you all the info you need about pro-biotics, https://www.guinealynx.info/probiotics.html

If she was not fed vegetables before she came to you then she is almost definitely is suffering from scurvy (https://www.guinealynx.info/scurvy.html). The vet putting her onto vit C for two weeks is the treatment for scurvy, although a one week treatment course is much more common. If by some chance she wasn't suffering from scurvy then at the very least pregnant guinea pigs do have a higher need for vit C and extra vit C is believed to help the immune system of sick guinea pigs.

Long term she should not need vit C supplements as long as her diet is appropriately balanced, however long term supplementation has little ill consequence unless you are giving a really high dose (which could cause pseudo scurvy if suddenly stopped and can affect growth).
Good news today! I think we found a good way to hand feed her! She really, really hates the guinea pig burrito, so today I leaned over her, with her back to my chest, and let her put her front paws up on my hand, so she's standing only on her hind legs, and she took all her stuff this way! Woohoo!! She has decided that maybe Critical Care is not too terrible, and maybe even good! Yay! So glad I found a way to do it that she doesn't hate! She's back in her cage now, munching on her veggies, which is also good!
Excellent news on working out the best way for the critical care feeding! The extra vitamin c won't hurt her and should help boost her immune system so I'd continue with it. My former vet sold me (really expensive) liquid vitamin c that my piggies hate, but they love the oxbow daily c tablets so you may want to buy some of those.
Just a quick update... I tried the probiotic yesterday and it did make a slight difference in her eating - she finally ate some hay! Not a lot, and not enough to stop the Critical Care, but still, we're making progress! I'm going to give it to her again today.

I moved her into a Midwest habitat last night, I am reading mixed information on how or if I need to babyproof it. Do I need to babyproof the Midwest cage?

Also, I thought I'd share a picture. Here's my sweetie:

My Apple is pregnant
She's very pretty, I hope she feels better fast!
I could be wrong but I believe the spaces between the bars on the Midwest Habitat are small enough where you shouldn't need to. Do you know how big the gap is?
I'll measure again when I get home, but I think they are 1 inch apart.
She's so pretty! The bars are 1 inch apart, so you'll need to baby proof. The safest is 3/4" openings or smaller. Just cover at least 10 inches up the sides with cardboard scraps or coroplast. I hope she feels better and has a safe delivery!
a cheaper way is just clip sheets of shower curtain or something on, i haven't done it myself but my friend did and it worked perfectly, just cip the sheet from the outside, but have the sheet on the inside, then it holds really well!

xx hope this helps!
Using the shower curtain doesn't prevent the pig from squeezing in to the gaps as shower curtain is flexible. You need to do grid overlapping so as the gaps are too small to squeeze in to.
She is a week into her antibiotics and still not eating very well at all, and of particular concern is that she's eating very little hay. She is eating SOME hay and SOME pellets, but I'd class it in the "barely enough to even count" category. She will eat her veggies. I have tried every variation of hay that I have (bluegrass, timothy, orchard, and even the cheap Kaytee stuff) and she is just not interested. I didn't give her veggies tonight in hopes that she will eat some hay instead. (I gave her liquid Vit-C instead.) She lost some weight again (she had been gaining or maintaining) so I gave her some Critical Care (which she has now decided she hates again.) Arrgh. I have given probiotics (both poop soup and capsules.) I feel hopeless and worried. Is stopping the abx a week into it a terrible idea? I mean is it worth the consequences of her not eating and especially not eating hay? Should I ask the vet for different abx? What can I do?
What is the name of the antibiotic you are giving her? Some pigs develop a problem with a particular one, and often benefit from a change.

I would continue with the liquid C. Sick pigs need supplementation.

Are you giving her fruit? I usually give pregnant pigs more fruit than usual.

What are her symptoms? Are they mild or severe? There's a possibility that it's not the antibiotics that are taking her appetite away, but the URI.

See if the vet will prescribe something to boost her appetite. Perhaps some Reglan.
There's no brand name, it says Trimethoprim/Sulfamethoxazole 48mg/ml.

Will continue w/Vit-C.

Not giving fruit. Reticent to give her fruit until she eats more hay.

The thing about her URI is her symptoms were never very strong. Her cagemate got it, and the only sign she really showed was rapid breathing and a little congestion. The vet's words were "I suspect a URI." So... I don't know. She doesn't have any symptoms currently, but I'm sure that's from the abx.

Thanks, I will call the vet tomorrow and ask for that. They are open on weekends.

She did eat a decent helping of hay last night, so that's good.
That's Bactrim, and it's not very effective against URIs.
So should I ask them for a different antibiotic?
Oh I do remember him saying that he was giving her a more pregnancy safe antibiotic, so maybe that's why he chose that one. My other (male) piggie got Meloxicam.
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