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Orphaned pups

moosey2002

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Jan 16, 2012
Messages
87
So our store bought female that we bought 4 weeks ago was pregnant (surprise!). On Valentines morning she surprised us with three babies! Mom seemed ok that first day, but yesterday was not drinking as much or eating as much and seemed to just hang out in the feeding box nursing her babies. I assumed this was ok since she just gave birth.

I went to work today and when I came home, she was listless and pushing the babies away. I took her right away to the vet, and she died maybe 5 minutes after we got there. We were all mortified...I had no idea this would happen. She ate well when I had her. I gave her plenty of fresh alphalfa hay, romaine lettuce, chickory, carrots...but the vet said with young moms and that large of a litter, she became calcium deficient fast due to the demand of nursing three babies.

So now I have 3 day old babies that I need to feed. 2 of them seem strong and have even started to eat hay and pellets, but the one is smaller and not eating except for what I gave it and hour ago when we returned from the vet. He said he's giving that one about a 50% chance of survival.

My paperwork said to feed them 3-5 times a day and offer water 3 times a day, but I didnt even think of overnight feedings. Do I need to feed them every three hours overnight at this point too?

Im reading different information on the web. Some places say they are fine at night since most guinea pigs sleep at night, others say every 2 hours till they are 5 days old, others say twice a night is fine. I was so distraught about watching the mom die right in front of my kids and myself that I just didn't ask all the questions that I should have.

They are sitting is a fleece cozy with the other female which is being a good nanny and snuggling with them, and I also have a lamp to help keep them warm. So how many feeding a nights should I do? This has turned out to be a horrific experience and I want to save these babies, and my kids from witnessing another unnecessary death.
 
I'm so sorry that happened to you and your pigs. :( I wish you the best of luck.
 
Don't know but just wishing you and the babies good luck.. R.I.P. Mummy gineapig
 
Oh I am so sorry for you and your kids. I am sorry I can't give you any advice, I leave that to those that are more experienced with these wonderful furbabies, but I do feel for you if that helps any. :eek:(
 
See my first response, but here is the most important right now: you need to feed them Critical Care and weigh them every day. Try offering Critical Care in a spoon at first and see if they will eat it. If not, you will have to force them to eat it by using a 1cc syringe with the tip cut off and sanded dull. Be sure to read how to properly force feed before doing it, because pups can aspirate. Leave plenty of fresh veggies, timothy hay, and alfalfa pellets are available at all times for the babies at this point. Alfalfa hay is a good idea too, calcium is critical for them, especially without mom. If they start dropping weight you will have to feed more aggressively and more often. At this point, you are probably going to want to feed them as much as possible.

If you don't have CC, you can mix pellets with water. Also, I like to offer water after every hand feeding.

So sorry you are dealing with this, it is tough but you can do it. Putting them with the other female was a good idea.
 
I received the critical care solution mix and syringes at the vet. Ive already given them 2 feedings since we've been home and the gobbled it up...and water after. The two stronger ones have nibbled on hay some too....the smallest one wont touch anything, but sucks down the syringe. I spend about 3-5 minutes feeding the 1cc....super slow....so far so good.
 
I'm sorry. That's a bad experience all the way around.

You need to hand feed the pup that's not eating. If you can get some Critical Care from the vet, that would be best, but Critter Be Better, from a pet store, or even a pellet mush will work. Some pups will eat from a spoon, and you can cross your fingers and hope that this little one will do that -- it's way easier than feeding with a syringe. You can mix the food with a little pumpkin (regular pumpkin, not pumpkin pie mix) or butternut squash baby food if you have trouble getting it down him (or her) plain.

If you do have to syringe feed him, you'll need several 1 cc. (or ml., they're the same thing) syringes without needles, and one larger syringe without a needle to fill the little ones with. It will be easier if you cut the plastic tip of the syringe off even with the plunger, so that it's easier to force the food out of the syringe. You can take the plunger out and smooth the end of the syringe off with a bit of sandpaper, or even hold it briefly in a match flame.

With a baby, it will probably be easier if there are two of you to do it. But if not, you can wrap the baby in a small towel like a burrito so it can't get away.

Fill the syringe with the food (don't make the mix too thick -- it's easier for both you and the pig if it's a little runny), hold the pig's head firmly with one hand, and work the syringe in behind the front teeth but in front of the back teeth. Slide it back toward the back teeth, being careful not to go too far. Push .2-.3 cc of the mixture into the pig's mouth. If the pig is chewing, it's swallowing.

You need to try to get 25-30 cc of the mixture into the pig every day as long as it isn't eating on its own. It will take a while to do each feeding, so be patient. You should feed it at least every 3 hours, and more often is probably better. If you can't get 5-6 cc. into the pup at each feeding, you may need to do it more often, like every hour or two.

You also need to syringe water or unsweetened pedialyte to keep the pup hydrated.

All the pups will also need vitamin C supplements. The drops would probably be by far the easiest to use.

Keep plenty of other food in the cage -- fresh veggies, hay, pellets, etc. If the pups see the nanny pig eating, they'll soon get the idea.

One thing you will have to do is stimulate them to poop. All baby animals need this, and the mothers usually do it by cleaning them around their genital area. You can do it with a wet washcloth, just wrap it around your finger and stroke the area several times.

Good luck! You've got your work cut out for you. Let us know how it goes.
 
I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. We just adopted a couPle girls a month ago, and one of ours is pregnant too, Ive been a little nervous for her because she's getting so big. I hope your lil baby pigs pull thru! The critical care really helped when we had one getting over surgery, hope it works for the young ones.
 
thank you all for the input and well wishes. This has certainly been a challenge. Im still confused The vet said to give 1ml of Critical care mix 3-5 times per day, 1ml of whole milk mixed with egg yolk 3-5 times a day, and offer water 3 times a day. So fare, Ive been successful at getting in 1 ml critical care, 1ml of milk mix and .5ml of water at each feeding. Ive seen the biggest 2 eat at the lettuce too, and even attempt a piece of pellet from the food bowl, but the little one still isnt trying (at least it is eating well from the syringe!) Do you think if the baby eat all of that in one sitting that I should offer more until it refuses to eat anymore, or no? Im not sure if I could overfeed and make them sick. I'm so paranoid right now its not even funny. I am really proud of out other female though. She was off of craigslist, approx 1 year old, and Ive had her for a little over a month. She is completely neurotic like some kid must have really freaked her out. She wont ever even come near us, but she is staying with the babies and sleeping with them and had calmed down tremendously...she's really stepped up to help. Most impressive.
 
Orphaned pups
Just wanted to share this photo from this morning. Skittles has taken her role as nanny very seriously! Before I disrupted them by turning the camera on, they were all snuggled in a pile together sleeping. :)
 
Arrgh... No milk for guinea pigs, and I for sure wouldn't feed it raw egg yolk. There's no way a little guy could fight off a salmonella infection.

You can feed it as much as it will eat. If it's eating well from the syringe, then don't force any more, but give it all it wants. But if it isn't eating from the syringe at all, then you'll have to force feed.

Try pulverizing some lettuce or cilantro in your food processor or blender, and syringing a bit of that. That may get the little one used to the taste of it, and maybe make it more adventurous about trying to eat the greens on its own.
 
Arrgh... No milk for guinea pigs, and I for sure wouldn't feed it raw egg yolk. There's no way a little guy could fight off a salmonella infection.

You can feed it as much as it will eat. If it's eating well from the syringe, then don't force any more, but give it all it wants. But if it isn't eating from the syringe at all, then you'll have to force feed.

Try pulverizing some lettuce or cilantro in your food processor or blender, and syringing a bit of that. That may get the little one used to the taste of it, and maybe make it more adventurous about trying to eat the greens on its own.
Really? no milk? this vet is suppose to be the local small animal specialist too. They are doing much better today, even with the milk. Ive been bumping up the critical care and giving less milk with each feeding. For the first time just now the smallest one actually came out and ate lettuce and some carrot with the others. So I guess my next question is, how do they learn to drink from the water bottle? Ive been giving water in the syringe with feedings, but Im not sure if I need to take them to the water bottle and show them or if this is something they should pick up on from watching the remaining adult? I also need to figure out how to get the bottle lower as its on the side of my c&c cage with a 4 inch side or coroplast, the water bottle barely clears that. Do they sell bottle with extra long spouts that I can poke through the side to get it lower, or will they just figure out they have to reach for now?

Im happy that they all seem to be venturing into the solids so fast, especially the little one finally :) Ill keep giving them the mash and water and stop the milk I guess.
 
One thing you will have to do is stimulate them to poop. All baby animals need this, and the mothers usually do it by cleaning them around their genital area. You can do it with a wet washcloth, just wrap it around your finger and stroke the area several times.

Good luck! You've got your work cut out for you. Let us know how it goes.
I actually saw the nanny licking their behinds earlier...so Im assuming this is what she was trying to help out with?
 
Awww, my heart goes out to you. You are being a wonderful G-Ma to these babies and Skittles sounds like she is doing a good job too. Keep up the good work, sounds like the furbabies are going to have a great life...
 
Awww, my heart goes out to you. You are being a wonderful G-Ma to these babies and Skittles sounds like she is doing a good job too. Keep up the good work, sounds like the furbabies are going to have a great life...
thanks! The plan was originally to rehome all but one, but now with all this personal interaction, Im not sure we"ll be able to part with them! they already hear me coming in the room and run up to line up and see who will get fed first...its funny!
 
Put a pad or something under the water bottle to raise the floor of the cage up a little higher. If you're using fleece, just slide it under the fleece. If not, just put it down in the bedding. They'll learn to drink by watching the nanny. For now, when you feed them veggies, just make sure they're very wet.

You've got a great nanny there -- she's doing an excellent job. And yes, she's stimulating them to poop when she cleans their bottoms.

All I can tell you is, I wouldn't give mine milk at all, nor would I give them anything with raw egg in it. Guinea pigs don't tolerate milk well at all after they're babies. And as I said earlier, no other kind of milk really confers any benefits on them. If they're eating veggies, hay and pellets, they're doing fine. And yea for the little one for finally coming out and eating!
 
I can't believe that happened!! :( How sad.
 
Put a pad or something under the water bottle to raise the floor of the cage up a little higher. If you're using fleece, just slide it under the fleece. If not, just put it down in the bedding. They'll learn to drink by watching the nanny. For now, when you feed them veggies, just make sure they're very wet.

You've got a great nanny there -- she's doing an excellent job. And yes, she's stimulating them to poop when she cleans their bottoms.

All I can tell you is, I wouldn't give mine milk at all, nor would I give them anything with raw egg in it. Guinea pigs don't tolerate milk well at all after they're babies. And as I said earlier, no other kind of milk really confers any benefits on them. If they're eating veggies, hay and pellets, they're doing fine. And yea for the little one for finally coming out and eating!
Thank again....great idea to put something under the fleece. Im so stressed out with all of this that I cant even think of the obvious...lol. Yeah, after reading up a little bit just now, I see that just about every search I did says no milk. Im really shocked that the "expert" I took them too would give such off advice? The fact that all three are now out trying to eat has me encouraged to just keep up with the mash and water supplementing. Im thinking of blending some pellets so they are smaller too as Ive seen them go and try, but they seem to lose interest fast.
 
I can't believe that happened!! :( How sad.
thank you. It was certainly a shock to us as well. W few weeks of ups and downs for sure. In four weeks, we had a new guinea pig, found out she was pregnant, had a surprise delivery on valentines day, her death, and now the uncertainty of the babies. No wonder my blood pressure was high when I went to y doctor this morning! lol. Im feeling MUCH better this afternoon seeing them pop around the cage, eat, play and torment their nanny...they gang up on her and its funny to watch her try her best to keep her cool. Shes been good and showing them when shes had enough and needs her alone time. Its so cool watching these interactions. I knew guniea pigs were social creatures, but this is really amazing....so I guess there is good coming out of a tragic situation after all. Crazy how we went from thinking they would die overnight to this all in 24 hours (and LOTS of feedings).
 
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