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Not Eating Pebbles might not make it through the night.

lattelove

Active Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Sep 18, 2021
Messages
25
I noticed yesterday that our precious boy Pebbles had not eaten much, if any, of the hay we had put out for him the night before (we usually refill 2 hay racks every day). I threw out the vegetables he hadn't eaten (it's normal for him to leave a little in his bowl) and replenished with fresh veggies, but he wasn't interested in them. His pellets had not been touched either. Today he stopped eating and drinking altogether, and is pooping very little. I having been giving him water and pureed pellets (I could not find Critical Care locally) through a syringe today. He's not very interested in that either, but will take a tiny bit each time I offer it. He has pooped a few little pellets today, but no where near a normal amount.

I do have an appointment tomorrow afternoon (earliest I could get) with a vet who sees exotic animals. If he does survive the night, what else can I do in the mean time to make him comfortable and keep him from suffering?

I don't know whether or not he is impacted, so I don't know if continuing to feed him is helping or making the problem worse. It could be that he is not pooping because he's just not eating much. I gave him two warm baths yesterday and massaged his abdomen and rectal area, and he did poop a little each time, but it was normal-looking poop, not a big impaction.

One other unusual thing I noticed was that once yesterday and once today, some of his poop had fuzzy white stuff mixed in. Upon closer look, I could tell that it was his paper bedding (we use a mixture of paper and Aspen bedding). I have read that many guinea pigs eat their bedding occasionally with no ill effects, but could this have caused a blockage somewhere?

He does seem to be in discomfort at times, and he is interacting with us less. He makes very soft noises when we hold him rather than his usual purrs or squeaks.

I would appreciate any advice for keeping him as comfortable as possible, whether to continue to feed or not, and if there is something else I should do to determine if he has an impaction. We are heartbroken.
 
Sadly, Pebbles passed overnight as I had feared. I was hoping that either we would awake to find that he was eating again and starting to do better, or that he would pass peacefully overnight. I did not want to be trying all day to keep him alive while waiting for the vet appointment, only to find out that he was suffering and that there was nothing we could do. I am happy that in his last day with us he got to experience comfort and love.
 
I am so very sorry you lost Pebbles. They create such a big presence in our lives and their loss can be devastating. I for one have never gotten over losing any of my boys.

Rest in Wheeks, Pebbles.
 
I'm very sorry you lost him.
 
Thank you very much. We were all shocked at how quickly he declined, even with constant care, once his food intake decreased. I wish we could have identified the problem sooner and gotten him veterinary care, but all looked well until it didn't.
 
My condolences to you. These little ones can decline so quickly. They tend to hide symptoms of illness and can be ill for a while before we know it. You did all that you could for Pebbles.
 
My condolences to you. These little ones can decline so quickly. They tend to hide symptoms of illness and can be ill for a while before we know it. You did all that you could for Pebbles.
Thank you so much. I do feel like we did everything we could as soon as we recognized how sick he was, but I can't help wondering if there were signs earlier that we missed. I'm still puzzled by the paper bedding found in his droppings, and wondering if that had anything to do with him getting sick, or if he started eating it BECAUSE he was sick. We will never know, but it appears that he went quickly rather than suffer for days, so that gives me some peace.
 
Yes, we always look back and second-guess ourselves. Eating some paper usually is not an issue, but sometimes they chew on things when they’re in pain.

I had one that started burrowing through her hay. I thought she was choosing the best pieces. Then she started dropping weight. I watched her eat realized she was just moving the hay around, she wasn’t taking it into her mouth and eating. The vet did extensive diagnostic tests, physical exams under anesthesia, images of her entire head, neck, and mouth. Everything appeared normal. We tried pain medication and hand feeding but in the end I had to put her down. I’ll never know why she could no longer eat. These little ones can put us through our paces, that’s for sure.
 
Yes, we always look back and second-guess ourselves. Eating some paper usually is not an issue, but sometimes they chew on things when they’re in pain.

I had one that started burrowing through her hay. I thought she was choosing the best pieces. Then she started dropping weight. I watched her eat realized she was just moving the hay around, she wasn’t taking it into her mouth and eating. The vet did extensive diagnostic tests, physical exams under anesthesia, images of her entire head, neck, and mouth. Everything appeared normal. We tried pain medication and hand feeding but in the end I had to put her down. I’ll never know why she could no longer eat. These little ones can put us through our paces, that’s for sure.
Oh, I am so sorry to hear of the extensive tests you went through with your guinea pig just to lose her in the end! I also checked in Pebbles' mouth to see if it was an issue with his teeth (he broke a tooth once when younger, so we know the drill with that), but all looked well that I could see. He did seem to be in some pain on his last day with us (he made a noise that sounded like painful straining several times that day), so he could have had a blockage, or maybe some other intestinal issue or even a tumor somewhere. It makes me so sad for our little guy.
 
Oh, I am so sorry to hear of the extensive tests you went through with your guinea pig just to lose her in the end! I also checked in Pebbles' mouth to see if it was an issue with his teeth (he broke a tooth once when younger, so we know the drill with that), but all looked well that I could see. He did seem to be in some pain on his last day with us (he made a noise that sounded like painful straining several times that day), so he could have had a blockage, or maybe some other intestinal issue or even a tumor somewhere. It makes me so sad for our little guy.
I know how much it hurts to lose a pig. I never have more than two at once, other than the time I had three. I learned from that experience.

I had two boys, Punkin and Scooter that got sick very close to one another. Within about a week or so. Infections, but in different parts of their body. To make a very long story short, after spending roughly $10K at the vet over seven months, I lost them both anyway.

Second guessing is normal, but in the end nothing will bring them back. If its possible to learn something from the experience, take what you can from it. That's one of the ways they live on, in the experiences they teach us how to deal with things in the future.

I've never gotten over losing any of my boys. I have each of the five I have lost so far, had their names and pawprints tattooed on my right forearm. In that way they are always with me, and even though Pooper, my first as an adult, will have been gone 8 years now come October I think of him, and all of them, daily. Carry the memories Pebbles left you with proudly. The ones we love are never really gone.
 
I know how much it hurts to lose a pig. I never have more than two at once, other than the time I had three. I learned from that experience.

I had two boys, Punkin and Scooter that got sick very close to one another. Within about a week or so. Infections, but in different parts of their body. To make a very long story short, after spending roughly $10K at the vet over seven months, I lost them both anyway.

Second guessing is normal, but in the end nothing will bring them back. If its possible to learn something from the experience, take what you can from it. That's one of the ways they live on, in the experiences they teach us how to deal with things in the future.

I've never gotten over losing any of my boys. I have each of the five I have lost so far, had their names and pawprints tattooed on my right forearm. In that way they are always with me, and even though Pooper, my first as an adult, will have been gone 8 years now come October I think of him, and all of them, daily. Carry the memories Pebbles left you with proudly. The ones we love are never really gone.
Thank you so much for your beautiful and thoughtful words. I will share them with my 11 year-old son who is grieving his little buddy something awful. Pebbles was his guinea pig, but my husband and I were really surprised at how fond we became of him. He was only 4 years old (we think...we adopted him as a rescue and were told he was about 9 months old). I know that is not young for a guinea pig, but we really thought we would have a couple more years with him, as he was well loved, well taken care of, and always seemed so healthy and happy. He was such a good and gentle friend.
 

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