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Lethargy Piggy not active or talking


Cavy Slave
Jan 4, 2012
My daughter's pig has taken to lying on her side. She does not "talk" when we come in the room. She is eating but not drinking much. She can run when we get her out of her cage. She does not bolt when we try to pick her up. The pet shop said she's probably used to us now and very comfortable. Should we try and find an exotic vet? Any ideas?
I have no idea other than to look for an exotic vet. Maybe someone else will chime in. I hope she's okay.
I'm replying to this so the thread gets bumped up the top 5 and others can reply. The part that sounds concerning to me is that piggie is lying on her side, which is a sign of scurvy (not enough vitamin C). Have you tried giving her oranges, bell peppers, etc?
Are you weighing her daily so that you know whether or not she's maintaining her weight? If not, you should start doing so. Before her first meal of the day is the best time -- that way what she eats won't affect her weights as much.

Is her letting you pick her up a new thing? If so, she could be ill, and you'd need to see an exotic vet sooner rather than later. But if she's always done it, then that's not quite as worrisome.

If you gut is telling you there's something wrong with her, then yes, you should take her to the vet. Better safe than sorry. Just the fact of a pig lying on its side would be enough to send me scurrying to the vet, but I've never seen mine do that in 2 1/2 years of owning them.
Definitely find a good cavy savvy vet. As to the above post, if the pig is getting a high quality pellet and a good variety of veggies scurvy wouldn't be my first concern. Also, oranges are high in sugar and other veggies have higher vit C content and as fruits should be limited generally oranges are not recommended for C deficient pigs. Some of the many symptoms of scurvy (which the OP has no said the pig has been displaying) include loss of appetite (they said she is still eating) and hopping/enlarged limbs when theh said that she is still running around on floor time.

OP- perhaps go to guinealynx and see if their articles can help some. This being said it is not a replacement for a vet visit with a cavy savvy vet which I still believe should be in order as there is only so much we can do for you here.

Good luck to you, I hope the piggy is ok!
There's a pretty extensive list of cavy-savvy vets Vets in the Guinea Pig Zone <there so you can find one in your area that is known to deal with piggies. I agree with @bpatters that if your gut is saying "OH NO" then you should get your piggie to the vet as soon as you can. Although I think I saw a post earlier today about a piggy laying on his side, but of course I can't find it now... I'll keep looking though. Good luck, keep us posted
. Although I think I saw a post earlier today about a piggy laying on his side, but of course I can't find it now... I'll keep looking though. Good luck, keep us posted

Might you be talking about the thread about Pedro? It mentioned him being on his side, but that was stroke related.
Nope, it wasn't Pedro, it was another piggy who has taken to sleeping on his side, but responds well to everything else. Ugh, I really have no idea where to find it, I don't think the thread was specifically about the laying on the side, it may have been an introduction??? But of course I have no idea where to look or what I'm looking for, other than someone else has a piggy who lays on their side, and it wasn't medical-related... Blech, that's not helpful at all...
Thanks all...checking her this morning she is moving around more just not talking yet. I will be looking for a qualified vet today. Doesn't seem to be drinking as much. Has never liked peppers. I put fresh C in some water and gave in a syringe. Will keep you posted.
I wouldn't worry about forcing the C unless the vet says she is deficient. If you are worried about her not getting enough water feed her veggies to her wet so she gets some water through that.
Just got back from the vet. Says she seems healthy and is at a healthy weight. We will just continue to keep an eye on her. She is eating if not drinking as much right now. No signs of dehydration. Thanks for all of your input. Will def take some of your advice given and also become a regular here.
My first guinea pig never drank water and he lived happily for more than 5 years. He was taking his water form his veggies, I'm sure. From my current 3 girls GPs, two almost don't drink water at all (some licks of the water pipe once in a while) and the baby drinks like a duck, haha. Each one is different, I guess.
Our concern was the complete change in behavior over a one week period. Just glad Teddy will be ok. My daughter would have been heart broken.
Mohair, you have to teach some pigs to like veggies. Take one veg at a time, dice it into tiny pieces and put them on her pellets. She'll get enough by accident to get accustomed to the taste, and then you can feed it in larger quantities and start on a new veg. Start with bell peppers -- they're really good for them, and once she's eating them, you can quit syringing the vitamin C.

I taught my two pigs to eat 8-10 veggies that way.
Thanks for the advice. We will try that.
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