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Conditions Possibly Bumblefoot?

pigsandme

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Mar 19, 2011
Messages
65
Hi! I've had one of my pigs for almost a year now, and just recently I noticed that his paws are purpleish. I'll go into detail now:

He's never been a very active pig, when he was younger he did seem to be more active. As he has gotten older (he is a little over a year and a half) he refuses to exercise. I do offer him floor time, but he just walks around a little bit, then lays down and won't do anything.

Another thing I think is strange (his cagemate doesn't do this) is he will ONLY go to the bathroom in his hideout. That is the absolute only place he will go. I do have an adequete two inches of high-quality aspen bedding in there. So, I make sure the cage is nice and clean before I go off to school, but when I come home and lift up the igloo, it is disgustingly filled with poop and pee covered bedding! How could I stop him from doing this? He hasn't started doing this since I purchased a new cage. (same size as the last) Also, he claims this igloo as his own, and doesn't lay anywhere but in there. And he continues to lay in there, even after it is covered in pee and poop, but there is nothing I can do when I am at school.

His cagemate does not do this. He has a seperate tunnel that he has claimed as his own, but only occasionally does he go in there.

So anyways, I was doing the usual nail, ear, foot check when I noticed that the pads of his feet were quite purple instead of the usual pink. My first thought was bumblefoot. Before you call me lazy, I looked up purple feet in guinea pigs online, and found a piggy who sounded EXACTLY like my piggie. Of course, now that I said that I can't find the link. But her description of her guinea pig was:
not fat, but had quite a "pot belly" meaning that her stomach was very soft and squishy
very inactive
didnt like to actually lay down like most piggies, instead would lay "scrunched up" on all fours.
My pig follows that description, except in her picture it showed the guinea pig with purple feet pads, except with a scab. Could this just be a more severe case? Is there any treatment I could try at home? I have no problem taking him to a vet (I have never taken him before, but I can have it arranged if needed be.) if the problem persists, but I would at least like to try it before we arrange a vet appointment. Could I soak his feet in epsom salt diluted with water?

If needed I will post pictures.
 
Upload a photo, please. How big is your cage and how often do you change the bedding? You can try taking the pigloos out during the day and spot cleaning daily where there's poop. I can't offer any suggestions on his feet until I see a photo.
 
The cage is 8 square feet-says so on my profile. I change the bedding every 5-6 days. And I don't understand what you mean by take the igloos out and spot clean. I already do that. I specifically stated so here:
So, I make sure the cage is nice and clean before I go off to school, but when I come home and lift up the igloo, it is disgustingly filled with poop and pee covered bedding!

There is nothing I can do about it when I am at school, but by the time
I come home it is really disgusting. I will try to post pictures later, but I am not home right now.
 
My pigloos were like that too so I took them out of the cage, in the place of a pigloo I made a fleece forest and draped a piece of fleece over one side of the cage. The piggies have more space undercover that way than they do with a pigloo so they were no laying in their poo quite as much. I mean, they are guinea pigs after all so there was still some of that. I would also try sewing or buying some fleece pads to put under the pigloo/hiding spots, even though you use bedding, the fleece will soak the pee through and down to the bedding/absorbent layer and possibly keep your piggy's feet and body more dry.
 
Thank you so much! My mom is really against using fleece- she thinks it is gross washing it, but maybe I will add in some fleece forests. I still don't know what course of action to take to treat his paws. I also think it is strange that he is so lazy. He refuses to excersise, so does his cagemate. :p
 
The larger the cage, the more space there is to disperse the poop and for them to run laps. What type of bedding are you using? I'd try completely cleaning the cage more frequently and think about expanding the cage so there's more room. What I meant about the pigloos was to keep them out of the cage during the day so he's not laying in his droppings. Does he have sores on his feet? Diluted chlorhexidine is an antiseptic that's good to clean wounds and abscesses. I dilute it with water to a light blue color. His feet can be soaked in it.
 
All the questions you are asking I clearly stated in my original post. I really find it needless to answer your questions when every question you have asked was stated in the text. Also, we really do not have space to expand at this time, so that isn't an option.
 
Last edited:
All the questions you are asking I clearly stated in my original post. I really find it needless to answer your questions when every question you have asked was stated in the text.

I'm suggesting you clean the cage more often because there might be ammonia building up in the cage that might be burning the bottom of his feet. My suggestion to increase the size of the cage will allow for the poop not to build up so much so they aren't laying in it. Recommended size for two guinea pigs is 28 x 56 and males need more space than females. Without a photo, we can't see exactly what the feet look like. I'm trying to offer suggestions on how to treat the foot by trying to determine if the foot is just irritated, raw or worse. It's hard to offer suggestions without a photo. Your description says "except with a scab" but you didn't say if yours has the scab. The description is not clearly stated. That's why I'm asking.
 
All the questions you are asking I clearly stated in my original post. I really find it needless to answer your questions when every question you have asked was stated in the text.

I'm suggesting you clean the cage more often because there might be ammonia building up in the cage that might be burning the bottom of his feet. My suggestion to increase the size of the cage will allow for the poop not to build up so much so they aren't laying in it. Recommended size for two guinea pigs is 28 x 56 and males need more space than females. Without a photo, we can't see exactly what the feet look like. I'm trying to offer suggestions on how to treat the foot by trying to determine if the foot is just irritated, raw or worse. It's hard to offer suggestions without a photo. Your description says "except with a scab" but you didn't say if yours has the scab. The description is not clearly stated. That's why I'm asking.
 
Is the aspen kiln dried? Wood shavings that are kiln dried have the aromatic oils removed through the drying process. The heating process also removes oil, bacteria, mold and yeast. I'm not sure about the difference between brands but it might be something to research on the brand you use to see if it's contributing to the problem.
 
I'm sorry if I came of as rude or snappy, that was not my intention as I always try to stay a calm person. When I said "except with a scab" I was trying to indicate that the except meant that her's did have a scab, while mine did not. Okay, I will answer your questions using my original post, by copying and pasting. Okay:
1. (Upon suggesting a larger cage to disperse poop and run laps)He's never been a very active pig, when he was younger he did seem to be more active. As he has gotten older (he is a little over a year and a half) he refuses to exercise. I do offer him floor time, but he just walks around a little bit, then lays down and won't do anything. also:
he will ONLY go to the bathroom in his hideout. That is the absolute only place he will go.

2.I do have an adequete two inches of high-quality aspen bedding
Again, I am sorry if I mis-understood your tone and vice-versa.
 
No offense taken. I still think your best best is to change the bedding more often and keep the pigloos out during the day so the poop won't pile up in there. You might also want to temporarily switch to Carefresh, Total Comfort or Soft Sorbent which are softer than the aspen. The roughness of the wood shavings might be irritating his feet more. When I used shavings, I preferred kiln dried pine to aspen due to the smell and the roughness of the aspen. I think the pine in a little softer. I keep my pigloos out of my males' cage during the day because they would stay in there, too. My females don't spend a lot of time in theirs so I don't always take them out of those cages. I think a lot of people on here use virgin coconut oil on tender skin so you might want to rub some on his feet after soaking them. When you are able to, upload photos so we can see his feet.
 
Pigsandme, read https://www.guinealynx.info/pododermatitis.html. Most of the discussion is about pigs who have ulcers on their feet, but some of the information may be helpful to you.

The main caution I have is that if you soak the feet in chlorhexidine or anything else (a bottle cap makes a good guinea pig foot bath), be very careful that the pig doesn't groom itself while it's feet are wet with the solution -- eye injuries can result.

If the feet aren't swollen and don't appear painful, you can also try rubbing them with a little cold pressed extra virgin coconut oil, which has some healing properties.

I'm not a big fan of pigloos, for the very reason you describe. Pigs tend to stay in them too much, they can get blocked in by another pig, and they're lying in their own waste and breathing the fumes. Maybe it would be a good idea to take them all out for a couple of weeks. You can substitute towels draped in corners, or fleece forests, or even shoe boxes with holes cut in the ends and the bottoms cut out. If all the hideys have two ways in and out, just the movement of the other pig(s) around the cage may get him move around more. And since his favorite hidey won't be there, maybe he'll lie in different areas of the cage.
 
Pinky- I don't think so. It is planet petco (yes, I know) brand aspen bedding. It says it has no oils in it, and is recycled from wood in the housing industries. It does not say anywhere whether or not it is kiln dried, so I would assume not
 
I don't think aspen has to be kiln dried. It doesn't have the strong phenols in it that pine does.

As far as softness goes, there are aspen shaving and aspen shavings. One brand I've used is super soft, more than any pine I've seen. The one I'm currently using is coarser and stiffer. So if yours isn't soft, you may want to look around for another brand.
 
Mine is incredibly soft, and pretty much dust free compared to other brands. I have soaked his paws in epsom salt diluted with water 3 times already- once last night and twice today. One of his paws has scabbed, but he will not let me take a pic of it!!! I did get a pig of his back paw:
Possibly Bumblefoot?
 
I read that aspen wood shavings should be heat treated to remove mold, bacteria and yeast. I know that kiln drying also removes oil. Maybe there's a difference between heat treating and kiln drying.
 
Perhaps there is a connection between the redness of the feet and the lethargy of the pig. Perhaps a medical reason, like a heart condition of some sort. Some pigs with heart conditions are very inactive. I wonder if a pig with a heart condition would have circulation problems which could cause redness of the feet?

You may want to post your query in the medical section at www.guinealynx.info .

As for the poop in the pigloo, that's not abnormal. Many pigs will spend most of their time in their pigloos. I agree with removing them altogether.
 
Okay. Thank you. I have been soaking his paws in epsom salt water two to three times daily and have seen no improvement. I will post that at guinealynx. My mom insists that he just needs time to heal- but I really think he needs to be seen by a vet. I have had other suspicions of heart problems, another reason for the vet. It is so frustrating when all I can find in my area are vets that take all animals. I think he needs to be seen by a vet specializing in exotic animals. Well, I will keep updated, but thank you.
 
Pinky, could you post a source for the aspen shavings needing treatment to be safe? I can't find anything like that, and I'm being forced to switch to all aspen at the moment.
 
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