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Weight Ways to Help Guinea Pig Gain Weight

Agrimony

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Hello everyone!

I'm looking for some tips to get my guinea pig Bird to gain some weight. He recently had an incidence of GI stasis, about a month ago, and I am working on trying to get his weight back up. At his lowest he dipped down to 917 grams, right now in the month since he fluctuates between 985-1004. His original weight was 1160 grams, and when this happened last time he steadily gained the weight back. This time though the weight keeps dipping back down. I still feed him the recommended dose of Critical Care daily and give him benebac and simethicone. He loooves the critical care. He gets standard pellets (1/8 cup KMS timothy) an oxbow urinary health and digestive health tab, fresh veggies and unlimited bluegrass hay. Is there anything else I should be doing to help him gain weight? Should he get extra pellets or anything else?

Thanks!

Here's my good Bird enjoying some Critical Care

IMG_0520.JPGIMG_0521.JPG
 

bpatters

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How old is he?
 

Agrimony

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He is three years old.
 

lunarminx

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Steel cut or old fashion oat meal on his pellets and I would also give him a little more pellets too.
 

bpatters

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If he doesn't have any stone problems, a few more pellets won't hurt.

But as long as he's not losing, I wouldn't worry about it, although I'd keep an eye on it. It's hard to get an adult pig to gain weight, and it often is regained very slowly.
 

Agrimony

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He has never had stone problems, I'll try giving him a little more. I thought oatmeal hurt their digestion? He does have a sensitive digestive tract, and is a picky eater, so I am cautious about steel cut oats.

I don't know how much their weight fluctuates daily but I got him back to 1004 and then he dropped to 985 and goes up and down like that. I weigh him daily before feeding him trying to track it, and it's not the steady increase we saw last time. He eats the critical care with gusto, so I know he's got a decent appetite.
 

bpatters

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Nineteen grams isn't much. A very rough rule of thumb is that one teaspoon of a substance weighs four grams. Of course, denser substances weigh more, fluffier substances weigh less. But it'll do for government work.

So if he hasn't peed for a while before you weigh him, that could account for roughly half the nineteen grams. And some poop could account for more.

I'd just record his weights for a few weeks and see which way the trend is, and not worry so much about the daily ups and downs. Unless he's losing a lot of weight quickly, the cause is unlikely to be an emergency, so you can take your time in evaluating it. If he drops a good bit and keeps dropping, then of course get him to a vet.
 

Agrimony

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Thank you! I'll keep with regular critical care feedings then and add some extra pellets.
 

lunarminx

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As you may have deduced from my posts, my mission in life these days is to put weight on Chester between dental visits because he generally doesn't eat for a couple of days after the procedure and will literally lose weight overnight. :sad:

Be cautious about what you feed to help him gain weight because when I permit Chester to have too much sugar (even from fruits), he develops these terribly malodorous stools that then necessitate my putting him back on metronidazole. Even when his appetite is good and things seem to be going smoothly, I still feed him two 35cc syringes twice a day of Critical Care.

I liberally mix regular rolled oats in with their KMS Pellets and add varying flavors of baby food to the Critical Care. Beechwood has some very interesting flavors in the little glass jars. At the moment, both Chester and Maya are sitting here on my desk having their afternoon CC snack. This time it's CC mixed with spinach/zucchini/quinoa.

Last night I mixed two entirely different flavors of baby food with the CC to see which one they prefer. Probably more fun for me than them! Yes, you can put weight on an older piggy (Chester is 5 y.o.), but it takes a concerted effort over time.

You say Bird is three? I used to feed pellets only overnight because Maya loved them too much and would gain too much weight. However, as she is getting a bit older (3.5), I have found that she maintains a more "normal" weight and doesn't overeat. Consequently, they now have pellets 24/7 until and unless I see a marked deviation in weight.

I only give pellets before bedtime and my old man sits at the one bowl waiting for his pellets and oatmeal. I normally use old fashion too but read the steel cut was okay to use also. So this weekend i got some and they just looked at the bowl like what is that. I will be getting old fashion tomorrow when I go out.
 
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