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General Why does my guinea pig's poop suddenly smell SO bad?

SquigglyPigs

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When I originally had only two female pigs, I could hardly notice that I even had guinea pigs at all! There was virtually no smell. Then, I decided to upgrade to a larger cage and get a third female pig. They are in a 13 square foot cage lined with fleece and two layers of uhaul furniture pads and it smells terrible!
I scoop up poop every day and do a full cage wash once a week. I have noticed that the most smelly part is the poop itself. It's on the verge of smelling like diarrhea. I have light blue and white fleece so I think I would notice if they have diarrhea and they have all been happy little popcorning pigs so they don't seem sick.
I haven't changed their diet. They eat pellets and hay from KMS Hayloft, about 1 cup of romaine, 1 baby carrot, and a very small amount of green bell pepper per pig each day. I'm so confused why adding one little pig would drastically change the smell of the entire room! If anyone has any recommendations to reduce the smell, I would appreciate it. I have to pay for community laundry so washing the fleece more than once a week would definitely add up.
I have tried attaching a bag of activated charcoal to the cage to help with the smell but it hasn't helped :(
 

Rywen

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That sounds really frustrating. First confirm the new piggie is female and not a male, males can scent mark. She could have a sensitivity to a certain veggie or a GI bacterial imbalance. Try cutting out veggies for a couple of days, if the smell goes away then reintroduce veggies one at a time to try and figure out the culprit. One of mine gets stinky poop from cilantro/coriander. You can also try benebac probiotic gel for small pets. That helped my piggie get over a GI bacterial imbalance. If it continues take her to an exotics vet for fecal sample testing in case she needs antibiotics to get better.
 

SquigglyPigs

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Hmm... now that I think of it, the newest pig started smelling around the time that I introduced veggies to her. I will try cutting them out (although I will have three piggies yelling at me every time I open the fridge lol) and see what happens. Maybe I will be able to find some yummy veggies that won't cause stomach problems.
I found a great vet in town so I won't hesitate to take her there if it persists. Thanks for all of the tips! :)
 

Rywen

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No problem, please keep us posted on how it goes!
 

SquigglyPigs

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Well cutting out veggies didn't seem to help. I noticed that they had some mushy poops in their cage today so we are now trying Bene-bac probiotic. If this doesn't work, I will make a vet appointment next week :(
 

Rywen

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Good luck, the bene bac has really helped Penny, hopefully it will for yours too!
 

pinky

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She might have something like Giardia which is a parasite that can cause loose and smelly droppings. Your vet can analyze a dropping and prescribe meds if that's the case. It it very contagious so if it is Giardia, your other guinea pigs would need to be treated. I adopted one from a rescue that ended up having it. She was found in an aquarium in a vacated apartment. Giardia and can be found in soil, food and water and can be passed to humans.
 

SquigglyPigs

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[MENTION=15081]pinky[/MENTION], I hadn't thought of giardia. I just remember when my dog had giardia years ago, she was so sick and weak and my pigs are still running around and popcorning. I suppose it could be in the beginning stages of some parasitic problem.
Thanks [MENTION=30078]Rywen[/MENTION], I have read that article before. I have separated my 3 guinea pigs now so I can figure out if only one of them is having loose stools or all three. I am making sure they have unlimited timothy hay (I buy Kleenmama hay and pellets) and have just begun giving them Benebac.
I'm not sure if this could be related, but the newest and youngest pig, Nim, also sometimes has orange-tinted urine. She has had this ever since I adopted her in February but it's very subtle. From what I researched online, this can be normal but I just wanted to bring it up in case it helps someone make a connection to what's going on.
 

pinky

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Orange tinged urine is completely normal. When my pigs had giardia, none of them were weak. They just had very loose and smelly droppings. My vet treated the one I took in and I called in the weight of the others and she prescribed meds for each of them so I didn't have to pay for a visit for all of them.
 

SquigglyPigs

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So since I separated my pigs, I noticed Nim has light brown colored feces, while the other two have very dark brown. I remember reading that light brown could point to bloat or another illness.
Is light brown poop pretty serious? Should I continue to give her benebac and see how it goes or should I make a vet appointment right away? I appreciate everyone helping. I'm worried about my piggies
 

bpatters

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No, it's not necessarily serious. If she's pooping regularly and eating normally, don't worry about it.
 

bpatters

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That's interesting about your pig, [MENTION=19714]spy9doc[/MENTION]. Be sure to let us know what happens with him.
 

SquigglyPigs

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Today one of my piggies had a little bit of crust on her eyes and another was coughing and sneezing a lot without being near hay or any other irritants. I think I will call the vet tomorrow and make an appointment to, at the very least, put my mind at ease.
 

SquigglyPigs

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Here's an update about Nim. I brought her to the vet and she had a fever. She was prescribed baytril and a probiotic for two weeks. I also gave the probiotic to my other two pigs every other day for a week. The smell and soft poop seems to have improved.
I also noticed that the homemade beds I made of fleece and foam smell horrendous! One of my pigs likes to use one almost as a litter box so it was constantly wet with pee and full of poo. I think I will be ditching the homemade beds and start using step stools from the dollar store instead so it will be easier to clean and will get better airflow.
 

bpatters

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It's likely the foam that smells so bad. If you're using fleece, you need a washable absorbent layer underneath it. But you can't get all the smells out of the foam. Throw that out and try something else -- towels, mattress pads, u-haul pads, etc.
 

SquigglyPigs

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Ya i agree that it's the foam. I use uhaul pads under their fleece cage liners but I used some foam to make beds and tunnels out of. Never again! Those beds smell awful.
 

SquigglyPigs

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Well, the smell is back. I was wondering if anyone had any more advice for me?
Just a refresher: the pigs' poo smells really horrible. I took them to the vet and one of them had a fever so they were treated with baytril. All three pigs were treated with probiotics. They are all acting happy and normal - it's just that the smell is so bad. They are all female. I tried cutting out all vegetables and this didn't help.
My vet said I could come back and get a fecal testing done. I'm not sure about the price or if this would reveal the problem. Any advice would be very appreciated.
 
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