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4 year old female stopped eating but now picked up

Dailypigs

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Hello everybody, I've used this forum sometimes to dive in and out of when assistance or info needed but this time I decided to create an account. I have 4-5 years experience of guinea pigs and have a lot of research and have reasonable amount of experience/knowledge under my belt. I currently have 2 female guinea pigs, one of them is a year old the other is my older lady Gypsy who is 4 years old. this post is about her...
around Monday or Tuesday we noticed she had stopped eating her usual portion, by Wednesday she had pretty much stopped eating and looked hunched. she was only drinking a tiny amount and really just wanted left alone, with the occasional cuddle. now I know a lot of people will say I should have taken her to the vet straight away due to the possibility of organ failure and system shut down but as she was a bit of an older guinea pig and a family member being a retired veterinary nurse who was giving me advice, by the look of her she seemed to just be fading away and dying naturally, the way some animals do. I was split, did I take her to the vet or do I let her die quietly ? she seemed healthy enough ears eyes nose bum everything seemed okay. we decided to hold of taking her to the vet due to her getting extremely stressed at the vets and didn't want to worsen her and we were getting advice from our family member, she was eating just enough veg to keep her alive and going. This morning we got up half expecting her to have crossed the rainbow bridge but she was in there. when I put their usual breakfast down she came out enthusiastically for the first time in days and is currently eating quite happily as I type this. Not quite sure what to think of all this. There was a cold passed around in my household, wondering if it could be that ? I'm aware she's not out of the woods yet but hopefully she will carry on improving and get back to her normal busy body self, so heartbreaking to see her so tired and energy less. quite confused how she's went from looking like she was at deaths door to going round eating and having a little popcorn here and there? peoples thoughts would be appreciated, any ideas suggestions ect. is it still worth taking her to the vet if she is picking up/eating ? she gets very stressed at the vets that's why I'm wary and due to her being slightly older I'm wary of her getting sedated to have a proper look ect. thanks again :)
 

Mother Hubbard

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Hi there, I expect most of the responses you’ll get will be a vet visit.
4 years isn’t old for a piggy to be honest and they don’t catch human colds so clearly something was going on with her. When they stop eating it’s vital to get the gut going otherwise it’s usually fatal and generally when they are hunched it’s a sure sign of illness and possible pain, sadly they can’t tell us they are in pain - they don’t often squeak because of it. I would prefer to be in control of their life rather than hoping for the best and letting their fate to be decided. If she’s eating it’s good news and not sure why she would be sedated for a check up.
I errr On the side of caution (safety girl) and would want a thorough hands on check but monitoring her is crucial to ensure she is eating enough, check her poops etc.
 

Wiebke

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Hello everybody, I've used this forum sometimes to dive in and out of when assistance or info needed but this time I decided to create an account. I have 4-5 years experience of guinea pigs and have a lot of research and have reasonable amount of experience/knowledge under my belt. I currently have 2 female guinea pigs, one of them is a year old the other is my older lady Gypsy who is 4 years old. this post is about her...
around Monday or Tuesday we noticed she had stopped eating her usual portion, by Wednesday she had pretty much stopped eating and looked hunched. she was only drinking a tiny amount and really just wanted left alone, with the occasional cuddle. now I know a lot of people will say I should have taken her to the vet straight away due to the possibility of organ failure and system shut down but as she was a bit of an older guinea pig and a family member being a retired veterinary nurse who was giving me advice, by the look of her she seemed to just be fading away and dying naturally, the way some animals do. I was split, did I take her to the vet or do I let her die quietly ? she seemed healthy enough ears eyes nose bum everything seemed okay. we decided to hold of taking her to the vet due to her getting extremely stressed at the vets and didn't want to worsen her and we were getting advice from our family member, she was eating just enough veg to keep her alive and going. This morning we got up half expecting her to have crossed the rainbow bridge but she was in there. when I put their usual breakfast down she came out enthusiastically for the first time in days and is currently eating quite happily as I type this. Not quite sure what to think of all this. There was a cold passed around in my household, wondering if it could be that ? I'm aware she's not out of the woods yet but hopefully she will carry on improving and get back to her normal busy body self, so heartbreaking to see her so tired and energy less. quite confused how she's went from looking like she was at deaths door to going round eating and having a little popcorn here and there? peoples thoughts would be appreciated, any ideas suggestions ect. is it still worth taking her to the vet if she is picking up/eating ? she gets very stressed at the vets that's why I'm wary and due to her being slightly older I'm wary of her getting sedated to have a proper look ect. thanks again :)
Hi!

Have you been giving her round the clock syringe feeding support, which is vital for guinea pigs? Please keep in mind that a nurse is not a vet and your is very obviously NOT a guinea pig keeper or she would know that hay is making 80% of the daily food intake and that the 15% of veg are just about in the way of a daily snack - no surprise that your girl nearly died from lack of feeding support! :(

The average life expectancy for a healthy guinea pig is 5-7 years but they can live up to 10 years; beyond that is extremely rare.
Your girl is just coming up to later adulthood. The oldest piggy of mine that has gone through and successfully recovered from a full operation (the removal of a large burst cyst which hadn't stayed put as the vet and I had hoped) one month short of her 7th birthday but I know of even older piggies coming through life saving operations.

PLEASE take the time to read these guides here; they can really make the difference between life and death.
Emergency, Crisis and Bridging Care until a Vet Appointment
Not Eating, Weight Loss And The Importance Of Syringe Feeding Fibre
Complete Syringe Feeding Guide


Please have her vet checked; she still may need vital medication, which she has not got so far. The health issue may flare up again.
Health and Illness - Important Information
Tips For Vet Visits
 

Dailypigs

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Thank you both for taking the time to give your input. We took Gypsy to be seen by the vet, who checked her over and there is something wrong in her mouth, possibly teeth related. He saw some old green gunk in her mouth, possibly caused by a sharp edge on a tooth that would have stopped her chewing her food properly. Anyway the vet gave her a metacam injection and we are to syringe feed until tomorrow when she goes in under general anaesthetic for the vet to retrieve the gunk and get a clearer picture of the situation.
 

Wiebke

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Thank you both for taking the time to give your input. We took Gypsy to be seen by the vet, who checked her over and there is something wrong in her mouth, possibly teeth related. He saw some old green gunk in her mouth, possibly caused by a sharp edge on a tooth that would have stopped her chewing her food properly. Anyway the vet gave her a metacam injection and we are to syringe feed until tomorrow when she goes in under general anaesthetic for the vet to retrieve the gunk and get a clearer picture of the situation.
All the best! She is likely feeling rather sore and groggy after having her mouth poked in and depending on how experienced (or not) your vet is with guinea pig dentals, so you have to brace yourself for more syringe feeding.

Here is our post-op care advice from when Gypsy is back home if you need it: Tips For Post-operative Care
 

Dailypigs

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Hello thanks for all your nice messages, looks like gypsy has recovered well from the anastetic. Vet was very good, he thinks it was sharp edges causing her pain therefor there was a lot of green food remains which makes him think the sharp edges were causing her to not chew properly ect. She was a bit groggy at first but back to bring quite active. I have been letting her try some soft veg alongside syringe feeding. She is doing well, will keep you all posted on her recovery. So nice to see her so much more like her usual busy body self already. 😊
 
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