Boarding for guinea pig with long term health issues

Myosotia

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So my nearly-5-year-old boar has been having some health issues over the last year or so. He has these episodes where his appetite suddenly disappears and he either stops pooing or only passes very small pellets, though he’s never stopped eating completely. Between August 2019 (the first time this happened) and January 2020 he was getting ill around once a month. The vet would sometimes medicate him but sometimes they wouldn’t and he’d get better on his own. In December he had bloods and x-rays done but nothing conclusive was found. The vet was a bit concerned about the sludge in his kidneys and told me to start syringe feeding him a bit of water every day to flush them out. I’m still doing this, but I’m not convinced it makes a difference as he’s always drunk a lot compared to other pigs I’ve had (and he dribbles out most of what I give him anyway). Other than that he’s not got any specific care requirements. After January he was fine for several months but in May and June he had three episodes within a few weeks of each other. The last one was a fortnight ago but only lasted a day.

Before the pandemic me and my family had been planning to stay with my grandparents for a week in August. After lockdown started we thought we wouldn't be able to go but recently my dad booked places in boarding for piggy and our other pets, just in case we do go. I’m worried because I’m not sure it’s fair on the boarder for me to leave a guinea pig in their care, knowing that there’s a reasonable chance he’ll get ill. But I also don’t want to put him to sleep because the good days still outweigh the bad ones and it doesn’t feel like it’s time yet. I'm not even sure the vet would be able to put him to sleep because they're only treating emergencies at the moment. I want to do what’s best for him but I don’t know what that is right now.

I’m also worried about what will happen if he is well enough to go, because he always loses weight when he’s in boarding. He’s already been losing weight gradually over the last 15 months and I’m worried about the impact further loss will have on his health. I want to try sending him to a different boarder (if he’s well enough to go at all) but I’m not sure where. The one I currently use gets good reviews, so how can I tell a good boarder from a bad one? Is there even a problem at all or is weight loss in boarding normal?

So basically I have three questions:

How do I know if my guinea pig well enough to go into boarding?

Is it normal for guinea pigs to lose weight when they’re in boarding?

If it isn't normal, how do I find a trusted guinea pig boarder?


(Thanks for reading. Sorry, I know it was really long)
 

anyar.dris

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My piggies usually lose some weight whenever they go into boarding. This is probably because of the new environment and different feeding routine/times. In boarding, morning and night feed will be somehow different time to what they usually have here at home (we take into consideration the time/routine of the person in the boarding, coz they do have work to do too and they have other piggies and rabbits boarding in the place as well). They can't also have as much grass as they can have in the boarding, unlike when they are at home. Treats time is less too and depending on how much they are given.

You can talk to the owner of the boarding about special needs for your piggies. You can discuss with them if they are willing to do extra for your piggy at an extra price and if they are comfortable doing it. The boarder we use is in Northampton, Hop Skip Bunk. Hubby and I prefer to board the piggies there, even if it's a bit far from ours, because the piggies would be near to the vets, Cat & Rabbit Care Clinic, and near to Debbie, TEAS. We have instructions on what the piggies like to eat and what they prefer. If we have a sick piggy that needed syringe feeding and medication, we ask if the boarding can provide it at an extra price, which they would gladly do. We also get regular updates about the piggies while boarding.
 

Bill & Ted

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Can we ask where abouts do you live roughly? Then some of the members can recommend boarders that they have used and trusted with their piggies.
I can definitely recommend Debbie at TEAS furryfriends in Northampton, she is very knowledgeable and runs a guinea pig sanctuary for piggies with special needs. My Ted is currently boarding with her to be near his vet as he has dental problems, he’s been there for 2 months now and I know he is in the best place and being very well cared for including at times syringe fed and taken to his vets.
 

Myosotia

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I live in Yorkshire.

The boarder I currently use has been willing to give medicines in the past but I don't know how they'd feel about actual trips to the vet when they've got so many other animals to take care of.
 

Bill & Ted

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I live in Yorkshire.

The boarder I currently use has been willing to give medicines in the past but I don't know how they'd feel about actual trips to the vet when they've got so many other animals to take care of.
I hope you get some recommendations from forum members in the Yorkshire area. I’m sure most people who look after pets while people are on holiday would be willing to taking a pet to the vets if they thought something was amiss, you could call your current pet sitter and ask them if they would be willing to do this if needed
Hope you find someone and you have a lovely holiday x
 

Swissgreys

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It might also be worth asking at your regular vet.
When I had a medically complicated chinchilla years ago, one of the vet nurses agreed to board him (and his brother) for me.
She did an amazing job and I felt much calmer about the whole situation knowing he was in experienced hands.
 

Myosotia

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Thanks so much for your responses 🙂
I'm going to contact my usual boarder to ask if they'd be comfortable taking piggy to the vet if necessary. If they're not I'll contact Cavy Corner. I might try contacting my vet but I'm a bit reluctant to because it's a big ask and they're not having face-to-face contact with owners right now.
 

Bill & Ted

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Thanks so much for your responses 🙂
I'm going to contact my usual boarder to ask if they'd be comfortable taking piggy to the vet if necessary. If they're not I'll contact Cavy Corner. I might try contacting my vet but I'm a bit reluctant to because it's a big ask and they're not having face-to-face contact with owners right now.
The lady at Cavy Corner has wide experience looking after piggies with special needs x
 

furryfriends (TEAS)

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I specifically offer boarding for guinea pigs with medical needs, many requiring supportive care. I'm fully experienced in syringe feeding, medicating (orally and by injection), abscess care, etc. Check out my Facebook page here. Little Badger's Pet Care - cat & small animal home visits & boarding

Unfortunately I am quite a way from you, but depending on where you are travelling to, you may be coming this way, so have popped my details on here.
 

anyar.dris

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I specifically offer boarding for guinea pigs with medical needs, many requiring supportive care. I'm fully experienced in syringe feeding, medicating (orally and by injection), abscess care, etc. Check out my Facebook page here. Little Badger's Pet Care - cat & small animal home visits & boarding

Unfortunately I am quite a way from you, but depending on where you are travelling to, you may be coming this way, so have popped my details on here.
Debbie is the best! I've run out of fingers on how many times she's saved us on looking for an emergency boarding whenever we travel. 😊
 

Myosotia

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Thank you so much for the link!
It's not too out of the way on the journey, but I'd need to ask my family how they'd feel about the diversion and having the pig in the car for all that time
 

Bill & Ted

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Thank you so much for the link!
It's not too out of the way on the journey, but I'd need to ask my family how they'd feel about the diversion and having the pig in the car for all that time
Your little piggie will be very well cared for with Debbie in Northampton I can vouch for that and near “the best” piggie vet in the country!
 

Myosotia

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I explained the situation to my usual boarder and they just got back saying they're fine with taking him. I'm still a bit nervous about weight loss but he was able to gain some weight back after he was at his worst so hopefully he'll be able to go up again once he's home. I'm glad you told me about Little Badger's Pet Care but I don't want to stress him out by taking him to Northampton, unless I really have to. He's a brave little pig but I'm not sure he'd like the noise of the motorway.
Thanks so much for all your responses. The situation was stressing me out of my mind and the support and advice on here has been so helpful 🙂
 
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