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Can Someone Explain Force Feeding?

threelittlebubs

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I'm really stressed about feeding my girl CC. She will eat it fairly well for about the first 5-6 cc. Then she will refuse more. Twisting away and stuff. This makes me feel like I am forcing in more than her tummy can take if I try to feed her more.

She is eating and drinking a little on her own, but I can see by her infrequent and somewhat dry poop that it's not enough. She is also losing weight and not gaining so I think she needs more.

Could someone give me a sort of "timetable" for feeding? Like for example 10 cc every 2 hours, etc. I am thinking I will try giving some Oxbow pellets (the one for babies) too for variation.

I really appreciate it. I am so stressed and barely functioning because I am not sleeping while I'm getting up to feed her. I'm just terrified and feel helpless. I love her so much!
 

threelittlebubs

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Sorry, I should add that her weight pre antibiotics was 1140 grams about a month ago. She is currently at 940.
 

Cavy Kung-Fu

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I went through this with my Iggy (he would twist away and bite me), the mix I've found is pellets, CC and the secret ingredient... Wheat grass powder! That is the best thing in the world apparently! He actually eats it off a spoon or out the bowl now which was amazing.

Perhaps give that a go? It certainly worked for me and Iggy the diva pig.
 

Wiebke

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I'm really stressed about feeding my girl CC. She will eat it fairly well for about the first 5-6 cc. Then she will refuse more. Twisting away and stuff. This makes me feel like I am forcing in more than her tummy can take if I try to feed her more.

She is eating and drinking a little on her own, but I can see by her infrequent and somewhat dry poop that it's not enough. She is also losing weight and not gaining so I think she needs more.

Could someone give me a sort of "timetable" for feeding? Like for example 10 cc every 2 hours, etc. I am thinking I will try giving some Oxbow pellets (the one for babies) too for variation.

I really appreciate it. I am so stressed and barely functioning because I am not sleeping while I'm getting up to feed her. I'm just terrified and feel helpless. I love her so much!
Hi! We do not call it force feeding, but syringe feeding. There is a crucial difference in that you have to be very careful to only feed as much at any time that a guinea pig can hold in its mouth and swallow before you give it more; if you just chuck it in, it will go in the lungs and nose.
Syringe feeding is however vital in keeping your guinea pig alive while it is ill and while it is receiving medical care to prevent the guts from first slowing and then closing down before the medication can kick in or as part of an operation recovery.

Please weigh any guinea pig that you suspect is not well daily, instead of the regular weekly. Always weigh at the same time in the feeding cycle. Start with offering top up syringe feed and water as soon as your piggy has lost over 50g.

The less you can feed in one session, the more often around the clock you need to syringe feed. If your guinea pig is very ill, you may get only 3-5 ml into it in a session whereas a guinea pig that is better in itself will eat 15-20 ml in one go. Accordingly you have to feed more often.

Please take the time to carefully read our illustrated step-by-step guide; it explains it all in detail and tells you exactly how to prep the syringe, how much/how often to feed depending on how ill your piggy is, how to best hold a cooperative or an uncooperative piggy, how much of a syringe to give in one go as well as support products (probiotics are indicated if your guinea pig is on antibiotics) and how much water to give etc.
Complete Syringe Feeding Guide

All the best!
 

Eriathwen

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When Bramble was unwell she was a nightmare to get more than 5ml or so into her, once she got the hang of it though she was getting about 20ml per feeding every 3 hours or so. I found the fine grind version much easier to use than the regular critical care as you can mix it much thicker because it can be used for tube feeding, therefore getting more nutrition in with less amounts. It also didnt clog the syringe at all which the regular CC still did from time to time. She also preferred the flavor...

Good luck with the syringe feeding! Its exhausting and draining, I hope your piggy is feeling better soon.
 

Janice C

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I went through this with my Iggy (he would twist away and bite me), the mix I've found is pellets, CC and the secret ingredient... Wheat grass powder! That is the best thing in the world apparently! He actually eats it off a spoon or out the bowl now which was amazing.

Perhaps give that a go? It certainly worked for me and Iggy the diva pig.
Where do you get wheat grass powder? I'd like to have some in reserve!
 

gizzy

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An empty fibreplex syringe is ideal to feed syinge paste, it will deliver 15ml so easily, ! It has a measuring ring at the back so that you can safely give very small amounts untill you are confident feeding. Then you can feed the whole syringe full in 2 or 3 sittings! The original contents of the the syringe (fibreplex probiotic paste ) can be stored in the fridge and mixed with the syringe feed slurry! (It will help your pig's digestion )
The Slurry ! So as not to upset your pigs tummy, you would be safest grinding (milling) your pigs original dried food pellet's in a coffee grinder.

Feeding! Put the nozzle of the syringe carfully in the pigs mouth and gently push it in the mouth till you can feel it just passing the molars, then slowly and carfully start to push the plunger , then take out the syringe and put your fingers either side of the mouth and feel for the pig chewing! Not untill this compleatly finished, should you try and feed another lot

Protexin Fibreplex For Rabbits - 15ml Syringe - Animed Direct
Protexin Fibreplex, Rabbits and Small Rodents - 15ml | eBay
 
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gizzy

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If you get the hang of doing it correctly, it wouldn't be Force Feeing! !
I t can easily become a pleasure for your pig! Then the only problem then is weaning you're pig off syringe feeding:whistle:
 
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VickiA

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I've switched from Critical Care to Emeraid herbivore. The piggies all love the taste. You need so much less (because it is high in calories) that it's really sped up night feeds and made it much easier to get the right amount into them.
 

Cavy Kung-Fu

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Where do you get wheat grass powder? I'd like to have some in reserve!
I actually got mine from my local health food shop! I'm sure you can get it online though. Iggy says it's great stuff! :D

I've switched from Critical Care to Emeraid herbivore. The piggies all love the taste. You need so much less (because it is high in calories) that it's really sped up night feeds and made it much easier to get the right amount into them.
Ooh I might get some of that as Iggy isn't well again. Where do you get it from? Amazon?
 

threelittlebubs

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I went through this with my Iggy (he would twist away and bite me), the mix I've found is pellets, CC and the secret ingredient... Wheat grass
That's great! When did you start seeing increase in Iggy's weight? Or better put, what should I expect with weight gain? A few grams a day?

Also, sorry to hear Iggy isn't doing so well. What's going on with him?
 

threelittlebubs

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I've switched from Critical Care to Emeraid herbivore. The piggies all love the taste. You need so much less (because it is high in calories) that it's really sped up night feeds and made it much easier to get the right amount into them.
I've been making the CC fresh every time. I'm assuming that even 2 hours out would be bad? I'm making about 1 tbsp each feeding.
 

Wiebke

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That's great! When did you start seeing increase in Iggy's weight? Or better put, what should I expect with weight gain? A few grams a day?

Also, sorry to hear Iggy isn't doing so well. What's going on with him?
It depends very much on the illness and the food intake. Generally, a piggy starts eating more by itself once it is free of discomfort and pain; pretty much the same as you see with ill humans - when you are very ill, you don't have much appetite, either!

The crisis, where you are aiming at keeping your piggy going until the meds kick in, takes as long as it takes. There is no set rule as each case is individual.
We all want our piggies to be well in themselves quickly, but we have to deal with things as they are and not as we want them to be! Hang on in there, and there is a good chance that your piggy will make a full recovery in its own time. Your support right now will make all the difference, even if it doesn't look like and every feeding session is a struggle. Your aim right now is not weight gain, but preventing further weight loss. The weight comes back on on its own once your piggy is feeling well in itself and is fully recovered. Depending on the severity of the illness/bad reaction to an operation, this can take several weeks. Don't be tempted to stuff your piggy with sugary/starchy calories during that time. ;)
 

Cavy Kung-Fu

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That's great! When did you start seeing increase in Iggy's weight? Or better put, what should I expect with weight gain? A few grams a day?

Also, sorry to hear Iggy isn't doing so well. What's going on with him?
It's hard to say, Iggy hasn't put weight on very well to be honest but he has small increases in weight that it's barely noticeable. He went down to about 540 grams (from around 700) and he's now back to 660/680 so he was getting there.

Thank you :) Well he's had problems with his downstairs region since he was neutered by his last owner (terrible vets) so right now he's got a suspected urine infection but if you were to ask him it's the end of the world! :))
 

threelittlebubs

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It's hard to say, Iggy hasn't put weight on very well to be honest but he has small increases in weight that it's barely noticeable. He went down to about 540 grams (from around 700) and he's now back to 660/680 so he was getting there.

Thank you :) Well he's had problems with his downstairs region since he was neutered by his last owner (terrible vets) so right now he's got a suspected urine infection but if you were to ask him it's the end of the world! :))
Poor little Iggy! It really helps to hear from others who are dealing with similar situations. It's incredibly draining and stressful because you feel like you're just fighting in the dark!
 

Cavy Kung-Fu

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Poor little Iggy! It really helps to hear from others who are dealing with similar situations. It's incredibly draining and stressful because you feel like you're just fighting in the dark!
Exactly! It can be a scary time being a piggy parent sometimes so this forum is a godsend. Even for a bit of reassurance.

Through the good times and the bad, everyone is there for each other and I think that's quite special. You don't get that from people you're close to sometimes so to have the support from people you've never met before is really something :)
 

Fluffbabies

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It really helps to hear from others who are dealing with similar situations. It's incredibly draining and stressful because you feel like you're just fighting in the dark!
How's your little piggy now? Just to let you know I'm going through the syringe feeding with Ginger right now and it does feel like you're force feeding when they're uncooperative! Lol. I understand how tired and worried you are. I've felt exactly the same with her. I spent the past 5 days constantly looking after her just wanting her to eat by herself. They'll get there though! :) Like Cavy Kung-Fu said, being a piggy parent can be scary when they get ill! But we're all here for each other ^_^
 

Cavy Kung-Fu

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How's your little piggy now? Just to let you know I'm going through the syringe feeding with Ginger right now and it does feel like you're force feeding when they're uncooperative! Lol. I understand how tired and worried you are. I've felt exactly the same with her. I spent the past 5 days constantly looking after her just wanting her to eat by herself. They'll get there though! :) Like Cavy Kung-Fu said, being a piggy parent can be scary when they get ill! But we're all here for each other ^_^
The power of wheat grass added to the feeding mush is real, I highly recommend trying it. It turned Iggy from stubborn to compliant, eating it out of a bowl on my lap in the end. Goodbye syringe! :))
 

threelittlebubs

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How's your little piggy now? Just to let you know I'm going through the syringe feeding with Ginger right now and it does feel like you're force feeding when they're uncooperative! Lol. I understand how tired and worried you are. I've felt exactly the same with her. I spent the past 5 days constantly looking after her just wanting her to eat by herself. They'll get there though! :) Like Cavy Kung-Fu said, being a piggy parent can be scary when they get ill! But we're all here for each other ^_^
She’s been so much better! Her lethargy and need to rest every few steps is gone. Poops are perfect and she’s very active! I’m still weighing her, and her weight seems to be stable, but she hasn’t gained much. It’s a bit frustrating, but going by her behavior she is feeling like herself, even standing up on her back legs and begging! Its wonderful to see but I’m still monitoring her like a hawk!
 
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