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Caring For A Guinea Pig With Stunted Growth

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TsukiLouWho123

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Hi there:)
I posted a few months back wondering if my new adopted piggie had some sort of URI or pneumonia but after going to the vets, he reckoned the coughing she does is related to having an extremely aggressive respiratory infection for 2 months when she was a few months old (this was with her previous owner). He also thinks she breathes extremely fast due to her lungs not reaching full capacity as a result of her history.
I was wondering if anyone has experienced stunted growth in piggies? Is it common? Willow is 8 months old but looks no bigger than 3 months. She's on the skinnier side so I give her an extra kind of 'fattening' buffet with my older pig once a day who could do with putting on some beef:)
Don't get me wrong, I love her dearly and she is healthy in other ways but I just wanted to know if anyone has experienced this at all? When I first got her, I wanted to have a scan done to see what's going on everywhere but I couldn't risk putting her under because of her previous history.
Thank you in advance to anyone who shares their story/ helps in any way. :)
 

Wiebke

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Hi there:)
I posted a few months back wondering if my new adopted piggie had some sort of URI or pneumonia but after going to the vets, he reckoned the coughing she does is related to having an extremely aggressive respiratory infection for 2 months when she was a few months old (this was with her previous owner). He also thinks she breathes extremely fast due to her lungs not reaching full capacity as a result of her history.
I was wondering if anyone has experienced stunted growth in piggies? Is it common? Willow is 8 months old but looks no bigger than 3 months. She's on the skinnier side so I give her an extra kind of 'fattening' buffet with my older pig once a day who could do with putting on some beef:)
Don't get me wrong, I love her dearly and she is healthy in other ways but I just wanted to know if anyone has experienced this at all? When I first got her, I wanted to have a scan done to see what's going on everywhere but I couldn't risk putting her under because of her previous history.
Thank you in advance to anyone who shares their story/ helps in any way. :)
Hi! Are you weighing Willow and can you please give us an idea of her body weight? Has your vet checked for heart problems? It can well be that there are underlying issues that prevent optimal food absorption/growth, and that the severity of the original URI is connected to that.

There is not a lot that you can do; you have piggies like her for as long as they have to live. Concentrate on making every day a happy one and see it as gift.

Please do not make the mistake to stuff a runt with starchy/sugary/fatty junk calories. It is much more important to feed a good, balanced diet for longer term optimal health than opting for size. If necessary, offer her additional syringe feed once daily, as much as she is willing to take. The more fibre she gets, the better.

@helen105281 @Jaycey @Freela

Recommendations For A Balanced General Guinea Pig Diet
The Importance Of Weighing - Ideal Weight / Overweight / Underweight
 

helen105281

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Sorry this tag didn't come up in my notifications, will reply before I leave work.
 
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DM030819

What was the diagnosis and treatment in the end @TsukiLouWho123 ? If we can have a bit more information we could possibly advise.

I have a boar with absorption issues at the moment, and I've been advised by my vet not to feed him anything rubbishy like Wiebke suggests. It's better for him to be a smaller but healthy pig instead of a fat unhealthy one
 

helen105281

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I tend to give any underweight pigs Oxbow critical care in a bowl to give them a bit of a boost aswell as by syringe as Wiebke has mentioned. Has your vet performed a chest xray at all? if not it would be worth doing to check that the heart is not enlarged. I knew of a very young pig being diagnosed with a heart issue, and he did really well once on the correct medication. My Nigel was tiny due to recurring URIs which turned out to be a heart issue.
 
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DM030819

Interestingly @helen105281 my vet recommends staying away from critical care so it doesn't fill up a pig too much and put them off eating for themself. They say offering more regular food is the way to go

But, all pigs are different and critical care could help some.
 

helen105281

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I do that too but then you get extra fussy ones like my Maud who changes what she wants to eat on a daily basis.
 

Wiebke

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I do that too but then you get extra fussy ones like my Maud who changes what she wants to eat on a daily basis.
If your piggy is pretty much eating anything, then you do not need to supplement as your piggy is nicely taking care of itself. You should see a sudden and very noticeable jump in weight once everything has been absorbed and processed at some point; it can take a few weeks in some cases, but suddenly you have 'lift off'.

But many piggies from bad backgrounds/malnutrition can have issues with what they are eating at first as they do not know which of all the new foods are safe to eat and whether they like it; in that case, it can help to supplement initially until the eating has stabilised. The same goes for a recovery from a severe illness when some piggies can be rather fussy about their eating.
 
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