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Caring For A Mistreated Baby Guinea Pig

RaineTheLlama

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Myself and my fiancé brought a guinea pig home yesterday who had been severely mistreated. The past owner brought him back for a refund (this is my fiancé’s dad’s pet shop) because he turned floppy and wasn’t “entertaining” him enough. Fiancé’s dad was going to return him to breeder to be euthanised (I do not like or get on with him for many reasons including his attitude towards animals being assets). My man literally punched the man square in the face and told him to GTFO because he was squeezing the little one hard 😔

Today, the little one seems to trust us and seems to be running around, eating and drinking. We’ve been cuddling him around the clock (we know we probably should leave him alone to settle, but want him to feel safe). He doesn’t appear to be in any pain, but sometimes the floppiness is still there. We think he has gone through heat stroke, and his eyes are quite gunky (one is clouded over which we have been treating with eye gel and making sure there are no foreign objects in there). He has also been a bit gassy, but is passing the gas okay and the bloating has gone down a bit.

We have managed to get a vet appointment for the end of the week, but is there anything we could be doing for the possible heat stroke/floppiness, eyes and gassiness in the meantime? Should we be leaving him alone to settle, or make sure he gets plenty of cuddles as he has gone through trauma?

The pig will be staying with us permanently now. People make me so sad.
 

Piggies&buns

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Welcome to the forum. Well done for taking him in.
I would try to see if you can get him to a vet sooner. Floppiness and gas is concerning. Any idea how old he is?
Eyes are classed as emergencies and need to be seen by a vet. Please don’t put anything in it without seeing a vet. You could inadvertently make it worse. You can’t see what damage is done to the eye without a bet putting a dye in the Eye.
You need to weigh him each day to ensure he is eating enough hay for himself. Syringe feeding him mushed up pellets if he isn’t eating enough.
Ensure he is settled, but I would keep a close eye on him and pay him as much attention as he can handle.
Once you can be his health issues dealt with, he will need to be bonded with another piggy so he has a friend to spend his life with. Piggies should not be kept alone.

I have added in some guides below

Emergency, Crisis and Bridging Care until a Vet Appointment
Not Eating, Weight Loss And The Importance Of Syringe Feeding Fibre
Complete Syringe Feeding Guide
How Soon Should My Guinea Pig See A Vet? - A Quick Guide
 

RaineTheLlama

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Welcome to the forum. Well done for taking him in.
I would try to see if you can get him to a vet sooner. Floppiness and gas is concerning. Any idea how old he is?
Eyes are classed as emergencies and need to be seen by a vet. Please don’t put anything in it without seeing a vet. You could inadvertently make it worse. You can’t see what damage is done to the eye without a bet putting a dye in the Eye.
You need to weigh him each day to ensure he is eating enough hay for himself. Syringe feeding him mushed up pellets if he isn’t eating enough.
Ensure he is settled, but I would keep a close eye on him and pay him as much attention as he can handle.
Once you can be his health issues dealt with, he will need to be bonded with another piggy so he has a friend to spend his life with. Piggies should not be kept alone.

I have added in some guides below

Emergency, Crisis and Bridging Care until a Vet Appointment
Not Eating, Weight Loss And The Importance Of Syringe Feeding Fibre
Complete Syringe Feeding Guide
How Soon Should My Guinea Pig See A Vet? - A Quick Guide
Got it. Okay, we’ll stop with the eye gel right away (was guessing it was akin to savlon, to stop infections etc but what you said made sense). No idea how old he is, but I’ll post a pic. We’re guessing around 10 weeks. I will make sure to weigh him to keep an eye on weight too. We have caught him eating and heard him drinking a few times, so the appetite seems to be there. We’re laying off the veggies atm because of the bloating, but the Harrington pellets are definitely going down.

He gets bursts of energy and can run for the hills, but when he stops he goes floppy (just flops his head and body down). It’s hard to describe.

I’ll chase up the vet today and try my best to get him seen sooner. We already decided to get a little friend for him as soon as he gets better :) We won’t have him alone as we know they’re herd pigs.

Thank you for attaching the information, I’ll give it all a thorough read.

88E7DBF1-F693-4834-A60B-812CF2FDF27C.jpeg
 

Piggies&buns

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He is gorgeous, i do hope he gets better soon.

If there is an infection in his eye, then he will need a prescribed antibiotic drop but first the vet needs to diagnose the problem. It’s best to not home treat for anything, always go to the vet for a diagnosis. Home treatment can mask the symptoms and make it harder for a vet to diagnose and make the condition take longer to get better.

He needs to eat hay most of all as it is the bulk of their diet, and available 24/7. Weighing helps you see if they are eating enough hay as it isnt something you can judge by eye. Pellets should be no more than one tablespoon per day. Long Term Balanced General And Special Needs Guinea Pig Diets
 

Winniepeg

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Well done for saving this gorgeous little boy. I wish you a happy and healthy future together. Please keep us posted how he gets on
 

RaineTheLlama

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He is gorgeous, i do hope he gets better soon.

If there is an infection in his eye, then he will need a prescribed antibiotic drop but first the vet needs to diagnose the problem. It’s best to not home treat for anything, always go to the vet for a diagnosis. Home treatment can mask the symptoms and make it harder for a vet to diagnose and make the condition take longer to get better.

He needs to eat hay most of all as it is the bulk of their diet, and available 24/7. Weighing helps you see if they are eating enough hay as it isnt something you can judge by eye. Pellets should be no more than one tablespoon per day. Long Term Balanced General And Special Needs Guinea Pig Diets
Me too, I will try my absolute hardest. I’ll reduce pellets a bit (I’ve been reading and watching YT videos constantly since yesterday, but there’s so much to learn). This forum is invaluable.

I called the vet and they want to do a “Zoom consultation” this evening before they book an emergency appointment for tomorrow (doesn’t seem like an emergency appointment to me) 😒 I called up another exotic vet in the area and it seems I can’t get any appointments until next week unless I stick with the Friday one. It seems if he’s not visibly dying and refusing food, it is not an emergency. I hate this whole COVID thing.

I’ve found fleas on him cuddling him and one of his bottom teeth has broken. I understand they’re open rooted and it’ll grow back, but I’m astonished at how bad his state is after the owner having him for just one week. Do I treat him for fleas now or wait? I’m sorry for all the questions, but I had no time to prepare and had to save him on the spot.

Thank you for your advice x
 

Piggies&buns

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Please don’t be sorry for the questions, you’ve found yourself in the deep end! We are all here to support you.
If he is eating, then that is a good thing. Keep plenty of hay available to him at all times and weigh him daily (at the same time each day so you know you are in the same place in the feeding cycle) just to be sure he is getting enough. If he stops eating, then the situation changes, but if he is eating enough to sustain his weight, then it’s great.

Stick with the zoom consultation and see what they say. Only you (and your vet) can judge whether he is in a serious state, we are only going by the written word so obviously can’t see his actually state.

Piggies don’t have a species specific flea. Again, a vet diagnosis and prescribed treatment is necessary. The mites and lice treatments you can buy in pet shops arent good enough to cure the problem.

This link below has a section explaining piggy parasites, do give it a read
New guinea pigs: Sexing, vet checks&customer rights, URI, ringworm and parasites
 

Wiebke

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Me too, I will try my absolute hardest. I’ll reduce pellets a bit (I’ve been reading and watching YT videos constantly since yesterday, but there’s so much to learn). This forum is invaluable.

I called the vet and they want to do a “Zoom consultation” this evening before they book an emergency appointment for tomorrow (doesn’t seem like an emergency appointment to me) 😒 I called up another exotic vet in the area and it seems I can’t get any appointments until next week unless I stick with the Friday one. It seems if he’s not visibly dying and refusing food, it is not an emergency. I hate this whole COVID thing.

I’ve found fleas on him cuddling him and one of his bottom teeth has broken. I understand they’re open rooted and it’ll grow back, but I’m astonished at how bad his state is after the owner having him for just one week. Do I treat him for fleas now or wait? I’m sorry for all the questions, but I had no time to prepare and had to save him on the spot.

Thank you for your advice x
Hi and welcome

Well done for taking your poorly little boy in! Unfortunately you are in for a very steep learning curve in a hurry.

Here is our new owners information collection, which you may find helpful to bookmark. Unlike with any book that is rather quickly outdated, the guide format allows us to go with the times. Our practical experience on this forum for well over a decade has gone into it; we specifically try to address all the questions, concerns and the most common pitfalls that new owners come across in the kind of practical but precise detail that is needed.

Written information has got its uses too as you can go back more easily and re-read - especially when your brain is on information overload. You don't have to jot down all the salient points to remind you afterwards.
We have got an excellent and very detailed practical diet guide, which looks at all food groups, for instance. And our emergency care guide contains all necessary information and resources to keep your piggy alive that you will need in a hurry when you are panicking, struggling to think straight and don't have time to do a lot of research; it also contains tips on what you can do when you have to improvise before you can see a vet. Please accept that it is against the law to self-medicate on spec in the UK (for good reason!) and that as a public body this forum is legally liable but we fully endorse proper veterinary care and good quality medication for welfare reasons anyway.
Getting Started - New Owners' Most Helpful Guides
Long Term Balanced General And Special Needs Guinea Pig Diets

Lethargy in a guinea pig is always a red flag symptom that something very serious is wrong and that cannot wait. Please step in with syringe feeding support and weight monitoring; the emergency guide tells you how you can improvise in a pinch.

I hope that your vets will have him seen today! It sounds rather urgent to me.
 

RaineTheLlama

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Please don’t be sorry for the questions, you’ve found yourself in the deep end! We are all here to support you.
If he is eating, then that is a good thing. Keep plenty of hay available to him at all times and weigh him daily (at the same time each day so you know you are in the same place in the feeding cycle) just to be sure he is getting enough. If he stops eating, then the situation changes, but if he is eating enough to sustain his weight, then it’s great.

Stick with the zoom consultation and see what they say. Only you (and your vet) can judge whether he is in a serious state, we are only going by the written word so obviously can’t see his actually state.

Piggies don’t have a species specific flea. Again, a vet diagnosis and prescribed treatment is necessary. The mites and lice treatments you can buy in pet shops arent good enough to cure the problem.

This link below has a section explaining piggy parasites, do give it a read
New guinea pigs: Sexing, vet checks&customer rights, URI, ringworm and parasites
Thank you. I’ll let the vet look at him and prescribe what’s best. I just don’t want him to be in anymore discomfort, poor little thing 😞 It seems to be one issue after the other. I will read all the links - thank you ever so much for your help. I’m very glad to have this forum.
 

RaineTheLlama

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Hi and welcome

Well done for taking your poorly little boy in! Unfortunately you are in for a very steep learning curve in a hurry.

Here is our new owners information collection, which you may find helpful to bookmark. Unlike with any book that is rather quickly outdated, the guide format allows us to go with the times. Our practical experience on this forum for well over a decade has gone into it; we specifically try to address all the questions, concerns and the most common pitfalls that new owners come across in the kind of practical but precise detail that is needed.

Written information has got its uses too as you can go back more easily and re-read - especially when your brain is on information overload. You don't have to jot down all the salient points to remind you afterwards.
We have got an excellent and very detailed practical diet guide, which looks at all food groups, for instance. And our emergency care guide contains all necessary information and resources to keep your piggy alive that you will need in a hurry when you are panicking, struggling to think straight and don't have time to do a lot of research; it also contains tips on what you can do when you have to improvise before you can see a vet. Please accept that it is against the law to self-medicate on spec in the UK (for good reason!) and that as a public body this forum is legally liable but we fully endorse proper veterinary care and good quality medication for welfare reasons anyway.
Getting Started - New Owners' Most Helpful Guides
Long Term Balanced General And Special Needs Guinea Pig Diets

Lethargy in a guinea pig is always a red flag symptom that something very serious is wrong and that cannot wait. Please step in with syringe feeding support and weight monitoring; the emrgency guide tells you how you can improvise.

I hope that your vets will have him seen today! It sounds rather urgent to me.
Wow! The guides on here are extremely helpful and seem to be very comprehensive! That is going to be extremely valuable to me during these early days, thank you very much. We had been hopping all over the internet to find information since yesterday, but having it all in one place is a lot less overwhelming.

We will be keeping a sharp eye on his weight every day until we’re sure he’s stabilising/gaining. He seems to have a lot of strength, the flopping happens when he stops running. It’s like he runs and then he gets tired and has to quickly lie down from overexerting himself. That is the only way I can describe it, but I will not be happy/relaxed enough until he is checked over fully by a vet.

If there is anything we cannot stand it is people who abuse vulnerable things, my anger is extreme towards this man. I hope I never see his face again.

Thank you again to ALL of you for your help, I’ll keep the thread updated about the little one. I pray he will be okay.
 

Wiebke

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Wow! The guides on here are extremely helpful and seem to be very comprehensive! That is going to be extremely valuable to me during these early days, thank you very much. We had been hopping all over the internet to find information since yesterday, but having it all in one place is a lot less overwhelming.

We will be keeping a sharp eye on his weight every day until we’re sure he’s stabilising/gaining. He seems to have a lot of strength, the flopping happens when he stops running. It’s like he runs and then he gets tired and has to quickly lie down from overexerting himself. That is the only way I can describe it, but I will not be happy/relaxed enough until he is checked over fully by a vet.

If there is anything we cannot stand it is people who abuse vulnerable things, my anger is extreme towards this man. I hope I never see his face again.

Thank you again to ALL of you for your help, I’ll keep the thread updated about the little one. I pray he will be okay.
I am glad that we can help you! Our forum ethos is to be as supportive as possible to help you achieve your very best within your individual situation.

Nearly 15 years of existence with hundreds of thousands of questions along the way means that we have had plenty of time to work out all the little wrinkles that can cause issues and how to provide any information in a way that it is really useful; most books and general advice usually gloss over the sticky little details that challenge the new owner. Videos are very helpful in showing you the practical how-to but they cannot necessarily cover every possible detail of any given subject.
We are still working on updating and extending our information; it is by now likely the most extensive that you can find in the English language. You can access the whole and even wider information resource via the guides shortcut on the top bar where the guide links are laid out in thematic order. They are all stickied at the top of our various Care sections but by date of the last post, so it is a bit of a jumble.

I hope that you can get your boy through the roughest first weeks and give him the happy ever after he so badly deserves!
 

David Piggie Lover

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Wow. That piggie has suffered so much in a short time and you guys taking him in is wonderful.. .it's going to take a while to get the little guy fixed and with your love and lots care the reward will be worth it.
Welcome and I send you and that lucky piggie cos you care tlc. x
 

RaineTheLlama

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Its amazing what a bit of love and TLC will do for any pet. I'm sure with your care your piggie will go from strength to strength. He looks gorgeous :love: What have you called him?
I certainly hope so! We haven’t given him a name yet as we’re quite particular with names (took us weeks to name our dog, lol). We will see what he likes and what his little personality is like, then we’re sure it’ll come to us in time! He deserves a good name. For now he is known as Little One ❤
 

RaineTheLlama

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Wow. That piggie has suffered so much in a short time and you guys taking him in is wonderful.. .it's going to take a while to get the little guy fixed and with your love and lots care the reward will be worth it.
Welcome and I send you and that lucky piggie cos you care tlc. x
He has, but we’re going to make him forget about that stupid man. I have insisted my fiancé’s dad take a screenshot of his face from CCTV and that he be banned from the pet shop, I will also make sure the picture gets distributed to other shops in the area. The way he was squeezing him and making him squeak 😢 Broke my heart tbh. Little one will be loved by us. Thank you for the welcome, it’s a lovely forum to be a part of.
 

Wiebke

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He has, but we’re going to make him forget about that stupid man. I have insisted my fiancé’s dad take a screenshot of his face from CCTV and that he be banned from the pet shop, I will also make sure the picture gets distributed to other shops in the area. The way he was squeezing him and making him squeak 😢 Broke my heart tbh. Little one will be loved by us. Thank you for the welcome, it’s a lovely forum to be a part of.
Please also make sure that the vet checks for internal injuries from the squeazing! guinea pigs are after all just small animals. This could account for the lethargy.
 

David Piggie Lover

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He has, but we’re going to make him forget about that stupid man. I have insisted my fiancé’s dad take a screenshot of his face from CCTV and that he be banned from the pet shop, I will also make sure the picture gets distributed to other shops in the area. The way he was squeezing him and making him squeak 😢 Broke my heart tbh. Little one will be loved by us. Thank you for the welcome, it’s a lovely forum to be a part of.
Horrible man. I'd put it in facebook. . I have a big problem with any animal cruelty.
 
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