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Dottie

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My guinea pig Dottie is around 5 months old. I weighed her today and she was the same weight as when I weighed her two weeks ago. I’m worried she isn’t eating enough since when I offer her a veggie she nibbles in and leaves it. She is eating her hay and as far as I’m aware she is drinking. But she has sometimes has white bits in her poops and I’m wondering if this has anything to do with her not eating as much. Normally she would increase in weight every week or so. She seems perfectly happy though and she is still squeaking so I don’t know what it could be.

This isn’t relevant to the eating/weight issue but her and her sister Rosie both teeth chatter. Is that normal for a guinea pig?
 

Piggies&buns

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Hay makes up the biggest proportion of their diet. It is hay intake which most greatly affects weight gain due to it being 80% of their food. Veg should only be 50g per day, making around 15% of their daily food intake, so if you are feeding according to recommendations, then not eating veg doesn’t have a huge impact on weight. However, any reduction in appetite or change in behaviour should be checked out by a vet.
They will all gain weight in their own time, and while losing weight rapidly is more of a concern, If you are worried, then having a vet check her over is always a good idea.
Try to ensure you routinely weigh her weekly as it helps you monitor more closely - you should however switch to weighing every day (at the same of day) where you have any health concerns.
Weight - Monitoring and Management

Chattering teeth is a dominance behaviour. The severity of the chattering indicates whether it is becoming a problem though. They need to be able to form a functioning hierarchy with one piggy dominant and the other submissive. If they cannot do this and both want to be dominant, then that is when bonds fail.
Dominance Behaviours In Guinea Pigs
 

Dottie and Rosie

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Ok thank you I will continue to weigh her everyday for a couple of days, if she looses any weight should I be contacting a vet? I may call them tonight considering her lack in appetite. The teeth chattering only occurs when out of the hutch so I’m not very worried about that yet. Thanks for the help.
 

Piggies&buns

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Losing anything up to 50g in one go is within normal fluctuation and is not concerning on its own - could be down to an empty bladder for example. Losing more than 50g in one go or losing smaller amounts of weight over a longer period which result in a continual downward trend is of concern. At this point you must step in and syringe feed to prevent further weight loss and consult a vet.
The guides i linked in my previous reply explain weight management in more detail

Chattering teeth is normal, it can mean many different things - all piggies do it so it isn’t concerning on its own. One of mine was chattering at me this morning, he wanted his food and I wasn’t being quick enough!
 

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When it comes to weight loss, you are looking for a downward trend or them losing a huge chunk in one go. You should weigh at the same time eg before breakfast as weight fluctuates. A loss / gain of say, 50g can be the difference between a full and empty bladder for example
 

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Hi!

You may find these guides here very helpful in health monitoring and understanding how the weight changes over the course of a life.
I am also adding some behaviour guides which you may find helpful. You are currently dealing with two teenagers in the most hormonal weeks. However, if you have any concerns, please see a vet for a health check.

Health monitoring and diet:
Weight - Monitoring and Management (All about weight)
Guinea pig body quirks - What is normal and what not?
Long Term Balanced General And Special Needs Guinea Pig Diets
Emergency, Crisis and Bridging Care until a Vet Appointment

Sows: Behaviour and female health problems (including ovarian cysts)
Bonds In Trouble
 

Dottie and Rosie

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Is it normal for her and her sister (mostly Dottie) to be scratching a lot? Also have noticed a slight tenderness to the tummy. Although I don’t know whether it has always been there. I’m considering calling the vet this evening would that be a good idea?
 

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Is it normal for her and her sister (mostly Dottie) to be scratching a lot? Also have noticed a slight tenderness to the tummy. Although I don’t know whether it has always been there. I’m considering calling the vet this evening would that be a good idea?
If you suspect a tender tummy and if there is scratching then yes, it will do no harm to have them checked by a vet
 

Dottie and Rosie

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If you suspect a tender tummy and if there is scratching then yes, it will do no harm to have them checked by a vet
Thanks I will do that. They don’t have a vet they are signed into do I have to do that before calling a vet?
 

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Is it normal for her and her sister (mostly Dottie) to be scratching a lot? Also have noticed a slight tenderness to the tummy. Although I don’t know whether it has always been there. I’m considering calling the vet this evening would that be a good idea?
Hi!

it is worth having them vet checked. The scratching may be down to the dry radiator air from the recent cold spell but it is always better to be safe than sorry if it is caused by skin parasites. Of course once you are worried you will be looking much more closely than usual and see all kinds of things.

However, any any vet will tell you that they much rather give the news that there is nothing wrong with a piggy of yours than having to tell somebody that it is too late for their piggy to save them. ;)

You can register your piggies when you book an appointment.
 

Dottie and Rosie

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Hey, I’m calling up the vet this morning. But I’ve done some research and I think she might have a respiratory infection. Is that contagious because she is living with her sister Rosie? Should I get Rosie checked out as well?
 

Piggies&buns

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Hey, I’m calling up the vet this morning. But I’ve done some research and I think she might have a respiratory infection. Is that contagious because she is living with her sister Rosie? Should I get Rosie checked out as well?
The symptoms you are describing don’t seem to be that of a URI? Are you hearing crackly breathing, hooting, excessive sneezing, discharge from eyes/nose?
I think you should get her checked by a vet though to be on the safe side, as you do seem to be concerned something is amiss.

URIs are caused by bacteria but its not a given that Rosie will definitely get one if Dottie does indeed have a URI. If her immune system is healthy, then her body could well fight it and she may never display symptoms.
 

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Yes.
Both have started sneezing a lot more than usual in the past few days, but I can’t tell wether her breathing is rapid or laboured because she has dark fur. They’re breathing isn’t crackly so I don’t know what it could be. Dottie ate her carrots this morning so she isn’t feeling to bad. And as far as I’m aware she is drinking, She seems happy and was pop-corning when she heard her food coming.

I will ask about Rosie as well so that I know wether it’s the both of them or just Dottie. Both guinea pigs were very lethargic yesterday and that isn’t normal since they are young. I don’t know what it could be, do you have any idea what it could be? I’ll hopefully find out when I call the vet.

symptoms: Lethargic, sneezing, scratching, Dottie has stayed the same weight over two weeks (Rosie gained 50g), and Dottie’s tummy is tender to the touch. She try’s to nudge me out of the way when I touch it.
 

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You just call a vet and register them and then make an appointment. Make sure they are familiar with treating guinea pigs
Vets4pets is where my cats are registered and they sell guinea pigs there. You can make appointments for them there. Although I didn’t get my guinea pigs from there they seem reliable as my cats have got all vaccinations from there.
 

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Ok, if you are now noticing more sneezing and a change in behaviour then you definitely do need to have them seen by a vet.

You’ll need to find out if they are experienced with exotic pets - the vet you use for your cat may be fine for your cat but piggies are a different ballgame and sometimes cat/dog vets simply don’t have the experience required to treat guinea pigs.
 

Dottie and Rosie

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Ok, if you are now noticing more sneezing and a change in behaviour then you definitely do need to have them seen by a vet.

You’ll need to find out if they are experienced with exotic pets - the vet you use for your cat may be fine for your cat but piggies are a different ballgame and sometimes cat/dog vets simply don’t have the experience required to treat guinea pigs.
On the website they have the option for guinea pigs. And they do sell and give advice for piggies there so would that be fine?
 

Piggies&buns

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On the website they have the option for guinea pigs. And they do sell and give advice for piggies there so would that be fine?
If they are experienced at treating piggies (I would not solely rely on the fact they sell piggies though) then that’s fine. You’ll need to find out.
 
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