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George's Bum: Is it normal?!

Free Ranger

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My 3 1/2 year old (neutered) male has had a difficult month. His cage-mate Ivy was unwell and he got stressed and one night a few weeks back pooped out something resembling a champagne cork (!) then developed a bladder infection and had to have antibiotics - which appear to have worked. He'd only done this once before when his other wife, old Daisy, was coming to her end. I realise now it must have been him... at the time I was flipping all 3 over to try and work out who on earth could have produced this thing!
He's coming to terms with losing Ivy too and, having read the guides on impaction, I've been checking George daily. It's not been quite a week since his antibiotics and I was expecting it might take a while for his guts to settle down - especially as he is now a single pig and has to re-establish his gut flora. Also he's not moving about much now unless you motivate him with treats and as he's already a big boy (1.5 kilos) I don't want to add to his problems!

This is where it gets a bit graphic so you might want to put that biscuit down first...
Unsurprisingly, after the 'un-corking' incident George did have a seriously baggy perineal sack and there was a claggy build-up every day which he didn't complain about me seeing to. If I left it 2 days the mass was bigger but it wasn't especially stinky and didn't have the soft, fudgy consistency so clearly demonstrated in your videos. If anything his problem was that the waste poops (which were still prolific - he is a super-pooper) had to work their way around the edge of a firm blockage. He is pooping as much as normal - my gosh is he pooping - but kind of in a different way. He's passing several at a time and seems to have to make something of an effort to do it, whereas before he would just excrete as he walked around. When I palpate the anal sack now it feels smaller (thank goodness) and there seems to be no build-up of caecotrophs but for the last few days there's usually about 8 or 9 fully formed waste poops just sitting in there. All I can feel is a bulge the size of a large marble so I think "Aha! A blockage!" and get to work but then realise it's not so much a blockage as an accumulation - some of them are sitting in there sideways, stuck together, but in his current condition I suspect he could pass them sideways! Also, although I'm gentle, he's been complaining the last couple of days and I get the impression he'd rather be left alone.

So, my question is what is 'normal' for the older male? Do they all accumulate poops like this? If he's otherwise healthy should I just leave him alone now? If he's bulging with a full load of normal poops do I interfere or let him get on with it? The issue of company to liven him up is being addressed, but I suppose I'm saying is it really 'impaction' or has he now just got a baggy bum?!
 

Betsy

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I've had no experience of impaction. I'm sure some experienced members will be able to answer soon.
 

Wiebke

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My 3 1/2 year old (neutered) male has had a difficult month. His cage-mate Ivy was unwell and he got stressed and one night a few weeks back pooped out something resembling a champagne cork (!) then developed a bladder infection and had to have antibiotics - which appear to have worked. He'd only done this once before when his other wife, old Daisy, was coming to her end. I realise now it must have been him... at the time I was flipping all 3 over to try and work out who on earth could have produced this thing!
He's coming to terms with losing Ivy too and, having read the guides on impaction, I've been checking George daily. It's not been quite a week since his antibiotics and I was expecting it might take a while for his guts to settle down - especially as he is now a single pig and has to re-establish his gut flora. Also he's not moving about much now unless you motivate him with treats and as he's already a big boy (1.5 kilos) I don't want to add to his problems!

This is where it gets a bit graphic so you might want to put that biscuit down first...
Unsurprisingly, after the 'un-corking' incident George did have a seriously baggy perineal sack and there was a claggy build-up every day which he didn't complain about me seeing to. If I left it 2 days the mass was bigger but it wasn't especially stinky and didn't have the soft, fudgy consistency so clearly demonstrated in your videos. If anything his problem was that the waste poops (which were still prolific - he is a super-pooper) had to work their way around the edge of a firm blockage. He is pooping as much as normal - my gosh is he pooping - but kind of in a different way. He's passing several at a time and seems to have to make something of an effort to do it, whereas before he would just excrete as he walked around. When I palpate the anal sack now it feels smaller (thank goodness) and there seems to be no build-up of caecotrophs but for the last few days there's usually about 8 or 9 fully formed waste poops just sitting in there. All I can feel is a bulge the size of a large marble so I think "Aha! A blockage!" and get to work but then realise it's not so much a blockage as an accumulation - some of them are sitting in there sideways, stuck together, but in his current condition I suspect he could pass them sideways! Also, although I'm gentle, he's been complaining the last couple of days and I get the impression he'd rather be left alone.

So, my question is what is 'normal' for the older male? Do they all accumulate poops like this? If he's otherwise healthy should I just leave him alone now? If he's bulging with a full load of normal poops do I interfere or let him get on with it? The issue of company to liven him up is being addressed, but I suppose I'm saying is it really 'impaction' or has he now just got a baggy bum?!
Hi!

Please have your boy vet checked. This requires a hands-on examination.

About 10% of older boars develop impaction but in your case it is better that you make sure that there is nothing else going on. Any build up of poos that your boy cannot get out on his own needs attending. Impaction is not a nice thing for both your boar and you. They will generally accept it more once they realise that it brings them a major relief. But you seem to be in very early stages of it.

Please also be aware that the impaction affects the caecotrophs but not initially necessarily the waste poos from either run through the gut.

Impaction - How To Help Your Guinea Pig.
 

Free Ranger

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Thanks, I'll get him checked over. I've been spot-cleaning morning and evening to monitor that everything's still moving which he seems to find quite entertaining!
 

Free Ranger

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Well George has been to the vet and he did very well for a big fat bag of nerves. One of my vets has an impacted old boar herself. Thankfully there seems to be no underlying issue with bladder or stones or fungus (apparently it can be an associated problem and he had just been on ABs) so she's happy with that. He'd been saving up a special something for her to get 'hands-on' with and she essentially said that he's not bad and it's just management. He came out fully evacuated and with his toenails trimmed (there was a very keen nurse and I think she wanted to practice as George is black with very black nails so it's a proper challenge!)
My big question had been do I do a daily assist or take a step back and at this early stage it's actually the latter. George apparently needs to try and manage as best as he can as long as he doesn't hang on to too much! He's been chunky for years but he's not moving about very much since he lost Ivy so that's our challenge. I just have to monitor the output and step in only when necessary. Oh - and put anything removed in a little dish in case he fancies a nibble later :eek: Nice.
 

Siikibam

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The things we do (and the conversations we have) for these piggies! If it was heard out of context...:yikes:
 
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