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Getting Piggie To Eat Independently Again

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missdoofus

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Hello :bye:,
I need to ask for advice again as we are still not further with Cookie actually gaining weight. It has been just over a month that he was neutered and he is a little bit better, he will eat some vegetables again, has had to somewhat re-learn to drink water from the bottle in his cage. He has been drinking a lot more though, since he figured out he doesn't need to wait for the syringe to drink water. We have seen him eat pellets at regular intervals and since we put him back with his cagemate (with whom he is miraculously getting on again!) he has also started eating hay again as well.

His behaviour has improved, he still has periods where he sits hunched up, but he is wheeking again for food and seems just a little more cheerful and active.
During the week we are unable to feed him during the day, as the director of my company is no longer impressed with me having him at work :ban:.

So the routine is like this:
6am get up and feed - he eats a good lot of food, he doesn't like critical care, so we give him mashed up pellets, which he eats without forcing. Then we get ready and feed him again at 7.30am - I do try and give him the critical care at this point. Then obviously he only has the food in his cage during the day, this includes veggies. I get home around 5.30pm - handfeed as much as I can. Then I continue the handfeeding every hour until 11pm. We have also been giving them additional vegetables. I try and mix in the critical care with his mashed up pellets.

At the weekend we feed him every couple of hours, morning and night time. He does not seem to be loosing weight on a daily basis but he is still at 550/570g it varies slightly. He was at 750g before the operation.

We have tried handfeeding him baby food, mixed with critical care etc. but he hates all of it and as he started eating independently again, he now puts up a serious fight for feeding as he seems to think he no longer needs the special treatment. :roll::roll: Well, we disagree!

So, how are we going to get him to eat more of his food independently and actually get enough to reduce the amount we handfeed him? It seems like we are in this cycle and there is no way out. (All the vet visits haven't come out with him actually having anything wrong that would need treatment :no: so there is no real reason for him to be like this...)

Any suggestions appreciated!
 

Wiebke

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I would weigh him daily to see whether he actually needs hand feeding. I would also consider to just observe how much he is eating without your support on a day when you are at home and can keep an eye on him. He may actually eat normally once he has to! it would be worth a test drive, just so you have more peace of mind about leaving him at home.

If an operation hasn't gone smoothly, it can take a few more weeks before he is putting on some weight again. His body will do so only it when it is ready, no matter how much he is actually eating.
 

missdoofus

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Thanks @Wiebke !

Thats exactly what we are wondering as well, if he had to, will he eat...? My only concern is that he weighs so little already if he drops much more there will be nothing left of him oO

During the week he has no one during the day to feed him, we have a spare webcam I might actually hook it up and fast forward at the end of the day to see what he has eaten.
 

Ktbubble007

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When I was hand feeding scruffy it got to the point he was happy to eat mushed up pellets by himself but not dry ones so I would mix them up with warm water and out in his cage for overnight and in the morning I would come down to them demolished! This went on for about 10 days or so then one day he just started himself back on dried pellets, veg and hay! I always offered him everything but he refused to take it until he felt well enough x
 

missdoofus

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I am happy to just put them in but I have to be aware though that the other pig might be the one eating them...

Might try and get their veggies ready now and then put the mushed up pellets into the food bowl and then put it in.. And hope he doesn't end up marching through it :pp
 

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Can you put a divider in their cagewhen you aren't there? They can still have the interaction but he can have a go at eating some nugget mush by himself then
 

missdoofus

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I could put the divider back in but they have been fighting for weeks and this is the first time since November they are getting on again, so I don't want to break the relationship they have just built up again..

No I haven't tried the bran, what do I need to make it/ how do I make it?
 

Piggly

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As long as they can interact through the divider that should be fine. Providing he has a clean bill of health and just needs to put on the weight wheat bran could be good for him. You can get a big bag for something like £1.70 from holland and barrat, and probably from any health food shop. I used to add a bit of water to make it mushy, but they stuff their faces with it dry too. Go easy on it, just try half a teaspoon in a little bowl each day and see how it goes.
 

missdoofus

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Ah well that's easier than I thought!

Well like I said no one can actually find anything wrong with him, so I assume he is just taking his time to get better.. Well so I hope anyways..
 

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Add a sprinkle of porridge oats too if you have some, these will help add weight to him. Keep his normal food in there too, hay, nuggets and veggies, and hopefully he will start eating properly again!
 

missdoofus

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Well I need to go to the shop tomorrow anyways, so I shall do some additional shopping! Will let you know what my little fussy eater thinks ;)
 

Ktbubble007

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Yeah I think Chocolate rather liked the wet pellets when I put them in lol! However I knew Scruffy was getting a lot of them as he did indeed run through them quite a bit! His face and underside got rather dirty! I just took the risk of Chocolate snaffling some as I dudnt have a divider x
 

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It is worth trying mashed up pellets; I mix mine with Critical Care and add a pinch of readigrass (provided you have some) for extra delicious flavouring for any offy piggies that still have some appetite left. You need to change it twice daily, though.
 

missdoofus

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Welk i Tried not feeding him and he is down to 500g :( so it's obviously not made a difference to him, be just seems to have no enthusiasm to eat..

I just put the wet pellet mash in and the other pig is eating it, but cookie is just turning his nose up at it. I also started mixing the critical xare in with the pellets as otherwise they don't eat it. My local shops didn't jabe wheat bran and Holland and barriers is miles away and closed by the time I finish work. So need to try and get the wheat bran from somewhere else
 

Wiebke

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Welk i Tried not feeding him and he is down to 500g :( so it's obviously not made a difference to him, be just seems to have no enthusiasm to eat..

I just put the wet pellet mash in and the other pig is eating it, but cookie is just turning his nose up at it. I also started mixing the critical xare in with the pellets as otherwise they don't eat it. My local shops didn't jabe wheat bran and Holland and barriers is miles away and closed by the time I finish work. So need to try and get the wheat bran from somewhere else
I am ever so sorry, but it very much looks like you have to continue to hand feed him as much as possible.

If he is not eating at all, there is an internal and likely pain-rlated problem that is preventing him to eat. Has your vet considered an infection or gut adhesion? It is very gutting, but please contact the vet again as this is not normal and something IS going on that is not at all right! At the least, he will need pain relief while your vet is researching into more unusual post op complications. :(

Please also make sure that he is getting plenty of water, as that much of a weight loss in such a short time also means that he has not drunk at all. If necessary, use dioralyte from the pharmacy.
 

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Agreed with wiebke - chances are hes still unwell or in pain. Don't worry yourself overly about the wheat bran if its hard to find, just concentrate on hand feeding him and getting some weight back on him until he can see the vet again
 
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