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Guinea Pig Eating All Kinds Of Different Beddings

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New Born Pup
Nov 28, 2014
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Hi, I just had to recently change my guinea's bedding brand because he was sneezing frequently from the dust. Anyways, I just cleaned his cage out and replaced it with new Carefresh paper bedding. Immediately he started to eat pieces of it and throughout the day that was all he ate. I was concerned so I ran to the pet store and bought pine shavings instead. He began to eat this one even more. His hay and pellets were still untouched. Finally, I just decided to use newspaper until I could find time to run back to the store and pick up a different kind. But he then began nibbling on the newspaper as well. He's never reacted this way to the bedding. He's used the Carefresh paper bedding before and never felt the need to eat it in the large amounts he was. He has stopped nibbling on the hay now but he still hasn't eaten any hay or pellets since I cleaned his cage out, which was this morning. He usually eats TONS of it. I'm very concerned. Could his stomach be hurting and this is his way of stopping it? Please help! I need answers!
Update. I added some towels in also and he's chewing on those as well
This behaviour indicates your guinea pig has an underlying illness. It shows he is unable to eat his proper food but is using the shavings/paper to provide a source of fibre to keep his guts going. His illness could be a dental problem (less likely as he is chewing paper) , an infection such as a urinary tract issue or something else.....but underlying it all is also pain which has stopped him being able to eat his normal food.

Please take him to a qualified vet for a full exam. He will need pain relief and possibly supportive syringe feeding from you whilst he gets better. He may also need gut stimulants - you need to monitor his poos for size/shape/frequency - take some with you to the vet.

Please also remove the pine shavings - they contain terpinoid oils which are harmful to guinea pigs in quantity. Newspaper is fine - I make sure any of my poorly piggies have some available to nibble/eat.
Thank you for telling me that. He has start to squeek while he's pooping so there must be something going on in his gut. I will call the vet in the morning
Update: Woke up this morning and noticed he had eaten a majority of the hay which was good. He started looking bloated last night but is looking better this morning. He is still trying to eat pieces of newspaper but he's not as persistent about it as he was before. I also noticed a lack in poop and when there are pieces they are smaller than usual. They pieces may be cecotropes so he might just be eating his poops. He seems to squeak every now and then while he is pooping like it's hurting him. Maybe signs of a UTI or stones? He was on an antibiotic a few days ago because of a URI and I'm wondering if the antibiotic has upset his stomach/guts and is acting this way because of it.
Hi, my guinea pig was recently on antibiotics for an URI but I had to stop giving it to him because he refused to eat. A few days later now and he's been chewing on newspaper. He now seems to be quite bloated but he's still eating and drinking a little bit. His droppings are very small and light brown and he's definitely not pooping as much as he normally would. I'm worried that his bloat will progress. He was been bloated before but has gotten over it. Is there anything I can do at home to help him get through it? I'm wondering if the antibiotics has done something to his stomach/guts. Please help!
Hope he gets better soon! To my knowledge squeaking when pooing is more likely to be stones than a UTI, so I'd get an ultrasound or x-ray done. My Daisy has had two UTIs and she only had pain when weeing, not pooing. It could be the result of the antibiotics but I don't have much knowledge about that so can't be of much help in that regard.

Glad to hear he's been eating hay, though :)
Antibiotics can sometimes slow down the gut and cause gut stasis which will lead to a build up of gas. You need to get to a vet ASAP and get a gut stimulant into him like emeprid. Bloat can be life threatening so you really do need a vet.

Whilst you wait for an appointment you can try gently massaging his tummy - using a massage pad or electric toothbrush if you have them. Alternatively a little drive down a bumpy road in the car can sometimes help too.

I have included the link to your other thread because essentially you are dealing with one situation here and the information is relevant.

Now that we know your guinea pig has recently been given antibiotics for a URI, and that this was stopped because he refused to eat, then it is easier to give more tailored advice.

When guinea pigs are ill or in pain, they often stop eating (or at least dont eat enough).
Often a piggie with a URI finds it difficult to breathe and eat so they opt for breathing.
It is therefore very important to monitor food intake in a sick piggie and syringe feed if necessary

As food intake reduces, the guts slow down, poos get smaller. The administration of an antibiotic also upsets the normal gut flora (microbes) causing an imbalance and in some cases, gas can form which, because the gut movement has slowed down, can build up to cause bloat.

The main cause of gut problems in a sick guinea pig is not the antibiotic...it is the reduction in food intake because the pig doesn;t want to eat. Unfortunately often the antibiotic gets the blame. The correct response when your piggie stopped eating was not to withdraw the antibiotic before the full course had been given but rather to start supportive syringe feeding.

A good indication of a poorly functioning gut/lack of food intake is to monitor the frequency,size and shape of the poos. Are his poos still normal or are they smaller/drier?

Given from your other thread this has been going on for >24hours I would strongly urge you now to go back to a vet without further delay as this condition (often called ileus) may now require gut stimulants to re-start the gut properly. (emeprid or zantac and cisapride) before full gut stasis develops.

You also need to syringe feed regularly - here is our guide

Most importantly however, please take him back to your vet and get him properly assessed/treated for his gut function.
oh blimey. just realised my post was full of phone typos! sorry about that, Pebble said it all much better anyway :)
Please see your vet over the bloating as soon as you can; it should never be taken lightly!

Guinea pigs whose digestive system is out of kilter after an illness, operation or through antibiotics often have a craving for very rough, nutrionally very poor fibre. If you can, please put some brown cardboard or toilet roll inners in the cage to help satisfy that craving; that is safe to eat and digest without the risk of causing a blockage.
Take your piggies off all fresh food until the poos and the bloated tummy are stable again for at least 24 hours, ideally 48 hours and then re-introduce them only slowly and carefully. Please keep an eye out for any veg that is more prone in triggering bloating in your guinea pig and eliminate it from the diet.
Probiotics or poo soup (made from soaking fresh poos from a healthy piggy in boiled, cooled water and syringing that) can additionally help to rebalance the guts.

With members from all over the world, we find it helpful in being able to tailor our advice for your location (especially when it comes to medication or medical brand names, which differ between countries) if you please added your country, state or (for the UK) your county/city to your details. Click on your username on the top bar, then go to personal details and scroll down to location. Thanks!
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