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Guinea pig losing balance

Vsokic

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Hi!
My guinea pig is nearly a year old and he had a castration month and a half ago. Since then he has slowly started losing weight and losing balance. He was 900g and now is 650g. I'm force feeding him with emeraid intensive care and he is eating on his own too but less than before. He doesn't have any lumps as in cancer nor does he have a visible infection. He is rolling to the right side every time he walks and it's getting worse. Does anybody have any clue what caused him to lose balance and weight?
 

Vsokic

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I visited the vet he didn't notice anything wrong. Gave him vitamin B, antibiotics in case of an infection and infusion shot.
 

Siikibam

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What antibiotics was he given and what was in the infusion? Did he check the wound and all seemed fine? And did he check his ears?

The weight loss is due to not eating enough hay - you can’t judge it by eye. You need to start weighing daily at the same time. Aim to get him to have 60-90ml of syringe feed in a 24 hour period. That converts to 5ml every two hours as minimum.
 

Free Ranger

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Did the antibiotics make any difference to him? Sometimes vets give high dose for a few days, sometimes lower dose for longer, even for a few weeks... can you remember the name of the antibiotic and how long it was given for? If it made a difference at first but then he got worse again when the course was finished perhaps this is an infection after all. Sometimes a different antibiotic is needed.

In this country a vet will prescribe a painkiller called metacam to a guinea-pig that might be in pain, but I don't know if you have that option. I think it is only licensed for dogs and cats but its use for piggies is becoming more common here. If they feel a bit better this can sometimes improve the appetite. If his hay intake is down is he still able to eat any bell pepper or other vegetable to get his vitamin C?

I had a pig with neurological issues which caused loss of balance but he was much older (4 or 5) and it didn't stop him eating... in fact he was very cheerful and ate like a champion until the point where he started to have fits and sadly that was his end. It sounds like your poor little fellow is feeling unwell if he is not eating.

Have his castration wounds healed properly? Sometimes an abscess can form here causing swelling which might not be noticed. If you check him here does he look like it is causing him pain? (I mean, he's not going to love it even if he's feeling well, but you can probably tell if he flinches or squeaks). In your opinion as an owner, did he recover from his castration and then get unwell or has he never been right since that op. I'm assuming he had antibiotics after the castration.

If they are not eating hay properly for a few weeks their teeth can start to overgrow. This can be a secondary problem to whatever is causing his balance to go which seems to be the primary problem but it doesn't help things. (By the way, if he did not wobble around at the vet it might be an idea to try and video him to show how bad he is). Is he able to eat hay on his own? When you give him the Emeraid can you hear him chewing? And how much will he take over 24 hours?

I am not health expert - just a forum member - but I will tag @Wiebke @Siikibam @Piggies&buns who might be able to say more. I don't know when people are online but I hope your little one can make it through. It's obvious how much you love him and are doing your best for him (ooh I see @Siikibam is here - you are in good hands now) 💕
 

Piggies&buns

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:agr: He needs to be taken to a cavy savvy vet.

is he still losing weight despite your syringe feeding? Are you keeping a chart of how much syringe feed you are getting into him in a 24 hour period?
 

Vsokic

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I was giving him antibiotics for 2 weeks 0.4ml after the castration, but I wasn't noticing any difference. The vet gave me those, didn't ask the brand/name/ingredients, trusted him. When I noticed the weightloss and him being worse, we visited the vet.

He's not eating anything besides hay, grass and pellets (+emeraid). The dose of emeraid I'm giving him is at least 20-25ml every feeding, 3-4 times a day and he is visibly chewing it.

Castration wounds healed properly, nothing is bothering him down there. My assumption is that he did not take anesthesia too well which damaged his brain because immediately after it he started acting different, wobbling around from time to time, losing balance little by little. I researched every disease/condition possible together with simptoms.

I'm taking him to the vet again tomorrow so we'll see what he'll say this time because it's been getting progressively worse no matter what/how much I do. I've been holding him all day and feeding him but now he can't even walk, he's constantly tilted to the right side, can't turn to the other side. Also, he's not gaining any weight and I don't get why because he's eating constantly.
 

Siikibam

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I’m so sorry. I hope you get some answers tomorrow.
 

Free Ranger

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You are being so thorough... I just hope you can get some answers for your little guy. It sounds like the antibiotics worked for the castration as he has no problems there - that is a relief. But if he was on antibiotics when the condition actually started then your sense that it might be something more than infection might be right.

I have heard that guinea-pigs can have a stroke but I have only heard this for older pigs and symptoms seem to be sudden onset - typically be that the owner finds them with partial paralysis, different to your case where mild symptoms develop and get slowly worse over time. Your sense about the anesthetic sounds realistic and it does sound like the poor boy is getting worse. I only hope the vet is able to give you some answers today.

I've lost pigs after operations (within 12 hours) and I've felt awful afterwards but sometimes everything is done correctly and it is just sheer bad luck. I'm hoping they can give you some miracle news but whatever happens you are treating him so gently and making him feel comfortable and loved which is all he wants 💕
 
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