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Guinea pig not eating - maybe tooth issue?

Darcy2020

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Hello,

I noticed my piggy (4 yrs old) was quiet and hiding away the other day and didn't come running up for food with his brother as usual. I took him to the vet (with special training for guinea pigs), who couldn't find anything wrong in the initial exam, other than slightly elevated breathing. She gave me an antibiotic thinking he might have a cold starting and the Oxbow Critical Care which we have been doing the past few days. She said if we see no change, we would sedate him to check his back teeth. I haven't noticed much of an improvement and have been observing him as much as possible to find any behaviours that might help us diagnose him. He's very quiet compared to usual, but will come out and check the food. He'll lift it up as if interested in it/sniff at it, and then just drop it , or turn away from it completely. He'll eat the occasional bit of hay and he's taken a little bit of basil & cilantro from me, but he eats them very slowly. He won't eat his vitamin C treat (the one in the orange Oxbow pack), which he usually grabs out of my hand and runs off like he's stealing something :) I'm going to call the vet again today to update them, but I was just wondering if anyone had seen their guinea pig act the same way around food. He has unlimited Oxbow Timothy hay, we feed them the Oxbow dry food and a variety of fresh veg. I'll be calling the vet today regardless, but I was just wondering if anyone had had a similar experience. Thanks!
 

Siikibam

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Since he doesn't seem to be eating enough, please start weighing daily at the same time and step in with syringe feeding if he's losing weight. Hay is the biggest part of their diet so if he isn't eating hay then he needs support feeding. A few bits of cilantro and parsley are really not enough.

Ring the vet and ask for them to look at his teeth as suggested at the previous visit. Hope they find out what's wrong.

Complete Syringe Feeding Guide
 

Piggies&buns

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If he is unable to pick up and chew, then the first thought is dental problems. His teeth will need checking.
However, reluctance to eat can come with any illness and your vet is clearly not discounting a URI at this point (guinea pigs don’t get colds).
After a few days on antibiotics, lack of appetite can kick in as antibiotics kill off the gut bacteria - you combat this by syringe feeding, which you would be doing anyway with a poorly piggy, but also by giving probiotics/poop soup to replace bacteria and settle the gut.
As siikibam has said, though you need to weigh your piggy at the same time every day to you can ensure you are getting enough syringe feeds into him.

As well as the guide siikibam has linked in, the two below also will be helpful

Not Eating, Weight Loss And The Importance Of Syringe Feeding Fibre
Probiotics, Recovery Foods And Vitamin C: Overview With Product Links
 
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