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Guinea pig weight problem

Jessica Harris

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Hello, I have a 3 year old male Guinea pig who I rescued 2 years ago and within my first year of owning him he was always between 1000-1100g but then he dropped to 950g then I managed to gain it back up a
To 1000g and he stayed like that until December 2020 when he first drooped to 980g so I weight again withing 2 weeks and he was at 940g and then weighed again at around end of December and he was 900g and I have recently weighed him and he has dropped to 880g, now he is a happy Guinea pig he still has the same personality as he did when I first got him 2 years ago and doesn't act no different, he eats all his food and doesn't leave anything he gets unlimited pellets, hay and water and he gets a bowl of vegetables at night (vary every night mainly consists of romaine, spring greens, little gem, carrots, celery) and I put some oats on top of his pellets as well at night, I just don't understand what I'm doing wrong could someone help, like is there anything else I could feed or is his weight okay and I'm just being a paranoid piggie mum.

May i add I do have some readigrass will that help with weight gain.
 

Siikibam

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The continual weight loss is down to not eating enough hay. You can’t judge that by eye hence weighing weekly. How often have you been weighing him? I don’t know if it’s weekly or fortnightly from your posts.

Any continual weight loss needs investigating by the vet. So I would book him in for a check. What are his poos like?

Another thing is the diet. They shouldn’t have unlimited access to pellets. A tablespoon a day is enough. And carrots aren’t something to feed daily either. They’re high in sugar. I also wouldn’t give him the oats for now. You need to find out why he’s losing weight.

I hope he can be seen soon. Let us know how you get on. I’m assuming he’s already registered with a vet but I’ll link to recommended ones below anyway in case.
Vet Locator
 

Piggies&buns

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:agr:
He needs to see a vet. You will also need to step in with syringe feeding to prevent further weight loss.

As siikibam has said his weight loss is down to reduced hay intake, and he shouldn’t have unlimited access to pellets. Pellets aren’t healthy for them and contribute a lot of excess calcium to the diet which can have health consequences. Cut his pellets down to one tablespoon per day only as it’s not only healthier for him to have less but it will encourage increased hay intake.

Not Eating, Weight Loss And The Importance Of Syringe Feeding Fibre
 

Jessica Harris

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The continual weight loss is down to not eating enough hay. You can’t judge that by eye hence weighing weekly. How often have you been weighing him? I don’t know if it’s weekly or fortnightly from your posts.

Any continual weight loss needs investigating by the vet. So I would book him in for a check. What are his poos like?

Another thing is the diet. They shouldn’t have unlimited access to pellets. A tablespoon a day is enough. And carrots aren’t something to feed daily either. They’re high in sugar. I also wouldn’t give him the oats for now. You need to find out why he’s losing weight.

I hope he can be seen soon. Let us know how you get on. I’m assuming he’s already registered with a vet but I’ll link to recommended ones below anyway in case.
Vet Locator
The continual weight loss is down to not eating enough hay. You can’t judge that by eye hence weighing weekly. How often have you been weighing him? I don’t know if it’s weekly or fortnightly from your posts.

Any continual weight loss needs investigating by the vet. So I would book him in for a check. What are his poos like?

Another thing is the diet. They shouldn’t have unlimited access to pellets. A tablespoon a day is enough. And carrots aren’t something to feed daily either. They’re high in sugar. I also wouldn’t give him the oats for now. You need to find out why he’s losing weight.

I hope he can be seen soon. Let us know how you get on. I’m assuming he’s already registered with a vet but I’ll link to recommended ones below anyway in case.
Vet Locator
Thank you for replying
I thought they were meant to be weighed monthly so that's what I was doing until some recent research realising it should be every week so I will now change that and start weighing every week

How can I get him to eat more hay he has hay in his hay rack and its fresh

Oh okay I didn't know that either I will have to change that again but he doesn't eat all his pellets straight away so I'll feel mean to take them away and okay ill stop the oats.

I haven't booked the vets so far as I wanted to try home remedies before I spent money at a vets as with covid money is tight
 

Jessica Harris

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:agr:
He needs to see a vet. You will also need to step in with syringe feeding to prevent further weight loss.

As siikibam has said his weight loss is down to reduced hay intake, and he shouldn’t have unlimited access to pellets. Pellets aren’t healthy for them and contribute a lot of excess calcium to the diet which can have health consequences. Cut his pellets down to one tablespoon per day only as it’s not only healthier for him to have less but it will encourage increased hay intake.

Not Eating, Weight Loss And The Importance Of Syringe Feeding Fibre
Thank you for the reply
I will cut down on the pellets and monitor his hay intake and may give him hay outside the hay rack so he may eat it better and ill start weekly weighing
 

Jessica Harris

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The continual weight loss is down to not eating enough hay. You can’t judge that by eye hence weighing weekly. How often have you been weighing him? I don’t know if it’s weekly or fortnightly from your posts.

Any continual weight loss needs investigating by the vet. So I would book him in for a check. What are his poos like?

Another thing is the diet. They shouldn’t have unlimited access to pellets. A tablespoon a day is enough. And carrots aren’t something to feed daily either. They’re high in sugar. I also wouldn’t give him the oats for now. You need to find out why he’s losing weight.

I hope he can be seen soon. Let us know how you get on. I’m assuming he’s already registered with a vet but I’ll link to recommended ones below anyway in case.
Vet Locator
Just realised I didn't reply about the poos they used to be soft which he would stand on but now are normal shape and hard and normal size which is better
 

Piggies&buns

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I know it feels mean to cut pellets down but they are the least healthy and least impprtant part of the diet. His health will benefit greatly to not have so many. Mine get half an hour to eat their pellets (and in fact I only give half a tablespoon each rather than a whole tablespoon each) and then thats it, any that are uneaten are thrown away and they don’t get more for 24 hours.

I personally don’t use hay racks at all because I feel it can be a barrier to adequate hay consumption. I just throw hay directly on the cage floor and let them have a good time running in it, eating it etc. It’s enrichment as well as food.

Weighing is weekly as it is the only way to monitor hay intake. You then switch to daily weighing wheh there is a health concern as it allows for even closer monitoring.

We dont recommend any home treatment for any health issue - you need to go straight to a vet for this kind of weight loss. There could be an underlying health reason as to why he isn’t holding weight and that’s not something you know yourself, nor treat. Syringe feeding is an emergency measure to stop weight loss but it isn’t a cure for a problem.

You can syringe feed a recovery feed such as oxbow critical care or supreme science recovery
Probiotics, Recovery Foods And Vitamin C: Overview With Product Links

Weight - Monitoring and Management

Does he live with another piggy? As highly social herd animals, they need to be kept in pairs.
If he does have a friend, is their bond ok? You must always check out health issues first and foremost, but if health issues are ruled out then there is the potential for it to be bullying and the piggy who is being bullied by their cage mate can lose weight through not being allowed to eat properly.
 

Jessica Harris

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I know it feels mean to cut pellets down but they are the least healthy and least impprtant part of the diet. His health will benefit greatly to not have so many. Mine get half an hour to eat their pellets (and in fact I only give half a tablespoon each rather than a whole tablespoon each) and then thats it, any that are uneaten are thrown away and they don’t get more for 24 hours.

I personally don’t use hay racks at all because I feel it can be a barrier to adequate hay consumption. I just throw hay directly on the cage floor and let him have a good time running in it, eating it etc. It’s enrichment as well as food.

Weighing is weekly as it is the only way to monitor hay intake. You then switch to daily weighing wheh there is a health concern as it allows for even closer monitoring.

We dont recommend any home treatment for any health issue - you need to go straight to a vet for this kind of weight loss. There could be an underlying health reason as to why he isn’t holding weight and that’s not something you know yourself, nor treat. Syringe feeding is an emergency measure to stop weight loss but it isn’t a cure for a problem.

You can syringe feed a recovery feed such as oxbow critical care or supreme science recovery
Probiotics, Recovery Foods And Vitamin C: Overview With Product Links

Weight - Monitoring and Management

Does he live with another piggy? As highly social herd animals, they need to be kept in pairs.
If he does have a friend, is their bond ok? You must always check out health issues first and foremost, but if health issues are ruled out then there is the potential for it to be bullying and the piggy who is being bullied by their cage mate can lose weight through not being allowed to eat properly.
Thank you very much that was helpful and understanding from tomorrow I will change how many pellets he gets and I will throw the hay on the floor in his cage instead of a hay rack so he can eat more and I will start to weigh weekly as well to monitor it, thank you
I will try to book a vets appointment it's just hard to do so during pandemic and lockdown

Update = just went in the room to catch him happily eating away at his hay.
I'll change it all tomorrow
 

Jessica Harris

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I'm just wondering could not getting enough attention or floor time be a cause of weight loss in piggies as he is my brothers pig so I don't 100% care for him and his care is down to my brother
 

nugget22

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Hello, I have a 3 year old male Guinea pig who I rescued 2 years ago and within my first year of owning him he was always between 1000-1100g but then he dropped to 950g then I managed to gain it back up a
To 1000g and he stayed like that until December 2020 when he first drooped to 980g so I weight again withing 2 weeks and he was at 940g and then weighed again at around end of December and he was 900g and I have recently weighed him and he has dropped to 880g, now he is a happy Guinea pig he still has the same personality as he did when I first got him 2 years ago and doesn't act no different, he eats all his food and doesn't leave anything he gets unlimited pellets, hay and water and he gets a bowl of vegetables at night (vary every night mainly consists of romaine, spring greens, little gem, carrots, celery) and I put some oats on top of his pellets as well at night, I just don't understand what I'm doing wrong could someone help, like is there anything else I could feed or is his weight okay and I'm just being a paranoid piggie mum.

May i add I do have some readigrass will that help with weight gain.
i would say definitely the best way to find out what's wrong is by going to the vet.

here are some things that you should be fixing on your pig's diet

-pellets should be fed only 1/8 of a cup everyday, per pig. (most people don't have a 1/8 measuring cup so may i add that i just use half of a 1/4 measuring cup?)
-carrots have high sugar content, so about 3 times, maybe 4 times a week should it be fed (in small quantities)
-celery has lots of calcium, so it's definitely not a veggie for an everyday diet (3 times a week can be fed)

my questions?

-what kind of hay are you feeding? because he could've stopped eating possibly because of low quality hay?
-is your guinea pig a single piggy?

i hope all of this helped, and that you can answer my questions. stay safe, and prayers for your pig!
 

Piggies&buns

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I'm just wondering could not getting enough attention or floor time be a cause of weight loss in piggies as he is my brothers pig so I don't 100% care for him and his care is down to my brother
no that isn’t a reason for weight loss.

If he is a single piggy then do get him a friend. Piggies are not meant to live alone
 

Piggies&buns

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i would say definitely the best way to find out what's wrong is by going to the vet.

here are some things that you should be fixing on your pig's diet

-pellets should be fed only 1/8 of a cup everyday, per pig. (most people don't have a 1/8 measuring cup so may i add that i just use half of a 1/4 measuring cup?)
-carrots have high sugar content, so about 3 times, maybe 4 times a week should it be fed (in small quantities)
-celery has lots of calcium, so it's definitely not a veggie for an everyday diet (3 times a week can be fed)

my questions?

-what kind of hay are you feeding? because he could've stopped eating possibly because of low quality hay?
-is your guinea pig a single piggy?

i hope all of this helped, and that you can answer my questions. stay safe, and prayers for your pig!
this is not entirely correct - carrots cannot be fed three or four times a week, they are a once a week only food.
 

Jessica Harris

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Hello nugget22
I am feeding high quality hay from a local horse supplier and have fed the same hay for at least 3 years or more
And he's been alone for 2 years now since he got separated with his friend but does get to see my other piggies through bars, him being alone has never bothered him and he never changed, it only seems to be winter as during other months he thrives and is healthy and good weight
 

nugget22

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this is not entirely correct - carrots cannot be fed three or four times a week, they are a once a week only food.
i definitely trust that you know more than me, because it seems you have joined in 2018. not completely sure, but as a very overprotective guinea pig mum, i have done a lot of research and based of what i know it can be fed around 3 times? i hope i have not been told false information. have you had any problems with feeding carrots too much?
 

Jessica Harris

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i definitely trust that you know more than me, because it seems you have joined in 2018. not completely sure, but as a very overprotective guinea pig mum, i have done a lot of research and based of what i know it can be fed around 3 times? i hope i have not been told false information. have you had any problems with feeding carrots too much?
Hello I know this isn't aimed against me but I have never ever had a problem with feeding to much carrots mine never seemed to care neither did I have a problem feeding unlimited pellets
 

Jessica Harris

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i would say definitely the best way to find out what's wrong is by going to the vet.

here are some things that you should be fixing on your pig's diet

-pellets should be fed only 1/8 of a cup everyday, per pig. (most people don't have a 1/8 measuring cup so may i add that i just use half of a 1/4 measuring cup?)
-carrots have high sugar content, so about 3 times, maybe 4 times a week should it be fed (in small quantities)
-celery has lots of calcium, so it's definitely not a veggie for an everyday diet (3 times a week can be fed)

my questions?

-what kind of hay are you feeding? because he could've stopped eating possibly because of low quality hay?
-is your guinea pig a single piggy?

i hope all of this helped, and that you can answer my questions. stay safe, and prayers for your pig!
Hello nugget22
I am feeding high quality hay from a local horse supplier and have fed the same hay for at least 3 years or more
And he's been alone for 2 years now since he got separated with his friend but does get to see my other piggies through bars, him being alone has never bothered him and he never changed, it only seems to be winter as during other months he thrives and is healthy and good weight
 

Little Ones

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Definitely have this investigated. One of my rainbow bridge piggies started losing weight drastically, he was eating perfectly. Anyway, he ended up having liver disease. As things progressed, he became increasingly thirsty all the time and also constantly hungry. He’d always be asking for food any time anyone walked in the room. He was constantly ravenous. He also started to act a little funny in the mind, too. His largest weight was around 1500 grams and his lowest around 800 grams. The liver disease made it so his body couldn’t process all the nutrients in the food he was eating which is what creates the weight loss. Since he was diagnosed, he lived 8 months before being PTS due to some sort of stroke.
Weight loss definitely is indicative of a health issue, whether this is not eating enough to maintain weight or having an underlying problem that needs investigating with some tests - usually a blood test is able to identify issues with any organs. So please, get him seen by the vet and have some tests done as the weight loss is becoming very significant.
 

Piggies&buns

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i definitely trust that you know more than me, because it seems you have joined in 2018. not completely sure, but as a very overprotective guinea pig mum, i have done a lot of research and based of what i know it can be fed around 3 times? i hope i have not been told false information. have you had any problems with feeding carrots too much?
Carrots are a high sugar food. Too much sugary items in the diet can cause an overgrowth of bad bacteria in the gut which can lead to digestive problems. Therefore, sweet things such as carrots and fruit are once per week at most and considered as treats only. There is no need for root veg and fruit to feature highly in the diet at all. In my 30 years of keeping small animals, this has always been the advice and supported by vets. You are of course free to go by whatever advice you wish but the advice of the forum is carrots are considered treats and kept very very limited.

Likewise with pellets, they are full of unhealthy grained based fillers which add nothing to the diet (And in fact going grain free is advisable particularly for piggies with bladder problems). They can overeat pellets and then hay consumption drops which can lead to health problems including dental issues (pellets don’t wear down the teeth) as well as excess calcium intake which can lead to bladder stone formation
 
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