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Help, guinea pig eating less and slow

Rohan Hart

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Ever since i came back from a four day holiday my guinea pig, Patchy, was eating his dinner and grass extremely slowly, and he seemed to look unwell. He and his brother, Chewy (the most confident piggy in the world) were at my mothers friends house. But this weekend was extremely hot and the pigs were out all day when we were away, which leads me to think hes either dehydrated or hes got dental problems. Patchy after 2 days is still not eating right and i will take him to the vet on monday. For now though, i hand feed him parsley and water. This is urgent as he is only 4, the past guinea pigs ive had have lived to 7, so I'm worried. I will send videos of him eating if you want. Just ask me to. Thanks :)
 

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Ever since i came back from a four day holiday my guinea pig, Patchy, was eating his dinner and grass extremely slowly, and he seemed to look unwell. He and his brother, Chewy (the most confident piggy in the world) were at my mothers friends house. But this weekend was extremely hot and the pigs were out all day when we were away, which leads me to think hes either dehydrated or hes got dental problems. Patchy after 2 days is still not eating right and i will take him to the vet on monday. For now though, i hand feed him parsley and water. This is urgent as he is only 4, the past guinea pigs ive had have lived to 7, so I'm worried. I will send videos of him eating if you want. Just ask me to. Thanks :)
Hi!

Please step in with syringe feeding fibre ASAP and see a vet as soon as possible! Loss of appetite is always a danger sign that needs attending quickly; you cannot afford to wait days to make up your mind whether to see a vet. If a piggy of yours is ill soon after your arrival, it is most likely that this has already been going on during your absence, so by dithering you are losing more valuable time.

The heat may contribute to the loss of appetite, but it is not causing it. Dehydration is usually caused by an underlying issue if your piggies have constant access to fresh and regularly refreshed water bottles and fresh, juicy veg.

Weigh your piggy daily at the same instead of the regular weekly weigh-in to monitor the food intake. Be aware that hay is making 80% of the daily food intake, and that you cannot control it any other way, certainly not by watching a piggy chew on crud or nibble on a few stalks. Hay is often the food group that is dropped first when there is any discomfort or pain. Huge swings of temperature can also have an impact, but normally only on guinea pigs who have pre-existing underlying issues.

List Of Life And Death Out-of-hours Emergencies
Not Eating, Weight Loss Over 50g And The Importance Of Syringe Feeding Fibre
Complete Syringe Feeding Guide
The Importance Of Weighing - Ideal Weight / Overweight / Underweight

Here is a collection of tips on how you can keep your piggy as cool and comfortable as possible:
Hot Weather Management And Heat Strokes

There are lots of reasons for the symptoms that you are reporting. All we can do is guess as much as you do. Only a hands-on examination by an experienced vet will tell. Until then, you need to concentrate on keeping your piggy alive until any medication is kicking in. The sooner you can see a vet, the better!
 

Rohan Hart

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Hi!

Please step in with syringe feeding fibre ASAP and see a vet as soon as possible! Loss of appetite is always a danger sign that needs attending quickly; you cannot afford to wait days to make up your mind whether to see a vet. If a piggy of yours is ill soon after your arrival, it is most likely that this has already been going on during your absence, so by dithering you are losing more valuable time.

The heat may contribute to the loss of appetite, but it is not causing it. Dehydration is usually caused by an underlying issue if your piggies have constant access to fresh and regularly refreshed water bottles and fresh, juicy veg.

Weigh your piggy daily at the same instead of the regular weekly weigh-in to monitor the food intake. Be aware that hay is making 80% of the daily food intake, and that you cannot control it any other way, certainly not by watching a piggy chew on crud or nibble on a few stalks. Hay is often the food group that is dropped first when there is any discomfort or pain. Huge swings of temperature can also have an impact, but normally only on guinea pigs who have pre-existing underlying issues.

List Of Life And Death Out-of-hours Emergencies
Not Eating, Weight Loss Over 50g And The Importance Of Syringe Feeding Fibre
Complete Syringe Feeding Guide
The Importance Of Weighing - Ideal Weight / Overweight / Underweight

Here is a collection of tips on how you can keep your piggy as cool and comfortable as possible:
Hot Weather Management And Heat Strokes

There are lots of reasons for the symptoms that you are reporting. All we can do is guess as much as you do. Only a hands-on examination by an experienced vet will tell. Until then, you need to concentrate on keeping your piggy alive until any medication is kicking in. The sooner you can see a vet, the better!
Hi!

Please step in with syringe feeding fibre ASAP and see a vet as soon as possible! Loss of appetite is always a danger sign that needs attending quickly; you cannot afford to wait days to make up your mind whether to see a vet. If a piggy of yours is ill soon after your arrival, it is most likely that this has already been going on during your absence, so by dithering you are losing more valuable time.

The heat may contribute to the loss of appetite, but it is not causing it. Dehydration is usually caused by an underlying issue if your piggies have constant access to fresh and regularly refreshed water bottles and fresh, juicy veg.

Weigh your piggy daily at the same instead of the regular weekly weigh-in to monitor the food intake. Be aware that hay is making 80% of the daily food intake, and that you cannot control it any other way, certainly not by watching a piggy chew on crud or nibble on a few stalks. Hay is often the food group that is dropped first when there is any discomfort or pain. Huge swings of temperature can also have an impact, but normally only on guinea pigs who have pre-existing underlying issues.

List Of Life And Death Out-of-hours Emergencies
Not Eating, Weight Loss Over 50g And The Importance Of Syringe Feeding Fibre
Complete Syringe Feeding Guide
The Importance Of Weighing - Ideal Weight / Overweight / Underweight

Here is a collection of tips on how you can keep your piggy as cool and comfortable as possible:
Hot Weather Management And Heat Strokes

There are lots of reasons for the symptoms that you are reporting. All we can do is guess as much as you do. Only a hands-on examination by an experienced vet will tell. Until then, you need to concentrate on keeping your piggy alive until any medication is kicking in. The sooner you can see a vet, the better!
Thank you so much for your advice. Me and my dad read this and we are going to find a 1ml syringe. Right now, Patchy is in the hutch but is puffed up and sitting down at the side of the cage. His teeth are fine as we recently checked them but we dont know how his back teeth are. We also heard a crunchy sound when he eats which is unusual and when he is finished chewing o even in the middle of it he will start having some sort of gag reflex like theres something in his teeth. My dad thinks hes got some sort of infection in his mouth or something stuck in there. But i forgot to mention Patchy has a lump near his leg somewhere near the stomach. Thanks for everyones replies.
 

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Welcome to the forum.
As others have said - he needs to see a vet quickly.
Is there an emergency vet near you?
 

Rohan Hart

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UPDATE:
Just saw patchy eating hay on his own and we havent syringe fed him. However Chewy keeps on disturbing him as he constantly wants to play! I'm dreading that he might not make it for monday, but if hes eating hay then i think he can. If he stops though ill start syringe feeding. Thanks everyone. :)
 

Wiebke

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Thank you so much for your advice. Me and my dad read this and we are going to find a 1ml syringe. Right now, Patchy is in the hutch but is puffed up and sitting down at the side of the cage. His teeth are fine as we recently checked them but we dont know how his back teeth are. We also heard a crunchy sound when he eats which is unusual and when he is finished chewing o even in the middle of it he will start having some sort of gag reflex like theres something in his teeth. My dad thinks hes got some sort of infection in his mouth or something stuck in there. But i forgot to mention Patchy has a lump near his leg somewhere near the stomach. Thanks for everyones replies.
Being puffed up means that he is in pain and it is sitting somewhere in the main body. He definitely needs to see a vet!

You can try offer him some mushed up pellets in a bowl or from a spoon while you hunt for a needle-less 1 ml syringe (please cut the tip off as shown in the guide; otherwise only the water but no fibre will come through).
 

Rohan Hart

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Being puffed up means that he is in pain and it is sitting somewhere in the main body. He definitely needs to see a vet!

You can try offer him some mushed up pellets in a bowl or from a spoon while you hunt for a needle-less 1 ml syringe (please cut the tip off as shown in the guide; otherwise only the water but no fibre will come through).
This morning I started syringe feeding him. His favourite food is pellets, but he was moving quite a bit which is a normal reaction i assume. I will continue to do this 2-3 times a day until monday. Thanks.
 

Wiebke

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This morning I started syringe feeding him. His favourite food is pellets, but he was moving quite a bit which is a normal reaction i assume. I will continue to do this 2-3 times a day until monday. Thanks.
Please control the intake by weighing daily at the same time ( like you before you feed his dinner) and adjust the top up feeding accordingly to keep the weight as stable as you can and prevent any further weight loss especially as you cannot know how much/little hay he is eating.

All the best! Please brace yourself that you have to do this for longer. Syringe feeding is a matter of practice, gentle chivvying and lots of praise, but have a look at our medication guide for tips on how to hold and handle an uncooperative piggy. Administering Medications And Syringe Feed
 

Betsy

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This morning I started syringe feeding him. His favourite food is pellets, but he was moving quite a bit which is a normal reaction i assume. I will continue to do this 2-3 times a day until monday. Thanks.
I have been syringe feeding Christian since his abscess removal on Wednesday. I have been giving him up to 8ml in one sitting every 2-3 hours day and night. He has at last started to eat on his own which I am very pleased about cos I am completely and utterly exhausted! I did a feed at 4.30 this morning and another around 7 then I haven't done the 10 o'clock feed as he is now eating for himself but I will do one at 3ish (he has a vet appt at 2.30 and I have to eat myself!) and then a couple more if I think he needs them. He put on 30g since yesterday so he was obviously chomping away while I was sleeping.
 

Rohan Hart

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UPDATE:
Patchy was taken to the vet, and they said his back teeth were growing too much and he had an small ulsur on his toungue. Right now, however, I was syringe feeding, and he loved it! Instead of forcing it into his mouth he walked toward the syringe and starting gnabbing at it, like a bottle. I made sure to not force it down his throte as it could choke him. Without you guys i wouldnt have known about syringe feeding. Tomorrow, he is going in the morning to the vets and he will be treated there. I tried attatching a video but it kept on saying the file was too large even after cutting it to 10s.
This is looking positive!
 

Rohan Hart

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I have been syringe feeding Christian since his abscess removal on Wednesday. I have been giving him up to 8ml in one sitting every 2-3 hours day and night. He has at last started to eat on his own which I am very pleased about cos I am completely and utterly exhausted! I did a feed at 4.30 this morning and another around 7 then I haven't done the 10 o'clock feed as he is now eating for himself but I will do one at 3ish (he has a vet appt at 2.30 and I have to eat myself!) and then a couple more if I think he needs them. He put on 30g since yesterday so he was obviously chomping away while I was sleeping.
Thats great news for your guinea pig! Mine has started eating hay and other things right now so things are looking good! Good luck to your piggy at the appointment and I'm glad to see Christian is getting better.
Thanks for your reply.
:)
 

Gem789

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UPDATE:
Patchy was taken to the vet, and they said his back teeth were growing too much and he had an small ulsur on his toungue. Right now, however, I was syringe feeding, and he loved it! Instead of forcing it into his mouth he walked toward the syringe and starting gnabbing at it, like a bottle. I made sure to not force it down his throte as it could choke him. Without you guys i wouldnt have known about syringe feeding. Tomorrow, he is going in the morning to the vets and he will be treated there. I tried attatching a video but it kept on saying the file was too large even after cutting it to 10s.
This is looking positive!
To post a video you have to put it on YouTube 1st and add the link here.Hope the vet manages to sort his teeth x
 

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Glad to hear that Patchy is getting the treatment he needs.
Hope all goes well at the vets.
 

Rohan Hart

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I am feeling extremely sad to say that Patchy had to be put to sleep yesterday. So to catch up, he did get better in June, but then he fell ill again. I syringe fed him for 20 days or so but then I had to go on holiday for a month. He ended up with one of my friends who did syringe feed him (I'm so grateful for this!). He was doing well during the holiday, according to my friend, but when I came back after the holiday I picked him up, and I felt a huge loss in weight. I started syringe feeding again, and we went to the vets. The vet concluded that his teeth were overgrowing and missaligned, and he suggested that he should be put down. I was completely in denial, as he still runs around and is still able to eat a cucumber and he still gobbles up his syringe food. Infact he doesnt need the syringe, he just shoves his head into the bowl and eats away. The vet did offer to put Patchy down immediately, but I said no, and we extended him for a week, in which I gave him the most care possible and had many play times in the sunshine, until yesterday where he was put to sleep and buried. I was still in doubt as I think he couldve lived longer with some sort of treatment but noone listened. I know theres nothing i can do now, but i want to see everyones opinions. Thanks :( .
 

Merab's Slave

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So sorry for your loss.
Deciding to euthanise a pet is one of the hardest choices we ever make but you made the decision out of love for Patchy and that was the best gift you could give him.

It doesn’t stop the pain we feel, knowing we made the right choice.
You will grieve so allow yourself time and be gentle with yourself as you grieve.

There is a Rainbow Bridge thread if you would like to post a tribute to Patchy
 
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