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Help! Stringy poop and lack of appetite.

sophie_fn

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Hello,

I would appreciate some help with my elderly female. For the past two or so weeks I have noticed that she hasn't quite been herself. She is usually a huge foodie, but I've noticed that she is not eating as much as normal. She is still wheeking for food and clambering at the cage to get to veggies, but not eating as much as normal.

Last week, I had her out for some floor time and noticed that she did not pass any poops in a period of about three hours. When she did eventually pass poops, they were small at first, then gradually increased in size. As this is not normall, I phoned the vet (out of hours) and booked an appointment for the following day.
During the appointment, the vet gave her a 'full' physical examination and an ultrasound, but found no digesive obstructions or abnormalities. He thought the loss of appetite could be to do with the beginnings of ovarian cysts, prescribed us some Loxicom, and set us on our way.

Tonight, I have taken her out of her run to give her the evening dose of Loxicom, and noticed that she had stingy poops that had not been fully passed. Like I say, she is still eating voluntarily, and I have given her 10ml critical care over the past hour to supplement this.

I know stringy poops can be a very bad sign, but she is still eating even if not in her usual copious amounts. Does this warrant an emergency visit?

Sophie
 

sport_billy

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It sounds to me like this could be acute bloat

A build up of gas and tummy function slowing down. They stop eating, poo’s stop and hopefully start again.
The stringy poo and mucas poo show something is wrong with the gut.
If the vet has ruled out blockage then bloat is probable.
Normally this is treated with gut stimulants suck as emeprid or another gut atom to keep the guts moving.

It may be a certain type of food is causing it something she could eat before.
I would be wanting a supply of emeprid in for when these episode happen.
Once she starts poking again introduce fresh food back in slowly to see if there is any type of food that is causing issues, cabbage and dark greens can cause it. We had to keep a food diary and would always introduce peppers first.

Is there a vet near you from the forum vet locator?
 

sophie_fn

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Thanks everyone! I'm located in South Northamptonshire. I have been up every two hours through the night giving her a combination of supreme recovery care plus and BioLapis probioics, and lots of tummy massages. I have taken her to the Cat and Rabbit Care Clinic before, and trust them much more than the other vets I take them to. However, C&R don't do out of hours. Reading the information on the site overnight, I think I need to get her seen today, even if this means going to the other vet
 

sophie_fn

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@sport_billy Sorry to bother you again, but I have an update after speaking with the vet.
They believe it is pain from cystic ovaries that is causing her not to eat. As she is 6 years old, surgery is not an option, and the only option they suggest is putting her to sleep. My issue is that Simon at Cat and Rabbit Care doesn't think she even has ovarian cysts! When I took her there, he did a full physical examination and listed through the symptoms that she doesn't have, but which are key indicators of cystic ovaries (e.g. crust nipples, etc).
I don't believe she is at the end of her journey. She is still wanting to eat - she will get excited about food, sniff it and eat it, but just in much smaller quantities than before.
I absolutely want to get a second opinion. Is there anything else I can do in the meantime other than continue syringe feeding?
 

stef.trg

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I am sorry your girl is poorly! Unfortunately, I can’t offer anything other than a big virtual hug. I’ll tag @Wiebke here for you who will be able to give you advice :)
 

Wiebke

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@sport_billy Sorry to bother you again, but I have an update after speaking with the vet.
They believe it is pain from cystic ovaries that is causing her not to eat. As she is 6 years old, surgery is not an option, and the only option they suggest is putting her to sleep. My issue is that Simon at Cat and Rabbit Care doesn't think she even has ovarian cysts! When I took her there, he did a full physical examination and listed through the symptoms that she doesn't have, but which are key indicators of cystic ovaries (e.g. crust nipples, etc).
I don't believe she is at the end of her journey. She is still wanting to eat - she will get excited about food, sniff it and eat it, but just in much smaller quantities than before.
I absolutely want to get a second opinion. Is there anything else I can do in the meantime other than continue syringe feeding?

Hi!

HUGS

Unfortunately, all you can do is to keep feeding her and booking her in as soon as possible. There is clearly a pain issue somewhere and likely something either radiating into the gut or pushing on the gut, which is wrapping itself around all the organs in the lower body.

Finding out what is exactly going wrong can unfortunately be very difficult without a battery of expensive tests and medication, which may or may not buy your girl a little more time; it can be anything from an organ going wrong, a deep-seated internal growth, arthritis in the spine etc. etc.

I know that this guide here doesn't make easy reading, but you may find it helpful when you have to make difficult decisions. Things are often not as clear cut as we would like and there is a certain grey area, especially in the run up when you are edging closer to having to that dreaded time; when the worries are there but there is no clear path. The guide may help you to navigate this and work out your priorities, so you can do what you feel is most important for you with a clearer mind and a somewhat lighter heart.
A Practical and Sensitive Guide to Dying, Terminal Illness and Euthanasia in Guinea Pigs

I am very sorry; it is always such a difficult time when your vet's are unable to nail the cause down exactly and your options are very limited due to the age and frailness of your piggy. I know it from my own. :(
 

sophie_fn

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Thank you all for the messages. I was definitely in the 'denial' stage of grief earlier. Luna got progressively worse through the day, so we took her to the local emergency vet a couple of hours ago. By this time she was still aware of her surroundings, but was struggling to lift her head and had stopped accepting syringe feeding. The vet recommended that the kindest thing to do would be to help her over the bridge, which we did about an hour ago. Before she was helped to sleep, we were allowed to have one last cuddle. I think she knew it was her time, and had the most peaceful nap with her head rested on my hand for our last few moments together. I gave her a chin rub for the journey too, of course. Thank you again for the support. I've attached a photo of Luna enjoying a chin rub to continue the joy she spread in our lives for a little longer.
1616352615730.png
 

Wiebke

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Thank you all for the messages. I was definitely in the 'denial' stage of grief earlier. Luna got progressively worse through the day, so we took her to the local emergency vet a couple of hours ago. By this time she was still aware of her surroundings, but was struggling to lift her head and had stopped accepting syringe feeding. The vet recommended that the kindest thing to do would be to help her over the bridge, which we did about an hour ago. Before she was helped to sleep, we were allowed to have one last cuddle. I think she knew it was her time, and had the most peaceful nap with her head rested on my hand for our last few moments together. I gave her a chin rub for the journey too, of course. Thank you again for the support. I've attached a photo of Luna enjoying a chin rub to continue the joy she spread in our lives for a little longer.
View attachment 170803

BIG HUGS

It is very painful to accept that time has run out much sooner than you expect and very much earlier than you would ever wish; but I am glad for you and Luna that you have been able to give her loving goodbye. That will hopefully sustain you through the coming days as you go through the grieving process.

Here is more supportive information for the follow-on for yourself and for any mate of Luna's:
Human Bereavement: Grieving, Coping and Support Links for Guinea Pig Owners and Their Children
Looking After a Bereaved Guinea Pig
 

sophie_fn

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BIG HUGS

It is very painful to accept that time has run out much sooner than you expect and very much earlier than you would ever wish; but I am glad for you and Luna that you have been able to give her loving goodbye. That will hopefully sustain you through the coming days as you go through the grieving process.

Here is more supportive information for the follow-on for yourself and for any mate of Luna's:
Human Bereavement: Grieving, Coping and Support Links for Guinea Pig Owners and Their Children
Looking After a Bereaved Guinea Pig
Thank you @Wiebke. Luckily I had the support of my partner, sister and parents, so it wasn't a decision that I had to make alone and we all had a video call to say goodbye. Luna was the matriarch of our little herd of four, so I will be keeping a close eye on everyone in the coming days. I think they have known for a few days that she hasn't been herself, and have been cuddling up next to her and licking her eyes. Hopefully this means they have already started their bereavement process, too. They're currently having a jolly time lapping up the left-over recovery food!
 

sport_billy

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Oh no, I am so very sorry. I think you honestly made the kindest choice here for little Luna. PTS is often the last act of love we can make for our little ones. Please be kind to yourself

Massive hugs

Sleep well little Luna
 

sophie_fn

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Oh no, I am so very sorry. I think you honestly made the kindest choice here for little Luna. PTS is often the last act of love we can make for our little ones. Please be kind to yourself

Massive hugs

Sleep well little Luna
Thank you for all of the support and kind words ❤
 

Eddie & Elvis

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I'm so sorry for your loss. It's scary how quickly things can go downhill but you did the kindest thing and I'm sure Luna knew that. Sleep tight Luna 💕🌈
 

RosieLily

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I'm really sorry. You did everything you could, she lived a beautiful life and was loved dearly. Such a pretty face, another little angel gone to enjoy the Bridge🌈.
We're all here for you!
 
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