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Help With Getting Piggie To Eat Independently

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Ktbubble007

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Hi I'm new here - I have two 5 month old piggies Scruffy & Chocolate (names chosen by kids)! Both are boys and have been relatively healthy until about a week ago! Chocolate now weighs 910g but Scruffy's weight has never been as high as this (presume he was runt of the litter as much smaller) one xmas eve he weighed 550g and was struggling to eat and had a wet chin so took him to vet who diagnosed back molar problems. His back teeth were filed down and we were givenfibreplex for him to take to stimulate eating. By Boxing Day he was down to 530g so I started hand feeding him every 3 hours and have been hand feeding him since then. He's been back to vets who was happy that he now had food in his tummy and refiled teeth but was happy with them.

Today he has dropped to 482g from 506g last night! He does not seem to want to feed himself but will happily sit on my lap and eat his pellets (I've wet them so soft). I put wet softened pellets inhis cage so it's not that he can't eat them. How do I get him eating independently again?

Thanks in advance for any advice - I feel that I'm going to be hand feeding him for life at this rate!!
 

helen105281

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sport_billy

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Hello, Welcome tot the forum sorry to hear Scruffy is suffering with dental issues. Has your vet gave you any painkiller (metacam) to give at home? Piggies mouths are often sore after dentals and pain relief can make the world of difference.
Fibreplex will firm up poo's but won't stimulate appetite he would need something like Emeprid (metachlopromide) for that - it may be worth speaking to your vet regarding some. This will help push food through his gut so it doesn't slow.

We have had 2 dental piggies so I know how frustrating it is. Maybe worth cutting veg up into tiny pieces to try and hand feed, grated carrot often helps too. It is good news he is taking softened pellet mash off you. Please weigh him daily now so you can now how much food you need to get in him. Here is our guide to hand-feeding it contains lots of helpful advice, well worth a read https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/complete-hand-feeding-guide.115359/

@furryfriends Excellent Adventure Sanctuary is an expert on dental issues and runs a dental sanctuary.

We are all here to support you best we can and I am send lots of healing vibes to Scruffy

Lee
 

Abi_nurse

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Sorry hear your piggie is suffering from dental issues.

I am concerned by his young age as most dental illness is diet related and at such a young age I'm concerned it may be a congenital issue. What diet is is he on and May I be rude and ask where did you get your boys from? Ie. a pet shop or a breeder or a rescue?

I would use all the advice in the sticky threads about feeding him and consider getting him to a good exotics vet who can give an assessment of his teeth.

x
 

Ktbubble007

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I got him from Pets At Home and he is on their guinea pig pellets - I did think he was very young to have dental problems! I will get back in touch with the vet and ask for a painkiller for him. He's been very good at letting me feed him with no noise so don't think its been hurting him as such. His chin is still wet which makes me think that there is still a dental problem.
 

helen105281

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Sorry, I thought the vet would have given pain killer as standard, so yes definitely ask for some as a pig in pain won't eat.
 

Freela

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I would definitely ask about the painkiller. Some pigs go into 'shutdown mode' with even minor discomfort. Out of my two pigs, one is a little soldier and will press onwards no matter how much she hurts. The other will lay in the corner and refuse food and water with even minor discomfort. You may have one of the latter, and making sure he is comfortable may help a lot.

As others have said, I would be concerned about dental issues at such a young age. One thing which I experienced with my pig, Sundae, is that she developed dental issues that needed repeated tooth trimming, and then several months later developed a very large abscess along her jawline that went quite deep into the muscle. The vet and I had been puzzled as to why she was repeatedly overgrowing her teeth on one side, but once the abscess puffed up we realized that she very likely had pain from the deep abscess for months but we just didn't see any external evidence of it yet. Once the abscess was lanced and drained and allowed to heal, she no longer needed routine dental work to keep her molars even. It might be worth your while to ask the vet for an x-ray to look for any signs of infection at the root level if she continues to have eating issues. Also, gently feel along the line of her jaw on both sides a couple of times a day to feel for any lumps/masses that could be an abscess developing.

I hope this helps a bit and hope he makes a good recovery for you! Dental issues in pigs are so stressful, I've been there too!
 

Ktbubble007

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Yes loads of hay but he's not really eating it at the moment. I wish I'd researched into where to buy them a bit more as they were kind of an impulse buy when in the pet shop! But wouldn't be without the wee guys now so will do everything I can to make sure they stay/get healthy. Thanks for all your advice x
 

sport_billy

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Yes loads of hay but he's not really eating it at the moment. I wish I'd researched into where to buy them a bit more as they were kind of an impulse buy when in the pet shop! But wouldn't be without the wee guys now so will do everything I can to make sure they stay/get healthy. Thanks for all your advice x
If you'd have done that, you wouldn't have had him and he'd be with someone else who may not have spotted these issues. He is very lucky to have a caring Mum like you to look after him. Please keep us updated on his progress.
 

Pippy & Daisy

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I don't have any advice to add that hasn't already been said but I hope Scruffy gets better soon! It's so worrying when they aren't well :( But hopefully he'll be able to start eating on his own before too long. Good luck :)
 

Ktbubble007

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Well we had a night away last night so left him with wet pellets and worried about him all night! Came home to a piggie with a very dirty face from digging in the wet food bowl! He has maintained 500g weight overnight which I'm ecstatic about! Just now he's sitting on my lap happily munching away on wet pellets and occasionally lifting up the syringe to let me know he's thirsty! Hoping he's on the mend! X
 

Ktbubble007

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Going to bed a very happy mummy! Scruffy has munched happily on my lap for approx 3 hours throughout today but now weighing in at 540g! Now if I could only get him to start eating pellets dry, his hay & veg By himself i would be ecstatic! Worrying times when my wee dudes not well! X
 

Freela

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That's great news! I'm so glad that he's eating something! Wet pellets are certainly better than needing to be fed, hoping he is back on normal feeds soon!
 

Ktbubble007

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Hi - still concerned about Scruffy! Not sure if I should take him back to vets or not? He's maintaining weight of between 515-530g BUT he's refusing all veg and as far as I can see eating no hay whatsoever so he is now surviving on wet pellets only. When he is feeding he can eat for well over an hour out of his cage - he happily sits on towel and eats away demanding water every now and then! I have left all his favourite veg next to him plus hay but he ignores it all just chomping on wet pellets.

He seems bright in himself and loves cuddles but as soon as I put him back in cage he just goes into hiding place and refuses to come out. He never makes any noise any more, never runs around the cage or jumps about like he used to. When I put fresh food in he doesn't even come to see what is there and doesn't squeak like Chocolate does when he hears rustle of wrappers or fridge opening!

Do you think there could be more going on than just sore teeth? I had to bathe him last night as his underside was dirty (I'm thinking he's been emptying wet pellets whilst eating them and they've dirtied him) he was smelly as well. How long does it take to get them back to full health? I'm giving him probiotics in feed and water. Oh he's also sitting behind his brother when he eats and chews away on his brothers poos!

I just feel so helpless when I know he's not quite right but unsure of what to do next I don't want to waste my vets time x
 

Ktbubble007

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No he's not on any painkillers the vet never gave him any - thanks for replying I will take him to vets again and see what they say x
 
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