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How Do I Care For My Bloat Survivor? I'm A Bit Scared..!

hayleyface

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#1
River was rushed to the out of hours vet last night with severe bloat. After several hours of waiting to be seen, she was eventually put in an oxygen tank and treated via drip. She has perked up considerably, has started pooping again and has been munching away happily.

The vet had fed her on critical care and water and said we could feed her hay and veg, but to leave pellets for about a week. I also asked for a pack of critical care, just in case.

Since coming home (the past 3.5hrs) she has happily munched on her old favourite veggies, and a bunch of hay. I am really worried, however, as I have never had a piggie with bloat and in trying to read up on it online, I have become confused and very nervous. I have always been aware that pigs shouldn't have certain veg, but now I'm second guessing everything I've ever fed my girls. Some sites advise bare minimum veg, some say no veg at all and some say only hay and water! I'm terrified I'm going to do something wrong and make her ill again - I could really do with your advice!

At the moment I am seperating her from Ginny for feeding, so Ginny can still have pellets and I can physically see that River is actually eating. Their daily veg consists of: spinach, celery, baby toms, pepper, baby sweetcorn and beans. Now I'm panicking that I've caused her blockage feeding her too much celery, or not cutting it up well enough.

I really don't know what direction to go in from here. I don't even really know what I'm asking.. are these veg okay, do you think? I'm trying to keep the hay constantly topped up. Both my pigs and rabbit are on selective pellets - I saw somewhere that excel is best for digestion due to probiotics or something - should I switch? Should I start using vitamin c supplements? I was under the impression that I don't need these if fresh veg is given.

Also I have started to become concerned that her pooping has stopped again. The vet assured me she pooped a LOT after treatment and she did drop a few pellets when we broight her home, but during feeding time she didn't poop at all. Is this something to be concerned about, or am I worrying too much? I am considering buying a massage pad as I've read some home remedies - is there anything you recommend?

Sorry for such a long post and bogging you down with questions. Thank you x
 

Wiebke

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#2
River was rushed to the out of hours vet last night with severe bloat. After several hours of waiting to be seen, she was eventually put in an oxygen tank and treated via drip. She has perked up considerably, has started pooping again and has been munching away happily.

The vet had fed her on critical care and water and said we could feed her hay and veg, but to leave pellets for about a week. I also asked for a pack of critical care, just in case.

Since coming home (the past 3.5hrs) she has happily munched on her old favourite veggies, and a bunch of hay. I am really worried, however, as I have never had a piggie with bloat and in trying to read up on it online, I have become confused and very nervous. I have always been aware that pigs shouldn't have certain veg, but now I'm second guessing everything I've ever fed my girls. Some sites advise bare minimum veg, some say no veg at all and some say only hay and water! I'm terrified I'm going to do something wrong and make her ill again - I could really do with your advice!

At the moment I am seperating her from Ginny for feeding, so Ginny can still have pellets and I can physically see that River is actually eating. Their daily veg consists of: spinach, celery, baby toms, pepper, baby sweetcorn and beans. Now I'm panicking that I've caused her blockage feeding her too much celery, or not cutting it up well enough.

I really don't know what direction to go in from here. I don't even really know what I'm asking.. are these veg okay, do you think? I'm trying to keep the hay constantly topped up. Both my pigs and rabbit are on selective pellets - I saw somewhere that excel is best for digestion due to probiotics or something - should I switch? Should I start using vitamin c supplements? I was under the impression that I don't need these if fresh veg is given.

Also I have started to become concerned that her pooping has stopped again. The vet assured me she pooped a LOT after treatment and she did drop a few pellets when we broight her home, but during feeding time she didn't poop at all. Is this something to be concerned about, or am I worrying too much? I am considering buying a massage pad as I've read some home remedies - is there anything you recommend?

Sorry for such a long post and bogging you down with questions. Thank you x
I would go easy on the veg and even leave them all out at first; as much hay as possible is best. Do not feed any veg high in starch, fat or sugar, i.e no root veg, sweet corn, fruit and tomato (which is actually a fruit!) to guinea pigs with digestive problems.

Grain-free pellets are best for piggies with tummy problems. Here are two brands that are now on sale online in the UK:
JR Farm Grainless Complete Guinea Pig | Free P&P £29+ at zooplus!
Versele-Laga Cavia Complete Guinea Pig Food | Free P&P £29+

Please be aware that severe bloat comes in waves and that the tummy takes weeks to stabilise. Be also aware that it can suddenly return again. Make sure that you have got something at home to vibrate the belly (the handle of an electric toothbrush, a massaging car seat or even the vibrations from a car during an acute attack can help to shift the gas).
Also have recovery formula and probiotics or even a course of fibreplex at home so you can step in with syringe feed asap.
Complete Syringe Feeding Guide
Probiotics, Recovery Foods And Vitamin C: Overview With Product Links
 

GPTV

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#3
As above & i would also cut out all veg to start with & just stick to hay, critical care & water. her pellets can be reintroduced next, then when introducing veg back to her diet only give small quantities of one veg for a few days, then add small quantities of another veg, building up varieties of veg one at a time every few days, hopefully you'll be able to establish the type of veg/foodstuff that caused the bloat in the first place or at least you'll find a trigger food(s) that you can leave out of her diet completely, reducing thee likelihood of another bloat ordeal.

i always have a bottle of gripe water in the cupboard (approx £3 baby aisle in supermarket) as this helps to disburse the bubbles if its gas bloat in an emergency (works for my IBS too).
there's a thread on here that recommends massage pads, i'll see if i can find the link for you.

if she has no poops for a long period i would ring the vets to ask for some more advice as to whether a gut stimulant may be needed, but as she is eating it's a good sign & don't forget their digestive systems are about 24hrs behind what they've eaten, so she won't have much in her system to poop anything out for a lot of today/this morning.

healing vibes for a Full & Speedy recovery to your little one.xx

edit:
massage pad threads
Vibrating Cushion Or Pad
Massage Pad/cushion Recommendations?

here's a thread with some good advice in it, unfortunately the guinea died in this case but bloat can be treated if not too severe, @Beans&Toast has ongoing issues with bloat i think & @Stewybus & @helen105281 have had success with pads & electric toothbrushes :)

What Would You Do?

healing vibes to your little one. xx
 
Last edited:

Wheekallweek

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#4
Rosewood also do a grain free guinea pig food, they stock it at Pets At Home :)
We used it for one of the piggies at the rescue, Tina, who had a grain allergy and would bloat up at the sight of grain.
Might be worth a try once you're feeding nuggets again!
Good luck to you and River!
 

hayleyface

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#5
Thank you all for your help and advice. Whilst I was waiting for a response, I have again fed her spinach only and lots of hay. I tried to feed her critical care, but she was having none of it. I didn't actually try to syringe feed her, but I thought that because she was happily eating hay, she didn't necessarily need it. Thank you for the advice on grain-free. I am popping to P@H on the way home and will try and pick some up so I can begin weening Ginny off and try introducing them at the same time. Is there somewhere on here that lists the best veggies I can provide when she is fully recovered? I will stay away from fruit from now on :)

I had read about gripe water, but the idea made me nervous. I guess if it is used by so many, it must be okay :)

Another thing I forgot to mention was grass. Everywhere I look I see 'don't let them eat grass after bloating' - is this definitely dangerous and should be avoided? Until she has recovered, or from now on avoid it altogether? When we got her home last night the first thing we did was to give her no more than two or three blades, just to see if she was eating. She hasn't had any since. I am just wondering because of exercise, but I guess I could just exercise her inside from now on (we're moving house soon and the garden has zero patio, so not an option). Will stress from moving aggravate her condition? We are moving next week and it is approx. 1hr drive.

And my final question is about toys. I haven't had any plastic toys for a long time, aside from one pigloo, and mainly stick to wooden, non-painted. Is it safe for piggies to chew newspaper, cardboard, kitchen roll and paper bags? My pigs and bun have always had these available to gnaw on and I've never had any problems, but now I wonder?..

Thank you so much for all your help - I will check out the links asap.
 

Wiebke

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#6
Thank you all for your help and advice. Whilst I was waiting for a response, I have again fed her spinach only and lots of hay. I tried to feed her critical care, but she was having none of it. I didn't actually try to syringe feed her, but I thought that because she was happily eating hay, she didn't necessarily need it. Thank you for the advice on grain-free. I am popping to P@H on the way home and will try and pick some up so I can begin weening Ginny off and try introducing them at the same time. Is there somewhere on here that lists the best veggies I can provide when she is fully recovered? I will stay away from fruit from now on :)

I had read about gripe water, but the idea made me nervous. I guess if it is used by so many, it must be okay :)

Another thing I forgot to mention was grass. Everywhere I look I see 'don't let them eat grass after bloating' - is this definitely dangerous and should be avoided? Until she has recovered, or from now on avoid it altogether? When we got her home last night the first thing we did was to give her no more than two or three blades, just to see if she was eating. She hasn't had any since. I am just wondering because of exercise, but I guess I could just exercise her inside from now on (we're moving house soon and the garden has zero patio, so not an option). Will stress from moving aggravate her condition? We are moving next week and it is approx. 1hr drive.

And my final question is about toys. I haven't had any plastic toys for a long time, aside from one pigloo, and mainly stick to wooden, non-painted. Is it safe for piggies to chew newspaper, cardboard, kitchen roll and paper bags? My pigs and bun have always had these available to gnaw on and I've never had any problems, but now I wonder?..

Thank you so much for all your help - I will check out the links asap.
Fresh grass can cause bloating, and is a definite no no for any guinea pigs with unstable tummies.

I wouldn't offer too much cardboard and paper as a large quantity can also be counterproductive for tender guts.

Gripe water is fine to give; it is very good at dispersing gas bubbles in my experience. Just as long as you are aware that is is most effective in cases of mild bloating and that it may not necessarily work with severe bloat just on its own - for that, both zantac (ranitidine) and emeprid or metoclopramide should be used; these two drugs work on different parts of the guts as well as painkiller. You can continue to give gripe water along these medications (up to 0.3 ml every 3-4 hours) during an acute bout, which is one of the conditions you really want to throw the kitchen sink at.
I always have got some grip water at home to help tidy a piggy over until I can see a vet as an emergency.
 

Jaycey

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#7
I had a boar who had recurring bloat episodes after a bad case that needed vet assistance. I'm not sure what caused it, it's always possible that a stray piece of 'off' veg got into his dish but I do know that their veg was fed straight from the fridge that evening.

So just to be safe I always ensure food is room temperature nowadays.

I would introduce veg back very slowly to ensure there's no stomach upset again. And it helps to try to work out if it was one of the veg.

I have a current pig who can't eat dill or tomato. And a previous pig couldn't handle green pepper.

Try not to worry too much.
 

hayleyface

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#8
zantac (ranitidine) and emeprid or metoclopramide should be used; these two drugs work on different parts of the guts as well as painkiller. You can continue to give gripe water along these medications (up to 0.3 ml every 3-4 hours) during an acute bout,
Where abouts would I be able to pick these up? She had acute bloat like you said, a really bad blockage, so I want to get stocked up.

I do know that their veg was fed straight from the fridge that evening.

So just to be safe I always ensure food is room temperature nowadays.
I Don't undetstand what you mean about veg being at room temperature. I've never heard about this. My stuff always comes straight from the fridge - should I leave it to warm for a few minutes before giving it to my pets?

Speaking of foods that might not agree with them, the night before Rover got bloat we gave her a new treat with mint and pea she had never had before. Ginny had some too and is fine, but I guess it's possible it could have been that.

I am still concerned about her as she seems to have stopped pooping. I get her out every feed atm so I can monitor and she pooped yesterday morning, but not last night or this morning. Should I be concerned? She's still eating well. Could the reduction in amount of food (ie. lack of pellets and veg) being slowing the pooping down?
 

Jaycey

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#9
@hayleyface Yeah, leave it out for a while before feeding it to them. I know the majority of people feee straight from the fridge without issue but the day my boy got bloated the only difference I could think of was that I was in a rush to go out so I got his veg box out of the fridge, checked it was all okay and then gave it to him.

It's probably not that but I do it now just to be certain.

It is quite possible that it was the treat. Pigs react differently to food. Like I mentioned one of mine starts to bloat with dill but his cagemate has a few sprigs daily without issue.

How is she acting in herself? Bright and active, or not quite herself? Eating okay?

Their poop output reflects their input from 24-48 hours ago so if that was when she was bloated and at the vet it would be likely she wasn't eating then.

Keep an eye on her and if her demeanor changes or she still doesn't poop by later this afternoon it would be worth trying to get one of the last vet appointments of the day, just in case as it tends to be harder/ more expensive to see a vet on a weekend.
 

Wiebke

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#10
Where abouts would I be able to pick these up? She had acute bloat like you said, a really bad blockage, so I want to get stocked up.


I Don't undetstand what you mean about veg being at room temperature. I've never heard about this. My stuff always comes straight from the fridge - should I leave it to warm for a few minutes before giving it to my pets?

Speaking of foods that might not agree with them, the night before Rover got bloat we gave her a new treat with mint and pea she had never had before. Ginny had some too and is fine, but I guess it's possible it could have been that.

I am still concerned about her as she seems to have stopped pooping. I get her out every feed atm so I can monitor and she pooped yesterday morning, but not last night or this morning. Should I be concerned? She's still eating well. Could the reduction in amount of food (ie. lack of pellets and veg) being slowing the pooping down?
Zantac and gut stimulants you get from the vet, as well as metacam. Hence the recommendation to have some gripe water and recovery formula at home as an immediate first-line defence until you can have her seen. Please ask your vet if they would give you a small amount to to have at home, especially if your girl is still not quite eating fully and poo output is slow. ;)

The poo output always reflect what has gone in a day or two before, depending on how quick or slow that guts are working. it is likely still reflecting her bout of severe bloat and her not eating much in the immediate wake and since. Please weigh her daily at the same time to monitor the actual food intake - as hay is making the vast bulk of it, there is no other way to check whether she is eating enough for herself or not.
If necessary, please give syringe feeding another try, whether she likes it or not. Guinea pigs whose guts are still painful and not working fully, may not like it, but for their sake you have to persevere.
Administering Medications

Nobody knows exactly what causes severe bloat. My own cases have usually happened out of the blue with no food changes. However, serving room temperature veg is one of the ways you can protect still tender guts; it takes time for it all to settle down. Serious bloat is one issue that you should never underestimate and cannot be careful enough about in the wake of it.
 
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