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How to care for my geriatric guinea pig

lokie_dokie

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My sweet lokie-dokie is almost 8 years old.

Life has changed so much for him this past year. He's totally deaf and almost blind. He sleeps a lot. He has really bad arthritis so he only hops around to get food and to move from one side of the cage to the other depending on the time of day. But he doesn't move as much as I would like him to. He's on two different kinds of pain medicine to keep him comfortable. He has lost quite a bit of weight (down to 737g) as well. He eats on his own...he just doesn't eat as much as I'd like him to. I wipe him down every night to take care of his hygiene. I'm desperate to get him to gain weight, and to help him get some exercise, but I wonder if he's at the point where there's no point in forcing it?

His eyes are still bright. He's always happy to see me. And he still perks up for his fruits and veggies.
He's still so loving. I take him to the vet monthly and she always comments on how lively he seems.

Loki is my very first pet. My very first guinea pig. And my very first elderly animal.

He is my everything, and I would love to know if you have some advice on how to take care of him during these final months.
What are some of your experiences?

(I've attached a picture of my little old man)
 

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sport_billy

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Aww bless him.

Keep making every day amazing for him like you are doing and treasure every moment

as long as he is eating and pain free then that is good. Keeping his arthritis pain under control is vital as you know.
Elderly piggies do lose weight when elderly and he is a golden oldie now, keep up with the regular vets checks for him

he is beautiful
 

sport_billy

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Maybe get him some special hay like oxbow orchard grass to give him a little more interest in food also
 

SkyPipDotBernie

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Glucosamine can really help arthiritis, I've had a guinea pig with arthiritis, I lowered everything for him, the water bottle spout, I had a shallow food dish aswell, and used fleece for the cage liner, so he didn't stumble
 

lokie_dokie

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Maybe get him some special hay like oxbow orchard grass to give him a little more interest in food also
Thank you so very much for your response! I'm doing my very best for him...he is such a special creature and has changed my life in so many ways. I have nothing but the purest love for him!

I will definitely try the oxbow orchard grass to spruce it up and hopefully perk his interest.

I appreciate you!
 

lokie_dokie

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Glucosamine can really help arthiritis, I've had a guinea pig with arthiritis, I lowered everything for him, the water bottle spout, I had a shallow food dish aswell, and used fleece for the cage liner, so he didn't stumble
Switching to all fleece was a recent change as well. I color coordinate his fleece for him so he's always fashionable.

I also took away his hay rack, and when I tuck him in for the night, I move the hay close to his head so that it's always in reach. I do think I'll get him a shallow bowl for his pellets though...thank you for the suggestion!
 

SkyPipDotBernie

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Switching to all fleece was a recent change as well. I color coordinate his fleece for him so he's always fashionable.

I also took away his hay rack, and when I tuck him in for the night, I move the hay close to his head so that it's always in reach. I do think I'll get him a shallow bowl for his pellets though...thank you for the suggestion!
Sounds like you love him so much 🙂, you could even not use a food bowl and just lay nuggets on the floor, I don't know which would be better, on the ground or slightly raised. Have you tried giving glucosamine, I've heard feedback of where it has given old pets a turn around in comfort. Oxbow do a joint support biscuit with glucosamine in, or I think but I'm not sure, that you can buy vegan glucosamine from health's shops
 

lokie_dokie

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Sounds like you love him so much 🙂, you could even not use a food bowl and just lay nuggets on the floor, I don't know which would be better, on the ground or slightly raised. Have you tried giving glucosamine, I've heard feedback of where it has given old pets a turn around in comfort. Oxbow do a joint support biscuit with glucosamine in, or I think but I'm not sure, that you can buy vegan glucosamine from health's shops
That's a great idea! Sprinkling it on the ground might give him some excitement! I will give that a try.
I also had NO idea Oxbow has a joint health biscuit. Loki receives the vitamin c, urinary, and digestive biscuits daily. So I'm excited to see how he likes it. I'm going to buy some now.

Thank you so much! <3
 

Black piggies

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You've done so well to get him to that age and its sweet he's so affectionate. I'd take plenty of photos of him.
 

SkyPipDotBernie

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That's a great idea! Sprinkling it on the ground might give him some excitement! I will give that a try.
I also had NO idea Oxbow has a joint health biscuit. Loki receives the vitamin c, urinary, and digestive biscuits daily. So I'm excited to see how he likes it. I'm going to buy some now.

Thank you so much! <3
They are like a pack of hard biscuit type pellet things, they are very hard though, so could try soaking them first
 

Black piggies

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My local rescue recommended to me wheat bran powder for piggies that need to gain weight. I buy it from health food shops. My guinea pigs go crazy for it.
 

Qualcast&Flymo

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8 years is very good for a piggie :nod:
I recently bought some "Soft cut Timothy Hay" from the Hay Experts for my 3, and they love it. It's really soft and leafy, almost like Readigrass, so I wonder if it is maybe too rich for healthy pigs, but it might help an older underweight one to eat more..
 
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