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I Don't Know What's Wrong With My Baby Girl Anymore..

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JustAsAmy

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Hi.. My name is Amy. I'm new to this forum, but I thought it was a good idea to join because right now I'm in a really tough situation.

So, basically. I adopted my baby girl Willow and her sister Astrid on the 16th of July this year, and they were 3-4 weeks old at the time. On the 30th of August I noticed that willow had been limping, and was favouring one of her legs but I couldn't figure out which one. I had to wait till the 3rd to take her to the vet as I don't drive yet so my mum had to take me. I wanted to go with a certain vet that I know is experienced with small animals, but he was not there on the day, so I had to see a different vet. The vet I saw was not exactly experienced with any type of small animals. But she did know how to check for any fractures. Willow was quiet most of the time when she was checking for any breaks or fractures, so she assumed it isn't broken. She said she may have dislocated her leg and that the only way to garentee it wasn't a break was to have an x-Ray done.. But I couldn't have one done as it would have cost $200 just for an X-ray, which I didn't have that money. The vet would have put her on pain mess but she thinks she is too young..

I have been paying close attention to her to see if she has improved at all, and have been feeding her capsicum to give her vitamin C. She doesn't eat as much as she usually does now, so I bought a scale to keep an eye on her weight. I weighed her on the 3rd after I got home from the vet and she was 292g. Then on the 5th I weighed her again and she went down to 282g.. I feel like this is my fault.. I give her vegetables everyday at dinner time and when I'm at home during the day I give vegetables then as well. And I know people say not to give mixed pellets with seeds, etc. in it but it is my only option due to where I live other than one other option of just pellets which none of my animals seem to like, so I have been sticking with the option they do like.

Anyways. So. I'm worried about her weight. But the other thing I'm worried about is that she is acting really odd.. Which is going to be hard to explain but I will try my best..:

Because I have only had her for a short period of time she is not fully tame yet (she is more tame than Astrid though). Ever since I have noticed her injury she has acted like she is extremely tame but I know she's acting like this because she's in pain. She lets my pet her and she will sit calmly on my lap if I need her to. But she never use to do that before she got injured.

The thing that is making me so worried is that I'm starting to think it's not just her back foot that is in pain, in a way I feel like it's her entire body. I have noticed that when she is sitting in the one spot she is always holding up her front right paw, and keeps slightly lifting her left paw off the ground. And for some reason, even if I'm not standing any where near her, she keeps lifting her head so her nose is facing the roof while still holding her paw up. She does this for a few seconds apart for a short period of time then stops. And whenever she is laying down she is always trying to lift at least one of her back feet off the ground, and tends to turn over to the other side to lift the other one often. I'm sorry if this makes no sense but it's hard to explain. If I knew how to import a video of what she does it would be so much easier.

I feel like such a bad owner because I had to section off part of my piggies play pen so willow would reduce her movement.. But this also meant I had to keep Astrid out of this area as I need to focus on trying to get her weight up a little more. Will this affect how they are bonded if I just leave her in their for a week? Every few days I may pop Astrid into her section of the cage to visit her for a little bit. But even if they are separated they are still quite close and can still see eachother.

I'm gonna give her a bit more time (maybe 1 1/2 to 2 2/1 weeks) but honestly if someone can tell me what's wrong with her or give me advice on how I can help her then please do.
 

Wiebke

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Hi!

I am sorry that you were not able to see a competent vet. Did the vet check for any sprains on her front legs right up to the spine? they are not at all uncommon in lively young guinea pigs and go away again in a few days or at the worst, a few weeks. I doubt that it is a break or a dislocation, as the piggy would not be able to put any weight on that leg or or even have it stick out at a bad angle.
Guinea pigs of all ages can have pain meds (metacam), so it is a real pity that the vet would not give her a painkiller/anti-inflammatory to help with any pain/swelling.

Please put your two girls back together again. It is more likely that Willow is searching for her that that is the behaviour you are observing. Young guinea pigs are desperate for company, and it is much more stressful for them to be alone. That can then impact on their appetite further. Guinea pigs have only clear vision for about a foot or two; beyond that, they react only to sudden movement.

The weight loss is not yet worrying. Up to 30g from one day to another can simply be due to the difference between a full bladder/tummy and an empty one. It is only of she loses more weight from day to day. Try to weigh at the same time in the feeding cycle every day. just before their dinner is a good time as that means that the tummy is always empty and the weighing results are more comparable. Feed your girls their pellets and veg in smaller portions that can be eaten in one go 2-3 times a day in a bowl each, which you then remove. that ensures that both get what they need. The rest of the time they can eat unlimited hay, which should make up to 80% of the daily food intake and which is vital for their long term health and life expectancy.

Could you try and see whether you can order good quality Oxbow or Burgess pellets online? They will be more expensive than the mix, but much more healthier, too!
Thankfully, pellets should only make around 5-10% of the daily food intake, which means about 40g daily per young guinea pig that is then gradually reduced to the 10-20g that adult guinea pigs need once a young guinea pig is past its fast growing phase and its weekly growth rate is slowing down at around 4-6 months. Mine adult piggies only get about 10g of pellets per day.
Here are the Australian websites for either pellet brand:
Specialised Animal Nutrition Pty Ltd – The Australian Home of Oxbow Animal Health and Baraka Station products.
Burgess Australia
Here are our detailed diet recommendations, which you may find helpful: Recommendations For A Balanced General Guinea Pig Diet

You may find our new owner's collection of guides helpful, as they will answer the most often asked for questions from piggy newbies (including how to best settle them in and make friends with) as well as some important need-to-know information - which includes a warning about the need to save up for vet fees.
Recommendations For A Balanced General Guinea Pig Diet

Please keep an eye on the weight after you have reunited your girls and update if the weight loss continues, so we can tell you how help with syringe feeding if that is really necessary.
 

JustAsAmy

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Hi!

I am sorry that you were not able to see a competent vet. Did the vet check for any sprains on her front legs right up to the spine? they are not at all uncommon in lively young guinea pigs and go away again in a few days or at the worst, a few weeks. I doubt that it is a break or a dislocation, as the piggy would not be able to put any weight on that leg or or even have it stick out at a bad angle.
Guinea pigs of all ages can have pain meds (metacam), so it is a real pity that the vet would not give her a painkiller/anti-inflammatory to help with any pain/swelling.

Please put your two girls back together again. It is more likely that Willow is searching for her that that is the behaviour you are observing. Young guinea pigs are desperate for company, and it is much more stressful for them to be alone. That can then impact on their appetite further. Guinea pigs have only clear vision for about a foot or two; beyond that, they react only to sudden movement.

The weight loss is not yet worrying. Up to 30g from one day to another can simply be due to the difference between a full bladder/tummy and an empty one. It is only of she loses more weight from day to day. Try to weigh at the same time in the feeding cycle every day. just before their dinner is a good time as that means that the tummy is always empty and the weighing results are more comparable. Feed your girls their pellets and veg in smaller portions that can be eaten in one go 2-3 times a day in a bowl each, which you then remove. that ensures that both get what they need. The rest of the time they can eat unlimited hay, which should make up to 80% of the daily food intake and which is vital for their long term health and life expectancy.

Could you try and see whether you can order good quality Oxbow or Burgess pellets online? They will be more expensive than the mix, but much more healthier, too!
Thankfully, pellets should only make around 5-10% of the daily food intake, which means about 40g daily per young guinea pig that is then gradually reduced to the 10-20g that adult guinea pigs need once a young guinea pig is past its fast growing phase and its weekly growth rate is slowing down at around 4-6 months. Mine adult piggies only get about 10g of pellets per day.
Here are the Australian websites for either pellet brand:
Specialised Animal Nutrition Pty Ltd – The Australian Home of Oxbow Animal Health and Baraka Station products.
Burgess Australia
Here are our detailed diet recommendations, which you may find helpful: Recommendations For A Balanced General Guinea Pig Diet

You may find our new owner's collection of guides helpful, as they will answer the most often asked for questions from piggy newbies (including how to best settle them in and make friends with) as well as some important need-to-know information - which includes a warning about the need to save up for vet fees.
Recommendations For A Balanced General Guinea Pig Diet


Please keep an eye on the weight after you have reunited your girls and update if the weight loss continues, so we can tell you how help with syringe feeding if that is really necessary.
Hi!

I am sorry that you were not able to see a competent vet. Did the vet check for any sprains on her front legs right up to the spine? they are not at all uncommon in lively young guinea pigs and go away again in a few days or at the worst, a few weeks. I doubt that it is a break or a dislocation, as the piggy would not be able to put any weight on that leg or or even have it stick out at a bad angle.
Guinea pigs of all ages can have pain meds (metacam), so it is a real pity that the vet would not give her a painkiller/anti-inflammatory to help with any pain/swelling.

Please put your two girls back together again. It is more likely that Willow is searching for her that that is the behaviour you are observing. Young guinea pigs are desperate for company, and it is much more stressful for them to be alone. That can then impact on their appetite further. Guinea pigs have only clear vision for about a foot or two; beyond that, they react only to sudden movement.

The weight loss is not yet worrying. Up to 30g from one day to another can simply be due to the difference between a full bladder/tummy and an empty one. It is only of she loses more weight from day to day. Try to weigh at the same time in the feeding cycle every day. just before their dinner is a good time as that means that the tummy is always empty and the weighing results are more comparable. Feed your girls their pellets and veg in smaller portions that can be eaten in one go 2-3 times a day in a bowl each, which you then remove. that ensures that both get what they need. The rest of the time they can eat unlimited hay, which should make up to 80% of the daily food intake and which is vital for their long term health and life expectancy.

Could you try and see whether you can order good quality Oxbow or Burgess pellets online? They will be more expensive than the mix, but much more healthier, too!
Thankfully, pellets should only make around 5-10% of the daily food intake, which means about 40g daily per young guinea pig that is then gradually reduced to the 10-20g that adult guinea pigs need once a young guinea pig is past its fast growing phase and its weekly growth rate is slowing down at around 4-6 months. Mine adult piggies only get about 10g of pellets per day.
Here are the Australian websites for either pellet brand:
Specialised Animal Nutrition Pty Ltd – The Australian Home of Oxbow Animal Health and Baraka Station products.
Burgess Australia
Here are our detailed diet recommendations, which you may find helpful: Recommendations For A Balanced General Guinea Pig Diet

You may find our new owner's collection of guides helpful, as they will answer the most often asked for questions from piggy newbies (including how to best settle them in and make friends with) as well as some important need-to-know information - which includes a warning about the need to save up for vet fees.
Recommendations For A Balanced General Guinea Pig Diet

Please keep an eye on the weight after you have reunited your girls and update if the weight loss continues, so we can tell you how help with syringe feeding if that is really necessary.
Even though the vet wasn't experienced enough with small animals, she did kind of a good job. The only problem was she was only focusing on the back legs to see if they were fractured and didn't bother to check the front, although it is kind of my fault that I didn't think to ask her to check the front feet aswell.

A few minutes after I posted this I actually tool the divider out of the cage, and she is still acting the same way she was when there was a divider. The only reason I put the divider in is for 3 reasons. 1 to minimise her space for a few days so she can focus on healing not walking to get to her food and water. 2. Cause I wanted to make sure she was eatting enough and 3 because Astrid sometimes walks on top of her which doesn't help with the healing process.

Also, what would be the minimum weight for guinea pigs of her age. Because Astrid is around 400g but I feel like she may grow up to be bigger than Willow.

It might be better if I change to oxbow pellets, but they are really expensive. I might consider it when I have the money. Do you think maybe I should start giving Willow the oxbow Vitamin C tablets while she is healing?
 

Wiebke

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Even though the vet wasn't experienced enough with small animals, she did kind of a good job. The only problem was she was only focusing on the back legs to see if they were fractured and didn't bother to check the front, although it is kind of my fault that I didn't think to ask her to check the front feet aswell.

A few minutes after I posted this I actually tool the divider out of the cage, and she is still acting the same way she was when there was a divider. The only reason I put the divider in is for 3 reasons. 1 to minimise her space for a few days so she can focus on healing not walking to get to her food and water. 2. Cause I wanted to make sure she was eatting enough and 3 because Astrid sometimes walks on top of her which doesn't help with the healing process.

Also, what would be the minimum weight for guinea pigs of her age. Because Astrid is around 400g but I feel like she may grow up to be bigger than Willow.

It might be better if I change to oxbow pellets, but they are really expensive. I might consider it when I have the money. Do you think maybe I should start giving Willow the oxbow Vitamin C tablets while she is healing?
As long as Willow is getting a good balanced diet (see the link I have given you - you may find that helpful), you need not necessarily supplement with vitamin C. Only if your mix is not reinforced with vitamin C or she doesn;t eat the vitamin C bits. Ideally, you remove the seeds from the dry mix as much as possible. it would be better if you'd saved up for good quality pellets because that is where some of the weight gain will come from.

Willow is very small for her age, but you cannot force her to put on weight. All you can do is give her a good nutritionally balanced diet see the diet link in my last post) and make sure that she gets her fair share. Don't let veg and pellets hang around, but make sure that there is always plenty of hay. it is more important that she grows up healthily than stuffed with empty calories.

You can find out more about dominance behaviours in sows via the new owners link I have given you. It is in there. The behaviour you describing is typical for piggies that are sniffing a lot (have you checked whether Willow could be blind?), but I have not seen it in limping piggies. Yes, they will take the weight off her hurting leg as much as possible, and that means switching around a bit; but what you describe is piggy that wants to get as much information via her nose as possible.
 

JustAsAmy

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As long as Willow is getting a good balanced diet (see the link I have given you - you may find that helpful), you need not necessarily supplement with vitamin C. Only if your mix is not reinforced with vitamin C or she doesn;t eat the vitamin C bits. Ideally, you remove the seeds from the dry mix as much as possible. it would be better if you'd saved up for good quality pellets because that is where some of the weight gain will come from.

Willow is very small for her age, but you cannot force her to put on weight. All you can do is give her a good nutritionally balanced diet see the diet link in my last post) and make sure that she gets her fair share. Don't let veg and pellets hang around, but make sure that there is always plenty of hay. it is more important that she grows up healthily than stuffed with empty calories.

You can find out more about dominance behaviours in sows via the new owners link I have given you. It is in there. The behaviour you describing is typical for piggies that are sniffing a lot (have you checked whether Willow could be blind?), but I have not seen it in limping piggies. Yes, they will take the weight off her hurting leg as much as possible, and that means switching around a bit; but what you describe is piggy that wants to get as much information via her nose as possible.
I think I may look in to saving up for oxbow pellets.. i just wish they sold it in stores where I live. And I'm positive that she is not blind. Would you recommend that I maybe put both girls back in the smaller space and not put their litter tray in it? I'm really not sure what to do because their cage is quite large (Probably the same size as a 4x4 c&c cage) and honestly i really don't want Willow moving around too much as she may end up hurting herself again.
 

Wiebke

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I think I may look in to saving up for oxbow pellets.. i just wish they sold it in stores where I live. Also, how much exactly should they be getting per serving of pellets? Usually with my rabbits I give them a little bit more than 3/4 of a cup of the mix, which they can nibble on during the day and it usually lasts till the next day the next morning, and I have been doing similar the piggies. And I'm positive that she is not blind. Would you recommend that I maybe put both girls back in the smaller space and not put their litter tray in it? I'm really not sure what to do because their cage is quite large (Probably the same size as a 4x4 c&c cage) and honestly i really don't want Willow moving around too much as she may end up hurting herself again.
Guinea pigs with mobility issues will stay put anyway and start moving around when they can. Instead of cooping them up, rather make sure that your little once has got hay, water and litter corner (without any climbing involved) close by her usual hidey and also feed her her food close by. Keep the area poo patrolled and spot cleaned so she doesn't sit in her own muck.

20g is about a handful of pellets; 10g half a handful. Give her a handful in the morning and the evenings, but rather concentrate on her veg diet, which ideally should include on a daily basis:
1 slice of pepper of any colour, 1 sprig of fresh coriander (these two things for vitamin C, minerals and trace elements), 1 slice of cucumber, 1 chunk of celery, 1 green bean, 1 strip of spring greens or cabbage (for magnesium). This in itself makes a good balanced long term diet. If you want to add a chink or slice carrot or sweet corn every 2-3 days (they should not be fed daily), then you are adding some calorie rich food that can be fattening if fed too much. This veg diet will serve to provide most nutritional needs. Until you can get the Oxbow, you can feed an extra slice of pepper (1 slice in the morning and one in the evening).
 

JustAsAmy

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Guinea pigs with mobility issues will stay put anyway and start moving around when they can. Instead of cooping them up, rather make sure that your little once has got hay, water and litter corner (without any climbing involved) close by her usual hidey and also feed her her food close by. Keep the area poo patrolled and spot cleaned so she doesn't sit in her own muck.

20g is about a handful of pellets; 10g half a handful. Give her a handful in the morning and the evenings, but rather concentrate on her veg diet, which ideally should include on a daily basis:
1 slice of pepper of any colour, 1 sprig of fresh coriander (these two things for vitamin C, minerals and trace elements), 1 slice of cucumber, 1 chunk of celery, 1 green bean, 1 strip of spring greens or cabbage (for magnesium). This in itself makes a good balanced long term diet. If you want to add a chink or slice carrot or sweet corn every 2-3 days (they should not be fed daily), then you are adding some calorie rich food that can be fattening if fed too much. This veg diet will serve to provide most nutritional needs. Until you can get the Oxbow, you can feed an extra slice of pepper (1 slice in the morning and one in the evening).
Sorry but when you say "Pepper" do you mean casicum? I must be very Australian!

Also, one more thing. I did notice that because she hasn't been moving often she has a bit of a wet bum.. i think she may have been sitting in her own pee at one stage because shes too sore to goto the litter box.. I really think I should be giving her a bum bath but I really want to avoid picking her up as It might make it worse. Do you think its safe to just leave the bath for another day when shes almost better? I just don't want to risk her getting irritated skin or an infection.
 

Wiebke

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Sorry but when you say "Pepper" do you mean casicum? I must be very Australian!

Also, one more thing. I did notice that because she hasn't been moving often she has a bit of a wet bum.. i think she may have been sitting in her own pee at one stage because shes too sore to goto the litter box.. I really think I should be giving her a bum bath but I really want to avoid picking her up as It might make it worse. Do you think its safe to just leave the bath for another day when shes almost better? I just don't want to risk her getting irritated skin or an infection.
Yes, capsicum.
 

Tiamolly123

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I would leave the bum bath, after all this piggy has gone through I would leave her bum as she is still subdued? If she has sprained herself I think it should be better quite quickly. Wouldn't your mum buy the oxbow & you can pay her back. She is better together & after a while, she'll settle.


By the way hi & welcome to the group.
 
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JustAsAmy

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Yes, capsicum.
Okay thank you.
I would leave the bum bath, after all this piggy has gone through I would leave her bum as she is still subdued? If she has sprained herself I think it should be better quite quickly. Wouldn't your mum buy the oxbow & you can pay her back. She is better together & after a while, she'll settle.


By the way hi & welcome to the group.
My mum is definitely considering it as it will just be replacing the food I give them now, it just depends on how much the shipping will be.
 
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