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Is The School Guinea Happy Or In Distress?

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Ali7a

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Hi, I bring home the school guinea pigs (2) every weekend and during the holidays. They are at least 4 years old but more than likely older. They generally seem happy and in good health but the last few times I have had them at home I have noticed that one of them keeps making regular odd little chirping noises but at the same time he raises his whole body up, almost like hiccups. I think this is probably happening at school as well but may go unnoticed because of the noise. I have not noticed this behaviour previously so I am worried that something may be causing him pain. Is this normal behaviour. Thanks,Alison.
 

Freela

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Guinea pigs will sometimes chirp- it's a sound like a bird. Is that what you're hearing? If so, it's a noise that isn't well-understood, but isn't supposed to be a sign of illness or ill health or anything like that. It obviously means something to guinea pigs but humans haven't figured it out yet. I have heard some of my previous pigs chirp, but it's generally a rare behavior (although some pigs chirp more than others.) Since it's not well understood, it's hard to know what motivates it or why it's begun all of a sudden (it may end just as quickly- all of my chirping was within a six month period or so and then I never heard it again.) But if it sounds like a bird chirp, I think it's likely a poorly-understood guinea pig behavior and not a medical issue. You could try to record it and post it for another opinion! Hope this helps!
 

VickiA

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Is it possible that he is rumbling at the other? Have you listened to the sounds on Jackie's guinea pig world or guinea Lynx? You may need to use a laptop to,hear the sound files but they give a good idea about noises made by piggies.
Guinea Pig Sounds
 

Julesie

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Is it certainly a chirp like sound? From the way he is moving his body it could be that he's in pain from trying to go to the toilet as guinea pigs will arch then.

If you can try find a similar sound on the above link or on youtube.
 

helen105281

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Could it be heaving hiccups? Not sure they would chirp when hiccuping though.
 

Ali7a

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Thanks all for your suggestions. It doesn't sound like any of the sounds on Jackie's link but I will check again. Definitely not the bird chirping sounds on youtube. He seems to be eating and drinking ok, not 100% sure about going to the toilet as there are two of them in the cage.Also doesn't look like the hiccupping. Will see if I can get my daughter to film him doing it. :)
 

Ali7a

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I managed to film it. It looks like he is trying to pass something maybe? I think I will book him into the vets. The link is to the youtube video .
 

Julesie

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@helen105281

Looks to me like it could be struggle passing something. My guinea pig did a similar move but he made a different sound when he did it though so not 100% sure.
 

biscandmatt

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definitely have your piggy savvy vet check him over :)

it might be nice for the piggies to have a quieter 'retirement' home now at this age aswell, if the school would consider that :)
 

Ali7a

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Have booked him into the vets for tomorrow. Really difficult though as they are technically not mine so I don't have final say over anything. I have tried constantly to encourage the class teacher to let them retire but so far with no luck. Thanks for all the advice. Will let you know the outcome. :)
 

Sian25

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Aw the poor thing. Definitely seems in pain to me and I agree with what's been said that he seems to be struggling to pass something. Hope you find the problem at the vets tomorrow
 

helen105281

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I agree it does look like he is struggling to pass something. I hope all goes ok at the vets. Is he pooing at all?
 

Magician

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Again sounds like what @helen105281 said and @Sian25

Is he bloated at all? Gas bloat makes their abdomen sound hollow if (gently!) tapped and fluid can be heard sloshing about when the piggy (who is, btw, beautiful) picked up. Also, try to feel the anal sack thingummy whatsit. Maybe he has an impaction, if so, gentle pull apart the skin and remove. (There are various videos on Youtube if this doesn't make sense). If he has a recurrence, take him to the vets, who will give you a bunch of fibre supplements ect.

He DEFINITELY needs a requirement home. Four is getting on a bit, and stress often shortens an animal's life anyway.

Hope this helps. Good luck with the School Pigs they are little angels by the looks of them though I can't say I agree with schools keeping pets.
 

Mother Hubbard

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Oh bless, poor thing, he doesn't look comfortable and perhaps the breathing is a little laboured too, could be the discomfort. Good luck with the vets. Let us know how you get on.
 

biscandmatt

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Have booked him into the vets for tomorrow. Really difficult though as they are technically not mine so I don't have final say over anything. I have tried constantly to encourage the class teacher to let them retire but so far with no luck. Thanks for all the advice. Will let you know the outcome. :)
that's a shame. although i suspect the vet might say to keep them somewhere quiet whilst one is poorly anyway so hopefully they'll allow that to give him peace and quiet and time to recover :)

good luck at the vets :)
 

Ali7a

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Sorry it has been a while since my last post.Thanks for all your support. Took Hapso to the vet and he gave him 3 daily injections of antibiotics in case it was an infection. It hasn't improved anything. The vet is reluctant to do anything further considering his age and the huge cost of xrays etc. He suggests that if it gets worse we euthanize him. I don't know what to think.He is in pain when the spasms happen but the rest of the time he seems ok.Is eating but I think he has lost weight.
 

biscandmatt

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Sorry it has been a while since my last post.Thanks for all your support. Took Hapso to the vet and he gave him 3 daily injections of antibiotics in case it was an infection. It hasn't improved anything. The vet is reluctant to do anything further considering his age and the huge cost of xrays etc. He suggests that if it gets worse we euthanize him. I don't know what to think.He is in pain when the spasms happen but the rest of the time he seems ok.Is eating but I think he has lost weight.
can i suggest finding another vet. this one doesn't sound great to be honest. no good vet would talk about the cost of an xray and the age of a piggy as reasons not to bother trying to find out what is going on :( talking about pts after just three injections is wrong in my opinion, unless he is in obvious stress and pain of course.

obviously he cannot just be left this way, so i'd get to one of the vets recommended on the vet locator and see what they say. some vets do conscious xrays which are low cost, and some use a light sedation/ga, again not exactly expensive.

most illnesses and problems won't be cured with such little treatment. so i wouldn't give up yet. i think more tests can be done but with it being breathing related, i'd make sure the vet was a piggy savvy one. :)

eta: noticed you said he seems in pain during the spasm so the vet will beable to give something for that to help him be more comfortable.
 

MerryPip

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Pain relief should be the minimum the vet is suggesting treatment wise. It definitely looks like something is giving him pain at times. One of my boys does this but he is known to have an inoperable bowel tumour which is making toileting uncomfortable. He is on regular pain relief for this.

Might be worth a change of vet but also not being in school, this wee chap has enough to deal with, without kids around at the moment. Hope you get some decent answers soon. x
 

Julesie

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Wow! That vet is awful with advice. Do not heed it. As I mentioned before I had a piggie who had similar problems and he lived for a good 3 years more so this little guy might have plenty more life in him yet!

I would certainly look for a better more piggie savy vet. Good luck x
Keep us updated.
 
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