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Is this blockage behavior?

GuineaInTX

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Hello everyone,

I have a 5 1/2 year old guinea pig. He just got over a URI infection on Sunday after the vet prescribed Baytril and doxycycline. I would give him his probiotic one hour after his medication, which he received twice a day. As of Sunday, sneezing, crusty eyes, wheezing, and watery lungs are gone! The vet checked him Wednesday and she said he is good to go and no longer needs antibiotics. Yesterday (Thursday) his appetite decreased and he started exhibiting signs of pica. He is eating bedding, paper towel tubes, tries eating my jacket, his cage, the towel he is cuddled in, etc. I had to remove some toys and his bed because he was actually ingesting this stuff! He has never behaved like this before.

Today his appetite decreased even more, he is drinking less water than he normally does, and his poops are smaller. He is still alert and can run around the house normally and doesn't look bloated, but I could be wrong because he is the first guinea pig I've ever had so I do not know what bloat looks like. He does not whimper in pain and still runs up for the "fuzzies" from his timothy hay. He also stopped eating his favorite food ever, carrots :( The vet said this is probably due to stress and to not handle him for a few days and she checked his teeth and they are fine. He runs into his hideaway if he gets annoyed by me trying to feed him vegetables he used to like, and will stay in the hideaway for hours until he comes out for water. This is all very odd behavior and advice would be appreciated.
 

Wiebke

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Hello everyone,

I have a 5 1/2 year old guinea pig. He just got over a URI infection on Sunday after the vet prescribed Baytril and doxycycline. I would give him his probiotic one hour after his medication, which he received twice a day. As of Sunday, sneezing, crusty eyes, wheezing, and watery lungs are gone! The vet checked him Wednesday and she said he is good to go and no longer needs antibiotics. Yesterday (Thursday) his appetite decreased and he started exhibiting signs of pica. He is eating bedding, paper towel tubes, tries eating my jacket, his cage, the towel he is cuddled in, etc. I had to remove some toys and his bed because he was actually ingesting this stuff! He has never behaved like this before.

Today his appetite decreased even more, he is drinking less water than he normally does, and his poops are smaller. He is still alert and can run around the house normally and doesn't look bloated, but I could be wrong because he is the first guinea pig I've ever had so I do not know what bloat looks like. He does not whimper in pain and still runs up for the "fuzzies" from his timothy hay. He also stopped eating his favorite food ever, carrots :( The vet said this is probably due to stress and to not handle him for a few days and she checked his teeth and they are fine. He runs into his hideaway if he gets annoyed by me trying to feed him vegetables he used to like, and will stay in the hideaway for hours until he comes out for water. This is all very odd behavior and advice would be appreciated.
Hi and welcome!

Please step in with syringe feeding support asap! Be aware that around 80% of the daily food intake is hay and that veg shouls only make around 15% - the equivalent of a human afternoon snack. You can use mushed up pellets in a pinch (cut off the syringe tip just before it widens to allow fibre to pass through but still hold the plunger in) until timothy based recovery formula arrives. Fine grind usually goes down better. Monitor the weight daily instead of weekly; the poo output is running a day or two behind. Adjust the level of support feeding accordingly.
You need to feed fibre and water the more often the less your piggy is eating and drinking in a feeding session - round the clock. Your home support care is as crucial as any medical care to keep the gut going and your piggy alive through any crisis. You are ideally aiming at a minimum of 60 ml in 24 hours but the closer you can come to 40 ml for the bare survival minimum, the better.

The need to breathe comes before the need to drink and only thirdly the need the to eat. This means that a serious respiratory infection leads to loss of appetite and thirst. Both baytril and doxycycline are known for being the antibiotics most likely to knock out the crucial gut microbiome, too; so that is a double whammy for your piggy to deal with. If you have a healthy companion (considering that guinea pigs are group animals and not wired to live alone), then correctly prepared 'poo soup' (i.e. live healthy microbiome transfer) is the most effective gut support. Otherwise a probiotic powder given either 1 hour before (US recommendation) or 2 hours after the antibiotic (UK recommendation) may help; there is nothing between the two methods.

Please take the time to read our emergency and syringe feeding support guides. They have been specially written for owners that have never had to do this before and show you in easy to follow step-by-step detail and pictures all the tricky bits that are too much to discuss in every post we answer. But they are key to getting your little piggy through his!
Emergency, Crisis and Bridging Care until a Vet Appointment
Not Eating, Weight Loss And The Importance Of Syringe Feeding Fibre
Complete Syringe Feeding Guide
Probiotics, Recovery Foods And Vitamin C: Overview With Product Links
Weight - Monitoring and Management

All the best!
 

Freela

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Definitely supplement him if he is not eating well. The pica could be linked to the antibiotics, some guinea pigs react to Baytril this way because it can cause gut upset, they will try to eat anything and everything! Hadley, the pig in my avatar picture, tried to eat my drywall, furniture, carpeting, and her sister's fur compulsively the last time she was on Baytril. The probiotic can help but may not rule it out completely. I'm wondering if the antibiotics are throwing off his gut and, conversely, if he worsened again shortly after stopping them, they may have been stopped too soon. Definitely supplement him and call the vet!
 

GuineaInTX

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Hi and welcome!

Please step in with syringe feeding support asap! Be aware that around 80% of the daily food intake is hay and that veg shouls only make around 15% - the equivalent of a human afternoon snack. You can use mushed up pellets in a pinch (cut off the syringe tip just before it widens to allow fibre to pass through but still hold the plunger in) until timothy based recovery formula arrives. Fine grind usually goes down better. Monitor the weight daily instead of weekly; the poo output is running a day or two behind. Adjust the level of support feeding accordingly.
You need to feed fibre and water the more often the less your piggy is eating and drinking in a feeding session - round the clock. Your home support care is as crucial as any medical care to keep the gut going and your piggy alive through any crisis. You are ideally aiming at a minimum of 60 ml in 24 hours but the closer you can come to 40 ml for the bare survival minimum, the better.

The need to breathe comes before the need to drink and only thirdly the need the to eat. This means that a serious respiratory infection leads to loss of appetite and thirst. Both baytril and doxycycline are known for being the antibiotics most likely to knock out the crucial gut microbiome, too; so that is a double whammy for your piggy to deal with. If you have a healthy companion (considering that guinea pigs are group animals and not wired to live alone), then correctly prepared 'poo soup' (i.e. live healthy microbiome transfer) is the most effective gut support. Otherwise a probiotic powder given either 1 hour before (US recommendation) or 2 hours after the antibiotic (UK recommendation) may help; there is nothing between the two methods.

Please take the time to read our emergency and syringe feeding support guides. They have been specially written for owners that have never had to do this before and show you in easy to follow step-by-step detail and pictures all the tricky bits that are too much to discuss in every post we answer. But they are key to getting your little piggy through his!
Emergency, Crisis and Bridging Care until a Vet Appointment
Not Eating, Weight Loss And The Importance Of Syringe Feeding Fibre
Complete Syringe Feeding Guide
Probiotics, Recovery Foods And Vitamin C: Overview With Product Links
Weight - Monitoring and Management

All the best!
Thank you for the response! I am definitely supplementing and making sure he is continuing to drink water.
 

GuineaInTX

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Definitely supplement him if he is not eating well. The pica could be linked to the antibiotics, some guinea pigs react to Baytril this way because it can cause gut upset, they will try to eat anything and everything! Hadley, the pig in my avatar picture, tried to eat my drywall, furniture, carpeting, and her sister's fur compulsively the last time she was on Baytril. The probiotic can help but may not rule it out completely. I'm wondering if the antibiotics are throwing off his gut and, conversely, if he worsened again shortly after stopping them, they may have been stopped too soon. Definitely supplement him and call the vet!
This sounds exactly like my pig! When/how did Hadley stop eating everything?
 

GuineaInTX

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Update:
His appetite has slightly increased and he is drinking on his own more! Also, his paper cravings are going down and he is nibbling on more hay. However, his poop looks like beads on a string and is still small, and there was one poop that was diarrhea that had a white mucous on it early in the morning. He is a bright and active pig, so the vet said to continue monitoring and supplementing and see if he improves.
 

Wiebke

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Update:
His appetite has slightly increased and he is drinking on his own more! Also, his paper cravings are going down and he is nibbling on more hay. However, his poop looks like beads on a string and is still small, and there was one poop that was diarrhea that had a white mucous on it early in the morning. He is a bright and active pig, so the vet said to continue monitoring and supplementing and see if he improves.
Poo output runs 1-2 day behind input; it doesn't give you the up to date information that only weighing can give you. Continue to try and get as much fibre (preferably hay fibre) into him with either recovery formula or mushed up pellets. Your syringe feeding support during a crisis and a recovery can make all the difference. It is the 80% hay in a piggy's daily diet that are not only responsible for keeping the crucial back teeth ground down but also the digestive process on an even keel. The more fibre you can get into him, the quicker he will recover.
 

Freela

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This sounds exactly like my pig! When/how did Hadley stop eating everything?
It took a few days after the antibiotics were stopped, maybe up to a week or so. Fortunately she never stopped eating her food, she just began eating everything else! It was really unusual behavior for her, only when she was on Baytril.
 

GuineaInTX

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Update: he's drinking a lot more water and nibbling on hay. I force supplemented him mushed pellets and he has not pooped at all today. Energy levels are still high. He is seeing the vet Wednesday. What should I do in the meantime to try and get him to poop?
 

Piggies&buns

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Update: he's drinking a lot more water and nibbling on hay. I force supplemented him mushed pellets and he has not pooped at all today. Energy levels are still high. He is seeing the vet Wednesday. What should I do in the meantime to try and get him to poop?
keep syringe feeding. No poop means not enough food going in.
are you weighing him daily? monitoring the weight is the only way to know enough food is going in
 

GuineaInTX

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keep syringe feeding. No poop means not enough food going in.
are you weighing him daily? monitoring the weight is the only way to know enough food is going in
Yes, he gets weighed every morning. He hasn't lost weight since Friday, but the lack of poop is worrying. Continuing to syringe feed.
 

Siikibam

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You have to remember that poo output is 1-2 days behind. So if he eats well (enough) tomorrow then it would be evident Wednesday-Thursday.
 
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