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Specialist Loose poops and reduced appetite to hay

Gadzy

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Hi all,

One of my guniea pigs (not the one mentioned in previous threads) has quite loose poops. Sometimes basically diarrhea.

Her stomach is not bloated and she doesn't seem to be in any pain from what I have checked over. I tried not giving them greens for a day, but she hardly touched her hay. I think she's been too spoilt with greens and is just waiting all the time for them. Surely she will eat the hay if it comes to it? But she didn't touch it in 24 hours and that was without greens. I'm not sure what you suggest really? Perhaps try a different hay as well. I literally don't know what the vet can do if I took her in for consultation.
 

Wiebke

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Hi all,

One of my guniea pigs (not the one mentioned in previous threads) has quite loose poops. Sometimes basically diarrhea.

Her stomach is not bloated and she doesn't seem to be in any pain from what I have checked over. I tried not giving them greens for a day, but she hardly touched her hay. I think she's been too spoilt with greens and is just waiting all the time for them. Surely she will eat the hay if it comes to it? But she didn't touch it in 24 hours and that was without greens. I'm not sure what you suggest really? Perhaps try a different hay as well. I literally don't know what the vet can do if I took her in for consultation.
If it is a longer time ongoing issue, then please see a vet to check whether there is an underlying problem in the gut or mouth; including checking the teeth at the back of the mouth. Pickiness when eating can be connected with a pain/discomfort issue.

Please combine any cutting out of feed groups with a switch from the normal health monitoring weekly weigh-in to weighing at the same time so you can see just how much she is actually eating. Hay (which should make 80% of the daily food intake for long term dental and gut health) cannot be checked by the eye only and just going by the poo output means that you are always running a day or even more behind.
 

Gadzy

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Hi @Wiebke. Sorry for the late reply. It's strange because she is going crazy for her food and doesn't seem to be in any pain at all..I picked her up today and she felt alot thinner! Quite alot, but she is eating vegs like no tomorrow and I'm trying to get her to eat more hay. She seems lively and her usual self but the poos are just rather soft and smaller. I have bought some probiotics from pets at home which is a white powder. Can I give this to her everyday? I sprinkled some over their food last night and they still ate it all. Would it harm for the other pig to have some also?

Regards
 

Wiebke

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Hi @Wiebke. Sorry for the late reply. It's strange because she is going crazy for her food and doesn't seem to be in any pain at all..I picked her up today and she felt alot thinner! Quite alot, but she is eating vegs like no tomorrow and I'm trying to get her to eat more hay. She seems lively and her usual self but the poos are just rather soft and smaller. I have bought some probiotics from pets at home which is a white powder. Can I give this to her everyday? I sprinkled some over their food last night and they still ate it all. Would it harm for the other pig to have some also?

Regards
Hi!

PLEASE step in with support feeding additional hay fibre. She is very obviously NOT eating enough hay (which makes the bulk of the daily food intake) - hence the soft and small poos. Hay covers basically what you eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner while veg and pellets are your afternoon ice cream or piece of cake.

She won't eat more hay on her own until the reason for her loss of appetite is gone. Once a piggy has lost more than 50g and definitely more than 100g, they really need to see a vet promptly; ideally in the next two days before the weekend.

Until then you need to step in with syringe feeding mushed up pellets as a stop gap measure but ideally you switch to recovery formula powder as soon as possible. Probiotics are no hay replacement and won't solve the problem that is caused by an unbalanced diet. You can give a pinch, but it won't firm up the poos that are soft from lack of fibre in the diet and small from not having eaten much in the last couple of days.

Make sure that your vet checks the back teeth for overgrowth. They are the ones that grind down the very abrasive silica in the hay. But like you when you have toothache, uneven chewing can in rodents with their contantly growing teeth result in overgrowth. The problem can of course sit in another area - but only a hands-on vet examination can clear that.
How you do prepare pellets and feed them in a pinch is described in this guide here: Emergency, Crisis and Bridging Care until a Vet Appointment

I
 

Gadzy

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@Wiebke I just picked some very lush green long strand grass and washed it thoroughly and put it in their bowl and she is absolutely devouring it! I read that fresh grass can work well like hay. Maybe she's being very picky on the hay I'm using? I think she is being spoilt. ...
 

Wiebke

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@Wiebke I just picked some very lush green long strand grass and washed it thoroughly and put it in their bowl and she is absolutely devouring it! I read that fresh grass can work well like hay. Maybe she's being very picky on the hay I'm using? I think she is being spoilt. ...
No, it is more likely that the harder hay is uncomfortable for her to eat. Dental piggies can eat fresh grass longer than dry hay but it won't do anything about the underlying problem, which by now really needs to be seen, diagnosed and ttreated by a vet and it won't do anything about the soft poos and needing more feeding support in the form of recovery formula and mushed pellets until you can get the formula and balance her gut as well as giving her the amount of food she needs.

Please be aware that the longer you wait with seeing a vet, the worse the problem gets and the more expensive it will be to rectify.

You can give her fresh grass by all means as long as you book that urgent vet visit and as long you also make the step to learn the important task of support feeding a piggy in need. The latter can make the difference between life and death at some point - and the more you do it, the easier it will get; especially if you can start with a piggy desperate to eat but not able to process hay (which is very strongly pointing towards a dental problem) and don't start with a very poorly piggy that has lost their appetite completely and which is much harder to feed.

But don't deceive yourself that feeding a bit more grass instead of hay will correct the real issue without you having to see a vet or support feed. It may slow down the problem but not much. You will soon get to the stage where she is unable to chew at all and it is much harder for the vet to correct the problem and will take a lot longer to re-balance. Guinea pigs don't go off their main staple of diet for fun; they will stop eating it because they struggle with it. The poos have given you a very clear message on this point!
 

Piggies&buns

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I agree with wiebke. The two most important things you need to do is step in with syringe feeding and see a vet either today or tomorrow.
 

Gadzy

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@Wiebke @Piggies&buns Hello,

I have a vet appointment tomorrow. I looked at her front teeth last night and they do actually look very long. Almost getting in the way of each other. Can vets trim the front teeth? I'm hoping they don't need to put her under just for that? I will try sryinge feeding her today? How much and how often shall I give her mushed pellets?
 

Piggies&buns

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@Wiebke @Piggies&buns Hello,

I have a vet appointment tomorrow. I looked at her front teeth last night and they do actually look very long. Almost getting in the way of each other. Can vets trim the front teeth? I'm hoping they don't need to put her under just for that? I will try sryinge feeding her today? How much and how often shall I give her mushed pellets?
Sometimes problems with the front teeth can be indicative of a problem with the back teeth So trimming the front may not solve a problem at all if the actual problem is the back teeth.

You need to syringe feed as much as necessary for her to be able to maintain her weight - therefore there is no real fixed amount but if she has a full loss of appetite you will need to aim for at least 60ml in 24 hours - so you will need to be syringing every couple of hours (little and often is usually easiest). You will need to weigh her at the same time each day to be able to gauge whether you are syringing enough

Not Eating, Weight Loss And The Importance Of Syringe Feeding Fibre
Complete Syringe Feeding Guide
 

Gadzy

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@Piggies&buns Thankyou. Well, I have an appointment tomorrow to check her teeth in the morning. She did seem to be eating some sort of hay last night and a few pellets so it can't be a catastrophic issue, but it's best to get the vet look at her teeth and make sure. Her poos are better than they were. Not perfect, but much better. I will still get the vets to check her over to make sure as well
 

Gadzy

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@Wiebke @Piggies&buns Just been to the vets and she said the teeth are absolutely perfect and was suprised because of the symptoms. She said she's never seen such good teeth. She's still not eating any hay and weight is dropping all the time. She just wants her greens all the time. She is on metacam as a precaution to see if she eats while on that. She wants me to ring Monday to see but I don't know what else to do. I'm struggling with the consistency of the pellets and the syringe won't take any up. Poos are formed just small
 

Piggies&buns

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You may find it easier to use a recovery feed such as Oxbow critical care as it is finer in consistency.
If you’re going to use mushed pellets, then have you cut the end off of the syringe (the bit where it tapers at the tip needs to be removed to get pellet mush to go through it)
 

eileen

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I'm sorry your piggie us not eating enough.are you weighting your piggie daily at the same time,this guides you to how much syringe feed you need to give. :hug:
 

Wiebke

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@Wiebke @Piggies&buns Just been to the vets and she said the teeth are absolutely perfect and was suprised because of the symptoms. She said she's never seen such good teeth. She's still not eating any hay and weight is dropping all the time. She just wants her greens all the time. She is on metacam as a precaution to see if she eats while on that. She wants me to ring Monday to see but I don't know what else to do. I'm struggling with the consistency of the pellets and the syringe won't take any up. Poos are formed just small
Has your vet checked for oral thrush and have they checked further down the body for sources of pain/growths etc. or just looked at the teeth?
 

Gadzy

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@Wiebke She checked all over her. She felt her stomach and area to feel for any stones or discomfort. She checked her heart and lungs too. The vet said she had a stern feel all over and there was no sign of discomfort or any lumps etc. Mouth seemed perfect she said. I hate it when it's like this and you don't know what your trying to treat. I had it with my other one and it was me who suggested a new antibiotic etc when they wanted me to go for a specialist. She said next port of call would be a xray of the mouth area to make sure nothing small was missed like a little spur at the back etc, but she is quite sure there wasn't
 

Wiebke

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@Wiebke She checked all over her. She felt her stomach and area to feel for any stones or discomfort. She checked her heart and lungs too. The vet said she had a stern feel all over and there was no sign of discomfort or any lumps etc. Mouth seemed perfect she said. I hate it when it's like this and you don't know what your trying to treat. I had it with my other one and it was me who suggested a new antibiotic etc when they wanted me to go for a specialist. She said next port of call would be a xray of the mouth area to make sure nothing small was missed like a little spur at the back etc, but she is quite sure there wasn't
Mystery weight loss is personally my least favourite symptom because it can be such a lot of different things behind it. My Ffowlyn needed two vet trips before she was diagnosed with a bloated and enlarged stomach but her gut was entirely free of gas; but the pain from the fassing did clearly cause loss of appetite - by the time she saw the vet as an emergency, she has lost it totally and needed full-on every two hours round the clock feeding support.

Please make sure that you feed your girl enough in terms of support that she is not losing any more weight. 3 feeds in a day are not enough if the weight loss continues or even speeds up as something is very clearly not right and more likely to get worse rather than better.

I am linking in @FurryFriends for you. Perhaps she has got some more ideas.
 

Gadzy

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@Wiebke Thankyou for your prompt reply :)... I'm starting to wonder if a course of antibiotics is worth a go as there's nothing to loose again doing that. I have a feeling she might have a Urine Tract Infection but I'm not sure. What would the symptoms be and would she eat her greens if she had this? Also if she did have this would Baytril or Septrin be best for this? Baytril did nothing to my other guniea pig whatever she had, but Septrin did the trick quite promptly
 

Wiebke

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@Wiebke Thankyou for your prompt reply :)... I'm starting to wonder if a course of antibiotics is worth a go as there's nothing to loose again doing that. I have a feeling she might have a Urine Tract Infection but I'm not sure. What would the symptoms be and would she eat her greens if she had this? Also if she did have this would Baytril or Septrin be best for this? Baytril did nothing to my other guniea pig whatever she had, but Septrin did the trick quite promptly
Hi!

No, a UTI has very different symptoms and is not impacting on the specific way she eats.
 

Gadzy

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@Wiebke I'm not sure if there's pain somewhere because I mentioned to the vets that she squints her eye sometimes, but I'm not sure if that's a relaxed thing or a pain thing. She checked her eyes. It's not always
 
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