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My Guinea Is Getting Skinny

Laaaauren

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Hello everyone, first time user here! I adopted two beautiful boys called Storm and Pebbles about a year ago from a rescue centre. We did our research on the rescue and all the reviews were incredibly positive. We don’t know much about where our piggies came from before, only that they were taken from a hoarder situation. When we adopted them the centre told us they were about 3.5 years old. Their personalities are quite similar but there are differences between the two: Pebbles is usually the leader, however Storm is comfortable enough to wander around on his own while out playing. They very rarely get into tiffs, the most they’ve ever annoyed each other is when they occasionally try to mount one another. Other than that, they get along absolutely fine and we’ve never seen them fighting over food. Pebbles is the larger of the two, it’s obvious even just by looking at them. We make sure that both get the right amount of food they need and they always have fresh water, hay and nuggets (non-mixed kind).

However, after a recent visit to the vets we were told that Storm has lost quite a bit of weight. Although he’s always been the smaller of the two he’s usually had quite a good appetite, but recently he’s been very fussy with his food. He’ll nibble at bits of veg, he’s never been a big fruit lover (neither are if I’m honest) and I rarely see him eat a great deal of hay. We’ve tried giving him different brands and flavours of hay and veg but the only thing he has consistently liked is the nuggets we buy.

The vet checked Storm’s teeth and said there didn’t appear to be any dental problems and he’s still very active and inquisitive when he we have him out. The vet also suggested our boys could be older than was initially thought since with animals age is difficult to determine, especially for rescue pets. We’re going to continue to weigh and monitor both but any tips or suggestions would be wonderful as both my partner and I are very concerned - these boys are our life!

Thanks 🙂
 

Nassala

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Is your vet an exotic? There may be something a normal vet would miss. Do your boys get on fine? No chasing away from food etc, and do you have two hay areas? There may be something not immediately obvious, but until it can be found top up feeding with critical care may help keep your boy from losing too much weight.
 

Laaaauren

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Is your vet an exotic? There may be something a normal vet would miss. Do your boys get on fine? No chasing away from food etc, and do you have two hay areas? There may be something not immediately obvious, but until it can be found top up feeding with critical care may help keep your boy from losing too much weight.
Yep our boys get on very well, they were adopted together and I’ve never seen them chase one another away from the food. They have two of everything: two hay racks, two bowls and two bottles. As far as I am aware the vet who checked Storm was a normal one so I’m going to look around for a good exotic vets. For now I think I will definitely try some critical care, thank you!
 

Merab's Slave

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Welcome to the forum.
You were right to take him to the vet but as @Nassala said unless a vet is an exotic specialist they can miss things.
To give a proper dental exam it usually means some sedation to see the back teeth properly.

Start weighing every day - ordinary kitchen scales are fine - to keep track of how his weight is going.

Look at the top of the forum for the list of recommended vets to see if there is one near you.

Keep us posted
 

Wiebke

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Hello everyone, first time user here! I adopted two beautiful boys called Storm and Pebbles about a year ago from a rescue centre. We did our research on the rescue and all the reviews were incredibly positive. We don’t know much about where our piggies came from before, only that they were taken from a hoarder situation. When we adopted them the centre told us they were about 3.5 years old. Their personalities are quite similar but there are differences between the two: Pebbles is usually the leader, however Storm is comfortable enough to wander around on his own while out playing. They very rarely get into tiffs, the most they’ve ever annoyed each other is when they occasionally try to mount one another. Other than that, they get along absolutely fine and we’ve never seen them fighting over food. Pebbles is the larger of the two, it’s obvious even just by looking at them. We make sure that both get the right amount of food they need and they always have fresh water, hay and nuggets (non-mixed kind).

However, after a recent visit to the vets we were told that Storm has lost quite a bit of weight. Although he’s always been the smaller of the two he’s usually had quite a good appetite, but recently he’s been very fussy with his food. He’ll nibble at bits of veg, he’s never been a big fruit lover (neither are if I’m honest) and I rarely see him eat a great deal of hay. We’ve tried giving him different brands and flavours of hay and veg but the only thing he has consistently liked is the nuggets we buy.

The vet checked Storm’s teeth and said there didn’t appear to be any dental problems and he’s still very active and inquisitive when he we have him out. The vet also suggested our boys could be older than was initially thought since with animals age is difficult to determine, especially for rescue pets. We’re going to continue to weigh and monitor both but any tips or suggestions would be wonderful as both my partner and I are very concerned - these boys are our life!

Thanks 🙂
Hi and welcome

Has your vet checked the crucial back teeth? Have a look at the front teeth, if they are uneven, slanted or jagged, then that generally indicates uneven chewing and generally a pain issue/dicomfort in the mouth (potential dental root abscess).
Picky eating is very often a sign that there is a pain issue somewhere. Kidneys, internal growths, oral thrush etc. can also come into play.

Please switch from the normal life long weekly weigh in to weighing daily at the same time. Over 80% of the daily food intake should be hay, which you cannot control by eye, but which can cause a massive weight loss in a short time without being very obvious.
Support your boy with additional syringe feed in order to stabilise the weight.
Please take the time to read these links here; they tell you exactly what to do:
Weight - Monitoring and Management
Not Eating, Weight Loss And The Importance Of Syringe Feeding Fibre
Complete Syringe Feeding Guide (also contains a list of recovery formulas)

It may be worth to have your boy thoroughly checked by an exotics vet. We can only guess as much as you do. From my own experiences, 'mystery weight loss' (my least favourite symptom) can have many and very different causes.

Since we have members and enquiries from all over the world, you can help us to tailor any advice straight away to what is relevant and available where you are if you please added your country, state/province or UK county to location in your account details (via clicking on your username) to make it appear with every post you make. Background, climate, vet and rescue access, brand names etc. vary widely across the globe and can make a big difference in our recommendations. Thank you!
 
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