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Not eating hay.

Sosa02

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Hi, I have a 6 month guinea pig and he recently stopped eating hay and only wants lettuce. Does it have to do with a sickness or did I get him used to giving him just lettuce whenever he wheeks for some?
 

Piggies&buns

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If your piggy isn’t eating hay, then your first step is to get him to a vet for a check. Piggies need to eat hay constantly for gut and dental health. Lack of appetite and lack of hay intake can mean they are not well and not eating enough hay means they lose weight. Weigh your guinea pigs weekly to ensure they are getting enough hay, but switch to daily weighing if there are health concerns (and if weight is being lost then stepping in with syringe feeding is essential).

Veg should only be a snack, and they should have just 50g of veg per day. Don’t give in to demands for more veg as the more hay they eat, the healthier they will be.

You only mention ‘a’ piggy. Does your piggy live with another piggy? They are highly social herd animals and must always be kept in pairs.
 

Sosa02

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Yes, I have 2 male guinea pigs. Thank you I’ll be changing up their diet I give them lettuce when they ask for it.
 

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Wiebke

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Hi, I have a 6 month guinea pig and he recently stopped eating hay and only wants lettuce. Does it have to do with a sickness or did I get him used to giving him just lettuce whenever he wheeks for some?
Hi!

In addition to all the other advice, not eating the 80% of the diet that hay should make, I would strongly recommend to switch from the normal once weekly life-long health monitoring weigh-in to weighing daily at the same time as your boy must be losing weight quickly and may need syringe feeding top in order to get the necessary fibre into his gut if he is not eating hay anymore for some reason.
Not Eating, Weight Loss And The Importance Of Syringe Feeding Fibre
Emergency, Crisis and Bridging Care until a Vet Appointment

Please see a vet if that is the case. It can be either an underlying health issue or a problem in the digestive tract, which starts with the mouth (overgrowing teeth, a brewing abscess or a fungal candida infection in the mouth).

You can do a little and not very exact check on the dental system but if you have a look at the incisor, then they should normally be even white and with a even edge as they self-sharpen against each other. If the edge is jagged or slanted, then this is pointing at uneven chewing with the 16 constantly growing molar and premolar teeth at the back for some reason. A slanted edge could also point at a developing root abscess in an incisor where hay and firm veg are the first food groups dropped. If the incisors are inward pointing and no longer meeting to rub against each other, then the crucial back teeth have already grown spurs that can bridge the tongue and make chewing impossible and swallowing food rather difficult. Symptoms for oral thrush (candida) are similar as the lining of the mouth is in discomfort.
 
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