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Please help my piggy! X-rays for soft poops?

mikkysaur

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Hi all, I was wondering if you guys have experienced this before.

I am taking my girl Ginny to the vet on Thursday. A few months ago she was on antibiotics for a respiratory infection and her gut didn’t seem to recover. She used to have diarrhea, and now it’s just (stinky) soft poops. They’re not super soft anymore, but they’ll sometimes get mushed and stick everywhere (for example if she’s been sleeping in her bed and they pile up overnight, they’ll stick to everything).

I’ve been regularly giving her benebac probiotics (as advised by the vet), and taking her off veggies until her poops hardened, then reintroducing veggies into her diet slowly only to have the poop soften up again... And they smell worse than I remember before the antibiotics even when hardened up a bit.

It’s been months already. Even though Ginny popcorns, zooms around, and has a healthy appetite... I’m scared. I want to do everything I can to help her. Any advice would be greatly appreciated as I’m seeing the vet soon! Here are my questions:

1. What else should I ask the vet to look into besides the antibiotics messing up Ginny’s gut flora? So far I have GI stasis, bloating, and fecal impaction (if that even occurs for sows).

2. Would requesting an abdominal x-ray be pointless? She had 3 x-rays taken before and I don’t want to expose her to radiation needlessly.

3. If an x-ray should be taken, what should I look out for? What does bloat and stasis look like on an x-ray?

Thank you in advance!
 

daveclark79

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Hi there, if your piggy is still happy, which it sounds as if she is and she's maintaining weight, I think a vet trip may be unnecessary at the moment. It sounds as if the veg is causing the soft poops, it could be something in particular. My boar can't eat cucumber anymore as it gives him soft poops. I found this out by taking him off all veg and then, after a couple of days, introducing them one at a time. Amounts of veg I have found effect poop greatly too and he only gets about 50g per day split into 2 portions every 12 hours.
I hope this helps you
 

Wiebke

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Hi all, I was wondering if you guys have experienced this before.

I am taking my girl Ginny to the vet on Thursday. A few months ago she was on antibiotics for a respiratory infection and her gut didn’t seem to recover. She used to have diarrhea, and now it’s just (stinky) soft poops. They’re not super soft anymore, but they’ll sometimes get mushed and stick everywhere (for example if she’s been sleeping in her bed and they pile up overnight, they’ll stick to everything).

I’ve been regularly giving her benebac probiotics (as advised by the vet), and taking her off veggies until her poops hardened, then reintroducing veggies into her diet slowly only to have the poop soften up again... And they smell worse than I remember before the antibiotics even when hardened up a bit.

It’s been months already. Even though Ginny popcorns, zooms around, and has a healthy appetite... I’m scared. I want to do everything I can to help her. Any advice would be greatly appreciated as I’m seeing the vet soon! Here are my questions:

1. What else should I ask the vet to look into besides the antibiotics messing up Ginny’s gut flora? So far I have GI stasis, bloating, and fecal impaction (if that even occurs for sows).

2. Would requesting an abdominal x-ray be pointless? She had 3 x-rays taken before and I don’t want to expose her to radiation needlessly.

3. If an x-ray should be taken, what should I look out for? What does bloat and stasis look like on an x-ray?

Thank you in advance!
Hi and welcome

I am very sorry about ongoing issue. An antibiotic can wipe out the gut flora for quite some time afterwards if you are unlucky.

Probiotics are often not enough when the gut microbiome is wiped out; it is somewhat contested how much really reaches the gut in a state to do any good.
If you have a companion, then 'poo soup' made by soaking just dropped healthy poos in a little water and then syringing the still live guinea pig microbiome is the best way to restock the gut with the full tailor-made array of digestive workers. It mimics natural behaviour in recovering piggies. Do this twice daily (every time made fresh as the microbiome won't stay live for long outside the body).
Since you haven't mentioned your country, I know whether you can get hold of fibreplex for a course or two; it is not quite as effective as poo soup but the best you can do if you can't use a companion's poo for some reason. But it is definitely more effective than plain probiotics. If your piggy is not liking the taste of, mix it into her mushed up pellets. Make sure that you do not overfeed pelles (1 tablespoon per piggy per day) to encourage her to eat as much hay as possible, which is the food both her back teeth and gut are laid out to work best on; it should make around 80% of the daily food intake.
Here is more information on gut support products: Probiotics, Recovery Foods And Vitamin C: Overview With Product Links

Unless there is an acute concern about a gut blockage or serious bloating (which you haven't mentioned any indicators of), then an x-ray won't tell you anything.
Since your piggy is holding their weight it actually means that while the problem is not at all pleasant, it is not so serious that it is impacting the appetite or overall wellbeing majorly. So please drop GI stasis and fecal impaction - in either case she would look unwell, lose her appetite and become lethargic. Fecal impaction in sows is extremely rare; we have seen perhaps one case in the whole time we've been running despite answering around 10,000 health questions or more in a year on average.

I hope that this helps to allay your fears?
 
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