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Pooping at the vets but not at home?

MishImpossible

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First of all, I feel bad because I don’t really frequent the forum anymore, and usually only come here if I need help :(

Buddy had bladder stone surgery on Wednesday. He has been at the vets Thursday and today being syringe fed and today was advised that he had been “pooping all day” but I’ve yet to see him poop at home. I feel a bit useless as although I’m now more confident with the syringe feeding, I’m still not able to find any poops in his cage.

Is there any reason why he’s pooping at the vets but not at home? Am I doing something wrong? I feel silly to let the vet know he’s not pooping at home only to find out he’s doing it there! I'm doing everything they're telling me to do with regards to the meds they gave me and the frequency and volume of syringe feedings.
 

Wiebke

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First of all, I feel bad because I don’t really frequent the forum anymore, and usually only come here if I need help :(

Buddy had bladder stone surgery on Wednesday. He has been at the vets Thursday and today being syringe fed and today was advised that he had been “pooping all day” but I’ve yet to see him poop at home. I feel a bit useless as although I’m now more confident with the syringe feeding, I’m still not able to find any poops in his cage.

Is there any reason why he’s pooping at the vets but not at home? Am I doing something wrong? I feel silly to let the vet know he’s not pooping at home only to find out he’s doing it there! I'm doing everything they're telling me to do with regards to the meds they gave me and the frequency and volume of syringe feedings.
Hi!

Please keep in mind that the poop output is running 1-2 days behind any food intake and does not reflect the current situation. This you control by weighing daily so you know how much and in which form you need to support feed. Concentrate on getting enough feed into him and you will get a good and steady poo output in due time.

As long as he is accepting food, the gut is working; so you will get poos sooner or later depending on how much food your boy has been getting and how quickly it is being processed. It is really as simple as that. Please don't get hung up over poos.
If your boy won't accept any feeding support at all, then is the time to see an emergency vet asap.
 

Wiebke

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@Wiebke
Thanks for getting back to me so quickly! I'd never thought in a million years I'd be so hung up on poops. 🤦‍♀️
I hope that you can take a deep breath now. You are not the only one! Hang on in there!

Personally I prefer much more to monitor via scales and use the poops just as an additional control. If there have been gaps in the feeding or the amount at the vets has been lower than you give, then you will see this reflected - but it can also be the other way round. Aim to stabilise the weight as much as possible; that is your priority.
 

Scooter Pie

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Hi! Just wanted to offer support! Ive been in the situation twice...counting every poop, waking up in the morning hoping to see some and finding nothing. It's no fun! Once was after an involved abscess surgery, and the other was a new foster adjusting to a new diet (she went 24 hours with zero poops!)

Anyway, I agree that your piggie's a day or two behind. Definitely dont hesitate to call your vet! I'm sure you paid a small fortune for surgery and the hospital stay and they should be able to reassure you :)
 

MishImpossible

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Thanks for all your help guys!

Woke up this morning feeling a lot better, and discovered lots of little baby poops in the cage this morning, normal consistency but smaller than some of the whoppers we normally find in the cage.

We weighed him this morning, he’s a little under what he was before surgery but will keep a track of this to ensure he’s not losing any weight.

He’s still not back to his usual self which is to be expected I guess but seemed a little brighter this morning looking around and sniffing the air when I had him out for his meds and syringe feed this morning.
 

Wiebke

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Thanks for all your help guys!

Woke up this morning feeling a lot better, and discovered lots of little baby poops in the cage this morning, normal consistency but smaller than some of the whoppers we normally find in the cage.

We weighed him this morning, he’s a little under what he was before surgery but will keep a track of this to ensure he’s not losing any weight.

He’s still not back to his usual self which is to be expected I guess but seemed a little brighter this morning looking around and sniffing the air when I had him out for his meds and syringe feed this morning.
Just try to keep the weight stable and on getting as much food into him as he will take (ideally 60-90 ml in 24 hours). You manage the switch from relying on syringe feed to eating on their own with the help of the scales in order to see how much top-up is still needed once your boy is feeling well enough to start eating on this own. Since the timing and speed of this process vary enormously, there are no firm rules - hence the monitoring as the scales don't lie unlike your eyes and as the poo output is running behind.

The smallwe poo size means that your boy has not eaten as much as he normally would and that his body is still a bit churned up but that importantly he has got enough food to make proper poos and to keep going; the main thing is that the consistency of the poos is showing that there is nothing wrong with the digestive system as such. It is just a matter of getting him through the roughest bit until he can fully take care of himself again. ;)

It can sometimes take weeks after an operation for any lost weight to come back, especially after a bigger weight loss of 100-150g but that will come in its own time as the body heals and recovers. Don't worry about that. You see the same in humans after a major operation.

Give him time to heal and don't get hung up on unrealistic expectations that he will sail through an op as if nothing untoward had happened. He has every expectation of making a good and full recovery.
 

MishImpossible

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Just a quick note to let you know that Buddy passed away at 4am this morning. He's been sleeping in a hospital cage in our bedroom and woke us up by making lots of noise. He later died in my arms.
He had a mouthful of critical care and I thought maybe he choked on his last feed at 10pm. He had been keeping food in his mouth we had noticed earlier when we were syringe feeding him and accidentally pushed a piece of bean out of his mouth. We are really blaming ourselves. I've never seen my husband cry before.
 

Wiebke

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Just a quick note to let you know that Buddy passed away at 4am this morning. He's been sleeping in a hospital cage in our bedroom and woke us up by making lots of noise. He later died in my arms.
He had a mouthful of critical care and I thought maybe he choked on his last feed at 10pm. He had been keeping food in his mouth we had noticed earlier when we were syringe feeding him and accidentally pushed a piece of bean out of his mouth. We are really blaming ourselves. I've never seen my husband cry before.
BIG HUGS

I am so sorry for your loss!

If a guinea pig is pushing things out of their mouth, then they are for some reason no longer able to swallow and to process food; it is more likely that he was already dying/his body shutting down when you fed him the last time. But it is in any way a very traumatic experience. Soul searching and intense feelings of guilt are a very normal reaction at the onset of the grieving process, especially if the death has happened very suddenly and unexpectedly.

You may find the information via the guide link below helpful for yourself and your husband. Be kind to yourself in the coming days and keep in mind that you have done your very best to get Mitch through a very tough time and that you have given him a happy and loving home - which is what guinea pigs measure a good life by. When the chips are down, piggies are sadly small animals with very small body but huge personalities that make us forget just how fragile they are.
Death, Dying, Terminal Illness, Grieving and Bereaved Companions: Information and Support for Owners and Their Children
 
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