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possibly sick guinea pig

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hello all, I dont know what to do, because I am a teacher teaching out of China and one of my lovely guinea pigs is (i suspect) falling ill.

nothing concrete just a notice in his behavior... for example

when i used to open the door i would be greeted to non stop wheeking
now 2-3 days later nothing happens. same thing applies to my bedroom door opening in the morning.

usually my oldest Chewie would be quite active and walk around the cage and prop himself on the wall in hopes to get my attention, now he just lays in the back of the cage in a corner more like with one leg sprawled out.

when i put my hand in to get him, its usually met with more resistance, now my hand can approach him but theres just not all that much resistance to stay in the cage now...

then when it comes to food he eats like a monster, but some of his favorite treats like carrot he wont touch now.

lastly his coat, i think for the most part his coat is smooth and clean but when he stretches out there are little gaps between hair lines not many but some....its difficult to describe that, is that normal or a early sign somethings up?

otherwise there is no discharge around his eyes,bum or nose.

can someone advise me how to go about this
the strange thing is i have him out of his cage now, and he is running around like nothings wrong, but ive lost guinea pigs in periods of days due to something creeping up and not noticing it until its too late
i find it strange that all these changes are happening all at once so I'm wondering if someone can help me. possible give me a heads up of what to do. my girlfriend wants to put him on some doxycycline hyclate "just to be sure" but i dont believe giving him drugs when we are not sure of the problem would be productive.

thanks for reading my long explanation,
 

doglovinpiggylover

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oh i hope you piggies are ok.

Do you get them out much and have laptime with them, maybe they are lonely?

Other than that i think all i can suggest is a trip to the vets if they have them in China??

Again, i hope they are ok xx
 
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sadly no, theres a online community for what human products will work for which guinea pig illness but, my chinese is no where near good enough to make heads or tails of medical chinese hah,

as for the vets i have gone to every vet in the city and all of them said they dont know what to do for guinea pigs, and the best thing the place that sold them to me could do was give me a vial of penicillin in powder form.
(scaaaaary)

so as scary as it is I'm on my own with diagnosing and traeating and piggy illnesses (god help me and them) i just hope they can hold out 3 months until i go back to Canada so they can see a proper vet.

http://www.imgplace.com/viewimg215/8821/11dsc0101.jpg

http://www.imgplace.com/viewimg215/1298/87dsc0104.jpg

http://www.imgplace.com/viewimg215/5347/88dsc0095.jpg

http://www.imgplace.com/viewimg215/2883/41dsc0098.jpg

i took these pics 5 mins ago, does he look like hes hunching over?

does he look unhealthy to you at all?
 

Wiebke

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It is pretty impossible to say from your pics - apart that he is beautiful!

Guinea pigs can go off some foods and favour others instead. If you spread the hair, gaps can appear; keep an eye on them in case they get bigger - that can be a sign of fungus or mites and needs to be treated. Guinea pigs have naturally bald spots behind the ears.

The best way to keep an eye out for a piggy's health is by weighing it once weekly on your kitchen scales - that way, you can notice changes very quickly and have hard evidence when you need to see a vet; set up a date if your guinea pig loses 2 oz or more in one week. At your piggy's young age, she should gain about 20-30g per week, later that will slow down and then stop when he reaches adult age at about 12-15 months old.

The ideal diet is:
- plenty of hay - 50-80% of the daily intake. Hay is the best thing to keep the guts going and the back teeth wearing down!
- 50g of mixed fresh veg per piggy per day
- pellets (so you can get them in China). If you can't, you need to give extra vitamin C. Dissolve a human vitamin C tablet, dissolve it in 1-5 ml of water and syringe it with a ssuitable syringe. Please do not add it to the water - it goes off very quickly and you can;t control the intake.
- Fresh water without additives; changed daily.

Please look out for mites and other parasites. Mites need to be treated with a form of ivermectin - I do not know what is available in China. If you don't think that your vet knows much about guinea pigs, print out the relevant pages from this website; it's the best medical website for guinea pigs that has also tips for care. http://www.guinealynx.info/index.html
Here is another very good website for guinea pig care:
http://www.cavyspirit.com/

I hope that this information can help you.
 
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i just got off the phone with the Cambridge Cavy Trust

to them it sounded like some sort of thresh or oral fungal infection
which puts my mind to ease a bit more, as ive had a sort of bad record with guinea pigs in China (most of them are sold street side and i try to grab all i can without A) breaking the bank or B) upsetting the girlfriend, ) but ive had 3 die on me, one due to URI, one due to a calcium stone and another unexplained, i suspect pneumonia but it was never confirmed he just lost all energy :(

but would that explain it at all tonight at dinner he ravaged through the plate of lettuce and green pepper until he was stuffed. but most of those vegetables are soft, his former favorite treat carrots he wont touch now same with hay, he is very finicky about that, same with the syringe that he always loved to chew on, and Vitamin C pills,

does this assumption sound accurate? or am i just letting my mind wander on the subject too much :P

and thanks he is very beautiful, also my favorite, i really dont want to loose him.
 
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ah forgot to mention, the reason why i grab so many is due to the appalling state of the street side pet shops, they will often have the guinea pig herd in a tiny cage on the side of the street, sometimes with an old woman prodding them with a metal stick to move for customers....thats where i found my Chewie at least...
 

doglovinpiggylover

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oh my god, the old woman sounds horrendous, poor little Chewie, thank god you rescued him/her.

In the pictures, i think your pig looks fine, but you will know your own pig. The colourings are beautiful, so vibrant.

I will keep my fingers crossed for you.

I too lost a pig to stones earlier this year, and it was so traumatic. Must be awful for you that you have no vet help there.
 
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yeah, hes acting sort of normal today but still not as usual, as soon as i sat on my sofa he rustled up on the side of the cage to wheek at me for a moment, (usually more though, ) when i opened the fridge then he wheeked more, but still usually he puts a lot more effort in to his wheeking this felt like maybe 60-75% of his normal enthusiasm in wheeking, sometimes hel do it so hard his voice will crack a bit. little things but so far there are no major indicators that lead to the suspicion of pneumonia or any other nasty little illenesses,

can someone confirm the theory on the minor thrush in the mouth?
if that is the case i can get him some oral gel :)
and i wont have to be so worried about my little guy.

this morning when i just woke up 30 mins ago i looked in the cage and examined him , decent appetite, slightly more social, clean nose, clean eyes, clean bottom, just doesnt wheek as much i guess, today he was more aware of being caught and tried to avoid me a little more, and now hes eating quite fast, but only the softer vegetables, hes still not willing to go for the carrot.


this is seeming as if it could be minor, he did sneeze a couple times but not much, probably because the room is pretty cold (i have a space heater beside their cage so they can have a warm temp)
 
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no vets are the worst, it means i have my own frightened paranoia to go on, all 3 times they all started out like something small, nothing big, but after a day or even hours, it changed quite rapidly, no vets means i have to train myself to be a guinea pig specialist? it makes me work extra hard to keep my herd healthy but at the same time, scares me so much if i misdiagnose one or give one the wrong treatment its all on me.....I'm really happy i found this forum when i did..
 

Wiebke

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It is hard, but very commendable what you are doing - you cannot be a superhero all the time and save all the poor piggies in China, only do your best and learn along the way. That is far more than those poor things would get otherwise, anyway!
 

doglovinpiggylover

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It is hard, but very commendable what you are doing - you cannot be a superhero all the time and save all the poor piggies in China, only do your best and learn along the way. That is far more than those poor things would get otherwise, anyway!



Yes, i totally agree, you cant save them all, and how you do it all alone is definately a great thing, i would be scared half to death.
 
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well i bit the bullet and got a medicine that is safe for Cavy consumption and that could be used generally all around for fungus or the worst (should it have been early warnings) and i am happy to say that in the past couple days my Chewie has been making leaps and bounds of recovery back to his former self, i may not always be greeted at the door as i once was but he makes a point to greet me and come to the side of the cage to say hello when he isnt eating something,

he likes to do that little half jump thing occasionally

though one thing i meant to ask when a piggy is say on a sofa and he runs back and forth in a almost pre decided circuit is that some piggies form of just having fun? he doesnt popcorn so much but he does like to run and jump from my lap to the sofa to my girlfriends lap or behind her and repeat repeat repeat

overall though comparing his behavior now to the behavior before it seems like hes less lazy and a lot more naughty now.

I'm really at ease to see this, but I'm going to keep him on the doxy... for a couple more days just so i can be sure whatever he had was eliminated.

i assume even though this is labelled as a safe antibiotic it will do it job even if that means killing some of the good bacteria in their stomachs, does anyone have a method for promoting the growth of the good bacteria? someone told me to use yogurt but I'm not sure if the Cavys stomach is made for dairy products...though i suppose a little cant hurt. but I'm going to do some research before i follow an assumption like that...

thanks for all the support everyone, this is the greatest Cavy forum EVER!
 

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....one thing i meant to ask when a piggy is say on a sofa and he runs back and forth in a almost pre decided circuit is that some piggies form of just having fun?.........

.......does anyone have a method for promoting the growth of the good bacteria? someone told me to use yogurt but I'm not sure if the Cavys stomach is made for dairy products.

What you're describing sounds like it might be "piggy laps". Guinea pigs sometimes like to run very fast, either darting back and forth or round and round, especially through tubes/tunnels etc, and it can look a bit manic but I gather it's normal behaviour!

With regard to the antibiotic, it is usually advisable to give a probiotic too (around 1-2 hours after each antibiotic dose), to restore balance in the gut flora by replenishing the "good" bacteria, as you said. Many ABs are very harsh on the tummy, so a probiotic can really help avoid painful upset tums or diarrhea. I'd definitely avoid any yoghurt-based products though, as dairy isn't good for guinea pigs.

Specific small animal probiotic products are widely available here but I guess probably not in China. Instead of vet products, some people give their pigs acidophillus, a probiotic sold here in health food shops, for human consumption, but I'm unsure of the dosage.

Your best option is probably the natural way of doing things - take poop pellets from a healthy pig and offer them to the sick pig to eat. If he won't willingly take the poop then you can mush it with a little water to make what's known as "poop soup", which can be syringe-fed orally. Hopefully you can easily buy a small (needleless) disposable plastic syringe, ideally 1ml size. You can find help on syringe-feeding techniques here, should you need it.

Good luck!
 
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oh thanks a lot il have to run out and get some tomorrow then xx>>>

by the by is it normal for a guinea pig to purr over certain sounds?

reason being my youngest will always rumble whenever he hears the cocking metal on metal noise of an airsoft handgun,

i though it was a very strange reaction and just a coincidence but 3,4,5,6 times and he did it perfectly on que.

do guinea pigs just fancy different noises than others? or is that a bad purr?
 

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A sharp, short burr sound means displeasure - many guinea pigs don;t like sudden, loud noises.

A softer long rumble is pleasure.

And a rumble that comes with a swaying bum and stiff legs is a dominance/wooing rumble.

Here are some recordings of piggy sounds which you may find interesting:
http://www.jackiesguineapiggies.com/guineapigsounds.html

You also may find browsing through the bahaviour threads at the top of our behaviour section helpful for explaining some behaviours.
 

missy

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I'm guessing it's normal for guinea pigs to respond to certain noises by making a purring noise themself, as you described - mine certainly do it anyway. One of mine purrs every time the phone rings, after each ring, and also whenever I adjust the sound volume on my Mac, as that makes a weird 'bubbly' sound effect.

I'm not sure whether it means they like it or not, but mine never actually seem scared or startled at all when they do it, so I've not given it much thought tbh. If you ask in the "Behaviour" section, perhaps somebody might be able to give you a better explanation there. :)
 

doglovinpiggylover

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awww glad Chewie is responding, hope you find a good probiotic, i used Avipro that i bought on the net.

The mental running round my little fella does every night, god knows where he gets his energy from, but its ace to watch.

Sounds rather healthy to be if he is being naughty rather than lazy lol bless x
 
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