• Discussions taking place within this forum are intended for the purpose of assisting you in discussing options with your vet. Any other use of advice given here is done so at your risk, is solely your responsibility and not that of this forum or its owner. Before posting it is your responsibility you abide by this Statement

Rapid Weight Loss / Weight Gain - Need some advice as well as learning from it

Alamerona

New Born Pup
Joined
May 16, 2020
Messages
31
Reaction score
23
Points
125
Location
Leeds, West Yorkshire
Hi there TGPF;

Back with another issue with Joey - Due to our scheduling, we slipped behind on giving our boys fresh hay twice a day; we gave them it once for a single day in the evening, due to work and university commitments which overlapped; when we noticed, we immediately changed their hay and gave extra reserves to make sure they had plenty to eat, but I just want to say this has never happened before, so we feel this may be a cause for this. My partner had an inkling to weigh the boys despite us weighing them only 3 days prior, and we noticed that while Bluebear remained consistent, Joey had lost 70g in just 3 days, which was a total surprise as he appeared fine and healthy. He had no issues eating hay or vegetables (Both soft and hard, I.E. Cucumber + Celery), same with his pellets and the occasional treat, but we did have a thorough inspection of him to rule out any of the obvious. He doesn't seem to have anything visible with his gums or teeth, his eyes (Apart from one small crust) seemed fine and glossy, his nose was clear, no signs of slobbering either - No trauma, pain spots or swelling, signs of bloat or irritation in the ears - We also checked out his perianal sac for impaction, which seemed healthy and fine (Albeit smelly... But when isn't it?). Saying this, we did notice one or two poops that appeared conjoined or strained, like a hair had wrapped around them at one end, making it look like two fused poops; bear in mind it was only the few, and hasn't happened again recently. The only other thing we noticed that was different was his demeanour changed to be more moody and antisocial, and he seems to have picked up a new fascination with biting shirts and collars as soon as you handle him. Bluebear hasn't exhibited anything similar in that regard. We decided to call up our vets the next day as when we weighed him, he lost a further 20g, making his total weight loss just under 100g in 4 days - After seeing this, we immediately called up our vets, but can only get an appointment for Monday with a general vet, as the closest exotic appointment was on Wednesday - Due to this we took the decision to begin feeding him Oxbow Critical Care in 2hr intervals starting at 10am - By 4pm, he had gained 80g back, which was a surprise, so we're extremely confused about this. He's still eating vegetables and has been eating fresh hay consistently today, and we've been making sure to top them up with hay when we notice it looking a bit soiled / old.

I'm really confused how this large of a fluctuation can happen to an otherwise normal looking Guinea Pig, going from -90g over 4 days, to only -10g the next day with Critical Care from his previous highest weight. What could have caused this? My thoughts are the Critical Care is putting the weight on, but then I worry he'll lose it all again when he's taken off Critical Care. Should we keep this appointment for Monday, given he seems to have bounced back? If anyone can help us understand what could have caused this, and why it happened, it would be super appreciated!
 

Siikibam

Forum Donator 2020/21
Joined
Jul 31, 2017
Messages
11,222
Reaction score
13,603
Points
2,125
Location
Home
The soft poo sounds like a mild tummy upset. Take him off all veg (and fresh grass) until at least 48 hours after the poo is normal again. Start weighing him daily at the same time - if he’s losing every day then step in with syringe feeding to help him maintain. I would also get him booked in with the vet - it’s not urgent but won’t do any harm to have him given the once over.
 

Alamerona

New Born Pup
Joined
May 16, 2020
Messages
31
Reaction score
23
Points
125
Location
Leeds, West Yorkshire
The soft poo sounds like a mild tummy upset. Take him off all veg (and fresh grass) until at least 48 hours after the poo is normal again. Start weighing him daily at the same time - if he’s losing every day then step in with syringe feeding to help him maintain. I would also get him booked in with the vet - it’s not urgent but won’t do any harm to have him given the once over.
Hi Siikibam, thanks for the comment - I think you misread; Joey's poops aren't soft, but rather there are a few that appear fused together, like a hair has wrapped around it mid-poop. We are now weighing him daily to make sure he doesn't have another significant drop.
 

Wiebke

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 10, 2009
Messages
74,180
Reaction score
49,073
Points
3,466
Location
Coventry UK
Hi Siikibam, thanks for the comment - I think you misread; Joey's poops aren't soft, but rather there are a few that appear fused together, like a hair has wrapped around it mid-poop. We are now weighing him daily to make sure he doesn't have another significant drop.
Hi!

Mild tummy upsets like this can happen due to lack of hay and fibre in the diet. Since hay makes around 80% of the daily food intake, a piggy can lose weight quite quickly; but they can also put it back on fairly quickly again if they are healthy. The hay intake basically covers a human breakfast, lunch and dinner while veg is roughly the equivalent of an afternoon snack and 1 tablespoon of pellets plays the role of a dessert.

I would however recommend to take your boys off their veg for 24 hours to give the gut microbiome time to rebalance again and just let them eat has much hay as they can.

Please keep a closer eye on their weight in the coming days but I only need to book a vet appointment if the weight continues to swing wildly or tummy upsets continue. Poos stuck together are about the mildest form of a tummy upset, just on the border to normal. Make sure that you weigh at the same time in the daily feeding cycle as the difference between a full and empty tummy and bladder can make about 40g and the weight can swing within that weight band over the course of 24 hours. That is why we speak of weight loss only from 50g/2 oz onward.
More information on weight and weight monitoring here: Weight - Monitoring and Management
 

Alamerona

New Born Pup
Joined
May 16, 2020
Messages
31
Reaction score
23
Points
125
Location
Leeds, West Yorkshire
Hi!

Mild tummy upsets like this can happen due to lack of hay and fibre in the diet. Since hay makes around 80% of the daily food intake, a piggy can lose weight quite quickly; but they can also put it back on fairly quickly again if they are healthy. The hay intake basically covers a human breakfast, lunch and dinner while veg is roughly the equivalent of an afternoon snack and 1 tablespoon of pellets plays the role of a dessert.

I would however recommend to take your boys off their veg for 24 hours to give the gut microbiome time to rebalance again and just let them eat has much hay as they can.

Please keep a closer eye on their weight in the coming days but I only need to book a vet appointment if the weight continues to swing wildly or tummy upsets continue. Poos stuck together are about the mildest form of a tummy upset, just on the border to normal. Make sure that you weigh at the same time in the daily feeding cycle as the difference between a full and empty tummy and bladder can make about 40g and the weight can swing within that weight band over the course of 24 hours. That is why we speak of weight loss only from 50g/2 oz onward.
More information on weight and weight monitoring here: Weight - Monitoring and Management
Hi again Wiebke! Thanks for the swift reply.

Ok, I see - We love our boys to death so we always pop on here with questions when we get worried! Would you recommend we cancel the Monday vet appointment then and see how he is over Sunday / Monday? Or do you think we should still go ahead with it? Also, would you recommend giving probiotics at this stage (And if so, which one to get?) to help his tummy, or not?

Regarding cutting veg, should we also cut pellets? Or keep them in the diet for now? They get around 3/4 a tbsp a day in the morning.

Apologies for all these questions! Even though we're first-time piggy owners, we want to do the best we can :)
 

Wiebke

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 10, 2009
Messages
74,180
Reaction score
49,073
Points
3,466
Location
Coventry UK
Hi again Wiebke! Thanks for the swift reply.

Ok, I see - We love our boys to death so we always pop on here with questions when we get worried! Would you recommend we cancel the Monday vet appointment then and see how he is over Sunday / Monday? Or do you think we should still go ahead with it? Also, would you recommend giving probiotics at this stage (And if so, which one to get?) to help his tummy, or not?

Regarding cutting veg, should we also cut pellets? Or keep them in the diet for now? They get around 3/4 a tbsp a day in the morning.

Apologies for all these questions! Even though we're first-time piggy owners, we want to do the best we can :)
Hi!

See how your boy is by tomorrow re. vet appointment. If in any doubt, a check is always better; especially if you suffer from anxiety. Since you haven't mentioned the extent of the weight loss/regain, I cannot judge whether it is a minor blip or a more serious weight swing.

Pellets are within your discretion; it is the fresh veg that is critical. But as your poo consistency is just about on the border between normal and a very mild tummy upset I would be very surprised if things weren't back where they should be by tomorrow!

As to probiotics - again, it is in your discretion as you are very much borderline and it will really not make much of a difference in your case.
I usually just give a little 'poo soup' made from just dropped fresh poos from a healthy piggy that have been shortly soaked in a little water; I then offer some of the water immediately to the ill piggy by syringe. This ensures that any healthy gut microbiome that is transferred this way is still live. Absolute freshness is key - but when done properly, poo soup (or if you'd rather call it 'microbiome water') is actually more effective than probiotic powder. It mimics natural behaviour in recovering piggies and is one of the few home cures that have stood the test of time. However, poo soup only works when the provider of the poos is not on any meds and healthy themselves; it won't work if both piggies of yours are not well - but with my number of piggies, healthy poo is not in short supply. You have to make it freshly every time because the gut bacteria and microbes etc. won't stay live for long outside the gut.
 

Alamerona

New Born Pup
Joined
May 16, 2020
Messages
31
Reaction score
23
Points
125
Location
Leeds, West Yorkshire
Hi!

See how your boy is by tomorrow re. vet appointment. If in any doubt, a check is always better; especially if you suffer from anxiety. Since you haven't mentioned the extent of the weight loss/regain, I cannot judge whether it is a minor blip or a more serious weight swing.

Pellets are within your discretion; it is the fresh veg that is critical. But as your poo consistency is just about on the border between normal and a very mild tummy upset I would be very surprised if things weren't back where they should be by tomorrow!

As to probiotics - again, it is in your discretion as you are very much borderline and it will really not make much of a difference in your case.
I usually just give a little 'poo soup' made from just dropped fresh poos from a healthy piggy that have been shortly soaked in a little water; I then offer some of the water immediately to the ill piggy by syringe. This ensures that any healthy gut microbiome that is transferred this way is still live. Absolute freshness is key - but when done properly, poo soup (or if you'd rather call it 'microbiome water') is actually more effective than probiotic powder. It mimics natural behaviour in recovering piggies and is one of the few home cures that have stood the test of time. However, poo soup only works when the provider of the poos is not on any meds and healthy themselves; it won't work if both piggies of yours are not well - but with my number of piggies, healthy poo is not in short supply. You have to make it freshly every time because the gut bacteria and microbes etc. won't stay live for long outside the gut.
Hi again Weibke, we've weighed him again today and he's come up at 825g; so far his history looks like this:

7th October - 873g
13th October - 894g
16th October - 824g
17th October - 885g
18th October - 825g

Note that today we had to begin Critical Care at 2pm, but we cleaned them out proper and gave plenty of fresh hay. Overall he appears to be much more cuddly and active, and has been eating a lot today :)
 

Wiebke

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 10, 2009
Messages
74,180
Reaction score
49,073
Points
3,466
Location
Coventry UK
Hi again Weibke, we've weighed him again today and he's come up at 825g; so far his history looks like this:

7th October - 873g
13th October - 894g
16th October - 824g
17th October - 885g
18th October - 825g

Note that today we had to begin Critical Care at 2pm, but we cleaned them out proper and gave plenty of fresh hay. Overall he appears to be much more cuddly and active, and has been eating a lot today :)
I would personally have him checked tomorrow to make sure that there is nothing obvious wrong with him.

All the best for a quick recovery. If he is still eating for himself, then he should be able to bounce back on his own with minimal additional feeding from yourself. I would however recommend to print out thoses weights and stick them to carrier (plus any other relevant circumstances) so the vet has a better idea of what may be going on as you can no longer come inside with your pets.
 
Top