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Sick Guinea Pig, Skinny And Chewing On Her Legs

chloe millar

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Hi I'm Chloe,
I have a female who I think is between 3 and 4 years old. She has always been a smaller guinea pig, but recently she has been getting smaller and bonier, I am trying to not take her to the vet, because my parents are very against it, but if I really need to, I could convince them, and I understand that is a key to be a responsible pet owner. I am a minor by the way. She has been getting skinny, as well as chewing on her legs, so there are raw spots. She also had one on her stomach, but that seemed to get better. I have two really noisy sisters, so her stress level is often high, she lives with one other healthy female, and in another enclosure, I have a male who has been neutered. I am treating her for mites tonight, and she is fed foods high in vitamin C regularly, she is fed Oxbow pellets and hay, and her cage is cleaned once a week. I saw a thread that related, and I crushed the pellets into a paste, and she immediately started eating those, but her teeth look fine. I have been caring fo pigs for 6 years, but I cannot figure out what is wrong with her. All advice is great, but please don't say take her to the vet ASAP, because I need real information, and if it progresses any further I will take her to the vet immediately. Thanks so much.
Chloe
 

Freela

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The chewing of the legs is her way of scratching, so my guess would be that she has some kind of skin issue that is making her very itchy, itchy enough to chew herself raw. She is probably quite uncomfortable. My top two guesses would be mites or a fungal skin infection, but unfortunately we are no substitute for a qualified vet visit and problems can't be diagnosed over the internet. I realize at your age it is really on your parents to take the initiative to get her to a vet and I hope that you are able to convince them to do that. There really is no other way to get a definitive, qualified diagnosis. Maybe mention to your parents that some fungal infections (ringworm, for one) are contagious to humans as well... it may give them some more incentive to get her to a vet! Best wishes!
 

chloe millar

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Lol, "Mom if we don't take the guinea pig to the vet, we will all definitely get ringworm, Freela told me." Thanks so much! It feels good to know someone can actually give me advice that is helpful, instead of go to the vet, but actually giving ideas of what it could be! do you know a reason she could be getting thinner, I just checked her teeth, and they were level with each other, is that normal?
 

Freela

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Lol, "Mom if we don't take the guinea pig to the vet, we will all definitely get ringworm, Freele told me." Thanks so much, do you know a reason she could be getting thinning, I just checked her teeth, and they were level with each other, is that normal?
Front teeth should look level. Most problems start with the molars in back, which are next to impossible to examine without specialized equipment. So the front teeth sound fine, and the back teeth will be pretty much impossible for you to get a look at. You can run your hands along the jawline to feel for lumps and bumps (dental abscesses tend to develop there.) However, if she is itchy and uncomfortable that may be enough to suppress her appetite. Some guinea pigs rather quickly go off food if they are not feeling well for any reason.
 

chloe millar

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Thanks. She is still eating her food mush and veggies great, she is getting lots of bell peppers right now. She is having some trouble drinking from the bottle though, but she can still get some water out, I know this shouldn't pertain to the guinea pigs, but my Mom is mad at me, so it's going to be hard to convice her of a 100-1,000,000 dollar vet trip... ( you know how vets can be )
 
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Chloe, of course I don't know your parents... but if they care of the piggie's life you could tell them that a piggie often die for stupid deseases not caught in time; also an eye infection can send them to the Heaven... When they are ill they stop eating and start losing weight.
If your parents just want to wait and see you might telle them that a vet bill with a very ill piggie who needs to stay in the clinic is huge, but a simple visit costs less and a simple cream or an antibiotics is not expensive.
I understand you, you are a good owner, but things don't depend on you, I see and it is impossible to have a pet and hoping to never go to the vet one day... this is only a dream; actually sooner or later the vet's bills are around the corner...
 

Lady Kelly

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There could be a number of things - mites and lice both cause a lot of scratching but not necessarily weight loss. Ovarian cysts are quite common as well and I've had an older piggy who barbered her stomach hair from the discomfort of them (though there were no sore/red patches). Weight loss could be a number of things too - it could be down to discomfort from one of the above conditions, it could be a problem with the kidneys where they are losing protein through their urine or it could be the teeth. Is she having trouble picking up and chewing food? Does she dribble/have a wet chin? Usually when there is a problem with the back teeth you will see the piggy struggling to pick up food and chew it - often they will keep dropping the food and tilt their head to one side to try and get the food through the back teeth. Once they have overgrown enough the front teeth will start to slant from the uneven wear.
 

Lady Kelly

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Just want to add as well that if you have noticed difficulty with eating you will need to make sure you are syringe feeding her. If she doesn't have enough food going through her then her internal organs will start to shut down
 

Wiebke

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Hi I'm Chloe,
I have a female who I think is between 3 and 4 years old. She has always been a smaller guinea pig, but recently she has been getting smaller and bonier, I am trying to not take her to the vet, because my parents are very against it, but if I really need to, I could convince them, and I understand that is a key to be a responsible pet owner. I am 12 BTW. She has been getting skinny, as well as chewing on her legs, so there are raw spots. She also had one on her stomach, but that seemed to get better. I have two really noisy sisters, so her stress level is often high, she lives with one other healthy female, and in another enclosure, I have a male who has been neutered. I am treating her for mites tonight, and she is fed foods high in vitamin C regularly, she is fed Oxbow pellets and hay, and her cage is cleaned once a week. I saw a thread that related, and I crushed the pellets into a paste, and she immediately started eating those, but her teeth look fine. I have been caring fo pigs for 6 years, but I cannot figure out what is wrong with her. All advice is great, but please don't say take her to the vet ASAP, because I need real information, and if it progresses any further I will take her to the vet immediately. Thanks so much.
Chloe
Hi!

Loss of appetite is usually caused by pain/discomfort. The biting of the legs means that at least part of the pain is located there, wether that is mites, fungal or arthritis or something else that only a hands-on vet check can diagnose.

I know how tough it is for a minor to convince parents to pay for vet cost, which are part of any responsible pet ownership, your piggy needs a proper diagnosis and help with an issue that can hopefully cleared with the appropriate treatment if it is seen before it is too late. Mange mites are a horrible way to die from, as they cause real suffering! :(
Vet cost are generally the biggest part of a pet budget, but they need to be factored in right from the start as they are part and parcel of pet ownership. Here in the UK it is illegal to withhold medical care, and an owner can be prosecuted for that in extreme cases.

Please step in with syringe feeding and watering, as your piggy is clearly not eating fully. Up to 80% of the food intake is hay, which you cannot control and which is usually the the first food group that is dropped. Please weigh your girl daily at the same time to monitor the food intake; kitchen scales will do just fine! Our illustrated step-by-step guide tells you exactly how to. It also has got tips on what you can do with what you can do with what you have at home or easily available from a pharmacy, like a needle-less syringe and mushed pellets. Please take the time to read the guides. Make it clear to your parents that your home care is only a supportive measure and NOT a cure and that it cannot replace a vet visit!
Complete Syringe Feeding Guide
How To Pick Up And Weigh Your Guinea Pig
Administering Medications

Please do NOT treat on spec with losed dosed broad spectrum shop products, as they only make things worse, but do not provide a cure. It is wasted money that causes only further suffering.
Guinea Lynx :: Mange Mites
Guinea Lynx :: Fungus

PS: I have removed any references to your exact age for your own protection. Please never post your age and any personal details that allow you to be located/identified in a public space as long as you are a minor.
 
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