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Signs of arthritis?

CavyConnoisseur

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Hiya, my golden girl Willow is nearly 6 years old, over the past year I've noticed a slow decline in her general activity, she spends most of her time sleeping nowadays and the main issue is she doesn't come running for her veggies much anymore.

She is the boss of her herd of 4 and was always the first to come running and climbing up the cage walls for her veggies, but now I have to go and physically wake her up to eat, once I do this shes fine and eats normally etc.

She hasn't lost any weight and still has a normal appetite, her response is just slower and I've noticed its worse on cold days. I'm wondering if she has some arthritis and or problems hearing due to ageing?

Thanks
 

Siikibam

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What a grand age to get to for your girl. As you know they’re likely to slow down the older they get. I would get her to the vet just for a general check. Otherwise hopefully someone else will be along soon to answer you.
 

Wiebke

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Hiya, my golden girl Willow is nearly 6 years old, over the past year I've noticed a slow decline in her general activity, she spends most of her time sleeping nowadays and the main issue is she doesn't come running for her veggies much anymore.

She is the boss of her herd of 4 and was always the first to come running and climbing up the cage walls for her veggies, but now I have to go and physically wake her up to eat, once I do this shes fine and eats normally etc.

She hasn't lost any weight and still has a normal appetite, her response is just slower and I've noticed its worse on cold days. I'm wondering if she has some arthritis and or problems hearing due to ageing?

Thanks
Lovely age! It would be worth having her checked for arthritis, especially if you notice a slightly stiffer gait or a more rounded spine.
Make sure that you check her weight regularly; see how she is with accessing hay and water - arthritis can also mean that a piggy is no longer able to climb or lift their head far enough. Depending how stiff their are, they may also be at higher risk with falling over and struggling to get up again.

Metacam and glucosamine can help in this case; the latter is a food supplement and not a medication so your vet may likely not prescribe it but should be willing to discuss it.

Older guinea pigs tend to sleep more and sleep more deeply as their body starts to slow down. That is a normal process.
Loss of hearing and general dulling of the senses are also not uncommon.

Make sure that you provide a half heated snugglesafe and replace it regularly on cooler days. Oldies need warmth as their blood circulation is no longer the best and they are a bit bonier and feel the cold more. Arthritic piggies love the warmth as well.
 

Pigwhisperer

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Watch her walking around - that's what your vet will do. If you can see any odd walking like "hopping" on both back feet together, which is what Silk used to do, that might be an indication of arthritis. If there is something like this they might do an x-ray to confirm the diagnosis.
 
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