• 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

Soft, smelly poops after death of cagemate?

Mynsii

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Nov 4, 2019
Messages
9
Reaction score
12
Points
85
Until recently I had two guinea pig extremely bonded boars housed together, though last weekend one of them suddenly fell ill. He lost a lot of weight very quickly, was hot to touch, making pained noises, and occasionally gasping in pain.

We rushed him to the vet, and were given an extensive course of antibiotics and pain relief, as well as instructions to feed him critical care every 2-3 hours. The vet believed he had some sort of viral infection that caused an abscesses on his tongue and throat (as his molars weren't overgrown), and said that while she usually sees it in cats and dogs, guinea pigs and other small furries can develop it too. Sadly, despite everyone's best efforts, he had what appeared to be a seizure the day after his last vet appointment, and died in my arms.

I deep cleaned their cage and took the surviving pig to the vet the next day to check for symptoms, but the vet gave him the all clear. We brought him home and noticed he wasn't eating/playing/doing much of anything, so we rang the vet again. She suggested he was lonely and depressed, so told us to supplement him with critical care until he starts to recover from his cagemates death. Luckily, he enjoys critical care, so feedings have been going well. We were planning on getting him another cagemate after a quarantine period (and at least one more check up).

This morning I woke up and he seems to have diarrhea. It's not watery, but it's like a mushy paste stuck to his bum. Almost like a dropping that wasn't formed properly. It's also fairly smelly. I've cleaned him up and checked the rest of his cage (thankfully ALL of his other poops are solid and normal, and there was no evidence of soft poop or diarrhea in his cage). I've made a vet appointment, but I live in a village with only one exotic/small furry vet (as you can imagine most country vets deal with horses and livestock) and she's not in again till Wednesday morning due to a personal emergency. I was advised to keep an eye on him, keep him hydrated, abstain from veggies, and make pellet smoothies/critical care for him to eat.

My question is, could the critical care cause soft poops? He likes it quite watery, rather than thick and pastelike. Or could his upset stomach be a symptom of grief? His cagemate did die just a week ago today, and they've been together since they were babies.

I've checked his mouth and he doesn't have any visible abscesses, and he doesn't appear to have lost any weight. He doesn't have any of the symptoms my other pig had before he died, but I'm terrified I'm going to lose two pigs in less than two weeks.

For reference they are indoor exclusive, fed a diet of oxbow pellets, Timothy hay, and fresh veggies. The surviving pig is three, and hasn't had any other illnesses aside from a mild case of ringworm shortly after we first brought him home.
 

Wiebke

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 10, 2009
Messages
68,733
Reaction score
37,133
Points
3,466
Location
Coventry UK
Until recently I had two guinea pig extremely bonded boars housed together, though last weekend one of them suddenly fell ill. He lost a lot of weight very quickly, was hot to touch, making pained noises, and occasionally gasping in pain.

We rushed him to the vet, and were given an extensive course of antibiotics and pain relief, as well as instructions to feed him critical care every 2-3 hours. The vet believed he had some sort of viral infection that caused an abscesses on his tongue and throat (as his molars weren't overgrown), and said that while she usually sees it in cats and dogs, guinea pigs and other small furries can develop it too. Sadly, despite everyone's best efforts, he had what appeared to be a seizure the day after his last vet appointment, and died in my arms.

I deep cleaned their cage and took the surviving pig to the vet the next day to check for symptoms, but the vet gave him the all clear. We brought him home and noticed he wasn't eating/playing/doing much of anything, so we rang the vet again. She suggested he was lonely and depressed, so told us to supplement him with critical care until he starts to recover from his cagemates death. Luckily, he enjoys critical care, so feedings have been going well. We were planning on getting him another cagemate after a quarantine period (and at least one more check up).

This morning I woke up and he seems to have diarrhea. It's not watery, but it's like a mushy paste stuck to his bum. Almost like a dropping that wasn't formed properly. It's also fairly smelly. I've cleaned him up and checked the rest of his cage (thankfully ALL of his other poops are solid and normal, and there was no evidence of soft poop or diarrhea in his cage). I've made a vet appointment, but I live in a village with only one exotic/small furry vet (as you can imagine most country vets deal with horses and livestock) and she's not in again till Wednesday morning due to a personal emergency. I was advised to keep an eye on him, keep him hydrated, abstain from veggies, and make pellet smoothies/critical care for him to eat.

My question is, could the critical care cause soft poops? He likes it quite watery, rather than thick and pastelike. Or could his upset stomach be a symptom of grief? His cagemate did die just a week ago today, and they've been together since they were babies.

I've checked his mouth and he doesn't have any visible abscesses, and he doesn't appear to have lost any weight. He doesn't have any of the symptoms my other pig had before he died, but I'm terrified I'm going to lose two pigs in less than two weeks.

For reference they are indoor exclusive, fed a diet of oxbow pellets, Timothy hay, and fresh veggies. The surviving pig is three, and hasn't had any other illnesses aside from a mild case of ringworm shortly after we first brought him home.
Hi and welcome

Unfortunately the loss of a companion can cause major stress, lower the immune system and can in some cause illness or bring underlying problems to the fore.

I am very sorry for your problems. Please take any guinea pig with digestive problems off fresh food (veg and grass) immediately in order to allow the derailed natural fermentation process in the gut to rebalance again. Add plenty of probiotics and contact your vet again if you do not see a noticeable improvement within 24 hours or if the poos turn into watery diarrhea.
Keep in mind that unlimited hay should make over 80% of the daily food intake and that 10% of veg (a small balanced selection) and 5% of pellets should be more in the way of a daily treat and not in the way of being the mainstay of the diet. The more hay a guinea pig eats, the better for dental, gut and long term health. Most people are not aware that grass and also hay are actually high in vitamin C, which is the reason why guinea have never had the need to make their own vitamin C.

Please continue with Critical Care; I like to add some probiotic into the mix if a piggy is off fresh food or needs support. If your boy is still eating, you can serve it 2-3 times daily in a bowl instead of syringing. Switch from weighing once weekly to weighing daily at the same time in order to monitor his food intake; since you can't control how much hay he is eating by eye, the scales are a vital health monitoring tool. Kitchen scales from the supermarket are perfectly OK. We talk of weight loss only after losing 50g. Don't re-introduce any veg until the poos have normalised again for at least 24 hours, ideally 48 hours. Start slowly with some fresh herbs, and then gradually add more veg with every meal; leaving watery veg like lettuce, cucumber or celery etc. for last.

When the gut microbiome is derailed, you can offer a little brown cardboard while the poos are soft; piggies often crave rough, nutritionally poor fibre to reline their gut. Do not overfeed on it, though.

You may find the following guides here helpful:
Digestive Disorders: Diarrhea - Bloat - GI Stasis (No Gut Movement) And Not Eating
Long Term Balanced General And Special Needs Guinea Pig Diets

How To Pick Up And Weigh Your Guinea Pig Safely
Weight - Monitoring and Management

Looking After a Bereaved Guinea Pig
Human Bereavement: Grieving, Coping and Support Links for Guinea Pig Owners and Their Children
 
Top