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Solo Guinea Pig Losing Weight

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Michael1991

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Hello I'm wondering if anyone has any advice for us.

We have a guinea pig who last month lost her partner in crime. Within two days of the loss she was prescribed Baytril for a believed issue with her bladder or uterus. Scans showed no stones or sludge. The Baytril (we believe) caused her to lose some weight along with her appetite. She completed a 10 day course then another 21 day course She's been on pain relief also for a number of days.

Following all this we believe she is on a slow decline in weight (we've changed to daily weighings).

She is still alone as much as we are trying to find her a friend but have no explainable cause of the weight loss. She eats lots when with us but clearly nothing when she's alone.

Could this be behavioural and plainly because she's lonely or depressed or does this sound like a medical issue.

I've attached her weigh book to show her weigh ins.

IMG_1009.JPG

IMG_1019.JPG
 

Wiebke

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It is always very difficult to say for definite, as both depression and an underlying illness can play into it. Has your vet checked the womb and/or ovarian cysts?

So far, the overall weight is still good.

We may be able to help you better if you please added your country, state/province or UK county to your details, so we can tailor any advice with climate, vet/rescue access, available brands etc. in mind. We have got members from all over the world. Please click on your username on the top, then go to personal details and scroll down to location. This makes it appear underneath your username in ever post you make and saves everybody time.
 

Michael1991

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She has had ultrasounds and x-rays and nothing to say there is a major issue that can be seen.

My vet would rather treat as behavioural issue at the moment and try for a friend instead of medical investigation work.

Sometimes it seems definitely medical and then others definitely behavioural. She eats like she's never eaten before with us, then nothing on her own.
 

Wiebke

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She has had ultrasounds and x-rays and nothing to say there is a major issue that can be seen.

My vet would rather treat as behavioural issue at the moment and try for a friend instead of medical investigation work.

Sometimes it seems definitely medical and then others definitely behavioural. She eats like she's never eaten before with us, then nothing on her own.
Thank you; that aspect was important to make clear.

Are you aware that North East Guinea Pig Rescue in South Shields offer a bonding service for bereaved guinea pigs? You will be guaranteed to find a companion of her choice for your bereaved girl that is healthy/quarantined, properly sexed and guaranteed not pregnant. Dating always makes for a happier companionship as you come only home with a mate if acceptance has happened.
Your girl can look either at other sows or a neutered boar, depending on what is available. It is the best and safest place in your area to find a new companion. The rescue is on our list of recommended rescues. I have adopted from there myself and can recommend it warmly. Layla can be slow answering as she is a very busy lady, but it is worth sticking it out.
NEGPR Home Page
 

Michael1991

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Thank you; that aspect was important to make clear.

Are you aware that North East Guinea Pig Rescue in South Shields offer a bonding service for bereaved guinea pigs? You will be guaranteed to find a companion of her choice for your bereaved girl that is healthy/quarantined, properly sexed and guaranteed not pregnant. Dating always makes for a happier companionship as you come only home with a mate if acceptance has happened.
Your girl can look either at other sows or a neutered boar, depending on what is available. It is the best and safest place in your area to find a new companion. The rescue is on our list of recommended rescues. I have adopted from there myself and can recommend it warmly. Layla can be slow answering as she is a very busy lady, but it is worth sticking it out.
NEGPR Home Page
We've been in contact with Layla and are definitely up for it. Our only concern is the weight loss and if there is an underlying issue as we would hate to find a companion and then, god forbid, the new companion have to go through bereavement. Also if she is in any pain when we attempt bonding how stressed she will be.

We don't want to bond if it's medical and can't rule out behavioural until we bond so we're very stuck
 

Wiebke

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We've been in contact with Layla and are definitely up for it. Our only concern is the weight loss and if there is an underlying issue as we would hate to find a companion and then, god forbid, the new companion have to go through bereavement. Also if she is in any pain when we attempt bonding how stressed she will be.

We don't want to bond if it's medical and can't rule out behavioural until we bond so we're very stuck
It sounds like your vet has excluded the medical as tumours should also have shown up, so I would go for the behavioural. The fact that she is only eating when you are around argues for a depression.

Would you consider adopting a bonded pair to avoid ending up with a bereaved single anytime soon if you can provide the space?
 

Michael1991

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It sounds like your vet has excluded the medical as tumours should also have shown up, so I would go for the behavioural. The fact that she is only eating when you are around argues for a depression.

Would you consider adopting a bonded pair to avoid ending up with a bereaved single anytime soon if you can provide the space?
Yes definitely, I'd have no problem with that and we have the space.

I'm a panicker and jump to the worst conclusion. Should Guinea poop be easy squished by fingers when they first poop or is this considered soft?

Also for the first time today (twice in a row in fact) she let out a very soft short, tiny, squeak when she let out two poops. Not like a cry, more like a vocal exhale, strange!
 

Wiebke

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Yes definitely, I'd have no problem with that and we have the space.

I'm a panicker and jump to the worst conclusion. Should Guinea poop be easy squished by fingers when they first poop or is this considered soft?

Also for the first time today (twice in a row in fact) she let out a very soft short, tiny, squeak when she let out two poops. Not like a cry, more like a vocal exhale, strange!
It doesn't sound serious. If necessary, take her off fresh veg for a day, and the poos should firm up.

A new bonding is always a leap of faith, but for your girl's sake, I hope that you'll make it. Seeing a bereaved piggy suddenly come alive again is one of life's miracles. You'll know that you have done the right thing when you see it happen!

Continue to monitor her weight after the bonding. As 80% of the daily food intake should be hay, it is most likely that the weight loss and the softer poos are down to her not eating as much of it as she should.
 

Michael1991

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Thanks for your help, we will definitely attempt to bond. She was the more reservd and used to force her partner out to do the dirty work before she would venture out, without her pal she is more reluctant to venture.

Average weight to average weight id say she's lost around 60g. Very slowly but on a downward trend. She's had various stresses over time and obviously she's alone. You would monitor it but not freak out TOO much over this type of loss?

Thanks again
 

Tiamolly123

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They say that 50g is the difference between a full bladder or not.
I hope you can find her a new friend or friends. It's like Wiebke said the difference in your piggy will be amazing. As soon as you get a new piggy we want photos of them. Lol
 

Michael1991

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Agreed! Obviously I don't want her to be lonely but I'm hoping it is down to loneliness because then it's not medical. I'm hoping her slowly dropping wait is purely because she's not eating as much as she needs to because she's alone
 

Michael1991

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Just an update, and another query :D

She's had a spike in her weight taking her back to normal weight with no explanation at all.. Weird!

I gave her LOTS of hay in her pen and she was laying on it a while. Now she's always itching her underbelly and rubbing her nose like crazy, no sneezing though. Eating fine, behaving fine, but itching in waves.
 
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