Stopped Eating Nuggets

HelenC

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We've had our adopted guinea pig Spike for about 5 years (we have 3 others too) and recently he has completely stopped eating the nuggets he's always had and really gone off his water. Thought it might be tooth problem but he's wolfing down veggies and still eating hay and fresh grass. Gave him extra veg soaked with water as I was worried about weight loss but then he had a bit of diarrhea (sorry, gross!) so not sure what to do for the best to keep him healthy. Grateful for any advice
 

Siikibam

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Have you changed the brand? If he’s getting a varied diet and plenty of hay, I would possibly not worry too much that he’s not eating the pellets. They make up a small percentage of their diet, and some piggies are in pellet-free diets.

Do you put anything in his water? Have you changed the bottle? Some pigs rarely drink and others drink quite a bit. Remember they also get some of their water needs met through the veg.
 

Pound Shilling & Pig

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Has he lost any weight and is he eating his usual amount of hay and veg? The drinking less may be a direct result of eating less nuggets as the more they eat of them the more they need to drink. It could be an early sign off illness, because like us when you're feeling under the weather you go off certain foods.
 

HelenC

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Thank you both your replies are quite reassuring. I think my worry was about his change in habits as he always used to eat nuggets and drink quite a lot. Makes complete sense though if he's eating less nuggets and more veg he'll need less to drink. I do worry about overfeeding veg though, I'm trying to keep his weight up but don't want to give him an upset tummy
 

Siikibam

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Have you been weighing him weekly up to this point? You need to do that and also a health check weekly, at the same time.
Weight - Monitoring and Management

You day he feels quite skinny. Is that how he’s been in the past? Can you feel each rib individually? Are you giving him a constant supply of hay? Heft is a better indicator of good weight, but weighing can flag up any large amounts of weight loss.
 

HelenC

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Yes constantly giving him fresh hay and grass and veggies every day, I'll start weighing him too
 

Siikibam

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Weigh him every week at the same time - preferably before breakfast etc. There’s no ‘set’ weight but it’s useful if you weigh weekly. Then when they lose you can be aware. Weigh him and feel his heft.
 

HelenC

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Will do, thank you. He's very active and happily eats his hay and veggies so hopefully he'll be OK. Thanks again
 
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