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Syringe Feeding Advice Please

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Piggymom

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My 5 and a half year old guinea pig stopped eating his pellets but continued to eat veg and hay, I also noticed a squeaky sound when he breathes. He has unfortunately lost some weight and susequently condition. I took him to the vet on Saturday and she could hear a slight noise on his lungs so he was started on Baytril (thankfully he has had this before with no affect on his appetite) twice a day. She checked his teeth and they seemed fine. Due to the weight loss I also started him on critical care. I found he wasn't very interested in this so I ground up his pellets (excel) and he is happily eating this from a syringe, I am amazed at how much he will eat. He's started putting on between 10-15g weight on a day. I feed him 4 hourly (5 times a day) and he is getting through around 50g powdered pellets a day (he weighs 850g). There is an 8 hour period at night when I don't feed him (I have 3 children 6 and under), he has veg, pellets, hay, water all available during the night and he does eat a little at night, he also drinks on his own. His poops are now okay instead of cow pats. His chewing speed has increased ( it was slow but teeth fine so I assume a lack of energy) So I feel we are doing well together with the feeding. BUT he just looks so miserable......
So my questions are
How long should I expect him to need syringe feeding for?
How will he start eating pellets when I am filling him with feed?

Thank you
 

Wiebke

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Hi and welcome!

I am very sorry; having to hand feed an ill piggy on top of running a busy household is very draining. Did your vet check just the lungs and teeth or did she see whether something else could have caused the weight loss? Is your boy showing signs of pain (hunched up, puffed up fur, teeth grinding, facing the wall)?

It is however encouraging that your boy's poos have firmed up again despite the baytril and that he is slowly gaining weight. In addition to the hand feed, I would recommend to give him some probiotic and extra vitamin C, or help to restock the guts by serving him poo soup from a healthy piggy if you have got one (This is made by soaking fresh poos from a healthy guinea pig in water; then syringing the water. This mimics natural behaviour.)

As we have got members from all over the world, we find it very helpful if you please added your country, state or (for the UK) your county to your details, so we can always tailor any advice and recommendations to what is available or possible where you are. Click on your username on the top bar, then go to personal details and scroll down to location. thanks!
 

Piggymom

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Thank you. He was puffed up but isn't doing that now. He does face the walls of his cage as does look fed up. He is on probiotics (fibre plex) and knows what's going on at feed times as is actively sniffing out the syringe before we start. The vet checked lungs and teeth and had a really good long feel of his guts. He lost his 6yr old cage mate last August but never seemed that bothered.
 

Wiebke

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If his appetite and the pain is not picking up, I would have him seen again. There could be another cause for the symptoms. it is often very much a detective's work when there are no easy clear symptoms.
We have got a piggy savvy UK vet on the top bar, but can provide a link to recommended vets in other countries if wished.
 

sport_billy

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Welcome to the forum. sorry you are having problems.

Have they tried any pain killer like metacam to see if it may be a response to pain somehwere?
 

Piggymom

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He is on Metacam too. He's less whistley in his nose when breathing, he did sneeze white bootlaces a couple of days ago so think it is respiratory.
Really mainly wondering if he should start eating his food of his own accord when ready despite being syringe fed a large quantity of food.
 

sport_billy

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He is on Metacam too. He's less whistley in his nose when breathing, he did sneeze white bootlaces a couple of days ago so think it is respiratory.
Really mainly wondering if he should start eating his food of his own accord when ready despite being syringe fed a large quantity of food.
Is he turning his nose up at veg?
 

helen105281

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It would be a good idea to ask the vet about Bisolvon if he has any mucous in his airways? or you could put a bowl of steaming water next to the cage with a couple of drops of Olbas oil in it. He may be choosing to breathe rather than eat.

My other suggestion would have been a diuretic in case their is fluid on the lungs but I can see the vet has checked the lungs. Did he say what he thought the noise on his lungs was though? did he mention fluid at all?
 
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