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Unwell piggy

crystalshine

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Hi guys,

Sorry to bother everyone but I don’t know if you have read my previous posts about my guinea pig that injured herself and was given painkiller.

Well she has finished the painkiller now. But still seems to be in pain and chattering her teeth. I was doing a check earlier and she pooped. But the poo was like this really light brown colour but at the end of the poo it had this like squishy see through thing almost like a bile pocket. Sorry it’s really hard to describe will try and get a pic.

She seems to be sensitive around that area as well and seems very jumpy.

Any advice.

My piggies mean the world to me so really want to help her

Many thanks Crystal
 

Piggies&buns

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:agr:


I would also weigh her daily to ensure she is eating enough and step in with syringe feeding if she isn’t/loses weight. Pain can stop them from eating enough
 

crystalshine

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:agr:


I would also weigh her daily to ensure she is eating enough and step in with syringe feeding if she isn’t/loses weight. Pain can stop them from eating enough
I believe she is still eating.

we have a nickname for her we call her greedy piggy. But lately, this has changed because she doesn't eat as much as she normally does. will certainly start weighing her and monitoring her weight.

I am struggling to figure out whether she is actually in pain or whether it has become a habit of chattering her teeth. is this possible?

she has a cage mate who is perfectly healthy but the other day I caught the pair squeaking really loudly at each other so maybe they were arguing.
they are not the type of guinea pigs that cuddle up to each other and get along all the time as they are different breeds but lately star (the healthy one) has been cuddling sapphire(the poorly one) and sticking by her side following her everywhere. I think she can sense something is wrong.
I have noticed that she gets more agitated before she pee's so maybe she might have an infection. will try and get her to the vet.

many thanks Crystal

p.s sorry to bother you all.
 

Siikibam

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You can't judge how much they're eating by eye hence the weighing daily. Poo output is 1-2 days behind so is usually an indicator of what they ate in that time frame. If she is losing weight daily (I'd suggest you weigh in the morning before she gets any veg) then you'll have to step in with syringe feeding to help her maintain. It would be a sign that she isn't eating enough hay. I agree about getting her to the vet especially if she seems so struggle when peeing as well. Hope they get to the bottom of whatever it is soon. As far as squeaking, it doesn't always mean they are arguing. And being different breeds also has no bearing on their relationship. It's good that Star is looking after her cage mate. All the best :)
 

crystalshine

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You can't judge how much they're eating by eye hence the weighing daily. Poo output is 1-2 days behind so is usually an indicator of what they ate in that time frame. If she is losing weight daily (I'd suggest you weigh in the morning before she gets any veg) then you'll have to step in with syringe feeding to help her maintain. It would be a sign that she isn't eating enough hay. I agree about getting her to the vet especially if she seems so struggle when peeing as well. Hope they get to the bottom of whatever it is soon. As far as squeaking, it doesn't always mean they are arguing. And being different breeds also has no bearing on their relationship. It's good that Star is looking after her cage mate. All the best :)
When I come to weighing what is the minimum weight she can be before it’s unhealthy
 

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When I come to weighing what is the minimum weight she can be before it’s unhealthy
it doesn’t work like that - a weight which is ok for one piggy isn’t necessarily ok for another.
If your piggy loses more than 50g in one go or has a continual downward trend then you must step in and syringe feed.

the guide below explains.
What does she normally weigh?

Weight - Monitoring and Management
 

Siikibam

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When did she last see the vet and how much has she weighed recently?
 

Siikibam

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Weighing should be done weekly as part of their lifelong health monitoring. You should weigh her in the morning when she hasn't had any veg etc yet. If you choose to do it now, you will have to weigh him at the same time tomorrow and subsequent days.
 

crystalshine

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Okay will leave till the morning then xx
She sat having a cuddle at the moment as she loves to cuddle up with me
 

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Do ensure you weigh her every week yourself when she is healthy, but then switch to daily weighing (at the same time each day - that minimises the amount of fluctuation you pick up) when there are health concerns.
Do you have the exact weight she was when she was at the vet? Obviously just knowing it was 1kg isn’t accurate enough (unless of course she did happen to be exactly 1000g) so it’s going to be a little trickier for you to know whether she has gained/lost/maintained in the last few weeks

Is a kilo average weight for piggies
Each piggy is different. There is no average weight, it comes down to their heft (as the guide explains) and what is healthy for each individual piggy.
 

Free Ranger

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I don't think the teeth-chattering is a habit, it will be for a reason. Mine only do it as a threat: when they are scared or stressed. I'm sorry if I write anything irrelevant in the next bit as I can't find the thread to see what sort of injury she had.

Did the painkillers have any effect on her? I mean, was she better on the loxicom and then started chattering again when it was stopped? Perhaps she was OK for a few hours after her dose but then it wore off later? Or was she the same all the way through?

1 kilo is a decent weight for a sow - unless she used to weigh 1.1 or 1.2 kilo a week or so ago. Like the experts have said above it's the loss that is the indicator. She's not 'underweight' but keep weighing regularly and try to top up her feeds with soaked pellet mush if she's losing weight like in the guides. Check she's still eating some hay as it's the grinding that keeps her teeth down. If she's losing, it's something to note down for the vet.

If you suspect urine infection the vet should be able to give you a little plastic tube and a pipette to get a sample (you might have to put her in a washing up bowl with some veg and wait a while!) There are some classic symptoms to look out for. Check her pee on a white surface (like a towel) for pink, bloodstained tinges. See if her back end is wet: they try and hold it in but they drip and it wets the fur... it can look like a dirty bum. They hunch in pain and do small amounts of pee at a time and can 'chirp' in pain. Sometimes a stone can form in the urethra (the tube from bladder to outside) which increases the chance of UTI as the flow of pee is slowed right down. When they poop the movement of the poop against the inflamed tube can hurt. Stones in the bladder need surgery but stones in the tube of a sow can sometimes be manually removed by a vet which is about as unpleasant as it sounds but they're much better afterwards. UTI is usually easily treatable with the right antibiotics. If you don't see the tainted pee, wet bum, hunching or chirping I would think about other things.

If her cage mate is 'looking after' her and this is unusual for them, I would see it as a definite indication that something is amiss. I had a dominant sow - she was not aggressive but my boar knew his place. She became unwell with no obvious symptoms other than she stopped wanting to eat (she was syringe fed for some time). Suddenly he was attentive, affectionate, licking her eyes and ears, they sat together in the hideys. She looked to him for comfort and he looked after her. In a way it is another 'symptom' to tell the vet about. If I was in your shoes I'd be going back and saying there was still something amiss.

The vet should be checking her over and poking her about a bit to look for any tender spots. Sometimes mature girls get cysts on their ovaries: some can be painful and cause problems - including making them a bit aggressive - but not always. Some cysts are 'incidental' - they see them on scans but there are no ill effects. Keep a close eye on the poops as this is where you saw something unusual. Maybe it's a one-off, let's hope so.

I'm not a vet, just and owner, but these are some of the lines I'd be thinking along if she were my girl. Good Luck Sapphire x
 

crystalshine

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I don't think the teeth-chattering is a habit, it will be for a reason. Mine only do it as a threat: when they are scared or stressed. I'm sorry if I write anything irrelevant in the next bit as I can't find the thread to see what sort of injury she had.

Did the painkillers have any effect on her? I mean, was she better on the loxicom and then started chattering again when it was stopped? Perhaps she was OK for a few hours after her dose but then it wore off later? Or was she the same all the way through?

1 kilo is a decent weight for a sow - unless she used to weigh 1.1 or 1.2 kilo a week or so ago. Like the experts have said above it's the loss that is the indicator. She's not 'underweight' but keep weighing regularly and try to top up her feeds with soaked pellet mush if she's losing weight like in the guides. Check she's still eating some hay as it's the grinding that keeps her teeth down. If she's losing, it's something to note down for the vet.

If you suspect urine infection the vet should be able to give you a little plastic tube and a pipette to get a sample (you might have to put her in a washing up bowl with some veg and wait a while!) There are some classic symptoms to look out for. Check her pee on a white surface (like a towel) for pink, bloodstained tinges. See if her back end is wet: they try and hold it in but they drip and it wets the fur... it can look like a dirty bum. They hunch in pain and do small amounts of pee at a time and can 'chirp' in pain. Sometimes a stone can form in the urethra (the tube from bladder to outside) which increases the chance of UTI as the flow of pee is slowed right down. When they poop the movement of the poop against the inflamed tube can hurt. Stones in the bladder need surgery but stones in the tube of a sow can sometimes be manually removed by a vet which is about as unpleasant as it sounds but they're much better afterwards. UTI is usually easily treatable with the right antibiotics. If you don't see the tainted pee, wet bum, hunching or chirping I would think about other things.

If her cage mate is 'looking after' her and this is unusual for them, I would see it as a definite indication that something is amiss. I had a dominant sow - she was not aggressive but my boar knew his place. She became unwell with no obvious symptoms other than she stopped wanting to eat (she was syringe fed for some time). Suddenly he was attentive, affectionate, licking her eyes and ears, they sat together in the hideys. She looked to him for comfort and he looked after her. In a way it is another 'symptom' to tell the vet about. If I was in your shoes I'd be going back and saying there was still something amiss.

The vet should be checking her over and poking her about a bit to look for any tender spots. Sometimes mature girls get cysts on their ovaries: some can be painful and cause problems - including making them a bit aggressive - but not always. Some cysts are 'incidental' - they see them on scans but there are no ill effects. Keep a close eye on the poops as this is where you saw something unusual. Maybe it's a one-off, let's hope so.

I'm not a vet, just and owner, but these are some of the lines I'd be thinking along if she were my girl. Good Luck Sapphire x
Thank you so much for your time.

The vet set that there was a dip somewhere in her lower back that shouldn’t of been there. But they didn’t do an x-ray or anything so not convinced they did a full check over.

She was on Loxicom (cat strength) for about a week. She continued to chatter her teeth all throughout the course of treatment and is still doing it now. So was thinking maybe it has become a habit. The painkillers were given at night so that she could have a decent rest but by morning she was in a lot of pain but I could only give it to her once a day.

It is very unusual for them to get along. Well I mean they get along but star is always dominant so sapphire knows where she stands but lately this hasn’t been the case, star seems to of let her guard down and let sapphire do want she wants and star will follow her and lick her and snuggle together. Which is not normal.

The info you have given is very useful and I appreciate it.

I had previous guinea pigs for 8 years and there was never any health issues. But then we got the current 2 and one of then keeps getting sick. I should be more knowledgeable having previously cared for piggies.

Is there a reason why a pig may keep getting sick. We have never had issues with her before but since March 2020 she has been in and out of the vets with various problems. I can’t understand why all of a sudden she keeps getting sick. (Sometimes I think I’m paranoid).

She will be 3 at Easter. Could age have anything to do with this. Or the type of breed she is.
 

Siikibam

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It can be down to several things. Perhaps her 'lineage' or just that she is just prone to illness. Hope you can find out what is wrong.
 

Piggies&buns

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Just a comment on the pain meds - you said she was given it in the evening and by morning she was in pain but could only have meds once a day. This is a most likely a mistake on the part of your vet in prescribing. Guinea pigs have fast metabolisms and its entirely normal for them to be given their pain medication twice a day - they metabolise it around 12 hours so only having it once every 24 hours isn't enough. Also, guinea pigs dont sleep at night like that - they sleep in short periods throughout the day and night so giving meds at night so can rest is not actually what happens.
 

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EDIT - Sorry I've just realised I've been using loxicom and metacam interchangeably. I'm pretty sure it's the same stuff and just a branding thing - you can get 'dog' and 'cat' in both - but it's the cat 'metacam' that I have seen listed as being licensed for piggies. It's been labelled 'metacam' on our bottles from the vet etc.

The vet set that there was a dip somewhere in her lower back that shouldn’t of been there. But they didn’t do an x-ray or anything so not convinced they did a full check over.
Yes - I think I would be hoping for an x-ray. Some vets are more reluctant because they give them general anaesthetic to do it which is a big thing for the pig (and expensive for you) but my vet here wraps them firmly in a towel and says this is usually enough to hold them in position. You could find this out in advance - and maybe phone around to see more about costs/methods because to do it without GA is preferable. My vet is not an exotic specialist but I chose them because some at the practice keep pigs themselves and have that benefit of experience. It might not be damage or a deformity - it might be that she is holding herself in an unusual position because of pain.
She was on Loxicom (cat strength) for about a week. She continued to chatter her teeth all throughout the course of treatment and is still doing it now. So was thinking maybe it has become a habit. The painkillers were given at night so that she could have a decent rest but by morning she was in a lot of pain but I could only give it to her once a day.
Cat loxicom (0.5mg/ml) is now licensed for piggies but I think this has only happened recently. We have been prescribed the stronger dog loxicom (1.5mg/ml) for several years now - always with the caveat that it is unlicensed which we have accepted (gratefully). We typically give about 0.23ish ml to a 1 kilo-ish pig twice a day so this would effectively be triple-your-cat-dose spread throughout 24 hours and for most things we have found this effective. On this forum I have learnt that guineas have a faster metabolism than cats/dogs so they can burn through it. Under vet supervision I have even doubled this dose to about 0.4ml of dog twice a day for a stone piggy. It had no obvious ill effects on her. We even tried to take it higher at one point but she lost appetite and looked really rough, so we dropped it back down and indeed within a day she was back to her usual self. So you can go higher with the pain relief - certainly in the short term - but you need to find a vet who is comfortable with that because, of course, there might be some things that pigs get wrong with them which contraindicate this. It's finding that balance.
It is very unusual for them to get along. Well I mean they get along but star is always dominant so sapphire knows where she stands but lately this hasn’t been the case, star seems to of let her guard down and let sapphire do want she wants and star will follow her and lick her and snuggle together. Which is not normal.
You sound very observant! When I had two older boars the dominant one got something wrong with him and underpig Casper started to have a right go at him until we had to split them to be thru-the-bars-neighbours: then they returned to their usual happy interaction. But when my dominant sow got ill recently underpiggy George was such a gentle nurse it brought tears to your eyes. We never found out what was wrong with her and they hide things so well but when I saw how their interaction had changed I knew it was more serious than she was letting on. They are such tender little creatures.
I had previous guinea pigs for 8 years and there was never any health issues. But then we got the current 2 and one of then keeps getting sick. I should be more knowledgeable having previously cared for piggies.

Is there a reason why a pig may keep getting sick. We have never had issues with her before but since March 2020 she has been in and out of the vets with various problems. I can’t understand why all of a sudden she keeps getting sick. (Sometimes I think I’m paranoid).

She will be 3 at Easter. Could age have anything to do with this. Or the type of breed she is.
Health is absolutely the luck of the draw although the fact that the others were healthy shows you must be doing something right! And don't reproach your knowledge because it's great you've had healthy piggies! I only know a bit about certain issues because we've been to the vet (a lot) with some of our pigs so sadly that knowledge has come at a price... that's why this forum is so great because people can learn from other's experiences. We've taken in older singleton pigs locally and mature rescue pigs rather than babies, which is why we've seen more than our share of health issues. 3 is not old but it is adult. I've lost a couple at 3 but it was because there was something wrong rather than 'old age' issues - they can get cancers just like everything else can. Breed I'm less sure about although I hear that most 'breed' pigs have a little bit of something else in them anyway. I would suspect that if piggies are bred for a certain look other issues might slip under the net? I very recently spoke to a GP who bought a few piggies as pets for her children from a local breeder - lovely piggies but they all ended up at the vet between the ages of 2 and 3 with kidney issues which she thinks must have been something genetic as she also got a couple more companions from rescue which just didn't get the same issues. Even with the best intentions, if someone is breeding piggies from other young piggies they can't know about things like this which don't develop for a few years, and how many other babies would have been sold on unknowingly over those years with a genetic timebomb that shortens their life. It's a tricky one. The best they can hope for is that they end up with caring owners who can see to their needs and afford vet visits - but I suppose that's all any piggy hopes for.

Gosh - sorry for the huge post! Wishing the best for Sapphire and Star 💕
 
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