• You can find lots of information on how to settle in, understand your new guinea pigs in our New Owners Guide Collection but please ask any questions you have in Wannabe and New Owners' section.

Weight loss after travel

BlueBird

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Dec 27, 2016
Messages
213
Likes
258
Points
345
Location
Nottingham, UK
#1
Hi there,

Is it normal for guinea pigs to lose weight after travel?

I had my guineas looked after by my parents for the week while we were on holiday. They live an hr and a half drive away. All three of our pigs lost a significant amount of weight when they came back. (It happened last time they pig sat for us too). Unfortunately, I'm bad at weighing them at the same time and I weighed them as soon as they got back so they may have already eaten etc so i cant be sure of the exact weight loss but they all lost 50-100g. Normal weekly fluctuation seems to be about 25-40g.

The oldest pig who's 4/5years was the 100g. So I'm going to get a vet appointment asap just in case. She seems ok, eating normally etc. Maybe it's the stress of travelling? Two of them definitely go into freeze mode when they are in the travel crate.

Important to note they are all still within the "ideal" guinea weight bracket.
 

Jaycey

Forum Donator 2017/18
Joined
Sep 1, 2014
Messages
3,677
Likes
3,834
Points
1,235
Location
Leicester
#2
@BlueBird Did the loss happen whilst they were away, or a few days after they were back with you? Sorry, I can't quite make it out from your post.

If it was during their time away it could be that they were nervouse and didn't eat as much. Or your parents may have fed them differently to what they are used to.
 
Joined
Jun 24, 2018
Messages
2,871
Likes
2,563
Points
900
Location
Northampton uk
#3
@BlueBird Did the loss happen whilst they were away, or a few days after they were back with you? Sorry, I can't quite make it out from your post.

If it was during their time away it could be that they were nervouse and didn't eat as much. Or your parents may have fed them differently to what they are used to.
I agree with this, has happened with my pigs in a new environment
 

BlueBird

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Dec 27, 2016
Messages
213
Likes
258
Points
345
Location
Nottingham, UK
#4
@BlueBird Did the loss happen whilst they were away, or a few days after they were back with you? Sorry, I can't quite make it out from your post.

If it was during their time away it could be that they were nervouse and didn't eat as much. Or your parents may have fed them differently to what they are used to.
It was while they were away at my parents. Today is their first day back with us. They've had guineas before when I was a kid but they may still have bad habits. I do know they gave them iceberg lettuce last time they were there for example. :/ I give them a lunchbox of our pellets so they still get the same food to lessen the shock. But I did wonder whether it was stress or something.

My parents house is also a lot more open and brighter than our flat which may have added to their nervousness as you say. Slightly worrying that it was our most confident pig that lost the weight though. But she is also fussy with her food and we spoil her.
 

G&C

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Mar 15, 2018
Messages
263
Likes
128
Points
335
#5
It’s a good idea to leave with guinea sitters info about what to feed, when, amount and timings -piggies like routine and this reduces the stress of a new environment to some extent. Regardless of who is looking after them, you know them best and their favourite foods.

I think it’s unlikely they have lost up to 100g in an hour and a half travelling.

How were they when they got home? Popcorning straight away? Running to the water bottle? Ravenous for food? Wheeking for food?

A vet check up is a good idea for any that have lost over 50g, the others you may be able to monitor DAILY their weight and speak to a vet if it reduces. Try keep a close eye on their weights and record them, it’s so important because it’s the first measure of any illness or problem.
 

PigglePuggle

Adult Guinea Pig
Joined
Apr 20, 2018
Messages
1,551
Likes
3,684
Points
1,075
Location
Liverpool
#6
Guinea pig sitters can be a worry, my daughter has looked after our piggies twice now and both times they gained weight and had overflowing pellet bowls and lots of apples in the cage when we came home- I left tupperware boxes of the daily veggies but she thought they "looked hungry" and overfed them... every time they see her they start wheeking "its the apple lady" and go a bit crazy...
I think short term fluctuations in diet and care are probably something healthy pigs handle ok, if they are eating ok and settling down now they are back home maybe just see if their weight stabilises over the next couple of weeks...
 

Bill & Ted

Teenage Guinea Pig
Joined
Jun 20, 2018
Messages
803
Likes
997
Points
450
Location
Cornwall
#7
Our piggies have had to travel 6.5 hours to see a specialist dental vet and they seemed fine on both getting there and back again, did not seem stressed at all. Perhaps it’s the strange environment that has unnerved them and possibly they were missing the familiar sounds and things and you x
 

Jaycey

Forum Donator 2017/18
Joined
Sep 1, 2014
Messages
3,677
Likes
3,834
Points
1,235
Location
Leicester
#8
Guinea pig sitters can be a worry, my daughter has looked after our piggies twice now and both times they gained weight and had overflowing pellet bowls and lots of apples in the cage when we came home- I left tupperware boxes of the daily veggies but she thought they "looked hungry" and overfed them... every time they see her they start wheeking "its the apple lady" and go a bit crazy...
I think short term fluctuations in diet and care are probably something healthy pigs handle ok, if they are eating ok and settling down now they are back home maybe just see if their weight stabilises over the next couple of weeks...

My partner is the same. He feeds the pigs when I'm away. He likes to give them "Dad dinners" which is more veg than I feed, and their nugget dishes are always overflowing when I get back.
 

BlueBird

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Dec 27, 2016
Messages
213
Likes
258
Points
345
Location
Nottingham, UK
#9
How were they when they got home? Popcorning straight away? Running to the water bottle? Ravenous for food? Wheeking for food?
None of those things really. But they were a bit jumpy for the first hour coming home until they settled and got used to the fact that they were home. Things like me getting up from sitting next to their cage sent them all scattering to the nearest hidey-hole which would never normally bother them.
There set up at my parents is VERY different to their home set-up. At home they are at the back of our flat in a bit of a dingy area that's in our main living space in a C&C that's one grid off the ground. Their holiday set up is in a huge open plan area, painted white with huge north facing windows that's baring ever used. They are also in a popup puppy pen straight on the ground so humans must feel huge to them when they are in it. So I wouldn't be surprised if they are a bit nervous to eat. They also hate the travel crate and want to hide behind each other and freeze so I wouldn't be surprised if it is nerves.

Thankfully today though they seem to have all put on weight so hopefully there isn't lasting damage.
 
Top