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Weight loss

BScran

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Hi

Alfie is 5 and his weight has gone down in the past 6 months from about 1,060g to 880g. I've taken him to the vets, who did a urine sample for diabetes, which didn't show any issues. One vet suggested a blood test, but he has a heart murmur and another vet said the stress of it wasn't a good idea, especially as they're not likely to get much blood. He's eating, drinking and misbehaving normally. Not sure what to do next. Any ideas? Unfortunately, I didn't pick up on it sooner as I live at a different address and wasn't allowed access during the lockdown. Alf was at my parents' home because he's a family pet and I've moved out. Thank you.

Best wishes

Bridget
 

Piggies&buns

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BScran

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Yes, teeth checked and when I asked if I should syringe feed I was advised not to. He's eating normally, which is easy to tell as he is in a cage on his own since we lost his partner - but that was well before the current weight loss, so not the cause of it.
 

Piggies&buns

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You can’t judge hay intake by eye though to know he is actually eating enough (eating pellets and veg doesn’t matter as it only, jointly, makes up 20% of the diet).

You need to rule out medical issues before considering anything else, but how long ago did he lose his partner?
 

BScran

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Fair point about hay. Lost Toby, the partner, three years ago. Talked it over with someone who runs a sanctuary and she advised against pairing him again because of his temperament - which people on here may not agree with - but he's settled well on his own, with lots of attention, and seems happy.
 

Piggies&buns

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I would be syringe feeding him to prevent further weight loss and speaking to the vet (perhaps getting a further opinion) about where to go next, you cant know what is wrong with him without further checks.
 

Wiebke

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As he is eating by himself, you do not have to syringe feed fully, just 2-3 times a day as much as he will will take on willingly.

you can find more tips on how to monitor weight, check whether your boy is actually underweight and tips on what you can do in our very comprehensive weight guide: Weight - Monitoring and Management

All the best! 'Mystery weight loss' is my least favourite symptom because so much can be behind it.
 

BScran

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As he is eating by himself, you do not have to syringe feed fully, just 2-3 times a day as much as he will will take on willingly.

you can find more tips on how to monitor weight, check whether your boy is actually underweight and tips on what you can do in our very comprehensive weight guide: Weight - Monitoring and Management

All the best! 'Mystery weight loss' is my least favourite symptom because so much can be behind it.
Many thanks Wiebke, I was thinking maybe not to syringe feed too often because I don't want to spoil his appetite for the food that is being eaten. Do you happen to know if piggies ever react this way to emotional stress around them, as dad has had both cancer treatment and a pacemaker fitted during lockdown, so could it be that Alf somehow picked up on the low mood as he's so closely bonded to us? I've already found the thread you mentioned and it's very helpful.
 
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