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Weight loss

Kate0

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Toffee (again...!) She was making funny noises back in May, vet eventually gave her Baytril on the off chance it was a URI, vet also thought it might be an allergy. We monitored her weight closely ) always around 1.22kg and followed each treatment with some Pro C. No issues so after a couple of weeks stopped daily weighing.

Her weight dropped to 1.17 at the end of June, and has been dropping fairly steadily and she's now 1.10kg

Spoke to vet last week who didn't think the weight loss sounded that dramatic and to come back this week if still worried.

Took her in today, explained that she is eating some food (including the mushed pellet & pro C mix we're making her 2 x a day), but def not eating so much hay. Our GPs are pride of place in middle of lounge so I can watch their eating quite closely anyway. Vet couldn't see in her mouth as there was lettuce, but couldn't see anything wrong so has said come back in 2 weeks. She got a shot of antibiotic and anti inflamatory and advised to separate them in case her cagemate is stopping her from eating - certain this isn't happenning. Unfortunately, my husband took her while I was at work so wasn't able to discuss further with the vet but I'm astounded that they are going to leave her for 2 weeks. Does this sound right?

I tried to get an apt at a vets with a better rep for gps (listed on this site) but they've said they need a referral from my vets. Is this the normal procedure?!

Any advice would be appreciated.
 

Siikibam

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What was the weight fluctuation like day to day? 70g over roughly a month isn’t a large amount but if it’s a continual downward trend then that is worrying. What did the vet check the first time you took her there? And when you say funny noises do you mean a crackly chest? Last question, did the vet say why they gave her the antibiotic injection?

If you feel there may be something then there’s no harm in asking them for a referral and see what the other vets say. Otherwise I don’t really know. Have you changed her hay or anything?
 

Piggies&buns

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If she isn’t eating enough hay and is continually losing weight, then I would step up the syringe feeding and see the vet again/a different vet

If you are certain there isn’t food hogging or bullying going on, then definitely don’t separate them.
 

Wiebke

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Toffee (again...!) She was making funny noises back in May, vet eventually gave her Baytril on the off chance it was a URI, vet also thought it might be an allergy. We monitored her weight closely ) always around 1.22kg and followed each treatment with some Pro C. No issues so after a couple of weeks stopped daily weighing.

Her weight dropped to 1.17 at the end of June, and has been dropping fairly steadily and she's now 1.10kg

Spoke to vet last week who didn't think the weight loss sounded that dramatic and to come back this week if still worried.

Took her in today, explained that she is eating some food (including the mushed pellet & pro C mix we're making her 2 x a day), but def not eating so much hay. Our GPs are pride of place in middle of lounge so I can watch their eating quite closely anyway. Vet couldn't see in her mouth as there was lettuce, but couldn't see anything wrong so has said come back in 2 weeks. She got a shot of antibiotic and anti inflamatory and advised to separate them in case her cagemate is stopping her from eating - certain this isn't happenning. Unfortunately, my husband took her while I was at work so wasn't able to discuss further with the vet but I'm astounded that they are going to leave her for 2 weeks. Does this sound right?

I tried to get an apt at a vets with a better rep for gps (listed on this site) but they've said they need a referral from my vets. Is this the normal procedure?!

Any advice would be appreciated.
Hi!

We are talking about weight loss only from 50g onwards as the difference between an empty and a full bladder is 10g and the difference before and after a meal can make as much as 30-40 grams.

70g in a month is worth having checked, especially if it is ongoing but it is not highly worrying in itself.
Are you weighing monthly or once weekly in combination with a body once-over so you have a better idea of how recent the weight loss (very slow or more quickly over the last few days)?

In any way, I would recommend to switching to weighing daily at the same time to cut out the weight swings throughout the day. If the weight loss continues or speeds up, then please see a vet or a referral vet sooner. Once you you have a better idea whether your girl is eating as much as she should or whether she has stopped eating as much hay as she should, then we can take it from there.
But the first job is to work out whether there is a fast developing problem or whether it is a slow thing.

PS: Why does your girl need mushed pellets and pro-C, by the way? Is she getting normal pellets on top of that? Does she have an underlying health issue that could be playing into it?

Please be aware that fresh grass is high in vitamin in vitamin C and that hay also still contains it. It is the reason why guinea pigs never had the need to make their own vitamin C. Together they should make around 80% of the daily food intake. The more pellets you feed, the proportionally much more less hay your piggy is eating because pellets are much more calorific due to the fillers they contain. This means less abrasive tough fibre to keep the crucial back teeth ground down and the gut working optimally.
Guinea pigs on a good balanced grass hay based diet do not need any extra vitamin C. None of our long term members has ever had an issue with scurvy in their piggies unless it was from overdosing on vitamin C and the piggy in question reacting to a drop to normal levels with deficiency symptoms.
 

Kate0

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What was the weight fluctuation like day to day? 70g over roughly a month isn’t a large amount but if it’s a continual downward trend then that is worrying. What did the vet check the first time you took her there? And when you say funny noises do you mean a crackly chest? Last question, did the vet say why they gave her the antibiotic injection?

If you feel there may be something then there’s no harm in asking them for a referral and see what the other vets say. Otherwise I don’t really know. Have you changed her hay or anything?
It's not much day to day, maybe 10-20g - agree that could be bladder or meal, but we've been trying to weigh daily at the same time (our breakfast time). The vet has seen her physically only twice - the first for her potential URI in may, then today. Last week was a phone consultation where I explained the weight loss but she wasn't seen.

Yes, funny noises was the crackly chest. Vet thought allergy was more likely but it was getting worse and there weren't any likely new allergens, hence antibiotics. She was fine inherself though, eating etc.

I don't know why they got the shot(s). My husband can't remember... I'm giong to call vet tomorrow to find out why.
 

Kate0

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Hi!

We are talking about weight loss only from 50g onwards as the difference between an empty and a full bladder is 10g and the difference before and after a meal can make as much as 30-40 grams.

70g in a month is worth having checked, especially if it is ongoing but it is not highly worrying in itself.
Are you weighing monthly or once weekly in combination with a body once-over so you have a better idea of how recent the weight loss (very slow or more quickly over the last few days)?

In any way, I would recommend to switching to weighing daily at the same time to cut out the weight swings throughout the day. If the weight loss continues or speeds up, then please see a vet or a referral vet sooner. Once you you have a better idea whether your girl is eating as much as she should or whether she has stopped eating as much hay as she should, then we can take it from there.
But the first job is to work out whether there is a fast developing problem or whether it is a slow thing.

PS: Why does your girl need mushed pellets and pro-C, by the way? Is she getting normal pellets on top of that? Does she have an underlying health issue that could be playing into it?

Please be aware that fresh grass is high in vitamin in vitamin C and that hay also still contains it. It is the reason why guinea pigs never had the need to make their own vitamin C. Together they should make around 80% of the daily food intake. The more pellets you feed, the proportionally much more less hay your piggy is eating because pellets are much more calorific due to the fillers they contain. This means less abrasive tough fibre to keep the crucial back teeth ground down and the gut working optimally.
Guinea pigs on a good balanced grass hay based diet do not need any extra vitamin C. None of our long term members has ever had an issue with scurvy in their piggies unless it was from overdosing on vitamin C and the piggy in question reacting to a drop to normal levels with deficiency symptoms.
We are weighing daily since we she went down to 1.17 (from 1.22-1.24). I think it's gradual. 1.13 last week on average, 1.11 this week.

I started with the pellets & pro C mash when her weight went down to 1.15ish as wondered if it was a legacy issue from her antibiotics. I was worried she wsn't eating anything apart from veg (haven't seen/heard her eat any hard pellets and she was definately eating less hay).

Interestingly, we've put a metal cage barrier (they can still see each other) between the two of them since coming back from the vets and I have noticed her eating more hay. Could this be the anti b/anti inflammatory working or possiblly enjoying hay her cage mate hasn't sat on?

One more thing is that she had (before they were separated) been demonstrating dominance behaviour, lots of rumble strutting. I assumed she was on heat but not sure if it's linked.
 

Wiebke

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We are weighing daily since we she went down to 1.17 (from 1.22-1.24). I think it's gradual. 1.13 last week on average, 1.11 this week.

I started with the pellets & pro C mash when her weight went down to 1.15ish as wondered if it was a legacy issue from her antibiotics. I was worried she wsn't eating anything apart from veg (haven't seen/heard her eat any hard pellets and she was definately eating less hay).

Interestingly, we've put a metal cage barrier (they can still see each other) between the two of them since coming back from the vets and I have noticed her eating more hay. Could this be the anti b/anti inflammatory working or possiblly enjoying hay her cage mate hasn't sat on?

One more thing is that she had (before they were separated) been demonstrating dominance behaviour, lots of rumble strutting. I assumed she was on heat but not sure if it's linked.
Hi!

The increased hay eating is more likely linked to either the analgesic or the antibiotic. If it is linked to the first then it could be a sign of a developing source of discomfort somewhere in the body. Unfortunately we can't ask a piggy whether it is hurting somewhere. Mystery weight loss is my least favourite symptom because it is such a wide field! See how the meds are impacting on the weight and take it from there. As yet, the weight loss is still in the minor range.

As to the crackling chest, try and see whether a bowl of steaming water next to the cage will help ease the breathing.
 
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