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Weight Loss

Wavysole

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My pig Leo has lost 64g over the last four days, is this very bad? I have spoon fed him and ordered syringes. I bought some baby food so I can try and get his weight back up. I'm scared about how much he has lost but I just wanted to see what others would say.
 

Siikibam

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That’s more than an empty/full bladder. Has he been ill? You will have to up the syringe feeding to help him maintain his weight. And also weigh him daily at the same time. What are you feeding him?

Please give some background on him. Age, what’s happened of late with him and his appetite etc.
Not Eating, Weight Loss And The Importance Of Syringe Feeding Fibre
 

Piggies&buns

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He needs to be syringe fed fibre rich food, so mushed up pellets or a herbivore recovery food such as oxbow critical care, rather than baby food veg.

Weigh him daily as it’s the only way to know he is getting enough food. Ensure he always has hay available. If the weight loss continues, then he will need to see a vet to determine the cause.
Is he eating anything for himself?

Complete Syringe Feeding Guide
 

Wavysole

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He hasn't been eating his pellets and is struggling to eat veg, although he can eat it eventually. I think he is eating his hay without issues though. I have been weighing him daily and trying to get as much into him as possible but its not easy with the spoon. He really wants to eat but he just can't. I don't know his birthday, but I got him on September 3rd 2018 so I will have had him 2 years next month.
 

Piggies&buns

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He hasn't been eating his pellets and is struggling to eat veg, although he can eat it eventually. I think he is eating his hay without issues though. I have been weighing him daily and trying to get as much into him as possible but its not easy with the spoon. He really wants to eat but he just can't. I don't know his birthday, but I got him on September 3rd 2018 so I will have had him 2 years next month.
If he is consistently losing weight then he hasn’t been eating enough hay. hay needs to be 80% of their diet and pellets only 5% so if he has been fed the recommended amount of one tablespoon of pellets per day then not eating them means only a tiny proportion of the diet is missing.

He wants to eat but can’t....what is happening - is he able to pick food up himself?
He will need to see a vet to find out what is causing this
 

Siikibam

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He hasn't been eating his pellets and is struggling to eat veg, although he can eat it eventually. I think he is eating his hay without issues though. I have been weighing him daily and trying to get as much into him as possible but its not easy with the spoon. He really wants to eat but he just can't. I don't know his birthday, but I got him on September 3rd 2018 so I will have had him 2 years next month.
How did the lack of eating come about? How long has it been going on? Has he been ill recently? Have a read of the syringe feeding guide that’s been linked above and get yourself some 1ml syringes from amazon or a pharmacy maybe. If he’s not really eating it off the spoon then you will have to be a little more forceful and use a syringe. But being careful as mentioned in the guide.

What are you syringe feeding him? For now I think I would hold off baby food, and also book him into the vets next week.
 

Wavysole

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My syringes will hopefully come tomorrow so I'll start doing that asap. I am also going to ring the vet hopefully tomorrow to see what they say. For now though, all I can use is a spoon. He took sick just as I was starting to gather stuff in for a first aid kit so that's why I'm not as prepared.
 

Siikibam

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My syringes will hopefully come tomorrow so I'll start doing that asap. I am also going to ring the vet hopefully tomorrow to see what they say.
Get him an appointment rather than seeing what they say. Has he been losing every day?
 

Claire W

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If he is struggling to eat, he may have a problem with his teeth. Please have him vet checked and make sure that they check the molars at the back of his mouth.

In the meantime, you will need to syringe feed him
 

Piggies&buns

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This guide explains the levels of which loss from normal fluctuations through to emergency treatment needed.
You are at the stage of needing to be alert, take action with syringe feeding, weigh daily and see a vet.
If the weight loss continues over the next day or so then he will need to see a vet, and having his teeth checked would be a good idea.

Ensure he gets fibre rich food such as mushed up pellets or recovery food (not the baby food), as that is the best thing to keep his system going and help prevent further weight loss until you can get to a vet. Weighing him is how you will know you are getting enough food into him.

Weight - Monitoring and Management
 

Wavysole

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I have him with me right now, and i'm pretty sure its an issue with his back teeth. He can get the food in through his front teeth, but struggles to chew. Thanks for all the help everyone.
 

Wiebke

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How did the lack of eating come about? How long has it been going on? Has he been ill recently? Have a read of the syringe feeding guide that’s been linked above and get yourself some 1ml syringes from amazon or a pharmacy maybe. If he’s not really eating it off the spoon then you will have to be a little more forceful and use a syringe. But being careful as mentioned in the guide.

What are you syringe feeding him? For now I think I would hold off baby food, and also book him into the vets next week.
Hi!

Please have him vet for dental overgrowth; the crucial teeth at the back (molars and premolars) are being kept ground down by the very abrasive silica in the hay and grass against which they have evolved. If the diet contains too little silica rich fibre or if there is a pain or mechanical issue that prompts your piggy to not chew evenly, then the premolars can grow spurs which bridge the tongue and trap it.
The incisors at the front are there to pick up and cut food. In a balanced dental system they are self-sharpening.

It can also be a developing blockage/swelling somewhere in (or pushing on) the digestive tract from the mouth to the anus, oral thrush (fungal infection in the mouth) or something else. With your location, we can eliminate a heat stroke.

Please feed ideally as much hay fibre based support products; mushed up pellets are better. Too much baby food won't help the gut bacteria.
Tips for improvising until a vet appointment and delivery of support products:
Emergency, Crisis and Bridging Care until a Vet Appointment
Probiotics, Recovery Foods And Vitamin C: Overview With Product Links
Complete Syringe Feeding Guide
 

Wavysole

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Okay so, the vet examined him and tried to look in his mouth but Leo is very feisty. She said she wants him back so she can make him sleepy enough (I think she is just going to give him gas) to look inside his mouth easily. For now, she has given me some Science Selective Recovery Food because she feels that he isn't stable enough to go under. She has prescribed him some Metacam for his pain, he has to get 0.3ml once a day of that. Hopefully him going under will go well.
 
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