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Will my guinea pig be okay?

penelope.jo

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1. I used to have two guinea pigs but yesterday one of them passed away. we don’t want to get another because our surviving pig is 5 so when she passes, then we’ll have to get another, and so on. Plus, we just aren’t in the position to bring a new pet into our house because we have a very high maintenance puppy. Do you think she will be okay without another pig if we give her lots of attention?

2. My surviving pig has been sneezing a lot since about April. She hasn’t been showing any other signs of illness other than the sneezing though. Any ideas what this could mean?

3. A few months ago, we noticed a large lump on her chest and we have no idea what it is. Could it be a tumor? A cyst? Something deadly? No big deal? Could this be related to her sneezing?

4. She also appears to be losing weight but hasn’t stopped eating, drinking, pooping, etc.

5. We think our other guinea pig passed from pneumonia (but we aren’t totally positive). Her symptoms were: stopped eating, wheezing, labored breathing. Whatever she had, it was probably a respiratory infection of some sort, right? If so, could she have given it to our surviving pig? Should we take her in to a vet to make sure she doesn't have whatever the other pig did?
 

Piggies&buns

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I agree also. She definitely needs to see a vet. Hay is the majority of their food intake but you cannot judge she is eating enough by eye. The fact she is losing weight suggests she is not eating as much hay as she should be. If she is losing weight then you just step in and syringe feed her to prevent further weight loss.

Emergency, Crisis and Bridging Care until a Vet Appointment
Not Eating, Weight Loss And The Importance Of Syringe Feeding Fibre
Complete Syringe Feeding Guide
Weight - Monitoring and Management

I understand your situation with wanting to end the piggy cycle but the fact is, she may have another three or so years and that is too long for a social herd animal to be alone. You need to sort out her medical issues first though, but sometimes it’s possible to foster another piggy as a companion for yours, and when your piggy passes away, you give the foster piggy back to the rescue to be rehomed. That way your piggy gets companionship but you don’t have the longer term responsibility for another piggy.

Looking After a Bereaved Guinea Pig

all of the green links I have added in above contain further information to help you
do let us know how your piggy gets on at the vet
 

Flutterby

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I agree too, your piggy needs to see a vet ASAP. All these symptoms on their own would make me want to get them checked out, together is a definite!
 

penelope.jo

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thanks for the advice everyone. been calling the vet for 3 days and they keep saying they’ll call back to make an appointment but they never do😠tried calling different vets but no one is taking new patients because of covid😕
 

Piggies&buns

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thanks for the advice everyone. been calling the vet for 3 days and they keep saying they’ll call back to make an appointment but they never do😠tried calling different vets but no one is taking new patients because of covid😕
have you been continuing to monitor her weight daily and syringe feed her? The steps you take for her at home by weighing and syringe feeding are so important.

keep on at the vet and insist she is seen.
 

penelope.jo

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How do I syringe feed her? What do I put in the syringe? Is it ok to syringe feed her in addition to her appearing to eat on her own?

I have not been weighing her😬definitely will start today.
 

Piggies&buns

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How do I syringe feed her? What do I put in the syringe? Is it ok to syringe feed her in addition to her appearing to eat on her own?

I have not been weighing her😬definitely will start today.
have you been able to get hold of the vet?

the only way to know if she needs syringe feeding at all is by knowing what is going on with her weight, it’s also the way you know how much to syringe feed (it can vary from top up feeds to feeding every couple of hours day and night)

BUt to answer your questions, you use either mushed up pellets or a recovery feed such as critical care. You syringe feed to help replace the hay they aren’t eating for themselves (lack of hay intake is the reason piggies lose weight), stabilise their weight, keep guts functioning, and literally keep them alive.
 

penelope.jo

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I have not gotten ahold of the vet. I have called everyday for the past 4 days and every time they say: “we aren’t currently taking emergency appointments, but we should be able to fit you in today, maybe about an hour, we will call you when you can come in.” And they never call back! It is getting annoying. I don’t know what to do.

She still takes her treats when we give them to her and eats them. Her food and hay is still going down...would you still recommend a little syringe feeding?
 

Wiebke

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I have not gotten ahold of the vet. I have called everyday for the past 4 days and every time they say: “we aren’t currently taking emergency appointments, but we should be able to fit you in today, maybe about an hour, we will call you when you can come in.” And they never call back! It is getting annoying. I don’t know what to do.

She still takes her treats when we give them to her and eats them. Her food and hay is still going down...would you still recommend a little syringe feeding?
Please step in with syringe feeding as much as she will take and by weighing daily at the same time (first thing in the morning is what I find most helpful as that is when her weight is lowest). You can use your kitchen scales for that. Even cheap basic ones from the supermarket are perfectly OK. The scales tell you whether your piggy is eating enough to hold her weight or whether you need to offer more food or if ncessary take over the feeding round the clock if the weight loss on her own is too big.

PLEASE take the time to read the green information links in this whole thread. They all contain the practical tips and how-to detailed information with pictures and even the odd video.
Medication cannot get to work if your piggy is dying from lack of food/loss of appetite. The more you can keep up the strength, the more fight she has in her.

Here is our one stop emergency and bridging guide with all the information you need in a hurry when your piggy is very ill but you can't see a vet immediately, including a chapter on feeding support. It is worth bookmarking: Emergency, Crisis and Bridging Care until a Vet Appointment

Here is our video guide on how to weigh a piggy safely: How To Pick Up And Weigh Your Guinea Pig Safely
And everything you ever need to know about weighing and weight monitoring, including how you can work out whether your piggy is underweight or overweight ('heft'), irrespective of size and age: Weight - Monitoring and Management

Please accept that since we all do this for free in our free time aside from our piggies, day job and family that we cannot explain everything in every post. That is why I have written so many of the guides. It allows us to give you all the necessary information which you can then read up on and know exactly what to do. If you need clarification on a point, we will of course help you.
Since this forum is UK based, not all of our members from across the world be able to get a quick answer but the information guides are still there. You can access our information at all times via the guides shortcut on the top bar. We have one of the best and comprehensive information collections currently available.

Those guides can make the difference between life or death at the extreme. ;)

All the best!
 

penelope.jo

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No. She is still eating. We see her eat. We feed her by hand. We watch her chow down on her hay. And we aren’t even positive she’s losing weight. It’s just something we noticed a few months ago. But she is still eating, so that’s the least of our worries. We are more concerned about the fact that she was around a guinea pig who’s passed away, and the large lump on her chest. That’s the main reason we are seeing a vet.
 

Piggies&buns

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No. She is still eating. We see her eat. We feed her by hand. We watch her chow down on her hay. And we aren’t even positive she’s losing weight. It’s just something we noticed a few months ago. But she is still eating, so that’s the least of our worries. We are more concerned about the fact that she was around a guinea pig who’s passed away, and the large lump on her chest. That’s the main reason we are seeing a vet.
You cannot judge hay intake by eye, its very misleading to watch then eat hay as it does not mean they are eating enough, this is why weighing is so important. The fact she was around a piggy who passed away and has potentially caught an illness, potential for grieving to stop them from eating quite enough and the lump on her chest is the very reason you should be weighing daily. Knowing any daily weight changes when there is the potential for illness and stepping in with syringe feeding can make all the difference to the outcome. If she is losing weight, even if it is a gradual decline, if it goes too far, then it’s so much harder to pull them back.
Weekly weighing should be done throughout their entire lives as routine care. A suspicion of losing weight or illness means you should switch to weigh daily.
 
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Siikibam

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:agr: Please switch to weighing her daily to see whether she’s really eating enough hay.
 
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