Veterinary questions? Ask a Vet for Answers ASAP
My guinea pig has stopped pooing and eating her food. I got to her to eat a few dandelions today, the first time in at least 4-5 days. I have seen a vet who says I have to feed her with a thick gloopy mixture that gets stuck in the syringe. Is there a laxative like olive oil I should give her to help her poo? A vet who saw my guinea pig said there may be something wrong in her mouth & that might be stopping her eating. The vet said that Blick's teeth weren't in alignment and that needs an operation to help her. Then she says that if Blick hasn't pooed by Monday, she will have to be put down.
Hi, Welcome to JustAnswer. I am a licensed veterinarian and I'll be happy to assist you and Blick today.
So many different things can cause a loss of appetite (or ability to eat) in guinea pigs. It sounds like Blick stopped eating and then stopped defecating. This is actually normal for the abnormal situation called anorexia. Did you vet actually palpate Blick or take an xray to determine that she is indeed constipated (stool is stuck in her)?
To me, the fact that you are now feeding her and she is even eating a little bit on her own is a really good sign.
Are you also getting water into her. . .or is she drinking water on her own?
She hasn't drunk in a few days either. I used a syringe with water an hour ago to get something inside her. She has stopped all food now since her dandelion this afternoon. I wnt her to poo as she will be put to sleep if she doesn't and this lead me to believe she may be constipated or simly there hasn't been enough food going in to come out.
No x ray or palpating has happened. The vet just rubbed Blick's tummy and said it was sore there
Palpating is actually feeling deeply into her abdomen to feel for any constipation. Has Blick ever had trouble eating before?
Did your vet take her temperature?
It sounds more like there isn't enough food in her to come out. . .this is usually why rodents and bunnies don't defecate. They can have stasis of the gut from other illnesses, or they can have something stuck, but usually it's because they aren't eating for some reason that leads to the lack of stool. Also, Blick isn't straining to defecate. . .correct?
She had trouble eating at 8 weeks old but that didn't last long. Normally she's always eating and loves hay but now I'm lucky to see her sniff it. The vet did not take her temperature. She saw her Thursday and gave me some recovery powder and a syringe and told me to feed 2-5 ml to Blick with it and then the medication I have mentioned plus a big bill. The next morning I got another big bill after a 3 minute consultation of feeling Blick's tummy and said that if she doesn't poo by Monday, an possible operation on her teeth will not happen and she will be put to sleep. I'm distraught. she doesn't appear to be straining at all. she looks like she may be starting to understand that something isn't right and it's worrying me sick that she will give up
I urge you to seek a second opinion. It sounds to me like your vet doesn't deal much (or at all) with guinea pigs. She barely touched her, didn't even take her temperature, centers on her teeth which haven't given Blick trouble in the past and has been eating hay which requires good teeth and actually maintains good teeth.
Also, it is your choice whether Blick should be put to sleep, not hers. If Blick is no better by Monday, then she needs to get a diagnosis. . .listen to her heart and lungs, palpate her abdomen at least but probably take an xray. Take blood and urine for testing to find out what is wrong with Blick!!!! This all of course is if you want to work towards a diagnosis.
Rodents do drink a lot of water, so you need to make sure that Blick is getting about 50ml/ kg of body weight per day. One thing you can do is dilute the Recovery. This will get some of that water in her, and it won't be as thick so easier to feed her.
I hope I'm clear up there. . .I meant as you probably can guess that Blick has been eating hay. . .not your vet :)
On the Thursday she listened to her stomach with a stethoscope and said her heart sounded fine, yet over the last week, every so often, Blick will make strange noises, one noise is like a trumpet noise but there are a few and I reported this to the vet who didn't have a response to that. She just said that if a guinea pig stops eating for 12 hours or more, it's serious and as Blick hadn't eaten for 4 days, my guess, her stomach may stop working and she'll have to be put to sleep if we don't see any poo's. She did seem to love dogs a lot more than my pig. All the dogs got a lot of time and fuss and pushed ahead of Blick in the queue.
The strange noises could be a respiratory infection, or could actually be from pain. Metacam is for pain. . .since Blick has been on this have the strange noises stopped?
So should not attend the vet on Monday morning and go to another vet instead? That's if Blick is still alive and not in pain.
The noises are less frequent but the medicine is nearly all gone.
I listened to her breathing today with my ear beside her mouth. I've never heard or listened to it before, but it sounded laboured
She just sits in a dark area in here cage avoiding all food and drink. I'm worried she will get depressed and pass away.
All the more reason to suspect a respiratory infection. . .like pneumonia. What is the color of Blick's ears, gums and feet?
She's behaving normally actually for an animal that's ill. In the wild Blick is prey for many animals. These little guys wisely hide when they are ill to protect themselves.
If she likes to cuddle with you, I'd do that a lot.
Her feet and gums are the same colour as each other which is a nice pink with a slight red tinge. Her eyes are jet black as always. She has never been a cuddler and always ran away from people to hide. That's what makes feeding her more of an ordeal as I have to catch her first and then feed her. She's always been an indoor Guinea pig
I've been enjoying the cuddles once she relaxes but it starts to break my heart when I look into her eyes and wonder if she has any idea of what's happening.
Great, her color is excellent so even if she has pneumonia she is getting enough oxygen and she has enough red blood cells. . .she's not anemic.
I think she knows she doesn't feel well, but she doesn't have any fear of the future. . .I think.
If there is just something to make her eat again or if she will poo. It seems that if she doesn't do this within the next 34 hours she will be put to sleep. Unless I approach another vet surgery for a second opinion like you said?
One other thing I would like to check is the doses of the medication she is getting. How much does Blick weigh, and what is the concentration of the metacam and the ranitidine that you are giving? Thanks.
Actually, for the metacam I think I just need the amount that you are giving.
Ranitidine states 0.4ml, 2 x daily in mouth. That's nearly all gone. Metacam states give 0.5ml 2 x daily in mouth. A lady at reception says not to use the same syringe for two solutions and only give these on a ful stomach. A full stomach, are they joking...
She is normally about 2.11 kg. She has dropped to 1.88kg
OK, guess I do need the concentration of the metacam. Is it 1.5mg/ml or 5mg/ml? Also the metacam should be once daily according to my drug "Bible" (Plumb's). I want to look up ranitidine specifically also.
It states this so I hope this is what you're after info wise: 0.5 mg/ml oral suspension for cats. Meloxicam 3 ml
And two doses a day
I asled them about the 'cats' part and they say it's fine for guinea pigs and rodents as well as cats.
Blick's dose would be 0.4 to 0.6mg ONCE daily. Are you sure the concentration reads 0.5mg/ml and not 1.5mg/ml?
Yes, 0.5 mg/ml and twice daily
it also says give with food in tiny writing on the corner of the box. I;ve been giving it staright after food
Hate to be a nag about this, but that is different than the concentration of our cat metacam here in the States. Are you getting this concentration from a label that your vet's office put on the box, or do you have the printed box to read? Sorry about my nagging!
Giving it straight after food is the same as giving it with food. All that is needed is some food in the stomach when the metacam arrives there.
You're not nagging believe me. You are the only glint of positivity I have for my loved pet, my family member. Just me and her in an apartment. I'm readin it from the Metacam box thaat's printed on by the manufacturer. The label the vet has put on has nothing to say otherwise
This medication won't even ast until tomorrow nevermind monday. The way I have to get the iquid out is beyond belief. Square peg, round hole scenario.
Also I should mention that when she eat a dandelion leaf earlier today, the first food in days, where it would normally take 3 seconds and go in like ticker tape, today it took about a minute and she dropped it a few times. Also I can hear her mouth making a grinding noise that was never there before. She barely squeaks anymore either.
I'm smiling about dosing the metacam. ..it is the bane (or one of them) of my existence! So according to my calculations Blick is getting 0.25mg twice daily ( 0.5mg/ml and she is getting 0.5ml so she is getting 0.25mg twice daily). This would be a total of 0.5mg per day, definitely not an overdose, but the frequency may be more stomach irritating than giving it once daily. I'd recommend giving the lower recommended dose of 0.4 mg once daily. This would be 0.8ml once daily, instead of the 0.5ml that you are giving twice daily. This may allow the med to last until Monday, and will be better for her stomach.
As for the ranitidine do you have the concentration of this?
It comes in different strengths.
I'm afraid not. The tiny bottle of ranitidine mentions nothing of the concentration but I'll see if it's written on the bill...
Thanks for checking, but it probably isn't. Metacam has the potential for liver and kidney toxicity as well as can be tough on the stomach, Ranitidine is relatively safe, and since your vets's dose for metacam was withing range, we could just assume that the Ranitidine dose fine.
I have just searched eveywhere but couldn't find that receipt. The vet gave Blick two injections but never said what they were for and being in such emotional termoil, I didn't ask
So if I give metacam once a day and ranitidine as per the vets instructions then that would be better. I think there's only one application left of both to be fair, it won't last until Monday.
Keep force feeding her hourly or bi-hourly except at night
Sure do understand. So, for the weekend, I'd dilute her Revolution so that it is easier to get through the syringe and feed Blick this diluted amount about 4 times daily. I'd also try to get about 50cc of water in her per 24 hours. I'd give 0.8ml of the Metacam once daily, and continue as long as you can on the Ranitidine. I'd also keep fresh hay before her and keep her water bottle really clean. ..Oh, I didn't ask. . .is she getting any vitamin C added to her water?
I like hourly to bihourly feeding better. . .that's good.
Ooooops. . .I meant dilute her Recovery. . .I knew that didn't sound right!
Her water has always been tap water. It's been that way since May 2010 when I got her. Now she ignores the water completely. She has energy and will fight with me when I try to feed her, she's not dismissive at all. She then tries to wipe the residue goop from her mouth, onto my shirt. I have started to dilute her recovery and have found a more suitable syringe
Feeding her takes about 10-15 minutes in all. It feels like as soon as I'm done, it's time to feed again and it's exhausting for both of us. I can't start to do anything. I was hoping you'd say every two hours than every hour!
Every 2 hours or so. . .
Could you tell me what 50cc is in ml please. I guess the water in the Recovery will be a bonus too
Guinea pigs need an exogenous source of Vit C. . .they make none in their bodies. She eats hay, but does she also get guinea pig feed that has vit. C?
Sorry, 50cc is 50ml.
Her feed does have vitamin c but she isn't eating that anymore, maybe because of a mouth or teeth pain that she may have, it is in hard nugget form. and she won't touch hay whatsoever anymore.
But she was eating until about 4-5 days ago?
So I guess she's getting no Vitamin C. Unless that's in dandelions and dock leaves that I pick for her?
She was eating fine until about 5-7 days ago. Then after a couple of days I heard bizarre noises and she didn't seem herself and than I noticed the wayer hadn't dropped much nor the food
I thought she had just got bored of nuggets and hay and that's was her way of letting me know. So I bought her some new stuff and she eat some of that for 5 minutes then stopped. That was about 5 days ago and she hadn't eaten again until today
So 50ml of tap water aday. So just water in the syringe? and the recovery ina nother syrnge? As my vet never mentioned anything about giving her water even though I specifically told her that Blick had stopped drinking.
I hope I'm not nagging now, I'm just desperate.
Yes, that is what I would aim for! Make the Recovery as thick as will go through the syringe easily. You can subtract the amount of water you give her in the Recovery solution from the 50ml of water needed. No, you are absolutely not nagging!
I want to look up the ingredients in Recovery just to see if there is any vitamin C. . .
That's a very good point about the Recovery. Yes, I've just read the back of a sachet and it says there is added vitamin C. 1000mg/kg
Vitamin C should be supplemented for guinea pigs according to the Recovery box. The recommended dose is 20-50mg/day. How much of the Recovery do you think Blick is getting per day. . .in grams.
It says mix the 20g sachet with 90ml water and stir well( more than just well, believe me) Allow 1 sachet per kg of body weight per dayFeeding frequency will deend on the animals acceptance to feed. use within 12 hours. Well Blick probably gets less than one full sachet a day which I know realise is half what it says here. But she is being fed about 3ml each time.
That would make her be having about 18mg a day. I should feed more
She still won't poo and her stomach feels full of air and uncomfortable
She was just chewing on something!!! Not for long but at least her face was in the bowl. It could have been a leaf I got earlier but do you have any idea why no matter whatshe is eating, it sounds like chopping carrots?
Well it could be her teeth. Do her incisors look even and straight? Yes, I'd feed her a bit more Vit. C. Do you have any Vit C for you?
I have no Vit C. Just what is in the food and Recovery. Her teeth are straight but are different lengths either side. The noise of crunching is happening even when she is trying to swallow the recovery. It's very strange like there is something metal in her mouth now
Really, the metacam should be helping with any pain she has from her teeth. If the first time she ate anything in 5 days was just a little yesterday and today, then I'm not surprised she hasn't defecated. . .I believe that no stool has been produced yet.
It is very possible to have something stuck in their cheeks or the back of the throat. What's important for the weekend, is that she can eat the Recovery, and maybe something in her bowl??!!. . .and she can breath OK. Do you mean her 2 front teeth are symmetrical. . .if I'm picturing what you are saying correctly, then this is normal.
Oh phew. Would you think that she should have defecated by this time tomorrow? I desperately want her to defecate ASAP as the vets ays she'd be better of put to sleep if she hasnt defecated.
Wish I could tell you, but I think she might if you keep getting the recovery in and the water in.
Did your vet show you what she saw in Blick's mouth regarding her teeth?
If there is something stuck, then the vet should have noticed that when she stuck a lamp down Blick's mouth. She has two bowls full with dried food and it's like it's not there to her, she ignores them both. The best way to describe her top teeth would be, a sword beside a dagger. That's a length difference but not width. The bottom it's the same thing but they are both smaller. It looks as if, if Blick put her teeth together, that fit nicely. It still doesn't explain the crunching noises
She said that a part of her mouth maybe sore and that's perhaps why she's not eating
She referred to the back of her mouth after looking through her light
The 2 top incisors should be equal length and so should the bottom ones. Often this difference in incisor length indicates that the molars are growing in such a way that the their edges are either wounding the tongue, wounding the cheeks or both. Being on a pain med right now should help. Frequently, I will just start by trimming the incisors and see what that does. It does take an anesthetic (at least in my hands) to file the back teeth.
I'm really glad to hear that she did look into Blick's mouth. . .I think you and Blick are getting better care than I thought. :)
Getting Blick hydrated well is the best thing you can do to promote stool production. Of course, feeding her the Recovery well is equally as important.
Regarding her pellets, you might try breaking them up into "bite sized" pieces to see if that might interest her.
Also, continue of course the greens she might be interested in, and keep a little fresh hay before her too. I know she hasn't been eating these on her own, but she is now on pain medication and getting Recovery, so she just might start feeling well enough to eat!
That was all on the Thursday, The Friday was £48 bill for a 3 minute belly rub and where she said she will have to put her to sleep. The incisor trimming must be the operation that she was referring too while i was spaced out in death denial and tears. It's the top teeth that are really long. I think that if she filed the teeth down now, then maybe Blick would start eating now. By not doing it, Blick is stopping eating which could lead to her stomach shutting down. I didn't realise that hydration would assist the stool production too. I'll give her Recovery and water. She'll never be in her cage at this rate.
She'll get used to be handled and cuddled then too???!!!
The only greens she liked yesterday was some lettuce. She loves that stuff. Then I read something today that said they should only have Romain lettuce as other lettuce will make her more constipated if constipation is an issue.
The more I cuddle her, the more I get upset and the more she doesn't care about me or what I'm doing in her apartment.
Definitely getting the incisors trimmed then is great. Head lettuce doesn't contain much fiber so shouldn't be a big part of their diet, if at all.
Sometimes we moms just have to do what is best for our little girls, whether they like it or not! You are doing what is right and you are giving her the best chance to get better. If Blick's incisors are really long, then they can block her from picking up the food or chomping off a bite of her pellets. I've seen incisors in guinea pigs, rabbits and rats that grew so long that they curled!
Are you saying I should'nt feed her lettuce? I was told once I shouldn't as the water content is too high but they loved it ( I had two pigs originally) no problems caused.
It seems that if Blick doesnt defecate, she won't file her teeth down, just try to put her down. Should I over rule her and say no, just do the filing now?
Yes. Remember this decision is totally yours! I'd recommend you'd at least get a second opinion from hopefully someone who sees many "pocket pets" .
Probably one could be found online. If you'd like, I could look online too if you tell me where you live. Also, if your vet will file her teeth down regards XXXXX XXXXX she has defecated, then I'd do that. Just keep feeding Blick and giving her meds as we've discussed.
I'd have to guess about pocket pet people. There are only two vet surgeries around my town and one is quite new, at a pet shop chain where I first bought Blick. The other is the one I use now. Oh, I actually live in Cannock, England. The meds will be gone by tomorrow. Should I ask the vet for more meds and do the filing? I'm sure she'll say something that will make me be swayed by her opinion not to do the filing down.
So, I half the Metacam down to once a day. The Ranitidine stays the same, even though there practically none left. I get about 50ml of water down Blick a day and the same in Recovery or as much as I can. As for the vet, I demand the filing down of Blick's teeth even if Blick hasn't defecated, and get her to look at the possible constipation angle and deal with that as a seperate matter to the teeth situation. I'm stumped on if I should get a second opinion when I have a morning appointment at my present vets. Should I cancel it and try to book another? Dare I? And Can I give her lettuce? The lettuce she liked that you get in salads.
And I do think that her overgrown teeth could be her entire problem. . .from our discussion, and I think that you and Blick need the chance to see if that is the problem. Yes, I'd give her lettuce. Right now, eating this would be fine. When she is back to normal, it is best to feed mostly hay, then pellets, then treats like lettuce and veggies. . .these are treats and should be only a small amount.
I honestly don't think that Blick is constipated. . .she just hasn't had the food intake. Of course you dare to get a second opinion! Your vet works for you! Let me go look in your town and area to see who looks promising. . .
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX so much. I hope you don't mind me trying to get my money's worth. I have paid out over three figures on Blick so far and you can tell how ill she is. Not to mention being made redundant two months ago which doesn't help, hence the money's worth! You have been very helpful.Sometimes you just need to hear from a professional who knows what is going on. I think Blick's balloon belly is just air and she escaoe when the food starts to move around her tum. My vet is extremely expensive now, a year ago it was a fair priced service but not now.
I never mentioned something earlier as I didn't hink it mattered but it looks worse now. Blick is a long haired guinea pig. But behing her heead, a bald area has appeared. It stands out as she has loads of hair. She cant get to it as its behing her head and I did find a tuft of hair in her cage earlier. Do you think this is a concern? I applied a lice lotion in that spot from the vets, 2 months go and there was loads of hair I had to move about to get tho her skin. Now I can see a lump of skin.
This will be my last question Dr Barbara.
Let's see. . ..give 0.8ml of Metacam once daily, Ranitidine stays the same, 50ml of water per 24 hours, plus the water in the Revolution (and try to get 20 g of Revolution per day as this will be 20 mg of Vit C. As far as Blick possibly having gas, you could actually gently massage that down toward her rectum and anus.
As for the bald spot, since you were treating for lice a couple of months ago, this may be just a result of that. Regardless, I don't think that has anything to do with what ails her now. I would however, bring that up to the vet you choose there for evaluation in the future.
Sorry I've been MIA here. . .just looking at different veterinary clinics in your area. I went to "veterinarians in Cannock, England, and I think it would be best for you to look also, as you know the area. The two clinics that stood out a little to me were Cannock Companion Care at Pets at Home. They are open 7 days per week, so you could see them tomorrow if you'd like. I would ask on the phone if they are experienced with guinea pigs. The telephone is 01543 579968. The other clinic was Carmel Vet Centre in Wolverhampton (don't know if this is close to you at all. The phone there is 01902 731127. Of course, ask them also about their experience with guinea pigs.
Thank you ever so much for the information Dr Barbara. The Pets At Home one is where I bought Blick! It will be strange for her to return there nearly 4 years later from when she was a baby. I will do as you say, and will make a note of it too. I also Googled other vets around my area and I like the ones you found also. I was going to stick with the one I'm with just as they know the present situation, medicines and what's going on with Blick. If Blick takes a turn for the worst I'll go straight to Pets At Home tomorrow. I'd like to try all your advice though first to keep consultation costs down when possible, hence try your directions first.. I think I will join that vet practice, Pets At Home, anyway as that is where I buy all Blick's food. The Vet part is very new to all the Pets At Home stores. I had been so sure Blick will die tonight or tomorrow, but as long as she is well enough in the morning, I will do as you say and hopefully get her healthy asap which is all I want in the world right now. Thank you for your time, patience and help on this sensitive and important manner. I may sleep tonight after all. I'll feed Blick first though. Thank you again Paul C