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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 17092
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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My guinea pig keeps shaking and cant seem to get comfortable,

Resolved Question:

my guinea pig keeps shaking and cant seem to get comfortable, looks like she wants to go to sleep but keeps turning side to side. not very active, she about 2 months old. she has a run outside during the day with shelter, water and food, she is on the floor so she can eat the grass. she has been fine until we brought her in last night.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.

Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner. If you would still like assistance, can you tell me:

How has her appetite been? Is she drinking normally?

If you press on her belly, does she have any tensing, tenderness, discomfort, or pain?

Could she have eaten anything she should not have (ie toxic plants, non-edible items, pesticides on the grass, bedding, etc)? Has she had an excessive amount of any foods (ie cabbage, spinach)?

Any changes to her urination or stool? Does she strain to pass either?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

hi, thanks for replying. her urine and stools seem normal,she has had a nibble on cucumber which i gave her incase she didn't drink water.It is possible that she may have eaten something toxic outside but i wouldn't no what? She just seems really jumpy and is shaking a lot, she's laying down a lot and her breathing has calmed down it was very heavy but still not right !

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
You are very welcome, Emma.

Cucumber (as is lettuce or apple in moderation) is a very good way of sneaking fluids into our poorly cavies.

Still can you tell me is she only having a nibble or is she eating properly?

Can you take a breathing rate for me (just count her breaths for 10 seconds + multiply by 6)?


Are her gums pink or pale/white?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi, it was just a nibble, she took 14 breath's in 10 seconds, so i think that's 74. Her gums are pale. every time i get her out to examen her she's fine then when i put her back she arches her back then lay on her side and shakes violently then swaps sides and does the same again!

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you again,

I have to say that I am quite concerned about your lass.
Her breathing rate is within normal range but pale gums is a red flag of worry. This is because paling of the gums can be caused by low red blood levels (anaemia) as well as poor oxygen uptake. It can also be associated with circulation issues which could be related to internal bleeding or GI twists. Furthermore, that arching, her restlessness, and her shaking (a non-specific sign of feeling unwell), just have my alarm bells ringing that this is a painful wee gal. And that is all without even thinking about the gut stasis risks of her poor appetite.

In this case, I have to say that I am truly worried about her. There are a range of possible suspects, from those I mentioned to possible toxicity if she did eating something harmful in the garden to a blockage or gut distension from gas leading to GI pain. And on top of all of these serious worries, to have a cavy that is showing that she is unwell (since instinct drives them to hide illness, else be a target for predation) is a major concern of just how severe this is.

Therefore, with all these concerns and the severity of her signs here, I do feel that this is an emergency situation and that we don't want to delay having her seen. We need her vet to at least start her on cavy safe pain relief +/- antibiotics, pro-kinetics to keep the gut moving, and symptomatic care for which of the above they find on their exam. And hopefully if we can act quickly, we can address this and help her to recover.

Finally, just to note that some vet practices in our country have Sunday office hours. As well, I wanted to mention that most veterinary practices here do have contingency plans for emergency care for their patients even when they are not open. Therefore, it is worth ringing the practice. If they are open, you can get her seen today. If they aren't, then they will likely have a message to direct you on how to contact their out of hours service. And if you don't have a vet you can find one local to you, you can check the RCVS Register (HERE) to find your local Vets Now (LINK) who are open all nights/weekends. In any case, if you wanted to get her checked, we have options to do so without delay.

Please take care,
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 17092
Experience: General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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