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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 22463
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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Our guinea pig is poorly, and I noticed blood from her vulva.

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Our guinea pig is poorly, and I noticed blood from her vulva. I cleaned her and removed her from her cage mate. She is comfortable and is taking water from a syringe and eating a little. Will it be Ok to wait until the morning to take her to the vet?

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

I am quite concerned about PB.

Hoe much blood are you seeing?

Just drops or actively leaking?

Does her urine look normal?

Are her gums nice and pink, not pale/white?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Not a lot of blood, a few drops, gums look Ok from what I can see

Thank you, Vikki.

Now as I am sure you can appreciate, seeing fresh blood arising from her vulva is very abnormal and a serious worry here. Furthermore, as guinea pigs are a prey species, this means they will go to great lengths to pretend nothing is wrong when they are unwell (since it would make them a target for predation). So, to see her showing signs of being poorly with a reduced appetite then we do have to appreciate that this is a serious situation.

Now in regards ***** ***** causes for this blood, we do have a few concerns. The most common cause is bladder based (due to infection, urinary crystals, bladder stones). Less common causes include uterine infections (pyometras) and vaginal/uterine based tumors.

In this situation, as long as she good gum color and we are not seeing blood actively pouring from her genital tract, you can plan to monitor her with a view to following up with her vet in the morning. Of course, if the bleeding becomes excessive, her gums pale, or she becomes further depressed; then we may have to consider getting her seen sooner.

In the meantime, your focus needs to be on supportive care. To do so, we need to make sure that she continues to eat and drink for you. If her appetite is on the decline, then we would want to hand feed her with her favorites. If she refuses, then you may
need to syringe feed her. You can find a good outline for hand feeding ill guinea pigs HERE . I tend to use Oxbow’s Critical Care feed for anorexic guinea pigs (LINK) in these cases. This is a highly nutritious herbivore feed that can be easily made into a slurry for syringe feeding. And it is much easier to use then trying to create a balanced critical care diet at home. Though for tonight, you you can syringe veggie baby food. You can also crush her pellets to add to the baby food or even make a gruel of crushing pellets and rehydration solution (ie pedialyte) to get some nutrition into her. This will help you keep her from going off her food and developing secondary complications like gastric stasis.

As well, you do want to keep her drinking. In regards ***** ***** syringe feeding fluids, I just want to outline how to approach this with her. To do so, you can use fresh water but can also try pedialyte or diluted Gatorade (50% diluted with water). These will help replenish electrolytes and get some glucose into her system as well as get fluids in. A typical dose for animals is 4.8mls per 100 grams of body weight per day (obviously divided over all day drinking).

Finally, if you think she is a bit chilled with this, you can make a
safe warmer for her from a clean sock filled 2/3rd full with uncooked white rice. Tie it closed and microwave (approx 1-1.5 min). Make sure to shake it before adding it to the cage, to allow the heat to distribute. Make sure its not too hot (as we don’t want to burn her). If it cools, you can re-warm as required

Finally, just to note in case you do need her seen sooner, I do want to note that most veterinary practices here do have contingency plans for emergency care for their patients even when they are not open. Therefore, if she needs them sooner then tomorrow, then just phone your local practice. 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 or Vets Now (LINK) who are open all nights/weekends. In any case, if you wanted to get her checked out sooner then there are options to have her seen today too.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.


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