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Linda Simmon
Linda Simmon, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 8099
Experience:  MVB MRCVS
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My 3 year old guinea pig has lost a lot of weight, is

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My 3 year old guinea pig has lost a lot of weight, is lacklustre, and generally off her food. She is still mobile, and seems happy, but is very slow and listless which is uncharacteristic for her.
JA: I'll do all I can to help. When did you first notice this decrease in the guinea pig's appetite?
Customer: 2-3 days ago, though she has been steadily losing weight over the last 2 months.
JA: Does the guinea pig seem to be in any pain?
Customer: No, none whatsoever. She's very placid.
JA: And what's the guinea pig's name and age?
Customer: Hugo (though she's a girl), 3 and a half years old.
JA: Is there anything else the Vet should know?
Customer: She lives in an outside hutch with 2 other female guinea pigs, and is generally healthy.
Hello, this is Dr Linda, a UK based vet with 10 years of clinical experience.

I'm sorry to hear this and understand your concern for Hugo.

Have you noticed any other signs such as drooling, overgrown teeth, fast breathing, less poo production or bloating?

Has anything changed recently e.g. her diet or home?

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
No changes at all. She's generally not eating as much, and I've noticed she's sleeping a lot out in the sun, but it has been hot weather recently.

Thank you, understood.

It certainly has been hot.

Has she seen a vet in the last few months?

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
No, she's never been to the vets

Understood, sure.

I am just typing my reply now.

Hugo's signs are a worry to me.

While I may have thought this was all heat related, as she has been losing weight in recent weeks, I'm suspicious there is more going on here.

Her signs of lethargy, a reduced appetite and weight loss could have a few causes including:

  • Overgrown teeth or dental spurs (not always easily seen without an otoscope)
  • A respiratory infection
  • A bladder infection
  • Cancer
  • Bullying from a cage mate (less likely if they have always gotten on well)
  • Stress or a source of pain
  • Etc.

I would try and have her seen by a vet ASAP if you can, to check her over and examine her teeth and tummy.

They may identify overgrown teeth that need rasping or an infection that would benefit from infections.

At home, we should ensure she is eating well, which may mean supplementing her diet with e.g. some syringed Oxbow Critical Care.

Do monitor her closely around her cage mates, ensuring they are still getting on well.

Hopefully we get an answer soon as I know this must be a worry for you.

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Thank you very much. Your advice has been most helpful.

No problem at all and wishing Hugo a very speedy recovery.

If there is anything else, please let me know.

Linda Simmon and other Vet Specialists are ready to help you