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Guinea pig not eating-at a loss why

(26 Posts)
PurpleDaisies Mon 03-Aug-15 15:28:38

My lovely little piggy has been off his food for over a week and a half now. He is still really bright and interested in food, squeaking when we chop things and running to the front of the cage when we're in the garden pulling up grass just as he always did. When he actually gets the food he can't seem to get it into the back of his mouth and swallow it. He's been a bit damp under his chin, wee and poo are normal (a bit less because of reduced food intake). He had lost a bit of weight initially when we hadn't picked up that he was food refusing but now we're syringe feeding him that's stabilised.

All this sounds absolutely classic for teeth problems but he's been seen by two different vets and his teeth look entirely normal. The first vet examined him under anaesthetic, had a really good look down his throat and couldn't find any issues at all.

Does anyone have any experience of anything similar? We're a bit stuck with what to do next.

sanfairyanne Tue 04-Aug-15 09:28:16

well i would have said teeth! were the vets used to looking at gpigs? is the jaw aligned?

have you given him metacam for pain relief? one of mine has arthritis in the jaw (elderly gpig) and needs daily metacam to eat properly.

sanfairyanne Tue 04-Aug-15 09:33:17

other thought: have you tried the cambridge cavy trust? i think the lady who runs it has a list of people trained to look at teeth without using anaesthetic, or if you live near cambridge you could go.

PurpleDaisies Tue 04-Aug-15 09:44:09

Thanks for your reply sanfairyanne. Our normal vet is definitely good with guinea pigs, the second one was the small animal specialist at that practice and neither could see anything wrong with his teeth or any other problems. We've got an appointment with an exotic vet specialist recommended by one of the vets as someone they refer to when they don't know what's going on, so hopefully they can find the problem. We've got metacam now, so far no difference but we'll keep at it.

Really hope they can suggest something so we can stop syringe feeding. Our poor little piggy has decided he isn't keen any more and it is horrible having to force him (I know it is for his own good). At least he is bright and interested in things do hopefully he'll be ok. It is a worry...

sanfairyanne Tue 04-Aug-15 10:13:23

poor piggy sad

keep offering long grass - good for grinding down the back teeth. hopefully the metacam will help with any pain.

is the appointment soon?

PurpleDaisies Tue 04-Aug-15 10:38:12

Thursday morning so not too long. I have given him a massive pile of grass (his favourite) that he's been playing with for ages but not managing to eat. I guess it is like having a good bottle of wine sitting ready for drinking but no corkscrew. Fingers crossed for the new vet to have a solution.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Tue 04-Aug-15 18:06:32

poor Piggie sad

Must be a nightmare for the piggie to have a huge grass pile sitting there but not be able to eat it.

Could be eyes (the eyes and teeth are in very close alignment for they can cause it each other problems)
He might have an abscess somewhere. Either in the gum or behind the eye. Not easily visible.

Foreign body in the tongue, roof of mouth or further down?

Hopefully they'll go through a process of elimination and locate the problem.

Paws crossed for Thursday .
I think hand feeding till then, need to keep his guts a-flowing.

sanfairyanne Thu 06-Aug-15 15:27:22

how is piggy?

PurpleDaisies Thu 06-Aug-15 16:13:41

The new vet examined him and said he definitely had some dental issues but the cause wasn't immediately obvious. He's taken some x rays and had a good look under anaesthetic, we're waiting to talk to him later this evening.

Poor little piggy is spending the night at the vets so the house feels very quiet. Hopefully when we actually speak to the vet he'll have found something treatable. The waiting is horrible.

Really appreciate you asking sanfairyanne (and you too 70).

PurpleDaisies Thu 06-Aug-15 17:51:12

The news is he has a middle ear infection (possibly old), a misaligned jaw, a long spike on a back tooth and an ulcer.

Hopefully a course of antibiotics will clear up the ear infection and his teeth have had a good sort out so trying to be positive. Apparently he is not keen at all on the syringe feeding so they're keeping him until he's happier with that. I'm actually relieved I don't have to do it for a night.

Trying not to worry too much but it is really hard. I'm thinking wine and a good film as a distraction tonight.

sanfairyanne Thu 06-Aug-15 19:16:29

poor baby sad

my piggy had that too (minus ear infection). once the teeth are sorted, the jaw should realign and the ulcer will heal. the metacam should help with the pain too. are they feeding critical care? mine prefer that to the other rescue feeds, it smells kind of minty and i think they like that

thanks
get well soon mr pig

PurpleDaisies Thu 06-Aug-15 19:33:47

They are heartbreakers aren't they?! I just feel so emotional about the whole thing. Our two guinea pigs are out first pets as grown ups and we're massively attached to them. Especially because no one else wanted them.

Mr P's favourite thing in the world is eating so as long as he can manage his grass he'll be happy, even if he's a bit less active for a while. I'll see if I can get hold of some Critical Care. We've been using Supreme Recovery which he was really liking until a few days ago (I wonder if that's when the ulcer started) but it is always good to have other options.

Again, thanks for the support. smile

70isaLimitNotaTarget Thu 06-Aug-15 20:08:44

shock

he doesn't do things by halves your piggie.
They are amazing little creatures, the way they keeo going and hide things from you.
It just shows you though how complex they are (and their teeny little mouths are really hard to get a good look into)

Recovery quickly piggie and come home soon shamrock (looks like clover)

sanfairyanne Thu 06-Aug-15 20:21:29

mine dont like supreme recovery after a day or so. critical care is much more popular smile

PurpleDaisies Thu 06-Aug-15 20:39:12

That's interesting to know sanfairyanne and both my piggies love clover so I will definitely receive that with thanks 70!

My other piggy has been absolutely spoilt rotten this evening-he was out for hours in the run and he is currently lying kidney bean style on his side with his eyes tightly shut eating some posh hay I bought as a treat to try and get the other one to eat. Such a hard life being a guinea pig!

70isaLimitNotaTarget Fri 07-Aug-15 10:08:14

Hopefully Other Pig will get his cagemate back soon (though he deserves some intensive spoiling while he's pining/aka eating for England)

TBH , I'd be angry that your boar was seen by two vets, was given a general to examine him (not without risk) and they missed the long spike and ulcer.
The ear infection would not be easy to spot, more a process of elimanation by symptoms unless he has an active infection in their.
Misaligned jaw- he'd be easier to examine while 'out of it'

But it does prove, if you aren't happy, you need to push for another opinion (if only human healthcare was this easy)

If they give him Loxicam (GP3 has this after he was neutered, painkiller) they practically wrestle the syringe out of your hand grin

PurpleDaisies Tue 11-Aug-15 11:54:37

Mr pig came home last Friday and was doing well (bright, squeaky and eating tiny pieces of vegetables as well as the syringe food) but today he's taken a sudden turn for the worse and had to be readmitted to the vets. He's stopped eating completely (he won't swall the syringe food), has horrible runny eyes and seems really flat. Last night he was basically fine.

They're giving him extra painkillers and fluids but I'm quite worried that this is the end for poor old Mr pig. I hope not-I was prepared for this late week but everything seemed to be going in the right direction. sad

I will update.

FernieB Tue 11-Aug-15 16:08:19

Sorry to hear that Purple. I do hope he perks up again.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Tue 11-Aug-15 19:47:49

Oh sad news.
C.mon Mr Pig, you've been through so much, make that extra push.

TBH, when they go 'flat' and the eyes go manky, it's a poor prognosis. It's like they shrink in their fur coat.

He'll be hydrated,dosed with painkillers and fed at the vets. Hope it's enough to pull him round.

GP4,GP5 and GP6 are crossong their paws.

PurpleDaisies Tue 11-Aug-15 20:47:53

The vet phoned a little while ago to say that sadly Mr pig has passed away. I knew as soon as I saw him this morning he wasn't going to make it and I'm really pleased he was comfortable, well looked after and given the best chance of making it. Really sad now but he had a really happy little life with us which isn't too bad for a piggy that nobody wanted.

Thanks so much for the support. Hopefully in the next few weeks I'll be on with pics of new small and furries. This house just isn't right with only one guinea pig in it. sad

70isaLimitNotaTarget Tue 11-Aug-15 21:35:56

Very sad to hear the news but it sounds like MrPig was peaceful when he stepped across The Bridge.

They get "That Look" when they are at the end, the eyes go small and sunken. They get all gruffly and tucked up.

Look back on his life and remember all the daft things he did (DD and I still talk about our GP1,GP2,GP3 )

Little piggies that nobody wanted have the most amazing capacity to be 'reborn' in their new life when you adopt them.

Hugs to your remaining boy.

FernieB Wed 12-Aug-15 14:11:43

Sorry to hear this Purple. As you say, it's good that he was comfortable and well looked after when he pootled off to the bridge. thanks

MeadowHay Wed 12-Aug-15 19:47:43

Popcorn free over rainbow bridge Mr. Pig star

Very sorry for your loss, thinking of you flowers

clippityclop Thu 13-Aug-15 20:53:15

Condolences Purple. flowers

PurpleDaisies Thu 13-Aug-15 20:59:13

Thanks so much everyone. I'm feeling sad but he had a really happy life. I've been looking at local animal shelters and will be taking the remaining piggy speed dating next week to find him a new cage mate or two that he definitely likes. He had never lived with a lady before so that might be good fun for him (he is neutered already).

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