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Unexplained weight loss in one of our guinea pigs

(19 Posts)
PurpleDaisies Sat 12-Nov-16 22:48:41

We've just moved house and I realised our girls hadn't been weighed for a couple of months (we usually do it much more regularly). Two are fine but one who I thought had felt a little lighter is down by 100g. She's eating really well, bright and cheerful and I can't see or feel any lumps or bumps. I'm going to book a vets appointment on Monday but I'm now quite concerned. She's about two and a half with no previous issues at all.sad

Has anyone had anything like this before with a happy outcome?

Wolfiefan Sat 12-Nov-16 22:50:19

Absolutely no expert but could even be a tooth problem?

PurpleDaisies Sat 12-Nov-16 23:02:32

Maybe wolfie-one our others has recurring spurs on his cheek teeth and I haven't noticed any of the same sort of trouble chewing but she might just be good at hiding it.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sat 12-Nov-16 23:32:51

100g is 4oz so can represnt a fair % of piggie bodyweight.

First thing to consider is teeth. These mammals were designed to eat, not much stops them
Is she able to get to the food, no chance that her cage mates are pushing her out?
Can you identify her pooh , might be easier if she poohs when you cuddle her, you can see if they're 'normal' droppings.

My Himmy has lost a bit of weight but she's been on holiday which unsettles her a bit (though they manage to stuff their faces on holiday but its all different for them)
She eats'n'poohs but obviously when there's a group you need to make sure the food is fairly shared.

Hopefully the vet can pinpoint something, there might not even be anything, could be moving house that have changed her routine a bit?

(My piggie is 3, ex breeding rescue, so I am sadly aware that health problems will throw themselves her way)

Good Luck PurplePig

PurpleDaisies Sun 13-Nov-16 10:05:51

Thanks 70, maybe it is all the upheaval. She's definitely third in the pecking order but we have s couple of food bowls, piles of hay etc anc I haven't noticed her not being physically able to get to the food. She was a bit slower than the others eating her carrot so maybe it is teeth. In a way I hope it's a spur because we know how to deal with those. Poo is definitely normal.

Fingers crossed I can get to the vets early this week.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sun 13-Nov-16 20:13:33

Good Luck at the vets Purplepig (is it your boar that has the tooth problems IIRC)

I spent an hour or so yesterday, looking up guinea-pig pooh BTW (I blame you entirely Purple for this exciting way of spending a Saturday night grin ). One of my new cavies does a very odd shaped dropping (all the time, not just recent) . My Googley search said dehydration, trust me , this animals output does not suggest dehydration, she pees rivers.

I'm in danger of turning a bit Gillian Whatsername (the pooh Dr) and must clear my internet search history or I might get some very odd popups.

PurpleDaisies Sun 13-Nov-16 20:18:03

It is the boar with the tooth issue-this is one of his wives who is normally fine. She's still eating, squeaking and cheerful, just very skinny compared to the others. Mr Pig is between teeth filings at the moment and doing very well.

It's a niche field of expertise but I approve of knowing lots about guinea pig poo!

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sun 13-Nov-16 20:46:59

Ah, yes, MrPig the handsome Himmy. Has he found his new vet to take over his care?
They are complex mammals aren't they? Hopefully his his PigWife has similar then a visit to The Vet With The Retractor And The File should put her right .

My piggie does very odd flat at one end, pointed at the other , all very regular shape and consistancy droppings. I mean, how can she make her bottom do that 90 million times a day? Has she got too much time on her paws?
There was loads of scary stuff about gut imbalance but their pooh pics were nasty. GP8 is a tidy neat girl confused. Maybe she's a bit wombat (one claw) so she hasn't mastered cube shaped but one flat straight edge.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sun 13-Nov-16 20:50:09

Before Mrs Pig does go to the vet you can capture a pooh and wee sample from her (good luck with that) in case they need to test them?

I'm thinking : rule out gut yeast and worms if the teeth aren't the issue?

PurpleDaisies Sun 13-Nov-16 20:57:16

Yes thanks, the new practice are great. I was a bit worried to start with when the vet couldn't see that such a small spur causes him to totally stop eating but it turns out the old vet wrote very short notes and she was expecting a massive spur the same as when he was first diagnosed. Mr pig has very sensitive gums and cheeks. She seems very taken with Mr Pig!

Your piggy certainly sounds like she has unusual poo. Maybe one for the anals (!!) of vetinary medicine? grin

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sun 13-Nov-16 21:02:41

grin I took one of GP2 Fererro Rocher sized poohs to show The Guinea Vet (he did one a week, with normal poohs in between) . Vet was surprised to say the least and looked at my cavy with respect but didn't seem guilty putting the thermometer up his bottom.

If I take my Pig That Does Poohs The Shape of a Rowing Boat, he'll call security grin

PurpleDaisies Mon 14-Nov-16 17:49:53

We've been to the vets and as expected there was nothing obvious on examination except Mrs pig being very skinny. The plan is GA tomorrow with a dental, and if her teeth look normal CT scan and blood tests. I really hope it's something fixable-she's such a lovely piggy.

PurpleDaisies Tue 15-Nov-16 12:03:52

Very little miss piggy is at the vets-her teeth look perfect (as expected since she's been eating so well) and there's nothing obviously wrong on the CT. I guess that's good, sort of!

It'll be reported in a couple of days time when we'll have the bloods back so it's a bit of a nervous wait. She's already up and eating. The whole herd went with her for moral support. Apparently when they heard something rustling at the vets the lot of them started "screaming for food". I'm glad it's not just me they are bloody nuisances for. I think they were a bit of a hit with the staff.

We're mentally prepared that this isn't going to be something easily treatable and that we'll have her for as long as we have her. She has a really happy life now and if that changes we'll make a hard decision then.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Tue 15-Nov-16 20:14:26

Guinea-pigs are enigmas wrapped up in puzzles wink

So at least you had some things ruled out.

Has she been wormed? If they go out on grass they could pick up some opportunistic parasite.

And still consider that her cagemates might be pushing her out from the foodbowl. Maybe a hayrack of 'naice' hay to pick at , or loo roll tubes stuuffed with hay. Then they'll all keep busy.
There's always a pecking order with piggies (though if MrPig is anything like our boar, he'll be at the end of it)

Cross fingers for the blood tests .
Our cat had a blood test taken when she stopped eating and it seemed to spur on her appetite. The vet did say that they often start eating again .
Turned out she had high thyroid levels (she was an old girl) and lost weight in her final year.

Crossing paws.

PurpleDaisies Tue 15-Nov-16 21:00:24

They are little puzzles and you're right about mr pig being right at the bottom of the pecking order! Mrs pig is prone to being pushed out but we've got a few dishes and hay piles so I don't think she's short on eating opportunities. At least now I can stop watching for dental issues. She hasn't been wormed. I'll ask the vet about that when the results are back in a couple of days. They were a amazed that she came round from the CT, went straight back into the food dish (after a good sniff from the others) and didn't stop eating until I picked her up.

At the moment whatever it is isn't affecting her quality of life. Hopefully either we'll get an answer or it'll be one of those things that just goes away.

PurpleDaisies Fri 18-Nov-16 08:42:08

The vet phoned and it's kidney failure, most likely due to a chronic infection. The plan is two week of antibiotics and see how she's doing (we're realistic that these things don't always go very well for guinea pigs). Mrs pig is really lively and putting in weight again which is positive so I'm hopeful things will work out. Poor old Mrs piggy. sad

70isaLimitNotaTarget Fri 18-Nov-16 09:05:40

Awww sad MrsPig

Poor soul. I think keep her happy, keep weighing her (though weight gain can be fluid too if her kidney function is reduced, so bear that in mind, you can see if she feels bloaty with excess fluid )

See how she goes, if she's eating and chirpy then just take it day to day.
Your gorgeous girls were Rescues IIRC (trio of tri colours) so look on it as giving her the best life she can have and if its not as long a life as you would've wanted, a shorter , happy life is far better than the option of a longer, grim one.

She might suprise you and keep determindly plodding on smile

FernieB Fri 18-Nov-16 10:00:26

Poor Mrs Pigflowers. It's good to hear that she's pootling happily about though. And she gets antibiotics (my pigs love meds of any kind)! Fingers crossed the meds work for her, but if not, she's still having a lovely happy life being cosseted.

BTW my vets also enjoy having the pigs in. I wonder if it's cos they're smaller, easier to handle and they tend to believe that people = food, so are always pleased to see them. I suspect dogs and cats are not so enthusiastic about visiting or spending time at vets. Currentbun is definitely not - he hates them. The pigs, however, love a trip to the vetsconfused

PurpleDaisies Mon 21-Nov-16 10:30:01

I'm back from my trip and it's so nice to see all the piggies. Mr pig is due his teeth tomorrow but his weight is stable and he's eating really well so I think that's a few days off at least. Little Mrs pig looks really good-still skinny but bright eyed, squeaking and eating normally. She doesn't feel bloated so I hope it's a genuine weight gain. Fingers firmly crossed here. We've decided to make a tough decision if she goes downhill but certainly for now she seems to be hanging on in there.

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