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Elderly GP - worried

(10 Posts)
fatowl Wed 04-Jan-17 14:06:45

I'm worried about my elderly Guinea Pig (she's about 6)
She is spending most of her time with her head crammed into the corner of the cage.
She's still eating OK and will come over if I go to pick her up and she is happy being handled, but as soon as she is back in the cage she is back into the corner (not always the same corner) Her sister piggy seems fine.

I read somewhere that this can be concerning behaviour in dogs (the head against the wall thing)

Any ideas?
(I'm aware she is an old lady GP)

fortifiedwithtea Wed 04-Jan-17 18:14:04

You are right to be worried that is not good in guinea pig. Usually a sign of pain or depression. As she has her sister for company unlikely to be depression.

My guess is she is hiding illness. Have good feel for lumps. Take her to the vet, he may prescribe Metacam if he thinks she is in pain. Guineas love the taste so it will be easy to administer .

pipsqueak25 Wed 04-Jan-17 18:33:55

your piggy sounds a bit down in the whiskers and a trip to the vet might help check out any problems, it's good she's with her sister and she responds to you. nurse pip prescribes lots of extra tlc for both of them.
let us know how you get on.

fatowl Wed 04-Jan-17 23:59:47

Thanks, will try and get to the vets Friday or Saturday.
She was still crammed into the corner when I went down just now but came out for carrot peelings

70isaLimitNotaTarget Fri 06-Jan-17 22:44:08

How is your piggy, has she been to the vets?
Is she tucked up and starey (hard to describe but if they do it you recognise it .They sit there with their feet under them, slightly 'nodding' and their coat looks rough and standing up, not smooth)
Is there a noise that maybe you can't hear- TV whine or something- that she's trying to escape?
Is her cagemate bullying her at all?

If they stop eating its a worry with pigs so the fact she's happy for food is good. But there might be something with her ears? Eyes/teeth are closely related in piggies.
Hope your vet can pinpoint something.
Its a worry when they're ill. sad

fatowl Sat 07-Jan-17 06:24:17

I'm just back from the vets (I'm not in the UK- different time zone)

The vet gave her a thorough check up and found a large growth in one of her mammary glands. It was hard to see, but you can feel it. Vet says she doesn't look in pain, (she let the vet have a good prod). As she is so elderly, she wouldn't consider trying to remove it, esp as she is still eating and happy to be handled. She thinking the head-cramming might be unrelated and she is depressed or unhappy. She's given her vitamins and a supplement, and we have instructions for lots of love and good food (but not over-feeding) - we do that anyway.
We're to go back if the growth gets significantly bigger, starts becoming ulcerated or bloody.

But otherwise, enjoy the time we have with her.

We took her sister for a check up too, she's in good shape.

fatowl Sat 07-Jan-17 08:34:21

To be honest I've started to fret about her sister who looks likely to outlive her. She will be on her own, and I know you can't do that to a guinea pig.

(we started with three - sisters from the same litter- the third one died about a year ago, she was getting thin despite us making sure she got her share of the food, and we just found her curled up one day)

Anyway, if we are left with just one, what would be your advice? Try to get another and hope they bond? There are no small animal rescues here, so I'd have to buy one from a pet shop, so it would be much younger. So I might find myself in the exact same position again in the next year or so. If I bought two young ones, they would overwhelm my surviving piggy, no?

Cherrymix Wed 18-Jan-17 21:29:46

We got two baby girls from a local breeder to go with our older girl after her friend died - worked out fine. In fact I think it gave her a new lease of life.

EastMidsGPs Thu 19-Jan-17 20:26:53

Mollie was 3 probably nearer 4, when her older friend died suddenly whilst we were on holiday at my DBs. The piggies were with us and with the stress of old Sophie dying, being in an unfamiliar place with different smells, sounds and routines, Mollie stopped chatting, eating and seemed genuinely depressed. We were so worried we'd lose her, we bought her a new baby friend. Although the boisterousness of the youngster made Mollie hmmconfused at first, more than 2 years on they are the best of friends and Mollie has had a new lease of life. Although age does seem to be catching up with her now and she seems to be quite forgetful!
We'll get Sadie (the youngster) a friend when the time comes (although I have promised my doctor I won't as apparently I have developed an allergy - had fingers crossed behind my back when promise was made, so it doesn't count!)

If you do decide eventually to get a friend, you'll find loads of advice on here as to how to integrate them.

atheistmantis Sat 21-Jan-17 18:10:50

How are your pigs now OP?

How do you know if a GP is forgetful?!

Our two are funny, 6 month old GP4 will happily take food off GP3 if we give them carrots, GP3 will then look round as if to say 'where has that gone?'

they are still bonding, they will go up nose to nose and both will put their heads up like they are trying to decide which one is the boss. They don't thankfully; very different to when we had a boar and a female who fought like cat and dog at first.

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