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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 17059
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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My guinea pig will not eat or drink. He has started

Customer Question

My guinea pig will not eat or drink. He has started "gritting" or grinding his teeth. He has not been eating for about a week. He appears to have red spots inside his mouth. He can't even whistle these last few days. I don't know if this is a tooth issue or if some type of virus. Oddly, my son had a virus a few weeks ago, with red blisters in his mouth. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I have been giving him water with a medicine dropper and feeding him baby food carrots through a dropper as well. We live in a small town with no exotic vet close. Help!!!
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 months ago.

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

Oh dear, If Gus isn't eating, we have an emergency situation for him. The reason is because anorexia is very serious in this species (it is one of the few emergencies for this species). Guinea pigs are designed to be eating all the time, as they have a gastrointestinal tract that is like conveyor belt and needs to be moving/digesting all the time. And if he isn’t and his* gut has ground to a halt, this can lead to serious consequences. Namely, the bacteria naturally in the system overgrow and release gas (painful!!) and toxins, which cause a pig to get even sicker and less keen to eat or drink.

In his case, to give him the best chance you may need to consider getting him checked by a vet as soon as possible. If there isn't a local exotics vet, you may nee to trek further afield to give Gus a chance .To check in case there is one near you that you didn't appreciate, you can look at http://www.aemv.org/vetlist.cfm or http://www.guinealynx.info/vetlist.html. If you are struggling also check here (http://www.rabbit.org/vets/vets.html), as rabbit vets often see our wee pocket pets as well. Ideal therapy in this case would be combination of hydration (best done with fluids under the skin by your vet), antibiotics, promotility drugs (to restart gut movement), and pain relief.

As well, he really needs to be on a balanced critical care diet like Oxbow’s Critical Care feed for anorexic guinea pigs. 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. Baby food is only a short term option as it just doesn't have enough fiber for them. And I have to note that if you are giving fluids, he needs 4.8mls per 100 grams of body weight per day (obviously divided over all day drinking). And would may want to try using an electrolyte solution, like pedialyte (paediatric electrolyte solution for infants) or diluted Gatorade (50% diluted with water) to replenish electrolytes and get some glucose into his system if he hasn’t been eating.

Overall anorexia in the guinea pig is a very serious situation and aggressive treatment is necessary to help him overcome this and get him back on track. Therefore, I would strongly advise getting your lad seen urgently even if it means a drive to give him a chance of overcoming this.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.

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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 months ago.
Hi Amber,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Gus. How is everything going?

Dr. B.