My guinea pig has just been diagnosed with polycystic kidneys. She is quite small and although she has meds to keep her gut moving, there is no cure. (She also has a mass near or on her bladder). She now doesn't seem able to eat although appears to want to. I don't know if she has dental problems suddenly or if this is just part of the kidney disease. I don't want to take her to the vet unnecessarily; I have opted not to let her have surgery, just to give her love at home until the end. Does anyone know the likely timescale until the end, once symptoms appear? Could the struggle to eat be something else? Help. Jan.
Type of Animal: Guinea pig
Pet's Gender: Female
Pet's Age: 1 year (but maybe older)
Cysapride and Zantac to help gut movement. Vet has not prescribed anything else.
Hi there,My name is XXXXX XXXXX X would be glad to address your problem for you. My sympathies for the diagnosis in your pet.The anorexia (lack of eating) you are seeing could very well be caused by the PKD. Animals who have renal diseases see a decreased function in the kidneys. The kidney is responsible for the filtration of toxins in their system, and if the kidney has decreased function, there is an increase of toxins in the system which can cause illness and nausea. Anytime an animal becomes nauseous, there is a chance they will stop eating.Because guinea pigs are frequent eaters, they can go downhill quickly if they stop eating entirely. In order to get nutrition into her if she's not eating voluntarily, you might have to resort to hand-feeding. This is a method used with a partially-liquefied diet and a small syringe. You can try crushing her pellets down into a powder and adding a bit of water for moisture, and feeding that through a syringe. The paste shouldn't be too liquidy, or you risk her inhaling her food and aspirating.There is a good website with tips on how to hand feed a guinea-pig here.Unfortunately, it is hard to give a time estimate, as there are many factors that contribute to this, including how far the diseases has progressed, her age, whether she is able to eat, etc. It is important that you do get her to eat, as she will decline rapidly if she does not. You will also want to keep your eyes open for signs of bloat, such as a swollen tummy and difficulty passing stool. This is considered an emergency issue in guinea pigs, and can happen if they are off their hay during a period of hand-feeding. Typically pellets contain enough fiber to help prevent this, but if she starts to regain some of her appetite, make sure she nibbles on some of her hay as well.Again, I am so sorry to hear about your girl, and if there are any follow-up questions or concerns that you have, do not hesitate to hit reply, and I would be glad to address them for you.Doveh41027.9008613773
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