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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 16265
Experience:  I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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I have a baby Guinea pig that was acting in pain this

Customer Question

I have a baby Guinea pig that was acting in pain this morning. So brought her to a vet and he gave her stool softener for me to give her every 2 hours until she is regular, though she went a few, she is still not really going, not eating, in pain, labored breathing, not even sleeping. What do I do?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 9 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today.

Poor Emmy.

When she did go, what did the stool look like? Very hard?

Did her vet feel that she was constipated when the palpated her?

Did they give any other treatments?

Can you take a breathing rate for me (just count her breaths for 10 seconds + multiply by 6)?

Are her gums pink or pale/white?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
No other treatments. Tried to give her fruit but not eating that since I got her. I think 60 on breathing. Her gums are pale. Hard to see her mouth is small.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
She lays there but then jumps or twitches. Tell she is uncomfortable. Is stool softner safe for Guinea pigs
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 9 months ago.

Thank you,

Now I have to say that I am quite worried about Emmy.

Her lack of appetite, pain and decreased fecal output raise serious worries of gastric stasis. This is where the gut slows or stops when they don't eat leading to a gut shut down. And this is an emergency situation in cavies since their guts are likely little conveyer belts and need to keep moving at all times (hence why they eat fibrous foods). Just to note, with the stasis we ca see 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 her case, I have to say a second local opinion and treatment needs to be considered. Ideal therapy would be combination of hydration (best done with fluids under the skin by your vet), promotility drugs (to restart gut movement), and gut safe pain relief (a must here).

Otherwise, once we have those on board and she is comfortable, we need to tempt her to eat but also think about syringe feeding at this point. You can find a good outline for hand feeding ill guinea pigs here (http://www.guinealynx.info/handfeeding.html) . Ideally, we'd want to use a good fiber ich diet like Supreme Recovery or Oxbow’s Critical Care feed for anorexic guinea pigs. Each 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. While you are sorting picking this up (most vets carry it) you can use baby food preparations (obviously use the veggie ones) with her pelleted feed crushed into it.

If she also hasn't been drinking then dehydration will also be a concern. Therefore, do try and encourage her to drink by offering fresh water. You can also offer electrolyte solution, like pedialyte (pediatric electrolyte solution for infants) or diluted Gatorade (50% diluted with water). These will help replenish electrolytes and get some glucose into her system if she hasn’t been eating. You can also give pedialyte via dropper of syringe. A typical dose for animals is 4.8mls per 100 grams of body weight per day (obviously divided over all day drinking).

Overall anorexia in the guinea pig is a very serious situation and I don't feel that stool softeners are really going to solve this for Emmy (and it depends which they have given to whether it is safe). We tend to need aggressive treatment to help restart the gut and get them back on track. Therefore, I would strongly advise a second opinion of speaking to her vet about the above to help her. Just to help you find another vet if needed, you can check 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.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 9 months ago.
Hi Michelle Lane,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Emmy. How is everything going?
Dr. B.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 9 months ago.

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