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Hello and thank you for your question. I am a Veterinary Nurse with over 15 years experience and I have assisted in the care of many pets with this particular medical concern. It would be my pleasure to assist you today. Is it possible for me to obtain some additional information from you about your companion?
1) Can you please share a photo or two (or video) of your GP's swelling? 2) When did he stop eating and drinking? 3) Please describe his habitat setup AND his diet (include all foods and supplements, as well as frequency). 4) How is he acting otherwise?
Would you like to wait until you are able to share a picture so I can give you the most detailed information or would you prefer generalized information without a picture?
There are quite a few illnesses that can cause the swelling in or near the mouth, and below the chin. We have to assume that the mouth may be associated here because Chico is not eating or drinking.
1) Abscesses in the mouth, possible association with a dental disorder like malocclusion (typically drooling happens) more info here: http://www.petmd.com/exotic/conditions/mouth/c_ex_gp_dental_diseases2) Lymphnode enlargement or abscessing due to Streptococcus zooepidemicus bacteria. More info here: http://www.merckvetmanual.com/pethealth/exotic_pets/guinea_pigs/disorders_and_diseases_of_guinea_pigs.htmlWith no mention of supplementation, scurvy (low vitamin C level) is suspect for not eating and drinking well, too. This is absolutely imperative for a guinea pig to be healthy. While I doubt the swelling you're seeing is a direct result, some of the symptoms may be linked. Deficient guinea pigs need to take 50mg of vitamin C once daily (or 25mg twice daily) to maintain decent levels of the vitamin in their body and prevent scurvy and related illnesses. More info here: http://www.guinealynx.info/scurvy.html
No matter the cause, Chico needs to be seen by a vet that sees guinea pigs. If you will share your city, state and zip code, I'll be happy to get to work finding one that can see him that's near your area.
It depends on the food. And most often it's recommended to supplement separately because GP's are so highly at risk of scurvy (it is literally the number one reason that they're examined by vets far and wide and few pet stores communicate the necessity at the time of adoption). Many food companies also cannot be trusted when their foods read "complete nutrition". This is why its also recommended to supplement fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C.As well, I still suspect this may be due to the afflictions listed as #1 and #2 in the previous post. I'm compelled to mentioned vitamin C because it doesn't appear you're supplementing (we'd like to head off a problem before it becomes one, of course) and it could be linked, as well.There is a location about 2 hours from you here: http://www.exoticpetvets.com/pet-care/pocket-pet-vet/guinea-pig-vet/There's also a resource by state here that may be closer in proximity: http://www.smallanimalchannel.com/critter-magazines/critters-usa/veterinarian-directory.aspx#OHIOLet me know if I can help further.
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