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Ask Dr. Kara Your Own Question
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 15168
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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my guinea pig cant use his hind legs. any reason why?

Customer Question

my guinea pig can't use his hind legs. any reason why?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 4 years ago.

Dr. Kara :

Hello, I'm very sorry to hear about your guinea pig and I'd like to help.

Dr. Kara :

Is he receiving vitamin C supplementation every day?
If so how is it given?
Is it possible that there was some sort of trauma (other pigs in the cage, accidentally dropped by a child)?

JACUSTOMER-j0meu51z- :

when we left this morning to run errands he was fine, but when we got home he wouldn't use his hind legs

JACUSTOMER-j0meu51z- :

his food has vit-c in it and no the kids didn't touch him yet today, but there is another pig in the cage with him

Dr. Kara :

If you pinch his rear toes can he feel that?
Is he dragging his rear feet behind him?
Is he trying to move around?
Is he able to pass urine and stool?

JACUSTOMER-j0meu51z- :

he is draggin his feet band he's eating and drinking

JACUSTOMER-j0meu51z- :

his rear right foot will move if I pinch it but not the left

JACUSTOMER-j0meu51z- :

he doesn't seem to be in any pain though

Dr. Kara :

Thanks very much you are being very helpful.
Is he able to urinate and defecate?
So although he is dragging both legs he at least has feeling in his right foot.
Most guinea pig pellets have vitamin C in them, but that isn't enough.
Once the bag is opened and the pellets are exposed to light and air the vitamin C degrades quickly.
We need to supplement them, growing pigs 100mg daily and adults 50mg to 100mg daily.

JACUSTOMER-j0meu51z- :

I picked him up and rubbed his back and he began crying and he moved both of his feet then but when I put him down...nothing

JACUSTOMER-j0meu51z- :

how do I give him more vit-c/

Dr. Kara :

Possibilities here are not enough vitamin C leading to scurvy and bleeding into joints or the spine putting pressure on his spinal cord or trauma from his cage mate to his spine.
At this point he needs to be immediately isolated from his cage mate.

JACUSTOMER-j0meu51z- :

ok should i take him into a local vet/

Dr. Kara :

And he should see a veterinarian with lots of guinea pig experience.
I think radiographs of his spine are needed as well as an anti-inflammatory injection to relieve pressure on his spinal cord before permanent damage is done.

JACUSTOMER-j0meu51z- :

ok thanks...I

JACUSTOMER-j0meu51z- :

I will try to find one

Dr. Kara :

They can also give him an injection of vitamin C to get his levels up quickly.
If he's not able to pass stools and urine that could be trouble as gut stasis (gut not moving) leads to bacterial overgrowth and endotoxemia.

Dr. Kara :

As far as supplementing vitamin C you can use liquid in the water bottle if the bottle is changed daily and the glass is dark in color.

Dr. Kara :

Or you can put supplement drops on favorites like Kale and get it in that way.

Dr. Kara :

This is effective as a prevention, but we are beyond that now for this little one.

Dr. Kara :

I'll give you a link to a terrific wesite about guinea pigs. It answers lots of questions.
http://www.guinealynx.info/healthycavy.html

Dr. Kara :

I think you've left our chat. Please let me know if you should have any further questions.