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My Guinea pig seems to be drinking an awful lot - not sure…

Customer Question
My Guinea pig seems...

My Guinea pig seems to be drinking an awful lot - not sure if I should be worried...

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What seems to be the problem with your guinea pig?

He is emptying his water bottle daily and when I refill it in the morning he rushes over to drink like he is super thirsty - not sure if I should be worried?

Veterinarian's Assistant: Problems with drinking can be serious. I'm glad you noticed it. The Expert will know what to do. Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about your guinea pig?

Not sure... i've only had him a couple of months. He is a Rescue and is about 2 years old.

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Cat Veterinary
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
12/19/2017
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian replied 8 months ago
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 23,471
Experience: Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
Verified

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

How long has he been drinking this much?

Has he been passing more urine?

Does the urine seem watery/dilute or dark/odorous?

What is he fed?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
He has always drunk more than my other guineas but his thirst seems more urgent over the last week or so. I's hard to tell what his urine is like because he has a cage-mate and it soaks into the sawdust - the cage gets wetter than my other guinea's cage so i'd say he is seeing more... he eats guinea pellets dry food, hay (his bed) and some fresh food each day (usually either carrot/kale/parsley/celery).
Customer reply replied 8 months ago
I do not want to phone and spend another £24 - this is going to end up costing more than taking the guinea to an actual vet surgery :(
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian replied 8 months ago

No worries, the call offer is automatic from the site (not me). I am actually in the midst of typing my reply and will post in full shortly.

Dr. B.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
OK, thanks. I read your q's again and i'd say the urine is watery not especially smelly
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian replied 8 months ago

Hello again,

Now we do need to tread with care when guinea pigs are showing increased or excessive thirst. This is because it can be diet related (ie too many salty treats, very few veggies/fruits) but often it is related to systemic health issues. And that is a concern if you feel their bed is getting wetter quicker.

Now being that he is only 2, our main health concerns would be a bladder infection, bladder stones or urine crystals issues. Though we’d also have to consider heart disease, reduced kidney or liver function and diabetes (and these could explain urine dilution). It can also be a sign of severe internal inflammatory disease but this sounds a bit less likely here.

With this all in mind, I would suggest checking his diet (specifically what he is selecting to eat from what is offered) but we also would be best to monitor her water intake. Therefore, consider measuring how much water he is being given over 24 hours. To do this, we may need to separate him from his partner (its fine to put their cages near to each other so they can still hear/smell one another) so we can get an accurate idea of how much he is drinking. This should be done a few days running to get an average. Ideally he should only be drinking ~80-100ml daily. If he is drinking more that that does suggest one of the above issues is lurking and we’d then want to consider collecting a urine sample (which we can do by putting him in a clean cage/litter box with no bedding/hay. This can then be submitted to your vet (even without him being seen) and checked for signs of infection, urine crystals, sugar (a diabetes sign) and the concentration can be checked (lowering of this can be a hint of kidney issues). This will help narrow down the cause and from there you will be in a better position to address this for him with his vet. Of course, if these all parameters are all normal, then the trickier to catch issues (liver disease, stones, heart disease, etc) can be checked for by his vet on exam +/- bloods. And these are ideal to look into at this stage as all of these can be progressive with time and can lead them to feeling unwell (or even losing weight) if allowed to linger.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Ok thanks. I think he is drinking more than 100mls in 24 hours, a 300ml bottle is being emptied in 24 hours (although the area around the bottle is also wet so messy drinking means he's not drinking it all). His cage mate Toby was living alone for several months before Thatcher moved in and he barely drinks at all so it's not him drinking it. Sounds like I should get a sample from him for a vet to check...
Customer reply replied 8 months ago
The reason he was in the rescue was because his brother he'd grown up with had died and the owner didn't want to keep him all alone...I don't know what killed the brother. I hope he'll be ok :(
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian replied 8 months ago
Hello again ,
Apologies for my delay, I had to start seeing my own patients. In any case, that is excessive if most of the drinking is him specifically. So we'd want a urine sample here so we can get.to the root of this and just make sure he doesn't have a congenital kidney or heart issue or similar that could explain both his signs and his brother's passing.
Kind regards,
Dr. B
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