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We bought our guinea piga about a month ago and in the last

Customer Question
wk my female guinea pig...
We bought our guinea piga about a month ago and in the last wk my female guinea pig is losing weight and only wants to lay on her side. She eats here and there but is not as active as she once was.. She also squeals when being picked up and when we put her down sometimes she has a hard time keeping balance...
Submitted: 7 years ago.Category: Pet
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Answered in 2 minutes by:
3/1/2010
Pet Specialist: Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist replied 7 years ago
Anna
Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11,593
Experience: 40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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Hello,

Some additional information will help me to answer your question.

When your guinea pig moves, does she tend to go in circles or fall on her side?

Is her head tilted to one side?

Check her chin. Is the fur there wet?

Thank you.

Anna

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Customer reply replied 7 years ago

Under her chin the fur is not wet. She really just stays in one place and really doesnt wanna move I noticed she kinda stretches one leg out to the side... When she lays down on her side she doesnt prefer a side she just lays there.. She is in a cage with a male Guinea pig which when i bought them they told me they were the same sex i shouldve known better... But she was always so active and now she has moments when she is and when shes not more so not ....

Pet Specialist: Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist replied 7 years ago
Thank you. I was hoping we could narrow down the possible causes of her problem, but since you didn't find any other symptoms, there are a lot of possibilities. Being lethargic and not eating well are such general signs that they can occur with almost any illness. Weight loss often occurs when there is a dental problem. When something is wrong with a molar, we won't be able to detect it except with an x-ray. Dental problems are one of the more common causes of weight loss, and, if the mouth hurts, will also cause appetite loss, so that is definitely one possibility. Loss of balance often occurs with vestibular disorder. That can be caused by anything from an ear infection to a problem in the brain stem. Parasites and bacterial infections are other possible causes of your guinea pig's problem.

One thing we do know for sure is that she is very ill. Both weight loss and decreased appetite are serious symptoms. Complicating her health picture is the fact that she may also be pregnant. The best thing to do is make an appointment with a vet. This link will take you to a directory of guinea pig/rabbit vets:

http://www.rabbit.org/vets/vets.html


Until you can get to a vet, there are some supportive measures you can take. You can feed her from a syringe. You must make sure that she is passing stools before doing this because if she has a blockage, it's dangerous to force food into her system. To be sure, you can place her in a box on paper towels and watch for droppings. If she's defecating normally, you can make a slurry of crushed pellets, water, and pureed vegetables. This can be more difficult than it sounds, so I'm giving you a link to a page that describes it in great detail, including variations on what to feed, and how often to feed:

http://www.guinealynx.com/handfeeding.html

There is a product called Oxbow Critical Care, available in pet stores, that would be even better than the homemade slurry. However, your time would be better spent in finding a vet.

It would also be good to give your guinea pig some unflavored Pedialyte (made for human infants), which you can buy in drug stores, discount stores, and many supermarkets.

If you have more questions, just let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope your guinea pig will reach a full recovery.

Anna

(If you find my answer helpful, please click on ACCEPT. Thank you.)



Anna
Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11,593
Experience: 40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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