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Joan, Vet Technician
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 18195
Experience:  Vet Tech for 35+yrs. Small Animals and Fish
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Hi, I have two guinea pigs that cant really... walk. theyre

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Hi, I have two guinea pigs that can't really... walk. they're around a month and a half old. they seem to be runts, as they're about half the size as their other two siblings. every time they want to walk, they wobble and seem to not be able to use their legs properly. it also looks like their spines are curved downward at the back. they eat and drink properly. their mother still lives with them in their cage, although their other two siblings (who can walk and mate and everything) are in different cages, with a girl each!

anyways. these two babies fed properly from their mother all the way up to 4 weeks old, but were never able to walk or run or hop like they're supposed to. I don't know what to do. I thought this problem would solve itself, after i massaged their legs and the area around them (nerve stimulation for possibly being paralyzed), making sure they drink from their mother, and drink water and eat solid food. they're not changing in size or strength, what should I do?


My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am a Vet Tech with 30+ years and I have worked with small animals and exotics. One of the issues that may be going on with the babies is they may have Scurvy. This is some information about scurvy:

This is common is Guinea pigs as they cannot manufacture Vitamin C in the body. The need foods that are high in vitamin C to help with this problem because the mom cannot supply adequate Vitamin C, since she needs a supplement too. We also usually supplement Vitamin C. for all guinea pigs. The babies should have been eating on their own by 3 days old. This is a food chart that offers veggies that have vitamin C.

You also need to give all the hay that they will eat that is very important.It is important for health to keep some food and fluids going in. I would also give 1/4 of a 100 mg chewable Vitamin C tablet. This can be crushed up into the pellet slurry or critical care. The babies should see a Vet asap to verify what is going on. This is a link for Guinea Pig Vets:


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I've already looked into scurvy and honestly i don't think that's the issue. I feed them hay regularly and they were having almost an identical diet as their brothers (the two that are completely healthy) they've been like this since birth; wouldn't they develop some sort of... bone fragility thing because of scurvy, break their bones, etc. etc. etc. and die? i think it's more than that.


if it helps, the mother was about 8 months old when she had her 4 babies. when she had the one, she could have possibly hurt it as she did a flip thing and hit the side of her cage.


The Vitamin C deficiency could have been a problem and left the babies the way they are. Scurvy can lead to scoliosis which is a curvature of the spine,which they are showing. The Female should not have been bred past 6 months of age, since the older they get the more risky the pregnancy. This may be a birth defect as a result of the female being bred late in age for a guinea pig. It would not hurt to start the Vitamin C, and some fresh veggies to see if it helps. A hands on exam is the only way to get a proper diagnosis on the babies. They may continue to deteriorate if they do not get professional treatment. They need to be seen by a Vet with Guinea Pig knowledge, to properly identify the problem and to see if they can be helped. I am sure this is not what you would like to hear, but they need help and may not recover without it. Joan

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

however, my guinea pigs have never really showed any symptoms of scurvy. what does this mean?


also, the mother was around 5 months old when she got preggers.


the mother also could have been too small to accomodate 4 babies in her, right? -- leading to the spine curvature due to lack of space for the 2 crippled babies.


i have been feeding them greens for around 2 weeks now (their digestive systems can't handle greens before they're weaned from their mother). and they have a fresh supply of timothy hay nearly every day -- as well as pellets. since they've been born. they couldn't possibly have some sort of deficiency, could they?


what i'm concerned about is...what should i do to help them? they obviously won't die because they've been living in this state for around 5 weeks now. but they've barely increased in size in that time.


what should I do?


A female guinea pig should never be bred after 6 months and even then female guinea pigs have problems since their young are born ready to go with eyes open and hair on their bodies. Having 4 at one time is hard on the babies as well as her, since her body is supplying all the nutrition until born. It very well could have been a problem that she did have 4 large babies. The only thing you can do is to have them seen by a Vet. There is no home treatment and because we do not know what has caused the problems, it is important to have a proper diagnosis. You can try the Vitamin C and Critical Care supplement by Oxbow for them. I would not breed the other babies. I gave you a link for Guinea Pig Vets that can diagnose them. Even though they are 5 weeks, they can deteriorate rapidly if the problem is not diagnosed. The best solution is the Vet visit asap. Joan

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

okay. thanks. i think i have the gist of it now.


It is important when there is an indication of any problems they be seen. They can go down quickly since they hide illness and with the low body weight and medical signs being seen, there is no treatment if we do not know the exact cause. My goal is to give you 100% Excellent Service. I hope I have done that here today. Joan

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

although you've solidified my mind for more of a birth defect-type of thing, I'm still at a standpoint and don't know what to do as of now. I could take them to a vet, but...i don't know. i do appreciate your advice though. thanks.


I see you gave me poor service. I gave you honest answers and possible ways to aid the babies. I do not think that deserves a poor service. I cannot diagnose the babies over the internet, they have some serious medical issues that need to be addressed or you may loose them. I am sorry if you feel that my honesty and information that I supplied was poor service, but I am trying to help you save the babies. The Vet is the only answer to get them help. Please change your rating to an ok, because you stated that I did give you the information to make a solid decision to get them help. Joan

Joan and other Pet Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Anthony,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

everything's fine. they're still alive and well. i think it's just a messed up spine after all.


Glad they are doing well! They have a good nurse. Joan

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

yeah. thanks!