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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 20842
Experience:  I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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My guinea pig's back legs are limp. I've checked both and he

Customer Question

My guinea pig's back legs are limp.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Have you looked to see if there is a wound on their foot?
Customer: I've checked both and he doesn't have any wounds. He keeps trying to walk, but in the process he is dragging his feet.
JA: What is the guinea pig's name and age?
Customer: Bolt and 1 1/2.
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Bolt?
Customer: No, other than his gait he is acting normally.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian & I would like to help you with your wee one today.

How long has he had these signs?

Can he move the back legs on his own at all?

Are they colder then the front ones?

If you pinch a back toe does he look at you as if he felt it?

Any chance of trauma or a fall?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hi, thanks. Just within the last 5 hours. He can move them. They aren't cold at all. He flinches when I do that. He also is showing signs of stomach discomfort/grumbling.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
My brother went to give him broccoli earlier and saw him fall on his side.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.

Thank you,

When we see this type of lapse in hind leg use, it raises some very serious concerns. Often we will see this with spinal issues, clots lodged in the blood vessels serving the back legs, and as a weakness/pain sign. Now I am glad to hear that his legs are warm and he has some mobility, as this reduces the risk of vascular and spinal issues. That said, if he cannot use the legs to walk and is generally uncomfortable in his belly, we still have an urgent issue here. Especially since a cavy showing discomfort as he is means that this is severe (since prey species aim to hide pain as long as possible else be a target for predation).

With this in mind and since we have GI sounds that raise concerns of gastric stasis brewing, we need to have him seen at this stage. We'd want his vet to start injectable pain relief and determine if we have a primary hip/back issue or if this pain behaviour is due to abdominal and GI discomfort. Further to pain relief, if GI issues are a concern then prokinetics +/- antibiotics may be needed to keep the gut moving. Any delay in having him seen, while we have no pet safe pain relief options over the counter, you will need to keep Bolt eating. You can tempt with favorites but if those are refused then veggie baby food (with canned pumpkin and crushed guinea pig pellets) can be syringe fed to avoid gut stasis for him.

Overall, his signs support pain which could be related to the hind legs but with his other signs, we do have gastric concerns as well. Therefore, while we can rule out spinal and vascular issues, we still need to tread with care and get him onto cavy safe pain relief as soon as possible.

If you don’t already have an exotics vet, youc an find one near you at If you are struggling also check here (,as rabbit vets often see our wee pocket pets as well.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Afterwards, please rate my service by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.

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

Dr. B.