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Ask Anna Your Own Question
Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11541
Experience:  40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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My Guinea pig hasn't been eating nor drink and is so skinny

Customer Question

My Guinea pig hasn't been eating nor drink and is so skinny I could feel her bones . And her right eye is filled with a white milky discharge
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the guinea pig's name and age?
Customer: Dory , about 6 months
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Dory?
Customer: No that's about it
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Anna replied 3 months ago.
Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I'm a biologist with over 40 years of experience raising guinea pigs and rabbits. I'm sorry to hear Dory isn't well. Some additional information will help me figure out what is wrong.How long has she been this way? Is she not eating anything at all?Is she passing any droppings? If so, are there any bits of undigested food in them?Feel under her chin. Is it damp, or is it caked with dried saliva?What do you feed her - both basics and treats?Thank you.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
For about a week , she isn't eating or drinking at all . No droppings at all
Just dry
Kaytee fiesta gourmet variety diet
Kaytee Timothy hay
Kaytee fiesta strawberry flavored yogurt chips
Expert:  Anna replied 3 months ago.
Thank you for getting back to me. I'm working on some information for you now,mand will post it as soon as I have it typed up. I appreciate your patience.
Expert:  Anna replied 3 months ago.

Thank you for waiting. I'm afraid you aren't going to like what I tell you, but I believe you deserve honesty.

Loss of appetite in guinea pigs is extremely serious. It is called anorexia. If they go for 24 hours without eating, a condition called ketosis develops and the guinea pig cannot recover. If Dory had been eating anything at all, ketosis may not have occurred in him. You can read more about anorexia here:

There are many different conditions that can cause appetite loss, but since Dory is not passing any droppings, it's possible she has an intestinal blockage. She needs to be seen by a vet as soon as possible. Here is where you can find a guinea pig vet:

Normally, with appetite loss, we can syringe feed, but when there's any possibility of a blockage, that can be dangerous. However, it would be a good idea to give her some Pedialyte (made for human infants and available in discount stores and pharmacies) to prevent dehydration. Put the syringe in the side of her mouth, not straight down the throat. Start by giving a few drops every ten minutes for the first hour. After that, give her some once an hour. this is a first aid measure only, and doesn't take the place of a vet visit. You can also rub some maple syrup or pancake syrup on her gums.

The fact that Dory's eye has a discharge may indicate a dental problem. A problem with a back molar can put pressure on the eye, leading to discharge and even protrusion of the eye. With dental probalems, there may be saliva on the chin or bits of undigested food in the droppings. Only an x-ray can diagnose problems in the back teeth.

Dory may also be suffering from a vitamin C deficiency. The timothy hay is a good food, but gourmet blends are junk food. They are full of dried fruits, seeds, and nuts that guinea pigs can't digest. The pet stores make good money on them by convincing unsuspecting pet owners that they are doing something good.

Timothy hay (all she wants to eat) and plain pellets should form the base of a guinea pig's diet. Adult guinea pigs also need about one cup of produce per day. If Dory starts eating again, you'll want to introduce smaller amounts to your baby until she gets up to this amount. introducing it too rapidly can lead to diarrhea. There is no vegetable or green that should be fed every day. Variety is very important. Cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage, collards, bok choy, broccoli, kale, and brussels sprouts tend to produce too much gas, and shouldn't be fed often. Onions and garlic are not good, either. Tomatoes, red peppers, summer squash, and greens (no iceberg lettuce) are are all good. Clover, dandelion, plantain, and grass from an UNSPRAYED lawn are excellent choices. Guinea pigs can also have fruits - strawberries, oranges, and kiwi are enjoyed. there's a lot of misinformation available online. The Guinealynx site is one of the most reliable guinea pig sites. This link will take you to their list of recommended produce:

At this point, all you can do at home is the Pedialyte and syrup on her gums. A vet would have to evaluate her to see if she can be saved. If the anorexia hasn't proessed to ketosis, the vet can x-ray to see if there is a blockage or a dental problem. Fluids may be adminsitered, and if there is no blockage, an appetite stimulant and/or gut motility drug may be helpful.

If you have more questions about this, just let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope Dory will be able to reach a full recovery.


Expert:  Anna replied 3 months ago.

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