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Guinea Pigs/Anorexic guinea pig


Please help! Vet told me he doesn't know what is it. My male guinea pig who is 1.5 years old started acting weirdly a week ago. At first, he stopped eating his pellets. Then he stopped eating hay and started being lethargic. I took him to the vet. Vet listened to his lungs and said he hears something, so he thought it was URI. (he had very bad pneumonia in August, so we thought it was back)He gave him some antibiotics and vit C. And the next three days he was getting antibiotics and vit C, but he was eating less and less( no hay or pellets at all, only some veggies). And then we stopped with therapy because vet sad it isn't getting any results. Through weekend i had to hand feed him because he wasn't eating at all. Yesterday he got diarrhea. Vet said it was because he isn't eating, so he gave him something for apetite. He openly told me he doesn't know what it is. He suggested we could do teeth trimming, but he thinks that isn't the problem(he examined his teeth and he didn't saw anything suspicious). If he doesn't get better by tommorow, we will do that. I am a little bit scared because of anasthesia, but we don't have much choice. And what is ironic, my piggie looks like he wants to eat. He calls me, sniff around, but when i give it to him, he walks away(sometimes he just sniffs it, sometimes he trys it and then goes away. He is lethargic, but when i call him, or when we are at vet's, he runs around(or runs away). Everythng seems ok, except he is not eating. And now he has diarrhea. Nothing changed in his diet, no loss of cage mate(he is alone), he is with us a year. Please, what is wrong?

I'm afraid I'm as confused as your vet. All signs seem to point to a dental issue, but if the vet examined the back teeth and said they were okay that seem to rule that out. I don't think the lack of eating caused diarrhea, I would be more suspicious that the antibiotics caused the diarrhea. Usually we give probiotics as well as the antibiotics to help prevent the intestinal problems caused by the medication.

This is just a guess, but ask the vet about doing an xray to see if he has a tooth that may be growing in an inverted area that might be preventing him from biting down on his food. I once had a sow who's teeth grew in a deformed way and actually began coming out of her lower jaw near her esophagus. The poor thing had to be put down because she couldn't eat, but I didn't know why. Once she was euthanized I was able to do a proper exam and found this bottom front tooth that had somehow diverted it's normal growth pattern and was preventing her from swallowing.

Of course this is just a suggestion because I can't even begin to think of what this might be. I wish I had a magic answer to this puzzle. Please let me know what the vet finds.

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Pat VanAllen


As is sometimes the case, people in urgent need of information have a higher degree of expectation than those of us as experts are able to give. The experts on this site do their best to give the most accurate and responsible answers possible. We ask that you remember that it is not our intention nor place to criticize the professional advice given by your veterinarian, nor is it appropriate for us to comment on the correctness of a diagnosis made by a licensed physician. Our knowledge is experience based. Although many years of breeding and showing cavies gives me a wealth of experience it cannot change the fact that we as experts are not veterinarians and therefore may occasionally have to reject questions that appear to be asking us to criticize advice given by the licensed professional. Having raised and exhibited cavies for many years I have extensive experience in cavy care and husbandry. I currently have an active breeding program for pedigreed show animals but do not encourage backyard breeding for inexperienced owners. Although I don't encourage breeding for fun I'm always happy to answer any questions from an owner who is in sincere need of help. Pet owners wanting to breed should understand that even experienced breeders have litter losses. The mortality rate is high in cavies. The chance for losing both sow and pups is always present, even with experience. Although this is a site for experts to assist owners, there is no expert in any field who has all the answers. The wisest thing a good expert can know is their limitations. Not having an answer does not diminish one's ability or knowledge. It simply shows that we recognize our limitations and operate within them.


Raised and shown cavies for many years, having aquired my first cavies in the early 1970's as pets. My caviary currently handles 65 + animals in two different breeds and several varieties. Having been in the health care industry as a licensed nurse for 35 years I have hands on experience with care and needs in both humans and cavies. Member of American Rabbit Breeders Association and American Cavy Breeders Association.

Awarded Lifetime Membership in of one of the oldest cavy clubs in the United States, on whose Board I served as Sec/Treas for six years and currently serving as President. Also editor/publisher of the club's quarterly newsletter. We are strong supporters of our youth exhibitors, most of whom are 4H members who are working on cavy projects. Through these projects they become good responsible citizens. We deal with all aspects of showing, breeding, caring for and sharing experiences in the fancy. The cavy fancy is not a new one but in some areas is still relatively unknown. Our goal is to inspire interest in high quality, responsible breeding to improve the species, not just the reproduction of guinea pigs. Our job is to educate owners to help them make the right decisions and choices in the care of their cavies.

Graduate in nursing. Certified in emergency medicine.

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