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Guinea Pigs/Guinea Pig Gut Stasis

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Question
Hi Pat,

My adult male guinea pig 'Troy' has been unwell with Gut Stasis for several days now. Could you please tell me how long it is meant to take for guinea pigs to recover from Gut Stasis?

He has been unwell since Thursday afternoon, when my husband first thought he saw blood on Troy's face. He washed it clean and Troy seemed normal for the rest of the day. The next day, after eating his veggies, he again looked like he had blood on his face. His poop production was down and he seemed really tired.

I took him to the vet that evening, who said it was actually just carrot juice on his face but that Troy had broken one of his bottom front teeth. She said that the messy eating was probably a result of his tooth problem and gave him two injections: one for pain relief and the other for to get his gut moving again to help with his poop production.

It is now Sunday afternoon but Troy has not fully recovered. He is eating some hay and veggies, but still not pooping much. This morning his back legs were trembling a bit after he ate and it looked like he was trying to poop but nothing was coming out except one or two really dry and hard poops. But then he had a good spurt of eating some grass and pooped about 8 reasonably healthy looking droppings before flopping down exhausted again.

I picked up some critical care mix today but he would only eat a little bit on some red capsicum.

I know that lettuce if very water based and can have a laxative effect for guinea pigs. Could you also please tell me if I should offer him some lettuce with the critical care mix on it and if there is anything else I can do to help him?


Thanks,
Kristen

Answer
I wouldn't try giving him a laxtative as you might end up over stimulating the bowel and causing more problems.

I would recommend you also give him so probiotics as so many of the antibiotics cause gut problems. As long as he can chew it I'd give him as much lettuce as he will take. The hydration may just do the trick.

Broken teeth grow back very fast. A tooth can be broken to the gum line and grow back in less than two weeks. It's unusual that a bottom tooth was broken, it's generally the tops are the most common teeth to break.

Critical Care is excellent for keeping his nutritional needs where they should be. That blood was probably from the carrots. You can also add some melon pieces to his diet as they're full of water as well.

I hope he gets over this asap. Cavies are so stoic when it comes to showing what ails them. Best of luck to you. Hopefully this will pass (no pun intended( very soon.

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Pat VanAllen

Expertise

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.

Experience

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.

Organizations
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.

Education/Credentials
Graduate in nursing. Certified in emergency medicine.

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