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Guinea Pigs/Guinea pig do you have a idea? Please


This is his tucked up tummy
This is his tucked up  
QUESTION: Hi my guinea pig is ill i think. He is 1 year old his tummy near his boobes looks like it has been sucked in but he is still eating and drinking but he is staying in one place most of the time is there any thing I can do at home to get him better as I love him.I don't want him to die please help.

ANSWER: No Kerry, he's not ill.  I think what you are looking at is not his tummy, but his testicles that are pulled up inside his abdomen. When it's cold outside (or inside) nature has provided a way to protect the delicate sperm that is carried by the testicles by causing the scrotum (the sac that holds the testicle inside) to draw up and hold their precious cargo closer inside the body to keep them at the perfect temperature.

By contrast, when it's very hot outside the opposite happens and the scrotum becomes very flaccid allowing the testicles to drop down away from the body. They must maintain the perfect balance of temperature for reproduction to take place. The same thing happens with all male animals (including humans) but we just don't always have any occasion or reason to notice it.

I think that what appears to be a sunken belly is just an illusion caused by the fact that the area around the penis looks like it's swollen or puffed up and it makes the tummy look concave or inverted inward like it's drawn up.  It's not. That's just the way they're supposed to look under certain circumstances.

I don't see anything that looks abnormal to me. Sometimes holding him on his back may also make the tummy appear caved in as well.  But he looks like a perfectly normal and healthy boy who is lucky to have you to love him.

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QUESTION: Hello my guinea pig is getting thiner what can I do get him to his normal weight and why has he lost so much weight over the past days? (This is the same guinea pig as before)

ANSWER: I'm sorry if I misunderstood you earlier. When you said he was eating and drinking okay you didn't mention weight loss. Have you by chance changed his food to something other than just cavy pellets? Sometimes the pet stores try to promote those feeds with all kinds of other things like colored goodies in them. Those are not good for a healthy pig.

It doesn't really make sense that he's losing weight if he's eating and drinking okay. The most common thing when the pigs don't eat and are losing weight is a tooth problem. Sometimes you can't see the back teeth so you may not realize he has what we call a malocclusion and cannot properly chew.

In light of the unexplained weight loss I think the smartest thing you could do for him right now is take him to your vet. At one year of age he shouldn't be losing weight, especially if he's eating okay. So please take him in and have the vet make a diagnosis. Otherwise we're just guessing and that's not going to help him.

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QUESTION: He is on the same food and everything Sunday he was fine his normal little self but Monday he was just sitting there so I brought him in the house and made sure his teeth were ok which they were an then made it so he had normal food plus a carrot and water and with hay to hide in. Monday night he got a lot better but by Tuesday he was just sitting there and eating sometimes and drinking. Wednesday morning he was not much better but Wednesday evening he was walking around and when I topped up his food, hay and another carrot he started eating normally and drinking but he is still thin could you suggest what might be wrong with him or do you not know. Don't worry if you don't but please be honest though. Thanks :)

I have to be honest Kerry and tell you I am as confused as you are. It sounds as though you've done everything right so I can't explain why he's losing weight. if he were an older pig we might assume it was just old age, but at one year old he's certainly nothing but a youngster yet.

Once the weight is lost it takes some time to recover. If he's still eating there's no reason I can think of that he's losing weight. Let's just keep our fingers crossed and hope that whatever it is will resolve itself.

I wish I had a magic answer but sometimes there are things that we're helpless to fix. I do thank you for understanding that even as experts we're not magicians and can't always come up with an instant fix. No one but God always has the right answers.  

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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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