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Guinea Pigs/Is my guinea pig dying? URGENT


Hello. I am in dire need of help. It is an emergency. As of late i have been unable to afford pet care and I need to know how to help my poor guinea pig. A couple days ago I noticed that his pellets and water were untouched so I put some hay and lettuce in his cage and he didn't run to eat them like he usually does, he just left them there. Now he is shaky and it seems like it pains him to move. I tried to force the water bottle tip into his mouth and make him drink but it seemed like he either didn't want water or he couldn't open his mouth. I also noticed within the past day or so he was developed a slight wheeze and a discharge out of his nose but no discharge from his eyes. He also doesn't seem to be defecating at all. Please please help me help him. Is there anything I can do?

I'm so sorry Nicole. This poor guy is gravely ill. Typically the shakiness and pain with moving is a sign of impending doom.  Forcing water in him is not wise as it may cause him to aspirate and get some of the water into his lungs. Once that happens there is little you can do. It will cause what we call aspiration pneumonia.

I fear that I'm probably already too late to help you, and I'm so sorry I can't give you something more positive to hang onto.  

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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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