Guinea Pigs/Guinea pig


Hi, my 3.5 year old guinea pig has lost weight, drinks a lot of water and has white rusty deposits around his eyes. I have taken him to the vet and spent more than $350 in htests and healthcare. The vet says he does not have diabetes. He said none of the tests indicated anything specific, though there were some low numbers on his liver tests. He put him on antibiotics, which seemed to help a little, though that may just be wishful thinking on my part. My gp is still thin and still has the white eye deposits. I don't know what to do. Do you have any idea what this could be? He lives in a nice two-story cage with lots of room to run around. He eats Timothy hay daily, good quality pellets and fresh veggies. Help :( I really want to get my baby well. Thank you!

The white deposits may be just stress. They will often get a milky liquid discharge from stress. If his liver enzymes were abnormal that may be a sign of liver failure as a result of his weight loss.

Sadly these little guys don't have a long life span. In many cases 3 1/2 to 4 years is old for some pigs. I understand your frustration, especially since you've spent so much money to try to find the problem. I wish I could tell you or give you an absolute answer, but I'm afraid I cannot. My feeling is that he may be just coming to the end of his time. It sounds like what he's going through is what we call a 'wasting syndrome' where they begin doing just what yours is doing.

I'm sure this isn't what you wanted to hear, but I would not be doing you justice to try to paint a bright picture that would mislead what is actually going on. Guinea pigs don't generally respond well to antibiotics but the vet most likely felt it was the only thing left to try. I truly hope I am wrong and that he will make a turnaround and recover.

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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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