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Guinea Pigs/skinny pig cant eat or drink


I have a skinny pig that i have had for 2 months, we believe he is fairly young still. He just stopped eating and drinking instantly. He wants to eat and drink - he goes to the water bottle and looks to his food but cant seem to open his mouth. He tries and he makes a funny face - trying to open his mouth and lifts his head. I have had him to the vet - the vet thinks his teeth are ok!? He thought he could open his mouth ok - He gave him a shot of antibiotics and i have been giving him a course of antibiotics but i dont think he is any better.
I think there is something stuck in his throat, or his throat is swollen. Is my vet missing something? Is there someting i can suggest for him to do? I have asked for an xray, ultrasound. The vet is thinking of sedating him as next option. My piggy has lost all his weight and i am very concerned that he wont make it. He doesnt make sounds like he used to either which makes me think its in his throat. do you think he could have got a piece of hay stuck in his throat? Could the doctor miss a malocclusion?

It's possible the vet may not have seen a malocclusion, and yes it's possible it's something in his throat. I had a sow that developed an abscess, or what I thought was an abscess on her throat. It didn't behave in the usual way, not responding to draining, etc.

It opened on its own and I could see an feel something hard in there. I didn't try to do anything to it or poke at it for fear I was seeing her esophagus. She was unable to eat and lost a great deal of weight. I had her euthanized and on necropsy discovered that what was in her throat was a tooth!  It had started growing inwardly and turned to the windpipe. I've never seen that before and hope never to again.

Whatever is causing this little guy's problem needs attention. Ask the vet to xray and see if in fact there's something going on that a simple visual inspection can't see.

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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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