Guinea Pigs/Twix


Hey Pat!
Twix actually is still alive. Everyday or every other day I help him with his impaction issue. I used to think that was the only issue but Twix is loosing a grand amount of weight. In December (I do believe) I took him to a local vet to see if anything was wrong with his teeth, etc. She told me his teeth looked perfectly fine but she suggested I should give him higher amounts of vitamins (vitamin c). So I bought him some droplets for his water and some Guinea Pig pellets called, "Gerty Guinea Pig Food" which is full of vitamins. The vet even said he looked pretty skinny as well. I'm not positive but I think he was a good pound at the time (I don't have a weighing machine at my house). His weight loss has gotten him to the point were when I pet him I can feel his spinal cord, the bones behind his ears, and his tailbone quite clearly. He is what they would call it, practically skin and bone. He does technically still have some meat on him but barely any. I've noticed he isn't eating much at all. I put hay in his cage, he doesn't eat it. I put the pellets in there, he will only take a few bites. I put veggies in there, he will only take a few bites. I really don't know what to do by this point. I have no money to bring him to an exotic vet specialized with guinea pigs so I'm not sure if I can do anything else for him. If you have any advice at all, please tell me. Thank you!

I don't remember how old you told me Twix was, but this sounds like what we call "wasting syndrome" that happens to many older pigs as they begin to get old and prepare to leave us.

You've been a good "mom" to Twix and have done everything you can possibly do. Sometimes there are just things we cannot fix and it's very painful to have to watch a beloved pet go through this. Even an exotic animal vet would not be able to change or turn this around. I wish I could give you more comfort and something to make you feel better. You've done everything right.  Sometimes it's just in God's hands and we're helpless to change it.  

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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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