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Gingers pee and poo
Gingers pee and poo  
my one guinea pig Oreo died on Sunday suddenly.   The day she died her symptoms were refusal to eat or drink, hunched posture, not moving a lot, and crust infrunt of her eyes.      Her sister Ginger was in the same cage until a few hours befor Oreo died.     
Now Ginger has some small poop and her pee when kinda dry is milky white and when dry curtsy.    She is eatting and drinking normaly.  But I was wondering why the pee and poop change??     My other guinea pigs pee and poop like normal.

Answer
Guinea pigs don't show signs of illness until it's almost always too late. The hunched posture and not moving a lot is a sign of severe illness and imminent death.  Same with the crusty eyes.

The white urine is a sign of dehydration. The question of course is why? I suspect that Oreo's problem may have been a nutritional one. Have you given them anything out of the normal in the way of treats, etc?  Have you changed their food?  Are you feeding guinea pig food or rabbit food? There IS a difference.

I've had experiences in my own caviary where a cage was not getting sufficient water because the water bottle spout was stuck or clogged. That's an easy thing to check. Just tap the little ball with your finger and water should come out. If it does not, it is clogged. If the bottle is empty every day don't assume they're drinking from it. It could be leaking and not allowing them enough water. I've had this happen as well. If that's the case the shavings or bedding underneath will be soaking wet. Again, easy fix. Just time for a new bottle.

It's a good sign that Ginger is eating and drinking normally. As far as the small poo and the milky pee that makes me think that somehow she is not getting sufficient nutrition. You didn't say how old Oreo was, but if she was four or over she may have died just from old age. Cavies don't live a long life.

One good way to assure they're getting enough fluid is to offer wet lettuce. For hydration purposes Iceberg lettuce is the best. It has little or no nutritional value, but it's mainly water and therefore is a good means of supplying fluid. They should not be getting too much in the way of treats, fruits and veggies. You don't want to keep them from eating their pellets.

This time of year is a good time for the things they do love the most. Watermelon is on the top of the list, but they prefer the rind. So you eat the red part, then give the pigs small chunks of the white and green part.

Heat is a major danger for guinea pigs. I also live in the northeast and although we've had a lot of rain, on the days that it's hot it is very humid. If you have a basement that's the safest place in the house for the pigs. It's always cool.

I would recommend you try giving the pigs extra lettuce to help assure they're getting enough liquid in their diet. When they do not the stool gets hard and also small. That's because there isn't enough water in it.

I don't think whatever Oreo died from was contagious. It sounds to me like it may be more environmental as in too much heat where they are housed, or nutritional.  So check the water bottles and make sure they are patent. Then give them wet lettuce, that has been washed thoroughly first, and see if this doesn't perk them up.

Hopefully this will be a quick fix. This time of the year is hard on many animals when it gets hot and humid.  Please let me know how they do.  I hope this helps you.  And if you have any other questions by all means please let me know.  That's what we're here for.

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Pat VanAllen

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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.

Experience

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.

Organizations
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.

Education/Credentials
Graduate in nursing. Certified in emergency medicine.

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