Guinea pig won't eat :(

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    We bought a new guinea pig a few weeks back. Our previous one died and our rabbit was lonely and pining.

    This new guinea pig was 1 year old when we bought her. She's a rescued guinea pig...nobody else wanted her, but we're not sure why cause she's so gorgeous!
    We've introduced her to the rabbit and they get on really well, cuddle up together etc. We've also handled her regularly so she's used to all of us and just snuggles in our arms and doesn't run away any more. She seems to be pretty happy with us now.

    But...she's not eating much. She's lost so much weight since we bought her and we can't work out why. We've tried tempting her with everything - fruit, veg, grass, dandelion leaves, different types of guinea pig food, hay, everything our previous guinea pigs had soft spots for. She won't eat any of it. She will nibble half heartedly but she never eats enough of anything.

    Is this just settling in nerves still or could there be something seriously wrong? After the numerous vet visits at the end of our last guinea pig's life we really can't afford more visits yet.

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    Guineas tend to pretend to be fine until they get too ill to hold it in. The not eating isn't a good sign.

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    Why don't you take her to the vets? Maybe she's just not hungry. :dontknow:

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    We booked her a vet appointment for tomorrow...she's stopped eating completely now so we figure it's probably serious.

    The problem is if she needs further check-ups or treatment we can't afford it. We were hoping it could still just be settling in nerves or something and she would be fine later, but guess not.

    Thanks for the replies.

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    I have 13 guinea pigs so I would consider myself quite an experienced owner. Firstly on the rabbit front - I'd have the guinea pig and the rabbit live seperately, they don't require quite the same care and if the rabbit accidentally jumps on the guinea pigs back it could unfortunately be fatal. They might seem like they get on but you'd be much better off getting them each a same species friend. I don't know any reputable rescue that would rehome a guinea pig to live with a rabbit. That being said often if you cannot care for a rescue animal (ie you can't pay the vets bills) you can hand the animal back to the rescue. Might be an option.

    My first thought upon reading this thread was the pig might also have dental issues, I recently had to travel a couple of hours to take one of my pigs to a specialist vet because her teeth had overgrown and were causing her to not be able to eat. She got down to 630g and we had to syringe feed her but has put almost 200g back on making her a more normal weight and if now eating for herself again no problems. She had to have her teeth trimmed (no sedation though) but it was worth it to save her life and the vet bill was only small. Do you know how much your pig currently weighs? It would be a good idea to monitor her weight incase she loses more.

    Let us know what the vet says because I might have some suggestions of people that might be able to help depending on the outcome.

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    (Original post by NatalieMT)
    I have 13 guinea pigs so I would consider myself quite an experienced owner. Firstly on the rabbit front - I'd have the guinea pig and the rabbit live seperately, they don't require quite the same care and if the rabbit accidentally jumps on the guinea pigs back it could unfortunately be fatal. They might seem like they get on but you'd be much better off getting them each a same species friend. I don't know any reputable rescue that would rehome a guinea pig to live with a rabbit. That being said often if you cannot care for a rescue animal (ie you can't pay the vets bills) you can hand the animal back to the rescue. Might be an option.

    My first thought upon reading this thread was the pig might also have dental issues, I recently had to travel a couple of hours to take one of my pigs to a specialist vet because her teeth had overgrown and were causing her to not be able to eat. She got down to 630g and we had to syringe feed her but has put almost 200g back on making her a more normal weight and if now eating for herself again no problems. She had to have her teeth trimmed (no sedation though) but it was worth it to save her life and the vet bill was only small. Do you know how much your pig currently weighs? It would be a good idea to monitor her weight incase she loses more.

    Let us know what the vet says because I might have some suggestions of people that might be able to help depending on the outcome.
    We've had no problems between the rabbit and previous guinea pigs. She's an old, lazy thing and has always been very good with piggies. We keep this new guinea pig and the rabbit in separate hutches, and let them meet in the run for a few hours a day, always when we're in the same room/the garden so we can keep watch. The rescue said that piggies and rabbits are okay together if it's an older female rabbit like ours. I'll check about this with the vet though

    I completely forgot about the teeth issue they can have...hopefully that's what it is. The previous piggies all stopped eating for much more horrific reasons so I was assuming the worst

    I'll post here again after the vet visit thankyou, this made me feel much better.

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    Hope she gets better soon
    I'm not an expert, but my horse stopped eating as much when he moved yards, it was just homesickness. He picked up again after a week or so. Also, if she's in a new enviroment then prehaps she's picked up a small virus or something. I'm sure it wont be anything serious

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    My guinea stopped eating when I put her on new food. See how the vet trip goes, otherwise it might be worth asking the shelter what food they used.

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    (Original post by TheQuietOne)
    We've had no problems between the rabbit and previous guinea pigs. She's an old, lazy thing and has always been very good with piggies. We keep this new guinea pig and the rabbit in separate hutches, and let them meet in the run for a few hours a day, always when we're in the same room/the garden so we can keep watch. The rescue said that piggies and rabbits are okay together if it's an older female rabbit like ours. I'll check about this with the vet though

    I completely forgot about the teeth issue they can have...hopefully that's what it is. The previous piggies all stopped eating for much more horrific reasons so I was assuming the worst

    I'll post here again after the vet visit thankyou, this made me feel much better.
    That sounds alright - if they are supervised when they meet then you can intervene if there are any problems. It's just some large breed rabbits can be a bit clumsy with their back feet! I used to have a Netherland Dwarf Lop and it was a total monster.

    Guinea pigs teeth are constantly growing, if this guinea pig hasn't been fed enough hay or didn't have anything to gnaw on at her previous home that could explain it. If the piggy can't grind down the teeth, the back ones in particular can grow at an angle to the cheeks and cause soreness/pain. Mine was having trouble actually picking up food too, once it was in she could chew but she couldn't get it in her mouth on her own. Literally within a day of having her teeth done she was feeling 100% better, she put on 50g of the 200g overnight!

    Ofcourse the problem could be something else but I'd look at the simple things first. Having some sort of mite infestation could also cause weight loss, the vet can give the piggy a precautionary injection of Ivermectin if they suspect anything. They might also be able to give some sort of appetite stimulant if they can't see anything wrong - there are still lots of options.

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    (Original post by NatalieMT)
    My first thought upon reading this thread was the pig might also have dental issues, I recently had to travel a couple of hours to take one of my pigs to a specialist vet because her teeth had overgrown and were causing her to not be able to eat. She got down to 630g and we had to syringe feed her but has put almost 200g back on making her a more normal weight and if now eating for herself again no problems. She had to have her teeth trimmed (no sedation though) but it was worth it to save her life and the vet bill was only small. Do you know how much your pig currently weighs? It would be a good idea to monitor her weight incase she loses more.
    Seconding this advice - I'm not as experienced as the OP, but I did have two guinea pigs before and they lived long and healthy lives

    Another thing worth looking into is the state of your guinea pig's lips. If you feed a guinea pig acidic fruit (apples etc), they can get lip sores - this happened to mine when I left her with a neighbour while on holiday, and while they eventually healed, she didn't eat much for a week or so.

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    (Original post by NatalieMT)
    Let us know what the vet says.
    You were right about the teeth! Hers are overgrown and need trimming. We just have to make sure we feed her enough of the right things (Syringe feeding...we know how to do it because several of our old pigs had to be fed this way before too.) to build up her weight so they can sedate her more safely and get the teeth trimmed in a week or so's time. So relieved that it's just this, I was scared it would be something worse.

    Problem is though the vet thinks this could happen frequently with her no matter how we feed her in future because her teeth are growing the wrong way so normal eating won't keep hers short. This means she could end up a pretty expensive piggie over her lifetime

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    I don't know where you are but I've been using a vet in Northampton who can trim all teeth, front and back without the need for sedation. Only cost me £30 to have my guinea pig seen, teeth done and treated for mites etc as a precautionary measure. If you are near to Northampton I will pass on the details. They are very good! The vet there considers he may eventually be able to cure guinea pigs with a whole variety of dental problems. Likelihood is she will need to be seen multiple times by whatever vet you go to though.

    Glad it's not a fatal/serious problem though! Might be an idea to set up a 'vet fund' incase you do find this becomes costly.

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    (Original post by NatalieMT)
    Glad it's not a fatal/serious problem though! Might be an idea to set up a 'vet fund' incase you do find this becomes costly.
    Update: We never found out what was wrong. The first vet trimmed her teeth badly. We then took her to a guinea pig specialist who trimmed them properly, for free as he heard about our experience with the previous vet. So nice of him .

    However she still never ate properly, but we got her nibbling a tiny bit of carrot after a week. We carried on hand feeding her and we got her to put on a load of weight...but we just had a feeling all the way through that something was wrong. Neither of the vets had any idea what though. Then, two days ago she started crying and whimpering like she was in a lot of pain. When we held her she was ice cold and we just couldn't warm her up. It was too late at night to take her to the vet. We sat her hutch by my parents' bed so we could keep an eye on her overnight. After a few hours she got so weak she could hardly move by herself, but she kept twitching randomly and started making the most heart rending noise we've ever heard an animal make. We tried to keep her calm and sat up with her for hours until at 4am she passed away.

    (Probably an unnecessary update but I really needed to talk about it...and if you have any idea what was wrong with her I'd really like to know. This is one of the most horrible things I've experienced in my life...she was in so much pain and there was nothing I could do to help )

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    I'm sorry about your mini piggie :<

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    I'm sorry to hear that.

    Sounds like it could have been a virus. I'd think in normal circumstances they'd be able to cope with it but if it hadn't been eating much over that sort of time period then it could be that it's body was too weak to throw the virus off.

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    (Original post by TheQuietOne)
    (Probably an unnecessary update but I really needed to talk about it...and if you have any idea what was wrong with her I'd really like to know. This is one of the most horrible things I've experienced in my life...she was in so much pain and there was nothing I could do to help )
    I am very sorry to hear about your guinea pig! The thing with guinea pigs is they can seem fine one moment and then deteriorate very quickly. It does sound like you did the best by her and were there for her until the very end which I'm sure comforted her.

    I can't really tell you what might have been wrong with her. Dental issues in guinea pigs are very often ongoing, the teeth could have grown in at a slant and that's really not easy to correct. There could have also been an issue with the back teeth, which are used for grinding etc and unless the vet looked properly in her mouth (which most vets do under a GA) then it would have been difficult to tell for definite. If there is a problem with the front teeth, there is usually also 95% a problem with the back teeth.

    She might have also caught a URI (upper respitory infection) or some sort of other infection. Kidney stones in guinea pigs can also cause them a lot of pain and again are difficult to treat. It could also have been genetic, I had a beautiful guinea pig a few years back called Magic, she was snow white but with these big dark eyes which is relatively unusual and I just found her dead one day in her cage. Nothing had been wrong with her that I could see and she was only 8 months old. I also had a guinea pig called Punky and his brother Nemo, Nemo is still alive at 5 and a half years old whereas Punky died at maybe only a year old. It happens and there really isn't much you can do - I definitely wouldn't beat yourself up about it! It's really sad and horrible when a pet dies but it's good to talk about it and hopefully your parents will be around to support you aswell. If you need anything at all then don't hesistate to PM me.

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