new pig does not like veggies!


Post   » Sun Dec 09, 2007 4:25 pm

well, now he won't eat. I have tried syringe feeding, although not very successfully as he is still really skittish. I put him back in his cage, and put some bermuda grass in, as a last resort. He has started eating that, a little. I know it is not the best nutritionally, but if that is what he will eat, he can have it. There have been no poops for quite a while, since this morning. He is drinking and peeing ok.


Post   » Sun Dec 09, 2007 4:45 pm

I'm so sorry. I hope the vet can help you both. Best wishes to you and your little one. I bet he'll be right as rain in a few weeks!
And I'm impressed you got the store to pay. Good for you, they should!


Post   » Sun Dec 09, 2007 5:45 pm

I'm so sorry, please keep us posted as to what the vet says. Good luck!

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Post   » Sun Dec 09, 2007 6:29 pm

Work harder syringe feeding. This is vitally important.


Post   » Sun Dec 09, 2007 8:39 pm

Well, I decided to take Junior back to the store tonight and they will bring him to the vet. Hopefully, they will figure out what exactly is wrong, and fix him up. The guy at the store tried to tell me that they sometimes go a week without eating! I told him no way is that true, that there is something wrong, and they need to treat him! I will let you all know as soon as I know something. Thanks for all the advice. I wish I had joined this along time ago! It is nice to be able to get tips from other piggie lovers! Hopefully, little Junior will be back home tomorrow feeling much better!

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I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Sun Dec 09, 2007 8:53 pm

Oh dear.

It would have been much better for him if you'd taken him to the vet tomorrow and made the petstore pay.

If there's any way you can get him back, I'd do so.

The guy at the petstore obviously knows nothing about guinea pigs. Sadly, frequently the vets the petstores use have about the same amount of knowledge.

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Post   » Sun Dec 09, 2007 9:13 pm

Go a week without eating? A guinea pig that goes a week without eating is a dead guinea pig. This guy knows nothing.


Post   » Sun Dec 09, 2007 9:22 pm

I agree 100% with Mum... I was gonna say that myself but you beat me to it. I don't think that the pig is in the right hands, but that's just my opinion...


Post   » Sun Dec 09, 2007 9:38 pm

unfortunately,they won't pay otherwise. it has to get brought to them, and they bring it to their vet. Let's hope the vet knows what he is doing. I told him to make sure they checked his teeth. I told him that they die without eating, and he just looked at me. I said "yes, I do know something about piggies, and something is wrong!" He said they would get him all fixed up, so keep your fingers crossed and say your piggie prayers that Junior will be ok and come home tomorrow all better. I was under the impression he would go to a vet tonight, but not sure. I will get back to you when I know anything. I realize now maybe I made a mistake. I was just trying to get help for the poor little guy. He really needs it.
I will call first thing in the morning and see if they will let me take him to my vet.

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I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Sun Dec 09, 2007 9:52 pm

I was under the impression he would go to a vet tonight, but not sure.
Not in this life he won't.

To be quite frank, if he stays under there the chances of him dying are very high.

This is the problem with petstores selling pigs. They don't want to lose money by incurring vet fees, and most times they don't treat.

Which pet store did he come from? Was it a chain?

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Post   » Sun Dec 09, 2007 10:15 pm

Ditto Mum. Poor pig.


Post   » Mon Dec 10, 2007 8:37 am

Well, I have some good news. I called to ask how little Junior was this morning. He is doing good, they say. The manager I spoke to said he has eaten because there are poops in his cage, which is good. I told him that the staff I saw last night was wrong about everything he told me and that he needs to be trained extensively in guinea pig care. I'm sure he won't be, but I told him how upset I was in the way that the whole incident has been handled. He apologized many timea and assured me that the vet they use is a specialist in guinea pigs and he will have a complete exam, head to toe, and they will call me as soon as they get back with him. Could he just be very stressed?


Post   » Mon Dec 10, 2007 8:50 am

Sorry I came to this thread late--
There is no way a guinea pig could go without a week and survive. Their digestive system is designed to have food continually passing through it. If a guinea pig stopped eating, bloat could occur which would kill the guinea pig.

That's why whenever I've gone to a vet and surgery has to be scheduled the vet makes sure to tell me if the assistant says to fast the guinea pig before bringing him/her for surgery to just ignore any fasting instructions.

Guinea pigs are prey animals and it takes time, food, time, food, bribes, food, and more time before they get used to you.

Regarding food issues, when I adopted my two guinea pig girls from the rescue, they already ate vegetables. However, I had to leave the room and shut the door behind me before they would emerge from hiding to eat. When I would open the door, I would hear scrabbing sounds as they hustled into their pigloo. The vegetable bowl would be empty and there would be poops around the cage.

The lady who runs a guinea pig rescue in CT told me she had guinea pigs that were so scared she had to leave the room, shut the door and TURN OFF the light, before they would emerge to eat.

When I received my (permanent) foster girl, she had never eaten vegetables for the first year of her life. When introducing them, you would have thought I was trying to feed her poison. Holding her and putting the food/smearing the taste on her lips didn't work. It was comical to see he chew on a stalk of parsley - about an inch went into mouth before she got a funny look on her face. It was the first time I'd ever seen a guinea pig chew in reverse. I tried being a 'big guinea pig' and eating them before her face - didn't work.

What I did was take granny smith apple and chop it very fine and 'spike' her pellets with the apple. The pellets got some apple flavor on them. She gradually started eating the little apple bits.

I then took lettuce and tore it into tiny little bits. I was able to feed her the little bits of lettuce as I think they were 'pellet like.'

Now she is the loudest wheeker when vegetable time comes. I think she is making up for lost veggies. Oh, and she loves parsley.


Post   » Mon Dec 10, 2007 9:13 am

I will try the apple thing and see if it works. Does it have to be grannysmith, or will any apple do? The pet store he came from was a chain. I won't ever buy one again. I will wait until one is available at a shelter, first. My Elmo was depressed and needed a friend sooner rather than later. I made a bad decision to go to a store. They don't get many at the shelters around here, though.
Should I back off on handling him for a few days, maybe? Maybe if we do that, he won't feel as stressed? Maybe just talk to him but not pick him up?

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I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Mon Dec 10, 2007 9:20 am

Start weighing him daily so you can see if he's actually eating.

Any apple will do. I find carrots are often an indication of whether a pig has molar issues - if he can eat it without shredding it his teeth are probably ok (but not always).


Post   » Mon Dec 10, 2007 9:38 am

I don't think it has to be granny smith apple. My dad suggested granny smith because it was a little 'tart' and he thought she might like that. Just keep trying different things several times. Just because a guinea pig turns up his/her nose the first 1-9 times at it, doesn't mean he/she would not eagerly start eating it the 10th time. (It's like me with bagels, took me a couple of times before I decided I like them.)

I started with the fruits as they were juicy and sweet. The juice would flavor the pellets a bit and the sweetness would be more tempting. While blueberries and stawberries didn't work, the small chopped apple mixed with pellets did the work. I just did a small amount at a time as the pellets had to be changed 2 times/day due to the 'mushiness' factor.

I also introduced her to watermelon as that is a very juicy fruit. I chopped the red part into little guinea pig mouth size bits. Unfortunately, right now it isn't watermelon season. You might be able to find a store that carries it, but it's a bit more expensive and the watermelon isn't as good as could be.

You could also try shredded carrot. Get a grater and shred the carrot into little tiny guinea pig bite size pieces. A carrot is a sweet vegetable.

Remember, if a first a fruit or vegetable doesn't work, keep on trying. Just like with a human kid, it can take several times for the guinea pig to get the hang the stuff is actually FOOD.

Many people her bought guinea pigs at pet stores before they knew better. If you are in an area that doesn't get many guinea pigs, sometimes a 'piggy train' can be arranged. That's when people get together and drive different legs of a trip to get a guinea pig to you.

Personally, I think it would be best to refrain from handling the guinea pig for a few days. Guinea pigs get easily stressed and Junior will be in a new environment. Put him in a quiet place so he can get used to the sights, sounds, and smells of the new place. If you'd like, put on a radio to a station that plays quiet, soothing music.

Make sure he has a 'hidey hole' so he can retreat to a safe place. Sometimes it helps to drape part of the cage so he can feel more secure. With guinea pigs, sometimes if they cannot see you, they feel more secure as they believe you cannot see them.

Talk to him quietly so he learns to associate the 'hooman' with good things - food, etc.

Again, with a guinea pig it takes time, bribes, food, time, bribes and more time.


Post   » Mon Dec 10, 2007 10:33 am

Thanks Mum, rpaws, and all the others who have given me advice.
I couldn't weigh him for a few days because he would try to bolt out of the scale. He will sit there now, so I will continue to weigh him daily and I will also measure his food. I like the piggy train idea, and will keep it in mind when I am looking to adopt another piggie. I will keep you all updated on how he is doing, and the vet report I get later today. I also am going to ask to see his cage so I can see his poops for myself. I want to make sure he is going normally when he comes home.

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Post   » Mon Dec 10, 2007 1:07 pm

Go light on the apples. The trick of chopping foods fine and sneaking them in is a good one. You could chop greens up really fine too.


Post   » Mon Dec 10, 2007 2:12 pm

Well I heard from the pet store. The vet wants to keep Junior for 24 hrs to closely monitor his intake/output. I will find out more tomorrow morning. I will go light on the apples, and will cover part of his cage to make him feel more secure. Maybe he was just really stressed. I hope that is all it is.


Post   » Tue Dec 11, 2007 4:36 pm

Update on Junior- Vet has diagnosed him with contstipation. He is being treated with vitamins in his water, and benebac.
They did not find any other problems with him. The store tells me I can have a refund if I do not want him, and now I don't know what to do. I know I made mistakes, and have learned a valuable lesson about why to steer clear of petstore pets. I feel so bad for him, and feel if I don't take him, he will be subjected to a miserable life, which he has already endured for a while. Should I take him anyway, and give him a happier life? I am really confused now. I wish I hadn't been so naive about the whole thing. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. If I do take him, he will definately go to one of the 2 cavy savvy vets I use for a check up. Both are very good.

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