Xander - inconsistent poos


Post   » Sun Aug 21, 2016 4:04 pm

Hello all. I recently adopted a two year old boar from my local shelter. When I got him, he was fairly impacted. Previous diet and boarding environment was unknown, other than the previous owner left for college without rehoming him and was left for roughly a week, more or less, without a cage, food, water, etc.
I switched from store bedding (paper product I believe) to fleece, and changed his food from a "gourmet mix" to the pet store pellets. I also introduced carrots, lettuce, and a very small amount of Apple.
To the point, his poos over the last couple of days have changed in consistency. I removed the impaction the day I got him, poos were normal for a week, but are now slimy and mushy. They are not quite the consistency of diarrhea, but they aren't entirely solid either and stain the fleece. I also ran out of hay a couple of days ago, but am getting more tonight after work.
Could the change in poo be due to the erratic diet change? Could it mostly be from the lack of hay within the last two days?
I'm planning a vet visit most likely tomorrow or Wednesday at the latest to make sure, but does anyone have any suggestions on how to get his digestive system back on track?
He eats completely normal, and is taking in plenty of fluids. He seems pretty energetic, or at least no noticeable change from when I adopted him. I also give him vitamin C daily in the hay tablet form.
Any insight would be awesome. Thank you.

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sun Aug 21, 2016 4:17 pm

The change could be due to the sudden introduction of fresh foods, or to the pellet change, or the lack of hay, or a combination of al three.

You need to make sure you've got hay available at all times. That's what keeps his gut moving normally, and keeps his molars ground down so that you don't have expensive rodent dental bills.

Second, when you introduce fresh foods, you should do so one food at a time, with 48 hours at least between each new one. That way, if one is going to cause problems, you'll know it and can stop feeding that one.

The change is unlikely to be due to the pellets, but for future reference, I wouldn't make such drastic changes all at once. I'd probably have picked the bad stuff out of the pellets and given him the plain ones until he was settled on the veggies, and then started the veggies.

There's a standard response any time a pig has mushy poop. Cut out all vegetables and fruit, and feed only hay and pellets for 24-48 hours. If things haven't cleared up by then, see a vet.

If they have cleared up, then reintroduce veggies, one at a time, 48 hours in between each new one. If one causes problems, then discontinue it.

If the stools continue to be very loose tomorrow morning, then definitely see the vet. If they're firming up, you can probably wait a day or so and see if things continue to improve.

Just as an FYI, the hay you buy from a pet store is by far the most expensive way to get it, and the poorest quality. The cheapest is if you can find a local farmer or a feed store with good quality grass hay. The medium-priced option is to order online in bulk. You'll pay at least double, and maybe triple, the online price in a pet store, and many many times more than a local supplier.


Post   » Sun Aug 21, 2016 4:29 pm

Thank you so much. It's been about 12 years since I've owned a Guinea pig, so I'm a little rusty with the basics for feeding. Considering I was 10 then, I still didn't know much.
I'm going to take all the vegetables away for a couple days then. My mom picked up some hay, but I'll most likely order some online in bulk so I don't run out again. I didn't realize how dire the hay was. Is oxbow a decent brand? Mom picked up Kaytee brand for the time being until I order some. Or maybe I should checkout tractor supply instead?
Also, do you have any advice on how to get rid of fleas? He's been awfully itchy, but he's really dark colored so it's hard to see. I don't want to get him flea medicine for the fear of killing him, and I'm in an area with very limited exotic vets. The closest is about 20-25 miles from me, and I'm unfamiliar with their treatment plans of any sort. If it's the same I went to before, they lanced a growth on my previous piggie, and I think they gave him something pencilline based. -__- He died the next night.

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sun Aug 21, 2016 4:51 pm

Oxbow is fine for hay. Small Pet Select, KMS Hayloft, American Pet Diner and Sweet Meadow Farm also have good hay. Hay varies a lot in quality depending on weather conditions when it's grown and harvested, so brand doesn't mean much when talking about those five -- they all try to provide good quality hay.

If he's got fleas, you can definitely see them moving on him. They'll congregate around his anus and his eyes. You can also see lice, as they're usually a little lighter in color, and will leave beige nits stuck to the hair shaft.

But he mostly likely has mites, which are microscopic and can't be seen at all. This is the easiest stuff to use for treatment: https://www.amazon.com/Durvet-Ivermectin-Ermectin-Pour-Cattle/dp/B00JAL3AAW/ref=sr_1_6 and here are the directions for application: http://www.guinealynx.info/topical_ivermectin_pour-on.html

You can quote me

Post   » Sun Aug 21, 2016 7:26 pm

Ditto bpatters on all counts.

Tractor Supply will have the ivermectin. If you get any hay from there as well, make sure it's clean, fresh, soft and green. Hays meant for horses and cows are generally too stickery or stemmy for guinea pigs to manage.

Here's my go-to hay:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B003FM7JZY/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie= ... thy+gold+hay

Bless you and thank you for adopting from a shelter. Know that you are giving a good life to a badly mistreated animal, and that counts. That counts for a lot.

Here's a good overall care guide:


Vet list:



Post   » Mon Aug 22, 2016 1:18 pm

Thank you both for the wonderful feedback, information and help. There wasn't a good enough change in his poos by morning, so I took him to a place near by called All Creatures. He probably should have gone either way for a check up, just based on the fact he's probably never been for a check up and his previous conditions were unknown. Dr. was awesome, and gave him SMZ-TMP. She also checked out a possible cyst. She pretty much chalked it up to the lack of hay, but gave him an antibiotic just in case, and recommended a probiotic a couple hours after to get his GI back on track. She'll be seeing him again next week for a check up and to apply some anti flea/mite medication. Xander is currently devouring his Timothy hay, and overall seems pretty content. :)

You can quote me

Post   » Mon Aug 22, 2016 9:44 pm

There's no problem with the recheck, but you can do mite treatment yourself, for significantly less than the vet will charge. Just sayin'. ;-)

Flea treatments for dogs and cats are far too strong for guinea pigs.


Post   » Sun Sep 25, 2016 4:48 am

so i'm a complete idiot and got another piggies and didn't wait the incubation period. i've only had the baby three days, but xander has become so lethargic today and seems in pain when i pick him up. he's okay to run but i just don't feel right. i've separated them for now now that i have the extra cage. this isn't so much asking advice as me needing justification for a 110+ ER visit. my boyfriend thinks i'm overthinking, but my gut says otherwise.

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Post   » Sun Sep 25, 2016 7:30 am

Does his abdomen seem swollen?


What color is the SMZ-TMP you were given and what is the dose?


It sounds like a vet visit is essential. Let us know what they find.

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sun Sep 25, 2016 11:06 am

Guinea pigs don't act lethargic unless they're sick. Very sick. I'd go to the vet if the ER vet knows anything about guinea pigs.


Post   » Mon Sep 26, 2016 1:19 pm

So I took him to the ER, and they decided to treat for bloat. They also noticed he was grinding his teeth, so they cave pain medication, but I can't remember the kind off hand. I'm to give .1mL of it every 24 hours for 3-5 days. They also gave me Critical Care, though I am having a difficult time with the feeding. It says 30mL on the vet paperwork, but i can't tell if that's all day, or in one sitting. If it's one sitting, I'm doing it wrong because he's only taking about 7mL every three hours without fighting me. He is eating A LOT, and I am not exaggerating when I say A LOT of hay. I can't tell if there's a leak in his water bottle, but if not, then he drank an entire bottle between 12 last night and 10 this morning.
He is going back for a follow up with our vet at 4 today so we will see, but he still seems to have some pain in his lower right abdomen.
His poos are very inconsistent. They are clumpy and dark in the cage, but I gave him a warm soak last night and they came out normal in shape but very green (maybe due to the water or CC?)
He also keeps digging at his belly and ears, which is partly because I'm terrified to hit him with the invermectin with his immune system so bad right now.
The TMZ was pink and given 4mL (I think, but possibly cc's unless they are the same) three times a day for one week.
I have been letting him waddle around in the bedroom a lot since he started acting weird, and when I give him free reign, he definitely walks a lot, but in his cage he mostly sleeps but is eating a lot.


Post   » Mon Sep 26, 2016 1:47 pm

Also, I only gave one dose so far of the pain medicine. It's a small dose, but I am a little weary of it.

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Post   » Mon Sep 26, 2016 1:51 pm

That he is eating lots of hay is very very good!


Post   » Tue Sep 27, 2016 12:47 am

Xan man had his follow up with our normal vet this afternoon, and aside from some of the smelly, mushy poos mixed with normal ones, he got a fairly clean bill of health. his abdomen is far less distended than saturday night, he is picking at some of his pellets, which i have switched to oxbow, and still eating lots and lots of hay. doctor recommended to keep him on the critical care for the next week, and to lower the doses as he eats more pellets. i've also mixed in a little sweet potato baby food for now. she recommended also staying on the pain medication because his biting at his stomach may be from pain, and it may also help with the straining. pops are still a little squishy, but are better formed now, and we're continuing warm soaks for at least another day. he has a three week check up soon, and if the poop still smells foul or gets worse welll start another antibiotic regimen with probiotics. i'll be hitting him with the ivermectin as soon as the poop situation gets more consistent.
spike seems a little anxious/excited for him to get better so they can play again. :) thanks again everyone.

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Tue Sep 27, 2016 12:54 am

If they've been separated during this illness, you'll have to do full reintroductions again. You can't just put them back together.


Post   » Tue Sep 27, 2016 1:15 am

they've been in separate cages for about three days now but in the same room. i'm in an apartment with a cat so i don't have much separate room space. what do you recommend or where do you suggest i look as far as reintroduction go?

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Tue Sep 27, 2016 1:28 am

You'll just have to find a neutral space. Maybe shut the cat up in the bathroom.

Here's the way to go about it:



Post   » Thu Sep 29, 2016 12:51 am

**Another update:
First, I wanted to ask in regards to the CC, the ER vet gave us fine grind, but I was looking to order extra as hay/food supplement for both. I saw the regular Apple Banana kind, and I was wondering if there was much of a difference medically/nutritionally, and what everyone else's preference was if you've used it.
Xan man is still pretty touch and go right now. With my school/work schedule, CC feedings are fairly stalled through the day and I am only able to do 8AM, 9PM, 12AM, 3AM, 6AM... There's that gap that I am left unsure if he is eating or not, but by the time I got home today, there was not nearly enough poop to make me comfortable, nor enough hay missing from the bin.
I sterilized his hay bin, dish and water bottle today and re-washed bedding a couple of days ago. Despite being worried over the effects of his illness, I did apply the recommended amount of ivermectin to both pigs. Xander has still been excessively picking, and he has some hair missing around his ears, so I'm wondering if maybe whatever is picking at him could be a contributing factor to his declining health? I'm grasping at straws here, honestly.
I got him to eat a small cube of Alfalfa..not much, as the vet said (and I have read) that it is too rich for him to have a lot of; at this point, I'm just happy to see him eating solid anything, aside from the hay. He is also grazing a lot. Carpet, fleece, clothing, my skin... I'm not really sure what it means, but the vet said grazing was not good. I stop him whenever I see it, but it's hard to keep track while he's in bed.
Thanks in advanced.

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Post   » Thu Sep 29, 2016 8:27 am

I don't have any specific feedback on the apple banana kind but you could try it if you wanted. It sounds like he is not doing well at all. I take it you've read the links posted on this page?


Post   » Thu Sep 29, 2016 9:40 am

Yes, i've read them. We're making another trip to the doctor today. i'm thinking she's going to start another TMZ regimen. i'm also wondering if i should just put him back on his old food from when i got him. it aS some kaytee brand. i gradually made the change from that to per store, but i switched to oxbow fairly quick, so maybe a blend of the two until the other is gone. my boss is going to kill me, but i hope it's worth it.

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