Possible Pregnancy

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Apigcalypse

Post   » Fri Jun 02, 2017 9:09 pm


I adopted my guinea pig, Alexandra Hamilpig, April 15th from a local shelter. She was stated to be six months old, later confirmed by both vets I've seen based on her teeth and general state. This shelter was mainly one for dogs and cats and once I got there I saw plainly that they knew nothing about taking care of guinea pigs. There were two boys but in a separate cage. She'd come in with two other girls as well. Based on age, looks, and what I knew of their past (they'd all been turned in at once by their previous owner), I assume they were family. I have to give a quick medical rundown of Hamilpig before jumping into the pregnancy suspicions in case they're relevant.

Poor Hamilpig was very traumatized even when I took her home. I did my best to minimize stress but I realized she wasn't eating. I kick myself for this but I didn't have critical care on hand and this was Easter weekend so I rushed out to get baby food, having been told by a vet that it does in a pinch. I fed around a day and a half this way and also fed her some water in the same way until she got the hang of the water bottle. I took her to the vet (this one was not my usual one and I was not impressed) asap and was told it was stress. I later notice a slight head tilt-- so slight I didn't really notice until I had her next to my older pig. Took her back. A different vet saw her (not my usual vet because bad timing). I was more impressed with him and he diagnosed her as having a "lazy eye." Basically there's something weird with her eye, a slight discoloration in one area of her eye, and she just doesn't see as well plus it doesn't really move as well. She tilts her head very slightly to use her "good" eye to have a better field of vision. I will be following up on this with my regular vet when I take her in for this possible pregnancy.

O.K. sorry for the long preface but I believe that Hamilpig is either pregnant or has some kind of rapidly increasing growth. I had this fear that she might be for a while but I don't know if that was instinct or just anxiety. Less than two weeks ago her stomach started bulging in a pregnant guinea pig way (I don't know how else to describe this) and her "fat" felt different compared to my other piggie. Firmer. I tried not to poke too much and am definitely not trying now. She's much bigger now, starting to show when she's stretched out if you know what to look for. I have felt something when I held her last night and two days before but I'm not sure if it was gas as it wasn't very definable. I thought I felt one solid kick but she moved at the same time so I don't know if I just felt her moving.

I've had pregnant guinea pigs before, when I was a younger and stupid kid. I have lost a pregnant guinea pig, which has left me very, very scared. Even though it was over a decage ago, once I realized Hamilpig is probably pregnant I have not taken things well until today, I don't want to go into the details but very, very extreme anxiety. So I say this as I would like advice but I'm aware that things can go horribly wrong, I've read up on it, know the risks and signs of complications, been through that even with a very loved guinea pig. I also know I will probably miss the birth since I will be working and I also have to sleep though I've considered waking myself up to check on her. I am really in need of general advice and what I can do.

What I'm doing now:
She is in a midwestern guinea pig cage on her own, next to my other guinea pig's cage. They didn't get along when I tried to introduce them after quarantine but they really hit it off when they have their own space. I use fleece bedding. I have oxbow timothy hay (I've read I should replace this with alfalfa hay?). She has oxbow pellet food for young guinea pigs (previously was using for adults). Two water bottles. In terms of her health, she's quite happy. She zooms around a lot, goes in and out of her cardboard tunnels, and likes her pigloo (temporary addition until my aunt makes my guinea pigs some fleece houses, she really needed a good place to hide in). I put up some extra fleece over the cage to serve as another place to duck under and feel more secure. I'm feeding her orange slices. I tried to get her to eat strawberry but she doesn't like it. She doesn't like parsley either. She's a very picky eater. So far she will only eat oranges and carrots and I had to teach her to eat them by putting them in her mouth. In terms of stress, the factors I can think of are that I live in an apartment complex, so sometimes loud noises happen. My dog (toy poodle who can't reach their cages and only likes to watch them) is yappy at times but I believe Hamilpig has gotten used to her. I also live in Oklahoma so there are a lot of thunderstorms.

I have an appointment with my regular vet scheduled for next Tuesday. I'm still not entirely sold on him but I'm naturally wary of vets until I've done my own vetting. There aren't really many options here though and he's THE vet all the other vets recommend for guinea pigs. I make sure to always consult Guinea Lynx's medication guide before and during a vet visit and have the antibiotics information in particular copied in my phone. So if anyone has advice for dealing with the vet, it's all appreciated.

I'm very sorry for the novel. I cope with stress by trying to get information and I haven't been able to find all that much for guinea pig pregnancies in terms of what I can do. I'm afraid it looks like there's basically little I can do. Even if this is the case, any information or just support and good thoughts for Hamilpig is very much appreciated. If you read all or any of that thank you.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Fri Jun 02, 2017 9:50 pm


So you've read over all the labor advice here? I would expand the fresh food to include some high calcium greens like spinach. Read over:
www.guinealynx.info/fave.html

It sounds like you are pretty much doing the right things. How big is the Midwest cage? Once the pups arrive, you will need a larger cage with small openings so the little ones can't escape. Be ready to weigh the new pigs daily at first and weekly once you are sure they are doing okay and gaining weight. Since handling the mother can be difficult, you might wait until after she has given birth to weigh her regularly too.

Most of what I know is in the guide so that is basically where I would point you. I hope it goes well!!

Apigcalypse

Post   » Fri Jun 02, 2017 10:35 pm


Ah! I forgot to get the name right. It's the Midwest cage Guinea Pig Habitat Plus- 8 square feet total. There is an optional divider with a ramp that I don't have in. 47 x 24 x 14 inches is the description on amazon. I've checked the space of the bars and I don't see a way a newborn guinea pig could get through. Do you think I'll need a bigger cage to accomodate the guinea pigs? When I was looking up the size for this it has enough room for two guinea pigs with possibly three if they all get along well. I'm not sure how the size calculation works for mom and babies. Regardless, if all goes well and mama and babies are safe and sound, I'll get another cage/a bigger cage as needed depending on the number and gender.

I've read the labor advice here and anywhere else that seems reputable multiple times. I'm going to introduce Hamilpig to those calcium rich veggies. There's got to be something she'll want to eat. Hopefully in a few weeks I'll be back with a positive update. Thanks for your help and well wishes.

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:36 pm


The Midwest bars are close enough that the pups can't get out.

A Midwest is really only large enough for one pig. But if she doesn't have a huge litter, it will be ok for two or three weeks.

Apigcalypse

Post   » Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:59 pm


Yeah, when I ordered the Midwest I was expecting it to just be her or if she got along with my older pig eventually I'd see if I could combine the cages. I debated going bigger but I thought "well I'd know if she's pregnant by now." Never tempt fate. It looks like she's gonna get an upgrade in any case. That'll give me enough time to pick out, order, and get new cage(s) shipped in as needed. Thanks!

Apigcalypse

Post   » Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:14 pm


I have the best update possible! Hamilpig is not pregnant, just a healthy growing pig. I guess it's been a while since I've had a young guinea pig and I'm a tad on the paranoid side. While there, I did ask the vet about her "lazy eye" which he said was actually a scar on her cornea. He said she could have gotten it when she was young, possibly if she had a middle ear infection that gave her a bad head tilt, which he seemed to suspect since she still has a slight head tilt. I have no idea if it would be helpful to post a picture of her eye with this information on here but there you go. Thanks to all for the advice. Fortunately, I didn't have to use it but it did help calm me down while I feared the worst. This forum has been of great help to me over the years though I haven't posted before.

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Zaphy

Post   » Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:39 pm


Congratulations on the not-babies! That is relieving news :)

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:20 pm


Yes, that is great news! Pregnancies are so hard on guinea pigs, not to mention that we already have so many guinea pigs that need homes!

Apigcalypse

Post   » Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:18 pm


Hello I hope I'm doing this right. I'm not sure how (or if I can) edit the title. Hamilpig's still not pregnant but she had to be anesthetized today to trim a molar spur. This was all done in a hurry and I'm having trouble finding specific recommendations for recovery. Should I be feeding her CC right away? She's still cold but when I put her in her cage, she ran about a bit and then went into her pigloo. Since she doesn't seem to be interested in eating on her own, I'm going to hold her again to keep her warm.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:12 pm


It seems somewhat unusual she is cold. Is the room cold? Can you heat it more?

Start weighing her daily and use that as a guide to hand feed. If you are not seeing her eat, this is another indication she would need to be hand fed.
www.guinealynx.info/handfeeding.html

Apigcalypse

Post   » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:20 pm


The room isn't cold but she had shortly come out of anesthesia (the vet tech said she'd been holding her for a while before giving her to me since she was cold). She's no longer cold or shivering, fortunately. She's actually improved a lot and has perked up, ate a little on her own, and has been pooping like normal. It might be that they just sent her home sooner than they maybe should have as she was very out of it and sluggish. Now she's pretty much back to usual. I know she's not out of the woods yet but I'm hoping this means she's probably going to be fine.

I've been hand feeding her off and on for over an hour. I keep giving her breaks to swallow and also so she'll stop fighting me when I handfeed her. I think her mouth is sore from the trimming but I don't have piggie safe pain medicine for her so I'll have to get that tomorrow.

Edit: I forgot to mention that I saw her eating some hay on her own! After a bit she stopped, which is why I went back to handfeeding but I know that she's capable and at least somewhat interested.

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:40 pm


The rule of thumb about hand feeding is that a guinea that's eating nothing else needs 100+ cc of Critical Care or pellet slurry for every kilogram it weighs, every day, split into 6-8 feedings around the clock. Adjust up or down according to the weight of the pig, and down if the pig is eating on its own. So if she's eating some on her own, hand feed her some, but not a full day's worth.

Apigcalypse

Post   » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:48 pm


Thanks. I noticed that when I put her back in the cage, this time she grabbing at the hay but not eating it (probably still sore). She did eat lettuce and strawberries earlier today. Is that alright to give to her so soon after anesthesia or does she need to stick to critical care, pellet food, and hay? I know sometimes they can be harder to digest.

Sorry for so many questions. Thanks for your patience and help

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:51 pm


Lettuce is fine. Go easy on the strawberries. She should be back on her regular diet in a day or so.

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