Sudden decline, spitting up green fluid?

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Post   » Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:43 am

Hi all!

I got my skinny pig Rani from a family who could no longer care for her and her sister back in October 2017. They guessed that she was around 2 years old then, which would make her 2 and a half now, but that's not for sure. She's gotten very sick very quickly and I'm just looking for some advice.

Yesterday evening I noticed that she was a little less interested in food than usual, but it wasn't bad enough to cause me any worry. I decided to keep a close eye on her the next day, and went to bed.
Overnight, it seemed like she lost a ton of weight. She's got loose skin around her ankles that wasn't there before and she's got those sick eyes that pigs get.
She was still eating, drinking, and pooping normally so I just kept monitoring her.
At 10:30 this morning however I heard a strange noise come from the cage, it almost sounded like gurgling if that makes sense. Like a pig was drinking from the water bottle and swishing it in their mouth, only no one was near the water. That worried me, so I picked her up.
She immediately started gagging and dry heaving, retching, and a lot of bright green liquid came spewing out of her mouth.
I know that guinea pigs aren't supposed to be able to vomit, so I got extremely scared and we rushed her to the vet.

The vet checked her over, including her teeth, and didn't seem too worried, though he did hear a heart murmur. He said that vomiting is uncommon but not unheard of. At this point, she had become lethargic and wasn't interested in eating at all. She was still spitting up that green fluid, and her poops were now discoloured and small.
He gave her sub q fluids and sent us home with a 10 day prescription of Baytril. She's only had one dose so far (0.5ml) and I made her poop soup with her healthy sister's poop 2 hours after.

My concern is, she still isn't eating. At all. I tried to feed her some critical care but whenever she tries to eat anything the gagging and spitting up starts all over again. It hasn't stopped. I can't get her to even eat her favourite veggie, or get any water in her. The stuff that comes out of her mouth is in much larger quantities than the stuff that goes in. She's almost stopped pooping altogether as well.

At this rate, I'll be surprised if she makes it the night. I'm scared, and devastated, and confused. I can't find any information anywhere on what to do or what this could be. Any advice would be appreciated.

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Post   » Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:05 am

Did you vet do an x-ray or check for a blockage?  If it's not her teeth, I would suspect GI issues. Is she bloated?  What is the Baytril for?  Wouldn't it be more appropriate to put her on heart meds than an antibiotic?


Post   » Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:21 am

No X-ray as they only do those under anesthesia and we (I and the vet) weren't comfortable putting her under. She hasn't gotten ahold of ANYTHING, we keep a very close eye on her during floor time, so the vet ruled that out.

She's not bloated but I have simethicone drops on hand if she gets bloated (I've had my fair share of gassy piggies ha)

The vet suspected gastroenteritis and that's why he prescribed the Baytril.

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Post   » Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:37 am

None of my vets ever put my pigs under for an x-ray.  Perhaps you can find another vet who will do this?  

I personally wouldn't give Baytril to a pig that sick, without a more valid diagnosis.  Especially since there is vomiting.  Wouldn't it be better to give the antibiotic as an injection in a case like this?  

Maybe it's just me, but this all seems like too much guesswork and giving of "go to" meds when no diagnosis has been reached.  I also think it is strange that your vet was not concerned about the vomiting, which in guinea pigs is very serious.  Is there anywhere you can go for a second opinion?


Post   » Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:44 am

There's only one other cavy savvy vet in my area that I know of and we've been there with past pigs. Their care was far worse than this.
No one in the area does X-rays without anaesthesia unfortunately. Jumped through those hoops before. I don't know why.
The only injectable antibiotics I've had a vet suggest was Convenia and it killed my last pig.

I'm really at a loss here and mostly focussing on trying to get her through the night. No emergency vets are open anymore tonight anyway but I'll continue looking for other options. In the meantime, do you have any suggestions about what to do to keep her alive?

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Post   » Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:54 am

Keep her very warm and keep trying to get some critical care into her.  I would make it extra watery, so that you can keep her from dehydrating too much.  Also, you might try holding her in an upright position as you hand feed, so that gravity will help it go down and hopefully make her less likely to vomit.

I've only had one pig vomit and it was a very long time ago.  I took him to the vet thinking euthanizing would be the way to go, but she gave him a vitamin C injection and sent us home with Baytril.  He passed away about a half hour after we returned home.  I wished I had a better vet at that time, but unfortunately, we have to work with what's available.


Post   » Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:55 am

Thank you so much. I'll do all of that.
I'm sorry for your loss <3

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Post   » Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:58 am

I just had another thought.  If she has a very enlarged heart, it could be putting too much pressure on her esophagus for her to swallow.  


Post   » Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:16 am

Oh man. That never occurred to me.


Post   » Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:53 am

Okay, she made it through the night but she's bone thin. She's showing a little interest in food and water on her own this morning which is good, but she's still vomiting.

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:23 pm

Something in her system is producing all that fluid which is coming up. She could have heart failure, in which case it's coming from the lungs.

I'd want the x-ray. It could show an enlarged heart, an obstruction, a tumor on the liver, all of which could cause the problem you describe. If they insist on anesthesia, all they have to do is "whiff" them under for a few seconds, and as soon as they remove the gas, they recover. Or you could offer to sign a statement releasing them from responsibility if something happens to her during the x-ray without anesthesia.


Post   » Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:32 pm

Is there anything they can do, if it is any of those things? I just don't want to put her through so much if it's gonna be a death sentence anyway. She lost so much weight overnight and whenever I handle her the vomiting gets worse. She's keeping warm cuddled up to her sister, and it's blizzarding outside today... I want her to survive this but I don't think she's going to, I'm mostly trying to keep her comfortable at this point.

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:10 pm


Heart meds, particularly lasix, can do wonders with getting rid of the fluid, and they work pretty quickly. A lot of vets don't know you can treat guinea pigs for heart problems, so read this, and maybe print it off and take it with you to the vet:

A liver tumor, or even a tumor in another place, no. Humanely euthanizing her would probably be the kindest thing to do.

An obstruction, or bloat, maybe.

Please keep us posted on how you both are doing.


Post   » Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:25 pm

Okay. Thank you. I don't drive but my mom is out picking up some pumpkin, baby food, and pedialyte for her. Gonna try anything and everything to get her to eat willingly, since force feeding makes it worse. Another sub q would be awesome too so we'll call the vet and discuss our options from there.
I've got her all wrapped up in fleece in the cage now, she's as comfortable as possible but hasn't passed any stool or urine in hours and has only taken a few sips of water.
Thanks again for both of your help. I'll update if anything changes.


Post   » Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:49 pm

She was 790g at this time yesterday. She's 513g now.


Post   » Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:20 pm

Yeah, she won't take anything. And anything I force into her gets thrown back up. She hasn't peed since this morning and she's still losing weight. We made an appointment for a couple hours from now but we're expecting euthanasia.
Thank you for all your help on this.
I'm devastated.

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Post   » Sun Mar 04, 2018 7:30 am

I am so sorry about your guinea pig.

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Post   » Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:55 am

Hi Chukshewchuk

The only experience I have of something like this is a long time ago. Sadly, my girl died but the PM (which was not conclusive) suggested that there may have been a blockage in bile duct, the green fluid being bile.

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