Worst Guinea Pig carer in the world or the unluckiest?

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Post   » Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:44 pm

GrannyJu1 if you have a Guineadad and FuzzButt pees and poops in the blanket pocket, as ours did, then I would not let her sleep or sit under there for any length of time. It is looking more and more like that is the culprit with regards to our 3 girls various breathing issues.

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Post   » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:53 pm

Assuming she recovers completely, this is an example of jumping the gun on the euthanasia suggestion and not getting to the bottom of things.

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Post   » Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:46 am

You are so right, Lynx. Long frustrating ordeal that may have a simple answer. I had a similar situation with an older dog who developed irritable bowel. After months of digestive misery, prescription food, weight loss, and vet visits it turned out to be the shellfish in the glucosamine supplement the vet recommended for arthritis. I did the troubleshooting - the vet was surprised. I’m rooting for Nala and hoping the worst is behind her.


Post   » Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:58 am

Nala's weight was up to 828g last night ( up 47g compared to a week ago) and she was even more active than on Sunday running around like a little rocket. She has also been much more active in the pen and seems much more like her old self and will come out to check on any activity in the pen rather than hiding away on a corner. Her breathing seems to be continuing to get better too.

Nala certainly seems like a happy healthy guinea pig at the moment and the rate at which she has improved since we made the changes on Friday compared to just holding stable before that would seem to indicate that we may have fixed the issue.

What got me in a bit of a funk was that, the way the vet was talking, the options were pay for an expensive ultrasound (that may not tell us what is wrong anyway) or you will need to euthanize her. I dont know if that was how she intended it to sound but that is how it came across.

I have emailed the vet with an update including a link to that video and will see what she has to say now.

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Post   » Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:16 pm

I never let my Guinea Dad stay in the cage for even 18 hours, before laundering. It just looks gross and trying to sweep up the poops is impossible - first because of Fuzz's problem, then the fact the poops from the healthy two just bounce around rather than go into the dust pan. And my hand vac is dying. Again.


Post   » Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:18 pm

We use a dustpan and brush like this for quick spot cleaning.


It makes it easier to use smaller strokes to get the poop in the pan and not flying across the cage. Alternatively we fold them in half and pick them up carefully by the corners so that all the poop and other debris drops in to the fold the use that to funnel it out in to a bag. I then usually give them a good shake outside to get any bits that are stuck off. Again that is for spot cleaning.

Laundry wise I usually do a pre-soak wash with Free and Clear detergent followed by a rinse and spin with no detergent and then a cool dryer cycle as many times as needed to get it dry. If they are really stinky then I soak them in sink for a couple of hours with a bit of white vinegar. Hoping i wont have to do that so often with the new set up, as they dont seem to be getting as smelly now they dont pee and poop under the blanket pockets creating a messy sludge of pee soaked poop..

Lynx i am not sure why they specify cold wash unless it is due to shrinkage or damage to the bamboo liner. Have posted a few questions for them on their FB page before but they have never responded. will see if they have an email address.


Post   » Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:02 pm

Just a thought but what detergents do you use?

We are currently using Tide but have tried Arm and Hammer and Seventh Generation all Free and Clear varieties are there any that appear to be better than the others? What about Oxiclean? I have seen some Free and Clear Detergents with that. Are they safe?

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Post   » Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:58 am

I always use the detergent, laundry booster, and all fabric bleach (occasionally) made by Amway. It's a bit more expensive than what you find in the grocery store, but I've always loved the fact that it's all phosphate free, rinses clean, biodegradable, and concentrated so I don't have to use as much of it.


Post   » Wed Sep 19, 2018 12:45 pm

Quick update.
Nala was active and racing around again last night, if anything more active than the other two (which immediately set my over active mind worrying about them). Weight last night was 825g so slightly down but still her 5th highest weight since we started weighing her in mid July. Her morning weight before feeding was 803g up from 797g yesterday so the general trend still appears to be upward.

The new cage layout seems to be working out but i think I need to get some more potty pads and maybe something I can put under the loft as they seem to sleep down that end more and dont use the Cuddle Cups much. I cant put Fleece forests there (As it is under the loft). Does anyone have any suggestions of safe healthy hideys other than the fleece forests? Alternatively where would I get some suitable fleece to make a little fringe screen or something just to make it a little cozier for them. When I Google Fleece fabric it all seems to be the Polartec type stuff for outdoor clothing. The local fabric store didn't have any either.

Thanks for the info GrannyJu1 I will do a bit more research as we dont currently use bleach or "Laundry Boosters" (Is that stuff like Oxiclean?)

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Post   » Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:13 am

Thanks for the update and it’s great to hear Nala is feeling so good. If you are looking for fabric to cut and make a fringed doorway under the loft, any cotton woven should work. Even flour sack dish towels. It will fray a bit but you won’t be washing it often since they aren’t sleeping on it. Polyester doesn’t fray when you cut it, but it’s not a natural fiber. Or just plain white paper like tissue or plain gift wrap with no color. I sometimes hang that across the back of the playpen and cut a few fringes so Lacey can explore like a tunnel.

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Post   » Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:20 am

I'm so glad to hear Nala is doing so much better!

Now I have to figure out Fuzzbutt - Age ( 5 in December) or Arthritis (shown in x-rays since before she was 2)? Or both. :o(

I've been using the Amway line for over 30 years so I can't really compare it to anything else. That's when they went phosphate free.


Post   » Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:26 pm

Ok thanks for the Tips. I will see what we can hook up.

Nala is still doing well. Slight weight drop yesterday but i think that is because the daughter fed her at a different time. She was still 816g and is still full of energy running around like crazy.

Still haven't heard from the vet since I missed the call on Saturday. I have emailed them a couple of times now but haven't heard back and I am hoping they will let us know if the breathing issues could be related to them not getting fresh air and what their views on Nala's recovery are since we changed things around.
I re-listened to the message from Saturday and it seems I misheard part of what she said. She said they were "concerned there could be some type of mass in the chest region, that could be the heart , there's also some structures in front of the heart that can be enlarged, mainly the thymus" but in order to know further they would need to ultrasound that area.

I am also hoping they call to let us know if we need to keep giving Nala the antibiotics and Lasix and if so for how long.

GrannyJu1 I hope you work out the issue with FuzzButt and that she starts feeling better


Post   » Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:51 pm

Just got a call from the vet.

She said that Nala's improved recovery was a good sign but didn't mean that she can come off of the meds yet or that they resolved the issue.
She said it may have cleared the liquid but may not have fixed whatever caused the liquid to be there in the first place.
She said the Fleece/smell issues probably hadn't helped her recovery but she didn't think they were the likely cause of her current issues.

She gave us 3 options

Plan A - She suggested we take Nala back in for another X-ray next week and keep giving her meds until then, but it would have to be with the other vet as she was out of town that week. (estimated cost $300 - $400)
Plan B - She suggested we take Nala back in for another X-ray the week after next when she is back in town and keep giving her meds until then. Same price as above.
Plan C - Keep giving her the meds for another 4 weeks and see how she is then.

She said that the X-Ray may not tell them what is wrong or if it is heart disease but it should show her progress and hopefully give them a better view of what is going on.

I will have to talk to the wife and daughter about it tonight as they will need to know how to do the meds as I will be away for just under two weeks starting next Thursday. Not sure what the wife's reaction to more X-rays is going to be either.

No mention of euthanasia this time which is a plus and although it was slightly more positive in terms of outlook there wasn't any more certainty on the likely cause or the odds of finding the cause.
Although she didn't specifically say so I think she was still of a mind that the Ultrasound was the best chance to work out what was going on, but she had indicated before that it still not tell us anything, or might even confirm that Nala had an untreatable condition.

I think I really need to take a serious look at pet insurance.

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Thu Sep 20, 2018 4:37 pm

She's doing a lot better, no? If so, I'd wait until there was some indication that she needs more tests and/or treatment before taking her back in. Vets are sadly not immune to the lets-run-more-expensive-tests syndrome.


Post   » Thu Sep 20, 2018 5:02 pm


I was kind of wondering about that as well. Especially after several other tests we had done had not yielded any results, like a culture test on the liquid that they extracted from Nala's swelling, that she had already been on antibiotics for, and then I read later elsewhere that such tests usually only work if the sample was taken before antibiotics were started. I was wondering the same thing when the vet talked about aspirating the liquid in Nala's chest and getting it tested when again she had already been on antibiotics.

It will mean keeping up with the medication for another 4 weeks but I think we can cover that if I get the wife and daughter up to speed on the medication routine and they take care when using the Chloramphenicol palmitate. We have a box of 100 surgical gloves (that has probably had about 30 used so far) so that should be plenty to last them while I am gone. 6 weeks would take us up to around Oct 15th -17th.

The challenge is going to get the wife to follow the routine and make sure Nala gets the meds (and Bene-bac) at the right time each day, and keep up with the feeding.

The Vet also mentioned about cutting back on the critical care from 1.5 tablespoons to 1 tablespoon and also about not being surprised to see a slight weight dip as Nala is more active and is therefore burning off more weight/energy.


Post   » Fri Sep 21, 2018 2:04 pm

Nala still seems well. 823g yesterday evening and 801g this morning. Still running around like crazy during floor time. Even more active in some ways than I remember her being before.

I am just having issues at the moment getting the wife and daughter on board with her care for when I go away for a couple of weeks on Thursday, back to the UK to visit my folks and family. The daughter seems fine about it but would only be able to do the evening medication, the Wife is not so keen and she would need to do the morning medication. She isn't happy about the amount of work or the expense and even threatened to "Find them a good home" yesterday evening. In some ways that might be a better option for them but not while they are ill and as long as it was a "Good Home", I think that is her impulsive nature at work again. So not sure what I will be coming back to after my trip away. I also dont know how much longer I will last without some cooperation and assistance from her.

Need to pick up some more of the Chloramphenicol palmitate as it will run out before I get back.

Still in two minds about the X-ray.


Post   » Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:35 pm

Quick Update

Nala is still doing well. Weight was up to 854g Yesterday evening (2-3 hours after her last critical care feed at around 3.30pm) that's 50g up from a week ago and almost 100g up on what she was on 7th Sept. She was at 822g this morning before feeding and she seems to be eating well including more veggies and is still very active. No noticeable chest or head movement when breathing either.

She is still getting 1.5 tablespoons of Critical care each day but if her weight goes up again today we may scale that back to 1 tablespoon.

Wife and daughter are both on board now with medication, feeding and cleaning. I showed the daughter how to do the medication on Saturday and will be showing the wife how to do it this evening. The wife even volunteered to do the cage cleaning and veggies this morning to save me having to d it before heading to work. So everything should be OK while I am away.

Me and the daughter even got Chunkita's nails trimmed this weekend, working as a team. It was a little traumatic, Chunkita does not like being picked up and she really didn't like having her nails trimmed. Blood was drawn, not from Chunkita, the daughter seems to have the knack of knowing where to cut without hitting the quick, however Chunkita decided she needed to bite down on something and my thumb was the closest item. A bit of tissue paper and a band aid got me patched up and we were able to get the job done with a bit of patience and perseverance. Chunkita seemed a lot happier once it was done as well, although I did have to sponge some blood stains off of her coat.

The new pen layout without the pockets on the Guinedads seems to be working out well. The dont seem to be getting anywhere near as smelly or dirty but we are still changing them out every 2-3 days.

I am hoping to pick up the additional Chloramphenicol palmitate (and possibly more Lasix) on the way home from work today.

I am still looking forward to getting a good nights sleep soon though, even heading for bed early I am still relying on coffee to get me through the day and I am looking forward to them all being fit and healthy Guinea Pigs so Nala doesn't have to keep being picked up for meds and feeding and we dont have to plan our days around medication and Critical Care feeding. Fingers Crossed/Touch wood.

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Post   » Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:17 pm

I hope your trip goes well and that the guinea pigs do well too!


Post   » Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:46 am

Nala was up to 859g yesterday evening and 837g this morning before feeding, so still doing well.

I picked the medication up last night but was a bit put out as rather than giving us another 15cc that would last about 32 days they wanted to just give me 7ml (15 days) as the batch of Chloramphenicol palmitate they had expires on October 5th.

The original bottle should last us up until October 1st so that would have meant that over half of what they wanted to give us would expire before we could use it and so we would be paying for medicine that woudl never get used.

It took me a while to explain this to the techs and working out the number of doses. One of them told me the original bottle only had enough doses for 15 days until I pointed out that we were up to 22 days already. I then showed her how to do the calculation correctly on her phone. Two doses of 0.23ml per day = 0.46ml per day so total number of days supply for one 15ml bottle = 15/0.46 = 32.6 days

Anyway I got them to give me 3.5ml instead of 7ml (7.6 days) which should be enough to cover up until it expires with a bit of a buffer in case the other bottle runs out earlier but the wife or daughter will have to go back to the vet when they get a new batch in next week (already on order they told me) and pick up another 11.5cc (25 days) to make up the 15cc that we already paid for.

Just curious but how hard and fast are medicine expiry dates? It strikes me as odd that medicine can be fine one day but then be no good the next. I guess the potency decreases over time so maybe that is when it dips below the optimum strength range?

I think I am about set for the trip. Wrote up a bunch of instructions for the daughter, at her request, that i hope she reads and goes through with her mum. Hopefully everything will be Ok while I am away.

If nothing else I should sleep well on the plane

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Post   » Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:56 am

Good luck with Nala and your trip. Please keep us informed of her progress. Sending hugs to all.

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