Worst Guinea Pig carer in the world or the unluckiest?

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:58 pm

Seventeen grams isn't anything to worry about. As long as your scale is consistent, it should be fine. My own scale weighs about 30 grams different than the one at the vet's office.


Post   » Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:57 pm

Just to keep anyone following the thread up to date

Nalas visit to the vet went well, she had lost a little bit of weight but the vet said it was not a worry and to be expected a little due to the antibiotics and illness. She also had a slight temperature but it was a hot day and a hot car ride so she wasn't too worried about that either. Anyway the good news is she said that Nala had clear lung sounds, she could not hear any noise at all. However Nala sneezed while she was being examined (and coughed on the way home) so the Vet suggested I keep up with the antibiotics for both her and Chunky until any sneezing, coughing or other odd breathing noise had subsided and not been apparent for a few days, so that means continuing her meds (that should have finished on Monday) until tomorrow AM or possibly the weekend or even to Thursday next week depending on whether we notice any noises. The good news is they do seem to be subsiding, especially since Nala had been a pretty consistent sneezer since we got her but the vet had not detected any breathing issues on a previous exam only when we took her in for the coughing.

The Benebac seems to have helped Nala perk up and eat more, that and the trays of wheat grass, so many thanks for that tip. Chunky will take it straight from the syringe but I have to mix Nalas in a bit of Critical Care.

While I was at the vet she also said they had taken a closer look at Siouxsies X-Rays from before and seemed to think that there were signs of scarring on her lungs and some thickening of the bone on the part of her skull that was in shot which might indicate a previous infection that she had been treated for before we got her so said we should consider a full X-Ray with anesthesia so they can get a better shot but didn't seem to think it was an urgent requirement as long as Siouxsie seemed to be doing well but it might help them work out why she is a bit "Wonky". So far , touch wood, she hasn't shown any signs of breathing issues and is pretty active but not as interested in Critical care as she used to be but does seem to be eating a lot more hay and veggies so maybe she is just full. Weight is still up and down but the overall trend still seems to be up 551g yesterday when I got home from work.

She has a vet appointment on Saturday so hopefully that will go well too.

Also just for anyone doing any research before getting a Guinea Pig (which I wish the wife had done before turning up with them) I estimate the total cost of vets and meds for the 3-4 weeks with all 3 girls being ill was $1,300 - $1,500 (so roughly $500 each). It all went on my card so I have some time try and deal with it. It is a lot of money, and I am not counting, or regretting, the cost, but I didn't feel I could do anything else other than what was needed to get them better, even if I end up having to spend months/years paying it off. That isn't even counting the loss of sleep, the worry and time taken for trips to the vet/emergency vet.
If you cant afford that sort of expense and commitment, should it crop up, then please dont get a Guinea Pig, they are relying on you for their health, happiness and life.


Post   » Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:55 pm

Buy a postage scale on Amazon--we use this setup with a large plastic mixing bowl and a small fleece pad in the bowl. The sides are high enough to prevent jumping out and the rubber bottom prevents the bowl from slipping on the scale.

You need to weigh all of your pigs daily while they are ill (and preferably weekly when they are better) and record that information somewhere so that you can see the trend over time. We've used both notebooks and spreadsheets on the computer. Hope your pigs are on the mend!


Post   » Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:08 pm

Quick update

Starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel .

Siouxsie's vet visit went well. Her weight is increasing steadily (563g yesterday) and she is pooping well. Still no signs of any breathing issues so far so the Vet thinks she should be clear. Have been starting to scale back her critical care but she is still eating plenty of hay, pellets and Veggies.

Chunkita and Nala still seem to be doing well. Still the odd sneeze but nothing drastic that I have noticed. Nala finishes her meds Friday PM and Chunky on Monday AM. Both eating well, thanks yet again for the Benebac tip. So fingers crossed that they should all be fit and healthy and off meds by Tuesday.

FYI I found a tip online that seems to have helped me calibrate our scales so they now match the vets. Just in case anyone is interested it is :-

Get 5 new (ish) US nickels
Switch the scales on
Place them on a flat level surface
Set to measure in grams
Put the nickels on the scale
Press "Tare"
Remove the Nickels
Press "Tare" again
Put the nickels back on the scale and it should read 25g

Seemed to work for me but probably not much use if you are outside the US and dont have nickels unless you have a test weight or someone who can send you some nickels. Not sure on UK coin weights but there may be an equivalent.

Thanks again for the advice, help and support.


Post   » Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:07 pm

Weigh something like a stick of butter or a small can of fruit to see if the weight matches the weight of the butter/can.

Also, when you weigh your pigs, put the scale into a laundry basket so the pigs can't run off if they jump off the scale. Eventually, they will get more used to it.


Post   » Tue Jul 24, 2018 2:58 pm

Quick update

Medication now finished for all three (as of yesterday morning) and so far, fingers crossed, all seems to be well. I even got a birthday card from the 3 of them yesterday ;)

Will try and post a pic when I work out how to do it on here.

Many thanks for the help and advice.


Post   » Wed Aug 22, 2018 11:36 am

Taking Nala to the vet this morning.

I noticed she had a swelling on the right side of her face and her weight has dropped 60g since Sunday

She doesn't seem in pain and I still see her eating but not as much. She is quieter than usual though.

When i run my finger along her jaw I can feel a lump but she doest squeak or flinch.

I am hoping it is nothing serious

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Post   » Wed Aug 22, 2018 11:39 am

I hope it is nothing serious too. The least serious I can think of is a bug bite that goes away. But more likely related to teeth or an infection of some kind.

Much luck to you both!


Post   » Wed Aug 22, 2018 2:29 pm

Vet says it is an abscess.

She said the teeth are fine and there is no sign of a puncture on the inside of her mouth

She lanced it and said it was liquid rather than thick pus.

She has sent it off for tests.

In the meantime Nala is on Meloxicam and Sulfatrim to see if that helps. If that isnt the right medication then hopefully the test of the liquid may give the vet a better idea of which medication may work better but if it cant be treated with Antibiotics then she may have to have surgery.

Have to keep an eye on her and check her jaw to see if the swelling comes back in the next 3 days. If it does I have to take her back in but if it doesn't teh vet still wants her to come back in a week.

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Post   » Wed Aug 22, 2018 10:58 pm

Unusual that it is liquid. I hope you get a positive ID on what is causing it. Was there a strong odor?

Is your vet going to have you flush it daily? Flushing with a warm sterile saline solution is often helpful. These curved tip syringes work excellently:


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Supporter in 2018

Post   » Thu Aug 23, 2018 2:53 pm

Poor Nala. She's had quite the go of it, hasn't she? I'm keeping her (and you) in my thoughts and fingers are crossed.


Post   » Thu Aug 23, 2018 6:50 pm

The vet didn't say anything about flushing, although she did flush her mouth out before she examined it. She said her teeth were fine and there was no sign of any damage in side the mouth and the position of the swelling , between the molars and incisors seemed to indicate it wasn't from her teeth.

She just told me to give her Meloxicam and Sulfatrim and see if the swelling came back in 3 days, if it did go back in if it didn't then go back in a week.

They took her out the back to take the sample so I didn't see or smell it.

I am waiting to hear if they could culture anything from the sample they took so they can identify what is causing it and check if she is on the right meds to combat it. However they didn't warn me that the culture doesn't always work.

Nala seems happy enough, although a little more skittish than before and has been sleeping under the blankets a bit more than usual however I still see her out eating Hay, pellets, Wheatgrass and veggies. She is only taking one to two 5ml syringes of Critical care though, but that was what we were giving her last time, she used to get up on her back legs when she saw me with the syringe but now I have to coax her to take it.

When she was ill last time she was fairly good about taking her meds but this time she just does not want to take it and keeps struggling and moving even when we tried burrito wrapping her and having one person hold her while the other tries to get the syringe in her mouth. She is like a little baby that doesn't want to eat her food keep moving her head out of the way. We were trying to hold her as still as possible but didn't want to be too forceful in case we aggravated the swelling.

Eventually after an hour of this I resorted to top loading a 5ml syringe with about 1 ml of critical care, rather than drawing it in, to seal off the nozzle then adding the meds and then another 0.5 to 1 ml of critical care on top and then putting the plunger back in and giving it a good shake. That worked and she guzzled it down.

After having her meds she was full of beans and trying to mount little Siouxsie and also Chunky Chunkita so she is still active. Also although she lost weight yesterday her weight loss has slowed so that looks promising. She has had 3 doses of meds so far so i am hoping that, if they are working, we should see some improvement this evening and tomorrow.

Yes she has been through it a bit recently, they all have to varying degrees. I just hope that after she recovers we will be able to enjoy a period where we can get through 6-12 months without needing a vet visit for any of them. All told in 5 months, excluding regular check ups (3 visits), we have had something like 5-6 vet visits for various issues (GI Stasis, Ear Infection/Balance issues, Two with suspected Pneumonia and now this) and 2 emergency vet visits. Need a bit of a break .........

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Post   » Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:59 pm

Yes, it sure sounds like you (and your guinea pigs) need a break!

Great trick getting the meds in. There is a technique described on this page if you need it:

I hope her weight stabilizes. So the lump is open to the interior of the mouth? Not open to the outside?


Post   » Fri Aug 24, 2018 5:36 pm

Her weight shot up yesterday from 769 to 834g, although when I weighed her on the new scales we just got yesterday it said she was 820g so she must be feeling better and hungry. I suspect teh new scales may be more accurate as they have a better platform set up and was on a solid level surface. The surface the old scale was on I dont think was 100% level or flat. I bought a Chopping board to put the new scale on as I know that should be flat and level.

The lump isn't open to either side it is a swelling in her right top cheek. There is no open wound it is just swollen. The vet got the sample by sticking a needle in to it (from the outside) and in doing so managed to get quite a bit of the liquid out. It looks like the swelling is going down a little but it is hard to tell unless I pick her up and feel along her jaw. Will see if I can get a picture.

She was also slightly better about taking her meds yesterday, she took all of it in the afternoon without needing it to be "Disguised" and took all of the meloxicam and all but .1cc of the Antibiotics "Neat" this morning and I only had to mix the last bit in a tiny bit of critical care.

She had quite a bit of critical care yesterday afternoon but not much last night or this morning.

She gobbles down the Bene-Bac though

Will see what she weighs later today. I try to always weigh at roughly the same time and after i have done the meds.


Post   » Fri Aug 24, 2018 8:10 pm

A couple of pictures that might help see the swelling on her right (darker) cheek although it seem to be less noticeable now

She is still pretty active and eating but seems to have gone off of critical care a bit, yesterday she had a tiny bit in the morning and then a lot in the afternoon (four 5ml Syringes) and then two in the evening. Today she has had 1 5ml syringe in the morning and afternoon but took some coaxing each time. She still seems to be eating plenty of hay and veggies though.


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Post   » Sat Aug 25, 2018 12:10 am

I forget, has Nala had a dental xray?


Post   » Sat Aug 25, 2018 4:16 pm

No but when she went in the Vet flushed and examined her mouth and said that her teeth all looked fine and that there was no laceration. Also that the position of the swelling was between the front and back teeth so she didn't think it was a tooth related issue.

Someone, maybe you , suggested a bug bite so maybe that is it. I ended up with a nasty abscess on my leg from what i think was a spider bite when I was back in the UK.

I emailed the Vet last night and sent some pictures and I got a message back that the culture results (if there are any) should be in on Tuesday and to call Tuesday afternoon to discuss what to do next.


Post   » Sat Aug 25, 2018 4:25 pm

A couple more photos. You can see the swelling a bit but it doesn't seem as bad. You can see though that her right cheek is not the same as her left. When I run my finger along it it is not smooth like her left cheek and I can feel a pellet sized hard lump.

It does seem to be smaller but that may be as a result of the vet lancing it but it doesn't seem to be getting any bigger and Nala seems happier. She was up on her hind legs begging for critical care today which she hasn't done since last Sunday and had two 5ml syringes, so about 16g of mix.

They also seem to put on more weight at the weekend so we will see what the scales say later today.

She was being difficult about meds again and I tried that technique you lined to but a) it says about putting vice like pressure in the jaw which is right where the swelling is and b) she worked out that if she scooches down in to a ball she can break free. Someone can make a lot of money if they come up with a foolproof Guinea Pig Vice ;)



Post   » Sat Aug 25, 2018 10:19 pm

She is up to 837g today. She will take the Meloxicam no problem but really doesn't seem keen on the Sulfatrim it is a lower concentration then she was on before so the dose is larger and I suspect it may be a different flavor.


Post   » Sat Aug 25, 2018 10:33 pm

Incidentally the new scale we got that seems to be working quite well for us is a My Weigh KD8000. I also got a 100g test weight as well. I dont know if there is anywhere to put recommendations for things like that. I couldn't find any thing on a quick search

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