Olive's gas problem


Post   » Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:17 pm

Olive has been having gas since last Tuesday (11th September). I read the signs, lethargy, loss in appetite, smaller and fewer droppings, and immediately took her to the vet. She has prescribed medicines, but, it hasn't been of much help. This was completely all of a sudden as we didn't feed her anything new and have maintained a healthy diet for her. I've been giving her a regular dosage of medicines and have also tried to massage her belly. The vet feared that it might be a result of intestinal worms and has prescribed me a medicine for that as well. I've administered that medicine to her today and am hoping for the best.

I am fearing the worst for her health. I'm scared she might die of the gas. It has been 8 days already. She has been eating in this time period even though her appetite is not like it was before. She hasn't stopped pooping either ( the amount of droppings has gone down significantly though). But, just seeing her in so much pain makes me feel so helpless.

Because of her loss in appetite, I haven't been able to follow her diet which has also disbalanced the calcium phosphorus ratio and there's a lot of calcium in her urine. It becomes powdery when it dries up. So I hope that is not bad news? (I read on forums that powdery deposit is okay and gritty is bad news.)

I'm from India. We don't have cavy savvy vets here. So, I do not know if it's actually even gas or something else. I've tried to provide what's best for her from guinea pig forums like these. Is there anything else I can do? Is it too late for her now? Have any of you faced a problem like this before? Please respond with whatever help you can provide at the earliest.

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Post   » Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:32 pm

I am so sorry your guinea pig is having these problems.

You wrote:
I read the signs, lethargy, loss in appetite, smaller and fewer droppings, and immediately took her to the vet.
Was her abdomen distended and hard? Did your vet prescribe a pain medication? Are you weighing daily and hand feeding? Have you read www.guinealynx.info/emergency.html#bloat ?

One wants to make sure there is nothing blocking the passage of food. I take it your guinea pig is pooping okay? It will be less if she is not eating much.


Post   » Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:04 pm

Yes. Her abdomen was hard. Before I took her to the vet her eyes too weren't open completely. Her eyes are open now. So I hope that's positive news? She didn't prescribe a pain medication. Her weight was 750 grams last time I weighed her. The doctor said that's normal. On net as well, it was written 700-900 grams is normal guinea pig female weight. I've been hand feeding her. I think she keeps forgetting she needs to have food. Once I hand feed her a little, she eats on her own. How do I know if something is blocking the passage of food? I just noticed that she had mucus in her poop. This has happened for the first time.


Post   » Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:16 pm

I just read that mucus in poop is a sign of intestinal bacterial infection. Is it possible that the mucus came out as a result of me giving her the medicine for intestinal worms earlier today?

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Post   » Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:23 am

I cannot answer your question about the mucus.

You know there is no blockage if you are seeing poops. If she is showing signs of pain, I would see if you can get some meloxicam to give your guinea pig. A guinea pig in pain eats less. Hand feed to maintain weight.


Post   » Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:59 am

I just paid another vet a visit to get a second opinion. Her weight is still constant at 750 grams. She said that Olive is showing signs of a urinary infection because she seemed to be hurt and in pain when the doc examined her uterus. She asked me to make a puree of her salad and feed her so that we can ensure she's eating and prescribed new medicines. She also asked us to give ORS water for 3 days. In the meantime while the medicine does it's work, what can I do to ensure she's okay? Also, I'm a little skeptical about ORS. Is it okay to give ORS water or I'll continue with regular water?

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:52 am

I'm not keen on the ORS water because it's got a lot of sugar in it, and that can upset a guinea pig's gut all on its own. I'm not sure what the equivalent in India is, but oral electrolytes are Pedialyte in the US and Dioralyte in the UK. Either is fine. They come plain or in flavors -- my pigs have always preferred the plain.

If you can find it, do store in the the refrigerator after opening, and watch it for mold growth.

You can get infant simethicone and give 1/4 of the infant dose -- that may help with gas.

I'd also soak and puree pellets and just flavor them with the veggies. She needs the roughage, and they should have the vitamins and minerals that she needs. Even if they're high in calcium, a few more days of them won't hurt her.

I believe Oxbow sells products in India. If their pellets there have the same composition as the ones sold here, they should be a good quality pellet for her.

If the vet gave her an antibiotic for a URI, she also needs a probiotic 60-90 minutes after each dose of antibiotic. Bene-Bac is good if you can find it, or you can give part of a plain human acidophilus or kyodophilus tablet.


Post   » Wed Sep 19, 2018 1:22 pm

Simethicone is one of the prescribed medicines. Apart from simethicone, there's an antibiotic to fight the bad bacteria causing infection in her body, another medicine to induce hunger in her and one more medicine to counter the side effect of the antibiotic which might cause gas. No medicine for URI and she even seems to breathing just fine.

The products of Oxbow, Kaytee and Zupreem are all substandard here and not recommended by anyone. To ensure that she gets roughage I'm hand feeding her fresh grass. Starting tomorrow, I'm going to make a puree of veggies that I include in her salad. Pellets are not available in any store (they really don't care much about guineas, since they can't profit much out of it), so I'll have to feed her the puree normally.

There's mucus in her uterus. I noticed it when I was cleaning her up. Is there anyway I can clean it? Or will I have to let the medicine take it's course of time? If there's anything I can do to ease her suffering, do tell me.


Post   » Fri Sep 21, 2018 3:02 am

Update - There has not been mucus in her poop after that day. So I am safely assuming it was because of the medicine to treat the intestinal worms.

She is eating irregularly. Sometimes she won't eat for 3-4 hours straight. Next you see her having food normally like she would when she wasn't unwell. I suppose this isn't normal behavior?

I'm fearing that she's slipping into a GI stasis because her poop size has reduced and I have noticed a tear shaped pattern on it. She's still lethargic and she's puffed up when she sits, sometimes (no bloat).

I have some questions as well -

1. I had given her carrot juice yesterday in the morning which came out of her system today, almost 24 hours later. Is this how long the digestion process normally takes?

2. I've kept a track of how many droppings she has had since the last 4 days. Should I share it here, if it'll help you get an insight?

3. I'm giving her water with a dropper. Have been giving around 40-50 ml. Is this quantity right or I should increase it?

4. The vet has not prescribed any probiotics for her. Would it be unsafe if I gave her probiotics anyway? Because, I think it'll help her.

If there's anything you need to know from my end to assess the situation, let me know.

Please respond as quickly as you can. I'm really worried for her!

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:08 am

Is she maintaining her weight?

They don't eat ALL the time. I wouldn't be too worried about a gap between periods of eating as long as she's not losing weight.

The water you're syringing her may be the cause of the teardrop-shaped poop.

I don't know that the number of poops she's had in four days would tell you anything without a comparable period of time to compare them to when she wasn't having problems.

My guess is that any problems you're seeing now, especially regarding poop, is the result of the medications. Once she's been off them a few days, you should see some improvement in her appetite and behavior.


Post   » Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:19 am

She has managed to maintain her weight. But she isn't pooping well. In fact today, she has had only 25-30 droppings in the past 11 hours. It has never been so bad. She has also reduced eating today. Could you emphasise on the probiotics and whether or not the quantitiy of water I'm providing is right or not?

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Post   » Fri Sep 21, 2018 9:51 am

You can give probiotics if you wish.

Is she getting any pain medication?


Post   » Fri Sep 21, 2018 10:38 am

No. But I think she really is in need of some. She's puffed up and sits in corners most of the time. Is it safe to give her pain killers without prescription?

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Post   » Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:15 pm

You need meloxicam, which is a veterinary prescription drug. Contact your veterinarian about pain medication. Describe her behavior. Being in pain affects appetite and so much more.


Post   » Fri Sep 21, 2018 9:59 pm

I will be visiting my vet after 3 hours. Will update once I've visited her. In the meantime, she hasn't pooped in 12 hours ( only 5 droppings) and has passed urine just once. Thank you for all tje help you both have given me. Without your help, I'd have lost hope long time back.

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Fri Sep 21, 2018 10:08 pm

Are you positive she's not eating the droppings? Sick pigs will often eat them all, not just the cecal ones.

If she's eating but not pooping, her weight should be going up.


Post   » Fri Sep 21, 2018 11:40 pm

I'm positive she isn't eating them and she has really reduced eating as well. My guess is that her digestive system needs a push start. I hope the vet has a solution. Fingers crossed. Will check her weight as well.


Post   » Sat Sep 22, 2018 11:39 am

Came back from the vet. She saw that one of Olive's (upper) tooth had broken and maybe that was the reason why she wasn't eating. She filed her teeth and got both her upper teeth to the same size. She has prescribed a laxative to help with the poop and also a homoeopathic painkiller, so that the medicines are not too much for her. She's also on probiotics since today morning. Poop is still not there. However, she seemed to be eating a little better after we came back from the vets'. I've ordered a massage pad for her and it should be with me by Monday. In the meantime I'm massaging her with my hands. I don't have an electronic toothbrush. Will massaging with a trimmer help?

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Post   » Sat Sep 22, 2018 8:12 pm

Read this over for some massage tips:

Exactly what are the drugs? What is the laxative? What is the homeopathic pain killer?

See also www.guinealynx.info/teeth_broken.html in case she filed them too short.


Post   » Sun Sep 23, 2018 12:41 am

The laxative is milk of magnesia (for anyone worrying, it doesn't have milk in it, just the name has it). I have to administer 2.5 ml of it, once, for 3 days. The homoeopathic medicine is Arnica 30. Her teeth have been filed 0.3-0.4 mm shorter. Not too much. And she in fact is eating more comfortably after that. Still not eating much, but eating better than day before yesterday. Will still follow the link and make things as comfortable as I can for her.

Good news! The massage pad is arriving today. For how long should I put her on it and how many times?

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