- And got the T-shirt
Second, "won't let me syringe feed her" is a non-starter at my house. The pig weighs three pounds, and I'm an adult human. I'm equipped to win this battle. See gl/handfeeding.html for information on how to do it, and post here if you've got any questions.
Third, why is she not eating hay and veggies? Can she pick the food up with her front teeth but just not chew it, or will she not eat it at all?
Secondly, the vet (who cares for exotics) thinks she has vestibular disease because she stumbles around at times when she walks. He first thought it was an ear infection and gave me an oral antibiotic to give to her for 14 days. He checked her front teeth and they seemed to be okay. He was not willing, at this point, to check her molars because he would have to anesthesize her and because she is not eating as she should be and she is so tiny as it is (she was 1 1/2 pounds when I adopted her 2 months ago and weighs a tiny bit more at this time) We don't know what she went through where she lived before and we really don't even know how old she is -- only that she is adult. When he checked her the second visit, he said that one side of her face seemed paralyzed and that is why she is probably not able to use her mouth enough to eat hay and veggies. Everyone tells me to take her back to the shelter, but I just cannot do that. Any suggestions or advice would be helpful. If you can ask any of your vets if they think this could be vestibular disease, it would be appreciated.
Is she losing weight? If she's eating the CC fine in a dish, and not losing weight, I would not worry about force feeding her. Is it just to save on the CC that she's wasting? What veggies have you tried? Have you tried mixing in some other types of veggies? Have you tried a different type of grass hay than what you are offering?
- And got the T-shirt
If you want her to gain weight, you'll have to force feed her. Here's what works best for me:
Sit a table that's comfortable for you to put one arm on it. Put your non-dominant arm on the table, and put a small towel over it. Put the pig on the towel, and burrito it so it can't back out of the towel.
With that hand, hold the pig's head FIRMLY between your thumb and forefinger, behind the jaw. Take a look at a picture of a guinea pig skeleton so you can have an idea how far back the jaw is. You'll have to hold firmly enough to keep her from jerking her head away.
With the other hand, insert the syringe behind the front teeth and in front of the back teeth. Turn it toward the back of the pig's throat, and give about 1/4 - 1/3 of a cc at a time. If the pig spits it out, you don't have the syringe far enough back in the mouth. If the pig is chewing, it's swallowing and eating.
If the pig is uncooperative, then the 1 cc syringes in that link I gave you work best. Pull the plungers out and use a large syringe (available free at any pharmacy if you tell them it's to feed a sick pet) to load the small syringes.
If the pig cooperates, then you can feed directly from the large syringe. Make the CC mixture pretty loose, and you'll have to add liquid as you go, as it keeps thickening up.
But do weigh her daily. That's the only way you'll know whether she's getting enough food.
Also, I am going out tomorrow to purchase a scale. I guess a regular kitchen scale will work? Thanks
Good luck. Hopefully she ends up getting better over time like Indiana did. They thought she'd like a few months, and four years later she's still alive and healthy.
- And got the T-shirt
If she does need a tooth trimming, then she'd have to be under longer. But you can't ignore dental work that needs to be done for very long -- it drastically impacts the pig's quality of life, as well as the possibility of not surviving.
The neurological symptoms do recede with time, but the piggie needs to live a quiet life without stress. Stress will cause her to run in circles and even seize. There is not much that can be done, except for ensuring that she eats, drinks and is comfortable.
BTW, thank you all for your input. It really helps me to deal with things since I am a first time guinea pig "parent". Of course, I would have to adopt a piggy with many problems, but I want to keep her. If it is neurological, as Kimera said, all I can do is feed her and make her comfortable. She does seem to like sitting on my lap at night.
If the test is positive, a guinea pig or a bunny should be treated as soon as possible. E.cuniculi is a protozoan infection, not easy to get rid of.