Caring for remaining guinea pig

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Post   » Fri Nov 24, 2017 7:51 pm

Hi all -
We have had 2 female guinea pigs for many years. As I said in a former post, sadly one died very recently, probably from complications from bladder stones. They will (would have been) 4 years old in January

We're doing our best to take care of the remaining girl. We're thinking about fostering a 2nd pig, but there are no good places nearby, so I'm working on those details and it may take a month or two before I can figure it out. In the meantime, we changed around her cage, borrowed a 2nd cage that we bring around with us during the day when we are home to give her more activity and company, and we've gotten a number of new toys to keep her more entertained. I've noticed she and the cats are interacting much more through the bars of the cage.

2 big questions:

1) We've been weighing her nearly every day. She has lost a little weight...and we've started suspecting that perhaps she was eating more than half of the food. She's gone from 1350 grams down most recently to 1065 grams over the past 12 days - not directly, bouncing up and down a bit. We want to make sure she doesn't keep losing. But we also wonder if she is a little heavier than she should be - if she had been eating more than half of the food and we should keep her at this level as long as she stabilizes around here. Daily she gets:
-1/8 cup of Timothy hay pellets - half in morning, half in nights
-unlimited Timothy hay
-fresh veggies every evening - Most commonly kale, carrots, green pepper, sometimes cucumber, chard, cilantro.

How concerned should we be about this weight loss? Should we take action now or watch for some more days at this level?

2) She has periods where she seems itchy. It's not all the time. She'll be active and moving around the cage for 1/2 hour, and scratching / grooming a lot during that time. Then she'll stop and chill and not be scratching. I'm not sure if this is behavioral or could be a sign of a problem. She is not losing any hair, doesn't seem to be in pain, so sign of lice or bare or red patches.

Thank you!!

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:44 pm

She's definitely not too heavy, and wasn't at 1300+ grams. But the loss of nearly 300 grams over a 12 day period is reason enough for a vet visit, IMO.

I'd treat her for mites, myself. It won't hurt, and may help.


Post   » Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:51 pm

Yikes! So sorry - her weight went from 1135 down to 1065 - loss of 70 grams. Bpatters, you said 300 grams and I thought what??? - sorry for my clumsy typing / reading! ( there any way to correct that in the original?)

(Not sure if I read it wrong from the sheet, or just typed it wrong with leaving out the first "1"....)

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Fri Nov 24, 2017 9:13 pm

You can only edit a post for ten minutes after it's posted. But don't worry, anyone reading will find the correction.

With a loss of 70 grams, I'd watch her very carefully, and try to encourage her to gain a little, if possible. It's hard to get an adult guinea pig to gain weight, but some have had some success with sprinkling rolled oats over the veggies.

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