- I GAVE, dammit!
It would have been much better for him if you'd taken him to the vet tomorrow and made the petstore pay.
If there's any way you can get him back, I'd do so.
The guy at the petstore obviously knows nothing about guinea pigs. Sadly, frequently the vets the petstores use have about the same amount of knowledge.
I will call first thing in the morning and see if they will let me take him to my vet.
- I GAVE, dammit!
Not in this life he won't.I was under the impression he would go to a vet tonight, but not sure.
To be quite frank, if he stays under there the chances of him dying are very high.
This is the problem with petstores selling pigs. They don't want to lose money by incurring vet fees, and most times they don't treat.
Which pet store did he come from? Was it a chain?
There is no way a guinea pig could go without a week and survive. Their digestive system is designed to have food continually passing through it. If a guinea pig stopped eating, bloat could occur which would kill the guinea pig.
That's why whenever I've gone to a vet and surgery has to be scheduled the vet makes sure to tell me if the assistant says to fast the guinea pig before bringing him/her for surgery to just ignore any fasting instructions.
Guinea pigs are prey animals and it takes time, food, time, food, bribes, food, and more time before they get used to you.
Regarding food issues, when I adopted my two guinea pig girls from the rescue, they already ate vegetables. However, I had to leave the room and shut the door behind me before they would emerge from hiding to eat. When I would open the door, I would hear scrabbing sounds as they hustled into their pigloo. The vegetable bowl would be empty and there would be poops around the cage.
The lady who runs a guinea pig rescue in CT told me she had guinea pigs that were so scared she had to leave the room, shut the door and TURN OFF the light, before they would emerge to eat.
When I received my (permanent) foster girl, she had never eaten vegetables for the first year of her life. When introducing them, you would have thought I was trying to feed her poison. Holding her and putting the food/smearing the taste on her lips didn't work. It was comical to see he chew on a stalk of parsley - about an inch went into mouth before she got a funny look on her face. It was the first time I'd ever seen a guinea pig chew in reverse. I tried being a 'big guinea pig' and eating them before her face - didn't work.
What I did was take granny smith apple and chop it very fine and 'spike' her pellets with the apple. The pellets got some apple flavor on them. She gradually started eating the little apple bits.
I then took lettuce and tore it into tiny little bits. I was able to feed her the little bits of lettuce as I think they were 'pellet like.'
Now she is the loudest wheeker when vegetable time comes. I think she is making up for lost veggies. Oh, and she loves parsley.
Should I back off on handling him for a few days, maybe? Maybe if we do that, he won't feel as stressed? Maybe just talk to him but not pick him up?
I don't think it has to be granny smith apple. My dad suggested granny smith because it was a little 'tart' and he thought she might like that. Just keep trying different things several times. Just because a guinea pig turns up his/her nose the first 1-9 times at it, doesn't mean he/she would not eagerly start eating it the 10th time. (It's like me with bagels, took me a couple of times before I decided I like them.)
I started with the fruits as they were juicy and sweet. The juice would flavor the pellets a bit and the sweetness would be more tempting. While blueberries and stawberries didn't work, the small chopped apple mixed with pellets did the work. I just did a small amount at a time as the pellets had to be changed 2 times/day due to the 'mushiness' factor.
I also introduced her to watermelon as that is a very juicy fruit. I chopped the red part into little guinea pig mouth size bits. Unfortunately, right now it isn't watermelon season. You might be able to find a store that carries it, but it's a bit more expensive and the watermelon isn't as good as could be.
You could also try shredded carrot. Get a grater and shred the carrot into little tiny guinea pig bite size pieces. A carrot is a sweet vegetable.
Remember, if a first a fruit or vegetable doesn't work, keep on trying. Just like with a human kid, it can take several times for the guinea pig to get the hang the stuff is actually FOOD.
Many people her bought guinea pigs at pet stores before they knew better. If you are in an area that doesn't get many guinea pigs, sometimes a 'piggy train' can be arranged. That's when people get together and drive different legs of a trip to get a guinea pig to you.
Personally, I think it would be best to refrain from handling the guinea pig for a few days. Guinea pigs get easily stressed and Junior will be in a new environment. Put him in a quiet place so he can get used to the sights, sounds, and smells of the new place. If you'd like, put on a radio to a station that plays quiet, soothing music.
Make sure he has a 'hidey hole' so he can retreat to a safe place. Sometimes it helps to drape part of the cage so he can feel more secure. With guinea pigs, sometimes if they cannot see you, they feel more secure as they believe you cannot see them.
Talk to him quietly so he learns to associate the 'hooman' with good things - food, etc.
Again, with a guinea pig it takes time, bribes, food, time, bribes and more time.
I couldn't weigh him for a few days because he would try to bolt out of the scale. He will sit there now, so I will continue to weigh him daily and I will also measure his food. I like the piggy train idea, and will keep it in mind when I am looking to adopt another piggie. I will keep you all updated on how he is doing, and the vet report I get later today. I also am going to ask to see his cage so I can see his poops for myself. I want to make sure he is going normally when he comes home.
They did not find any other problems with him. The store tells me I can have a refund if I do not want him, and now I don't know what to do. I know I made mistakes, and have learned a valuable lesson about why to steer clear of petstore pets. I feel so bad for him, and feel if I don't take him, he will be subjected to a miserable life, which he has already endured for a while. Should I take him anyway, and give him a happier life? I am really confused now. I wish I hadn't been so naive about the whole thing. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. If I do take him, he will definately go to one of the 2 cavy savvy vets I use for a check up. Both are very good.