"I realize that your time may not permit you to respond to the following, but I wonder if you have experienced these symptoms in any guinea pigs you have had.
I have consulted with my veterinarian in ***, Michigan, who is very experienced with exotics, having also raised guinea pigs herself.
My Bridget is nearly six years old. She is a rather small agouti abyssinian. Her last healthy weight was around 770 grams. She is permanently on an antibiotic as she is prone to urinary tract infections which have been accompanied by pain when urinating, bacteria in urine, and at times a lot of blood in her urine (very red bloody urine). With a great deal of persistence and the administration of SMP approximating every 12 hours that particular problem is under control. She´s been on the antibiotic for between one and two years. (It´s interesting to note that she would also experience hair loss when ill that I attributed to stress, but I may be wrong.)
She´s never had diarrhea. Her diet is mostly fresh veggies. I also offer her Oxbow pellets, Oxbow Timothy Hay, Kaytee Fiesta, all of which she eats in very small quantity. For several months I was syringing to her around 28 mg of flavored pure vitamin c, but she tired of the flavoring so I no longer do so. She also will eat wheat grass and "regular" outdoors grass, which has not recently been treated with pesticides.
Bridget does have periods when she eats less and has suffered weight loss. I spend a lot of time nursing her back to health during those periods and she generally manages to come round.
I also spend a lot of time hand-feeding her her fresh veggies; in fact she prefers hand-feeding of most veggies except romaine lettuce, radicchio, and carrots. I feed her broccoli, apples, parsley, and green pepper by hand.
The present problem regards her attempts at eating. She seemed a bit ill for a few days had had to be coached to eat. She seemed to be getting better when I noted she began to have problems eating. She was very interested in the food, but didn´t seem to successfully get it into her mouth. This got worse over a few days´ time. When something did make it into her mouth, she spent an extensive amount of time chewing. Often she would merely chomp into the apple, not getting any; chomp off pieces of green pepper and carrot, dropping them; excitedly respond to being given grass, but not eating it. Naturally her weight dropped off. I started her on carrot and green bean baby food yesterday, but there´s so few calories in them.
I wondered if her incisors or molars were giving her a problem. I thought perhaps the molars were interfering with the action of the tongue. I took her to the vet today. Her weight is at around 570 gms. She´s notably weak, but in some ways seems herself.
Dr. M. examined her incisors and molars and believes them fine; however, the action of Bridget´s tongue seems unlike other guinea pigs. There´s less tongue movement, particularly in the rear of the mouth. Dr. M., who is very compassionate toward little creatures, believes that Bridget may have suffered a stroke of some sort that has resulted in those particular muscles being affected.
Bridget has been put on Oxbow´s Critical Care Formula, which I am syringing to her. I´m giving her as much as she will take and she seems all right with it for now. I also keep trying to give her small bits of other veggies, but she doesn´t seem able to master the coordination of getting it into her mouth--I´m trying green pepper and apple. She will munch on dried bread, but I doubt she´s getting anything.
Any suggestions? Is it possible that she can teach herself another way of getting food into her mouth? Have you experienced this with other piggies? Any information or insight will be appreciated."
It happens all too frequently.
Animal dentist site:
Did her vet use buccal pad separators while examining the Bridget? Did she sedate Bridget for a thorough examination?
After a lot of mental anguish, and conversing with her vet, she decided to have Bridget euthanized on Saturday.
Thank you Pinta for your help. I´m sure it will benefit someone in the future.
He also had strange toungue action. The vet could actually examine him quite easily because he seemed to have little feeling in the back of his mouth. He gave him a shot of something (I can´t remember what it was now--it would be somewhere on one of my posts at CG) that he said sometimes can help with nerve damage. But it didn´t help, the damage was permanant.
I had to hand feed Luke for the rest of his life. I mixed Critical Care with baby food and mashed pellets. I would also put it into a dish that he sometimes could eat on his own. His teeth did have to be trimmed every month, since he didn´t use them.
I am sorry I didn´t get to see this thread earlier. Perhaps this could have helped. I have been without internet access for a week or so (Husband forgot to pay the bill).