1. Kind of pawing at the side of her face - like my dog did when he had a bone stuck sideways between his teeth. Seen just a few times. She kind of turns her head to the side, as if some food is stuck just outside the mouth and she’s trying to get it. Seen a little more often than the pawing. Ducks her chin a little when doing this.
2. No longer eats her whole Oxbow (timothy based) Vit C tab: drops it a few times, picks it up a few times, then seems to give up and walk away until I pick it up and give it back to her, but she goes through the same routine again - picks up, drops, walks away from it, etc. She might only be eating 1/4 to 1/2 of tab. Possibly related to #1 above, but she was also the one who absolutely hated the hay-based tab in the beginning, refusing it and wanting the orange pill instead. May need to see if she'll eat something other than hay-based.
3. Dominant behavior with VeBee (mounting occasionally). Fuzz has always been the MOST submissive of them all, preferring to hide in a corner and shriek bloody murder when an unfamiliar guinea pig touches or even gets near her. Her shriek at these times is THE most painful sound we’ve heard in a very long time. Ok, since I put VeBee in with them. Yesterday, she was with Flossie, who she can always see, smell, & talk to, but not touch.
4. I've heard some noise when we snuggle, not often, but more than once: a snuffling perhaps, or it’s a click of the teeth - not chatter, just one or 2 clicks/snuffles at a time. It’s hard to tell if it’s coming from her nose or mouth because I hear it for such a short time.
There's been no weight loss. She loves, and doesn’t skimp on pellets. As far as I can tell she eats plenty of hay. She has produced soft, very smelly poos now and then, but usually they are dry & crumbly - hard to tell if those are her's or Peek's, though. I suspect they both are producers - their fleece has always been the hardest to clean.
Dr. B. checked her face, mouth, teeth, ears, upper respiratory system, fur, skin, a fairly thorough check-up.
A little dander, not much, said nothing to worry about. We did notice some close barbering near Fuzz’s rear-end, but not actual bare skin, just short fuzzy hair (not new growth either).
Mouth – A good bit of food packed in back (didn’t say & I forgot to ask which or both sides); tooth or teeth have small points but with food packed in probably doesn’t bother her. No malocclusion that Dr. B. could see. She did say if necessary, or if I wanted, I could take Fuzz to another VCA clinic in Vancouver that does dental.
Ears – OMG!!! Absolutely full of black wax (black ears = hard for me to see inside). Dr. B. checked a smear and found 2 mites, so I’ll be treating all of them with Revolution (Cats with Advantage). By the time she was through cleaning both ears, there were huge chunks of wax everywhere. Poor Fuzz must have been almost deaf in the one ear. Wax softener and good pen light to be added to the GP Med Chest.
2. Monitor food and keep a diary of everything that goes in (except lettuce & parsley) and what comes out if I can be sure it’s her’s. (I think I’ll give her an hour or so in the changing box, a few times a week, to check her output. That little time won’t hurt her, and I’ll definitely know when something is off.) Won’t be able to monitor quantity of food she eats unless I feed her by hand so when I add something new to her diet, everyone will get that food during cuddling.
3. Check her fur closer for signs of barbering. Since this just started, I’m thinking VeBee is doing it. The area of haircut looks like it would be really awkward if not impossible, for Fuzz to reach.
4. Find name and number of VCA dental clinic in Vancouver, FFR.
You are so nice and clear and organized! Your thread was a pleasure to read. You notice quite a few things. Your vet checked out all the things they should have and it sounds like you are on top of it all. My hope is that the ear wax and mites were the primary annoying issue and hope that the teeth self-correct (sometimes happens). You are quite observant and should be able to tell by weight and how she eats if they are a problem. The behavior change may be due to hormonal issues.
And thanks for the compliments. You all have taught me so much! You've taught me the questions to ask; the observations that count (sorry for all the uninformative information, lol); what to look for and where to look for it. I cannot thank you all enough. Thanks to you, I have 5 reasonably happy and healthy guinea pigs (and one husband who dreads most of my conversations, ROFL!), and I'm happy, too.
Gave everyone a treat this afternoon: carrots. Fuzz took her's, I think she might have eaten one bite, might not have, then she dropped it and came looking for something else. I gave her a sprig of Parsley; she took it, nibbled, then left it. Decided to try lettuce; tore up several pieces and she ate them, but did leave some tiny pieces stuck on fleece rag I'd put her on.
See Action Plan of Aug. 6th. (I must be an idiot)
Weigh daily for a while to make sure she IS eating (although I see her at the pellets and hay quite often). Everyone but VeBee has lost a little bit of weight since moving to floor cages. VeBee has actually gained. Probably because she has mates again.
Try to look at her teeth. She's a brat and doesn't like to be held. Cocoon-time.
If she leaves Vit C tab again tomorrow, offer her the liquid at feeding time. (And watch VeBee with her's.) Take fleece forest away if necessary, to watch.
My regular vet at VCA Longview told me about another VCA clinic that does dental work. I'll watch Fuzz closely for a week or 2, less if problems become evident, then if necessary make an appt. with them. They're in Vancouver, WA.
17 Fuzz poo AM 8.17.15 edited to put examples closer together.
17 Fuzz poo PM #2 8.17.18, several hours old, unfortunately, so they're a little dried out.
Fuzz poo 8.18.15 AM
Fuzz poo 8.18.15 AM #2
18 Fuzz poo AM #1(3) 8.18.15r
Reading back over this thread, I realized I hadn't posted Fuzz's "personal" info!
DOB 12/3/2013 (first dibs months before birth; chosen at age 3 days; brought home at 6 weeks not-a-day-later!)
To date (knock on wood) more-or-less healthy, except for the ear mites noted prior.
Treated for lice and/or mites several times since she was old/big enough and in just-in-case situations. Since she's a fuzz ball on legs (Abyssinian?) and her hair is short and curly, it's hard to tell if she has ever had any. Most timid guinea pig I've ever met, and since I've known a total of 5 over a little over 2 years time span, I have the experience to know one, hahaha.
More on diet diary later.
- You can quote me
I've come to the conclusion that within a certain range, their droppings don't have to be perfect.
I'll continue observations and food diary, especially when introducing new stuff.
The really smelly ones that show up now and then... Are they something I should be concerned about?