Worst Guinea Pig carer in the world or the unluckiest?

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Post   » Sat Aug 25, 2018 10:52 pm

You are right - the vice method is tough in her particular case!

For what it's worth, if you see things worsening, I would recommend a dental xray by someone who can read it properly.


Post   » Sun Aug 26, 2018 1:41 am

Will bear it in mind, Thanks. According to the recommendation on this site our regular vet is pretty good on dental stuff Bay Area Bird Hospital SF


Post   » Thu Aug 30, 2018 5:02 pm

Tried both the Apple juice and Carrot Baby food and she wasn't interested in either even without the meds mixed in. Thanks for the tips though.

I have the new bottle of Sulfatrim at the higher concentration/lower dose size with apple flavor and she is a little more cooperative taking it but still takes some persuading. She still has no problems with the Meloxicam and gulps that down and chews on the syringe for more.

Can still feel a bit of a hard lump on her cheek but she is still eating and active and although her weight is fluctuating it is still staying above 810, currently down to 817 from 832 yesterday.

Vet wants to keep her on Antibiotics for another week and then see her to check on progress.

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Post   » Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:53 pm

So the size of the lump in her cheek is receding? If so, that is great!


Post   » Sat Sep 01, 2018 2:20 pm

Yes but I spoke too soon on the weight. She dropped down to 779g yesterday and although she is eating hay and wheat grass she doesn't seem to be eating veggies and pellets and has lost interest in Critical care as well. She still seems to be pooping OK though.

I took her to the vet who suggested we take her off Sulfatrim for two days but then start her on chloro palmitate on Monday. She confirmed the lump had gone down but that there was still some there so she lanced it again and managed to get most of it out.

It looks like I am going to have to force feed her critical care if she wont take it willingly.


Post   » Sat Sep 01, 2018 6:22 pm

Vet has said if she doesn't respond to the new meds she may have to do an x-ray to check her head and teeth.


Post   » Sun Sep 02, 2018 3:32 pm

Second day of Nalas break from meds and she is still not eating well.. She will eat hay, and Wheatgrass when I hand feed her, but other than a bit of green pepper doest seem interested in any other veggies.

She will take a few pellets when I hand feed her but I am having a really hard time getting her to take critical care. I have tried numerous different methods but cant seem to get her to stop wriggling so I can get the syringe in her mouth. I have tried the method the vet showed me, the one Lynx linked to and the Burrito method but she always manages to get free or scooch down in to a ball.

I was able to get her to take about 5ml this morning, but that was with her cooperation I just offered up the syringe and she took it, she had about 16ml yesterday . She is still pooping but they are smaller and light brown instead of dark.

She is hunched up and breathing heavy (I can see her stomach move with each breath) although she doesn't seem to have any difficult breathing. I am guessing this is pain related but the vet told me to keep her off of the Meloxicam until tomorrow morning. She does come out sometimes, to eat hay, but not as much as usual.

I am at my wits end on how to get more critical care in to her and worried if I dont she is going to have problems.

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Post   » Sun Sep 02, 2018 5:36 pm

I think you are right about the difficult breathing potentially being a sign of pain.

There is another method that involves covering the eyes. I think having your guinea pig on the counter, in the crook of your arm and covering the eyes with that hand, try talking gently and feeding with the other (I will search around and see if I can find better directions).

Ah, I found it. It is for giving medications but it might work for you for hand feeding:


Post   » Sun Sep 02, 2018 8:16 pm

OK thanks, will see if that works but it involves pinching right where the abscess/Swelling was.

I am wondering, if she is in pain, whether to start the meloxicam this evening to see if that helps with the pain and stops her heavy breathing. I dont think she is having issues breathing just breathing deeply, so much so that it is visible, I can see her ribcage/stomach moving and her head bobbing.

I am up to 10 ml of CC so far today. Its odd she will take a full 5ml syringe with out issue just by me putting it in front of her when she is in the pen but once it is done wont take a second one even if it is ready and waiting right away. If I then pick her up and try force feeding with the 1ml syringe she will struggle and squirm no matter what I do and will occasionally take it but more often than not will twist her head around and bite the side of the syringe and on a couple of occasions yank it out of my hand and toss it.

She did have a little bit of dandelion earlier. Yes I know it is high in calcium but at this point I am happy if she eats anything.

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Post   » Sun Sep 02, 2018 10:45 pm

Ideally your vet would okay starting the pain meds again. I would be tempted to do so if there were clear signs of pain and no contraindications.


Post   » Mon Sep 03, 2018 12:42 am

I just noticed something that has me worried sick and may be the cause of Nala's sudden downturn in appetite and activity.

The Vet had given me Meloxicam/metacam for her which I had been giving her along with the Sulfatrim but the dosage she gave me was 0.2ml TWICE a day at a concentration of 1.5 mg per ml

I just discovered that last time it was a similar amount but only once per day. Dosages given online also seem to indicate once per day.

So she my have been getting twice the amount she is supposed to have for 10 days. Wednesday August 22nd to Friday August 31st.

Does anyone know what the effects of an over dose of Meloxicam/Metacam would be and how serious it is and what can be done to resolve it?

I hope there is no permanent damage done but I am extremely concerned in case there is.


Post   » Mon Sep 03, 2018 1:01 am

Nala is currently 758g (774 when the vet saw her on Friday) and the dose she was on before last time she was ill was .23ml (at a weight of 690g) once per day, at the same 1.5mg per ml concentration

She is popping but they are small and light brown.

I managed to get her to take about 19ml of critical care in total.

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Post   » Mon Sep 03, 2018 8:30 am

I don't think you need to worry about an overdose. An interesting discussion here about much higher doses in rabbits and higher doses for guinea pigs in some cases:

What you could do (if you choose to give metacam) is cut back on the dosage and see if it helps.

The 4th Edition of Carpenter's Animal Formulary does list up to 0.5mg/kg by mouth every 24 hours. I think he mistakenly uses the greater than or equal to sign in his book and means less than or equal to.

[≤ less than or equal to, ≥ greater than or equal to]

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Post   » Mon Sep 03, 2018 9:46 am

Good question, Lynx, but I don't have the answer either.

rjespicer, without reading back, have you tried the 2 person method? I find that if my husband, who is taller than I, holds the pig, then I can see to get the syringe in the back of the mouth.

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Post   » Mon Sep 03, 2018 2:37 pm

Maybe if you fly the syringe in the air and make buzzy noises?


Post   » Mon Sep 03, 2018 4:19 pm

Believe me I had already considered the airplane/train noises.

I emailed the vet but wont get a reply until tomorrow due to the Labor Day Holiday.

What I am curious about is why she will eat hay, Wheatgrass and occasionally green pepper and will wolf down dandelion but wont touch other veggies, including ones she used to love. I tried shredding some escarole in to strips in case that helped but it didn't.

Will have a think on the metacam/meloxicam but may wait until I hear from the vet. Perhaps she is also opting for the higher dose in this case. the dose I calculated based on what she had last time was 0.258ml once per day. On that basis it is 1.5 times the dose I'd expect.

However based on the info on this site of 0.2mg per Kg the dose would be 0.155mg or just over 0.1ml once per day so on that basis it is almost 4 times.

We tried the two person method once but with no success with meds. After we had tried for about an hour we gave up and let her run. 10 minutes later I offered her the syringe on the off chance and she gobbled it down.

The problem is that most of the time it is just me looking after them. My wife and daughter don't seem as concerned about the piggies health and seem to be happy to let me deal with it all. They do help some of the time with with Cleaning and feeding and also syringe feeding when the piggies dont resist but take it willingly without needing to be picked up. However only when it fits their schedule which can be frustrating. They dont seem to be as concerned as I am when they are ill and just say stuff like "You worry too much" or "She will be fine" or "She looks ok to me"

They enjoy making a fuss of them and petting them but when it comes to health issues they seem to lose interest. I dont, I worry, lots, which is why I have not had pets since I was a kid.


Post   » Mon Sep 03, 2018 4:23 pm

The 0.5mg/Kg figure would give a dose of 0.38mg for Nala or 0.25ml which matches what I calculated based on her previous dose and weight the last time she had it.


Post   » Mon Sep 03, 2018 4:54 pm

She has taken 8ml of CC willingly so far today.
What is also odd, is she will usually take a full 5ml syringe when offered (in the pen with no picking up, I just put it in front of her and she latches on) but wont take a second so its not that she doesn't like it so I don't know why she resists so much when I try and force feed her.

She also had a couple of leaves of dandelion and a piece of green Pepper. She will take a 2-3 pellets when I hand feed them to her as well.

So it not that she isn't eating anything it that she is extremely fussy about what she does eat. She seems to be constantly eating hay though.

I tried picking up some different types of baby food as well to see if she would eat that (one Carrot, one Banana and one Apple and Blueberry) but she isn't interested in those either.


Post   » Mon Sep 03, 2018 5:57 pm

On the plus side I started her on the New Antibiotics this morning and her weight appears to have stabilized at little at this point. 760g today.

Thinking about it I may give her one dose of Meloxicam this evening with the antibiotics.

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Post   » Mon Sep 03, 2018 10:18 pm

Hoping the vet can help you tomorrow! I am sorry I don't have more ideas.

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