Senior guinea pig looking thin....

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Post   » Sun May 29, 2011 3:41 pm

Hi, I have a 7 1/2 year old male neutered long haired guinea pig who has been getting thinner lately. I feed him timothy hay, a timothy hay based pellet and vegetables. He feels very thin and boney... but still eats, drinks and is relatively active. I was wondering if I should change his diet to something with more calories?? Any advice?

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Cavy Slave Since '08

Post   » Sun May 29, 2011 3:59 pm

Do you weigh him regularly? It could give you a good idea on how much he lost in the last weeks.

Some people reported that senior pigs could lost some weight, but you have to certify this loss is not due to any disease.


Post   » Sun May 29, 2011 4:16 pm

I have weighed him in the past but not regularly ( I will start to). The last documented weight I have for him was from August of 2010 and he was 2lbs exactly. I just now weighed him and he is 1lb and 13oz.

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Post   » Sun May 29, 2011 4:31 pm

My senior is thin and has his bony old man hips He is totally healthy and eats, drinks, poops, pees and plays like normal. Sometimes they just get thin as they age. But def have him checked out to rule out any possible disease or health issues

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Post   » Sun May 29, 2011 4:38 pm

Ditto getting him to the vet for a check. My Oliver is 5 and getting a little thin, bony hips and the like. However, like seraph's old guy Oliver is completely healthy and going about his little life like normal. We were just into the vet about a month ago and he checked out well.

If your senior goes back and forth more than an ounce or two (normal daily fluctuation I'm told) I'd be really worried and would get him in ASAP.

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Contributor in 2018

Post   » Sun May 29, 2011 5:09 pm

As they age their body composition changes. They lose fat in their shoulders and gain it on their bellies. That said, a vet check is never a bad idea with a senior pig to rule out age related illness and illness in general.

An x-ray will tell you a lot. An enlarged heart, fluid around the heart or in the lungs, gas in the GI system and arthritis are some of the things that an x-ray can screen for. Regular weighing can also tell you if there is consistent weight loss (indicative of illness).

Cinnabuns Legacy

Post   » Sun May 29, 2011 6:39 pm

Our five and a half year old Magellan came to us on the thin side and we had to fatten him up with extra pellet mash to get him to a health weight. As it turned out he had arthritis (which we got metacam for) which made his appetite weaker, and also scurvy. Like PinkRufus said, gas and arthritis are strong possibilities that would affect appetite.

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Post   » Sun May 29, 2011 7:13 pm

Definitely take him to a good vet and get him all checked over. You may have to do nothing more than supplement his diet to get his weight up, but pigs usually loose weight like this during an illness.

Cinnabuns Legacy

Post   » Sun May 29, 2011 7:37 pm

I also want to mention, if he does have arthritis, I've heard good things about Cosequin/Dasuquin for cats, and we used that for Magellan (I beleive it was a quarter of a capsule we gave him), it seemed to help his mobility.


Post   » Sun May 29, 2011 9:26 pm

You could try mixing him up a critical care mash in a dish for him. I did that for my old Mama and she gained quite a bit of weight. Her daughter has lost weight and eats all her food. She's at 2# now.

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Supporter in '15

Post   » Tue May 31, 2011 3:43 pm

My old man is blind and has lost body mass Not overall weight) in his back and hips over the last year or so, but is completely healthy, with an adorable little potbelly and eats like a horse. He also still bosses around his 3 y.o. "brother" even though he cant see at all.

I asked about this topic in a different thread when i started noticing changes, and was assured this can be normal as long as health is otherwise good.

Good luck!

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Post   » Tue May 31, 2011 4:00 pm

Just an update. Charlie knocked his 2 top incisors out so I've been giving him critical care since he is having trouble chewing. Its really made a noticeable difference so I may just make it a habit to give him a little everyday. Even his fur looks shinier. So I'll totally agree with Deb


Post   » Tue May 31, 2011 4:28 pm

I agree with getting him checked by a vet. I hope it's just old age, and he might do with a shot of Critical Care or Vitamin C. Alfalfa is sometimes added for ailing pigs needing to bulk up a bit. That's also something to consider.


Post   » Tue May 31, 2011 4:49 pm

Barney has lost some mass around his back and hips but he still has a chubby tummy. He eats, drinks, poos and bounds around like normal though.

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