- Supporter 2016-2021
Guinea pigs can't throw up like dogs and cats can. Because of this that is why the vet asks owners not to feed their dog or cat in case throw up and drown on vomit.
So with all our girls we have always fed them before surgery. Especially Jessie who had to have a tooth removed, she was under for nearly 90 minutes. She was fed right up too and afterwards when fully awake. So I would feed your piggy as Lynx says piggies need food in their tummies to keep it moving along!
Hope all goes well in the surgery! In fact we syringe fed our girls 5 minutes before surgery(dental). Maybe feed your girl 60 minutes before surgery. Keep us posted!
- I dissent.
That said, I think it's important to note that there is a difference between "vomiting" and "regurgitation." Vomiting is the emptying of stomach contents. Generally speaking, rabbits and guinea pigs are unable to vomit. Where the esophagus and the stomach join is an area called the cardia that contains a valve called the cardiac sphincter. In rabbits and guinea pigs, this valve is described in veterinary literature as being "well developed" in comparison to that of other animals, and prevents food in the stomach from being vomited.
Regurgitation, on the other hand, is the emptying of food from the mouth or esophagus. Because guinea pigs tend to have a lot of food matter in their mouths at any given time, it *is* possible for a guinea pig to regurgitate that food matter while under anesthesia and then aspirate on it. It actually happened to one of mine last year (he had been fed Critical Care roughly an hour prior to surgery). While not common, I think it's important for owners to know that the potential is there for this to happen.
Again, though, I'd try to speak with your vet or the anesthesiologist today to better understand why the 12-hour recommendation was made. In my view, 1-3 hours should be sufficient.
I called 2 other vets this am who both said they don't ask for any fasting except the morning of. I'm trying to get him into one of those doctors on Tuesday bc they also told me that vet has 3 bladder Stone removals scheduled this week! I love that she does them so frequently and sounds very equipped! HOPING they'll squeeze him in this week.
Why Can’t Rodents Vomit? A Comparative Behavioral, Anatomical, and Physiological Study
It reviews the anatomical reasons for it. Also ran across the statement:
"Guinea pigs digest fibers more efficiently than rabbits and tend to eat more slowly" in another book (Clinical Veterinary Advisor: Birds and Exotic Pets, 2013, I believe).
- I dissent.
In the meantime, several references to what I had posted earlier:
"The rabbit has a well-developed cardiac sphincter, which is arranged in such a way that the rabbit cannot vomit."
(Exotic Animal Medicine & Husbandry, by Karen Rosenthal, Neil Forbes, Fredric Frye, et al; CRC Press, Mar 28, 2008)
"Rabbits cannot vomit [due to a] a well-developed cardiac sphincter."
(Ferrets, Rabbits and Rodents: Clinical Medicine and Surgery, by Katherine Quesenberry, et al; Elsevier Health Sciences, May 12, 2011)
"[The rabbit] has a well-developed cardiac sphincter that prevents vomiting, and a muscular pyloric area, although in general the muscular layer of the stomach is weaker than in other species."
(Textbook of Rabbit Medicine, by Molly Varga; Elsevier Health Sciences, Aug 19, 2013)
I think I originally read about it in the Quesenberry book.
- I dissent.
That just doesn't make much sense to me. She may be experienced with guinea pigs, but her 12-hour fasting recommendation for guinea pigs only with no further explanation would make me very uncomfortable. I'm glad to hear that you were able to get him in to see the other vet....she said rabbits you don't need to fast but guinea pigs you do
Between now and then, do monitor closely to make sure that he continues to poop, pee and eat normally. If he suddenly seems lethargic and won't eat and/or is straining to poop or pee, contact the vet ASAP.
Sending all very good thoughts to you both for an uneventful surgery and recovery!
ETA: Good post-op care information can be found here:
Also, information on bladder stones:
An hour or two still seems more reasonable.