Guinea Pig losing weight steadily!!! Help!

rrocks

Post   » Tue Aug 30, 2016 4:27 pm


Over the past 30 days my guinea pig has lost 70 grams. I took her to the vet that specialized in exotics on Aug. 9, 2016 where the vet did an exam which included a blood test. Her blood test showed no abnormal metabolic activity or raised white blood cells. Her dental health was fine, but the vet did notice no food in her mouth (unusual for guinea pigs). They physical exam showed nothing significant. They gave her Azithromycin (antibiotic) for 10 days for a suspected respitory issue (she has always made a grunting sound) even though they suspected no URI. They gave her a vitamin B complex injection and told me to hand feed her Oxbow critical care 3 times a day.

I did all that. . .but she continued to lose weight. I took her back to the vet for a follow-up exam on Aug. 22. The vet did xrays and a urinalysis. The xrays showed nothing significant. The urinalysis did show blood in the urine so they put her on Orbax for a UTI and suggested I continue to hand feed her critical care.

6 days into Orbax, she started to have loose stools. I then stopped giving her the Orbax as recommended by my vet, and continue to give her critical care 3 x a day. All this to say, she continues to lose weight.

Now, I'm not sure what to do. I've been giving her critical care 3 x a day with hay and she still eats veggies with her cage mates, though not a lot. She's not lethargic, though she doesn't frequent the cage hay tray or the water bottles.

I'm guessing the vet will want to put her on another antibiotic for the UTI, though I'm hesitant as it might cause her to lose more weight. Any ideas on why she might be continuing to lose weight. She gets thinner by the day, and it makes me super sad, though I'm trying to stay positive.

I'm looking for experienced guinea pig owner advice!

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Tue Aug 30, 2016 4:54 pm


Has your guinea pig had a dental xray? Without one, it is easy to miss problems. It also sounds like you need to get more food into her. I am sorry she is not doing well.

gl/malocclusion.html
gl/handfeeding.html

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Tue Aug 30, 2016 4:54 pm


How old is she?

I would also be reluctant to put her on an antibiotic. Almost all of them interfere with digestion.

Steady, unexplained weight loss with normal food intake suggests a malignancy. But if she's not eating as much as she was, then the reduced food intake could be the cause.

Did the vet do x-rays of her skull to look for tooth problems -- abscess, elongated roots, overgrown molars?

rrocks

Post   » Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:49 pm


I'm guessing she's 4 or 5 but I'm not sure. I've had her for almost 3 years. She did get an xray of her skull and the vet did not notice anything out of the ordinary.

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:04 pm


Rereading your first post, I wonder if the vet knew to check the chest x-ray for possible heart enlargement and/or fluid in/around the lungs. The grunting sound could maybe point to that, and that might be a cause of the weight loss.

Not all vets know to check for heart problems in guinea pigs. But if I were you, I'd suggest it to the vet as a possibility.

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Wed Aug 31, 2016 4:54 am


Ditto. Have them look at the x-ray for heart enlargement, or take another to check it. 4 or 5-ish is prime time for heart issues to begin to show up.

http://www.guinealynx.info/heart.html

The antibiotic of choice for a UTI is Bactrim. It's usually much better tolerated than Orbax. I wouldn't want to give any AB other than Bactrim for a UTI, at least not without strong suspicion or confirmation of a URI.

Best to her and to you. Please keep us posted on how she's doing.

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daisymay
Supporter 2016-2017

Post   » Wed Aug 31, 2016 7:17 am


I am in the same boat as you. Our Jan will be 4 in December and she is eating, being hand fed, doing all things normal but is losing weight. She has always been on the small size think she was the runt of the litter. 2 weeks ago she was 840grams and this week 800grams.

She has been to the vet and been checked out by Carol who found nothing. She did say Jan had a lot of cheek/skin in her mouth. No X-rays were took even though I pleaded for Carol to take some. If she continues to lose weight I will insist on dental X-rays or take her else where. Keep us posted, maybe we could help each other? As I am at a lost as to why Jan and Jasmine lose weight around this time of year.

As to your piggy she if she's dribbling when eating or having trouble picking food up. Watch to see if she's only eating soft food and check to see if she can move her tongue freely.

Is she on a Probiotic to help her gut when on AB's? http://www.guinealynx.info/probiotics.html wishing you both good luck and sending healing vibes across the miles and seas.

rrocks

Post   » Thu Sep 01, 2016 12:23 am


Thank you, all for your support and advice.

I plan to talk to the vet tomorrow.

Good news! When I weighed her tonight, her weight went up and not down. : )

I'll continue to update you on Brownbear's status.

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Thu Sep 01, 2016 4:18 am


Excellent! Please keep us posted.

rrocks

Post   » Sun Sep 04, 2016 9:50 am


Hello all,

The vet called me back re: Brownbear's condition. He said the xrays indicate that her heart is NOT enlarged. He does not think she needs to finish her course of antibiotics. (she only took 6 days of Orbax of the 14 days prescribed). He said that if she continues to lose weight that I will need to take her in to be re-assessed.

Brownbear has been off the Orbax for a week and her poops continue to be loose and her bottom is quite messy. I continue to feed her critical care and veggies and hay. Should her poops still be loose after a week off antibiotics? Is the Oxbow Critical Care causing the loose stools? Should I back her off veggies?

I will certainly take her to the vet if needed, but I'm getting the notion that they are just guessing at what to do next, and I'm not sure that it's helping her condition and only costing me quite a bit. I've already spent +$700 the past 30 days. I'm not sure I can keep spending at this rate.

Should I seek another vet's second opinion or continue on with this veterinary practice since I've already started the diagnostic process with them?

Any advice would be much appreciated!

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sun Sep 04, 2016 10:28 am


I don't know what the best course for you is but do read gl/probiotics.html and more importantly, gl/diarrhea.html for some info that may help.

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sun Sep 04, 2016 11:58 am


Take her off the veggies. Sometimes, when a pig has had a digestive upset, vegetables will continue to produce loose stools even if the major cause has been addressed. If the stool hasn't firmed up in 24-48 hours of no veggies, it's time to see the vet again, maybe for a course of flagyl.

And ditto Lynx on the probiotics.

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Sun Sep 04, 2016 4:26 pm


Ditto. Critical Care has occasionally caused loose-ish stool at our house, but you need to keep her weight up. Start with some probiotics, and do what bpatters suggests with vegetables. It's much more likely to be a residual sensitivity from the antibiotics.

How's her weight doing?

rrocks

Post   » Sun Sep 04, 2016 11:46 pm


Brownbear's continues to lose weight. She's lost 26 grams within the past week. I will look into probiotics. Any suggestions for a good probiotic?

Thanks for the support everyone!

Robby

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Mon Sep 05, 2016 12:15 am


You can get Bene-Bac for rodents at Amazon, Valley Vet, and maybe at local pet or feed stores.

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Tue Sep 06, 2016 4:44 pm


https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00F0W2DNU/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?ie= ... plus+pet+gel

Also consider this:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B001BM1QRC/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie= ... sible+powder

Probios mixes with water (syringe it to her) and smells like evaporated milk. We've had two pigs to absolutely love it and guzzle it like crazy. We've also had a couple to outright hate it, too. It might be worth a try, especially if she doesn't like Bene-bac.

rrocks

Post   » Fri Sep 30, 2016 10:34 pm


Hello everyone,

I just wanted to update you on Brownbear's status. After a 20 day course of Metronidazole, Proviable, and Bene-bac, her diarrhea seems to finally have subsided!

She however, continues to loose weight. She still is eating veggies, hay, pellets, and I handfeed her critical care 3x a day.

She went back to the vet today for a follow-up visit and the vet recommended that it might be that her GI might be having trouble digesting her food and therefore absorbing nutrients. She gave me some pancreatic enzymes (powder form) that I will give to her in her critical care.

Has anyone ever used digestive enzymes with their Cavy?

Thanks for any help!

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sat Oct 01, 2016 7:57 am


I am unfamiliar with this product (does it have a name?). I am sorry she is still losing weight and sure hope it helps!

How much weight has she lost?

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daisymay
Supporter 2016-2017

Post   » Sat Oct 01, 2016 10:04 am


I am sorry she is still losing weight. Has she had an ultrasound or X-ray done? Glad Brownbear's diarrhea has cleared up. Maybe now she can put on weight. Make sure she gets plenty of water.

rrocks

Post   » Sat Oct 01, 2016 11:20 pm


Brownbear has lost approx. 200 grams over the last 3 months. She has had xrays and a blood -draw with no extraordinary results. They say the blood draw indicates no metabolic issues and the xrays (about 10 views) show nothing significant. I am at a loss as to what to do. I've taken her to 2 different exotic vets in the area; both not sure what is going on.

Thanks for any help.

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