Weight

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RubySimon

Post   » Wed Mar 25, 2020 1:58 pm


I started another post, and then my phone went wonky, so please forgive me if this ends up being repeated.
I have a three-year-old male guinea pig named Simon. Simon is much too fat. He is neutered, he was when we adopted him. I have tried everything to get his weight down to a healthy point. But he’s just not losing. He has been at the vet for a check up. He gets only about six or seven pellets a day. Just enough to placate him when the other pig, rabbit and chinchilla get theirs. I only feed him greens, and red pepper. He gets an Oxbow multi vitamin wafer daily. No fruit or things like carrots. He is now in the bathroom with his brother but unless I get after him, he just sits. I hope maybe someone might have a hint.

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Wed Mar 25, 2020 2:25 pm


How much does he weigh?

Most weight recommendations that you'll find on the web are based on lab animals, not pets. And most guinea pigs are not overweight unless they are overfed on pellets or have mobility issues. They're herbivores. Think about how hard it would be for you to be overweight eating nothing but salad with no dressing on it.

Every sow I had hovered above or just under the three-pound mark, and none were overweight.

RubySimon

Post   » Wed Mar 25, 2020 2:44 pm


Believe me, he is fat. I am well experienced with GP ownership. And this guy is definitely overweight. My vet said his neutering is partially to blame. I am hoping for something to be suggested that may help me figure this out. I take great pride in how I care for all my animals and feel bad I let him get heavy.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:45 pm


It sounds like diet is reasonable. More exercise would doubtlessly help. Is his brother a cage mate? Do they chase after each other for exercise? Is the cage really big? Have you tried hiding vegs in various places so he has to search them out? One vet gave a great method of determining condition. Find it kind of in the middle of this page:
http://www.guinealynx.info/weigh.html

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ItsaZoo
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Thu Mar 26, 2020 12:22 am


If he’s a foodie, use a treat ball with veggies inside that he has to roll around so the veggies fall out. I have a single pig and she moves around a lot if food is involved.

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Renonvsparky

Post   » Thu Mar 26, 2020 8:48 pm


Spread his hay, pellets and veggies around so that he has to forage around to eat them rather than just sit in one spot. I've found that my pigs actually like foraging for their food. They tip over their pellet bowls and eat them off of the fleece. They also spread their hay around, although I think that's more so they can lay in it after they've eaten some of it.

How much floor time does he get? Are you able to take him outside when it's nice? If you are able to get him outside, you must use caution with regard to temperature (hot and cold both), possible predator hazards and the vegetation on the spot where you might have him. Fertilizer and insecticides are harmful as are bacteria and parasites from decaying organic material. There's a lot to consider when it comes to guinea pigs and the great outdoors. I take mine out whenever I can; usually multiple times a day for short periods. They love to forage the lawn and eat fresh grass. The grass is very good for them and they are allowed to eat their fill daily.

I rake my lawn thoroughly twice a year to remove undergrowth. I don't use fertilizer or insecticides and I have only a few certain spots where I set up their outdoor pen. I've picked places that allow me to provide shade, away from where passing dogs and cats don't do their business and where I can sit with them and watch over them. As far as weeds, the only one I have to deal with is dandelion, which is good for them in limited quantity.

Do your research before you take him outside and if you can work it out, don't leave him unattended even for a second. If you give him a big enough pen, you'll find that he'll get plenty of exercise and his weight will be well managed. If you can't get him outside, setting up an inside pen and putting things for him to play with or chew on will help. You might have to get down there with him to encourage him to move around and play.

RubySimon

Post   » Thu Mar 26, 2020 9:38 pm


It is way too cold here now for them to be outside unfortunately. We live in the Northeast and it is cold here sometimes into May. We also live out in the country so predators are a worry. Both on the ground and in the air. We have eagles, owls, foxes, fishers and coyotes.
Initially I put them in the bathroom with a bunch of houses, tunnels, etc. and he would just run into one and sit. I kind of have to encourage him to move around and it is not successful. He prefers to hang out in one spot. I will try spreading out his veggies. Good idea. He has piles of hay in his pen already. His pen is 28” x 56”. Good sized. But he sits in his house. I think he is lazy due to being neutered. My intact boars are much more active.

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Renonvsparky

Post   » Fri Mar 27, 2020 1:57 am


Hopefully it's not an underlying health problem the vet is missing. I've never heard of neutering causing laziness in guinea pigs. Of course just because I've never seen it, doesn't mean it doesn't happen. All I can suggest is to keep at getting him to move around. We had to get our overweight and lazy guy moving by lightly "goosing" him. A good mix of goosing, and petting him got the job done.

RubySimon

Post   » Fri Mar 27, 2020 5:50 am


I guess I am going to have to kind of gently chase him around to keep him moving. He’s the only neutered pig I’ve ever had. All my other boars were an excellent weight. So I do think that the neutering did play some part in him gaining weight. When I spoke to my Vet about neutering my new guy, she was not enthusiastic. And this guy is much more active and eats three times as much and stays the perfect weight. My vet does not think Simon has any health issues. He had a full exam recently. I trust her implicitly. So I guess with him it is just going to be trying to get him moving more.

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Renonvsparky

Post   » Fri Mar 27, 2020 6:35 am


It's only my opinion, but neutering a guinea pig is an unnecessary risk. It's much easier to just have boars or sows, not a mix of them. Not judging anyone who has it done and not sure why yours was neutered, as everyone has their reasons for it and they do what they think is best for their pigs. I respect that. Just saying it's something I would never do to a guinea pig.

RubySimon

Post   » Fri Mar 27, 2020 8:05 am


The shelter I adopted him from did it. They were exploring whether or not it was a good thing. They have since stopped doing it. I adopted a pig a month ago from them and he is intact.

JJGiebz
Make Good Choices

Post   » Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:46 pm


Just chiming in from the pro-neuter camp - neutering greatly reduces/eliminates the risk of boars developing impaction issues, among other preventative health benefits. Would I opt for elective surgery on an older pig, no - but if they are young and healthy, I have found neutering saves us both a lot of mineral oil and hassle down the line.

As far as the weight gain goes, I haven’t had a pig balloon up as is warned, but, I do have a lazy one. He knows all about the goodness that is stored in the refrigerator, and about the cookies that are kept at the other end of the room. So I set up his floor time mats in between the two, and then I get him all excited about one or other, and then I walk back and forth between them 8 or 10 times while he chases after me. He eventually gets his treat, to keep the ruse up, but he gets his steps in. (Most of the time. Once I turned around to find him sitting in front of the refrigerator, staring at it. He was on to me. LOL)

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Fri Mar 27, 2020 10:30 pm


Very funny! On bad weather days or at night if I haven't gotten my "steps" in, I house walk. Encouraging movement is a great thing for our guinea pigs!

RubySimon

Post   » Sat Mar 28, 2020 5:53 am


Thanks for the input. I will just have to get creative about getting Simon moving.

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