Munchie is one of our senior statesmen, somewhere in the vicinity of five-and-a-half years old. She is housed alone, for the time being. (Her last cage mate passed away, about six months ago, and trying to introduce anyone new has been... stressful). She is in a large C&C cage, on fleece bedding, with a steady diet of hay, pellets, and fresh water.
Recently, Munchie started losing some weight. She went down a total of six ounces, over the course of a month, or so. We traced it back to her not tolerating sugar snap peas, which were newer to her diet. (Not terribly frequent, but, the last drop in weight corresponded with the ingestion of a sugar snap pea). She did go to the vet, in the interim, who had us put her on a third of a portion of Critical Care. Other than that, she has still be eating, and drinking. We've taken out most of her greens, for the time being, as her tummy doesn't seem to be enjoying much more than carrots. (Lettuce, cucumber... Not tolerated, too well). All has been going okay. She even gained an ounce. But, we are still with the Critical Care.
Tonight, she had some of her Critical Care. She eats it, pretty well, so I tend to let her eat it off of the spoon. She ate her portion, and went back in her cage. For the first hour or so, she had a number of solid, well-formed poops. Then, I looked in her cage, and she had two smudges of pasty, light-green poops. They weren't runny, they didn't smell funny, and she mostly went on like it was no big deal. She's drinking, eating, and cleaning herself. And, the last few minutes, she has had some more solid, albeit small, poops.
My major question is, can Critical Care cause this? I wondered, about the warmer water... Or, if she was maybe a bit backed-up, and it could have forced through her? She goes back to the vet, tomorrow, for a re-check, and I plan to bring it up. I just wanted to know if anyone else might have experienced this, and could please provide some insight? Anything that I should/could be doing for her?
First, the medication went over, quite well. She got back to her normal habits, rather quickly. Her weight didn't get much higher, but, she maintained.
Fast forward to early October. She had a bit of gas, one morning, which we were able to combat with simethicone, and a dry diet. At the time, we didn't quite know what it was that caused the issue. But, within a few days, she was right as rain, again.
This past Friday, I noticed the gassy poppings, again. So, we got on the simethicone, and cleared that up, quickly. By nightfall, the noises had settled back down.
During this time, I had bought a new bag of hay, so that there would be plenty, to see her through. Over the course of the weekend, Munch wouldn't eat. No hay, no pellets. I was beside myself, trying to tempt her with the little thistle-y pieces in the hay, which are her favourites. Nothing. She also slowed down on her drinking, which lead to easing water into her, by syringe. Still, no eating. She wanted the parsley that I offered her, on Sunday afternoon. (Gobbled that right up, she did!). But, still, no hay. And, by this time, there were VERY few jellybeans, to speak of. The ones I did see were small. I worried she wasn't eating enough, and her weight wasn't looking the best, so we tried some Critical Care, which she ate right off the spoon. Still, not much for poops. Hysterical Mom. Annoyed Muncher.
By late, Sunday night, the lightbulb went off. Munch is a very selective piglet. She knows when something is 'off', and won't go near it. While she had begun to pull bits and pieces off of the hay, that was it. I tore out to WalMart, and got a bag of a different brand. Bingo. She tucked right into that, and I sobbed, in relief. (I'm also tossing that other bag, just to be safe).
As of Monday night, there were no big improvements, in the jellybean factory. Small, minimal poops were in her cage, but, that was it. This began my concerm that she was backed-up. I've read quite a few topics about bloat, and dehydration, and the use of vibration to help move things along. So, we've spent the night in the company of some gentle vibrations, and one or two MLs of Pedialyte, every half hour, to an hour. And, for a while, it worked! The poops were beginning to come out, a little at a time, going from small, and hard, to slightly bigger, and a little less-hard. But, now, as we round the wee hours, she's down to a couple of small, soft-looking droppings, the last two hours. I'm troubled by this, but, for more than one reason.
Throughout all of this, Munch has not looked, nor felt properly bloated. Her sides, and by her tummy are soft. Right underneath, she is a bit firmer, but, no different from my other girls. She isn't lethargic. A little grumpy, maybe, but, I would be, too. No obvious hunching. No ruffled coat. I've isolated the cause of the gas, thank goodness. But, beyond that, I'm puzzled at what is up with her lack of poops. I've tried adding more veggies. I've tried cutting them out. She's not refusing parsley. Didn't refuse the bit of red pepper. She's eating her hay. But, I'm not seeing poops.
I'm going to mix her up some Critical Care, in a minute. I'm beginning to worry that she's not eating enough. But, I don't much fancy the idea of putting too much more into her, if it's not coming out. As for the jellybeans, does it sound plausible that she is eating a fair portion of them? I do see her going for her tush, every now and again.
So... Is there anything that anyone can think of, that I should try, that I haven't? I have this feeling that it's obvious, and I'm missing it. I will do whatever I physically can, to get her back to better health.
I apologize, again, if this seems like a giant ramble. I'll admit that my nerves are frazzled. (My fiancee is in the hospital, and I'm trying to work this out, solo). I'll be able to get her to the vet, on Wednesday, unless she takes a turn, in which case, I have Emergency, or an in-town vet that I trust, in a pinch. Either way, someone is getting a call, in the morning.
Thank you, endlessly, in advance,
Was the hay poor looking? Did it smell musty?
Guinea pigs absolutely need to have food moving through their system all the time. Get in the habit of weighing daily. Your observations are also important. Not many poops most frequently mean your guinea pig is not eating enough.
We have been weighing Munch, twice a day, since she first got sick. The last few days, there has been no weight loss, but, a small increase in weight. This began when I started hydrating her back up, so, I had hoped that it would put her in better shape.
This morning, she looked to have had one normal sized dropping, and a couple of smaller, softer ones... Certainly, nowhere near as hard-sounding as last night's. And, she is definitely eating quite a few off of herself. She had a little hay, and she's hitting the water bottle, a lot more often, as well. Definitely was hungry, today. She scarfed down her morning treat, no problem.
Further into the bag, yes, the hay smelled like old warehouse. Yuck! I combed through it, making sure that there was no mold, or nasty anything hanging out in it. The only thing that I found was that it was light brown, and very dry, deeper in. I wouldn't want to eat that crap, either.
Thank you, so much!!
I feel like such a twit (to put it mildly). Here I am, trying to prevent bloat, and Munch is likely running on empty... She'll be getting another round of Critical Care, as soon as I get in the door. (I'm going home, early, to look after her). And, if things aren't moving, by morning, she'll be going to the vet.
Thank you, so much, for entertaining my ramble, and helping me with advice. Your work is a godsend.