I also notice she seems to be having trouble eating. She wants to eat, and when I give her critical care or baby food or blended veggies she eats like crazy, but she seems to be having trouble with solids. Could there be a problem with her teeth, or is it the antibiotics making her lose her appetite except for tasty treats?
- Supporting my GL Habit
I called another vet in my area who claimed to have GP experience, but when I asked if they had dental experience she said she didn't know and I would have to ask the doctor after paying for an exam.
The doctor spent the first 15 minutes of our session bragging about his years of experience with exotic pets, and told me that if he "seemed rough" or she didn't get better, I shouldn't get upset and leave a bad facebook review. Then he told me there is very little medical treatment available for guinea pigs because they are rare and nobody studies them, so usually there is nothing that can be done. He told me he doesn't like to prescribe medicine for guinea pigs because they usually don't get better and that I should consider myself lucky that she had lived to 4 because they have very uncertain/ "unknown" lifespans. This was all before he even looked at her or asked what was wrong. It was like he wanted to euthanise her before even looking at her.
I'm in Hamilton, unfortunately there isn't a vet that I have found in the actual city that I would trust with anything too major.
There's 1 vet at Stoney Creek Animal Hospital. She has surgical experience, but I have no idea if she does dentals with any success.
Next closest would be Burloak Animal Hospital in Oakville. I haven't ever been there with my pigs, but it is generally regarded as a good clinic for exotics.
Personally, I take my guinea pigs to Guelph. I use Campus Estates Animal Hospital. I have had successful dentals done on guinea pigs there and the vets are amazing. Dr. Liteplo, Dr. Morin, Dr. Pascos and Dr. Louws have all been really good with my pigs. I always make the drive there.
I believe there is also Windrush Veterinary Services in Brantford. There is an actual exotic vet there. I know a couple people use that vet who are happy there. Skinnypigs1 from youtube uses them.
Alternatively, there is a new small pet rescue based in Hamilton. Serenity Pet Sanctuary. They use a Hamilton/Stoney Creek vet, but I'm not sure which one. You could possibly contact them and ask. I don't know how good of a vet it is though.
And thanks Lynx, I just like trying to help! I've been rather frustrated trying to find a local vet that I'm happy with. I used to live in Guelph (about an hour from Hamilton) while I did my undergrad and used Campus Estates for all my girls. I love that clinic and 100% trust them with my pigs. I've given up on finding a local vet and now just make the drive there whenever necessary.
Svh- thank you SO much for your help. I haven't been very impressed with the vets that I have tried here, so it's great to have a trustworthy recommendation.
Update: When I weighed her last night, her weight had dropped to 0.68 kg. Her normal weight is 1.1, and just the day before she had been .76.
I was panicking. I decided that instead of subjecting her to the stress and strain of +1hr drive and vet visit, I would keep her home and focus on agressively hand feeding her. To be honest, I wasn't convinced she would survive the drive without food.
At first I was only able to get .4 mls into her at a time. She couldn't handle any more. When I calculated how much she needed to be eating compared to how little she was taking in... I almost cried. Seemed impossible.
So every 15-20 minutes we did .4 mls. After a couple of sessions I increased to .5, then increased again to doing two feeds of .5 with a chewing break and started spacing out our feeds to every 30-ish minutes. We kept at it until I went to bed around 1:30.
We're up to 4 mls per session right now, roughly every hour. She's obviously still unhappy but she is a LOT stronger and actually took a few bites of strawberry! Real bites. I think maybe she was literally too weak to bite/chew before. She's pooping more.
I also read about jaw problems. I work in physical rehab and do a lot of palpation, so I felt around her jaw to see if anything seemed odd. She seems to have a tender point around one tmj so I'm massaging it gently during our feeds. She seems okay with that- doesn't squeak or cry when I do it. I wonder if jaw pain could be part of the problem as well.
I'll keep updating as she progresses. Thanks again for all your help so far.
She can't continue on how she is going. It could also take weeks or months to get her weight back to 2 pounds. I would strongly suggest making a vet appointment asap. She needs to be properly examined.