Regurgitating while force feeding?


Post   » Fri Jul 20, 2018 1:19 am

It's just one thing after another with my girls lately. My girl Zipper seemed unwell so I took her to the vet, who said it was a respiratory infection and perscribed antibiotics. I've been force feeding the antibiotics with a syringe pretty successfully, but yesterday she spit most of it out. Tonight, she regurgitated a bunch of green goo when I put the syringe in her mouth. Am I doing something wrong, like pushing the syringe in too far, or should she go back to the vet?

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?

Thanks everyone.

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Post   » Fri Jul 20, 2018 8:42 am

If she shows interest in solids, like trying to eat it but dropping it, then that would be teeth problems. If she's spitting out the critical care, that could be her just getting aggravated with being hand fed or that she's having difficult swallowing. I think it would be at least worthwhile calling the vet and talking to them about it.


Post   » Fri Jul 20, 2018 12:20 pm

I took her to the vet and he said there is nothing wrong with her teeth and doesn't thing there is a blockage. I don't know what to do now. She's losing weight fast, why can't she eat?

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Fri Jul 20, 2018 4:55 pm

Is this an exotic vet?

Has she had dental x-rays and a thorough dental exam?


Post   » Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:26 pm

They claimed to have lots of experience with all exotics. My regular vet is on holiday and they refered me there. He did a dental exam with an instrument, but no x-ray. He bent her hesd back far enough when he was examining her that it worried me- it was quite rough. The exam was really quick. He said her front teeth were a little long but not long enough to be causing trouble.

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.


Post   » Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:56 pm

Here is the other thing, she doesn't seem able to open her mouth wide and whenever she eats she chews with one side of her mouth and tilts her head.

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.

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:12 pm

Find another vet!

Are you in Hamilton, Ontario? There are several exotic vets around there.


Post   » Sat Jul 21, 2018 1:23 am

I am, are there any in particular you can recommend?

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Post   » Sat Jul 21, 2018 8:31 am

What that vet said would put me off. There are good vets out there - you just have to find them (I don't have a particular recommendation).

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sat Jul 21, 2018 10:38 am

Send a PM through the board software to the user hammer -- she's in Hamilton, and will be able to recommend someone in that area.

There are also a couple of Canadian users from that general vicinity over at GPC. I'll ask over there.


Post   » Sat Jul 21, 2018 11:20 am

Just curious, which vet did you take her to that said those things?

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.


Post   » Sat Jul 21, 2018 4:58 pm

I am thinking of taking her to guelph. I know the university has an emrgency department just for exotics. I'll see how she is when I get home from work. It's just tough because I don't have a car, getting a rental on the weekend can be tricky.


Post   » Sat Jul 21, 2018 5:03 pm

And I don't want to "name and shame" that vet until I have gotten a second opinion...but I checked out his google reviews and a LOT of people have complained about him being rough or mishandling their pets.

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Post   » Sat Jul 21, 2018 9:01 pm

Svh, thanks for your detailed post! I think Guineapun lucked out getting such good advice.


Post   » Sun Jul 22, 2018 2:31 am

Best wishes for you guys. If the OVC can't figure out what's wrong, I don't think any body else would be able to. Keep us updated!

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.


Post   » Sun Jul 22, 2018 6:42 pm

Lynx- I agree!
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.

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Post   » Sun Jul 22, 2018 8:56 pm

I'm so glad you are really working at getting food into her. It makes a huge difference and will give her the strength she needs to survive.


Post   » Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:05 pm

Thank you Lynx. She put on 10g over the course of the day yesterday, but lost it all overnight while I was sleeping. I don't think she touched her food at all or had any water; I could see the declining quality of her poops.I'll give her as much as I can before work but I feel a bit overwhelmed. She's about half her body weight- would she be likely to survive sedation if I bring her to the vet at such a low weight? I was hoping to get her up to 2lbs before making another vet trip. I want her to have a fighting chance- she wants to live and she wants to eat. I don't know how much more weight she might lose while I'm at work.


Post   » Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:51 pm

If they are just examining her mouth, they can usually do sedation very lightly. She doesn't necessarily need to be fully sedated. Of course there is a risk associated with it, but it honestly sounds necessary. Most vets will do what they can to stabilize them before a procedure to give them a fighting chance. Warming them up, fluids, potentially medications raise their heart rate or blood pressure if they are very poorly.

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.


Post   » Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:43 pm

I had no idea it might take that long for her to put the weight back on. I'll take her in asap.

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