Moomintroll & Snufkin medical thread


Post   » Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:02 am


I'm a new poster and fairly recent guinea pig owner (we've only had them since September). I'm just wondering if anyone has some soothing advice for me tonight as our dear little pigs are a bit poorly.

Basically, a few days ago Moomintroll started sneezing and coughing so of course we took him off to the vet and we were told he had an infection and he is now on antibiotics. Our other guinea pig Snufkin was given a check up at the same time and was not presenting any symptoms so he wasn't given anything. Moomintroll is thankfully much better already! However this morning Snufkin started up the coughing and sneezing, the poor thing. We have a vet appointment booked for him first thing tomorrow morning (the soonest available appointment), but I'm just wondering if there is anything we can do to keep him a little comfier tonight? He has been eating and drinking all day which does make me feel better, but his little coughs absolutely break my heart!

The boys live in a C&C enclosure in our living room and are on soft vet-bed so they should be comfy enough, right?

Does anyone have any advice or sage wisdom?

Many thanks!

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Post   » Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:11 pm

If you are not already, start weighing daily and be prepared to hand feed.

You might want to give your guinea pigs some time in a steamy bathroom.


Post   » Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:47 pm

Thanks! We have indeed been weighing them and currently both of their weights are stable and their appetite remains good. I will remember the tip about the steamy bathroom, that is a great idea. We must be in different time zones as are now about to leave for his vet appointment very soon and he is much the same as last night. Thanks very much for your help! Hopefully all goes well at the vet!


Post   » Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:00 am

Hi again!

As an update the boys are both all better now and are just finishing up their course of antibiotics! We did end up having to hand feed during their illness and the information here was a big help.

My new question is this: do antibiotics change the shape of their stools? They have been on Enrotril (also called Baytril I think) and their poops have been a bit tear dropped. They have both been drinking their usual amount of water so I dont think they can be dehydrated.

Does anyone know what could cause it?

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Post   » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:54 am

Thanks for the update.

The tear-drop shaped stool you describe can also happen if they are not eating enough. Do weigh daily to ensure they are maintaining their weight at least

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:21 am

Antibiotics can change the shape, color and smell of the poop. Just watch closely, but give it a few days to see if things come back to normal before you start to worry.


Post   » Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:35 pm

Thanks guys, that make sense :) we will continue to weigh them daily and keep an eye on the poop shape


Post   » Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:16 am


I'm having a bit of confusion - my pig moomintroll has just done two poops which look exactly like coffee beans. They are lighter brown in colour and have a split down the middle like a coffee bean. His other poops seem to be normal (for him - his poops have been fluctuating in shape ever since he was on antibiotics a few months back. His other poops are regular in colour). He is eating, drinking, and playing as usual. Does anyone know what could have made this happen? I will try and attach a picture in a reply post.


Post   » Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:34 am


I hope this image works, I'm not really sure how to upload them haha


Post   » Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:35 am

okay I don't think that worked. The link to the image is here


Post   » Wed Mar 21, 2018 5:46 am

Quick update: in the last hour he has done a quick fire round of "perfect" poops. They are dark and not too moist/dry. Although they do have a very faint line down the centre of them. I am even more baffled by his coffee bean poops of this afternoon.

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Post   » Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:20 am

Great pic - very interesting! I don't think it is something to worry about but don't know the cause (guessing what he is eating - perhaps related to hay intake). I cropped it so it can be displayed here (if that's okay with you):

You could also dissect the poop to see if there are any foreign items (frayed plastics, for example) in it.


Post   » Wed Mar 21, 2018 5:10 pm

Thanks for cropping the image so it can be displayed! I'm totally fine with that :) I've had a look through the poops and cant see anything unusual. It could very well be related to his hay as we have had to switch to timothy hay (which he hasn't had before) from oaten hay due to supply issues in our area. Well, since he is fine in all other aspects I think I'll keep an eye on it but not worry too much. We are taking both of our pigs to be wormed on the weekend anyway so I will ask the vet as well :)


Post   » Tue Dec 03, 2019 4:57 am

Well I'm back. Happily, my two boys have been in fine fettle since I last posted, with regular check ups at the vet (interesting fact - their poops are still sometimes in the previously mentioned coffee bean shape. We still have no idea what could be causing it). I've come back to ask about teeth. I am a tad worried about Snufkin's front teeth.

Two days ago I noticed that Snuf had chipped one of his front bottom teeth. It was just a small chip off the side, no bleeding or anything extreme like that, so I decided to give him some oral vit
c to ward off anything and keep an eye on him.

Well I've just got home from work and have checked his teeth again, and while the chip on the bottom tooth is smaller (I guess he has worn it down), his top two teeth are a little jagged. Is this a usual side effect of a chipped tooth? I did notice that his chin was a bit wet but I'm not sure that it is drool. It just smells like a wet guinea pig, seemed to dry up in the time that I was handling him so maybe it was just water? I will have to keep checking to see if it persists.

He is eating and playing as usual, and not exhibiting any signs of pain. I'm trying to encourage him to eat as much hay as possible by limiting their soft veg for now. Of course I will get him to a vet if you don't think any of this is normal for a chipped tooth/he worsens! I'm so hoping that it isn't his molars.

Any advice would be most welcome and appreciated.

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I dissent.

Post   » Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:18 am

I wouldn't expect both top teeth to be jagged if it were related to the bottom chipped tooth, as, in theory, the 'normal' bottom tooth should be abrading the matching incisor above. I do wonder how he chipped he bottom tooth, though. Could this have been some sort of injury? -- fell off a ramp, for example? Maybe the bottom tooth wasn't the only dental injury?

If it were me, I'd monitor it for now and see if they continue to look jagged once they have all had a chance to wear down a little. Otherwise, if your vet could lightly file/smooth all four incisors so that they're even, it would give you a better idea if they're wearing normally (and the vet can have a look at back teeth while he/she is at it).


Post   » Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:33 am

Thanks for your response, Sef!

I'm actually not sure how his tooth was chipped. It happened while I wasn't home and he was in his pen. He doesn't have a ramp and has never been a climber of his log tunnels. My guess is that he tried to bite the bars of the pen or yanked too hard on the water dripper? This is my first time dealing with a chipped tooth so it's a bit of a mystery.

I'll keep an eye on it and update if anything interesting happens!

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I dissent.

Post   » Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:57 am

Sounds good. In the meantime, I would suggest weighing him daily (preferably same time every day, such as first thing in the morning before feeding) to make sure he isn't losing weight. See:

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Post   » Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:29 am

I wonder about the jagged you describe. You are welcome to send me a crisp clear pic if you have one and I can put it up.

See also:

Let us know if by broken, you mean slanted. Are there bars in the cage that he chews on?

Become familiar with the signs of malocclusion too, in case anything develops.


Post   » Mon Jul 26, 2021 11:45 pm

Hi, just wondering if anyone has any advice for diarrhoea/gas in older guinea pigs.

For context, my boy is around 5 years old and not castrated. Nowadays, he regularly becomes impacted, so I do express and clean his sac as often as required.

In the last three days, he developed very soft and gassy poops, as well as a cough and decreased appetite, so off to the vet he went.

Our vet examined his poop and he has no unusual bacterias or parasite in his gut to explain the soft poops. During the sac expression gas is audibly expelled, which is not normal. The vet did diagnose a URI. His teeth are fine. He has no swelling/growths in his abdomen.

He is currently being treated with antibiotics for the URI, which we know might make the poop situation worse but felt it was necessary. He is also getting probiotics during the antibiotic cycle to support his gut, as well as vitamins C & B.

Since starting the antibiotics he has recovered his appetite and has been much more energetic and chirpy and the cough is clearing.

We feed our piggies timothy hay and burgess pellets. We've significantly reduced his vegetables since his poops became soft.

If anyone has any ideas on what could be causing the very weird poops/experienced this before, please let me know! :)

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Supporter in 2020

Post   » Tue Jul 27, 2021 12:16 am

My female just had a week of being off her food and developing soft, mushy poos. I did much the same as you are doing. I cut out the fresh veggies, especially cucumber and green pepper since they can be gassy. I fed Critical Care and also a few corn husks since she wasn’t eating hay or pellets. I syringed Benebac mixed with Pedialyte several times a day. Just wait at least an hour after the antibiotic before giving the probiotic.

Once she started eating hay, the fiber helped get her digestion back to normal.

Good luck, I hope he starts feeling better.

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