- And got the T-shirt
Gerbil is 7.5 years old now and he started to lose weight recently. 5 months ago he started losing weight (~50grams) but I changed his hay and he got back to his normal weight range. 2 months ago, he started to lose weight again, he used to be in the 1170-1190 gram range, now he is down to 1120 grams and he is dropping slowly but still dropping. I weigh him everyday before breakfast same time. He has also gotten much slower and sleepier. And he is super picky with his hay now. I am trying all different kinds of hay (timothy, orchard, oat, different brands) but he seems to not eat most of it.
I did book a vet visit for him in 10 days, but I am writing here to ask for your experiences with senior pigs losing weight. How much weight loss is normal for old age? I read they lose and plateau but how much would they lose? 10% of body weight? Less? Do they tend to get pickier with hay? I know other things could be heart, kidney, teeth related problems. He was diagnosed with beginning arthritis in November but I started giving him meloxicam (his vet prescribed 0.4ml twice a day as needed but I feel this is a bit too much?) and that doesn't seem to help with weight gain. Anything else I should keep in mind and ask his vet? Thank you for your help.
- For the Love of Pigs
- Supporter 2004-2021
He's on metacam for possible arthritis; I will post dosage later.
Couple days after I posted this, I had to take Gerbil to emergency vet on sunday because I noticed he was not eating his hay and pellets, and had very small and little amount of stools. As I suspected he was diagnosed with GI stasis after an X-ray. They gave him some motility drugs and fluids and hand feeding. He spend 24 hours at the hospital. This was 2 weeks ago, he is doing better now. He eats and drinks by himself, but he is still slowly losing weight...He was actually eating much better the first couple of days he came back from the hospital, now he is getting a bit picky again...They also did bloodwork and said his kidneys were fine, and nothing was abnormal about the blood work. Physical exam was also fine. He lost ~100 grams in the last 2.5 months. Not sure if this due to old age, or another underlying illness. What else can I do to make sure I am not missing anything? I love him so much, I am having a hard time seeing him lose weight like this. I have some left over motility drug (cisapride), should I try to give him some more? Thank you for all your help.
- Supporter in 2020
Is he staying hydrated? If he doesn't drink enough, his digestion will slow and he could end up with a blockage.
I know some people have mentioned feeding rolled oats to help put some weight on, but I don't know how effective that is.
- Supporter in 2020
The other thing I started doing is making 2 small piles, at opposite corners of the cage with a tunnel of hidey in the middle. She thinks it's great that she can go back and forth between two different kinds of hay. Playing mind games with a guinea pig.
On a different note, I have been trying to feed him critical care, but can't do it with a syringe, how much water do you use to make a paste? Do you use a 1ml syringe? Thank you!
- Catie Cavy
- Supporter 2011-2020