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Guinea pig not eating.

Species: Other
Breed: Guinea Pig
Age: 2-5 years
Hello,

I have a 3 year old guinea pig who has stopped eating. Last week I changed the kind of food he had been eating from loose food to "perfect portion" food balls to try and prevent food waste. He wouldn't eat it so I broke the pieces up to see if he would try it then and have been offering him fruits and vegetables as well, but he is not interested in eating anything. The food change also coincided with a change in weather from warm to cold. I have also noticed he isn't pooping and isn't drinking as much water, and a few months ago I noticed some lumps on his stomach that never seemed to bother him. When I googled the lumps I found that they are common in guinea pigs and normally don't require veterinary care. I'm concerned because he hasn't been eating, pooping, or drinking...from what I can tell he has eaten very little or nothing in the last week. I read online that I can syringe feed him pumpkin and that might help, but I am hesitant to try without veterinary input and am also considering this might be the result of the weather change. What can I do for my piggy?

Thank you,
Jodi


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi,

There are a number of things that can cause a guinea pig to stop eating. It certainly is possible that changing his diet caused him to go off of his food but there could be another cause.

It is possible that he stopped eating because he didn't like the food and now he has something called gastrointestinal stasis. GI stasis means that his intestines are not moving properly. Some guinea pigs can get this if they don't have enough roughage in their diet.

GI stasis is a serious condition. For this reason, I would highly recommend that you have your guinea pig see a vet. The treatment generally involves fluid therapy, pain medications and also nutrition therapy. The nutrition therapy usually involves syringe feeding a supplement such as Oxbow Critical Care as well as a vitamin C supplement.

There are other possible reasons for a guinea pig to not eat as well including dental problems, having a foreign object in his intestines and other conditions. But, given that this first started after the food change, I think that the food change is likely to blame.

Again, I would definitely recommend having a vet examine your guinea pig as soon as possible. There is no harm in trying to get him to eat some good foods such as guinea pig hay. In some cases, if you can get a pig to eat then they will get better on their own. There is no harm in trying the pumpkin, but if he won't eat it then he will definitely need veterinary care.

I wish I could offer you more! Hope he is feeling better soon!

Dr. Marie




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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.