What you can do is log what you are feeding and see if there is a trigger. Feed one vegetable at a time for several days. Add another one in, keep monitoring. For some guinea pigs, green peppers are not well tolerated (unfortunate because they are so nutritious).
After she started getting sick, the Mazuri pellets were the first thing she stopped eating, but I didn't think too much about it. As a last-ditch effort to increase her food intake, I got online and ordered the Oxbow pellets. I didn't even think about the Mazuri pellets being the cause of GI issues; I just thought she might have a preference for Oxbow, just as humans prefer certain things when we're sick. They came in a few days ago, and she's been eating them just fine.
It just crossed my mind tonight as I was starting a food log that all of her GI issues (even the gas I mentioned back in late September) did not start until about a week after I started transitioning to the Mazuri pellets. Has anyone heard about the brand or heard of anyone have any problems with it? I don't want to blame the pellets without good reason to, but I definitely interested in knowing if it's a common problem and I need to just toss the rest of the bag (I might anyway just in case, and I can start fresh with Oxbow since I trust it). I've tried to look it up myself, but I can't find many conversations about the brand at all, other than people's personal preference. Just wondering if maybe someone remembers hearing something about it.
- Supporter in 2018
My vet recommended Mazuri last summer, but admitted she didn't know anything about them (she's not an exotic vet) she's just most familiar with the brand.
I guess my pigs would give a thumbs up to KMS. I'm pretty sure they are healthier than stuff off a shelf, so I'm going to go back to them.
Bpatters, thank you for the recommendation! I have looked at the KMS for their hay, but I hadn't even thought to look at their pellets. I'll probably end up giving the Mazouri pellets to my friend that uses them, just in case. The others have been fine on it, but I don't want to unnecessarily increase the risk them going through this too. I haven't had any problems with the Oxbow pellets, which I have fed all the guinea pigs since I got them, so it looks like I'm going to have to stick to the tried and true. If I ever have to go to a different brand, it sounds like KMS is the way to go! It's good to know that there's at least one other high-quality pellet that is trusted.
As for other updates: I think I finally figured out why she hasn't wanted to drink. Last night I finally was able to get her to drink a little from her bottle, and every time she swallowed you could hear her stomach "gurgle". It looked like it was very uncomfortable for her, even with Metacam to help with some of the pain. I'd say until the gas is completely gone, getting her to drink her daily recommended water is going to be difficult. That said, last night she decided she will drink some from her bottle now if I will hold it for her while she's on my lap. She will barely touch it if it's on her cage. She might be getting just a little bit spoiled. ;)
I've still been giving her soaked hay when I'm home to be able to remove it, along with occasional slices of cucumber and whatever water I can get her to take from a syringe. So far, I have gone just over 24 hours without giving her SQ fluids, which she's been getting at least twice a day, sometimes three, since October 6 (only 20 ccs per round). Her poop is still smaller than I'd like, and it almost has the consistency of play-doh (shiny on the outside, but grainy and dry inside). Some are slightly tapered at one end, but not teardrop shaped and rock hard anymore. With that being the case, the stress and panic she goes through while getting SQ fluids doesn't seem to be worth the risk, so long as her poos are getting better and she's attempting to drink some on her own. Now that she knows what's coming, the squealing, freaking out, and fighting like her life depends on it begins as soon as I start to gently pull up her skin into a tent above her shoulders, and then she goes absolutely crazy if/when she hears the needle uncap. Cuddle cups and wrapping her in a towel helped some with her moving, but they didn't seem to help with calming her at all. Her breathing and heart rate haven't been gong back down until almost 30 minutes after it's over. I'm afraid she'll drive herself into a heart attack with that level of stress, so I'm hoping I can keep her hydrated enough to be able to significantly reduce the frequency of the injections or even discontinue them altogether.
Other than that, her stomach has gone down a lot, although she is still a little bloated and passing gas. She's been on simethicone 1 mL every 8 hours for 8 days now, as well as Reglan twice daily for the past 4 days. While the gas is not going away as fast as I'd like or expected, I'll gladly take any improvement right now.
This morning she's extremely hyper and is wanting to run around on the couch and explore. This is the first time she's not been severely lethargic since October 2nd, so hopefully she's getting a little of her spunk back!
- Supporter in 2018
Anyway, back to the subject... Try the syringe route. It might be easier to get fluids down her.
We just got done at the vet! Maggie is luckily not dehydrated and the vet says she's very well fed. She pooped a TON at the vet's office even though she hasn't had Reglan in a day and a half...and afterward much her tummy went down significantly from the time she arrived at the vet until the time x-rays were taken. Repeat X-rays are still showing a bit of gas, but not enough to cause panic. Basically, the vet thinks she's binge eating, and that is the significant part of her increase in size at what seems like random times. That much intake at once is also causing a little gas as well. This doesn't surprise me too much, since Maggie will eat a lot at one time, then not eat for a long time and repeat. She wasn't doing this when she was at her sickest; she would eat a little at a time then rest between. She may just be binging now that she can eat without it hurting her tummy, and will regulate her eating habits with time.
She says overall Maggie is significantly better, but the simethicone may help pass the gas along until she starts regulating her eating habits better, which could be a while. Other than that, she says Maggie seems to be perfectly healthy...she just has to get her eating (and subsequently her GI tract) regulated.
Last night, I was able to steal one of Remy's cecal poops as she was bending for it while sitting on my lap, and so I made poop soup for Maggie. Neither Remy nor Maggie were very happy about it, but fingers crossed. Maybe if there is some kind of underlying issue that is upsetting her tummy, like bacteria, this will help regulate it little.
The second vet has now said no veggies until the gas stops recurring, so I know it's not her veggies causing this, and she's back to her normal pellets and hay. There's no sign of torsion or any other physical abnormalities on her x-ray that would be causing her to keep bloating up, and the vet said she doesn't think Maggie would have come into contact with any of the normal parasites that cause this. That being said, I can't help but think it may be a bacterial cause of some sort. Since Maggie is eating, drinking, and pooping just fine, the vet doesn't want to give antibiotics in fear of making the entire situation worse again. So here's hoping my first every try at poop soup is at least somewhat helpful!!