Arnold's poop problems

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Post   » Mon Nov 11, 2019 7:25 am

Hi all! Incoming is a kind of gross post, but I need some advice!
tl;dr version: Arnold was diagnosed with partial paralysis of the rectum. Looking for other people's experience.

Long version:
My one piggy, Arnold, is around 3½ years old. About a month and a half ago, he started having issues with diarrhea. At the same time, his buddy had a nasty round of abscess and an infected tooth, so he would be away at the vet for days, while Arnold was home alone. So at first, we (vet and I) thought it was just stress, and I did the usual removing veggies and feeding good hay. It kinda got better, it went from gobs of poop to just being very soft, but normal-shaped poop.
Since then he's on and off had issues with diarrhea. I didn't change their diets. They get small amount of veggies (a carrot to share, or maybe a slice of cucumber daily. Grass when it's in season), Burgess and loads of hay.
A week and a half ago, it got bad again with Arnold's stomach, and he had several days in a row of goopy poopy, so I took him to the vet. She said it can take a long time to get over stress, and suggested feeding him Fibreplex. I did that for a couple of days and didn't see an improvement. We'd gone on Tuesday, and agreed to return a week after if it wasn't better, but thursday evening he wasn't eating and I had to feed him Critical Care, so I went again friday morning.
Vet couldn't figure out what was wrong, but he was not himself at all, just sat curled up on himself with fur poofed out. We thought maybe we should say good bye to him, so he wouldn't suffer more, so I made an appointment for later the day (my bf wanted to be there, too). I took him home to give him a nice end with his friend and lots of veggies. Then he started eating and kinda woke up a bit, so I called the vet and asked for an x-ray.

She didn't find anything, but examined him more and found he was kinda clogged up. She took out a lot of poop that was stuck in his butt, and he started to eat after that.

Hence, she diagnosed it's a partial paralysis of the rectum. She says it can't be cured. To treat it, I need to sort of turn his butt inside out and remove the poop that gets stuck.

I've never heard of this before, and I tried in my local (Danish) guinea pig forums, where no one could tell me their experience, because they had none.

Have any of you tried something similar? How did it go?

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Post   » Mon Nov 11, 2019 7:32 am

It sounds like he was impacted. It's a fairly common condition with older adult males, especially those that are overweight or inactive. You can read more about impaction here:

When a guinea pig becomes impacted, it's not unusual for them to lose their appetite or show signs of pain.

The diarrhea/loose stools is more concerning. If that continues, I'd ask the vet to take a sample of his poops for testing. See also:


Post   » Mon Nov 11, 2019 7:56 am

I've never heard of that word before, and thus couldn't find it on the webpage, but it sounds exactly like what he has! When I clean him, some more normal poops come out (I'm guessing these are the harder ones that they usually don't eat, that got trapped by the soft ones getting stuck). After I started cleaning him up down there on a daily basis, I see more of the normal poops.
This is all still quite new to me. I haven't observed him eat any of his poop, so should I give him vitamin B-complex? Is there any specific kind made for guinea pigs or do I just go to a vet store and ask for vitamin B? Which kind of oil works best to rub on him? So far I tried olive oil, since that's the only thing I have, but I'll buy whatever is best, of course.


Post   » Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:05 am

I found a shop that sells "pet vitamin drops" that contain the following:
Vitamin B1(Thiamin hydrochloride)150 mcg, Vitamin B2(Riboflavin) 400 mcg, Vitamin B6 175 mcg, Vitamin B12 4 mcg, Vitamin C(ascorbic acid) 150mcg, Vitamin D3(Cholecalciferol) 10IU, Pantothensyre 1500 mcg, Niacinamid 2000 mcg, Folic acid 40 mcg, Biotin 0,25 mcg

Is that what I'd need?

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Supporter in 2019

Post   » Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:33 am

You don't want to start using a multiple vitamin. As long as he's eating a good fortified pellet, he is most likely getting enough B vitamins. However, if the poops don't firm up and you're concerned that he isn't ingesting enough cecals, you can buy just B-complex online (look for human grade, without any sweeteners or artificial coloring/flavoring).


Post   » Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:41 am

Ah, ok, I wasn't sure if human grade would be ok. I'll give it a bit more time before I do anything. Like I said, he's getting Burgess, and that should be a good pellet from what I know.
I feel like it's getting a bit more back to normal now that I'm checking him mornings and evenings. Last night and this morning there was nothing down there, and no extraordinarily soft poops in the cage, so I think there's some improvement. I'm just not sure when it's normal impacted and when it's something else as well.

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