I’m extremely worried about our 2,5 year old Guinea pig. 2 weeks ago, she started experiencing pain while peeing. At that point, she still ate like she normally would. Last week, she started peeing blood and we took her to the vet. They did an x-ray and noticed some sludge in her bladder. The vet diagnosed her with cystitis. We started giving her antibiotics and painkiller but she still didn’t improve. She also stopped eating and her condition was getting really concerning (bloating).
The vet took her in and they performed dental surgery (because that’s a recurring problem for her). They basically hoped that would be the cause of her not eating. After her surgery (last Friday) she started eating pellets again! But when the anesthesia worn off, she stopped eating again. This weekend she’s been really depressed and tired. She doesn’t eat and she basically lies in one spot all the time. We’ve been syringe feeding her and today she started pooping again (she didn’t yesterday).
I’m so worried about her but I don’t know what to do. We’re giving her pain meds, antibiotics and we’re feeding her enough to keep her digestion going. She’s still in pain every time she pees although I haven’t noticed any blood since a few days. I don’t understand why she seems to be getting more exhausted every day. She should be able to eat on her own but she doesn’t (except for the 3 pieces of hay a day).
We could really use some advice because we’re not ready to give her up!
What is the name of the painkiller and of the antibiotics? Precisely what did the vet do with your guinea pig's teeth? Over trimming the incisors, for example, can make it more difficult to eat.
Have you read these pages?
There is a link on the stones page to more info on interstitial cystitis. Increasing fluids can help pass the sludge. It is helpful that you had an xray performed since it was the most likely issue.
- I dissent.
How much are you handfeeding her daily? is she still having regular bowel movements? What do her poops look like?
If you aren't weighing daily, I encourage you to do so. Substantial fluctuations in weight will tell you if she is getting enough food.
We definitely should start weighing her. She used to be 1,5 kg (she had always been quite heavy). She was around 1,3 kg at the vet last Saturday. She is pooping, though it differs in size. Yesterday was the first time I noticed normal looking poops (regular size and not sticky).
I’m so conflicted! The vet basically told me that her changes of improving are slim. Another vet told me to give her more time since her teeth might be sensitive. Last night she had a few moments where she was eating hay for a few minutes. Before that, it used to be only 3 pieces and she would go back to sleep. She also walked towards her wattle bottle (instead of me handing it to her) and she drank 2 times and quite a lot. We still syringe feed her to make sure she got enough food. Apart from those little moments, she slept the entire day. When we feed her she gets really fierce, so there’s still quite some energy in her.
I never thought having a Guinea pig could be so stressful. I’m thinking about her 24/7. Today is the first day me and my boyfriend need to work the entire day so we’ll feed her in the morning and as soon as we get home. But I am quite nervous for her.
It looks like Novacam is Meloxicam 1,5 mg/ml Meloxicam is the pain killer we would have recommended.
If your vet has been maintaining the teeth for some time, he/she likely has good skills for this. If a dental xray has not been taken recently, it may show issues not apparent to the naked eye (like elongated roots). It can take time after a molar planing, for example, to eat better. Maintenance of the teeth is a challenge. If you can maintain weight, you are giving time for improvement - which hopefully will happen but are not guaranteed to.
Complicating all this is the fact that the teeth continue to grow.
Sending you the best wishes.
This morning she nibbled at her favorite stick a few times (which is quite hard). Yesterday she tried once but sopped immediately. It’s a minor improvement and maybe it’s just wishful thinking. She also seems to eat some hay and drink water when I offer it to her. I also noticed she enjoyed eating the wallpaper. I really hope she starts eating more in the next few days.
- I dissent.
I also noticed that she peed today without making any noise (a few days ago she was still grumbling in pain). She lies down a lot, even though she’s still very aware of her surroundings. Whenever we walk by, you can see her lift her head a little. Because she seems so tired, we decided to stop giving her novacam (one of the side effects is loss of appetite). She might be suffering from side effects and we never noticed any pain relief since we started it. We will be monitoring her closely of course.
She munches on pieces of hay a few times a day. Sometimes I annoy her by pushing her water bottle against her mouth, then she “turns on” and starts eating a little. She used to LOVE raisins (bad, I know!) and she had this habit of standing on the side of her cage with her paws whenever she wanted a treat. Today she did just that! Except when I gave her a raisin, she took it but it fell down from her mouth, as if she couldn’t process it. It was the first time she actually seemed interested in food and it’s so sad to see her not being able to eat it.
I suspect she’s still getting used to her teeth or the vet trimmed too much. Hay disappears quite fast, though she spends a lot of time on “after chewing”. She wiggled her nose into her food bowl, but she couldn’t seem to eat those hard seeds and pellets.
Read these two pages, also:
I do not recall metacam resulting in loss of appetite. On the contrary, pain can cause loss of appetite so making sure she is as pain free as possible is a plus. You want to intercept pain before it starts with any pain medication (slower to get control after it starts).You might want to hand feed blades of fresh, green grass to get her molars working.
We’re meeting with the vet again tomorrow. We’ll discuss the situation again but I’m afraid we’re about to make a very difficult decision….
She just doesn’t seem that sick to us. She is tired and she rests a lot but she’s also quite alert and fierce whenever we hand feed her. Last Sunday she walked through our apartment, seemingly curious and content. It feels so wrong to end her life if she’s not deadly sick. She eats hay, just not enough. She drinks water, though mostly when we offer it.
Generally we do not recommend vitamin C drops in water. It can affect taste and it degrades quickly. If no vegs are being eaten, fresh, high quality pellets would be required (high quality pellets do not have seeds). Syringing water with a daily amount of vitamin C might help also.