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Guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus) are small mammalian rodents, very popular as pets for decades. For their health it is essential to offer them a balanced diet and, therefore, it is urgent to consult with our reference veterinarian if we observe that our guinea pig does not eat.
Precisely, in this AnimalWised article we are going to explain the causes that can explain the lack of appetite of guinea pigs, what should be an adequate diet and what we should do to solve the lack of appetite. If you love guinea pigs but your guinea pig does not eat, ¡keep reading!You may also be interested in: How do I know if my guinea pig is sick? Index
- Mouth problems
- Respiratory pathologies
- Digestive problems
- Vitamin C deficiency
- Emotional factors
- The importance of feeding guinea pigs
The teeth of guinea pigs are in permanent growth. For this reason it is very important that they wear their teeth with the help of food. Sometimes this wear does not occur and oral problems arise that, in addition to affecting the teeth themselves, can cause wounds and infections, in addition to tartar.
The pain it feels when feeding is responsible for our guinea pig not eating. In these cases we will see that the guinea pig does not even eat hay and does not even drink. It is a reason for a quick visit to the vet since, without ingesting food or drink, our guinea pig can dehydrate very quickly.
The solution usually goes through a teeth filing (always carried out by the veterinarian), if this is the cause, and a treatment based on antibiotics to fight the infection and analgesics to avoid pain. If we follow the instructions of our veterinarian and no complications arise, in a short time our guinea pig should be eating normally.
In some cases we can observe that the guinea pig does not eat or drink or move. It could be going through a respiratory process, as can be a pneumonia. Sometimes, if we look closely, we can see a watery discharge in the nostrils and eyes. It is also a veterinary emergency.
Respiratory problems are not always infectious in origin. Guinea pigs can also develop tumors, such as adenocarcinoma, that are found on x-rays or ultrasound and that produce symptoms similar to those of pneumonia. This type of tumor is quite common in guinea pigs that are over three years of age. At this point we must point out the importance of going to a veterinarian specialized in these animals, since there are considerable differences with other more common patients such as dogs and cats..
Based on the results of the tests, the vet will establish the appropriate treatment. In addition, since the guinea pig does not eat when it feels unwell, it is very important to keep it hydrated, helping it to drink and feed..
Another cause that can explain why guinea pigs do not eat, drink or move is found in their digestive system and, at this point, it is important to highlight, again, the essentials of a correct diet. Not offering the food that our guinea pig needs can cause digestive discomfort that manifests itself, for example, as gases u obstructions.
Our guinea pig does not eat and, in addition, we can notice the swollen or hardened abdomen. In this situation pain on palpation or with simple handling can also be observed. It is reason for veterinary consultation so that this professional determines the cause of the problem. Sometimes a foreign body is responsible for causing a blockage. With an x-ray or ultrasound, the reason can be determined and treated with medication or intervention.
Vitamin C deficiency
This deficiency causes a disease known as scurvy. Guinea pigs, like humans, are not capable of manufacturing this vitamin in their body, so they must ingest it from food. Therefore, it is essential to know the list of fruits and vegetables recommended for guinea pigs..
If our guinea pig does not eat enough vitamin C in its food and we do not supplement it, it can develop this disease. Vitamin C is related to the synthesis of collagen, which is a protein that is involved in the formation of bones, cartilage and connective tissue (skin, ligaments, tendons, etc.). Thus, its deficiency will manifest itself in the appearance of the following problems:
- Dermatological, such as skin color modification or hair loss.
- Tooth weakness, which may even fall out on its own.
- Digestive problems.
- Hemorrhages, gum bleeding being characteristic.
- Worse immune system response.
- Brittle bones.
- Decreased appetite, the guinea pig does not eat and, as a consequence, we will observe that it loses weight.
- Lethargy, the guinea pig does not move.
- Lameness or imbalances when wandering.
- Abnormal stools.
Any of these symptoms is a reason for veterinary consultation and, in addition to treating it, the solution is to improve the diet by establishing an adequate daily amount of vitamin C.
In addition to the physical aspects that we have exposed in the previous sections, we can find guinea pigs that do not eat, drink or move for reasons such as stress or sadness. These animals are very sensitive to changes and, if they occur, they can affect them to the point of losing their appetite and mood..
As we have already highlighted on several occasions, it is very important that our guinea pig eat and drink because, if we do not do it, it can quickly dehydrate, hence the importance of going to the veterinary consultation without delay. If this is the problem, we must observe our friend and introduce the improvements that encourage him, such as more attention, company, another diet, a larger and / or cleaner bed, etc..
The importance of feeding guinea pigs
Throughout the previous sections we have seen the importance of paying attention to a guinea pig that does not eat and, on occasions, does not drink or move, since a serious pathology may be behind it. Also, as we have been pointing out, it will be crucial to help our guinea pig to stay hydrated and fed..
To achieve it we can give you water with a syringe, always little by little and on the side of the mouth, in the hollow behind the teeth, to avoid choking. As for food, we can encourage her to eat by offering her a porridge or a baby food, also administered in a syringe (we can add water to make it more liquid).
Of course, we must consult with our veterinarian to ensure that the composition of these foods is the most appropriate. Once our guinea pig eats again, its diet must be rich in fiber to help you wear down your teeth and, at the same time, promote intestinal transit. Do not forget that guinea pigs are completely herbivorous. A correct diet must contain the following foods, expressed in approximate percentages:
- Between 75 and 80% hay. It has to be your staple food.
- At most 20% of feed (¡specific for guinea pigs!).
- 5 to 15% vegetables, very important that they are rich in vitamin C (such as spinach, cabbage or parsley).
- Occasional consumption (only as a reward) of fruits and cereals. They should not be given daily.
- Supplement of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) in the dose recommended by the veterinarian.
This would be a model diet for adult guinea pigs. In guinea pigs under six months or pregnant females, it should be adjusted, since the nutritional needs are modified.
This article is merely informative, at AnimalWised.com we do not have the power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the vet in the event that it presents any type of condition or discomfort.