The Ferrets Community!



Tips for the sick guinea pig

Towels - You can put folded towels in the house, so that it is easier for you to walk if you are not well, and it is also easier to see how stool and urine are and how much you are doing.

Heat - Some guinea pigs benefit greatly from some extra heat. You can use a hot water bag wrapped in a cloth, or a lamp (because of the heat they radiate), placed on one side of the house. There are also some “pads” designed for animals that only need to be heated in the microwave for a few minutes and that are kept warm for hours. Any source of heat must be positioned so that the guinea pig can leave its side if it does not feel comfortable.

Pain control - If your guinea pig feels pain, it may not want to move or eat. When necessary, make sure you get a painkiller for your guinea pig. Do not calm down unless it is under the supervision of your veterinarian. Both Meloxicam and Rimadyl are effective.

WEIGH IT EVERY DAY! While your guinea pig is sick, weigh it at least once or twice a day. It is especially important if your guinea pig is not eating, in which case you should monitor it to see if your manual feed is keeping your guinea pig.

Manual feeding needs practice and patience on the part of both. Try to make it nice and relaxing. Although it is a time-consuming process, it will give you the opportunity to join your animal more.

Feeding your sick guinea pig by hand


Sex: Woman
Age: 32 years
Province: Alacant

You have gone to the vet. Losing teeth for these animals can lead to death from starvation, since as soon as they have pain in their mouth they stop eating and die within 24/72 hours.
Also, keep in mind that a veterinarian specializing in rodents should check them well, the teeth of guinea pigs grow a lifetime, so it is not the same if they have been broken or rooted. This should also be reviewed, because perhaps I could tell you if he will recover them. In addition, any sharp edge that has fallen from breaking the tooth can cause serious mouth wounds. In addition, they will have to give you analgesics, anti-inflammatory and antibiotics and the best thing you can do is to click them there in the clinic every 24/48 hours until you are better. They would have to check it now, because eating with broken, torn teeth or whatever can also cause an infection.
Vegetable porridge that you occasionally eat and liquid chamomile (without anise, sugar or anything, pure chamomile) are a good option, the problem is that you will not be able to eat hay and will have a significant fiber deficit, for all that to assess the In case you should review it and the one who can best help you is an exotic veterinarian. Go quickly to one!

Andie V. Report MessageQuote

UserTitle: Sos Cobaya

Sex: Woman
Age: 33 years
Province: Alacant

Depending on how much of the teeth you have broken, it may not be so serious. It is clear that you will have to take it to the veterinarian, but the teeth grow back so it depends on whether the break causes pain or not. For now you will have to feed it and the easiest way is that with a chopper or a mortar tritures I think (the one of green vastoncitos of hay). At the pharmacy, buy a syringe and cut off the mouthpiece to make the exit bigger and then take a little of the chopped feed and mix it with water until you make a porridge that is what you have to put in your mouth.
Give it as often as you can to eat and all the more if you are going to be hours without being able to give it. Try to make porridge with other vegetables and others but it has to be really crushed to swallow it as is.
This saved my life when, by my disregard for not replacing his hard bread, his teeth grew larger and he was unable to chew. In a week I located an exotic hospital and they sedated it to cut them, but don't see how fast he lost weight. until I realized what was happening and with the porridge he won again.
You'll tell how are you
Report MessageQuote
UserTitle: Sos Cobaya

Sex: Woman
Age: 20 years
Province: Barcelona

Hello, She has not died, It is more good, I took her to a vet of exotic, and they told me that it was a small break that would come out more, That I would make a banana porridge or buy baby fruit pots.
Report MessageQuote
UserTitle: Sos Cobaya


Best answer: Hello, visit my website If you go to the Health section, at the bottom of the page there is another link. There you will find everything you need to know to feed your guinea pig by hand. what is happening ¡ Is he the exotic veterinarian? There are several reasons why they can stop eating - gas, dental problems. - So it is extremely important that your veterinarian knows about guinea pigs.

I have a guest book on my website. If you have any questions, leave a message and I will answer you. Good luck and do not despair, at first feeding a guinea pig by hand is very uphill, but with a little "kind strength", you can get it.

Mouth problems

The teeth of the 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 injuries and infections, in addition to tartar.

The pain you feel 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 or even drink. It is a reason for a quick visit to the veterinarian since, without eating food or drink, our guinea pig can dehydrate very quickly.

The solution usually goes through a teeth filing (always performed 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 there are no complications, in a short time our guinea pig should be eating normally.

Respiratory pathologies

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, such as pneumonia. Sometimes, if you look, we can see a watery discharge in the nostrils and eyes. It is also a veterinary emergency.

Respiratory problems do not always have an infectious origin. Guinea pigs can also have tumors, such as adenocarcinoma, which are detected on x-rays or ultrasound and produce symptoms similar to those of pneumonia. This type of tumor is quite common in guinea pigs who are over three years old. At this point it is necessary to 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.

Depending on the results of the tests, the veterinarian will establish the appropriate treatment. In addition, as the guinea pig feels unwell, it is very important to keep it hydrated, helping it to drink and feed.

Digestive problems

Another cause that may explain that guinea pigs do not eat or drink or move is in their digestive system and, at this point, it is important to highlight, again, the essentials of proper eating. Not offering the food that our guinea pig needs can cause digestive discomfort that manifests itself, for example, as gases uobstructions.

Our guinea pig does not eat and, in addition, we can notice the inflamed or hardened abdomen. In this situation, pain on palpation or with simple handling can also be observed. It is a veterinary consultation reason for this professional to determine the cause of the problem. Sometimes, a foreign body is responsible for causing an obstruction. With an x-ray or ultrasound, the reason can be determined and treated with medication or intervention.

Lack of vitamin C

This deficiency causes a disease known as scurvy. Guinea pigs, as happens to humans, are not able to make this vitamin in their body, so they must eat 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 lack will manifest itself in the appearance of the following problems:

  • Dermatological, such as skin color modification or hair loss.
  • Weakness of the teeth, which can even fall alone.
  • Anemia.
  • Digestive problems.
  • Hemorrhages, gum bleeding being characteristic.
  • Worse immune system response.
  • Fragility of the 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.
  • Lamenesses or imbalances when wandering.
  • Abnormal stools

Any of these symptoms is a reason for veterinary consultation and, in addition to treating it, the solution involves improving the diet by establishing an adequate daily amount of vitamin C.

Alternatively, you can use good quality simple feed dissolved in water (or one of the other suggestions), with chopped parsley, vegetables and carrots (microwave it helps).

Your guinea pig may have been prescribed antibiotics. All antibiotics affect the intestinal flora to a greater or lesser degree. Some dangerous antibiotics such as penicillin are fatal since they affect the intestinal flora, causing fatal and irreversible diarrhea. But even antibiotics safe for guinea pigs can affect the flora.

Half of an excrement of a healthy guinea pig dissolved in a small amount of water, and added to food is the best way to reintroduce good bacteria and increase appetite, especially if your guinea pig is in atibiotics. You can also use a small amount of acidophilus added in the food to restore the intestinal flora. Yogurt has acidophilus but it is not a good choice since it is a dairy product. Being herbivores, the use of dairy products in your diet is not recommended. There is a probiotic designed for birds and small animals that is very practical and works quite well. It's called Avipro and it can be found without enough difficulty.

Probiotics should be given one to two hours after the antibiotic has been given.

Preparing the feed

The daily ration of alfalfa feed can be ground in a coffee grinder, or using a mortar. They can also be soaked in water, left in the fridge at night, and crushed with a spoon. About 20 grams of powder and 5 mls of water can make a good porridge (experiment until you get the best consistency). A thicker paste reduces the risk of suffocation. Some guinea pigs prefer the mildly warm porridge in the microwave for a few seconds. The feed makes the teeth work (especially if it is a drier mixture) and stimulates the digestive system more effectively than baby porridge, although prepared peas, mixed vegetables etc., are much softer than feed.

Feeding techniques

Maybe you can give 20 to 25 grams of the porridge, plus about 15 ml of water at each meal. Several sessions (4-6 or more) a day will be necessary to keep your system moving and give you the proper nutrition. To feed it you can use a 1 cc syringe, with the tip cut (to leave the tube of an equal diameter), and file, so that it does not have tips that can harm you. Another syringe (without needle and without the tip cut), also 1 cc can be used to give water (with vitamin C if necessary) between the meal, and to give the medication.

You can also use a plastic Pasteur pipette to feed your guinea pig.

There are several techniques, but the most basic thing is to feed your guinea pig slowly, and not do it by keeping it face up (there is a greater risk of aspiration). Some people find that an upright position works better. Others wrap their animal in a small "pocket." Others hold their guinea pigs looking forward. Some guinea pigs feel safer if they have their legs on a hard surface, to do this put your guinea pig on a towel, on the table, cornered with your arm. Experiment with the method that works best for you and with which your guinea pig feels less in disgust. You can be firm if necessary. Make sure the guinea pig is swallowing. You don't want food to reach your lungs. A thicker mixture helps prevent aspiration.

Put the syringe by the side of the mouth, directly behind your front teeth, and bring it to your molars, until the guinea pig begins to bite the tip of the syringe. Then slowly push the contents of the syringe, stopping if the guinea pig stops chewing. While the guinea pig is chewing, it will be swallowing. Sometimes moving the syringe slightly causes the guinea pig to chew again, if it has stopped.

Your goal is to get your guinea pig to eat normally again, so offer food occasionally while you feed it manually, and make sure it always has food at home. Some guinea pigs respond very well when they are offered grass. If you can get fresh, clean, pesticide-free grass, offer it. Avoid areas near the passage of cars or those where dogs or cattle usually go. To know how much you have fed him, you can weigh your guinea pig before and after the meal, so you can know how much he is really eating.

Emotional factors

In addition to the physical aspects that we have discussed in the previous sections, we can find guinea pigs who do not eat or drink or move for reasons such as stress or sadness. These animals are very sensitive to changes and, if these 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 not, it can quickly become dehydrated, 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, other food, a larger and / or cleaner bed, etc.

The importance of guinea pig feeding

Throughout the previous sections we have seen the importance of paying attention to a guinea pig that does not eat and sometimes neither drinks nor moves, since a serious pathology can be behind. Also, as we have pointed out, it will be crucial to help our guinea pig stay hydrated and fed.

To get it we can supply water with a syringe, always little by little and by 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 a porridge or a baby pot, also administered in a syringe (we can add water to make it more liquid).

Of course, we should consult with our veterinarian to ensure that the composition of these foods is the most appropriate. Once our guinea pig eats again, its diet should be high in fiber to help you wear your teeth and, at the same time, promote intestinal transit. Do not forget that guinea pigs are completely herbivorous. A correct diet should contain the following foods, expressed in approximate percentages:

  • Between 75 and 80% hay. It has to be your fundamental food.
  • At most 20% feed (specific for guinea pigs!).
  • From 5 to 15% of 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.
  • Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) supplement 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 nutritional needs are modified.

This article is purely informative, at we have no power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any kind of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian in case he presents any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to My guinea pig does not eat, we recommend you go to our Other health problems section.